Tag Archives: Matt Cooke

And your losers are…

So this post is long overdue, but it has to be done. A few weeks ago, the NHL handed out its annual awards to recognize the best players in various aspects of the sport, both on and off the ice. However, what you don’t know is that the league also holds a separate voting for some of the league’s less-prestigious awards, honoring the worst players in said aspects. Of course, it would be a PR disaster to release these results, and you can imagine all the lawsuits, but lucky for you, I happened to steal a copy from Scott Howson’s jacket pocket while he was busy making his team terrible.

I know these awards are only supposed to be based on what happened over the course of the regular season, but much like the real “GM of the year” award, that doesn’t work too well here. So in no particular order, here are the results:

The Doug Mohns Honor, given to the league’s least valuable player (Here’s a little background on the name: Doug Mohns captained his team, the ’74-’75 Washington Capitals, to the worst record in NHL history. The spread? 8-67-5 (21 points). Yes, eight. Eight wins. The team won a total of eight games in an 80-game season (.131 winning percentage). And they only managed one of those wins on the road. They went a staggering 1-39 on the road. Also, they allowed 10 or more goals in seven of their 80 games: 11 percent. To clarify, yes, this is an NHL team, and they finished only 92 points out of first place in the division. Oh, and it was the team’s inaugural season as an expansion team. Rough way to start.):

Let’s be real, there’s only one winner (or loser, depending on how you look at it) here. And that player is none other than the $7.35 million man himself, Mr. Scott Gomez. Yes, in 39 games, Gomez managed to put in a number of goals that is just one of 10 numbers that can acceptably be spelled out by rules of AP Style: two. To make that number worse, he didn’t manage to score his first goal of the season until February 9, his 25th game of the season, which prompted the popular Web site didgomezscore.com. And that follows a seven-goal effort (80 games) in the previous season. Did I mention the Rangers managed to screw trade him to Montreal for their best defensive prospect? So congratulations, Mr. Gomez, you are absolutely deserving of the award of player least valuable to his team.

The Wade Redden Award (don’t worry, the name works because he’s no longer an NHL player nor will he ever be again), given to the worst defenseman in the league:

Dennis Wideman: He’s just not a good player. He never has been. Constantly out of position, always having a plethora of pucks bounce of his legs/skates and end up in the back of his own net, lazy decision-making…yep, this guy’s got all of the tools to earn this award…and to earn a nice $26.5 million contract, apparently (seriously, Calgary?). Oh, and he was a -7 in 14 playoff games.

Erik Karlsson: Oh, what’s that? He actually won the Norris Trophy (best defenseman) this year. Hmm, interesting, how foolish of me. Well, there goes my nomination and all my credibility I guess. WRONG. Since this award doesn’t necessarily go to the worst defenseman in the entire league (there are too many scrubs and no-names), but rather the most overrated one (it’s kind of an unsaid thing that goes with the award, you know, like how the Norris trophy is supposed to go to the best defenseman, but rather it goes to the one that puts up the most points). How is he overrated? Well, that’s just a tangent I simply don’t have enough space or relevant thoughts to put down here, but I’m sure you can expect an explanation from an awesome blogger in the near future (*wink wink*).

The Leafs: No, just the Leafs. Yeah, I got lazy, but…yeah, the Leafs aren’t good at defense.

And the winner is…well, I guess you’ll just have to wait for my next blog post to find out who I think the winner/loser is. …Oh, I already gave it away? Um, well, you should probably read my next post anyway.

The Wolf Stansson Judgement (yes, that is Iceland’s coach from D2: The Mighty Ducks) for biggest scumbag. And the nominees are:

Cam Janssen. Ah, yes, an excellent choice; a true scumbag in the very sense of the word. Here are some of the comments he made on some douche radio show (WARNING: contains very crude, albeit censored, language). He openly states that he tries to catch people with their head down and tries to hurt people to “put the fear of f***ing God in people’s eyes.” Yep, here’s a classic example of an idiot player that gives the sport its “goon” image that the league has worked so hard on to eliminate without removing the necessary aspect of fighting. Good luck trying to vouch for yourself when you talk to the Shanabanhammer after you inevitably take a cheap shot on someone. Try using the classic excuse “Oh, I didn’t mean to hurt him, it was an accident!” Mhmm, sure Cam, and you’re a good hockey player that belongs in the NHL. Oh, did I also mention he’s a giant homophobe? If you’re really curious as to what he had to say, check out the link to the other blog, but it’s really not appropriate stuff. But basically, he thinks it’s a good idea to beat up a homosexual hockey player for the sole reason of being a homosexual. Classy stuff, guy.

Raffi Torres. Mr. Torres has an outstanding list of credentials and a career of douchebaggery that make him an excellent candidate for this most prestigious award. Most notably is his recent assault on Marian Hossa during the playoffs that immediately made him infamous in the hockey world. Feel free to check out any of his other qualifications by YouTubing “Raffi Torres” (trust me, you won’t find anything involving actual hockey) or save yourself the trouble by entering “’Raffi Torres talent’” into Google (using quotes around that phrase in the search bar) and watching the search results top out at “zero”.

Matt Cooke: Sure, he didn’t really do anything last year, but what he’s done over the course of his career still has its ramifications on some of the people he’s harmed and still warrants notoriety today.

And the winner is…oh, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s a tie. Yes, there are no winners when it comes to biggest POS in the league, and each of these morons should be blacklisted from the sport.

