Friday, December 31, 2010

My Big Black Paper: An introduction to Herbert Carnegie

If you missed yesterday's post, I am basically saying that the reason there are so few black skaters in the NHL is because of demography, not racism, although racist incidents do exist. Where will I go from here?? Let's take a look at Herbert Carnegie...

An Introduction to Herbert Carnegie

There exists scholarly works which have made, with varying degrees of success, the argument that the biggest reason there are so few black players in the NHL is due to racial discrimination. Perhaps one of the most explicit examples is the case of Herb Carnegie’s exclusion from the NHL. Herb Carnegie was a black hockey player who played for a number of Quebec-based minor league hockey teams over a career that spanned from 1944 to 1954. The Canadian Sports Hall of Fame lists him on its website as “likely one of the best ever players to never play pro-league hockey”. It should be clarified that the CSHF is referring to the lack of an NHL career for Carnegie, as he did play professional hockey in other leagues. Toiling away in the minor leagues, a breakout season at the age of twenty-nine earned him an invitation to training camp with the New York Rangers in 1948. He was offered a contract with their farm club; however it paid much less than what he could have made in the Quebec leagues, and he ultimately made the decision to continue to play hockey in Quebec.

Herb Carnegie was born on November 8th, 1919 in Toronto, as a member of the only black family on the west side of the city. As an infant, he and his family moved to a rural part of Toronto known as Willowdale. This move allowed his father, a janitor for a Toronto utility company, to earn supplemental income by growing produce and raising livestock in the country. While living in Willowdale, he and his brother Ossie played hockey on frozen ponds around the community for hours a day. Before he cracked the Quebec Professional Hockey League (QPHL), he played on a team in Timmins, Ontario, on a line with Ossie and another young black skater from New Brunswick named Manny McIntyre. As the first all-black line in professional hockey, the media was quick to coin nicknames with vivid imagery attached, such as the “Dark Destroyers” and the “Dusky Speedsters”.

Carnegie himself insists that the reason he did not make the NHL was “…not because of a lack of talent or a willingness to work hard, but because of racism”. Such a statement is a bold one, especially when it comes from a former professional athlete. It is easy enough to read this statement and conclude that this was in fact the reason why Carnegie did not make the NHL. However, when one takes a look at his career statistics, there are some very interesting numbers that surface.

Where will I go from here? Just what is so interesting about Carnegie's career stats? The man himself said he didn't make the show because of racism, how will I disprove this?? Tune in tomorrow to find out!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Big Black Paper

I wrote a 30-page paper on why there are so few black skaters in the NHL as compared to other professional leagues. From today on I will post parts of it as to not lose people's interest. It's a lot easier to read one page a day for three weeks than thirty pages all at once. Here is part one!!!!

High-Contrast Hockey
One of the most celebrated sports events in the last century is considered to be when Jackie Robinson took to the baseball field wearing the blue and white uniform of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1948. The significance is evidenced in the fact that no MLB player can wear Robinson’s number 42 on the back of his jersey; it has been retired by every team. This move of course represented a colossal shift in attitudes towards minorities in major league sports. For the first time in its history, a Major League Baseball team would dress a black player without being dissuaded by the opinions of other members of the team or members of upper management. Such a feat, even a few years earlier, would have seemed unlikely or impossible. But with the defeat of the Nazis in WWII came the supposed defeat of the concept of racial superiority. No longer was it reasonable for a man to be denied the opportunity to play professional sports based on the color of his skin.

Certainly Robinson’s entrance into MLB paved the way for the statistics we see today. According to a 2007 article published by ESPN, non-white baseball players make up approximately 40% of the MLB. This is a trend that continues into other sports. A study done by the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport recently found that as of the 2008-09 NBA season, 82% of players were black. Furthermore, USA Today reported that as of 2008, almost two-thirds of NFL players were black. These numbers certainly say something about the state of ethnic diversity in major league sports today. There is, however, one glaring exception to these numbers: only three percent of NHL players are black.

Out of the seven-hundred current skaters on NHL teams, a mere thirty of them are of African-American descent. Some names are household, such as Jarome Iginla or Chris Stewart. Some are younger players, considered to be up-and-comers of their respective franchises, such as PK Subban, Evander Kane, or Wayne Simmonds. The mere presence of these fine players begs the question: where are the rest of them? Why are there so few black hockey players in the NHL?

