From the headlines
We’re simply over a month away from the commerce deadline, and it’s the time of 12 months when groups maintain their playing cards near their vests. Speculation runs rampant, however no person desires to let any secrets and techniques slip out. That may be irritating to your typical insider, however fortunately I’ve acquired my community of spies to feed me data. I requested them to search out out what varied NHL groups had been planning within the weeks forward, and right here’s what they had been capable of report again.
Vancouver Canucks: Jim Rutherford has assured followers and media that the entrance workplace’s deadline plans will stay laser-focused on the staff’s well-established objectives for this season, which is to say making Bruce Boudreau unhappy.
Chicago Blackhawks: The staff is completely not tanking, says GM Kyle Davidson, and any suggestion on the contrary is insulting to all the group, says tonight’s beginning goaltender Kyle Davidson.
Columbus Blue Jackets: Have been taking a ton of calls about Vladislav Gavrikov, most of that are simply followers of different groups asking “Wait, should I know who Vladislav Gavrikov is?”
Montreal Canadiens: It’s all about placing collectively the very best group of 20 gamers, mentioned GM Kent Hughes enthusiastically, earlier than wanting up from his LTIR checklist and asking what the query was.
Florida Panthers: Will in all probability be aggressive patrons on the deadline as a result of hey, what’s the worst that might presumably occur, mutters Bill Zito whereas leafing by way of Connor Bedard scouting studies and weeping brazenly.
Colorado Avalanche: Joe Sakic has steadfastly denied engaged on any trades in any respect, as a result of he apparently thinks his staff is “good enough” and is reluctant to “disrupt the room” and doesn’t wish to make a deal as a result of he’s “not the GM of the Avalanche anymore, seriously, you guys need to pay more attention in the offseason.”
Anaheim Ducks: Could in all probability use a seventh defenseman I assume.
Los Angeles Kings: Are arduous at work attempting to determine learn how to inform the fan base that Jonathan Quick needed to go reside on a pleasant farm upstate the place they’ve huge fields for him to run round.
Nashville Predators: Could be an enormous deadline for David Poile, who was named the winner of the 2017 GM of the Year Award over fellow finalists Pierre Dorion and Peter Chiarelli and would in all probability wish to additionally win it in a 12 months the place everybody wasn’t clearly simply voting sarcastically.
New York Islanders: Just out right here preserving their eyes on the prize! (The prize is ending 18th.)
Tampa Bay Lightning: Have completely zero cap area so as to add a superb participant, so we will go forward and pencil them in for including two good gamers.
Boston Bruins: Don Sweeney would love to handle the staff’s single greatest present want, however to this point no person appears to be buying a time machine to take David Pastrnak and his agent again to 2017.
Detroit Red Wings: Will fastidiously scout the league to establish commerce targets that would be the splendid match for subsequent 12 months’s waiver wire.
Ottawa Senators: Seeing as they’re already two years right into a five-year run of unparalleled success, in all probability simply keep the course.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Kyle Dubas has vowed to spare no expense, deploying the league’s largest and most skilled scouting workers to scour each nook of the planet and go away no stone unturned earlier than selecting some man who used to play for the Soo Greyhounds.
January’s three stars of comedy
The third star (tie): Farts and sharts — Don’t say this column doesn’t deliver you all of the essential NHL information you could have missed.
#FartGate #Canucks https://t.co/EQ9msfDGZZ pic.twitter.com/0cp96iGF7O
— Lachlan Irvine (@LachInTheCrease) January 19, 2023
And additionally this…
Keep it collectively @kylekeefetv
Could watch this a thousand instances over and never be capable of maintain a straight face @AltitudeTV pic.twitter.com/89nteP1AbK
— Missin Curfew (@MissinCurfew) January 24, 2023
The second star: We don’t discuss Boudreau — Song parodies are typically the worst and no person with any true comedian expertise has ever been concerned in a single, however credit score the place it’s due, this was pretty good.
The first star: The top of comedy — I’m a easy man with easy tastes, so please take pleasure in this clip of a linesman taking one within the capsules.
oh no pic.twitter.com/hTDi1i7Ffv
— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) January 7, 2023
Be it resolved
I’m going to maintain this straightforward, so right here goes: If you’re an NHL staff and your social media staff posts eyeball emojis at any level over the subsequent month, you must announce a commerce that day.