The Empty Net Award, given to the goalkeeper who might as well have not even shown up. Keeping with the theme of talking about things that are most recent to my memory and not actually things that would make for a legitimate discussion of the original idea, your nominees are: Ilya Bryzgalov and Marc-Andre Fleury.

On one hand, you have Swiss cheese, on the other, you’ve got Swiss cheese that was left out in the sun and chewed on by. Yeah, both these guys were awful in this year’s playoffs. They posted a 3.46 and a 4.63 GAA (same digits, heh), respectively. However, they both did give us a very entertaining first-round series between bitter rivals the Douchebags and the A-holes Flyers and Penguins, so for that, I’ll give each of them a pass and declare neither of them winners. Er, losers. Whatever, you know what I mean.

So there you have it; there are some of the awards that the NHL loves to vote on but doesn’t want you to see. Don’t tell them I showed you the results. Stay tuned for next post’s to find out why the voters of the Norris Trophy are oh-so silly.

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The world needs a villain

The world needs villains as much as it needs heroes. There’s the paradigm that without evil, there is no good; there’s no love without hate. The same law applies to the smaller world of the NHL.

 

Sean Avery: one of the most hated players to ever play the game, and currently interchangeably #1 or #2 with Matt Cooke. Cries of joy were jubilantly sung when word was passed that he was waived and demoted to the Rangers’ AHL affiliate, the Connecticut Whale (can we talk about what a ridiculous name that is, and how awful their jerseys are?). Some got even more excited when they heard he was considering playing in Europe. “We never have to see this scumbag in an NHL arena again!” said 90% of the league’s fan base and Marty Broduer.

But is that really what we all want? Is it possible that supporters of the anti-Avery agenda were speaking purely out of raw emotion and not considering all the things that make the sport great?

 

Everyone loves to hate someone, or something. In every context, people are going to have a passion both for and against at least one idea. It’s true. Think of any topic and you’ll quickly be able to recognize one thing you hate and one you love about it. Think of your favorite team. Think of your favorite TV show or movie. Think of your group of friends (there’s always “that guy”) Hell, think of your family. Now, think of how all those things would be without the thing(s) that you hate. It’s going to suck not having a scapegoat to blame when your team blows a 3-goal lead. It’s going to suck without that one character that you just want to see their face get punched in every time they make an appearance (I’m looking at you, Shooter McGavin). It’s going to suck not having a “friend” to talk smack about behind his/her back. It’s going to suck not having the one “screw up” in your family to make you feel better about yourself (if you can’t point him/her out, it’s you. Get your life together!). Everything is better when you have something to hate as much as something to love.

Now think of your favorite sport (in this case, it’s hockey. It’s not hockey? Let me direct you to the giant red “X” in the top right of your computer screen…don’t click it; I need readers). Now think of the players that comprise the sport. Think about every time you watch a hockey game and how you feel about certain players. In every game you watch, whether it’s a team you care about against a team you hate, or the Florida Panthers vs.  the New York Islanders, there’s going to be one player, coach, referee, announcer, vendor, or annoying fan in the background that does something you hate. You wish that scum was gone from sport and maybe even the face of the earth, at least for the time being. But if you look deep inside, you’ll thank the hockey gods that these people are around; it’s your disdain for them and how angry they make you feel that makes watching the game so fantastic. That’s what being a sports fan is all about. It’s the thousands of varied emotions you feel on a second-to-second basis, and how each moment makes you feel alive. You want to see a-holes get rocked by a George Parros uppercut; you want to see them fail at the sport; you want to see them get crushed into the stanchions by a 6’9″ Zdeno Chara body check (too soon?). You live for those moments as much as you live for the moments when your team wins; and for fans of a team that doesn’t win, you have to rely on those hate-driven bursts of glee to keep sane (I’m looking at you, all of Ohio’s pro sports).

 

Deep inside, you’re glad that Sean Avery was placed on re-entry waivers and could make his season debut as early as this Thursday (unless you’re an Avery-hating Rangers fan). Sure, you might hate New York sports already, but isn’t it much better to hate them with that loudmouth clown running around stirring the pot? Don’t you want to play the Rangers and obliterate them and that fashion-designing, stick-waving, name-calling bum?

And you hate Sean Avery for all the right reasons; he’s the ideal player to hate in the league. Despite popular belief, he is NOT a dirty player: he’s never been suspended for an on-ice action (nor should he have been), he’s never injured another player, he’s never thrown a bad elbow to someone’s head, he doesn’t take runs at players from behind, or generally do anything that Matt Cooke might do (which, this year, unfortunately includes putting the puck in the net). And that’s a good thing. You don’t want to hate a player because he’s a safety risk out on the ice, you want to hate a player because he’s either too good and wrecks your team or he’s just that douche from high school that you hoped would get caught for smoking weed in the bathroom.

And let’s not forget about HBO’s upcoming 24/7 (I can’t WAIT!). Assuming Avery will still be on the team by the time filming starts, he’s going to make the series a lot more interesting. Who doesn’t want to hear some of the stuff he says to players on the ice that make them hate him so much (some examples). What’s he like off the ice? What antic is he going to come up with next?

Bottom line is that Sean Avery is a character that brings some attention to the sport outside of the hockey community (see what he’s done for gay rights, which took balls, by the way); whether that attention is good or bad is up for debate, but the sport needs characters. The sport needs a villain, and I think we can all agree that we’d rather the villain be a loudmouthed bum than an elbow-happy, gap-toothed, dog-rapist faced scumbag (the ambiguity is intentional yet unavoidable).

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