There are two potential reasons that I intend to investigate. The first is the issue of racism in hockey. I will examine the case of Willie O’Ree and Herbert Carnegie. I intend to disprove the assertions that these men were never given the opportunities they deserved because of racism, by backing up my arguments with a thorough look at their careers and statistics. Although there exists evidence that several other retired black NHL players were subject to racism during their careers, particularly Mike Marson and Bill Riley, their cases will serve as a foil to O’Ree’s and Carnegie’s. The second potential reason that I intend to prove is that the reason there are so few black players in the NHL is an issue of demography. There are a number of reasons young black athletes do not choose to participate in hockey; among them, cost to play and lack of outreach will reign as the two which are most prevalent.

Tune in tomorrow for the next part or whatever.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Forgotten Member of The Oilers Octane Cheer Team!

With the announcement of the first NHL cheer team in Canada, the Oilers Octane, the other night we at Oiler Spill noticed that when constructing the website for the team one member was left out. I assume it is an age thing; at 34 Shelly is the oldest member of the team (though not by as much as you'd think. I'm no expert but at 29 years old would you consider yourself a lifer in the cheerleading industry?). We took it upon ourselves to give Shelly her own bio page, because let's not forget, she is a member of this team too!

Age: 34

Occupation/Post-Secondary program: I am a professional hockey player but unlike a lot of American Hockey League players I don't need a summer job, I make way more money than my peers ;) I'm not studying health care like most of the Octane girls, but you could say I have a lot of experience in that field, especially physical rehabilitation.

Hometown: Elk Point, AB.

Hobbies: Riding buses, punching helmets, taking slap shots, having constant, like every second, communication with team officials while I sit in a hospital bed watching old Baywatch reruns.

Why you love hockey: I guess you could say I love hockey, I mean even though I'm way better than everyone on my team I continue to play even though I know I will not be back in the NHL this season. So maybe it's not that I love hockey, it's that I like getting paid. To be honest I'm still shocked someone was willing to pay me this much ($5.4 million NBD) to play 40 games a season!

Life Lesson: Word is bond. Contracts may be guaranteed but that doesn't mean you can't find ways around them!

Favourite thing about Oil Country: I love how passionate the fans are! I mean when I first arrived they treated me like I never left since I did grow up in Oil Country, now they treat me like they never wanted me to come home. I still don't get what I did wrong :(

Dancing/Cheerleading since: Age 3

Highlights of your dance/cheer experience: Ummm definitely the 2007/08 and 2009/10 seasons. I only got to play 26 and 37 games in those seasons so that gave me a lot of time to practice and work on my moves. Oh yeah and of course making the Oilers Octane Cheer Team. Muuuuuuah!

Cool fact about Shelly: I played Junior hockey in Prince George (bbbbbrrrrrrrrr!). Me and my friend Marty own a restaurant in Montreal. I have a really hard slap shot. I was once married to a former Baywatch hottie. On December 3, 2008, the Stars' broadcast team called me a "Studly Wonderbomb," so yeah I know I'm a hottie! KTHXBYE!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

In response to Eric Francis

This was Eric Francis' tweet last night after the Flames squandered a two-goal first period lead and eventually came out on the positive side of a 3-2 overtime decision. Quite frankly, I see where he is coming from, but it is a little immature. It's no secret that just about anybody who watches more than 25 Flames games a season has been calling for someone's head. Because we all pay to watch the Flames, we're all hockey experts, but our opinions differ. Some want Darryl fired, some would prefer Brent. Some would like to see Ken King get the axe. Personally I think Harvey has got to go.

From the article published today (link here) it is hard to tell which Francis would prefer. But at the root of the tweet is the thought that winning games will only hurt the Flames, because this is not a team that is built to be competitive. Realistically, I'd have a hard time defending that.

You can see its pretty ugly. Obviously Calgary is at the bottom of the Western Conference. If you only looked at this, it might be reasonable to think that Calgary could have a shot at a lottery pick. To those who don't know, a "lottery pick" is considered to one of the top five picks in the draft. The bottom five teams in the league all enter a "lottery" at the end of the season. The team who wins the lottery gets the first overall pick, then the second, and so on. The worse your team does, the better chance they get at winning the first overall pick.

Calgary is (as good as) last in the West. Two points up on the Oilers, but the Oilers have two games in hand etc. It might be reasonable to speculate that because of their standings in the West, this would transfer to a league-wide status. The case is otherwise:

These are the standings for the bottom half of the league. As you can see, Calgary would need to finish between 25-30 to get a lottery pick. They are currently in 22nd place, but more importantly, you need to consider the facts. Realistically, although the bottom five teams all have a shot at the first overall selection, its only the bottom two teams that actually get a chance as the lottery is weighted. I think 30th has a ~44% or something like that, then 29th has around ~20%. Really don't feel like Googling it.

