01 November 2011

Movember Page

I am donating my mug to the good people at Movember to help raise awareness for prostate cancer and other men's health issues. You can check out my page, track the 'stache, and make a donation at: http://mobro.co/RGM81
Thanks for your support.

11 July 2011

It's Been 7 Long Years....

It's almost time again...

16 December 2010

An Open Letter to the CBC

Dear CBC,
During the first period of the Montreal Canadiens/Boston Bruins game tonight, Canadiens defenceman PK Subban delivered a clean and crushing body check to Bruins forward Brad Marchand. The hit, as noted above, was perfectly clean - after the play concluded several Bruins players wanted to fight Subban, who was not interested and skated away. He made a hockey play, and that should have been the end of it.

However, the CBC commentators during the intermission decided that the play was deserving of considerable discussion targeting Subban and essentially calling him a coward for not fighting. Not surprisingly, Mike Milbury and PJ Stock were most vociferous in their condemnation of not only Subban, but of another Canadiens player, Max Lapierre, an agitator whose role is to get under the skin of his opponents. These are two men that have often railed against what they call the "pansification" of hockey, yet when a player makes a big hockey play, they condemn him for not doing something illegal that is penalized by a major penalty. They thus picked up on the long-running theme of another CBC commentator, Don Cherry, in proclaiming that Subban does not have any respect for his fellow players, and needs to earn the respect of not only his opponents but his own teammates. They didn't proclaim, as Cherry has, that somebody is "going to get him" but they continued the ongoing theme targeting Subban.

What do all three of PJ Stock, Mike Milbury, and Don Cherry have in common? They are all former members of the Boston Bruins. To have these people commenting on anything to do with the Montreal Canadiens lacks credibility because their bias is heavily pronounced and hardly concealed. The CBC prides itself on journalistic integrity and fairness; these men do not have any semblance of fairness when it comes to discussing the Montreal Canadiens.

As a Canadiens fan, I have for years had to endure listening to Cherry slagging my favourite team without a balancing voice. Canadiens games are, on those occasions that they are shown on Hockey Night in Canada, often called by Bob Cole - Canada's most famous Toronto Maple Leafs fan. I am just old enough to remember a time that the legendary Dick Irvin Jr. was on the broadcast team during HNIC to call Canadiens games. One could tell that he actually liked the team, unlike many of his colleagues that are products of other organizations that have been the Canadiens' rivals over the course of many decades. However, he was moved off the broadcast team, and ever since there has been a noticeable imbalance in broadcasting whenever the Canadiens have been featured on CBC.

I'm a reasonable person. I don't think it's necessary that the CBC should hire a pro-Canadiens cheerleader to add pro-Canadiens comments to the Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts. However, what was once mildly amusing has become incredibly irritating; while Cherry is and remains a caricature, his calls for somebody to "get" Subban has sparked a dangerous trend that has been picked up by his colleagues on the program. Subban is a young and exciting player that is respected by his teammates and loved by many Canadiens fans. To hear somebody calling for him to be injured is despicable. I am beyond frustrated listening to Coach's Corner and the other intermission panels. Indeed, even though I am almost entirely unilingual and speak only a small amount of French, I often turn to the French channel RDS and leave it there not only during the game but also the intermissions. I would rather practice my diminished second language skills than listen to anti-Canadiens propaganda spoken in my first language. I think that many of my fellow Canadiens fans would agree with my sentiment that something must be done to restore a degree of balance to the HNIC broadcasts.

Richard McAdam

09 July 2010

Just a Little Patience....

I saw this little news item today and it's got me thinking...

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika reports former Stars goalie Marty Turco texted him to say nothing was currently going on regarding his efforts to sign with another NHL team. While the Philadelphia Flyers were rumored interested in Turco their negotiations with winger Nikolai Zherdev could prevent Turco from signing there. Heika suggests the netminder could be forced to accept a one-year, $2 million contract and prove next season he's worth more.

The Habs rushed to get Alex Auld as a backup to Carey Price. While that definitely assures everybody that Price will be the #1 goaltender in Montreal next year, what happens if Price gets hurt and/or struggles? A month ago I was discussing with some friends what would be the ideal goaltending situation for the Canadiens in the event that Halak had to be the one to go. This is what I wrote:

If Halak was just too good in the playoffs and priced himself out of what Montreal can pay him relative to his demands, and the organization wants to stick with Price after investing so heavily in him, a trade to Dallas is in the offing. Trade Halak for Jamie Benn and/or James Neal (pending RFA) and the rights to Marty Turco, who is about to become a UFA (can somebody try this on NHL '10 and see if it gets accepted? Send me a message if it works). It maximizes the return on Halak's stock in getting a blue-chip prospect while also giving Price the veteran mentor that he might just need to excel. Plus, if Price falters, Turco, at only 33 years old, is still capable of playing a lot of minutes. Whether Turco wants to accept a more limited role is of course still up in the air, and he may feel that he can get one last big contract as a legitimate #1 goalie.

Unfortunately that didn't happen, though the Habs did get a blue-chip prospect in Lars Eller, and Ian Schultz could prove to be a sleeper pickup (a la Tommy Pyatt), in return for Halak. Nine days into free agency, Turco is still available but Montreal has already made their move for a goalie. I read that they didn't want to spend more than a million on a backup, which they didn't, but I still think that they rushed to get a serviceable goalie when they could have waited things out and got a pretty good goalie for a little more.

Of course, they do still have to sign Carey, something that Gauthier hopes to do "by training camp". That unnerves me a little. But that's a different story for a different day.

05 July 2010

A Re-Awakening of Sorts

This blog has been glaringly quiet lately on the international relations front. For anybody that enjoyed reading my thoughts on global politics, IR, and the advance of liberty and democracy throughout the world, I do apologize. I hope to make that change in the not-too-distant future.

This past week I've re-read Natan Sharansky's impeccable The Case For Democracy and it has lit a spark in me that hasn't really been there for some time. To me, this can only be considered a good thing.

01 July 2010

Happy Canada Day Everybody!

Enjoy the day, get some fun, have a BBQ, celebrate everything that makes this country great!

23 June 2010

Plekanec - 6yrs/$30M

All in all, I think this is a very good signing. The team, the city, and the player are a mutual admiration society, so it's a great fit that will hopefully make all parties involved happy for the duration of the deal.

There was a lot of talk that Plekanec could have hit $6M/season on the open market, and I don't doubt that for a moment. NHL general managers have demonstrated that they are more than willing to spend big dollars for a free agent on July 1st. When you look around the League, Mike Ribeiro and Ryan Kesler are also $5M/season players and frankly I'd rather have Pleks than either of those two. He's versatile, he works hard, and he's used in every situation. It is true that his playoff performances in recent years haven't been superlative, which is probably why he got $5M instead of $5.5M from Montreal, but clearly the Habs hope that this trend stops in the coming years.

Cap-wise, this means that the Canadiens chose Plekanec over Halak. I think that's a good move. 70 points of production on a team that didn't have a lot of production last year is a great number, and if he has a full year of a healthy Mike Cammalleri, and if they get a good 3rd man or an Andrei Kostitsyn that doesn't have his head in the clouds, those numbers will almost certainly increase. I fully believe that Plekanec can be a solid point-per-game player while keeping an overall plus +/- rating, all the while helping on the PP and PK. That type of player is pretty hard to come by in the NHL these days, so I'm glad that he'll be wearing a CH turtleneck for years to come.

Now, sign Carey!