UPDATE (11:32pm) – Of course, 11 hours after I posted this, Drew Doughty has signed in LA. Early indications put the deal at 8 years for $7 million per. So, the obvious lesson for both sides: procrastinate something as far as you possibly can, because when you do it, the timing will be hilariously perfect.
While enjoying patios and beer league baseball shenanigans this summer, Leaf Nation couldnâ€™t help but keep one anxious ear primed for any news â€“ or explanation â€“ surrounding the lack of a Luke Schenn signing well into September. Now, late into training camp, fans of the Los Angeles Kings wait with the same baited breath for their own RFA superstar Drew Doughtyâ€™s new deal. To call both situations peculiar, given the playersâ€™ individual importance to their respective teams, would not be an overstatement. Is there some connection between these prolonged negotiations?
Might Donald E. Meehan – founding partner of Newport Sports Management and agent to both players â€“ be that common denominator?
Anyone with eyes, or access to a radio station, has a fairly good idea by now that Brian Burkeâ€™s a busy man. Between lending his presence to charitable causes, managing his NHL team, or working the phones to improve the mediocrity quality of said team, he never seems to slow down.
The man deserves a break.
But of course, those whoâ€™ve balanced a similar workload in their life know wickedly effective time management skills are critical for success in such circumstances. So much so, in Burkeâ€™s case, that he extends those practices to his time off. Thatâ€™s right. In order to maximize the relaxation the way he maximizes the trade returns on MLSEâ€™s on-ice refuseLebda, Brianâ€™s generated a checklist to help him organize his summer vacation. His duties and time off overlap incredibly, leaving him with little choice. The Toronto Truculent has, of course, obtained a copy.
A few items have evidently been highlighted by his personal assistants to indicate high priority, or already completed. Itâ€™s late July, after all.
Rumours. Dirty, dirty rumours. Â© Google Images
With the explosion of social media and online quasi-reporting, inventing chasing down NHL rumours has evolved into a full time job. Even more difficult is the fansâ€™ arduous task of tracking these updates. The vast majority of our message boardianisms are no longer devoted to even discussing the game on the ice itself but, rather, to the potential movement of contracts behind the scenes.
We curse them for their inaccuracy, mock them for their inventiveness, and lament their lack of effort to incorporate any grammar whatsoever into 140 characters or less. Despite this, the rumour business is booming. We all get terribly excited for any new nugget of information, however blatantly false, that these sources provide.
Probability dictates that, barring a planetary or economic catastrophe of crippling scale, the Toronto Maple Leafs will win another Stanley Cup. At worst, theyâ€™ll be defeated in a gut wrenching final paralleling their Canadian, specifically British Columbian buddies of last evening. (Fun fact, to distract from that frustrating reminder of it: The provinceâ€™s name was chosen specifically by Queen Victoria in 1858, mainly in reference to the then-British local territory drained by the Columbia river1 â€“ in fact having nothing to do, as I had assumed, with being a tea-swilling version of its Latin American counterpart).
If the fervour, emotion, and insanity with which the city of Vancouver reacted to last nightâ€™s outcome can be considered a molehill, the passion for hockey in the Greater Toronto Area would undoubtedly be its mountain. Vancouverâ€™s a city placated with success in sport, having hosted a wondrously successful Olympics last year and serving as the focal point for intense national pride as Canada again proved that, as a nation, weâ€™re pretty much still awesome at that sport weâ€™re clearly always awesome at.
Please welcome Matt Mistele of Toronto Truculent to the MLHS Blogging team. A really funny guy with sublime writing talent and hockey knowledge, we’re thrilled to have him.
Let’s begin this â€˜Confidential!â€™ piece with an outright disclaimer:
Kerry Fraser seems like a nice guy. A few epically blown calls aside, heâ€™s apparently well-liked by the players both personally and professionally â€“ voted the most consistent NHL referee by the players in a poll that happened in December 2005, according to this. The successes and unique accomplishments of this manâ€™s career vastly outweigh the failures on paper.