Earlier today, Rebecca from A View From the Cheap Seats and I were guests on Allen Popels' CapitalFantic.com Show. Among the topics we discussed: Chris Clark's extension, qualifying offers for Steve Eminger and Brina Sutherby, the second wave of UFA signings, Michael Wilbon's unprovoked attack on hockey, and of course, Harry Potter. Head on over to Popels' site to listen. I think you'll find that Rebecca and I managed to mostly avoid making fools of ourselves.
I first read about Derek Boogard's offseason hockey fighting camp was over at A View From the Cheap Seats. At the time, I didn't think very much of it, because it kind of makes sense when you think about it, as CapsChick pointed out. But then Eric from Off Wing Opinion wrote this entry over at the FanHouse, in which he says he felt "a sense of revulsion at a very basic level" after seeing this picture. To which my response is, of course, "Why?"
Eric admits, at the top of the entry, that "[i]t's not often that I find myself in the same corner as critics of fighting in the NHL." As a proponent of keeping the fighting in hockey, he asserts that it is a part of the sport. The question, then, is what is so bad about the image of two young kids going at it with boxing gloves if it is okay to expose them to images of two grown men pummeling each other in a bare-knuckle fight? I am generally not someone to ascribe violence in young people to the violence that they see on TV, but that is because I generally have enough respect for most children to assume that they can tell the difference between the fictional violence they see on the screen and what is acceptable in real life. The fighting in hockey is undeniably real (just ask Todd Fedoruk) and, if you ask most hockey fans, it is not only acceptable, but encouraged. So why not let the kids join in? Especially, in this case, if it's going to be a dumbed down version of a real hockey fight where the players are wearing boxing gloves and have a NHL player twice their size close at hand to intervene if anything gets out of hand.
I agree with Eric, in that I, too, was rather disturbed by the picture. Unfortunately, as long as the NHL continues to embrace the sideshow fights as a "part of the sport", situations like Boogard's camp are the sorts of things that are a completely logical offshoot.
I don't know how many KHFC reader(s) also read that little site called Deadspin, but I nevertheless feel compelled to make you aware of the impending Washington DC Deadspin Pants Party, if only because my good friend and one-time collaborator, is organizing it. Also, because there will be drinking. Lots and lots of drinking. And I, for one, don't want to be the only hockey fan amongst this particular crowd of
dipsomaniacs inveterate drunks.
So, you know, check your schedules and such, and do try to make it out to RFK on August 4. I mean, you were already planning on going anyway, seeing as how it's Thomas Jefferson Bobblehead Night.
It is amazingly frustrating coming home every night to find that your computer and the internet are still fighting. Over the past two weeks or so, I've missed out on a chance to regale you with my opinions on so many things, that it would be rather fruitless for me to try to catch up all in one post. So here goes...
The Draft - I thought McPhee did a good job. Especially with Karl Alzner, whom I am rather excited about.
Free Agency - I thought McPhee did a good job. As someone who had relentlessly (and only somewhat tongue-in-cheek-edly) insisted to anyone who would listen that the Caps absolutely needed to sign Sheldon Souray regardless of the cost, I was really impressed with the way McPhee handled everything. Frankly, I didn't see a single contract handed to any of the "big" names that looked like it was actually worth the money/cap space. (That said, Souray has supposedly signed with the Oilers, so for all I know, he may already actually be a Washington Capital.) Especially now that the Penguins and SC have set the bar at close to $9mil/year for Ovechkin's salary negotiations.
Rookie Camp - Ummm... a bunch of guys who are all, frighteningly, younger than I am skated around at KCI. I, meanwhile, had to work my awful retail job. Good times.
The KHFC Whipping Boy - Daniel Briere's face has been staring at me almost even longer than the dramatic chipmunk's, so I figured it was time for a change. The new KHFC Whipping Boy is none other than Edmonton Oilers' GM Kevin Lowe, for making the whole Nylander situation needlessly complicated. Congratulations, Mr. Lowe!
The Schedule - The NHL, as you know, released the 2007-08 schedule. The season will open with the Anaheim Ducks hosting the LA Kings. In London. England. I can't possibly imagine why the NHL would do something like this aside from "because that's what those foozeball guys are doing".
But more importantly, and more to the point, the Caps schedule is out which means I can safely announce the 2007-08 season's first...
Caps Bloggers Happy Hour!
October 5th, 2007
Seriously though, I don't suppose I need to tell you to mark your calendars for the Caps' season opener. Just make sure you put a little note next to the mark that reminds you to check back here so you know where to go to meet all your fellow Caps fans. Unlike all the previous incarnations of the CBHH, I'm thinking about possibly making this one a simple party at somebody's house, rather than an excursion to an alcohol-serving establishment. Because I feel that the first night of hockey season should be enjoyed away from the prying eyes of all the jackasses at the bar who would rather we turn on a football game. If anyone of my loyal reader(s) would like to volunteer their home (or somebody else's), or has any better ideas, the e-mail address is koreilly (at) gmail (dot) com. (I may also try to organize a pre- and/or post-game CBHH the following night for the home opener, assuming nobody does anything crazy like book a private room at Clyde's.)
That's all for now. Thanks to a still-occasionally-shaky internet connection and a general apathy towards offseason news, you can expect this blog to go back to it's stunning, post-a-minute pace you've come to expect over the summer.