Here we are in the dog days of summer when it comes to hockey. The draft and the bulk of unrestricted free agency have passed us by, yet we must continue to feed the beast.
Thankfully, the hockey world continues to whet our appetites by providing us with more than the occasional tidbit on which to chew. With that in mind, here is our first summer installment of News and Views:
News: The Chicago Blackhawks essentially fire GM Dale Tallon, then team president John McDonough says the following: “We’re really going to need Dale going forward. We’re really going to need him.”
Views: Why not just tell it like it is? Tallon represents ties back to the Bill Wirtz era in Chicago and McDonough has worked tirelessly to rid the organization of any vestiges of Wirtz since he became the boss. It had nothing to do with restricted free agent fiascos for which Tallon wasn’t responsible, nor did it have anything to do with ill-advised free agent signings Tallon was against in the first place.
News: Former NHL enforcer Ken Belanger plans to hold the first NHL Tough Guy Tour in Sault Ste. Marie later this summer. The purpose of the event is to raise awareness for an anti-bullying campaign. So far, Belanger has invited Bob Probert, Marty McSorley, Stu Grimson, Wendel Clark, Troy Crowder, Dave Schultz, Tiger Williams, Dennis Bonvie and Billy Smith.
Views: Related events include a seminar from Bruce McNall and William Del Biaggio focusing on honesty and integrity in sports management; Alan Eagleson on the ethics of sports representation; Brian Burke on smiling; and Dustin Penner on battling for pucks in the corner.
News: Tampa Bay co-owner Len Barrie is told by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to come up with $10 million by Friday to cover his share of the team’s projected losses for the fiscal year and provide a financial cushion for the team.
Views: That’s all? Something tells me Barrie might want to line up a little more than $10 million. At least that explains why last spring he went behind co-owner Oren Koules’ back in a cash call that attempted to recruit investors at $5 million a pop.
News: Sergei Zubov, Manny Fernandez and Petr Sykora headline the players who are still available as unrestricted free agents this summer.
Views: Sergei Zubov, Manny Fernandez and Petr Sykora headline the players who will be squeezed into short-term deals for less money this summer.
News: Someone purporting to be Sidney Crosby launches a bogus scheme to raise money in his name through MySpace.
Views: Anyone who would blindly donate money through MySpace on the assumption they were going to get a signed Sidney Crosby stick for some charity they know nothing about probably has more money than brains and, therefore, deserves to lose his/her money.
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Ken Campbell, author of the book Habs Heroes, is a senior writer for The Hockey News and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog will appear regularly in the off-season and Fridays and his column, Campbell’s Cuts, appears Mondays.
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