In which I’m not completely turned off of hockey. Leafs, don’t kill it.

I’ve been a Toronto Maple Leafs fan for ages. Don’t ask, because I don’t know. I grew up watching the games–you know, back when the team had names like Clark, or Sundin, or Tucker on the roster. I’ve seen them play actually good postseason hockey. Hell, I’ve seen them actually make the postseason. But in recent years, I quit the team by about the end of January. Why? To make a long story short, we suck. But this year, despite the fact I haven’t been able to watch much hockey by virtue of academia pretty much owning my life, I find myself not just staying interested but actually trying to coordinate my schedule so I can catch 10 minutes of the game just for kicks.

It completely baffles some folks when I tell them. But I do it mostly because we might actually make something of this band of rookies this time around. Do I think we’ll make the playoffs? Hell no. We’re good, but not that good. Not yet. But provided things don’t fall apart between this year and next, we could potentially get that good. And that’s where Leafs management comes in.

Every general manager in recent years–and by recent, I mean 2004–has come in with an idea. They test out that idea for a season or two, get bored with it, rip it apart and start over. Then they either leave or are told to leave because the team’s imploded, someone new takes over, and the old GM’s efforts are blown away and the process starts from square 1. And the end result of all of that tinkering and reshuffling is we’ve only made the playoffs once since 2004, it was in a shortened NHL season, and Boston dropped us out of the playoffs in 7 games. In short, we suck.

This year, though, we actually have a team I don’t mind watching on game 82, even if that game 82 won’t be pretty. Yes, we should be doing better than we are. Yes, we probably could have won an extra game or two if John Q. Player had been where he should be. But when half your lineup is playing its first or second full NHL season, you’re going to have those moments. I’ll complain, and loudly, if these same things happen with the same players in another year or two. But for right now, I’ll take it.

This Leafs management seems to have a clue or two. They’ve put together something with more promise than I’ve seen in Toronto in way too long. Besides, they got us Austin Matthews. But I’ve seen this act before. The challenge will be if these same people are still here in a year or two, and if they’re still not bored with what they’ve got. Translation: they built it, but let’s see how long before they break it.

For the first time in several years, I’m actually interested in hockey beyond the first few months. For the first time since 2004, I’m actually interested in the Maple Leafs beyond the first few months. I like this feeling. I like this team. Leafs, please, don’t kill it. You’ve done that enough already.

Ottawa out in 6: #ChokeFest2015

So I’m a few days behind the times and Montreal’s already behind in the series. Awesome. Also oh well. Ottawa has basicly never, and I do mean never, done much as far as the playoffs go. Ignoring 2007, when the city very nearly exploded, they usually cruised their way into the playoffs, then promptly rolled over and played dead. And let’s not discuss those times when they went flat in the first round–er, well, kind of like now.

I would have preferred an obscure rule violation that ended up disqualifying both teams on sight, but hey, this works too. Now, if Tampa would be so kind as to handle the rest of it, that would be perfectly okay with me. Calgary’s Canada’s team anyway.

Vancouver out in 6: Is that all?

I didn’t have much of a dog in this fight, really. Haven’t had much interest in either team–aside from I know someone who knows someone who plays for Calgary, but you’ll have that. Vancouver had this series, though. Hell, they had the game yesterday. right up until they didn’t. Up 3 nothing, just to lose 7 4? You guys have been watching Toronto haven’t you? Knock it off with that. No, seriously.

On the up side, holy hell Calgary where’d that come from? I mean not that I’m complaining, but it wasn’t that long ago folks were asking if you were even going to be playing this week. And now you’re going to make me start flipping to hockey games again just because Canada. I both love and hate you for that. Now about that obscure rule violation in that other Canadian series…

Jets out in 4: We barely knew ye.

I gave up on my team having a spot in the playoffs when the bottom fell out in January. Which, when you combine that with me doing the school thing, probably explains why there’s been a grand total of 0 posts on the subject since who knows when. But that doesn’t mean I’d entirely lost interest in the thing.

