Friday, May 8, 2009

Save your $12

That pretty much sums up that steaming pile of excrement called "Wolverine" that Marvel is trying to pass off as a motion picture.

Star Trek is gonna fucking rock tho.

....I still can't/don't want to talk about Manny....

Thursday, May 7, 2009


I'm not gonna go on my own personal Magic Jihad in an effort to explain the meaning of Manny's failed test. The story pretty much speaks for itself. I'm just gonna say this: for those Mets fans who think that nothing has ever gone their way, just think how bad this year could have been if Minaya had listened to the people and signed the world's 2nd most famous grill salesman.

NHL Offseason: Non Playoff Teams

As the NHL playoffs continue to rage, those teams that were unable to claim a berth in the post season have already begun to look ahead and plan what they can do to improve in the upcoming offseason. The draft and free agency are times to stock up, and while most draft picks aren’t able to step in immediately and make an impact, with every GM present at the draft it is much easier to get a deal in place to help their team.

As with anything, in order to succeed a team needs a good plan. Sometimes they work, sometimes they fail. The Philadelphia Flyers restocked with some top flight players to anchor the team while bringing up young players. The Tampa Bay Lightning conversely went out and spent a bunch of money on forwards not deserving of their contracts and ignored defense, successfully showing icing a team built for 80’s hockey just doesn’t work. Of course you can always go for the New York Islanders route of trading good assets for marginal ones.

So I am here to bestow my vast hockey wisdom to these teams who never had a chance to fight for Lord Stanley’s Cup on what they should plan on when the offseason hits.

Note: The salary cap for next year is expected to be about the same at $56mm. This is the amount that will be assumed in my analysis. UFA- unrestricted free agent. RFA- restricted free agent.

Eastern Conference

Atlanta Thrashers
UFA: Marty Reasoner (F)
RFA: Colby Armstrong (F), Jim Slater (D), Kari Lehtonen (G)
Atlanta again failed to make it into the playoffs, but at least they were smart and traded what disposable assets they had at the deadline. Unfortunately, as long as Don Waddell is GM of this team, there truly is no hope. A terrible drafter, bad trader and only ever signing marginal free agents, he has single handedly kept the Thrashers from being a contender.
Unfortunately Waddell is buddy buddy with one of the Thrashers owners, and that owner is in a fight with the other primary owner over control. This means Waddell isn’t going anywhere because front office turmoil is not something the bickering owners want to deal with. I’d say actually sign some free agents that will make an impact, especially on forward in order to try and keep Illya Kovalchuk around as he enters the last year of his contract. Also, when it comes time to draft, do the opposite of what you normally do because it probably can’t be worse.

Buffalo Sabres
UFA: Maxim Afinogenov (F), Andrew Peters (F), Jaroslav Spacek (D), Teppo Numminen (D)
RFA: Drew Stafford (F), Andre Sekera (D)
Despite their efforts the Sabres missed the post season, continuing their fall from grace of being the primary Eastern power just a few years ago. Ownership finally took their heads out of their asses and started signing players to extensions mid season rather than waiting until the season ended, resulting in the likes of Drury and Briere departing. They did the smart thing in locking up netminder Ryan Miller to an extension, but they have pressing needs at both forward and defense at this point.
Spacek has already said he is heading back to Europe to finish his hockey career, and Numminen isn’t getting any better at age 39. They need an influx of veteran defensemen that are capable of logging tough minutes. Secondary scoring is also a pressing need, as their forward depth drops from scoring to checking duty fairly quick. Though the market is somewhat thin this year, getting a name player, not necessarily a superstar, will go a long way. They have about $10mm in free cap space, so they will only have room for one player of that caliber, so choose wisely.

