Sunday, November 25, 2007

How To Tell You Have A Bonafide NHL Superstar In One Easy Step...

Larry wants him on Broadway.

While I do appreciate my intrepid readers alerting me to Larry's latest idiocy, please folks, don't subject yourself to it. I read Larry Brooks so you don't have to and today's column really isn't worth reading lettalone getting yourself worked up into a lather over.

All today's column means is that A.O. is a bonafide NHL Superstar. If you are any kind of hockey fan, you already know this, Hades, even some non-hockey fans I know are aware that A.O. is a superstar. Because Ol' Lar is desperately wants A.O. on Broadway (even though he doesn't explicitly say it) it is nothing more than proof positive of this fact. As a matter of fact, Ol' Lar doesn't even come up with an original thought in the whole thing.

What you're really reading is a continuation of various Larry Brooks themes. "Everybody wants (or should want if they know what's good for them) to be a Ranger" and "The CBA really won't help small market teams." After the lockout ended Larry wrote on July 14th, 2005 (links no longer work):
This system will yield less parity, not more. Bank on it. It will yield a tiered league in which the most attractive 12-14 teams will attract free agents willing to take somewhat less money to fit under a cap in order to play in desired locations and for desired managements.

Can't you just imagine the Oilers' recruitment campaign?

Edmonton: When There's No Cap Space Anywhere Else.

Ol' Lar had an epiphany just three days later and realized:
The cost of real estate is higher is higher in New York. The cost of living is higher in New York. The taxes are higher in New York. It's more difficult to live in New York. Dollar for dollar, even when the Rangers paid more, the players took home less, which is one reason it usually took a lot more to get them here. Did you know that the Panthers agreed to pay the difference in Pavel Bure's taxes as part of the trade that sent him from Florida to New York?

In other words, a max contract in New York doesn't go as nearly as far it would somewhere else. (Makes you wonder what Chris Drury and Scott Gomez were thinking huh?)

Of course this doesn't matter very much to Ol' Lar now. He's continuing the line that some cities offer more "amenities" to playing there than others. We saw that this summer when Edmonton was spending Confederate $$$$$. This is in spite of the fact that such things are expressly prohibited by the CBA. Want to know why Mary-OH! Lemieux is charging rent to his youthful ward, Canadian Diving Team Captain, Secondary Assist Cindy Crosby? It is because giving her (or arranging for) free room and board would be considered a circumvention of the salary cap. And if league sponsors started dictating where players played, how much longer do you think it would be before that one got included in the cap too?

Something that also needs to be realized is that the NHL is run by Canada for Canada (or more specifically, by Toronto, for Toronto). While A.O. hands down has a better and much more engaging personality than Cindy, Cindy is Canadian so the NHL is going to push her harder than anybody else (save of course for another Canadian). A.O.'s limited English skills are also displayed in one of the six ads running on the NHL Network when A.O. has to say "Is this the year?" in Russian with subtitle help while everybody else speaks good King's English. Quite frankly, A.O. could play in Toronto and he still wouldn't get the kind of push that Cindy enjoys. How much of a push does Mats Sundin get from the League by being the Captain of the Maple Leafs?

However if A.O. should decide that his future in Washington would not be as successful as he wants, he certainly can do better than the Rangers who have just one Cup in the past 66 years. He said during his rookie campaign that he wanted to play for Toronto as a youth but the Leafs haven't even played for a Cup since the "Next Six" came into the league. Detroit would meet the criterion of a "big stage" and having a real chance at winning. But A.O. is not only too young for Detroit but also too late. The Red Wings have traded out the Russians and now stock themselves with Swedes (so they'll take Nicklas Backstrom in about 15 years and Michael Nylander when his current contract ends).

As for the shots at D.C. Well, even then, not only is this more recycled Larry Brooks, there is also a bit of truth to it. When certain Caps bloggers and management so bitterly complain about the local media coverage (or complete and total lack thereof) to the point that even the Christian Science Monitor takes notice, one doesn't even need attendance figures to bolster the idea that the Caps are an afterthought in their own market. (Sorry folks, but you reap what you sow, though I would very much appreciate it if you could show me where the College Hockey coverage is on the New York Post website) Though at least the Caps haven't gone into bankruptcy twice and ended up accepting less $$$$$ to stay in their "home" market.

Though if one considers posting back-to-back 70 point seasons after coming up with 59 points "regression" I'd like to see Larry's Thesaurus. As we pointed out there on Thursday the 1981-1982 season not only saw a mid-season coaching change but a GM firing too. The Caps started off a 14 year playoff streak the next season so the idea that firing George McPhee now or at the end of the season will lead to another or extending the rebuilding is just ignorance.

So in short folks, there's really nothing to see here. If you've read Larry Brooks as much as I have (and still don't hate yourself for doing so) then you've already read this one before. At some point in the future Ol' Lar will dust this one off again, change the name of the player and the city involved and get those fans writing incoherently angry e-mails to him. Why waste the time and give him the pleasure? At least make the Union Thug Mouthpiece come up with an original thought before you get angry at him.

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