Ed Belfour’s decision to trade his Olympic gold medal to go into the distilling business with his son has paid off.
The medal the Hockey Hall of Fame goalie won at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games was auctioned off for $34,477 on Tuesday, according to the final bid listed by Classic Auctions. Overall, the 66 items of hockey memorabilia Belfour put up for sale sold for nearly $179,000.
Last week, Belfour said he was selling part of his collection to join son, Dayn, and establish Belfour Distilleries. The business is to be based in Texas and focus on distilling bourbons and whiskeys.
His “further fate” with SKA Saint Petersburg is “still under question,” per the translated edition of the story. The former NHL star has also reportedly been stripped of the captaincy. He has one year remaining on his contract with SKA.
If you’re just catching up on this, Kovalchuk, 32, was “removed” from the team and sent back to Saint Petersburg after game one of SKA’s first-round series with Lokomotiv, a 3-2 overtime loss in which he did not play well despite receiving 24:26 of ice time.
SKA won the next game without him. And now he’ll apparently miss the next two contests as well, on Thursday and Saturday in Saint Petersburg.
Kovalchuk, by the way, cannot return to the NHL for next season without receiving the approval of all 30 teams. (Though there has been talk of a loophole.)
There’s a scene in the baseball movie The Natural where a psychologist is brought in to speak with the struggling Knights.
“Losing is a disease,” he says, “as contagious as polio. Losing is a disease, as contagious as syphilis. Losing is a disease, as contagious as bubonic plague. Attacking one, but infecting all.”
In the movie, Roy Hobbs (a.k.a. The Natural, played by Robert Redford) is having none of it. He rolls his eyes and walks out. For Hobbs, losing isn’t a disease. It’s a lack of talent.
However, the theory that losing can be contagious is clearly one that the Vancouver Canucks endorse. In April, GM Jim Benning spoke about wanting the organization’s “young kids to learn how to play in a winning environment, so they learn the right way to play.”
And last night, captain Henrik Sedin said basically the same thing, plus a bit more.
“You don’t want to be happy with losing,” he told TSN 1040. “That’s a dangerous road to go down, especially with young guys coming in. We’ve seen other teams around us where it becomes okay to lose, and we can’t have that. You have to try and create a winning culture.”
Sedin didn’t name names, but you can deduce which team he was talking about. The Edmonton Oilers are “around” the Vancouver Canucks, right next door in Alberta. The Oilers haven’t been to the playoffs since 2006. And they’re currently last overall in the standings, despite all the top-end talent they’ve assembled through the draft.
For the record, Sedin is fully aware that the Canucks have been doing their own fair share of losing this season. He’s not just throwing stones at other organizations. He’s warning his own.
What he doesn’t want is for losing to become acceptable, even if the current talent level in Vancouver makes it hard to win on most nights.
“Moving on, you have to try and create a winning culture, even though we’ve been through some tough times,” he said. “If you’re down in a game, you can’t just go through the motions. You have to show some emotion.”
Boedker has 13 goals and 25 assists in 59 games this season. He’s also a team-worst minus-27, which despite the questionable value of that statistic may require some salesmanship from GM Don Maloney.
Boedker’s age, on the other hand, will be easy to sell. He may not be as accomplished as Andrew Ladd and Loui Eriksson, two other pending UFA wingers who may find themselves on the move prior to Monday’s deadline, but they’re 30 and he’s 26. That matters because the Coyotes could theoretically get more from a team that sees Boedker as a long-term piece, as opposed to a team that sees him as a pure rental.