That’s it. No excuses, no exceptions. I do know that sooner or later all of us determined it was OK for groups to make use of Twitter to submit “👀 👀 👀,” watch everybody freak out for an hour, after which announce that some AHL tweener no person has ever heard of simply signed a one-year extension for the league minimal. It’s annoying at the perfect of instances, however I assume you must do one thing to interrupt up the monotony of posting variations on the identical three corporate-approved memes all day lengthy, so we’ll permit it.
But not now. We’re a month away from the commerce deadline and everyone seems to be on edge. That means there needs to be a strict “no eyeballs” coverage from right here till mid-March. And if someone in your social staff messes up and by chance posts eyeballs to tease your 14th jersey redesign of the season, too unhealthy. You’ve acquired to commerce somebody now. You owe us.
Obscure former participant of the week
With the deadline nearing, loads of followers of contending groups are eagerly ready for his or her GMs to deal future belongings away for rapid assist. That’s normally a stable technique, and we’re all in favor of it round right here. But watch out — typically these draft picks that get tossed into an even bigger commerce may simply go on for use on a future Hall of Famer.
For instance, take the story of right this moment’s obscure participant: Bob Janecyk. He was a goaltender who went undrafted earlier than signing with Chicago in 1980. He spent a couple of years within the AHL earlier than making his NHL debut late within the 1983-84 season, enjoying eight video games for the Hawks that included a memorable first-career win during which he made 48 saves.
That would become his solely season in Chicago, due to a draft ground blockbuster on the 1984 draft. With Mario Lemieux and Kirk Muller off the board with the primary two picks, the Hawks despatched Janecyk to the Kings together with a third-round choose in a deal that noticed the groups additionally swap picks within the first and fourth rounds. That meant Chicago moved up from the No. 6 choose to the third, the place they nabbed Eddie Olczyk. For their half, the Kings used the sixth choose on defenseman Craig Redmond.
Janecyk went into the 1984-85 season because the Kings’ starter, and performed fairly nicely. He gained 23 video games in 52 begins whereas posting a respectable-for-the-era 3.66 goals-against common. Not celebrity numbers by any means, however they earned Janecyk a top-10 end in each Calder and Vezina voting. He additionally briefly fought Tom Barrasso, as a result of that’s what folks did again within the 80s. But his numbers dipped the next season and his grip on the starter’s job loosened. He’d play solely 12 extra NHL video games in spot obligation for the Kings, the final coming in 1988. In all, he made 111 NHL appearances and gained 44 video games; not unhealthy for a child who was by no means drafted.
OK, certain, however what about that Hall of Famer from the Hawks/Kings commerce? Olczyk was good, however he didn’t get to that degree, and Redmond certain didn’t. Neither did Tommy Eriksson, who was taken by the Hawks with the Kings’ fourth-rounder and by no means even made the NHL. And neither did John English, taken by L.A. with their third; he solely managed three NHL video games earlier than presumably happening to turn into this guy. Instead, the Hall of Famer from that commerce ended up coming from the fourth-round choose the Kings acquired from the Hawks, one they used on a child who’d simply scored 44 objectives in 23 video games in highschool, and who was about to launch a 22-season profession within the huge leagues. No, not Brett Hull or Luc Robitaille — they had been picked later in that draft.
The man the Kings acquired with a choose from the Bob Janecyk commerce was future Cooperstown inductee Tom Glavine, who never played another hockey game however did win 305 video games on an MLB mound.
Classic YouTube clip breakdown
This week marked the end of the road for Bruce Boudreau in Vancouver, the ultimate chapter in an unsightly year-long story that noticed Canucks GM Jim Rutherford appear to take each alternative to demean and embarrass his head coach. Rather than dredge all that up once more, let’s look again on happier instances, with a clip of Boudreau’s very first NHL purpose that made the rounds this week. No extra Rutherford, simply good vibes for Coach Bruce. (Thanks to reader Jouni for flagging this clip within the remark part.)
• This clip comes from a postgame Hockey Night in Canada interview from final 12 months, one which was apparently recorded off of a TV display screen by somebody who wished to show us about parallelograms. Bruce is chatting with Scott Oake and Cassie Campbell, and discuss turns to his enjoying days.
• Yes, his enjoying days. It’s OK in case you didn’t know Boudreau was certainly a former NHL participant. Most coaches are, of course, however Boudreau by no means actually gave off the identical form of grizzled depth as a Dean Evason or Rod Brind’Amour or, sure, Rick Tocchet. But he did play, for elements of seven NHL seasons plus a bunch extra within the AHL and IHL.
