The Edmonton Oilers made a very surprising change in leadership today. Here’s why.

10: Learning new names is hard.
9: Hiring people already familiar with Edmonton traffic will allow them to concentrate more on their  jobs and less on the commute.
8: Katz hates to have his expectations brought up and then have reality fall short.
7: Hiring people already familiar with Edmonton traffic will allow them to concentrate more on their jobs and less on the commute.
6: All the people who might be good at the job laughed when they heard Kevin Lowe was staying.
5: The move was part of the organizations green initiative, they even still had the nameplates, business cards, and parking signs from the last tour of duty for Mactavish and Howe’s names on them. Reduce, reuse, recycle.
5: Learning new names is hard.
4: They want a level playing field for the Battle Of Alberta going forward.
3: Making she Rick Nash didn’t end up in their lineup was the number one priority.
2: When they eventually trade Eberle and Hall they want to be sure fans don’t recognize any of the players they get back without extensive research.
2: All the people who might be good at the job laughed when they heard Kevin Lowe was staying.
1: Team leadership wanted to keep their commitment to making a splash at playoff time.

This season the Buffalo Sabres were expected by many to challenge for the very last Northeast Division title. The Boston Bruins were expected by most to fight like hell to win the division again. So far the Sabres have fired a head coach, declared open season on their roster, and wallowed around the bottom of the division and conference. The Bruins have missed out on acquiring future hall of fame inductee Jarome Iginla, traded away a world class goaltender the front office alienated, and had the decided displeasure of a rear view on the Montreal Canadien’s for much of the season.

Disclaimer;

You can seriously injury yourself, destroy property, or even die even if your participation in this drinking game is nothing more than water. If you should happen to do something incredibly idiotic and entertaining during this drinking game that makes it to Youtube, TextsFromLastNight or other fun sites; do send a link. It won’t make your life better, but I’ll get a laugh too. No one is responsible for the stupid you commit but you. Enjoy!

 

Take 1 Drink Whenever:

  • Lindy Ruff is mentioned
  • Jordan Leopold or other former members of the Sabres are mentioned.
  • The word “lethargic” is applied to either team.
  • The size of Zdeno Chara, Tyler Myers, Nathan Gerbe, or Tyler Ennis is mentioned.

Take 2 Drinks Whenever:

  • Sidney Crosby is mentioned.
  • Jarome Iginla is mentioned.
  • An announcer uses “shakeup” in discussing either teams problems.
  • The Lucic/Miller collision is mentioned.
  • Someone says they don’t like an officials call.

Take 3 Drinks Whenever:

  • Someone mentions players needing to wear visors or full cages.
  • Ryan Clowe is mentioned on tv, twitter or radio in connection with the Bruins.
  • Someone says “fire sale”, “wholesale changes”, or “rebuild” about the Sabres.
  • John Scott skates more than 2:25 seconds in a period.

Take 4 Drinks Whenever:

  • Game of Thrones is mentioned or alluded to.
  • Someone makes a trade deadline prediction.
  • Peter Chiarelli or Darcy Regier are mentioned or shown on tv.
  • There is a mention of any teams scouts.

Switch Drinks:

  • Between periods.
  • Whenever Mike Milbury makes the least sense in an intermission.
  • Whenever Doc goes more than four minutes of game play without using; knife, stab, or pitchfork.
  • If Patrick Kaleta, Andrew Ference, John Scott or Shawn Thornton score a goal.

Skip a drink;

  • You start to have faith the Sabres will make the playoffs.
  • You think the Bruins will fall out of the playoffs.
  • You think Liam McHugh is funny.
  • Greg Campbell wins a fight.

 

 

After 170 head coaching changes elsewhere around the league, Darcy Regier (or whoever) finally decided they needed someone else to blame things on. Lindy Ruff is Buffalo Sabres coach no more.

10: They Sabres were winning to many games to have the best possible shot at drafting Seth Jones.

9: Darcy Regier promised Terry Pegula he could easily have a draft as successful a the Sabres 2000 edition.

8: Ruff never told Regier how bad Myers was before the Sabres wrote his current contract.

7: After having yet more misfit toys like John Scott, Steve Ott and Patrick Kaleta dropped on his roster Lindy Ruff used his safeword.

6: Super star defenseman Adam Pardy said he could no longer play on a team coached by Ruff and management had to make a decision.

5: The New York media like John Tortorella’s press conferences better.

4: After careful consultation with Pierre Gauthier it was decided that anyone who failed to say “not it” at the staff meeting would be fired.

3: Terry Pegula finally realized all the whining at the Sabres press conferences wasn’t caused by press audio equipment.

