Before Festivus moves on to the feats of strength, I want to get in on the airing of the grievances. This may take a while...
Mike Milbury: How is it that, arguably the worst GM in the history of the NHL, is a talking head on half the hockey games I watch? Giving Milbury a weekly platform is like a having a surgeon who has been defrocked for killing all of his patients as an on-air medical expert. The CBC should be ashamed.
Jim Hughson: We get it, you love the star players. What's that? You've got a great anecdote about one of the Sedins a dry cleaners and a loveable chimp? That's fantastic, but can we please save it for a stoppage in play as I'm trying to watch the game? Oh, uh, fine tell the story, it's not like I'm trying to watch a hockey game here.
Craig Simpson: You may have put up big numbers with the Oil, but you were a failure as a special teams coach and you seem to bring about the same level of insight to the game as my four year old who's mostly interested in the fact that one team wears gloves that are blue.
Trade Rumours: Post-lockout, big trades are about as common as a Vesa Toskala shut-out. Please treat them as such. Better yet, let's put a moratorium on trade speculation until the week before the trade deadline and the week before the draft - that's the only time deals really happen.
The Complete Lack of NHL Transparency/Accountability: It's time for the refs to stand at a podium post-game each night. The guys in the war-room too. Is it too much to ask for the rules on video review and goal scoring to be explained to the fans?
"Duh" Sports Headlines: The National Post is currently telling me that Phil Kessel is looking for points against the New York Islanders. Stop the freakin' presses! I thought Kessel was looking to register for a new place setting or maybe hoping his mum sees him on TV. Same goes for stories about players "hoping to bounce back." Headlines like that might be news if there were actual cases out there of players who are looking to continue their downward spiral, keep that slide going a few more games. Well I'm at it, no more "Gentle Giant" stories about hockey pugilists that are teddy bears at heart...
Don't Tell Me What Athletes are "Thinking": Whenever I watch a game, the PBP or colour guy will invariably comment on what a player was thinking on a given play. "Stempniak was obviously thinking about how much time is left on the clock there..." Really?!? How the hell do any of us know what Stempniak is thinking? For all we know, poor Mr. Stempniak may be thinking that his hockey gloves stink more than usual tonight or that he's hoping he doesn't have to sit next to Wallin on the bus ride to the airport or that maybe he can force a pass through six guys to make a play...
Cap Space isn't moving for high draft picks: Tell me the last time a bad contract was traded straight-up for a meaningful pick? It doesn't happen. Between waivers and the KHL, GMs are loathe to move assets to cover a mistake. Somehow, despite the fact that these trades are about as common as Mike Milbury making a salient point, the media will file bi-weekly stories between the Olympics and the trade deadline on how teams with cap space will be looking to take-on bad contracts in return for a high draft pick.
Draft Day Confabulation: Any moron with a dial-up connection and the ability to type "NHL Draft 2007" can make a list of all the misses made by various teams. If you're going to do that, give me some context - what other teams missed, how did other teams do at the draft table? What's the average games played for the players drafted by the team in question? You know what, I'm putting a new rule on the table: if you want to criticize past drafts, you have to put up your draft selections, in order, for the first three rounds at least 24 hours before draft day. No list, no complaints, no smart assed columns and no annoying twitter feeds.
The Winter Olympics: A horribly corrupt, profiteering global multinational organization that's only interested in maximizing profits and protecting their brand at all costs and I'm supposed to get on board? Canuck please. I'll watch the hockey, but the rest of these so-called sports bore me. Is there a verb stronger than bore? Let me put it this way: if aliens landed on earth and carried some horrific virus that only affected winter Olympic athletes, I don't know that I'd bother to follow the story. But thanks CTV for cramming all those ads down my throat for the last 8 months. That's given me all sorts of viewing pleasure.