Florida Panthers
UFA: Richard Zednik (F), Radek Dvorak (F), Jay Bouwmeester (D), Nick Boynton (D), Karlis Skrastins (D), Craig Anderson (G)
RFA: David Booth (F), Steve Eminger (D)
The Panthers are not sitting in a good position. They kept young all star Bouwmeester to make the post season and quickly went on a downward spiral that saw them hit the golf course early again. Bouwmeester never seemed that happy in Florida and their failure to make the playoffs during his tenure will probably be the last straw. Along with him Boynton and Skrastins are also UFA’s so their blue line may potentially need rebuilt this summer.
Not resigning Booth isn’t an option. He is emerging as a top line scoring wing and one of the few bright spots for the team in recent years. Don't even let him get an offer sheet thrown at him. Eminger should be resigned, especially given they have three UFA dmen. Anderson had a strong season and the Panthers have cap room to resign him, but he may be interested in testing free agency to get a feel for what he is worth. Zednik and Dvorak who while not bad, didn’t make the impact they were expecting and if they depart it won’t be a big loss. Florida is a tough draw for free agents as the teams struggles are well known, but they need to sign more than just scraps in order to help out their young players and be successful. If Bouwmeester is intent on going to free agency, they should try and trade his rights to a team willing to give big money to him and willing to part with a pick to get first shot.

New York Islanders
UFA: Mike Sillinger (F), Dean McAmmond (F), Joey MacDonald (G), Yan Danis (G)
RFA: Nate Thomas (F), Blake Comeau (F)
The Islanders were the worst team in the league this year as many predicted, and things aren’t looking up as pretty much every position is a concern. They sit $7mm under the cap at this moment, but due to poor attendance and a crappy arena won’t be spending a whole lot of money, probably sitting near the cap floor again. Owner Charles Wang publicly stating he regrets buying the franchise doesn’t exactly inspire confidence either.
If anything good came of this season it’s that the Islanders did win the draft lottery and will get the first overall pick. While he dropped to 3rd in the scouting ranking because of a poor playoff, Jonathan Tavares should be selected because he is a dynamic offensive player, and that more than anything puts butts into seats. Even if they don't select Tavares, the top three prospects will have a big impact on the team for a long time. Regardless of finances this team needs to sign some players that will make them at least respectable again.

Ottawa Senators
UFA: Mike Comrie (F), Chris Neil (F),
How the mighty have fallen. Two years ago they played in the Cup finals, and they followed up the past two years by being swept in the first round and not making the post season. They traded for Pacal Lecalire at the deadline to try and solve their long time goalie troubles, but his injury history may prevent him from being what they want, but it was a smart move. It’s hard to say what is wrong with this team. They had talent and depth, and despite keeping many of the players it has all fallen apart. Going on your fourth coach in there years doesn’t help either, but it is serious time to consider ousting Bran Murray as GM who seems to be one of the few constants in the equation.
They tried to trade their dead weight at the deadline but no other team bit. They’ve locked up their best forwards long term, which doesn’t give them much spending room at all. They only have about $5mm to spend for next year, which will probably only be enough to sign Comrie and another support player. The Sens biggest problem is they have over $20mm tied up in three players: Heatley, Spezza and Alfredsson. If they want to clear cap space or get an immediate influx of depth, trading one of the former two would be their only real option (Alfredsson will be a Senator for life). It is time they serious consider it though.

Tampa Bay Lightning
UFA: Matt Pettinger (F), Marik Malik (D), Josef Melichar (D)
RFA: Lukas Krajicek (D), Karri Ramo (G)
All offense and no defense doesn’t win in the NHL anymore, though the Lightning didn’t think so when they went into free agency last year. It resulted in them being one of the worst teams once more. Trade happy owners and GM didn’t help as it seemed no chemistry could be developed with the revolving door to the locker room. They sit shy of $40mm so they have room to spend, but rumors are abound the owners took too much of a loss so may not be willing to spend as much for next season.
Defense, defense, defense! You need defense! After trading Dan Boyle to free up cap space the Lightning got rid of their only player good enough to anchor the defense. It was their Achilles heel all season and rarely could the blue line muster enough game to make it competitive. They need to use what money to shore up the defense if they want any chance to succeed. Forget a Bouwmeester, get some mid pairing guys who will run around $3-$4mm a year that can log close to twenty minutes and are reliable. The forwards aren’t in great shape, but the defense really needs fixed. And no, they aren’t trading Vinny Lecavalier.