I’d been passively keeping an eye on the Winnipeg Jets since the start of the season, largely because–hey, one more Canadian hockey team so why not. It was their first year, and I was curious if they’d stick. Clearly they have so far. But I was particularly interested in this year’s playoffs because in their first season as an NHL franchise, they managed to slide into the top 8.

I wasn’t figuring they’d go all the way, by any means. But that they managed to get that far on their first try was worth some attention. So I followed the series online, caught pieces of games here and there, and generally hoped Anaheim would slip up just a little, just once. They didn’t. If that one series is any indication, though, Winnipeg will explode if the cup ever ends up there. Next year, if you’re lucky. And I’ll be in your corner then, as well–at least until the Leafs do what they haven’t done in a decade. Bright side: I can go back to watching Montreal step on Ottawa, then line up to have the same done to them in return. It’s gonna be a nifty playoff.

So long, Jets in 4. We barely knew ye.

Is it spring yet…?

Ottawa winters can usually fall into two categories. “Six layers required” cold, or enough snow that the first step of getting out of your driveway is, well, finding your driveway. This winter, Ottawa has decided hey, let’s go for the best of both worlds. So, because it’s either holy crap cold or holy crap snowing and I’m not looking forward to stepping out into either, have a half-assed version of a not even close to official spring countdown entry. And because I’m still not quite awake, have it in a list format version of things I’m, well, pretty much done with until next year.

  • Before Christmas, my hockey team was… well… was. Not perfect, but not crap. I wasn’t on the “we’re going to the freaking cup” bandwagon, but hey, not being in last place is an accomplishment. I’d have accepted that. Yeah, about that. Go Leafs go, and all that.
    • Yes, we beat Edmonton last night. But a wet noodle could have beaten Edmonton last night. Talk to me in a week.
  • I mentioned we go one of two ways most winters–extreme cold or extreme snow. I’m staring at -28 degrees c. It’s been as cold as -35. And they don’t list “you’re fucking nuts if you think I’m walking outside in that” as a valid reason to skip class. Related: get on that, Algonquin.
  • Related partly to the point above: There has been snow removal equipment doing the rounds since last night. There is still snow equipment doing the rounds. Which pretty much means, well, if and when we decide to venture out in that mess, it’s probably going to suck a little. Not cool, winter. Not cool.
    • Oh look. It’s snowing again. That was not a challenge, dammit.
  • Anything wintery causes pretty much a citywide shutdown. People forget how to drive. Buses are delayed. And the place where I love to live gets just a little bit annoying. And that’s before some jerk decides he doesn’t want to be stuck behind a snowplow. A ten-minute trip by bus can very easily take closer to 45 minutes–unless you’re smart, at which point these guys will probably get you home in 15.
  • I absolutely love having the windows open pretty much any chance I get. And in this apartment, I can do that with some pretty nifty results. Just… not particularly, uh, right now (see also: -28 degrees c). I love fresh air. Just not quite, well, that much.
  • And probably the thing I’m most done with this winter: the Ottawa freaking Senators. Not kidding. Anywhere that happens to have a radio on (yes, surprisingly, there are still people who listen to the radio in 2015) is guaranteed to put up with a Sens advertisement in one form or another at least twice while I’m in earshot. Look, guys. I get the whole team spirit thing. Trust me, I do–I’m a Leafs fan. Our team spirit’s through the freaking roof (for better or worse). But see, here’s the thing. You’re in the tank. You know you’re in the tank. Well, okay, maybe you don’t–but the NHL does. Chill, already. You’re making Toronto look good.

So yeah. About that spring thing…

Canada is golden!

