Sports by Randy Charles Morin.
Copyright 2005-10 Randy Charles Morin
Owned by Rapid Spiral Development Inc.
We have some race this year. I can identify 7 legit candidates; 3 of which scored 30 goals.
One year ago, Skinner wasn't on anybody's NHL radar. He wasn't drafted and wasn't even projected in the 1st round of the draft. He scored 20 goals in 20 games during last years OHL playoff and he became a 7th overall pick. Twelve months later, he has 30+ goals in the NHL and is the choice of many to win the Calder Trophy.
Nineth overall pic in 2007, he stagnated for the next 3 years. Out of nowhere, he's regained his top prospect form and put 30 pucks in the net. Unlikely to win, as he doesn't have the most goals, nor the most points for a rookie, which is the prime criteria for a forward.
Grabner was the 14 overall pick back in 2006. Like Couture, he struggled after his draft year. He played the last 3 years almost entirely in the AHL. A brief 20 game tryout at the end of last season was successful, potting 5 goals. The Canucks traded him to the Panthers, who then waived him before the season started. He was claimed by the Islanders and the rest is history; 30 goal rookie campaign.
Drafted 27th overall in 2008. Note that all these rookies to date have been drafted in the 1st round. Somebody might wanna inform Brian Burke of these facts. Played half a season in the AHL and he's an NHLer. Fits in well, on a very talented Capitals team. Unlike to win.
Tell Burke that Fowler was drafted 12th overall in 2010. Ya, that's last year. And he scored 40 points this year as a defenseman. His -26 plus-minus rating is gonna keep him away from the Calder Trophy.
Drafted in the 2nd round of 2007. I have to think his skin color and mouth kept him out of the 1st round. How many defensemen score 56 points in their OHL draft year and don't get picked in the 1st round? He's improved every year since, is now a household name for every hockey fan and a twitter fad (#blamesubban). PK's stats might not get him the Calder, but I watch a lot of hockey and from what I see, this guy is already a leader on the Canadians. He's my Calder pick, but I doubt many will agree. They'd rather blame him for something.
I always hate it when a goalie qualifies as a rookie, yet he played games in 4 NHL seasons. This is actually his 5th season playing in the NHL. The numbers are there and he resurrected the Hawks season. He'll get votes, but he was drafted in 2003. Hardly a rookie.
Kamau Peterson became the first athlete to take us up on our latest program to shut down his girlfriend blog. Check out the message he left for his Talk-Sports fans. Kamau plays in the CFL and was outstanding Canadian in 2008.
The game winning goal for the Canucks over Blackhawks last night looked like a game of shinny hockey. Note, all five Hawk players rush to the top of the circle, four of them, including one defenseman, goes for a skate behind the goalline. Vancouver doesn't immediately turn the puck up ice, there was plenty of time for the four Hawks to recover, but it appears only one of them decided to make an effort to get into the play. Is this an NHL team?
Let's start with the pass. With all four Blackhawks deep, Versteeg passes it backwards, then proceeds to leisurely skate into the corner. Havlat and Barker crash the net, which is fine, but Havlat had all day to try and come back and is nowhere to be found. Barker is a defenseman, he shouldn't be going to the net and engaging the d-man. Oddly, Barker was the only Hawk deep that was engaged with another player. Barker skates all the way back but fails to pick up the Canuck standing right beside him who scores the easy goal. What is the point of skating back, if you aren't gonna try to stop them. All three other Hawk forwards made no attempt to backcheck. Kane missed the pass, which causes the turnover, but the puck goes to the far boards and it takes several seconds to turn up ice. Where is Kane? Walker was the only Hawk on this play that played any defense, but he fails to take the guy with the puck and allows him to make a pass thru the middle.
Question. How did these guys beat the Flames? Or worse, were they trying to lose?
Here's my final grades on your 2008-09 Toronto Maple Leafs.
I thought it'd be interesting to list my 20 NHL all-stars for this season.
The NFL is laying-off 150 of their 1100 workers or 14% of their workforce. MLB.com is laying off 20 of 5% of their workers. The NBA laid-off 80 earlier this year. The AFL is talking about suspending operations for the coming season. Things are tough!
We just updated the NBA players for the 2008-09 season.
We just updated the ECHL player rosters for the 2008-09 season.
We just updated the WHL rosters for the 2008-09 season.
We just updated all the OHL rosters for the 2008-09 season.
We just updated all the AHL rosters for the 2008-09 season.
I really hate, even it up reffing. Last night, the Calgary Flame's Rene Bourque got a deserved 9-minute penalty, leading to a 9-minute power play for the Washington Capitals. The next 8 penalties and 16 minutes were called against the Capitals in one of the most blatantly obvious attempts to even up the penalties that I've ever seen. The refs Chris Lee and Bill McCreary are official idiots, although we've long known Bill to be. BTW, I'd like to thank Bill once again for all the homer calls in international hockey. I can't believe he hasn't been fired yet. The announcers are just as stupid as they actually tried to justify the 8 penalties in-a-row. A great victory for the Flames, except that they needed massive help from the refs.
They claim I'm not allowed to use Warrick Dunn's name and picture without his permission. They also claim to be lawyers. I responded six months ago with "I suggest you talk to a lawyer. Your interpretation of the law is wrong." This got rid of them for six months, but they are back. I really have to wonder if Warrick Dunn is getting proper legal advice and if his lawyers are just trying to accumulate billable hours against their client.
I've also found out that CAA and Denise White work together in some manner. If you don't remember Denise, then click on the following link and read.
I can only assume that the sub-industry of serving wealthy sports athletes is thriving. Do these athletes really think they are being properly served? I deal with hundreds of agents every month and most all are reasonable people. I can usually satisfy any concern an athlete has very quickly. At other times, the agents seem more interested in wasting every body's time than accomplishing anything. Hopefully Warrick reads this.