2: It was always in managements plan to fire Ruff when his name rusted off the sign over his parking space.

1: Like George McPhee Regier is dead certain he can keep his boss from noticing how bad at his job he is by firing coaches.

Today NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced all of Novembers games would be wiped out, here’s why:

10:  The regular referees are all working elsewhere now and the only ones available are the ones the NFL had filling in,

9: Games aren’t going to be resumed until the last Rick Nash jersey in Columbus is sold.

8: This isn’t really a lockout, Shanahan put the season on the shelf for a phantom clipping call.

7: With Tuukka Rask injured (again) Jeremy Jacobs won’t allow the season to progress until he has another goalie.

6: Francesco Aquilini finally looked at Roberto Luongo’s contract and said not another game will be played until the dude is gone.

5: Holiday shopping will be a lot easier for Bettman and league ownership if they don’t have to show up for one game a month and be booed.

4: Novembers games were cancelled in retaliation for #ThePlayers offer to appoint Sean Avery their official full time liaison to Mr Bettman.

3: The real reason games were cancelled is NHL broadcasters still can’t tell Jordan and Eric Staal apart and are hoping one goes to pot before the season starts.

2: The owners are waiting for the roofies to kick in on the players.

1: Gary Bettman is still trying to figure out how to explain to his daughter why an industry that has experienced record growth over the last several years in a recession, has a new lucrative tv deal, has had several teams settle their ownership and arena issues, signed overseas content distribution deals, and is drafting players from places professional hockey didn’t exist twenty years ago can justify a lockout even to itself.

10: Watching Gary Bettman attempt to look reasonable is their favorite past time.

9: 29 owners are still laughing over Dennis Wideman’s contract.

8: Gordie Howe has yet to threaten to beat the damn wipppersnapper owners on behalf of the players.

7: One third are busy throwing up after seeing Justin Beiber in Boston Bruins gear, the rest are still asking who Justin Beiber is.

6: The longer they take to handle the CBA the less questions anyone will have to answer about the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.

5: They just can’t wait to see what Proteau, Garroach, and Cox will write next, some of it might not be fit for a bird cage.

4: Without having taken their meds some of them don’t realize it isn’t 2004 any more.

3:  Charles Wang is waiting for the bean counters to decide if it makes more financial sense to have a quarter full arena all season or save money by not buying a years supply of rat poison.

2: The delay is all part of a marketing scheme to keep attention focused on the NHL all off season as a ploy to boost early attendance and ratings in struggling markets.

1: The owners are still looking for a way to have the All Star weekend and playoffs without having the regular season so they don’t have to pay the players at all.

0: Jeremy Jacobs and Mike Illitch have yet to twirl their pinkie rings, glare at the other owners and tell them to sigh or ‘say hello to my little friend”.

 

10: They wouldn’t like”overhyped” stars like Crosby or Ovechkin on their team.

9: As many teams are actually losing money as the media reports.

8: Ovechkin was in good shape at any point this season.

7: All fans from any city are X.

6.87 (Well except Pittsburgh they are all whiny pinkhats with no real knowledge of the sport.)

6: Tony Marinaro, Damon Cox, Kevin Paul Dupont, Tony Gallagher, Adam Proteau, I mean seriously these guys would have you believe that this:

is worse than this:

or this:

and that the NHL is “going backwards” in protecting players.
5: That the NHL is cracking down on head shots because they think its anything other than a way to stave off player lawsuits just like what’s happening in the NFL.
4: That Hart Trophy is a scoring award.
3: That a guy with one of the highest offensive zone starts in the NHL should even be nominated for the Norris,

2: That guys like Subban and Simmonds get booed mostly for being black and not because they are occasionally dicks and playing in the wrong jersey.

1: That the NHL conspires to promote any team, after all a conspiracy needs intelligence, consistency, and believability.

20: The officials healthcare plan doesn’t include vision.

10: Owners know it’s cheaper to lean on Bettman to have calls made to favor their team than it is to pay good teams.

9: European soccer leagues have too high a standard for diving.

8: Kerry Fraser is their idol.

7: Those who can do, those who can’t officiate.

6: The NHL is trying to take the pressure off of NBA officials as the worst in sports.

5: A league that only has five national advertisers can’t be too picky about the people left over from Wal-Mart’s job fairs.

4: #NHLOfficials are more concerned with saving their backsides than calling a good game.

3: Accountability is soooo overrated.

2: If they aren’t seen on tv more times a period than the goalie how will they ever get their big Hollywood break?

1: Hello, my name is Tim Peel.