I’ll freely admit I haven’t been a very good sports fanatic this olympics. I was all over it in 2010, to the probable irritation of 5 of the 6 that read the thing. But largely, I was all over the fact it was in Vancouver, and I actually had the time, the energy, and the motivation to watch. Or, at least to keep up with the things I couldn’t watch. This year, not so much. But I’ll be damned if I was going to miss a gold metal hockey game. So, bright and early on a day when just about anyone–okay, including me–would consider getting up before 9 when you don’t have to an act of borderline insanity, I was at the computer, headphones on, and my twitter feed in full on hockey mode. And for a change, I could cheer for the same team as most of the people on my twitter feed. And we owned the hell out of it, to the tune of 3 nothing. We are winter indeed, Canada. Best early Sunday morning I’ve had in a while. If this does turn out to be the last olympics the NHL participates in, it was well worth it.

PS: On the topic of the NHL, sorry boys. I’m still not a habs fan. But, you know, if Toronto ever gets around to signing Sid the kid…

In which rogers buys out the NHL. In other news, I’m still stuck with the Senators.

So while life was happening to me, the NHL was selling off its broadcast rights to my current and/or former and/or maybe cable company. Starting next year, if there’s a game involving a Canadian team being played, odds are pretty damn good it’ll be played on a Rogers-owned TV station. Noteable exceptions are still for some Saturday games, which they’re letting the CBC hold onto along with Hockey Night in Canada–at least until Rogers gets bored of the crew. Since I swear to god the Leafs pretty much come packing their own broadcast staff to begin with I’m not entirely bothered by the possibility of, say, one of the guys that barely comment on a baseball game jumping in front of a mic to do a worse job with a hockey game. I mean, Ottawa’s kind of had that for half an age and they seem to be doing alright, but if Toronto can avoid it I’m good. I have absolutely no idea whatsoever what this’ll end up meaning in terms of overall Leafs coverage on TV if you’re not living in what the NHL and/or Rogers decides is Leafs territory–except that I’ll probably spend nearly as much time next year tied to the internet for my Leafs fix. But I’ll make a 2014-2015 prediction anyway, even if the 2013-2014 season’s not even half over yet. Whatever the new arangement ends up meaning in terms of access to more games from more teams, I’m still pretty much primarily gonna be served up an oversized helping of below average senators hockey, whether I want it or not. So in advance, thanks Rogers. I knew you’d screw it. I’m also ready to be proven wrong right about now. Still waiting…

Death of a personal lockout.

During pretty well all of what was left of the NHL season last year, I didn’t turn on a hockey game. I didn’t even watch minor hockey last year–not that I did much watching of minor hockey before that. Even when Toronto actually managed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2004, I counted down the hours to first pitch of what would turn out to be a tanker of a baseball season. The NHL had locked out its players for the second time since the cancelled 2004-05 season. And so, for the remainder of last season after the lockout was lifted, I locked out the NHL.

I had no interest in the Leafs’ best season in a while. I had very little interest in the 7-game playoff series they could have had until they didn’t. I was done. I couldn’t even tell you who exactly the team was by the time playoffs came around. But that was a year and a soap opera ago. Now, it’s a little less than 36 hours to the first official puck drop of the 2013-14 NHL regular season. Now, I’ve kept an ear to the training camps. I’ve even had preseason hockey in this house for the first time in several years. I wouldn’t necessarily say all is forgiven. But from where I sit, it’s looking more and more like the death of a personal lockout. Welcome back, hockey. Don’t screw it up.

Side-effects of being a #Sens fan: Desperation leads to conspiracy.

That sucking sound you may or may not have just heard is what little of Ottawa’s sanity remains quickly finding and utilizing the nearest exit. While on the bus coming back from dealing with a few things, I was privy to the most interesting of sports related discussions. Interesting in that it almost had very little to do with sports and more to do with money. Fists full of money. We’ve all been fooled, if you’re the guys who were in this conversation.

The National Hockey League is now expecting the playoffs to go the full 7 games, not because it’s good competition and the teams might actually not fall over halfway through for a change, but because it means more money for the NHL and the teams in question. So, you take a Boston, for example, who’s apparently had Toronto’s number all season, and stick them in a playoff round versus Toronto. Then, you tell them, “Look. You guys flatten this team, okay? But that does nothing for us. Let them come back a time or few. Keep them interested. *Then* flatten them. Deal?”. And of course, because the teams get a pretty sizeable chunk of money during the playoffs anyway, both are fine with it.

