Paul Allen Proudly Endorses:
|WEDS., JUNE 19 (subject to change)|
OPEN: AARON GLEEMAN IN-STUDIO
|9:20: aarongleeman.com stays|
9:33: COREY CHAVOUS joins
|9:55: more with draftnasty.com|
|10:20: RICK ANDERSON twins pitching coach|
|10:33: SPORTS ESSENTIALS/TREVOR MBAKWE|
|10:53: MARNEY GELLNER FSN IN-STUDIO|
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We celebrate the 1983 Wayzata Club Hockey Team and one of its stars, Jonny "The Mouse" Mikkelson, who once told me "Our team was so good the varsity wouldn't play us." When asked why he didn't play varsity Mouse said, "Too little." Cutest ever. So, we salute the greatest Club Hockey Team ever, a squad so vaunted even Jim Craig's Miracle team wanted nothing to do with it. Trottier, Bossy, Gretzky, Messier ... dead! Long live the 1983 Wayzata Club Hockey team!
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NHL DRAFT B/B ...
Even though we are closer to the 4th of July than Memorial Day, the NHL is still extremely intriguing to hard-core hockey fans. The playoffs have been outstanding. The Cup final is shaping up to be a classic with two classic, old-school squads. Two of the best uniforms in hockey too. Once the Finals are over, the much-anticipated NHL draft is next. Well, it’s probably as anticipated as the new phone books arriving at your house in that plastic bag which 98% of people just toss it into the recycling bin, but I digress….
That leaves Halifax Moosehead Nathan MacKinnon going to the hockey hotbed Florida Panthers. Me and my hockey-playing buddies have gone to visit Halifax for the past 8 years. Through business and friendships with Moosehead owner Bobby Smith (yes, former North Star Bobby Smith), we go up to Halifax, play against Moose coaching staff, trainers, and yes owner. We get our butts kicked. Hitting many of the local watering holes, golf, boat rides, more watering holes and going to Moosehead games is included. The Mooseheads got to the QMJHL finals against Sid the Kid back in ’05. Then got really bad. Then, through multiple trades, this year Bobby Smith got the Mooseheads to win the “Q”, then the coveted (well, in Canada anyway) Memorial Cup. Nathan MacKinnon being the main reason (hat trick in final game.) Smith traded 3 first-rounders for MacKinnon. Worth every penny. Projected to go right after the Shattuck-St. Mary product MacKinnon will be Jonathan Druin. He will go to Tampa Bay. I have seen these guys play in person and they’ve been jaw-droppingly good. (yea, I even have a #22 MacKinnon Moosehead t-shirt…)
I would love to see Chuck Fletcher make a move to get the 2nd pick, but it would cost the farm. The Wild don’t have the farm. It won’t happen. So, long story longer, you have read it here first. Nathan MacKinnon will be the best player in the NHL in a few years. The thing that sucks is it will be for a team nobody cares about, the freaking Florida Panthers.
(I’m guessing this will be the only NHL draft-related material on this website. PA, if you were going to break this down too, I apologize…)
Friday evening's game against San Diego is the ever-important third preseason game, and the starters will play into the second half. This is the final crack for some to establish identity and win spots on the final 53. The defensive-backs scenario is quite intriguing to me.
Off last year when we finished with 50 sacks but had a stretch of like 11 consecutive ganes sans a pick the secondary needs to be deep and rich with hope and talent. I'd keep 11 back there, which is one more than most teams. I don't want guys to get hurt and have to find the BENNY SAPP'S of the world just to fill spots. Nah, let's build from within and keep 11 on the final 53. Here are the guys I have in under this premise:
WINFIELD, COOK, ROBINSON, CARR, SHERELS and BOWMAN at corner. SMITH and RAYMOND will start at safety and there's no way they'll cut BLANTON because they dig him even as he mends his hurt hammy. So, that means FRAMPTON, SANFORD and SENDEJO are playing for two spots. BRANDON BURTON is a CB they might keep but that Bowman is a veteran and Sherels can return punts indicates to me BB may be in some trouble. Not totally sure on that, though.
Sendejo has outplayed Frampton and Sanford through two, but Jamarca is very well respected for his special-teams play. Frampton led the team in special-teams tackles last year but has zero chance to help at safety if we incur myriad injuries. Jamarca is more of a swing safety and that most likely will help him stay alive.
Sendejo has been terrific this preseason and insiders tell me it'll be very hard to release him. So, does that mean 37 is gone? I very much hope not because he's one of the classiest pro athletes I have met in my 11 years calling games for this team. Tough nut to crack this safety thing. But the business aspect of our game very much is in play Friday night because somebody will be relocating in a few weeks.
The first offense has yet to be stopped, registering three field goals and a TD. That's definitely a positive step and closing on some more six-point plays would be cool Friday night. I want to see KYLE RUDOLPH body up to somebody in the end zone and haul in a score against San Diego. His preseason has been awesome and this kitty needs to be fed in the end zone.
It'll be fun after this game starting to machinate on the final 53 because there will be some tough decisions to be made. They'll have an extra roster spot the first three weeks due to JEROME SIMPSON'S suspension, but after that DEVIN AROMASHODU or STEPHEN BURTON could be goners.
And are we set at QB yet? Will JOE WEBB back up CP? Will it be SAGE? If they expose MBT to the practice squad I wuld not be surprised if he is acquired by another team as a third QB. Fun stuff for those in our world.