OK. This is as good a time as any to catch up on things.
Over in San Jose, the Sharks held their annual State of the Sharks talk for fans. The talk is a bit infamous for not revealing anything significant, but this one seemed to have two nice nuggets. Number one: Jeremy Roenick will be back, which is pretty interesting. Roenick was a key part of the Sharks this season but I wonder how he’ll be a year older and under a new coach. The second interesting nugget came via a fan that caught Mercury News writer David Pollak’s attention:
I was going to stop there, but FAN #11, it turns out, was one of those rare special interest moments that had broader appeal, at least for me. An aviation specialist, he said the team should charter a newer plane than the one it uses, a plane that’s quiet enough to land in San Jose after curfew rather than force the team to land in Oakland, then bus the 45 miles down I-880 in the wee hours of the morning.
The guy clearly knew what he was talking about and dinging the franchise for using Boeing 737s that area quarter of a century old.
“Half the team is younger than the plane you guys fly,” he said, noting that even the Sabrecats have a better plane thanks to owner John Fry.
Money is obviously an issue here and Jamison would say only that the team has looked into the types of planes that would allow late night landings in San Jose.
Travel is such a huge part of life in the Western Conference. If I was going to spend money on anything as an owner, I think it would be travel. Sleepy, cranky players aren’t necessarily efficient, effective players. I never considered what a difference the type of plane could make.
Over in Dallas, it looks like Mike Modano will be back for another season. Last week, Mike Heika predicted Modano would be back and pencilled him in as the Stars’ checking center, which is a bit of a different role for Modano. Heika also has Joel Lundqvist on the fourth line, but I suspect the versatile Swede might end up with Modano, on a hybrid checking-but-sometimes-scoring line. Oh. And in a dramatic change of pace, people in Dallas are now clamoring for the Stars to re-sign coach Dave Tippett, who entered the playoffs with his head glued to the chopping block. Tippett showed more creativity during the playoffs than he’s shown the entire rest of the time he was in Dallas. Hopefully, it’ll carry over into next season.
Finally, Stu Hackel at the Times has a look at why no sports league, including the NHL, would fix its playoffs so certain teams get in. I don’t think this happens at the executive level, but watching some of the calls during this season’s playoffs, I can’t help but wonder if certain vigilante officiating crews are trying to “help” the league by giving calls to certain teams. For some reason, a lot of times it’s easier to assume malice over incompetence.