Now, flash forward to the second round, and you’re a Senators hopeful. If you’re these Senators hopefuls, you’ve already got it figured out but good. Ottawa has the talent to take this thing pretty well all the way, you see. They could slam the door any old time and it’s all over. But that’s less money, and we all know how much the owners love their money. So instead you’ve got Ottawa holding back, while Pittsburgh goes up by 3. Most Sens fans would be a little worried by now. But oh no. These guys have it in the bag. Now, it’s Ottawa’s turn to do the owning–it’s supposed to go 7, after all. So Ottawa does their shtick tonight, then in the next, and eventually ties this thing up. Then, they can max out the money on both sides, give the fans their game 7, and Ottawa can take its much deserved place in the conference finals. Because money, and owners want some, and I honestly have absolutely no freaking clue.

I think, if nothing else, I’ve just unearthed a teeny tiny side-effect of being an Ottawa Senators fan. Having never actually won a cup (the Original Senators don’t count, as this is not the original Senators) leads a select few to unimaginal bouts of desperation. That desperation is quickly followed by a spin off into the land of alternate reality. There is a solution. And it isn’t even a painful solution. And it’s probably much more of a likely outcome than the theory. I just don’t think I’d wanna be anywhere near these guys when it happens.

In which Ottawa prepares to lose itself for about 4 games.

So. The Ottawa Senators made the playoffs. In a shortened season. One I’ve personally been avoiding since it became a shortened season. Awesome. This, roughly translated, means that for approximately the first round, the city will very likely shut down almost entirely at game time. Every sports bar, restaurant with a TV, and hell even some bus routes, will be Sens crazy. And me with my personally enforced lockout, and my not even bothering with the Sens when I wasn’t mid-lockout (although I did enjoy watching them get their asses kicked in 2007’s finals, and may or may not have rubbed it in just a little), with little to nowhere to run if I don’t feel like hiding from people or, really, getting much of anything done. Clearly someone hates me. Although, this does now give me my one opportunity to reconsider my personal lockout. Because really, as much as I have a problem with how things were handled this year, nothing is more satisfying than an Ottawa Senators playoff waxing. And if that waxing should come at the hands of my team of choice, I might feel slightly more justified in suspending it for a game or two. Because 2004. Damn you, NHL. You were not supposed to make things this bloody complicated. Or this bloody jammed up. Ah well. Back to memorizing playoff schedules. Sorry, May–we might be delaying an evening outing or two by a day. Blame the Senators. It’s good for you.

In which there is a god. And he plays for the wrong damn team.

I take it all back. Every, single, goddamn word. I accept what the 80 million Christians who’ve been trying to convert me have been saying since the first time I asked one of them what the hell he was smoking. God does exist. There is physical proof. But does it seriously have to wear Senators colours? Hey–it came direct from Siri. How wrong can it be?

Readers of the RSS or email variety will unfortunately need to click over to the website to have a listen–Youtube has yet to invent a technology that lets you play it from your client of choice. Blame Youtube. Or flash. Or both.

There is a god. And if there is a god, it plays for the Ottawa Senators. And if worshipping God means worshipping the Senators, Christianity has just lost me forever. As in, I can’t even hear you now. That kind of following just is not physically possible if you’re me. Or any proper fan of anything that isn’t the Ottawa Senators. Divine intervension or not, just no. But hey, I’ll watch him and his team get stomped out of the playoffs any day.

Semi-related: I have just answered why it is the Leafs haven’t seen playoff action since 2004. Damn you to hell, God. Just damn you to hell.

Edited to add: So apparently the email utility I use strips flash content. Nifty. things to note for next time. Take 2, this time with flashy goodness.

So the NHL’s back. In more important news, when’s baseball?

