Humpday Hater Report, 12-27-12
There’s more focus on the WJCs in this week’s Humpday Hater Report, because, in case you didn’t know, there aren’t any NHL games.
Jesper Pettersson hates Boone Jenner
Last week, Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Boone Jenner delivered a punishing hit on Swedish defenseman Jesper Pettersson. The hit was deemed a charge by officials and Jenner was issued a five-minute major. After the incident, Pettersson landed himself out of the World Junior Championships, and Jenner found himself a three-game suspension courtesy of the IIHF.
This seems like an opportune time for the IIHF to take the initiative to suspend Jenner for as long as Pettersson will be out. Itâ€™s something hockey folk have been talking about for quite some time. And who better to dish out such a penalty than the IIHF, THE governing body of the sport.
I know there are some gray areas to this conversation, primarily when such a punishment is appropriate, but when the crime is as blatent as the reports Iâ€™ve seen (granted, I havenâ€™t seen the hit myself), the IIHF (of all people) might want to take that chance, especially considering this is the World JUNIOR Championships. If thereâ€™s a place you want to start grooming future talent to play cleaner hockey, like the NHL has so preached in the past, Iâ€™d look right in front of you.
Canada hates Mike Morreale
In case youâ€™re wondering, Mike Morreale is a staff writer or NHL.com. In his assessment of the World Junior Championship Group B Wednesday, the writer brought back some bad memories for the Great White North.
Morreale gave his predictions of how Group B will finish in the WJC, which started yesterday in Ufa. First, however, he reminded Canadians of how the last few years have gone for their team. The recap began with Canadaâ€™s success, previously winning five-straight titles. But then came the sour reminder that the team lost to the United States in 2010â€™s gold-medal match in Saskatchewan (thatâ€™s Canadian soil for you non-geography people), and the 2011 defeat in the finals at the hands of the Russians in Buffalo (which is neither Canadian or Russian soil for you non-geography people).
But then, the dagger. The 2012 semifinal loss to Russia in Finland marked the low point for Team Canada, which was forced to settle for bronze in the first year they hadnâ€™t made the championship in 11 years. Morreale included the imfamous quote by Russian captain Yevgeni Kuznetsov when he said, â€œWe just won, and that question [of who is the better team] has become clear, so weâ€™re stronger than Canada. Weâ€™re happy Iâ€™m glad that Canada will not win gold this year.â€
Couldnâ€™t get worse for the Canadians, right?
Morrealeâ€™s piece has Canada finishing third in Group B, Russia first, United States second.
NOW it canâ€™t worse for Canada.
The young Latvian star makes the list this week with his being left of his countryâ€™s WJC roster. Girgensons had a share of the Latvianâ€™s lead goal-scoring title last year, and likely wouldâ€™ve been one of the teamâ€™s best forwards this year.
So Girgensons, the Buffalo Sabresâ€™ first round pick in the 2012 draft, will remain with the AHL Rochester Americans.
I havenâ€™t found any reason to leave Girgensons off the roster. If you do, let me know.
Winter Classic Refunds
This has to be embarrassing for the NHL. Since the Winter Classic in (or outside) Detroit has been canceled, the league has kept â€œRefund infoâ€ headline on its Web site. Itâ€™s not just the Winter Classic refund information that is posted, itâ€™s also the All-Star game.
Maybe I missed it, but I couldnâ€™t find the â€œRefund Fanhoodâ€ link anywhere. Iâ€™m sure theyâ€™ll put it up soon.
Yes, I hate the NBA. But thatâ€™s not why I mention the Association today. Letâ€™s get back in our time machines and visit Christmas 2011. The NBA was going through a very similar lockout that the NHL is seeing right now. But how did they handle it? The players and owners treated each other with this new thing called â€œrespect.â€
The NBA lockout was over by mid-December and play resumed Christmas Day, a tradition they started a few years ago.
Speaking of new traditions…
New Years Day
Remember that thing the NHL wanted to start doing every New Years Day? Do you? I donâ€™t. Something about a tire?
The league was so emphatic a few odd years ago when they introduced the Bridgestone Winter Classic that they wanted it to become a New Years tradition.
Howâ€™s that going for you?
Even the aformentioned NBA players and owners managed to put their difference aside to get a deal done in time to keep their new tradition going.
Maybe they shouldâ€™ve called it the non-CBA year Winter Classic.
Drop dead date
Wow. Could there be any less appealing term for a deadline to get a deal struck in order to have a season? Seriously. How morbid does the NHL want this lockout to get?
Personally, I always looked forward to a drop dead date. Or maybe that’s a date with a drop-dead…either way, I’ve had few.
But to get back on topic here, I think the lockout is getting a little over-dramatic. I’m a writer. I have deadlines. Not drop deadlines. That’s just horrid. We’d all be afraid to do anything if we knew we’d drop dead when that time passes and said task has yet been completed.
On the other hand, maybe something so drastic would get the owners and players to strike a deal. But what am I saying? Who are we dealing with here? Mike, wake up and smell the vulcanized rubber.
Iron Horse Taproom hates the lockout
The Washington, D.C., bar just a stone’s throw away from Verizon Center is not in good shape. During the hockey season, the Iron Horse Taproom relies on the Capitals fans coming to and fro games, and coming to watch away games, for much of their business. After all, we know the Wizards aren’t going draw a big crowd.
The establishment’s general manager told the Washington Post Wednesday, “I hate the idea of living and dying because the guys in the NHL canâ€™t make up their mind about how much they want to pay each other.”
These are the people the league and players aren’t thinking about. And that’s something I could go on and on about, how ignorant both sides are being towards their constituents. But I’ve already done that to the point where I’m developing high blood pressure (not confirmed, but suspected), so I’ll stop there.
Easy Pitt fans, not that Dr. Lou. I refer to Mr. New Jersey Devils himself, Lou Lamoriello. The one-time coach/current general manager and longtime listener/first time caller said of the NHL lockout that he was embarrassed for the game in an interview with New Jersey’s The Star Ledger.
“Itâ€™s coming down to the wire right now,” Lamoriello said in the interview. “Weâ€™ve just got to trust the people that are involved. Iâ€™m embarrassed we are where weâ€™re at. Thatâ€™s the best expression I can use.”
Well said, Lou. Well said.
Where is Bettman? Where is Daly? Fehr? Waldo? Any of them? Nowhere to be found this week, that’s where. Why, you ask? Because no progress has been made. No talks to review, no nothing. The closest we came was a rumored phone conversation between Fehr and Daly, but I prefer to get more information than TMZ.
I hope all parties above realize I like finding them (especially you, Waldo). Because it means, in this instance, that something is happening. Even if Bettman is losing his mind, tearing off his shirt and running around meetings biting union representatives, it’s still something.
Well, enough gloom for one week. Hopefully everyone gets through the big snow storms in the area and, maybe, just maybe, we can weather the bigger storm at hand…the lockout.
(See what I did there?)
Again, due to the holiday, next weekâ€™s HHR will be coming out on Thursday.
Until next time, happy hating!