Sunday, October 12, 2008
Player Sites & More
From Tibbs, there's an article in the Ottawa Citizen where former Devil Mike Jefferson/Danton is pleading to Ken Dryden to get transferred to Canada. I'm not really going to speculate over the legal reasons here or why the Canadian government hasn't approved it whereas the American government has. What worries me is that he intends to find a job in the NHL. Any team in the league thinking about it should talk to Lou first. He's had to deal with him twice. While I understand (and sympathize) that some of it was at the behest of the deplorable David Frost, we're talking about the guy who gave the world the following quote: "I'm not drinking Lou's Kool-Aid anymore."
While some have taken that line and ran with it (which I endorse), it definitely reflected poorly on Danton. He was assigned to the minor league (which is, I think, when Danton made the statement) and suspended for the whole season for not reporting. He was eventually traded for little to St. Louis and didn't do anything of note there in terms of hockey. If he's grown up quite a bit and sorted out a lot of his personal problems such that he won't be an issue in the locker room, maybe. But I have my doubts. The tribulations of Mike Danton have been well examined in depth by the CBC, and summarized well by Buffalo weekly Artvoice (from 2006) if you want to read more about this mess of a situation. According to Mirtle, Frost is going to on trial soon under sexual explotation charges. Expect more of his saga to come out and expect it to be more messed up than it already is.
To end this on a much lighter note, check out this post at the Slap Shot blog at the NY Times of which I must disagree with. Consider Jeff Hale's post about Roberto Luongo being named captain of the Canucks. He mentions calls the lack of a "C" on Luongo's jersey to be silly - I don't see how as he can't be the captain on the ice - and brings up an example of a referee conferinng with him about a call. Of course he went to Luongo in that case, the call involved him. The reason why the rules are what they are because goaltenders who had the C would go to great lengths to talk things out with the referee and therefore delay the game and give their team an extra break. Bill Durnan did this with Montreal in the 1940s and it's what drove this change. If Hale's idea of "common sense and imagination" to allow goalies to be captains is for refs to go to the goalie, it will only serve to delay the game with longer stoppages in play. I don't see why the NHL would go for this just for Luongo.
That he brings up Martin Brodeur is interesting, as he's an example of being a leader without being denoted as such. You don't need a C to lead. And even if the Canucks find success with this, I don't see a reason to anticipate an increase in goaltenders who are captains. Durnan was one of only 7 goalies who were captain back when it was allowed, and who else other than Brodeur can be considered a leader on their team? Just because a goalie may be the best player or the foundation of the team's roster doesn't necessarily make them worthy of a "C." Do they motivate the team? Do they relate well between the rest of the players and the coach? How do they handle the locker room? Captains have to deal with these things as well. As it stands, if the Canucks feel Luongo is a leader, he can certainly be one without a "C." I don't see a reason for the NHL to change their rules.