I’m probably in the minority, even among people who still barely paid attention to the news surrounding the NHL lockout after about, oh, December 15th. But part of me was actually hoping the season would end up cancelled. Mostly because after this thing being beat to death, I was getting rather sick of hockey news. Instead, what they ended up offering fans was–well–not much. escentially, it’s a practice run before we get to the playoffs. And the team I’d ordinarily cheer for if this year didn’t just try to suck all the appreciation for hockey out of me probably won’t do very well even in that–particularly since they just tossed their GM a week before the mini-season’s supposed to start. So, I’ve decided–probably along with a few others. Screw the season this year. The next big thing on my calendar is spring training. I may, possibly, rethink that for the start of next season–if I’m provided with one hell of a good reason. But this year? Yeah. When’s baseball?

Rob Ford is an idiot, the left half of Toronto’s got a hate on, and other asorded goodness.

What we have here is a random thinggy. Because random thinggies are good. Even if done at half past odd while coming off a weekend spent in Pembroke with a machine that could use a couple replacement components. And even if done by a guy who apparently wouldn’t know what spelling was if it walked up and shook his hand. Thank christ this will see some editing before it sees the light of day. Maybe. And since I should be sleeping before we have to leave in an hour and a half, have a list.

  • If you live in Ontario, you’ve probably heard about the Rob Ford kerfuffle. He’s been ordered–well, pending appeal, anyway–removed from office as toronto’s mayor after participating in and voting on an issue that, well, kind of involved him. There are two really good entries on the subject by Toronto Mike, with some pretty nifty comments on both, from both the folks in favour of and against what happened and how it happened. The short version: Rob ford is an idiot for voting on a resolution in council as to whether or not he should pay back what amounts to pocket change if your name is Rob Ford–even if he voted with the majority, and would have ended up not having to pay it back anyway. But that there’s one person in Toronto, namely the voter that took him to court over it, that has the power to remove someone the majority voted in from office is a little tiny bit concerning. Not quite as concerning as the fact the judge interpreted the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act to mean removal was his only option. Or as concerning as the fact that mayors of several other cities (I’m looking at you, Quebec) have either resigned or not for far worse. And let’s not talk about Dalton McGuinty. Both sides kind of flopped this one. And now toronto gets to more than likely go through another election–in which Ford wasn’t even banned from running, meaning he could very likely end up right back where they tried to kick him from. Not bad for a broke city.
  • The NHL has killed off pretty much half the season at this point. Is anyone even still paying attention? How many more times are talks going to end up going nowhere before they just come out and tell us what we’re already expecting? Bright side: the Leafs have their first .500 season going into Christmas since… uh… anyone remember when? Now about baseball.
  • We were staring at -13 degrees C coming on the end of last week. That’s freaking cold degrees, if you’re in the US. It was a fair bit above freezing in spots yesterday–note: not *this* spot, as evidenced by our driveway. Mother nature, please to be making up your mind. Thankya.
  • May and I came to Pembroke this weekend for a Christmas party. Well, it’s what the natives call a Christmas party–they serve passable dinner, we get to hear a couple speeches, then a couple somewhere in the neighbourhood of tolerable old guys from around here get up on stage and try not to kill what would otherwise be okay songs. But the conversations were good, anyway.
    • Related: I learned more about my cousin’s girlfriend in a couple hours during that party than I think I ever wanted to know about someone I’m not dating. Small towns’ll do that to ya, I guess. Is it too late for a refund?
  • This. So much this. It was on my mockery list. Then I read this post. I can do no better. Well, okay, I *probably* could. But both caffeine and alcohol are required and I only have easy access to one.
  • The one year I don’t get a lot of folks asking what I’d like for Christmas is the one year I’m exceedingly easy to buy for. I’ve had an iPhone for a bit over a year and a half. This means iTunes. This means gift cards. So if you’re looking…
  • There is a Twitter. It is awesome. And I had nothing whatsoever to do with it. But, should you find yourself watching the afore mentioned twitter and then developing a liking for Big Bang Theory, you can gladly hand the credit this way.
  • And lastly, because there can never be enough promotion, click, then hit play. You’ll love it. Yes, I’m a part-time fortune teller now. And also the awesome factor. I’m right. You’ll see.

