There’s enough going on in the NHL to warrant a run-down of thoughts:
- Game 7 goes Friday night in Detroit. I haven’t watched a game in its entirety in this series. I won’t be watching one Friday either, since Roy Halladay will be chucking a no-hitter against the Marlins. From what I can tell, however, Detroit seems to be able to flick that switch on and off, and I don’t expect that close a game. My pick: 4-1 Detroit (empty net goal).
- The proceedings into the Balsillie affair got underway yesterday in Phoenix. I’ve got the sneaking suspicion that the judge will side with the NHL, unfortunately. Relocation fees will be the sticking point, where Bettman will hold his ground by demanding ridiculous amounts of cash for the right to relocate. Who knows, maybe Balsillie will say “what’s another $500 million?”. Nonetheless, everything has been set in motion to get another team in Southern Ontario. That momentum will not go away, and the NHL governors will insist that it happens despite the objections of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, whether it’s Jim Balsillie at the helm or not – there’s just too much money to be made.
- Dany Heatley wants out of the Capital. Well boo-hoo to him. Don’t like the new coach, Dany? Tough beans. Unfortunately we occupy an era where The Athlete rules the roost, and The Athlete will have his wish granted. What complicates things is Heatley’s no-trade clause, so not only do the Sens have to trade him but he has to agree with the destination. The NHL would be wise to negotiate the use of this clause out of the next CBA (which means they won’t do it). Leafs Nation would be the first to acknowledge that this clause can ruin franchises (you also need incompetent managers, but that’s another issue).
- So where does he go? Although the talking heads in the embedded media (to borrow a term from Bruce Dowbiggin) have him going to Edmonton or Calgary, wouldn’t a trade with Colorado be the logical assumption? They have a bunch of stars they want to unload (Svatos, Hjeduk, Liles) as they rebuild. It’s in the Western Conference, just like The Athlete apparently demands. Let’s see this happen. Buh-bye Dany.
- I never warmed to Heatley, but I would have thought Spezza would be the one to pull this stunt – would have been happy had he done it. Now the Sens are stuck getting rid of a valuable asset. Here’s hoping they get something serviceable in return.