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Slings and arrows

Monday, July 31, 2006

Rock that spin, Detroit.

Perhaps you heard Detroit television personality Ken Daniels on the Team 1200 this aft, discussing the Red Wings' decision to sign Dominik Hasek (and his towel) to a one-year-deal.

Daniels claims (and I'm paraphrasing) that the Wings had a strong interest in Martin Gerber. However, when the Sens snagged the Swiss backstopper, Detroit was left in a bind due to salary cap restraints. Also, in spite of their desire for Gerber, there was "lingering doubt" regarding "playoff capability", and they had been "burned recently in that respect" (see: Manny Legace). That's where the decision to pick up Hasek arose from.

A nice little jab there, from someone who appears to think (or is telling himself) that Detroit scooped up and rescued Hasek from under Muckler's nose, after Mucks thieved their original choice. Strangely enough, the last time I checked, major injuries fell under the banner of "playoff capability".

Just remember, it's all slings and arrows until someone tears a groin muscle.

Your Friday chewable

Friday, July 28, 2006

Just a little something to chew on for the weekend...

Think about all the teams that have been hell-bent on keeping their collective salaries at the lower spectrum of the cap. The floor figure for last year was 21.5 million. Think about Buffalo, who likes to have a ceiling below the actual 44-million dollar cap, and the frustrations they've been dealing with involving RFAs. Think about Boston -- with a collective salary of approximately 32 million last year, and notoriously stingy. Suddenly they're shelling out for Zdeno Chara.

How are these smaller-market teams, and teams that have difficulty drawing going to be able to justify spending this money? The cap demands it now -- you've got to keep up or you'll be left by the wayside, and more and more teams are pushing the limit. Toronto and Detroit have always spent big -- they could afford to, and their ticket prices reflected that fact.

Other teams who had smaller wallets previously attempted to tread water. The CBA's salary cap gives them a chance to hook some of the bigger fishes of free agency, but some still have to get used to the idea of spending $44 million on a collective salary.

It's great if the fans show up, and can offset some of the costs. But what if they don't? The fact remains that even if they do, a number of these markets will likely be raising ticket prices again.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Tour de France winner Floyd Landis fails drug test -- well, there goes that happy story. Obviously the "Tour de Lance" moniker is still applicable for this race.

I rented ESPN's Codebreakers and watched it last night -- it's a docu-drama about the 1951 scholastic cheating scandal that saw 83 cadets dismissed from West Point, but began as a covert group of cribbers from Army's extremely successful football team. A number of players were accused and dismissed, including the head coach's son, who was the QB for the team. It's a decent movie (filmed in Toronto) and a good way to waste 90 minutes.

Speaking of timewasters, if anyone's willing to tolerate my obsession with Rockstar: Supernova, they can do so over at the message board. The Driver's mother was back at TUC HQ last night, and Tommy Lee freaked her out something terrible. I feel the same way about Jason Newsted's recent haircut.

The Eagle lives!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

That statement feels like it should be accompanied by metal horns.

Uh, anyway... the 41-year-old facemaker known as Ed Belfour signed a one-year-deal with Florida today, thereby booshing Lakehead boy Alex Auld into shared duties for the backstopping position.

We'll predict that Mike Keenan will be afflicted with buyer's remorse by the two month mark. Just a hunch.

(Credit to Wardo for sending us the awesome photo.)

<----- Dances in time to Metallica's cover of Breadfan by Budgie (even the slow bridge). Don't ask me how I was able to figure this out.

Well...rejoice and so forth. By the way, if I'm posting dancing milk .gifs, can TUC's infamous Boo Boo avatars be far off? I'll hold out a bit longer. I've got to keep you fools maintaining some reason for constantly coming back here.

The sad truth is, there isn't a whole hell of a lot to talk about -- which is blatantly evident if you've visited some of the regular blogs as of late.

I've been keeping busy by listening to Good Riddance circa '96 and going to Lynx games -- it's fantastic to see their offense finally being able to produce regularly, and surely that some players will be called up very soon with Baltimore basically bottoming out. First guesses would be C Eli Whiteside and OF Keith Reed (who's been phenomenal lately -- just yesterday against Norfolk he went 4-for-5 with 2 RBI and 3 runs scored). Also, P Hayden Penn will be heading back with his rehab stint all but finished before his next scheduled start. I finally made it out to see him on the 19th, and he didn't disappoint -- he maintained a no-hitter through the 5th inning. I'm so glad I got on that kid's bandwagon early.