Another satisfied Bell customer?

Sometimes, people end up dropping by here expressing thoughts that would almost be right out of my head. Some of them have even splattered all over the site a time or six. So this search query should surprise, uh, absolutely no one.

Sep 25 8:33am: fuck bell canada blog

Yes, this would be called a blog. And yes, it holds many an expression of “fuck you, Bell”. Although, thankfully, not very many recently–and none since I’ve started using them after moving to this place up in here. Although, there’s still plenty of time and I still have plenty of ranty energy. In the meantime, random searching searcher? Please to be getting out of this geek’s head. thankya much.

Why I don’t miss the NHL this year (Hint: it’s not the players’ fault).

I’m not taking sides in the NHL lockout. As in, at all. As in, ever. As in, I may not even notice if the season actually returns in January. Well, okay, at least until I try to get somewhere in Ottawa and half the damn city shuts down for the evening. But even still, you kind of have to wonder what the hell goes through some owners’ heads during situations like this.

This is the second lockout in a decade. The last one ate the 2004-05 season. During that lockout, it was the fans who pretty much got the shaft. The players still got off pretty damn nicely if you ask me, even after you factor in they didn’t actually get their way. But the sequel? Oh, now the gloves are off. You kind of tend to think that way when you’ve got ownership personnel pretty much admitting they’re out to screw the players.

“The owners can basically be viewed as the ranch, and the players, and me included, are the cattle,” Devellano, 69, told the Island Sports News.

“The owners own the ranch and allow the players to eat there. That’s the way it’s always been, and that’s the way it will be forever. And the owners simply aren’t going to let a union push them around. It’s not going to happen.”

And this after the union didn’t exactly push them around in 2004-05. But, hey, at least we know the screws are in for this round. Ah, but the 6 of you who’ll still actually watch the games don’t need to worry. They’re not aiming to screw you. Just the players. Feel better yet? Yeah, me either. Hey, Bettman? How’s about taking that $250000 fine you just yanked and putting it towards a tiny little decrease in the price of tickets? Yeah, was worth a shot. When’s baseball come back, again?

Maple Leafs 4, Jets 3.

It was the first game against the Jets in damn near 20 years. Freaking ever. And I completely forgot it existed and thus missed watching it. Yes, I know, I fail at hockey. You may now arange my public execution. Still, shootout wins are nice. As is our barely 2-week points total. Not bad for a team undergoing a massive rebuild.

  • Wins: 4
  • Losses: 1
  • Shootout Wins: 1
  • Shootout Losses: 0
  • Points: 9

Avalanch 3, Maple Leafs 2.

One of these days, I’ll actually stay caught up on these thigs. That day has apparently not yet arived. I think I caught most of this game–and it kind of ended while my back was turned. Losses hurt, in general. Overtime losses? Yeah, painful. Still, it’s a point. And Phill Kessel is still Phill Kessel. That’s all we can ask.

  • Wins: 3
  • Losses: 1
  • Shootout Wins: 0
  • Shootout Losses: 0
  • Points: 7

Maple Leafs 3, Flames 2.

I think I caught most of this game. Calgary actually played decently–and, of course, Phill Kessel was Phill Kessel. Remind me again why Boston gave him up? Which, speaking of, thanks for that, Boston. No really. We love you.

  • Wins: 3
  • Losses: 0
  • Shootout Wins: 0
  • Shootout Losses: 0
  • Points: 6

Maple Leafs 6, Senators 5.

