“The real problem is not that we are different, nor that we disagree and have conflict. It's that most of us automatically view conflict as something negative rather than as a tool God can use to help us better understand ourselves and one another.

--Robert Ricciardelli”

Monday, January 15, 2007

Hockey News...and a rant...

First...the rant...

What can we say about the All Star Game?... It’s a lot of hoopla for very little punch. And…well…that about sums it up. I actually live in Dallas, and cannot go because of the scheduling.

Played during the week, instead of on the weekend, means there will be an attendance drop. And, attendance drops are not what the greatest game on earth needs right now. Better television coverage—which could be done with the higher definition cameras used by the NFL and etc.—would be a big plus. But, cutting back on audience appeal isn’t the way to do it.

The scheduling as bad enough this year as it was last year. I would love to see some Eastern Conference games. I would even settle for seeing some Eastern games on TV in the NBC coverage this year. I won’t. What coverage there is all regional. So, I get to see the same teams—again. It’s boring seeing the same teams all year long.

I’m all for cutting travel costs. I understand the logic of the schedule. But, from an audience appeal standpoint, it’s suicide. The lockout was bad enough in terms of ruining people’s opinion of the game. The same thing happened to the NBA, MLB and so on. It was a given. And, while the new CBA has helped in terms of the bottom line, it is killing the game in terms of attendance. And, as the Dodge commercial said…”Now that can’t be good!”

OK…I’ll let my rant subside…for now…

In other league ruining events, the Blackhawks are screaming that they want video review after losing in a shootout. I bet Buffalo is still upset about the overtime goal that gave the Stars the Cup, too. The problem is how that would slow down the game. The speed, scoring and checking are what make the game appealing. Yeah, sure there are calls that should go the other way. There probably always will be, too. But video review? PLLLEEEAASSSSE! NNNNOOOO!!!

This has really been an injury filled year. The Hockey News has the lists of who is out in the East and the West.

On the subject of injuries, do the Stars still have anyone left to play? Here is a rundown on their rookie lineup. It’s a pretty good crop. Of course, the Stars have always been good at drafting new talent. They just always seem to trade it away for current hopes. Well, they are finally having to rely on that talent. The problem is, with all the injuries, they may face the same salary and free agent issues Pittsburgh did with their young players.

Meanwhile, in the ECAC, Norwich Coach Mike McShane got suspended for complaining about the officiating. From what I’ve read, he may actually have been right! I’ve been there. I actually got fired as a volunteer coach for the way I reacted after some of my players got hurt and nothing was done. At the same time, I’ve been an official in the local men’s leagues. Having been on both sides, I take a much different stance towards coaches now. I also coach much differently. My advice to McShane? Go ref for a while in the local leagues. You’ll see the game a lot differently from behind the bench.