The Devils and Islanders are done. Nobody is going to touch the mess that is going down on Long Island.

My point is: the Flames aren't going to finish below either of these two teams, and therefore won't really have a shot at the top pick. If you're not going to shoot for the top pick, why would you try to lose? They might as well come out and be competitive every night and at least give people a reason to watch the team play.

This is now on Youtube:

(so is this one)

I agree that management needs to be held accountable for their actions. But until there is a real plan in place, in terms of what direction and what kind of structure this franchise is going to have, nothing should be done. I'll still watch Calgary play every night. Does that make me an irrational consumer? Maybe. I won't let that bother me though. I still know that night in and out the Flames have a chance to win every game they play. Its the hope that keeps me coming back for more.

 I'm going to Flames/Leafs on Thursday night. I am really unsure what to do about Phaneuf. The first thing I thought was to boo him. But then I sat back and thought about it. He didn't really do anything to Calgary, or to the Flames, to hurt them. I mean, Darryl Sutter straight up lied to his face. He issued a press release that said Dion Phaneuf would not be traded, then traded him like ten days later. Looking back at that trade is absurd now. Mayers is gone, Stajan is a healthy scratch, and White got traded for Babchuk and Kostopolous. So that trade was pretty much Phaneuf and Keith Aulie for Nik Hagman. My god.

I'll be posing the question on Twitter, so tweet at me with suggestions (@rshillin). Also make sure you follow @TheRealDanMoser too. When he's not writing about corsi and qualcomp stats he says some funny shit. The guy can't help it, he loves the stats.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Leenus Oh Leenus Omark

Basically I am being lazy. These videos are fun and easy to make. I find the robotic voices awesome, and I think this is how the Black Eyed Peas make music now. Really the only downside is that if you watch too many of them you start to think in that voice. It is getting weird. Enjoy.

The video was getting too long but really I have no idea how Linus Omark will do when he gets some game action. Here are some other reasons I'm not too excited:
  1. The guy makes Sam Gagner look like a giant
  2. The only reason he is on the big club right now is because more important players are hurt
  3. Some Oiler fans are using this H.O.P.E. thing where each letter stands for one of the kids names, Hall, Eberle, etc. If hope is really four rookie forwards these fans are in for a shock. For me hope includes some d-men and a goalie.
Blog over.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Flames win game; 2004 Stanley Cup

I think we might be romanticizing that run a little bit...
Remember Alyn McCauley??

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Flames: An Introspective

You didn't think I was gonna let Moser have all the fun on his own did you?

I could see these videos getting out of hand. Especially now that it's exam break.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Candid Conversation Between an Oilers Fan and a Flames Fan

Something I whipped up quickly.
Let's call it Shilling vs Moser V1

State of the Union

Hoooo boy, that is a long way down for the Calgary Flames.

Allow me to put things as such: The Edmonton Oilers have declared that they are a rebuilding club. They have asked for their fanbase to have patience while they blew up the team, decided to build through the draft, etc. In the interests of full disclosure, the Oilers made the decision to announce to their fans that things just weren't working out.

The Calgary Flames have gone on the record, time and time again, saying that they believe that they are
1. a playoff team
2. expecting to compete for the Stanley Cup.

The Edmonton Oilers are in 14th place. The Calgary Flames are in 15th place. And nobody seems to see anything wrong with this.

Even though the Flames are in dead last place in the entire Western Conference, there is a way to spin things. Calgary is only five points out of the 8th playoff spot. Accounting for the teams ahead of them winning some games as well, Calgary is only one four or five game winning streak from clawing their way back into the playoff scene. Certainly that isn't impossible.

Also, if you've been watching these games, the Flames haven't looked too too bad on that many nights in a row. I feel like there have been some games that simply got away from the team, as well as what is the worst road trip of all time, ever, that really didn't help out the situation. Even so, they came out with some points against teams they probably didn't deserve to beat.

Calgary plays tonight, in Chicago, and a win would be fantastic obviously. Tuesday there is a home game against Tampa Bay, then they hit the road for back-to-back road games in LA and Anaheim (watch this entire video). Four games in a week, three on the road. If Calgary beats the Ducks and another team (hopefully one of LA or Chicago) and loses the other two games (TB and LA/CHI)...things don't get much better, but at least they'll be floating, more or less.

The week of the 12th is pretty much make or break, in that case. Home games against Columbus, Toronto, and Minnesota all need to be won in order to have a chance in hell of staying alive this season.


 Do not blow up this team.