The team's heading out on another road trip (Syracuse and Scranton Wilkes-Barre) but will be back on August 3. If you haven't been to a game this year, go soon before the Orioles pick the roster clean.

Other stuff...

I know hockey's in its dormant season when Slam! leaves the column up in the main hockey digest for the entire day. Normally they don't do that unless I've written something pretty controversial -- you know, like this. But there was one part of the column this week that people reacted to, and I'm pleased that they did, because I wanted to be the first to verbalize it:

"Sometimes, the desire isn’t even related to a hometown — just a favourite team. Have you ever noticed the euphoric expression on Sidney Crosby’s face whenever the Montreal Canadiens are mentioned? If I’m Penguins GM Ray Shero, I’m doing everything possible to promote Pittsburgh to the young phenom for the next six years."

Which of course, encourages emails like this:


Don't you mean Ray Shero should be doing everything to
sell Sidney Crosby on Hamilton? ;)

"C'mon, Sid.... it's only a short drive to the
Fallsview Casino."

For the record, I can tell you from experience that what I said is true -- I've witnessed it myself. Crosby's demeanour alters completely whenever anyone mentions Montreal in his presence. He positively glows. It doesn't matter where that team goes, because he's going to have his day in a Canadiens uniform eventually. The talented always get what they want. Hell, in this NHL, even the not-as-talented are able to get it.

And speaking of the not-as-talented, do you think Mike York is going to kick back some of that new $2.85 million to Dave Tallon and the Blackhawks? After all, it was Martin Havlat's contract that began all this mess with the RFAs. You're welcome too, Buffalo. Enjoy!

More later.

What the...?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

It's one thing to be displeased with the moves your new GM has made in free agency. But how to do you justify replacing him with Garth freaking Snow?

Question of the day: Which Michael Peca will the Leafs receive? The integral puzzle piece or the frustrating disappointment? Keep in mind that Peca hasn't scored more than 60 points since 2001-02. The leadership and faceoff ability are fantastic, however, it's safe to say this isn't the man to rely upon to bag the points. And you need those points to win the games that'll get you to the playoffs -- the playoffs where Mike Peca has the potential to shine.



Monday, July 17, 2006

To any delusional Leafs fans who hold steadfast to the belief that any of the 700+ NHL players would sacrifice their salaries and sanity to play in Toronto given the divine opportunity, may I present Exhibit A:

Eric Lindros.

And the man has had multiple concussions. Don't you love the irony?

Lindros is expected to sign with the Stars today, penning an incentive-laden deal rumoured to be around the $2 million mark. The Leafs have offered the 33-year-old a one-year, $750,000 contract, according to Toronto media.

This isn't about Lindros' worth - he's a high-risk player with a lot of baggage, similar to Dominik Hasek. When he's on, you're loving it. When he gets injured, you're kicking yourself for being so gullible.

Eric Lindros is one of those players that everyone knew was going to end up in Toronto eventually. It was the hometown dream that refused to die. And regardless of whether a player grows up there, we all know there are many who express an open desire to play for the Leafs. Toronto fans revel in it. "Out of all the teams, they want to be here. They want to play for us." Naturally, such an outpouring of desire would be extremely cool, and quite the ego boost, I'm sure. And again, Lindros has been at the forefront of the "I wanna be a Leaf" movement for some time.

So you're telling me after 33 games -- not even half a season -- that Lindros has been sated by his time in Toronto, and is ready to move on? If he wanted to be a Leaf so badly (and up until now, all signs indicated that to be true), then why isn't he taking the $750,000?

What's the deal, Leafs fans? There's got to more to this story, right? Maybe he's greedy. Maybe he doesn't like Buster. Because no one on Earth would say no to the Leafs. If anything, Lindros should've been paying them for the opportunity to wear the blue and white.

(Now that's sarcasm.)

Friday afternoon deglaze

Friday, July 14, 2006

...because having houseguests chews it when you want to update the blog.