Oh. My. God. Just… oh my god. ‘Nuff said. No, seriously. We were up 2 nothing at the end of the first. By end of second, we were up 3 nothing. Then 4 nothing in the third. Then we kind of started to fall apart. They pulled one back, which we recovered, or so I kind of hoped. They made it 5 2, and by this point, the laptop had decided to flatline. So I slapped that on the charger, came back and it was 5 4 Toronto. Then it was 6 4. And Kessel got his hat trick. We wished for it. We all but predicted it. Then, he delivered. I could have screamed my fool head off and felt not one bit uncomfortable doing it. Yes, even when they made the game 6 5 after that–and we still walked away with the points. I still cannot find words. It’s only the second game in the season, but wow. My mind. Gone. And so am I.

  • Wins: 2
  • Losses: 0
  • Shootout Wins: 0
  • Shootout Losses: 0
  • Points: 4

Maple Leafs 2, Canadians 0.

Welcome back, boys of winter. I’ve missed you. I didn’t catch most of the game last night, what with being enroute here, but what I saw was made of awesome. We spent most of our time in the offensive end, and very nearly added to the lead on several occasions. As they say, epic win is epic. If you’re into that kinda thing and can see them, Mike was at the opener and posted pictures–they’re over here. For everyone else, raise your hands and say it with me. Go Leafs go! We killed the bastards from Montreal. Now, to do same to the bastards from Ottawa. Here’s hoping I can actually watch all of that one.

  • Wins: 1
  • Losses: 0
  • Shootout Wins: 0
  • Shootout Losses: 0
  • Points: 2

I admit I’ve done this. I’m proud to.

Signs you should update more often include, when you’re going back through things you meant to blog about that now all of a sudden aren’t so relevant because you waited over a month to review them, you find something you’ve been meaning to blog about and just never had the time–or, for 3 days during that time, didn’t have the blog (that entry’s coming). That, er, rather includes this.

Jun 14 11:03pm: calling in sick for hockey game

I will openly admit to having unknowingly done exactly that. And hey look, we even won. Yeah, I’ll admit to having called in sick for a game. And I won’t lose any sleep over doing so. Don’t ask me to try hat after a loss, hough.

Introducing Jets 2.0!

Make it Seven gets its wish, and we get Jets, the sequel. It wasn’t Hamilton, and it didn’t pull the poor Coyotes out of Phoenix, but for the love of God, we’ve got a seventh team. And it’s in Winnipeg. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again–it’s about damn time. And rumor has it the team’s name will be, as folks have hoped, the Jets. Welcome back, Jets 2.0. Plese remind my Leafs how to play–before I have to contemplate jumping ship. Please?

The NHL doesn’t believe in free advertising, threatens a Montreal restaurant with $90000 in damages.

I’ve never been to a shawarma restaurant. Nor have I ever had shawarma. Hell, before I moved to Ottawa I’d never even really heard of the stuff. But I’d still support a restaurant of that variety who wanted to stick up for the home team–yes, even if the home team was those bastards from Montreal. The NHL has a different take on it, apparently. One such restaurant near the Bell center thought it might be fun to hang a poster with a cartoon character in a Canadians jersey slicing shawarma with a sword, with the phrase “Go Habs go!” underneath it. The NHL sent him a letter indicating he was in violation of copyright, so the restaurant owner painted over the Canadians logo. They sent him another, indicating the phrase “Go Habs go!” was also trademarked, so he painted over that. He eventually just took the sign down. You’d think that would satisfy the NHL, right? Clearly, you don’t know comissioner Betmman. Instead of being satisfied they’d finally intimidated a local restaurant into not giving the team and the league some much needed free advertising, they rewarded him by demanding he pay $89000 to the league, or $1000 per day of the sign’s existence.

I’ll be the first to say it aughta be illegal to support the Canadians. But then, I’m a Leafs fan–I can say that. But to take it to this level, and claim copyright violations over something that would very obviously be fair use if Canada had a fair use clause, just smacks of “I don’t care”. The team was, and I have to hold my nose to type this, actually doing well, but still couldn’t be hurt by a little extra free advertising. The restaurant was in close enough proximity to the arena that supporting the team, whether or not the owner of the place is a diehard fan, makes perfect business sense for the restaurant and perfect PR sense for the NHL and the Canadians. And instead of recognising that, the NHL slaps a local restaurant in the face and sends a shakedown notice–compensation for using a logo and a phrase they say is trademarked (I’ll believe it when I see it). Now tell me Canada doesn’t need some serious copyright reform.