When I watch Flames games, I do not feel the same sense of helplessness I do when I watch other rebuilding clubs such as the Oilers. Yes I am aware the Oilers have won four in a row and that I am probably going to end up having to buy Dan Moser a Taylor Hall jersey. Seriously, the Flames are not that bad. They still have the best goaltender in the league. Their defense is pretty damn good until you get to the Fab 4 of Staios/Sarich/Mikkelson/Babchuk. And the offensive players aren't complete shit either. Hagman is starting to get it together, Iggy doesn't look completely lost, hell even Backlund is skating really well. Alex Tanguay could not record a point the rest of the season and he would already be worth his contract. 

And doesn't your mouth salivate at the prospect of watching a line of Jokinen/Kotalk/Kostopolous?
(I hadn't made a joke in a while).

To blow up this team would be a mess. Who is going to be in charge? Jay Feaster? The guy who decided to give Lecavalier $10 million a season? Please. If ownership decides to blow this thing up, there needs to be a definite plan in place. Don't roll out naked, bring an uzi.

This team should be good enough to win games. Quite frankly, I still feel like there is a 40% chance that the Flames can still make the playoffs. And I would rather take a 40% chance every year of making the playoffs than take the risk of toiling away at the bottom of the league for years. Everybody talks about how Chicago drafted Kane 1st overall in 2007 then won a cup in 2010. Do people just forget that Chicago was atrocious for years before that? I don't have the patience to put up with that BS in Calgary. 

Here are some Henrik Karlsson .gifs to take your mind off what is happening on the ice (courtesy of Lorne Tucker's kid):

Some kinda backup.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Opportunity Cost

By Dan Moser

Let me start by saying I hope my hiatus did not alienate my fan (that's not a typo). On to the message:

If you have taken any Econ classes or anything of that nature there are two things you should know: There is a lot of money to be made in Widgets and possibly a Widget factory and there is a hidden cost in everything you do called opportunity cost. Basically in terms I can understand, the opportunity cost is what you could be doing/spending money on instead of what are you doing/spending money on. If I got that wrong it is probably this Doctor's fault, we took Econ together.

For my triumphant return to the blogosphere I submit to you the opportunity cost of watching an Oilers' game on television. I feel like I need to add a disclaimer before I start. During my break the Oilers have been awful, and watching the games has been just as awful. The Oilers won last night, and in Ottawa no less, a place where they have not won since this picture was relevant in Senator fan's (are they real?) lives:
Anyway just because the Oilers won doesn't mean it was a great game and the first two periods really made me think there are a lot of programs I would much rather be watching. Also, I now have more respect for that blog dude Tyler Dellow and his site, not for the Colie Mail stuff (personal opinion alert but I think it was a little overblown). This site actually goes to the trouble of counting the Oilers' scoring chances during games. WOW. I counted one in the first two periods, but to be fair Oiler powerplays tend to put me to sleep. 

So, what I have done is given you a guide of what I television I could have been enjoying instead of the Oilers Senators game. It took slightly less intelligence than what Dellow does but hey, we can't all be brilliant law learned people. Enjoy! 

I didn’t include sports or movies because obviously no one can say no to the last half of Twilight and Rear Window or Monday Night Football and a group of degenerate gamblers playing cards. I included two programs per viewing block because let's be honest in today's world of twittering, facespace, and the tubing of you, one TV show is simply not enough.

Seriously if it wasn't for people watching poker on TV for some reason I am 100% certain this guy would be down three fingers and in debt to Russian gangsters....sounds like a KHL player when I say it aloud.

5:30-6:00 – Shaw 107 BITE – Arrested Development. “Good Grief”, (2004), Hors d’oeuvres accompany news of George Sr., which is kept from Buster while Gob plans an illusion to honor their father. (Comedy). 
Despite not being on the air for a number of years Arrested Development has to be one of the best shows no longer on TV. FOX cancelled it, claiming that none of the characters or situations were relatable. What the f*ck does that say about Jersey Shore? That thought brings me to an unrelated point: there is only one rule on my blog, never fall in love at the Jersey Shore.

5:30-6:00 – Shaw 13 KXLY – Seinfeld. “Pilot Episode”, (1989), A woman whom Jerry met on the road is coming to town---and wants to stay with him. Laura: Pamela Brull. (Comedy).
Not the best episode of Seinfeld but when was the last time the Oilers showed up for a first period anyway. I know some people that don't like Seinfeld, they watch Two and A Half Men. Nuff said.
6:00-6:30 – Shaw 16 KAYU – The Simpsons. Matt Groening’s subversive, animated satire about Springfield’s hapless first family. (Animated Comedy).
The info on my cable box didn't mention which episode was being aired. Pick the worst episode of The Simpsons you can think of, I'll watch it three times then pawn the episode's jokes off as my own and tap my chest with two fingers while saying: "Pure Moser."

