Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Sick man of Europe Rangers top coaching prospect?

Poor Joel Quenneville getting wasted in Prague. Sports Illustrated said:

PRAGUE, Czech Republic (AP) -- Former St. Louis Blues coach Joel Quenneville has received medical clearance to fly and will likely return to St. Louis Tuesday to recuperate after falling ill at the men's world hockey championship.

Quenneville was released from the hospital Saturday. He has turned over Team Canada to Mike Babcock of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, who had been assistant head coach.
Multiple sources say the New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators and Phoenix Coyotes are chasing Quenneville for coaching vacancies.

The bottomline is that Quenneville is a retread who never made it to his conference finals. The Rangers should look elsewhere.

Quenneville feeling better, likely returning to St. Louis Tuesday [SI]
Recuperating Quenneville will head home [STLtoday]

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Who'll coach the Rangers?

Al Morganti speculates about the answer to the question we all have been wondering about: who gets put in the barrel next? Rather, who'll coach the New York Rangers next season? Morganti says it could be Jacques Martin of the Ottawa Senators if he is fired or Joel Quenneville if he doesn't get picked up by the Colorado Avalanche.

Finished Seasons Leave Unfinished Business [ESPN]

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Killing Frost?

Mike DantonDid Mike Danton, the St. Louis Blues forward conspire to kill his agent, David Frost?

Danton, 23, was arrested last Friday morning (16-Apr-04) on charges he and Katie Wolfmeyer, a 19-year-old St. Louis college nursing student, conspired and used a telephone across state lines to set up a contract murder.

Danton, a native of Brampton, Ont., has been jailed in California pending his voluntary return to the St. Louis area for an appearance on the Illinois federal charges. Danton, who was once named Mike Jefferson has had a troubled life.

When we first heard this story it sounded just plain weird, because the reports did not identify the intended victim. Today reports started coming out saying David Frost was the target of the murder-for-hire. Frost has served as Danton's agent since Danton was 15. Now, we can start to understand a possible motive. Frost is no Jerry Mcguire, in fact he sounds like a hoodlum with a messiah complex.

The Toronto Sun says this about Frost:
People were afraid of him. They were afraid if they spoke out against him they would be the ones injured in the end. They were concerned if they said what they knew about how he operated, about the control he had over his kids, they would end up punished. I interviewed almost 100 people, many of them refusing to go on the record, about Frost...

David Frost who once was found guilty of assaulting a hockey player on his own bench, once suspended indefinitely for allegedly falsifying a document (he denies the charge) by the GTHL, once suspended indefinitely by the Ontario Hockey Association, and yet somehow was allowed to be certified as an agent by the National Hockey League Players' Association...
SECRET AGENT-Mike Danton entangled in David Frost's world [Toronto Sun]
Blues' Danton arrested in murder-for-hire plot [SI]

Parity vs. Disparity

No comparison, the NHL playoffs are compelling drama every night and the NBA playoffs suck. The NBA playoffs are as boring and one sided as a Harlem Globetrotters exhibition game. Not a single NBA road team has won one of the first thirteen playoff games. Hello, if you're on the road in the NBA I guess you just phone it in. Compare that to the all the NHL first round drama; especially the Calgary and Vancouver series. North of the border the hockey playoffs have captivated the public. Too bad only a few hockey cities in the U.S. are caught up in this great playoff season.

Ranger land is void of any excitment. The hardcore follow the AHL Calder Cup playoffs, where the Hartford Wolf Pack, the Ranger's (AAA) farm club, play the Portland Pirates. "On the Farm" Heather over at Hockeybird does a nice game one wrap-up. Portland won 3-1.

And The Pack Played On... [Hockeybird]

Friday, April 16, 2004

"Miss Smashville"

Maranda Starling, Miss Smashville
Interesting marketing going on in the hinterlands. From The Mountain Press:
Ms. Starling is a goal girl for the Nashville Predators...She entertains the crowd at Gaylord Entertainment Center during promotions that run between breaks in the hockey action...The Predators are marketing their hometown as Smashville, and Starling was recently voted by fans as "Miss Smashville."  ...

Her job isn't all fun and games, though. She recently had to pick an octopus off the ice that was thrown in celebration of a goal by a Detroit fan, a Red Wings tradition. Starling said Predators fans have even taken to tossing catfish onto the ice to show their spirit.

We will let the reader insert their own witty or insightful comment here about "Smashville."

Burg woman in on action in 'Smashville' [The Mountain Press]

more pictures at fans.predators.nhl.com:
Maranda Starling - OUR Predator's Ice Girl

Thursday, April 15, 2004

NHL Settles with Cecil Family

A sad story, but it will force the NHL to install netting to protect all the fans from errant pucks.

Brittanie Cecil

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The parents of a girl killed by a hockey puck received approximately $700,000 out of a $1.2 million a settlement [attorneys received 42%] reached with the National Hockey League and other groups, according to a copy of the settlement made public Wednesday.
She died two days after she was struck by a deflected shot from Blue Jackets center Espen Knutsen.
Cecil was the first fan ever killed at a National Hockey League game.

Financial Details In Hockey Death Settlement Released [Sports Law Blog]

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