Fusspot rants, embarrassing photos of yourself and general correspondence go here: universalnicks@gmail.com

...because we love it when local media gesticulates with their middle fingers.

So, things have been rather quiet around here because we got stuck in Toronto on our way back from the land of Staalapalooza. Brutal times. Whatever, let's get started.

· "We are all one, it can't be undone -- we're stuck -- there's no future!"

(Sorry, I've been exposed to a large amount of Quality Soft Core lately. And yes, I know I'm already breaking one of my New Year's resolutions...but to be fair, I listed this one under possible.)

I'm sorry, but I see there being a big problem if Brian Lee isn't even playing within the second pairing of American defensemen at the World Juniors (and yes, I know the Americans have a deep defensive core, but this is Lee's third trip to the WJC, and he was drafted 9th overall in '05, for Christ's sakes). It took a lot of strength last week in the column to ponder how he was supposed to be like Wade Redden, and then make the pylon reference (re: Lee's error during the German OT goal). Obviously I figured the Redden critics were going to immediately point out the glaring similarities. I'm actually shocked no one called me on it. But to be fair, if Lee truly is claimed to be a No.6 cutout, where the hell is his PP time?

Then there's this discussion, brought on by a) the play of Lee and b) the continuing emergence of Marc Staal (whom Ottawa passed on in '05 and was ultimately taken by the Rangers).

How funny that people are discussing this now, when I brought it up over six months ago.

(Aside -- When I pointed this out to The Driver he said, "You're sounding more and more like the local media each day.")

And before anyone plays the "see how they do in the NHL" card, keep in mind that Ottawa also could have taken Anze Kopitar in that draft, and passed. L.A. picked him up (and is using him with noticeable success), as well as Jack Johnson (courtesy of Carolina, who ultimately will be a force to be reckoned with when he joins the team). Not a bad year.

I've firmly believed for some time that Lee should be dangled as potential package trade bait -- the Senators have too many inconsistent offensive defensemen as it stands. Granted, he's not doing much to sell himself these days, which seems to follow the lines of the Sens' luck of late.

· Capitals' goon Donald Brashear gets one freaking game for sucker-punching Aaron Ward. Remember boys, you can slash them in the face, punch them without remorse or warning, or even potentially dry hump them in front of an arena full of fans -- and the league's commissioner -- just as long as your victim pops right up after you're done.

· The readers had some interesting reactions to my proclamation that I was going to follow a secondary (and perhaps tertiary) team. One opinion I couldn't understand expressed that there would be difficulty following the games and storylines taking place in another city. Um, not when there's Centre Ice, the Internet and countless message boards/blogs. This isn't the 1960's, cynics. There's so much information available that it's easy to keep tabs on other franchises. You may have also noticed that the teams listed (Chicago and Minnesota) were from the Western Conference. There's a reason for that: Eastern Conference burnout. And ultimately, I just miss my Binkie. The Driver has been attempting to sell me on Dean McAmmond as a possible replacement. I'm not buying it.

· I was glad when Peter Schaefer resigned in Ottawa when he clearly had the option to look elsewhere, but there's one thing about him that irritates the hell out of me: He doesn't shoot enough. (I know, "Sincerely, Marcus Allen -- CBS Sports.") Before Christmas, I was watching Rogers Overtime, and they did a feature on Schaefer. Peter pointed out that people have been on him since junior to shoot more, but he never listened, and just does things his own way. Obviously, I'm paraphrasing, but that's the gist of what he said.

I found this to be a very hardheaded approach to take. Remember when people were telling Jason Spezza to shoot on the net more often? Remember what happened when he started? No one's suggesting that Schaefer should attempt to morph into a wannabe sniper (although I doubt anyone would complain if he did), but success can occur when you actually do decide to take someone's advice. Sometimes they can see things that you can't.

And now, your clippage...

· Arizona QB Matt Leinart attempts to go long on Britney Spears? -- Perez Hilton

· Not all Americans dislike hockey -- the late President Gerald Ford was an Oilers fan -- Edmonton Journal

· The Penguins turn Mellon Arena into a college flophouse, all in the name of marketing -- Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

· Hockey monikers (I still like Cal Clutterbuck best) -- SI

More later.

0 responses to "Tuesday morning deglaze"