Archive for the ‘Markus Naslund’ Category

With Naslund off the books, what will be Sather’s next offering to the gods of hockey hilarity?

May 5, 2009

Semi-surprising news tonight: Markus Naslund‘s days as a former star turned passive perimeter player an NHL player are over. The move gives the Rangers an additional $4 million of cap space. Which, naturally, Glen Sather will spend in some hilariously incorrect way.

(The old salary cap outlook will have to be scraped, although it’s still fun to laugh at the contracts Scott Gomez, Chris Drury and Wade Redden signed.)

Anyway, since the Rangers now have enough cap space to make more stupid decisions (NHLSCAP says they’ll go into next year with a cap number slightly above $38 million), we thought it might be fun to picture ‘ol Sather’s contract proposals.

Phone call proposal: Marian Hossa

Glen: Hey, Mary! Odd name you got there, but you’re a heckuva player! Hyuck hyuck.
Hossa: Uh …
Glen: So, I know you went to the Red Wings last year to try to get a Cup. But I know what you really want: intense media scrutiny and more cold weather. Hello? Mary Ann? Hello?
(phone clicks)

Lunch meeting with: Mats Sundin

Glen: Mark? Is that you?
(Sather cleans off his glasses with a handkerchief.)
Glen: Wow, Mark, you’re looking GREAT! Jeez, did you get taller? Still got the gambling bug, I see. When did you learn Swedish?
Mats: …

Clearly tampering phone call to Erik Cole made during the Canes’ playoff run
Glen: Heeeeeey, Erik, how’s it going?
Erik: Uh, fine Mr. Sather. Shouldn’t we be waiting until July to be doing —
Glen: Look, Cole-y, I’m going to cut right to the chase. Coal miner, you’re a hell of a player. Actually, Coal train, I’m not going to lie. I don’t watch a lot of hockey anymore. It’s so boring without Wayne and Mark! But my grandchildren think you’re awesome in a video game. I see that you’re rated in the 80’s. You’re almost as good as Drury and Gomez!!! Oh we just need to add a couple more 90’s to this team and we’ll be golden!
Erik: Riiight.
Glen: Anyway, Cole, think it over. And break a leg – er – neck – er … good luck in the playoffs.

Bumps into Mike Comrie at expensive designer clothing boutique

Glen: Mike? Comrie? Hoowww’s it going buddy?
Comrie: Um, who are you?
Glen: You know what, Mike, I watched you play with the Islanders and I think you have the certain something that can really make an impact in New York.
Comrie: I don’t know, don’t you have a bunch of cent-
Glen: From watching you play, I can tell that your assets are not being utilized enough. I can see that this team really could get a lot more out of … Hillary Duff. In the stands, making the occasional locker room speech, posing for promotional photos in skin tight tailored Rangers jerseys … hanging out with 20 or so of her sluttiest – er – closest friends in my luxury suite …
Comrie: (sigh)

Desperate plea to Jaromir Jagr

Glen: Yaaaaaags, how’s it going, baby? You ready to come back to the Big Apple?(pause) We didn’t WANT you? Nahhh, we were just kidding! How’s that Brazilian wax looking soul patch going? Ah, you shaved it? Damn. Well, hey, just uh, let me know if you want to come back. Not that, uh, we’re having problems scoring goals without you or anything (laughs awkwardly)

Signs Marian Gaborik to a 10 year, $80 million contract
Marian: Are you sure you don’t want me to take a physical first?
Glen: Naaaaaah!

All-Decade Team: Wings

January 19, 2009

Jaromir Jagr

(737 points – 301 goals and 436 assists in REG; 62 points – 22 goals, 40 assists in playoffs)Awards: Two Art Ross trophies, two Lester B. Pearson trophies, four time All-Star, three time First-Team All-Star

If you read my treatise on Jagr you already know where I stand. Just to recap: he was a deadly goal scorer with sublime passing skills. Jagr had the strength to shed checkers and the speed to leave the best defensemen in the dust. Simply a Frankenstein monster of offense.

