November 18, 2014

Still Bitter About Lou Nanne

I don't understand the fascination with Lou Nanne.  Sure, he seems like a nice guy to have a beer with and talk puck, but every time I hear him on the radio he spouts forth opinions and facts that I don't agree with.  His sells himself as plugged-in with the NHL and its executives, but I reckon he'd only be able to speak in general terms about the game we both love.  And while I am sure that he can remember Phil Esposito's cocktail of choice, I'm not so sure that he can methodically break down what is ailing the local hockey club.  Then again, I may be harboring a grudge from his North Star days. (*)

(*) Really Lou?  Brian Lawton over Steve Yzerman, Pat Lafontaine or Tom Barrasso?

November 14, 2014

NHL Relegation

The National Hockey League would be much more interesting if they borrowed a rule from European soccer and relegated the bottom 3 teams in the league every year to the American Hockey League.  Then, they would promote the top 3 teams from the AHL to the NHL.  How exciting would the last day of the regular season be if the Buffalo Sabres needed 1 point in order to stay in the NHL?  How excited would cities like Utica and Worcester be if they got promoted into the NHL?

Of course this is only a pipe dream, but it's fun to think about.

November 13, 2014

Haircuts

I stopped to get a haircut the other day at a national haircut chain that rhymes with Late Butts.  I had been there before, so all I had to do was give my phone number and they were able to access my name and the type of haircut I had received the last time I was there.  "This is pretty sweet," I thought as I sat down in the haircut chair.

Before the haircutting gown was draped over me, my stylist immediately started in with "So....what are you up to today?"  I replied and she then went into several questions related to the weather, what my occupation was, did I have BIG plans for the weekend and so forth.

I am not a chatty guy; this isn't the stylist's problem.  I enjoy good banter with friends, family and co-workers and a bit of small talk in other instances.  I am ok with answering a few basic questions during a haircut or dental exam, but I don't want to feel like I am a co-host on The View when getting a trim.

Haircut joints such as this one should have a setting listed in their system about how much chatter their customer wants.  Maybe on a 5 point scale, with 5 being very chatty and 1 being virtually quiet.  That way they would know (a) how I want my hair cut and (b) how much to talk when I sit on the chair.

Sorry, rant over.

November 12, 2014

Hockey and Cereal

One of my late night hockey-watching traditions is to consume a big bowl of cereal while I watch the game.  Yes, this is a bit odd, but I do enjoy it.  Cereal and hockey go together for me, especially while watching the west coast games.

Some fancy restaurants feature wine stewards who are specialists at recommending specific wines for particular items of food.  Here I will attempt to pair a cereal to eat with a NHL team so you can best enjoy the experience:

Anaheim Ducks, Captain Crunch Peanut Butter -- the reason behind this is simple: the loud crunching of the cereal will make it hard to hear the annoying ramblings of analyst Brian Hayward.

Arizona Coyotes, Frosted Flakes -- usually a boring team to watch, so I try to enjoy a sweet, sugary cereal to make the game a bit more pleasant.

Vancouver Canucks, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Knock-off Brand -- ok, I can't really think of any clever ways to pair these two, but it's a hell of a cereal.

Los Angeles Kings, Froot Loops -- the amount of brain-dead celebs in attendance makes this cereal seem appropriate. 

Edmonton Oilers, Raisin Bran -- each year this cereal makes the claim that there are two scoops of raisins in each box, but this promise never holds true.

October 30, 2014

FSN Rant

Riddle me this, Wild fans:  With the team willing to spend big money for free agents (Zach Parise, Ryan Suter) and also willing to sign its young players (Jonas Brodin, Charlie Coyle) to healthy extensions, why does the Fox Sports North continue to employ mediocre talent when it comes to the television crew?  I watch plenty of hockey and I can tell you that the Wild's TV team of Anthony LaPanta and Mike Greenlay are not at the top of their profession. 

San Jose is a good example.  Their TV crew last season was one of my favorites to listen to.  Same goes for St. Louis...Darren Pang is a terrific analyst.  Short of Washington's Joe Benanati, I can't think of a less desirable TV duo than what are employed here.  Hell, even the Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament last spring had a huge upgrade in the booth.

Granted, I'm not completely sure how this works.  LaPanta is employed by FSN, but I'm sure if the Wild were to insist on a change, FSN would have to listen.  By all accounts, LaPanta is a decent local guy, but it's embarrassing from a national perspective to have him at this level.  It would be akin to starting Adam Hauser in net.  Good guy, too big of a role.

The Xcel Energy Center is a top-notch facility.  By all accounts the team employs great people, top to bottom.  I only wish they would take a long, hard look at the TV side of things next season and try and bring in someone more suited to broadcasting the National Hockey League.

October 2, 2014

No One Watching?

Bringing Nate Prosser back makes as much sense as grabbing a half-eaten bismark out of the garbage and taking another bite.  George Costanza notwithstanding, not Chuck Fletcher's best moment.

October 1, 2014

NHL Center Ice Complaint

I subscribe every year to NHL Center Ice on DirecTV; my winters would not be the same without being able to watch hockey virtually every night during the season.  I do also enjoy being able to choose between the home and road team's television feeds.  This comes in handy when I want to watch a Washington Capitals' game and want to avoid listening to Joe Benanati.

Having said that, the package rarely features high-definition broadcasts of games that take place in Canada.  I thoroughly like watching games produced in Canada, but in order to do so I usually have to watch the standard-definition feed and that really sucks.

Why is this?  I'm assuming there is some legal reason, but it doesn't make sense to me.  I would love to watch the late HNIC game in HD, but that hasn't been possible in past years.