The NHL's 2006-07 schedule came out this week, and in my opinion it bit in a big way. I'm convinced that the league is going to see the repercussions of this eventually. I understand that Leafs and Habs fans like to see their teams in the city, and Zdeno Chara's first visit back will be a big deal. But the novelty wears off fast, especially if you attend a lot of games as I do. Combine this with the Senators' selective pricing program (of which Leafs and Habs games are sold at a premium), and it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

This trend has produced another curious factor that we have recently seen in free agency -- player ignorance. Not from the league, but from the fans. How many times did you hear during a signing or trade in the last few weeks, "I don't know much about this player"? What were the odds that they were coming to your team from the other conference? Pretty high, I suspect. If you don't see the teams, you can't learn about other players' idiosyncrasies with any kind of regularity unless you have the Centre Ice package. Not everyone can afford that luxury.

I understand why the league made the schedule this way: It reduces travel wear on the players, and it's a feeble attempt to produce rivalries (an intangible that can't be forced). But you can shove the Northeast division down my throat only so far before I'm going to revolt. I say that as a non-paying fan with a seat in the press box, and as someone that chooses to shell out for tickets regularly so I can cut loose. Given the choice between the third Leafs, Habs, Bruins or Sabres game at Scotiabank Place, I am more likely to select the Sharks at home -- via remote.

Speaking of the press box, one of the biggest unannounced signings to the Senators will directly be affecting that aspect of the team and arena's experience. The team is bringing in Brian Morris as a member of media relations -- he used to perform the same task with the Lynx for several years. I have privately said in the past to anyone who would listen that the Lynx had the best media relations reps in the city. They were always courteous, appreciative and willing to help out the little (wo)man on the totem pole. Brian was a huge part of that, and I am thrilled that he's joining the Sens, because they could really benefit from his finesse and genuine manner. The Senators' press box is not the friendliest place on the planet. Having someone like Brian in there will make my life a lot easier.

(Aside -- one of the most honest documentations about life in the press box can be found here. I couldn't resist commenting on the post -- you can find my thoughts located three-quarters of the way down the page).

Finally, a column preview: This week my editor asked me to write about the absence of the Renegades, now that the CFL season is under way. I asked if I would receive extra pay for character work, because it was a strain for me to feign interest in Canadian football. Then I told him I was joking. (I wasn't.)

I went out to Frank Clair Stadium, accompanied by The Driver and a Sun photographer. The Driver eventually found an open door, so we decided to explore (read: trespass).

What a horribly depressing place, not to mention hot as hell, given the weather yesterday. After I had concluded my work, all three of us went to leave when we made the unfortunate discovery that the door had been locked.

We were trapped inside. Now there's a marketing technique that Lonie never thought to use.

The rusted chain link, the concrete and the hot sun with no shade for refuge. It was like freaking Guantanamo North. Luckily I tracked down a number for security and someone arrived to release us. Apparently the door had been opened to allow a former 'Gade to come by and pick up some equipment he had left behind. (He couldn't get a replacement? God, being a CFL player must suck.) Needless to say, it provided a convenient excuse to give my editor when I was late for deadline.

More later. Have a decent weekend, Cynics.

Lynx/Jackie Robinson promo

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

This is a media release that the Lynx sent me yesterday, and I think it's a really fantastic promo. I thought I would share it here.


Former Teammates Of Legendary Baseball Star To Be On Hand For Pre-Game Ceremony

OTTAWA - The Ottawa Lynx announced today that on Sunday, July 23rd they will be holding a special tribute to Jackie Robinson as part of their 1:05 pm game against the Norfolk Tides.

The Lynx, in partnership with the National Capital Amateur Athletic Association will host a 60th anniversary tribute to Jackie Robinson's first season in professional baseball when he played for the Montreal Royals of the International League. The 1946 season was a special part of Robinson's career, as he helped to lead the Royals to the Govenors' Cup title with Montreal as they defeated the Louisville Colonels four games to two.

Following Robinson's season in Montreal, he would go on to be the first African American in Major League Baseball history when he suited up for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. The trailblazer went on to a Hall of Fame career that featured six All-Star teams, six World Series appearances, a Rookie of the Year award (1947) and a National League MVP (1949).

Starting at 12:00 pm on July 23rd, the Lynx will hold a pre-game ceremony with two former teammates of Robinson and International League President Randy Mobley present. Part of the ceremony will be the retirement of Jackie Robinson's number 42 on the outfield wall at Lynx Stadium.

The two teammates of Robinson that will be present include:

George "Shotgun" Shuba - Outfielder. Shuba is known for his handshake with Jackie Robinson at home plate in 1946 after Robinson's first career homer with Montreal. The photo taken of this moment has been known through history as the "Handshake of the Century"; it is considered the first known photograph of a an African American player and a Caucasian player shaking hands on the field of play. Shuba currently resides in Pittsburgh, PA.

