Archive for the ‘Oldmanahan’ Category

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

Which team would be best for Oldmanahan?

October 30, 2008

It took him until late October to finally get the hint, but like a girlfriend who finally realizes that “we need some time apart” actually means “fuck off and die,” Brendan Oldmanahan announced that he’s going to start dating other teams again.

So, with that in mind, let’s size up how well the grizzled power forward would fit in with the other 29 teams in the NHL. If you hate reading, I’d say the best spots would probably be Vancouver, Pittsburgh, Boston and the two Florida teams (although that might just be for the purposes of mocking the elderly). Then again, this list could be completely wrong.

Regardless, enjoy:

It’s official: Shanahan’s short run in the Big Apple is over

Anaheim Ducks: While the Ducks need offensive depth and Brian Burke has been known to throw out a life preserver for washed up power forwards, there are two big strikes against BS: 1) he was never a member of the Vancouver Canucks and 2) the Ducks simply don’t have the cap space to make it work.

Atlanta Thrashers: The question would be if Oldmanahan would want to be on a sparsely talented Atlanta team more than the Thrashers wanting him. The Thrashers added talent by overpaying second tier free agents (Ron Hainsey) and trading for cap fodder (Mathieu Schneider) so they’d probably be all over him.

Boston Bruins: It comes as quite a surprise that the Bruins are a center-heavy team only a few years removed from the Joe Thornton trade. This could actually be an interesting match, as Shanny could theoretically be a veteran presence for a young group of killer B’s. It doesn’t hurt that Beantown is also a huge media market, either.

Buffalo Sabres: Not sure how well sluggish Shanny would fit in with the speedy Sabres, but like Atlanta, Buffalo struggles to sign and keep its big name talent. He could be a decent compliment to the Sabres scoring by committee approach.

Calgary Flames: The big issues here are cap space and how much of Mike Keenan he would want to deal with. Both answers are “close to none.”

Carolina Hurricanes: Meh. Although he could help to replace the under-the-radar productivity of Cory Stillman. Still, though … meh.

Shanny might be a good fit in Boston since Ryder has been celebrating little outside of his bloated contract

Chicago Blackhawks: Windy City fans are committing to the Indian for the first time in ages (and not just because, you know, they can actually friggin’ watch home games). Shanahan could be an interesting addition to a young, hungry and expensive group of players.

It also would be intriguing to watch Shanny join one of Detroit’s divisional “rivals.”

Colorado Avalanche: Well, he’s old enough.

Columbus Blue Jackets: Another team that cannot draw much marquee talent, but I doubt Shanahan and Ken the ‘Stache Hitchcock would be able to coexist.

Dallas Stars: Highly unlikely, unless Jere Lehtinen‘s injury woes continue and Sean Avery cannot provide any offensive punch. Hmmm … maybe there’s a chance after all.

Detroit Red Wings: Why would Ken Holland bring back one of the remnants of the “coast off past successes, shit the bed in the playoffs” regime after two deep playoff runs?

Edmonton Oilers: Shanahan is known for being media savvy, but does he know about the Oilogosphere?

Florida Panthers: A team that could always use an extra forward and some panache. Rumor has it that Florida is a favorite choice of the elderly.

Los Angeles Kings: It would be a good fit only from a media perspective. The Kings are too far from the playoffs and Shanahan is too close to the grave.

Minnesota Wild: He could be a decent gap filler if the Wild traded Gaborik, although would his less-than-enthusiastic back checking cost Jacques Lemaire his final follicles? That might be the first time that “Minnesota Wild” and “entertainment” could be used in the same sentence without the linking phrase “destroys anything resembling.”

Montreal Canadiens: The Habs really want to make their centennial celebration special, but my recommendation would be to focus on players who still have something to give and something to prove.

Nashville Predators: After getting screwed over in the Radulov fiasco, the Predators would probably be glad to add to their weak core of forwards. The question is whether or not Shanahan would want to boot scoot over to Tennessee.

Don’t expect this to happen again.

New Jersey Devils: Shanahan WAS a former Devil from way back when and Loophole Lou certainly seems nostalgic these days (See signing Rolston, Brian and Holik, Bobby). Still, aside from the occasional Patrik Elias brain fart, The Devils rarely overpay aging veterans.

New York Islanders: After their Rick Dipietro blood oath, it became clear that nothing is crazy in the eyes of the Isles. With washed up players like Bill Guerin and Doug Weight and a washed up arena in Nassau Colosseum, Shanahan would feel right at home.

Ottawa Senators: Not sure if they could make the cap space work, but the Senators search for a power forward seems eternal and cursed. Given the probable diminishing returns by Oldmanahan and the crazed Canadian media, this could be a match made in hockey hell. Count me in.

Philadelphia Flyers: They’re too close to the cap and the last thing they need is another forward. Highly unlikely.

Phoenix Coyotes: The Coyotes love power forwards, but they might still feel burned by the remarkably unsuccessful Owen Nolan experience.

Pittsburgh Penguins:
With all the experience Sidney Crosby developed carrying Mark Recchi to a year and a half of artificial relevance, Shanahan could be a good fit on his wing. He could even be a good enough complement to allow the Penguins to spread the wealth and let Malkin center his own line again. Possibly an interesting fit.

San Jose Sharks: After the ineffectual Bill Guerin trade, it would be surprising if they went after another gone-soft and over-the-hill power forward. At the same time, he could probably score 25-goals if they were baby birded to him by Joe Thornton. And if nothing else, he could give Jeremy Roenick and Rob Blake another person to talk to at Early Bird breakfasts.

St. Louis Blues: The Blues feel like a forgotten team these days. Naturally, an Andy Murray team usually is pretty bland. Their involvement would probably just depend on their economic interest (although John Davidson’s former New York Rangers announcing connections could make the Blues more than a Dark Horse candidate … assuming that anyone even wants him, of course).

If the Sedin twins could make Anson Carter look like a star, what could they do with a future HoFer?

Tampa Bay Lightning: You’d think that with the shit ton of forwards they signed, the Lightning would be out of the mix. But since they added an 18-year old rookie, two chronic underachievers and a guy who tends to rotate bad years and career years (Prospal) the Bolts aren’t exactly shooting out the lights right now. So maybe it could be an ideal destination. The Dan Snyder parallels would only get stronger.

(And again, the elderly do flock to Florida)

Toronto Maple Leafs: Toronto may be “rebuilding” but rarely can they pass up on big name players. Ron Wilson might not end up liking his Used copy of Oldmanahan, but Team Syrup might be a logical destination.

Vancouver Canucks: My favorite match.

While Oldmanahan is not quite what he used to be, he might be the finisher that the Cycling Sedins have been missing since they created magic with the likes of Anson Carter. Vancouver is a beautiful city and the Canucks have gobs and gobs of cap space with nary a solid forward to spend it on.

This coupling is so perfect it could inspire eharmony to fire it’s creepy founder/commercial spokesman on the spot.

Washington Capitals: The Capitals are chock full of solid-to-great wingers; Alex O, Alex Semin, and Chris Clark are a nice compliment to their solid centers. Being that they are close to the salary cap, Shanahan probably won’t be seen much in our nation’s capitol.

So there you have my research-light take on possible Oldmanahan destinations. Not sure which teams are actually interested, who actually has the space and how much he’s asking for in salary, but it certainly was fun to take a look at which teams would work.

Would Oldmanahan complete your team’s puzzle or would he bring about a plague of Edgar Allan Poe proportions?