Toronto Maple Leafs
UFA: Brad May (F), Boyd Devereaux (F), Curtis Joseph (G), Martin Gerber (G)
RFA: Mikhail Grabovski (D), Jason Pogge (G)
Year 2 of the Leafs rebuilding phase. New GM Brian Burke is going to leave his stamp on the team in the coming years, so expect them to be quite active at both the draft and free agency. He has cleared off the UFA’s at the deadline to expedite the process and could very well use the picks he got in return to trade up in the draft or for more established young players.
Gerber was little more than a stop gap for the rest of the season due to an injury to starter Vesa Toskala, and Kolzig was obtained for the Lightning to dump salary, so don't expect either of them to be back. Going out and spending a bunch of money on free agents isn’t very wise at this point; it’s better to leave roster spots for young players to develop. Still signing some support players won’t hurt, but they need to stay away from big ticket UFA’s. Burke has said he wants Tavares, but whether any of the teams ahead of him in the draft are willing to trade with him remains to be seen, and if they are the price will be steep (I’m thinking it will cost them young defenseman Luke Schenn as part of a package). They have nearly $15mm in cap room, but don't expect that all to be spent.

Western Conference

Colorado Avalanche
UFA: Joe Sakic (F), Tyler Arnason (F), Ian Laperriere (F), Andrew Raycroft (G)
RFA: Cody McCormick (F), Peter Budaj (G)
With the glory days of no cap and spending $36mm on four players gone, the Avs have struggled since the start of the cap world. GM Francois Giguere has already taken the fall unable to bring in the right pieces to make the Avs contenders. While injuries have hampered them the past few years, even healthy they were not a serious threat. With nearly $44mm already tied up they have some room to bring in help, but they need a GM that will spend it wisely.
More than anything a stable goaltender is needed. The starting job has been a revolving door since Patrick Roy retired (take note New Jersey)with the likes of Jose Theodore, Dave Abeischer, Peter Budaj and Andrew Raycroft all having a turn and none capable of maintaining the level needed to hold it. While mostly aging veterans are available they need some stability in net so the skaters know they don't have to always win by themselves. Part of what the Avs decide to do will hinge on the decision of long time captain Joe Sakic, who is contemplating retirement. If he decides to return it will be with a large chunk of cap space, so the Avs will need to wait on him before making any major moves.

Dallas Stars
UFA: Jere Lehtinen (F), Joel Lundvist (F), Brendan Morrison (F), Sergei Zubov (D), Darryl Sydor (D)
The Stars started off rough, having a hard time coming by wins in the first quarter of the season and already getting fed up with newly signed Sean Avery. They turned things around only to be killed by injuries at the end of the year costing them a playoff berth. They have some key free agents that account for over $15mm in cap space so there is room to instantly improve.
The Stars need to make choices on two players in particular: Lehtinen and Zubov. Both have long been staples of the franchise and helped them to their only cup win, but they’re both old now (35 and 37 respectively) and more concerning hampered in recent years by injuries. Both have also been consistent Selke and Norris nominations so letting them go will be difficult, but it may be for the best. The Stars need to get younger, they are too dependent on players that helped keep them perennial contenders, but these players times are starting to pass. Any young free agents that will help long term need to be targeting by the Stars, and they should avoid any free agents over 35 in general. Morrison was merely a stop gap so don't expect him to return and Sydor has been fading the past few years so don't expect him to return either. And yes, Joel is the (twin) brother of Henrik if you were wondering.

Edmonton Oilers
UFA: Ales Kotalik (F), Dwayne Roloson (G)
RFA: Denis Grebeshkov (D), Ladislav Smid (D)
After missing the playoffs for the third time in as many years since their Cinderella cup run it’s become obvious the Oilers are in need of a change. Starting the year GM Kevin Lowe was promoted to president and stricken of his GM duties and after the season ended head coach Craig MacTavish was relieved of his duties. At this point though it seems there will be more than just front office changes coming.
The biggest question for the Oilers is the goaltending. Roloson has lost his consistency and signing a goalie of 37 years old to en extended contract is a major risk. Worse is that the goalie market is filled with only guys of his age, so their options are limited. With about $46mm committed already next year there isn’t much spending money, especially if they want a good goalie between the pipes. Barring trades the Oilers don't have much options as they are still bogged down by mistakes Kevin Lowe made during his tenure.