Jean-Pierre Roy - Pitcher. Roy was another member of the 1946 Montreal Royals and a teammate of Robinson's during his first season of professional baseball. He currently resides in Trois-Rivieres, QC.

The Ottawa Lynx team will be wearing replica jerseys and caps from the 1946 Montreal Royals, with the jerseys being auctioned off in a silent auction format during the game on July 23rd. Proceeds of the auction will go to benefit local children's charities.

Muckler devours the young

Monday, July 10, 2006

In a move that few of us saw coming (in spite of Martin Havlat's days being numbered in Ottawa), the Czech winger was sent to Chicago along with Bryan Smolinski in a three-way deal that also involved San Jose.

Chicago sent Mark Bell to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for Tom Priessing and Josh Hennessy, who the Blackhawks added to a package to land Havlat and Smolinski.

Along with Preissing and Hennessy, the Blackhawks sent prospect Michal Barinka and a 2008 second-round draft pick to Ottawa in exchange for Havlat and Smolinski.

Did you get all that? Okay. Let's concentrate on what matters.

Obviously after Havlat's demands, it was expected that he'd be on the move. Frankly I'm surprised that Muckler was able to get anything that could be used in the present (read: something other than draft picks and baby-faced prospects), because Havlat was insisting on a one-year deal.

Which brings us to that "present day" piece: Tom Priessing. Obviously after the loss of Zdeno Chara, the Senators needed to continue their search for defensive pieces. It was highly unlikely that Ottawa would ever find an equivalent replacement, but the addition of Priessing seems to have quelled the masses somewhat. The Minnesota native is considered to be a power-play specialist, and is also a right-handed shot -- a helpful trait on a defense that's notoriously loaded with left-handed blueliners.

Along with the former San Jose defenseman comes two prospects and a draft pick. They may pan out. They may not. Regardless, they will not help the immediate bottom line.

For the record, here's the bottom line: As of right now, the Senators are down a left wing, and a second/third center. And regardless of what critics may have said about Bryan Smolinski -- the player I called "Binkie" (here's the reason why) -- he was still a body that the team doesn't have an immediate replacement for.

Salary dump? Duh. But whom are you going to plug in there? If you're to believe the deluded masses over at the HFboards, it would be Alexei Kaigorodov -- the Russian prospect who's been playing for Metallurg Magnitogorsk -- a kid with no physicality to his game, that has yet to experience the North American style of play, let alone become acclimatized to it. But according to them, you can stick Kaig right in there.

Alrighty then. Rock that spin, Armchair GM. Note to Muckler: No naps until you find someone.

As for the left wing, if you wanted to stick Christoph Schubert on forward, it would work on paper. Schubert played up front several times last year, and made for a feisty combination of speed and fierce hitting. Good on paper, but the reality is that Schubert is still very young and will require grooming. Besides, if you move him ahead of the blueline, you're down to six defensemen (again).

You could believe that Muckler was going to make an effort to fill these holes -- you could believe that, or you could realize that this salary dump was necessitated by the four players left on the team who are going to arbitration (Chris Kelly, Chris Neil, Antoine Vermette and Peter Schaefer).

In short, the dreams that some have of seeing Michael Peca in Ottawa are just that. Dreams.

More later? From John Muckler, hopefully.

P.S. Discuss this trade and Havlat's unsubstantiated new salary on the message board.

New stuff

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Check the links section -- TUC now has a message board.

Discuss, complain, rant...do it all there. This will give you the place to veer off-topic and talk about subjects not related to the posts.

Enjoy and yeah hey.

Bits and pieces

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Chara piece and interview that appeared in today's Sun left me with mixed feelings. I believe Zdeno when he says that he wanted to stay, but obviously there's the question of not taking the alleged $6 million paycheque which was offered by the Senators.

I'm torn about the entire event after reading the interview, and there's no way to fully shut down an argument one way or the other, because I can see both sides, with so much of it being speculative.

Other stuff...

I spoke with Fred Brathwaite today, who was recently signed by the Thrashers after spending the last two years with Ak-Bars Kazan. Freddie has been waiting for his chance to make it back into the NHL, and knew that so many teams would be looking for goaltenders after July 1st. There were other teams interested in him (two Western conference and one Eastern), but Atlanta maintained the most interest. Brathwaite sounded really upbeat and ready to challenge Johan Hedberg for the No. 2 position with the team. The interview will appear in its entirety in this Sunday's column.

