Friday, March 08, 2002

Washington Bulletin by John J. Miller on Sport Teams & Indian Names on National Review Online

Indian team names don't offend Indians much at all:
... a new poll published in Sports Illustrated suggests that Indian team names aren't nearly as offensive to as many people as the activists have let on.

The Peter Harris Research Group polled 352 Native Americans (217 living on reservations and 134 living off) and 743 sports fans; the results are published in SI's March 4 issue.

Here's the most important finding: "Asked if high school and college teams should stop using Indian nicknames, 81 percent of Native American respondents said no. As for pro sports, 83 percent of Native American respondents said teams should not stop using Indian nicknames, mascots, characters, and symbols."

The poll also found that 75 percent of Native Americans don't think the use of these team names and mascots "contributes to discrimination." Opinion is divided about the tomahawk chop displayed at Atlanta Braves games: 48 percent "don't care" about it; 51 percent do care, but more than half of them "like it." The name "Redskins" isn't especially controversial either; 69 percent of Native Americans don't object to it. As a general rule, Indians on reservations were more sensitive about team names and mascots, but not to the point where a majority of them ever sided with the activists on these questions.

Sports Illustrated writer S. L. Price reaches the obvious conclusion: "Although Native American activists are virtually united in opposition to the use of Indian nicknames and mascots, the Native American population sees the issue far differently." (John J. Miller, NRO, Mar. 8)

Thursday, March 07, 2002

Corey Schwab: He has one of the stupidest names in hockey and he sucks. But he is the Leafs goalie-of-the-moment and did not look so bad when I saw him beat the Caps on Monday night. But he is not as good as the Windsor Star thinks.
Matchups: ESPN helpfully provides a breakdown of playoff matchups, were the playoffs to start today - Current Playoff Matchups
Chatting with the dinosaurs: "I think this is a group that thinks the rules as they are are just fine. These meetings will be more philosophical talks about changes than actual changes."

-- Chicago Blackhawks general manager Mike Smith

Mark Kingwell has a hypothetical chat with Smith.
The Death of Bryan Fogarty: The epitome of talent, Bryan's limitless potential was wasted at the altar of drug use. He died yesterday at the age of 32.

Wednesday, March 06, 2002

Former NHL journeyman gets in trouble in Germany: An American who once played in the NHL made a stiff-armed Hitler salute and called a referee a Nazi during a game in a German hockey league. Scott Levins, a right wing for the Berlin Polar Bears, reacted after being called for a minor penalty. The Nazi salute is banned in Germany. "We will conduct an investigation and request a statement," said Gernot Tripcke, general manager of the German pro league. Any punishment will be up to the club, he said. Levins' actions came during the Polar Bears' 3-0 win over Iserlohn Roosters on Tuesday. Levins was an NHL journeyman, playing for Winnipeg, Florida, Ottawa and Phoenix. He is with his third club in three seasons in the German league.(AP)

Hey, with Herb Brooks making kraut/WWII put downs during the Olmypics, it is possible that anti-German puns are seeping into hockey the way they always have in soccer.

But Levins only downplays the horrors of the Nazi legacy by comparing it to some lackluster refereeing. For that alone, give him a fine and tell him to stuff it.
At least they're not complete morons: Eliminating the red line was rejected because most GMs feel teams would adjust to it the way many international teams do now -- by simply dropping back to their own blueline to eliminate breakaways, thus defeating the desired effect of more speed.

The no-touch icing rule failed to gain approval, despite lobbying by the NHL Players' Association, because a majority of the general managers feel the current race to touch the puck is entertaining and can result in a big play.
Hurry up, dammit! Throwing out any innovative idea, the NHL is at least considering the hurry-up face-off rule.
The Prince is due to discover his true self: The most entertaining man in sports returns to the boxing ring in less than three weeks. Prince Naseem Hamed "will know better if he has lost his touch" since his "35-win record was broken under the battering of Mexico's Marco Antonio Barrera in Las Vegas last April... when he makes his comeback against the Spaniard Manuel Calvo at the London Arena."

Tuesday, March 05, 2002

NHL hunkers down, no one notices: Slate pokes fun at the revelations of a planned "shadow government" in case of disaster:
April 3 -- The National Hockey League says it suspended play last December and shipped its teams to a Canadian hideout to preserve professional sports in case of nuclear catastrophe. Sports editors greeted the news that pro hockey had been missing for five months with mild surprise. "I hadn't noticed," says the Philadelphia Inquirer's Darren Trotman. "Are your sure? Wasn't there some story about that guy, that Russian guy, a few months ago? Oh, wait, he was a figure skater." NHL officials say they expect the league's popularity to soar in the long nuclear winter that would follow the apocalypse. ("Bunkers for All Occasions - Preserving the American way of life." By David Plotz)
Theo "Dirty Mutha******" Fleury calls kettle black:
"I'm not saying I'd completely quit the game, because Europe's always an option and I always play well on the big ice," said Fleury, 31. "But referees are out there to protect the players, and when they don't do that, I have to protect myself.