Los Angeles Kings
UFA: Kyle Calder (F), Derek Armstrong (F), Denis Gauthier (D)
RFA: Jack Johnson
The Kings made some good strides this year and continue to field a young team that has a very bright future. They made a respectable push for the playoffs, and had they had stable goaltending and veterans who weren’t underachieving they could have made it. The problem with so many young good players is that when their rookie deal ends they get a lot more expensive, and that is something GM Dean Lombardi needs to be careful of.
The Kings only spent enough to make it to the cap floor and have about the same committed for next year. Gauthier and Calder won’t be back and it’s doubtful Armstrong will be either. As they are ready to make a legitimate push into the playoffs now expect the signing of some veteran players, in particular between the pipes. Johnson will be getting a substantial raise, as will some other young players when their rookie deals end, so don't expect any big ticket names to be signing in LA, and if so it won’t be for more than a year or two because cap room in LA will soon be a problem.

Minnesota Wild
UFA: Marion Gaborik (F), Stephan Veilleux (F), Martin Skoula (D), Marc-Andre Bergeron (D), Kurtis Foster (D)
RFA: Benoit Pouliot (D), Josh Harding (G)
Head coach Jacques Lemaire already announced he would not return next season citing both he and the team needed a change. Ownership agreed and upon missing the playoffs fired GM Doug Risebrough. Three major decisions await ownership: find a new GM, find a new coach and decide what to do with Marion Gaborik who seems intent on not resigning with the only team he has ever played for.
Attendance and money aren’t a problem in Minnesota, but the stifling defensive style Lemaire used during his tenure pushed free agents away, especially those who liked to score goals. While it will probably be the decision of the new GM on the coach, he should be careful and choose a coach who isn’t so focused on the defensive play and willing to open things up, making it a more desired destination for free agents. I’d say Gaborik leaving would take a big bite out of their offense, but truth is being constantly hurt the Wild are as accustomed to playing without him as they are with. Still signing some offense would probably go along way.

Nashville Predators
UFA: Steve Sullivan (F), Radek Bonk (F), Scott Nichol (F), Greg Devries (D)
The Preds have struggled to keep pace with the rest of the league because they are not a rich team and cannot afford big ticket free agent signings. Good drafting has kept them a competitive team but that can only go so far and it showed this year as their lack of overall depth could not match up with the better teams in the West.
Unfortunately if a team can’t spend money on free agents they don't have a whole lot of a chance getting better in the offseason. Sullivan has said he will test the free agent waters, which isn’t surprising as he returned after two years of being out of the game from a serious neck injury. Since Paul Kariya left in free agency there has been a scoring void the Predators have been unable to fill and it was an Achilles heel this year. The defense has a good top three with young guys like Shane Weber, Dan Hamhuis and Ryan Suter, but the quality drops pretty far after that. A scoring forward and another top four defenseman are desperately needed, and if they don't get them they will most likely miss the playoffs once again.

Morning Constitutional

---In preparation for the new Star Trek movie, some guidance from the cult classic TV show. Cracked

---All of these are nightmare scenarios, but the last one truly is the 7th circle of Hell. Regretful Morning

Dr. Bummer makes Yinzer Nation proud.

Devo, we need to put this monkey on staff.

Cigarette stays in his mouth the whole time. Thats some quality smokery.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Monday, May 4, 2009

L.A. Lakers over Houston Rockets

Um. Wow. So I was going to do my standard NBA Jam analysis of the Lakers and Rockets. But how the hell do you justify Vlade Divac and James Worthy over Hakeem and Vernon "Mad Max" Maxwell? Come on. The Lakers will cruise until they have to play a real team. Yao, Artest, and the spectre of Tracy MacGrady doth not a team make. The Lakers cruise. Not because of NBA Jam or anything like that, but come on, the Rockets are supposed to make the conference finals? Bitch, please.
Lakers in 3.

