When the game day press conference takes a turn for the strange, it really goes off the rails.
In Darryl Sutter’s case, we got to find out how quickly time is flying by. During today’s meeting with the press, Sutter was asked if it seems like yesterday that the regular season ended. Sutter’s reply was priceless.
“Yeah, it does go by fast,” Sutter said. “Darn right. Series are two weeks, you’re going in those 10-14 day blocks. It does go fast. You’re into the middle of June already. In Canada this weekend it’s Farmer’s Day.”
It’s true. It is Farmer’s Day in Alberta and with Sutter being a farmer and rancher in the offseason, of course he’d know that. One intrepid reporter wondered what Farmer’s Day is. Well…
“It’s like a big picnic with coolers. Don’t know if you know what that means.”
Maple Leafs sign Marincin to two-year deal to avoid arbitration
A scheduled arbitration hearing between the Toronto Maple Leafs and defenseman Martin Marincin won’t be necessary.
The two sides have settled on a two-year deal with an average annual value of $1.25 million, the Maple Leafs announced Friday. The arbitration hearing was scheduled for Aug. 2. This new deal represents the final restricted free agent signing left for Toronto, as per General Fanager, which also shows the Maple Leafs have about $55,916 in remaining projected cap space.
Marincin, 24, had one goal and seven points in 65 games for the Maple Leafs last season.
His new deal represents a raise from the $700,000 he made this past season on a one-year deal.
“He needs an NHL summer. One where you actually commit to being in the league [by putting] some meat on your bones. Then he’s in position to be a real good player in the league. But he’s really come. It’s good for him.”
NHL 17 goes deep on customization, right down to Bautista’s bat flip
Even more exciting is EASHL’s brand-new arena editor, which is a massive step up from last year, when the only things you could add to your team’s rink were championship banners if you won them. Your club will now make its way upward through five different arenas — a small community rink, a larger community rink, a Canadian Hockey League-size venue, an American Hockey League-size arena and an NHL arena — and you’ll be able to customize the last four venues in that progression.
Maybe most interestingly, you can relocate teams to one of 20 other hockey-friendly locales, whether it means bringing the NHL to Las Vegas a year early, rebooting the Hartford Whalers or a number of other possibilities.
(Does this mean the dream of “The KC Masterpiece” could come true?)
The increase in goal celebrations has been touched upon, yet seeing the fruits of such labor is another thing entirely. Hockey Twitter was delighted to learn that Jose Bautista’s memorable “bat flip” is included in the mix:
“I’d been with him for nine years, so it’s going to be very strange to come into the locker room and not see P.K. there, joking around with him all the time,” Pacioretty said.
He added that, in the Subban-for-Shea Weber trade, the Canadiens “lost a friend and hopefully gained another.”
Again, there’s been plenty of speculation that Pacioretty and other Habs viewed Subban as anything but a pal. Jacques Demers ranked among the many who believed that Montreal suffered from a “divided room,” with some believing that it came down to Subban vs. Pacioretty.
While Subban responded in a way we’ve come to expect, wondering if he’d have to “make out” with Pacioretty to prove doubters wrong.
That Pacioretty passage might just sum it up the best: you can be friends with someone while (gasp) also occasionally being annoyed by their antics. Really, have you enjoyed a lengthy relationship – business or personal – that never had those moments of minor friction?
Perhaps you could chalk this up to a public relations battle of sorts, although TSN reports that this latest round of comments might provide fuel for lawyers working on a concussion lawsuit against the NHL.
“We should have the chance now to walk him through some of his denials and find out why he has made his statements and ask him what makes him so sure,” Lead counsel Charles Zimmerman said. “Why is he so willing to go against conventional science which says repeated blows to the head cause damage to the brain?”
As familiar as some of this might feel for those following the way the league is handling concussions, it could mean that the NHL will follow in the NFL’s footsteps in a costly way.
At minimum, it’s been a mess for the league, and it doesn’t seem like things will get easier anytime soon.