John Muckler's new math

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Jason Spezza. 2 years. $9 million.

That's bad math. Here's the real equation of concern:

Current committed salary: ~$35.3 million
Available salary (going right to the cap): ~$8.6 million

Eugene Melnyk's "imposed cap": $40 million

Never mind that the Sens still haven't a top defenseman to replace Chara, but there are still the RFA contracts of Peter Schaefer, Antoine Vermette, Chris Neil and Ray Emery to deal with (I have not included Martin Havlat in that list, remaining under the assumption that he will eventually be traded).

I understand that Jason Spezza falls into the category of being the franchise's new face, but this can't be justified. Not at such a critical stage. And for the life of me, I can't figure out what John Muckler is building for -- the present or the future -- because in my estimation, the Sens will be facing some major hurdles, both in the short and long term.

More later.

This picture may reach the dizzying heights of the drunk Sundin-Belfour photo for TUC. Seriously. Why doesn't she look like that in any of the SI swimsuit photos?

Anyway, yesterday started out as a quiet day for us -- that is, until The Driver decided to turn on the Sharapova fourth-round match at Wimbledon. Listening to the Russian starlet dominate the baseline makes me feel like I should be paying by the minute. Female tennis players' careers have the lifespan of a medfly, but based on Sharapova's screaming wails, I'm sure she'll experience a fine renaissance in the 1-900 industry.

The former Wimbledon's champ's opponent on Monday was a 24-year-old Italian named Flavia Pennetta, whom we immediately dubbed, "Flava Flav". I was highly disappointed that she wasn't able to complete a comeback on Maria -- her continued play would have made for some sweet column material.

Damn, the playoff's already over?

Monday, July 03, 2006

And I missed it? Oh well, congratulations Alfreda...I mean, Annika.

Oh, come on. You were thinking it too.

...because we have only one more day to wait before Chris Pronger attempts to tell everyone the truth...or a reasonable facsimile.

I don't which story left me with more of a sinking feeling this past week: The Chris Pronger rumour, or the beginning of free agency (probably the former, but only by a hair).

I think everyone remembers that moment, pre-recent CBA, when Bobby Holik signed a five-year, $45-million deal with the Rangers. It was like we had suddenly entered the Twilight Zone. Nothing that has occurred over the past three days has given me that same feeling, but I still become uneasy with all of the freewheeling spending that has taken place.

Obviously the ratios are off from the spending of yore due to the salary cap, and the maximum salary allowed is currently $8.8 million. But what happened to the theory that the middle-of-the-road players were going to be forced to up their performances on a perennial basis to justify a larger paycheque? $2.5 million a year for Brian Pothier? Five million for Pavel Kubina? 2.1 million a year for Hal Gill? I'm not saying there aren't holes to be filled on teams that require help, but just because some players had one solid year, were improved by their surrounding teammates and the NHL appears on the upswing (for now), doesn't mean you have to overspend for someone that doesn't deserve it.

This is a slippery slope that the NHL took an entire year planning to avoid. One decent defenseman's signing sets the tone for all others. A forward is overpaid, suddenly everyone's getting ready to line their pockets. How much have things really changed, cap or not? There's no way to spin overspending, especially if the players aren't the right ones to land you in the post-season.

And now, on to the lighter side of things...

TUC has been so busy trying to keep up with free agency that we never properly acknowledged the departure of Eddie Belfour from the Toronto Maple Leafs. Forced to admit their mistakes, Toronto made the decision to trade for Andrew Raycroft, and not to exercise the final year on the Eagle's contract. Belfour would have made $4.48 million this year, and still gets $1.5 million to bugger off.

Oh Eddie, how you were despised by all Sens fans. Granted, no Leaf supporters ever carried a cardboard cutout effigy of you through the then-Corel Centre, as they did with Curtis Joseph. And you never attempted to attack Mick McGeough before falling on your face after a questionable call in the playoffs, but you still annoyed us...and that's all that matters.

TUC salutes you, Eddie. Party on. By the way, we wholeheartedly encourage you to sign with the Red Wings. We'll do anything to keep using that picture.

P.S. Looks like Steve Yzerman's ready to call it a day at a news conference this aft. More info here. [Link credit: James Mirtle]

Boo Boo says...