Make it Seven has a brand new cause. Atlanta.

A long, long time ago, someone brought up the bright idea to try and move the Phoenix Coyotes to Winnipeg. Then there was talk of Hamilton. Then both just kind of imploded and no one heard two words about it. Until today. Now, another NHL season’s trying to limp to an end, and another failing hockey team’s being talked about in the context of being shuffled off to Winnipeg–this time, from Atlanta. Hockey fans older than I will probably remember another Atlanta-based team who was at one point being talked about in the context of being shuffled off north–they’re in Calgary now. I’ve said it before, but it can’t hurt a thing to say it again–Canada needs more hockey. At least, Canada needs it a whole lot more than the southern US appears to–based on how many of those teams can barely fill up an arena. Okay, so the whole idea of two Canadian teams actually facing off against each other for something more than a shot at 8th place sounds good, but beyond that, the league needs competition. Not just the kind of competition you’d see in Buffalo or New York–but the kind of competition you used to see in a Quebec City versus Montreal context–for the record, real hockey fans cheered for Quebec City in those games. Or a Winnipeg versus Vancouver context. I was barely old enough to remember games like that. Even now, I have to go look it up to get an idea what I just barely missed. If this attempt at a deal doesn’t come apart at the seems and do all manner of imploding all over itself, I might even be convinced to turn off a Leafs game for this. And we all know I’m attached to my Leafs games–when life stops throwing me curves I can’t hit. So, there’s your reason for putting a team in Winnipeg. Make me turn off a Leafs game. Any takers?

Anyone wanna guess what this is?

No? Okay fine. This would be, for the first time in a little bit over a month, my attempted reemergence into the realm of this whole blogging thing. This may or may not include yet more mockery, and that thinggy I’m supposed to do about what you guys were reading last month–conveniently, 4 or 5 days before I should be doing that thing about what you were reading while I was being all unavailable and things. There’s an abso-freaking-lute metric ton of crap I probably could, and should, be writing about. Sadly, most of it kind of stopped applying about 2 weeks ago–sorry, life does that to ya. Things that do get a mention here and may or may not be elaborated on when I have slightly more brain power. In list format, because hey, first post in a month, here. Lazy.

  • Moving: Jessica got herself all moved in, relatively in one piece and with most of what sanity she has left after dating and being engaged to me intact. Her stuff, thankfully, also made it to the other end in one pice. Find her take on that and several million other things over on her blog. Go now. I’ll wait.
  • Technology: I’d started the process before I left, and finished it while down there–in and around the above mentioned move. Shortly before my return to Canada–where I’m currently flaed out now, the new laptop I’d been aiming for met me here. It’s nifty cool, in the wicked sense. Still getting used to using Windows 7 on a more than occasional basis, but hey, so far I’m not complaining much.
  • The stupid: there’s acrap ton of it. It starts with local cab companies, and it’ll all warrant separate entries. Again, see the need for more brain power.
  • Hockey: the playoffs are closing rappidly in on us. There will be playoff mockery involved. There will not be Leafs recaps involved–again. Ah well. You saw it coming.
  • Leafs: I quit. At least for this season. I haven’t done a recap since mid-February. To recap this many games would be both exceedingly spammy and a very good reason to develop a migraine. Naturally it would also double as an excellent exercise in frustration–like all mid to late season attempts at playing the comeback kid do. You’re just not that team, Toronto. Sorry.
  • Mockery: Oh, dear lord, the mockery. Not in this post, but the mockery. I’m buried in it. It’ll get posted over the next couple days. Trust me–it’ll be more than worth the wayt.

So that’s kind of where I’ve been. Now, where’d I put my caffeine?