"(Officials) can't see everything, and I understand that. But there's been a few occasions where I've been hurt on plays that have been penalties, and there's no call. That's where the frustration comes in," added the five-foot-six winger, a 1989 Stanley Cup winner with Calgary during his rookie NHL season.

"I don't appreciate getting high-sticked in the face. I don't appreciate guys taking liberties. Would they make this call on Paul Kariya? Absolutely. Or Mario Lemieux? Yeah, absolutely they would."

"Are there two sets of rules? I don't know. I'll re-evaluate things when the season's over, that's for sure." (Calgary Herald)
Alexander Daigle, Where is He Now?: Setting up Imposter Entertainment, an entertainment company. Daigle formed the company with former major-league pitcher Derek Aucoin and plays garage-league hockey for the Jerry Bruckheimer Bad Boys, sponsored by the producer of Pearl Harbor and Blackhawk Down. Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. is a teammate.

Daigle said he "spent 10 years in the league without acknowledging" that he was an imposter of a real hockey player. Unfortunately for him, it showed. Read more about Daigle's current whereabouts and regrets in the Ottawa Citizen.

Monday, March 04, 2002

Third Jersey hell: Save me from it! Thanks to a heads up from the Insolvent Republic of Blogistan, I found these ESPN pages illustrating the proliferation of horrible evil third jerseys in the NHL. They want you to vote, blah blah blah. I say just look and weep: Worst NHL third jerseys; Best NHL third jerseys; 3rd Jerseys.
Leading trade candidates to replace CuJo in Toronto:

Kevin Weekes, Tampa Bay Lighting: It’s no secret that Weekes wants out of Tampa Bay. He was assured in the off-season that he would play an important role with the Bolts but has played just 19 games. He patience is wearing thin and there is no future for him in Tampa as long as Khabibulin is around.

Jeff Hackett, Montreal Canadiens: Jose Theodore is the future in Montreal and the Habs would dearly like to unload Hackett’s $4.5 million contract. When healthy, Hackett is a top 20 goalie. But his health problems and hefty salary might scare away the Leafs.

Jamie McLennan, Minnesota Wild: He’s a long shot. Minnesota has been trying to deal him all season. He’s been in the minors since opening day and has compiled a very ordinary 18-16 record and a .894 save percentage playing for the Houston Aeros in the AHL.

Stephane Fiset, Los Angeles Kings: He was earmarked as a future starter with the Kings but was bumped this season by Felix Potvin and Jamie Storr. Injuries have limited him to just 19 games for the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs where he is 7-4-6 with a 2.86 goals against average.

Trevor Kidd, Florida Panthers: Kidd has been sitting on the sidelines the entire season while future star Roberto Luongo mans the nets. The 29-year-old veteran still believes he has the ability to lock down a starting job despite numerous failed attempts. His 3-9-3 record will do little to help his cause.

Mike Vernon, Calgary Flames: Vernon’s best days are behind him but the veteran has the ability to jump into a pressure-filled situation. The 39-year-old only has one win this season but has won two Stanley Cups. He has agreed to waive his no-trade clause in order to secure some playing time on another team.

Steve Shields, Anaheim Mighty Ducks: Many have forgotten that Shields was a starting goalie for the San Jose Sharks once upon a time. Injuries and the emergence of Jean-Sebastien Giguere have limited his playing time in Anaheim. But he did win 27 games two years ago and comes relatively cheap.

Ed Belfour, Dallas Stars: Stars’ management has hinted that it doesn’t intend on re-signing Belfour in the off-season. Youngster Marty Turco is the goalie of the future in Dallas and Belfour’s recent tirade in Vancouver hasn’t helped his cause. Former Stars’ coach Ken Hitchcock has a good relationship with Leafs’ GM Pat Quinn and the team does have a recent trade history.

Fred Brathwaite, St. Louis Blues: Another long shot but the Blues are going to have to choose a starting goalie some day and it’s likely going to be Brent Johnson simply because he’s younger and has a better record. The Blues could also use a scoring injection with Weight and Keith Tkachuk injured.

Miikka Kiprusoff, San Jose Sharks: It would take a lot for the Leafs to pry away Kiprusoff but a deal is doable. Evgeni Nabokov is just hitting his prime and at 26, he’s got a long future ahead of him. The Sharks’ system is loaded with goalie prospects so don’t be surprised to see Kiprusoff on the block.

(Josh Brown,
A Dino-comeback?: 42-year-old Dino Ciccarelli, one of the most prolific ugly goal-scorers in history, is considering a comeback. The aging velociraptor thinks he can still cut it, and hopes to puch the average Detroit age up a bit if they will take him for the playoffs. With luck, they can displace the 1967 Toronto Maple Leafs' record of oldest Stanley Cup-winning team...