In a bold and telling move this morning four teams in the National Hockey League did two things together. The first was a conference call that parts of the transcript will be shown in excerpts below, and the second was issue non contact jersey’s to all their remaining players. In a joint conference call in which they did not answer any questions the General Managers of the Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota Wild, Philadelphia Flyers, and Boston Bruins announced an innovation that may allow one or more of the depleted squads to ice their full NHL roster by October.

Chuck Fletcher got the ball rolling with the opening remarks in which he said:

“Coming off of last nights game in which we lost seven to one to the Colorado Avalanche we realized it was time to make a change. We’re not sure it will be permanent, but when the trainers tell you they need time off for carpal tunnel surgery from applying tape and bandages it’s something you have to look at very closely. Worse, one of our interns reported that Bodog has switched from having an over under on our wins for the rest of the season to an over under on the number of players who will be injured, the number is 9.”

Peter Chiarelli continued the call:

“With the significant injuries we have not just here in Boston but in our AHL affiliate, we knew the time for action had arrived. After sitting down with Cam, and finding someone who could find someone who knew where in Buffalo the Jabobs were, we as a leadership group decided we needed to be at the forefront of addressing this issue. In light of the acquisition of Brian Rolston at the deadline, and the pending acquisition of Marty Turco we’d also like to announce two additional innovations. The first is that no one may shoot anything other than wrist shots and backhanders during practice. The second is that we will be issuing nutritional injections to players daily before practice. In partnership with Centrum Silver we think this is a very smart way to aid our athletes in staying at their peak. “

Ken Holland contributed:

Ordinarily we keep this stuff in house, but even ESPN has noticed the injuries this year. Before I go any further I’d like to take the opportunity to quash the rumor that Jimmy Howard is being held out in the hopes of preventing any further injuries between now and the playoffs. This is not true, both myself and Jim Dellevano take great exception too this, Mr Howard is a hockey player and we have enough trouble keeping him off the ice when he’s got a game scheduled off. But to illustrate how bad the injury situation is, in practice yesterday Mr. Ilitch was taking line rushes on the second line, in battle drills he caught Brad Stuart with a good hit that knocked the wind out of our defenseman. This just illustrates the unneeded danger of full contact practices. Last night was the first time I’ve taken a phone call from Chuck and not been laughing at him before it was over. As an organization the Detroit Red Wings brought to you by Amway we think it’s time to push the league in this bold new direction.

Paul Holmgren finished off the call:

“While rumors are being thrashed, I’ve been assured by both Bryzgalov and his agent that he did not in fact loan his map of the woods to Tim Thomas, please don’t blame him. When two original six GM’s call you up to bounce an idea off you, you know it’s either something absurd like banning fighting or something important. Amazingly considering who else was on the call, it was important. I’d like to congratulate the 28 other general managers in the league for not trading one of their contracts and prospects for a single player during deadline madness. On the injury front I’ve gotta say I miss the days when injuries were the result of head shots, spearing or someone who only throws two hits a year driving someone into the board from behind. In those days we had someone to blame and send guys like Sestito after. Now with these idiot high sticks taking out our captain, and god knows how many groin strains and concussions from running into teammates its just a pile of bullshit. No one to blame, no one is taking responsibility.”

This is certainly an unexpected move on the part of these NHL clubs. One can only wonder if this was done jointly to lower the chances any one of them would get reamed by the likes of Mike Milbury and Don Cherry for further wimpification of the game.

As if deadline day weren’t enough excitement to drain the hockey world of all emotion for everything until the playoffs start, it appears there are changes in order for the way the greatest game on the planet is played. The sharp eyes as the The Black and Blue Blog (@BlackBlueBlog) of the USHL’s Lincoln Stars spotted and retweeted the spoiler:

 

The official NBC feed later deleted and replaced it with a tweet indicating hockey as we know it:

Great shot by @. How will the @ respond in the 2nd Period? #NHL
@NHLonNBCSports
NHL on NBC Sports

They even attempted to further confuse the issue, using the oldest trick in the book. They apologized as if it were nothing, then immediately asked a question to change the subject.

@ looks like we called that one wrong we apologize... Who are you rooting for to win tonight? @ or @?
@NHLonNBCSports
NHL on NBC Sports

But I doubt hockey fans will be fooled. Clearly this is all part of a Bettman attempt to sell hockey to soccer moms and basketball fans. Better still three stoppages in play will allow for more sponsorship of intermission shows, still more Geico commercials, and maybe even more interviews with players with a network towel around their neck uttering cliche after cliche.

More as the story develops.