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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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“If respect for the guy between you and the boards isn’t enough to stop you from running him, maybe what will be is the fear of the retribution that is sure to follow.” –Bobby Orr
This is an excerpt from the great Bobby Orr’s book, the chapter on fighting in hockey. I am not writing about actual fighting in hockey, but violence in hockey. If your worst enemy was standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon, would you push him over the edge?
No. Even if you hate somebody, you more than likely respect them enough as a human being not to push them down a cliff. I am disappointed in the lack of respect of players in hockey, mainly the NHL. There have been some recent cheap-shots in the NHL resulting in fines and suspensions. Even though it didn’t result in an injury (or so we think right now, who knows if it will re-surface), but the one that pisses me off the most is the James Neal kneeing incident at Boston against Brad Marchand. http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/james-neal-gets-nhl-phone-hearing-bit-joke-211433123--nhl.html Neal’s quote was “I haven’t seen the replay of anything. I hit him in the head with my leg or my knee or my shin. He’s already going down. I guess I need to try to avoid him,” said Neal.
This is bush league. James Neal is a very good hockey player, but should have gotten 20 games for this, not 5. (I say this even though he’s on my fantasy hockey team) In the same game, Bruin thug Shawn Thornton slew-footed Penguins Brooks Orpik, then kept beating his head into the ice causing the stretcher to come out.
There are other incidents being looked at by the league, but these d-bags need to start respecting their opponents. You can hate them all you want, but you NEED to respect them. They are your peers. I recently heard Doc Emrick talking about player respect, and hope this message gets through. With the newer equipment technology, players are feeling invincible. In a sport that sometimes needs to be policed by the players, the police need to know what they’re doing. Even in the wake of the nationally known tragedy of the Jack Jablonski hit, you still see players hitting players from behind into the boards. I remember when I was young, the normal penalties were tripping, hooking, elbowing, charging……etc… The one penalty that you rarely saw, and when you did it was a major penalty, was boarding. I reffed hockey for 8 years, and “boarding” was the cardinal sin. A major penalty. Now, boarding is a 2-minute minor. WHY?
I will also say on the other side, players need to do a better job avoiding these hits. Don’t stand 3 feet from the boards with your head down. When you ride a motorcycle on the freeway, you have to expect every car to potentially cut you off. You need to ride defensively. Same as being on the ice. You have to keep your head up, be aware of what’s going on, be aware that anybody at any time can run you into the boards. Play aggressive but play defensive.
Watch Zach Parise play. When he’s near the boards, he’s ready to be hit. He prepares for it. These cheap, near the boards incidents occur not only in the NHL, but at the youth level as well. Kids don’t start checking until the bantam level, which I think is too late. Junior High-aged kids get to check for the first time? Trouble!
I have gone in many directions here, but the bottom line is the players need to respect other players. There’s a reason why players shake hands after games, it’s to show respect. Players need to quit playing and acting so reckless and respect the great game of hockey. I HATE having to write negative things about my favorite sport, but felt a need to at this time.
At first blush the RB TRENT RICHARDSON trade to Indy in front of our game v. the Browns for a 2014 first-round pick looks like a steal of a deal for the Colts, but I am not completely sure of that. More analysis of the trade in a hot tick.
This game between winless teams Sunday at MOA Field better be loser-proof for the Vikings. If the Browns find a way to zip down the field and score on the opening drive our crowd will be very, very unhappy. Add the trade to the fact Cleveland is using third-string QB BRIAN HOYER fans absolutely expect a win, and if they don't get it the noise will be 2011 loud when the squad went 3-and-13.
I expected the Vikings to win with Richardson on their team, and even if they dust off WILLIS MCGAHEE or use back-up BOBBY RAINEY (zero carries this year) this is the first game on the final season at MOA Field and off a one-point loss at Chicago where despite the setback the team came together positively in several ways (OL, JENNINGS, kick return, etc.)
I think the deal between Cleveland and Indy is a win-win, even though fantasy-football nation will think the Browns totally got ripped off. I like but don't love Richardson, who is not super fast and is more of a grinder. Too, I was told by multiple sources today his pass protection leaves much to be desired, and their QB BRANDON WEEDEN was getting slaughtered.
In moving Richardson for the Colts 2014 first-round pick I think it's an indicator the Browns want two first-round cracks at a 2014 draft I keep hearing is stocked with quality quarterbacks. Yep, I think the Weeden trick is up and, actually, that his thumb injury may keep him out more than just this game.
Richardson only has averaged more than 3.6 YPC once his last eight games, and even though he caught 51 passes last year he didn't do it for much YAC or YPR and only scored one receiving TD. As the Colts go they clearly love the move, the fan base will dig it and from a spalshy standpoint will win the battle for public approval. Perhaps Cleveland's OL has much to do with that and that the passing game has been anemic for years plays into Richardson's meager numbers the last eight, but JOE BANNER, who runs the Browns, is a crafty cat, and I have a feeling he knows exactly what he's doing.
The Browns now have two first-round cracks at a new QB but also clear salary-cap space to do some damage in free agency. Trent will help the Colts because he's good and their new OC PEP HAMILTON wants to grind the ball, but Trent is not as dominating as people think, and I like this deal for many reasons for both sides.
Of course it helps the Vikings chances to win Sunday because Richardson is better than what they will throw out there, and we have allowed 463 total yards to RBs the last two games. But stupid as it may sound there are two things against which to guard -- overconfidence because Cleveland is using a no-name QB and Richardson was peddled, and the London trip is the talk of Winter Park and everybody involved already are making plans to acquire Pounds, call credit-card companies, make travel plans and get squared away.
The hope is from 0-and-2 they all are totally focused on the Browns game with the England trip on the horizon. HC LESLIE FRAZIER conceded he is mentioning things to the players to keep them on task but, too, is cognizant of the potential distraction.
Another good thing for us this weekend is the trade-related distraction the Browns are facing. Richardson reportedly left the teams' facility without chatting with the coach and has to have some very close friends on the team and players who will question the approach of the team. Players don't care about draft picks and the future, they care about the now and Ricardson helps them more now than McGahee or Rainey.
Let's turn this bad boy around beginning Sunday against a Cleveland team with a rock-solid front seven, a star CB in JOE HADEN and a trade-related distraction the size of the 'dome. Let's celebrate a win when we 'Montage on Monday. #Faith