The NHL’s Hall of Fame just inducted Hayley Wickenheiser, Guy Carbonneau, Sergei Zubov, Vaclav Nedomansky, Jim Rutherford and Jerry York. Congratulations to all of this year’s deserving entrants. I enjoyed this year’s inductees so much more than last year when the proceedings were tainted by the induction of Gary Bettman. All of them are deserving of praise but I’m gonna throw some SCANDALOUS GOSSIP at the two entrants from the Dallas Stars organization. A friend of mine involved in the Stars organization once said that Sergei Zubov was actually better than Nik Lidstrom but was held back by having a cigarette and a shot of vodka between periods. Guy Carbonneau is credited with being one of the best defensive players of all time. He should also be credited with the dent in the Stanley Cup! Apparently in his youth Carbonneau ran with a pretty wild crowd – specifically the band Pantera. Urban legend goes that at Pantera’s ranch/strip club a few ladies distracted the keeper of the cup while guitarist Dimebag Darrell threw the Cup off the roof into the famous Crown Royal bottle shaped pool – and missed. The subsequent impact is still evident today. You can believe these stories or not, personally I think a bit of folklore with my stats makes the players seem more mythical.
Islander watch continues – the New York Islanders now have 31 out of a possible 32 points in their last 16 games. Wow. They still haven’t caught Washington for first in the East/NHL due to Washington having 4 games in hand on them. Does anyone else feel like the games are really weirdly distributed this year? Should the NHL be courting poolies money or overseas money? Anyway, in related news, Connor McDavid has 12 points in his last 3 games. Condolences to anyone facing McDavid in a head to Head pool.
The offseason saw the Dallas Stars and Florida Panthers make some big moves to try and become contenders. They both horribly stumbled out of the gate, particularly in the goaltending department. Since then both teams have quietly started to gel. We tend to forget the reality of Hockey between statistical analysis and other factors with acquisitions. The generation raised on video game trades imagines that a major acquisition should just jump right in, but often they need time to adjust to their new team, city, coach, etc. On the flipside, a San Jose team that was mostly the same crew got off to a horrible start as well. They’ve recently managed to turn it around too, rattling off 6 wins in a row before running into the buzzsaw that is Connor McDavid. It’s not quite enough though as they still remain well outside the playoff picture.
Robby Fabbri scored 2 goals in a winning effort in his first game since being traded from the St. Louis Blues to the Detroit Red Wings. Fabbri missed all of the 2017-2018 season due to a bad knee injury. He’d played part of the previous season for St. Louis including 10 playoff games, a playoff goal and his name on the Stanley Cup. Fabbri was a highly touted 1st round draft pick whose career has been derailed thus far by injury. He’d communicated wanting a bigger role to management and coaching staff, but given St. Louis’ Championship and their current status as #1 in the Western Conference there was no reason to upset the apple cart to give Fabbri a bigger role and more ice time. As such, management honoured their promises that if he wasn’t’ a proper fit they’d trade him somewhere he could get a chance to fulfill his potential. The moribund Red Wings had plenty of room in their lineup for a talented late blooming prospect with some rough edges on his game. Credit to everyone involved, especially St. Louis for doing right by a player and being true to their word. I hope Fabbri enjoys great success in Detroit. I watched that game and I gotta say (though let’s not get ahead of ourselves) his drag leg powerplay goal looked a lot like Bret Hull from the Championship Era Red Wings!