Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tradgedy in the North

It is horrifying to have to report that Rick Rypien passed away last night.  Rypien was twenty-seven at the time of his death. No cause of death has been released, only the thought that his death was sudden.  Rypien had just recently signed a contract with the Winnipeg Jets after playing six years in Vancouver.

Every person comes to a point in their life where they must realize that their career in sports is ending.  For most people that moment comes early in life.  A select few have the privilege of playing professional sports.  Yet there is a crushing moment for these individuals as well, in every athletes life they must realize their limitations.  Not every person who plays professional hockey will not be Wayne Gretzky.  In fact, many professional athletes will never even gain the title of worst player in their sport, a title although dreaded, also usually means their was an extended career.  This actualization can be debilitating for some people, especially when they have family in sports. 

I bring to you a poem by A.E. Housman that hopefully holds true to Rick.
The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

To-day, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.

Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields were glory does not stay
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.

Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears:

Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.

So set, before its echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.

And round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl's.


Thursday, August 4, 2011


Robin Zander once sang "Mommy's alright, Daddy's alright, they just seem a little weird."  In the case of the Predators fan, David Poile is daddy.  As of right now, it looks like David Poile has had the worst off season in Predators history.  To recap:

Our rfa's never got there qualifying offers.
Come July first the predators did not sign a single free agent.
Not only did we not sign any free agents, but we lost Marcel Goc, Shane O'brien, Joel Ward, Steve Sullivan, Mark Dekanich, and J.p. Dumont.
Cody Franson and Matt Lombardi were traded to Toronto for Brett Lebda and Zack Sortini
The only signing has been an AHL d-man.
Finally, Shea Weber not only made it to arbitration, but Poile put in a 4.75 million dollar offer.

This all looks bad, it does, but in all honesty, it just looks that way.  All of the rfa's were resigned to deals before their arbitration dates.  Every free agent that signed on July first was dramatically overpaid.  Marcel Goc was a loss, and was only slightly over paid, but his loss unclogs the log jam that was the Predators center situation.  As far as the players being lost, only O'brein, Ward and Franson were regulars in the line up this year.  The low ball offer was simple strategy.  You have to put in a low ball offer if you want to balance out the opposing high ball offer.  So honestly, it looks a lot worse then it actually is.  The line up has questions, especially on the blue line, but we have the deepest defense core in the league, with three or four guys who are suppose to be NHL ready.  And the future has questions, will the big three sign long term, where are we going as a team, will we win a cup?  Those will be answered in time, but for right now, this season looks full of promise.  Worry if you will, but know that in a contract year we see the best in players, and we have a lot of players in their contract years.