• The sport he’s speaking about right here is from March 12, 1977. The Leafs are internet hosting the Red Wings at Maple Leaf Gardens, and Bruce is true when he says Toronto finally ends up successful 6-0. But he’s incorrect about his purpose being the final one — it’s truly the opening purpose of the night time, coming just three minutes in. That means it was the winner. Bruce was 4 video games into his profession and he was already clutch.
• “I was probably hanging around the blue line and not playing well in my defensive zone.” Good lord, NHL coaches can’t even watch their personal objectives with out getting cranky about defensive assignments. Dude in all probability bag-skated himself proper after this interview.
• I like the reveal of who acquired the help on the purpose: Randy Carlyle. Yes, the identical two guys who changed one another as Anaheim’s coach a long time later, and who you went by way of the entire 2010s unable to inform aside. Or perhaps that was me and I’m projecting, it’s robust to say.
• Speaking of fellow coaches, Boudreau was drafted by the Leafs within the third spherical in 1975, one choose forward of future Bruins GM Mike “the guy who traded Joe Thornton” O’Connell. Five rounds later, the Leafs additionally drafted one other future coach, Ron Wilson. And 4 rounds after that, they drafted Ken Holland. Mix in Carlyle, plus Joel Quenneville displaying up a couple of years later, and apparently enjoying for the late-70s Leafs was the origin story for half the league’s future coaches and GMs.
• Oake introduces the clip of the particular purpose, and it’s a magnificence. Carlyle finds Boudreau at middle ice, the place there are not any Red Wings wherever close to him as a result of no person performed protection within the impartial zone till the 1995 Devils invented it. Boudreau swoops in, masses up and snipes.
• Seriously, he simply stares down his spot after which picks it. Really made that goalie look silly. What a chump.
• We get a fantastic celebration, in that Nineteen Seventies type the place it seems to be like everyone seems to be dangerously near wiping out and also you’re unsure in the event that they’re hugging one another or simply attempting to remain upright. It’s deeply bizarre to see a Leaf who isn’t Wendel Clark sporting 17, however in any other case a fantastic second.
• The solely draw back is we don’t get to see the Wings goalie selecting his jock strap out of the again of the web. Seriously, man acquired lit up like a Christmas tree by a chubby child who’d by no means scored an NHL purpose. Wonder if he ever lived it down.
• Hold on.
• Red Wings goalie … late 70s … not superb … no, it couldn’t be. There’s simply no manner. (Checks field rating.) Oh no.
• The goaltender that Bruce Boudreau scored his very first purpose on was, sure, Jim Rutherford. The exact same man who publicly knifed him almost 5 a long time later.
• Did Rutherford simply play the world’s longest lengthy sport? I dumped throughout him for how he handled Boudreau earlier this week, but when it was truly the fruits of a half-century grudge then I’ll need to rethink issues. As somebody who’s nonetheless seething over rejected fantasy soccer trades from 2004, I’ve to respect the extent of pettiness right here. And be sincere, it’s nearly as good a proof as any you’ve heard all week.
• The broadcast confirms that the goalie is certainly Rutherford, and because it’s a 12 months in the past they rapidly let that cross with out noticing the sense of eerie dread that’s abruptly enveloped the room.
• Next comes the cash shot of the entire video: Us attending to see what Bruce Boudreau regarded like in his early-20s. And it’s superb, precisely the way you’d think about. It’s mainly as in case you took present-day Boudreau and mushed a salad bowl with a wig glued into it on his head. Seriously, in case you’re not taking display screen grabs of the 44-second mark of this video to cheer you up on unhealthy days down the street, I don’t know what to let you know.
• They reiterate that Rutherford gave up six that night time. Or, as this 12 months’s Thatcher Demko calls it, “a solid outing”.
• Boudreau goes proper again to tearing on himself, criticizing his personal skating earlier than one other shot at his defensive sport. Then Oake segues into the subsequent subject by saying “You never forget your first NHL goal, but you can forget where you live,” at which level our clip cuts off. Uh … what? I type of wish to know what the subsequent a part of the phase was. Did they’ve a hidden digital camera on Boudreau wandering round random Vancouver neighborhoods looking for his condominium? I assume we’ll by no means know.
• And that’s it. Good luck to Boudreau in no matter comes subsequent. And good luck to his substitute in Vancouver, Rick Tocchet. For what it’s price, Tocchet made his NHL debut in 1984, one 12 months after Rutherford hung up his skates, so he needs to be protected from any long-term grudges.
Have a query, suggestion, previous YouTube clip, or anything you’d wish to see included on this column? Email Sean at [email protected].
(Photo of Bruce Boudreau: Bob Frid / USA Today)