Daniel Alfredsson

(677 points – 265 goals and 412 assists in REG; 61 points – 30 goals, 31 assists in playoffs)

Awards: two-time All-Star

There seems to be two camps regarding “Alf.” On one side, there are the Alfredsson enthusiasts who point to his multi-dimensional and unselfish style of play. Yet on the other side of the fence, there are the people against him who criticize his playoff performances (not to mention the way he acted toward Scott Niedermayer in the SCF).

Whatever way you lean, it’s hard to deny Alfredsson’s impressive body of work. He might not sport the emotional leadership of Iginla or the offensive flashiness of Jagr, but Alfie is one of the best of his era.

Dany Heatley

(512 points – 240 goals and 272 assists in REG; 35 points – 10 goals, 25 assists in playoffs)

Awards: Calder trophy, First-team All-Star once, two time All-Star

Heatley went from tragedy in Atlanta to an impressive run to the Stanley Cup Finals in a short period of time. Over the last few seasons, he’s established himself as one of the game’s most devastating snipers alongside Alexander Ovechkin and Ilya Kovalchuk.

Jarome Iginla

(680 points – 330 goals and 350 assists in REG; 43 points – 24 goals, 19 assists in playoffs)

Awards: Four time All-Star, First team All-Star, two Rocket Richard trophies (one in a three-way tie with Rick Nash and Ilya Kovalchuk, one won outright) Lester B. Pearson trophy

There were a few years in which I advanced this argument: if J.S. Giguere gets a Conn Smythe in a losing effort, then why not Jarome Iginla a year later? Yes, Brad Richards had an amazing playoff run. But Richards was one of three stars in Tampa would could come up with big plays – Iginla carried the Flames offense by himself. All the way to game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Still, that Smythe trophy voting was acceptable … but the way he was robbed of a Hart trophy was atrocious. Despite the fact that Iginla lead the league in scoring with 96 points on an awful Flames team, one voter left him off the ballot altogether. This move allowed one year wonder in Jose Theodore to win the MVP and raised legitimate questions of racism.

Beyond all that, Iginla’s had a borderline HOF decade. Only Jaromir Jagr beats him in points among wingers. Plus, “Jarmoe” brought more to the table than a wicked wrister. He’s been the ultimate leader: combining clutch scoring, toughness and a willingness to drop the gloves if need be.

Naturally, dropping the gloves forced him to miss some games and might hurt his standing with some voters.

Martin St. Louis

(547 points – 224 goals and 323 assists in REG; 48 points – 23 goals, 25 assists in playoffs)

Awards: four-time All-Star, first team All-Star once, one Art Ross, Pearson and Hart trophy

It doesn’t get much more Disney than the story of Martin St. Louis. He went from being an unwanted, undrafted free agent to becoming the league’s MVP and a Stanley Cup champion. If ESPN’s bitter hatred had not been at an all-time high at that point, his would have been one of the sport stories of the year.

Marian Hossa

(662 points – 306 goals and 356 assists in REG; 59 points – 25 goals, 34 assists in playoffs)

Awards: four-time All-Star

Though they were unable to keep him in Atlanta, getting Hossa for Heatley might qualify as the only time “Thrashers GM Don Waddell” and “impressive job” could be mentioned in the same sentence without words like “completely un-” because Hossa might be Heater’s equal. His defensive skills make up for a slight loss in pizazz.

Nearly half of Hossa’s playoff output came last year during the Penguins run to the SCF. That performance showed what Hossa is capable of with a top-end center.

Markus Naslund

(640 points – 286 goals and 354 assists in REG; 30 points – 12 goals, 18 assists in playoffs)

Awards: four All-Star games, Pearson award, three time First-Team All-Star

Recent years haven’t been too kind to the Swedish sniper, but Naslund was one of the true elite forwards in the NHL during his peak years in the early part of the decade.

Brendan Shanahan

(539 points – 256 goals and 283 assists in REG; 50 points – 22 goals, 28 assists in playoffs)

Awards: three All-Star games, one time First-Team All-Star

Most of Shanahan’s best years came before the decade started, but he still put up some very nice power forward numbers. Being on three Stanley Cup winners with Detroit cannot hurt either (although two of those Cups came before the time period in question)

Not enough yet: Alex Ovechkin (if the lockout didn’t happen he might be close enough), Ilya Kovalchuk and Rick Nash