So apparently Larry Brooks is the only person in the world who thinks a more balanced NHL schedule is a bad idea. Brooks’ argument is that familiarity breeds rivalry breeds exciting hockey. And that’s true, if you’re talking a rivalry like Boston-Montreal, Rangers-Islanders, or Detroit-Colorado. But Anaheim-San Jose? Nashville-Columbus? The history just isn’t there. You can’t build a rivalry out of thin air. This isn’t BIG BROTHER 19.
Also, Wes Walz emerged from seclusion to announce his retirement. Patrick Reusse had a nice column, calling Walz coach Jacques Lemaire’s security blanket. Which was true, because Walz was really the personification of Lemaire’s oppressive, smothering defensive style of hockey. Size is just a small part of the equation in a system like Lemaire’s, and Walz had the speed and intellect to make it work.
Also, the Times had a nice follow-up to my interview last week with Fred Teng, who’s part of the team broadcasting Rangers-Islanders games in Chinese.
The Times caught up with the broadcast team. The Gray Lady also now has a hockey blog: http://slapshot.blogs.nytimes.com/.