(also known as “What I Missed All Summer”)
Okay, so let’s just say the ol’ Loober has been on summer vacation. The following is what I’ve missed out on in our shady corner of hell in the past few forevers since my last entry, as well as a brief synopsis on what I thought about all of them:
- The draft (trading down? REALLY? Who the fuck is Mark Jankowski? I admired the trading down to recoup draft choices, but there were still some decent picks to be had at 14. Time’s going to tell on this one)
- CORY SARICH RE-SIGNED AND IT WASN’T A DREAM (I want to cry. You know he’s going to play, too. Sucks to be you, Derek Smith)
- Jaromir Jagr, quite thankfully, signs in Dallas and saves Calgary from a hockey, PR, and financial nightmare
- Jiri Hudler becomes new Jaromir Jagr (hey, at least he can speak Czech, so something something Roman Cervanka)
- Dennis Wideman becomes the new Cory Sarich (I don’t hate the move, I just hate the contract. as a 3 or 4, I like Wideman. His contract suggests he’s a 1 or 2. And, re: THAT, oh God NO!)
- The Flames rookie development camp. I was there! Mark Jankowski actually looks pretty good, but not in an actual playing hockey sense. Johnny Gaudreau looks so good and may prove to be the steal of his draft class. Invitee Tim Schaller really impressed me the most out of anybody, so I’m looking forward to see how management fucks it up and doesn’t take a chance on the kid. Finally, Sveen Baertschi rules, but I still don’t know the right way to spell his name
- Will He or Won’t He: the Jay Bouwmeester edition
- (He probably won’t, and that’s good for Calgary)
- Michael Ferland does what every young kid does when visiting scenic Cochrane, Alberta
- Goalies, and just why are there so many of them? Re-signing Leland Irving probably, HOPEFULLY spells the end of Henrik Karlsson in Cowtown. Or not. I don’t think the Flames know, so why would we even speculate at this point.
- Buy low on Mikael Backlund. I think there’s a good chance he plays the better part of the year centering The Sven this season, so hopefully those two put up some chemistry and Backs revitalizes his still ridiculously young playing career.
- BLAIR JONES RETURNENING MOTHERFUCKERS (I think we all know how I feel about this)
- Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff, against all odds, are still members of your Calgary Flames, despite having both been run out of town numerous times apiece by media, fans, and probably also Mike Brophy, whom I do not consider to be media, and more of a brain slug with a cul-de-sac forehead
One thing I didn’t miss out on, and am pleased to announce in case YOU missed it, is the triumphant debut of the one and only HAKAN LOOB ON TWITTER!
The following is something I will cherish forever or frame or put in my will or cuddle with at night in the frame, I haven’t decided yet, but it is that important to me: The Hakan Loob Tweetback™:
Sure, at this time we have no real, tangible proof that this is the legitimate Hakan Loob twitter account (we REALLY put a lot of value into those blue checkmarks, don’t we?), and yeah, most of the tweets are in Swedish, which I’m sure we can all read, but it’s still the best follow you’ll have all month, mostly since probably most of you are only choosing to follow Todd Akin so you can find out what other stupid things he’s going to say (SPOILER ALERT: there will be a lot). Anyway, like most other people in regards to their own deities, I too choose to believe that this, acting solely on faith, is in fact my God. How do you say Amen in Swedish?
And then there’s that other thing. My, how sick I am of that other thing. It precludes everything mentioned in the list above that I fucked up on talking about this offseason. It is, sadly, the most pressing news of the summer, and is about to ruin AT LEAST our fall and winter, and all because all 30 Murray Edwards’ across the league have made record profits in the past 7 years but are apparently hemorrhaging money somehow and are hell bent to make the players pay for it, even though they’re the ones so gleefully handing out dual 100 million dollar contracts to players whose only justification to that money is the arbitrary date end of their old contract. Meanwhile, the fans are the ones suffering the most through this power struggle between rich and richer, but we’ll all be okay, because “we’re the greatest fans in sport”, and also, apparently 6 fucking years old, if the way Gary Bettman talks to us is any indication.
So let’s get used to not having hockey for a few more months, friends. They’ll nibble away at the negotiations, tease us by getting really close to an agreement, and slam the door in the 11th hour, and we’ll cry and cry and cry, watch CHL and NCAA hockey, get even more jacked up during the World Juniors, and then all return and pretend like we were okay when the NHL finally resumes playing. I feel like instead of the “Thank You, Fans” slogans painted past the bluelines in every arena after the last lockout, this time around a “FOUR MORE YEARS!!” would be far more apropos.
From a Flames perspective, hey, maybe it’s not such a death blow as for some places in the league *COUGH*LOS ANGELES*COUGH*. I think the expectations on this team for the season, rightfully so, are, let’s say modest. I think it’ll be more hilarious in Edmonton when play resumes and all those wunderkins still only finish 26th. Taylor Hall, ladies and gentlemen. The Flames, on the other hand, can skip out of their inevitable stumble out of the blocks like they have the past few seasons, although losing the Annual Red Hot November will be a bit of a blow. But hopefully Jarome Iginla will be in mid-season form and we only complain that he hasn’t been traded with half the voracity as usual.
Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?
Speaking of dulling everyone’s expectations, on a personal note, I’d like to announce that I have accepted a position at Flames Nation, which is big for me, and probably terrifying for any of you who are fans of advanced stats and critical analysis and have wondered aloud if I even know how to spell the word Corsi (oh look, I can. Asshole). It’s going to be a lot of fun for me, and I’m pretty excited at the prospect of getting my dumb voice heard by that level of readership. Watch for that in September. Unless I wasn’t supposed to say anything yet, in which case disregard this whole paragraph. This doesn’t mean that I will no longer be blogging here (like I was anyway, fuck), nor am I giving up my weekend feature during the season at Matchsticks and Gasoline, so all six of you who read my stuff, worry not. Or more. Or whatever. You have the right to do whatever you want.
(Also, the decision over at Dome Beers to close up shop has been nothing but heartbreaking to The Book of Loob. DB was probably the most entertaining, inflammatory, and accusatory Flames blog on the webernet, and our community is weakened by it being gone. Somebody has to keep up the good fight in making sure people realize that Ken King is steering this ship, and why that’s bad, and I’ll take my shot at being that guy. I learned from the best, after all)
TOMORROW marks the one year anniversary of The Book of Loob. So Happy Birthday to me. While I have nothing special planned, I want to take a second to smugly pat myself on the back, while still ridiculing myself, the way only I, and many others, have proven to be quite adept at. When I first started writing this little blog, I expected it to be mostly read by my mother, and then myself just to see what spelling errors I made. While that mostly has ended up being the case, the little blog that could really, at least in my eyes, seemed to resonate with a few people out there. It’s a terrifying thought, the idea that people I don’t know, or people I do know and admire greatly have been reading this blog. But it’s happened. There are people out there in the Flames community that I have bonded with, and I’ve made some friends along the way that I never saw coming. I also got blocked by Eric Francis, Bruce Garrioch, and Damien Cox on twitter, and while that is terribly easy to do, it still feels nice, because fuck those guys. There have been times where I’ve been disenchanted by the whole blogging process, enough to want to just abandon it completely, and I’ve never been able to. And I’m happy I haven’t. I do get some significant joy out of doing this, and I think to stop would be a big regret of mine.
Keeping it going, I’m sure, will end up being a big regret of yours.
Posted in Hlushko Hodgepodge |