White Boy picks some of the NBA's 2nd round

(2) Boston vs. (3) Orlando- Boston just finished up an emotional and hard fought series against the up and coming bulls. I may have correctly picked the winner of that series but I completely misjudged how much the C's would miss KG. No way their old and tired bodies can make it through a series alive against Behemoth Dwight Howard and his band of sharp shooters like Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turk (no way I am trying to spell the rest of the last name here) and even, ahem J.J. Redick. ORLANDO IN 6

(2) Denver vs. (6) Dallas- Both teams come off easy first round series against injury riddled teams. Dallas hit its stride late in the year winning 11 of 14 going into yesterdays blow out loss in Denver. Still its trade of Devo Harris for J Kidd was still moronic unless it wins a title for Big D. This will not happen. Denver made one of the great trades in NBA history acquiring the greatest leader of Black men since Pat Riley (thank you Chris Rock) Chauncey Billups. This guy has molded together a previously disjointed team of stars. Denver looks like it could even give LA a real fight. DENVER IN 5

White Boy South Bronx

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Ok, I'm almost ready to talk hockey again: A Bruins/Canes Preview




There's lots of things I hate in this world. Right now, the first things that come to mind are happy people and people with hair, though usually they are one in the same. With that said, let's direct some of this hate towards the Bruins/Canes series.

Why I Hate the Bruins:

The short answer is easy. A Bruins fan is a Patriots fan is a Red Sox fan.

The long answer is slightly more complex. I've always been a strong believer that the easiest way to hate a team is to find a fan of the team you can't stand and associate them with the team. It's why I hated the Flyers ever since I had an asshole boss from Philly back in high school. It's why I hated the Patriots ever since my roommate who never cleaned the apartment celebrated the 2001 Super Bowl he waited a solid 3 months of his life for. And it's why I hated the Bruins ever since I met Masshole Pete from West Hartford.

Masshole Pete, probably due to being from West Hartford and not Massachusetts Proper, had a massive inferiority complex. This complex allowed him to win arguments by continuing them long after you decided to give up the argument, get a beer, and stumble into a conversation with the fairer sex. The weirdest part about Masshole Pete though was that while all of New England cared about the Red Sox, the Super Bowl winning Patriots or the rejuvenated Pierce/'Twan Celtics, Masshole Pete cared about the Bruins. More specifically, Masshole Pete was a big Joe Thornton fan, and not a year went by without a guarantee by said douchebag that Thornton, ever the clutch player, would lead the Bruins to a Stanley Cup victory. And yeah, it was fun to watch Masshole Pete cry as the '03 Devils ended Thornton's run in the first round. And when Masshole Pete decided to become a Celtics fan for the Nets/Celtics playoff series a few weeks later? Yeah, that was kinda sweet too.

Thank you Masshole Pete for giving me a reason to hate the least hateable Boston team.

Why I Hate the Canes

This is easy.

First, let's start with some basic science: EVERY PERSON FROM NORTH CAROLINA IS INBRED. I know what you're thinking: Hey Devo, the Carolina fans aren't the only inbred hockey fans, are they? No kind reader, they're not. There's a word for this type of acceptable inbred hockey fans: Canadians. We accept them because they gave us hockey, and we let them keep their little corner of North America, but other than that, we don't let them make any decisions after they collectively decided "You know what would get us ratings? Putting the NHL on VS!"

Second, CAROLINIANS KNOW NASCAR, NOT HOCKEY. Every time they cheer an offsides call thinking that they're about to get a power play, I die a little bit inside. Next issue.

Lastly, and most importantly, some towns, deserve a hockey team, Carolina does not. The Rangers and Flyers are slightly more popular than a swine-flu-infested Adolf Hitler here at SUS, but at least on some level, deep down in places that we don't talk about at cocktail parties, we want them on that wall of hate. We NEED them on that wall. And so while I'd sooner declare my allegiance to President Limbaugh than the Flyers, Rangers, Bruins, etc...there's at least a certain amount of legitimacy that each of these teams possess by playing in a hockey town. Carolina? Not so much.

Boston in 5.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to wipe off the stench that comes from rooting for a Boston team.