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Re: Chara and Peter Chiarelli:

"It was Melnyk, Senators president Roy Mlakar and Muckler who insisted that if Chiarelli was going to go to Boston, he shouldn't be allowed to participate in the free-agent period because he was well aware of Ottawa's plans.

However, when Chiarelli interviewed for the Bruins' job in May, he presented Boston with a detailed proposal, which included a list of the players he wanted to bring back, the free agents he wanted to chase and what his plan would be going into September."

In short, Chiarelli wasn't allowed anywhere near free-agency talks, nor was he allowed to express his opinion on Ottawa players to any mediator.

But you can't tell me that interview couldn't have provided enough time to tell the Boston brass what it would take to get Chara in his "detailed proposal" -- that money was a sticking point, but also that Z likely had sore feelings from the way the sign and trade was handled with fellow Slovak, Marian Hossa (Chara himself requested a no-trade clause in his new deal). He knew what would be necessary to placate and convince the big man that Boston would be an ideal fit. Give Boston the info before the hire, and let them do the legwork that Chiarelli couldn't, due to a conflict of interest.

What a way to make a first impression, right?

Coincidence? I think not.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Zdeno Chara has signed with the Boston Bruins as unrestricted free agent. The deal is worth $7.5 million US over five seasons.

Do we find it any coincidence that Chara ended up in the same city as a bitter (but not quite former) assistant GM, Peter Chiarelli, who will only be finished fulfulling his duties to the Senators, 14 days from now?

Obviously not. Hired by the Bruins, but still employed by the Senators. That's pretty convenient when you're talking about the pre-free agency period -- a time that was supposed to be devoted to negotiating with a player's current team.

Nice pull, C. $100,000 less than Nicklas Lidstrom? Where are Z's Norris trophies? Where are his Cups? Oh, that was for potential FUTURE awards? Uh huh. Sure.

UPDATE: Ed Jovanovski has signed with Phoenix for five years, at $6.5 million US a season. Obviously Mucks is on a nap break. And the Leafs, unable to bag Chara, and with no collateral to land Chris Pronger, have chosen to pay Pavel Kubina $20 million US over four years. Just because everyone said Kubina was going to be overpaid, doesn't mean you have to follow through and then some.

UPDATE #2: The Leafs have nailed down Hal Gill. Next big fish D-man to watch? Jay McKee. McKee possesses the elements that Ottawa is looking for, but is the epitome of a stay-at-home defenceman (a characteristic that is never bad to have on a team, but Ottawa just lost a scoring blueliner). Boston has also bagged Marc Savard. Boston now has two solid centres in Savard and Patrice Bergeron, or the makings of a fierce scoring line if Berge is placed on RW. Stay tuned.

UPDATE #3: It barely warrants mentioning, but Brian Pothier has signed in Washington. The deal is for four years, but terms were not disclosed. If the speculation was true that the defenceman was asking $2 million, then he won't be missed. Ottawa is now down to five blueliners.

No more updates unless something major happens.

UPDATE #4: The sick-to-my-stomach signing has offically occurred, with Jay McKee going to St. Louis. Seriously?

I don't know how I feel about the Joe Corvo signing yet, because frankly, I know very little about him. His offensive numbers seem promising, but it sounds like he has issues in his own zone. TSN has him labelled as a No. 6 or 7 defenceman. 4 years at $10.5 million? Sigh.

Martin Gerber was a surprise. The potential is there, based on Olympic and NHL performances this year. Whether or not this placates the masses remains to be seen. People are still up in arms over the defence situation.

More later.

If you're looking for the Chris Pronger alleged infidelity story, that is.

You should know that I was never approached to remove the story, nor was I threatened with any type of litigation. This was a personal decision, and I felt that the post had remained on the blog long enough.

Any other rumours that have appeared on TUC (and believe me, there are very few) were posted after much thought and due to information passed on by someone directly affected by the issue. This was an exception.

After the link from Microbano had been posted on Deadspin, I thought would also make mention of the speculation -- please note that I never claimed it was true.

There has to be a bigger reason behind all of this drama. I don't know if it involves another woman or women, but needless to say, if it does, I feel extremely badly for Pronger's family and the Edmonton fans.

I don't expect the truth to come out on Tuesday. But I have no interest in ever referencing this story again. There are so many intriguing stories that will take place this weekend, that this tale is no longer worthy of the spotlight.

Yeah hey,

E (a.k.a. TUC)