6:00-7:00 – Shaw 29 FOOD – Iron Chef America. “Morimoto vs. Symon”, (2005), Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto takes on challenger Michael Symon. (Food).
The description tells you nothing about the episode, I would bet that sarcastic fat guy that loves food is one of the judges. The guy wrote a book called The Man who Ate Everything. Even if the food is no good I guarantee he licks his plate clean. Claim you don't watch this? Liar.

BONUS! 6:00-7:00 – Shaw 25 A&E – Intervention. “Sandy”, (2009), Alcoholism and prescription-drug addiction are the topics. (Documentary).
Classic. Everyone secretly or publicly enjoys watching other people struggle to deal with their own problems. I lack traditional employment and own as many pairs of pajama pants as I do regular pants, but hey, at least I'm not addicted to crack.

6:30-7:00 – Shaw 16 KAYU – The Office. “Two Weeks”, (2009), Michaels’s relationship with the new vice president (Idris Elba) becomes more and more strained, but that doesn’t stop Michael from shirking work and responsibility even more than usual. Meanwhile, Pam falls victim to the new copier. (Comedy).
I'll watch any episode of The Office but this is a really good one. Nothing beats having to watch Rob Faulds in between periods like the creation of the Michael Scott Paper Company. 

7:00-7:30 – Shaw 16 KAYU – How I Met Your Mother. “The Bracket”, (2008), Barney tries to find the mystery woman who’s out to ruin his reputation, and he uses the basketball tournament-bracket template to eliminate 64 suspects, all of whom have reasons to hate him. (Comedy).
To be honest I don't really watch this show, but I have been told to. The title of the episode and premise sound promising and also that Neil Patrick Harris has excellent comedic timing.

Tough call for a second show for 7:00-7:30. Really though, what is worse? According to Jim (that’s right, Jim Belushi is still working), the insanely unfunny Two and A Half Men (jeez two shot at Two and A Half Men in on blog? Sorry Chuck, I owe you a drink), or a Hemsky-less Oilers' game that is being billed as a return to Ottawa for third string goaltender Martin Gerber and a return to Ottawa for Jordan Eberle who once played in a hockey tournament in Ottawa, which really begs the question of how the media will react to my return to Beaumont, AB, a place where I once played a hockey tournament. 
Red font for the sake of red font.

7:30-8:00 – Shaw 11 CJEO – The Simpsons. “Make Room for Lisa”, The Simpsons are forced to house a cellular transmitter, giving Lisa stress, while Marge hears calls through Maggie’s baby monitor. (Animated Comedy).
A weak episode but still good for a few laughs. Homer gets his head crushed by a bridge, Lisa takes a bus to the Russian district of Springfield, Marge hits Milpool with a baby monitor, some other topical stuff happens. 

7:30-8:00 – Shaw 4 CBXT – Jeopardy! The classic thinking person’s answer-and-question quiz, developed by Merv Griffin. (Game Show).
Important note: even during the on the couch edition, if you don't phrase your answers in the form of a question, you don't get the points.

If I hadn't watched The Walking Dead at 4 A.M. Monday morning I probably would have watched that twice. Keep in mind, this is really just what I would watch, some people like Chuck for some reason.
The Oilers win a game?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and (when not hungover) Saturday are my training days. Those are the days I take my Superpump, crush weights, run on the treadmill, then come home and absolutely shit my guts out. Let me make something perfectly clear: I love these days. That's why, when I woke up today and tried to start my car, I vowed to graduate with my bullshit history degree and get out of Edmonton as quickly as I could.

Because I had so much free time on my hand, I slayed some Spanish homework (a mi no me gusta los pantalones) and did some cruising around the internet. I was checkin' out Facebook when I saw something from the Calgary Flames Official blah blah Facebook Playstation Racing Game whatever:
I figured what the hell, I wasn't going to be doing anything between 10-12pm now that I couldn't get my pump on, might as well check that shit out. What was even better was I remembered I've got NHL Network on cable at my place, so I'd get to watch it live instead of having to stream it.

I probably got caught up googling Eminem guitar tabs or something stupid like that but I ended up missing the first hour and only started watching around 11:00am. The two dudes running the program were just talking about some shitgarbage and they kept saying that Rene Bourque and Mark Giordano were going to be running late.

Wait a minute, what?

What happened to Iginla? I was hoping to hear from the dude who just scored six goals in three games. And man, they were running an hour late already? Oh well, I figured. They would probably get some good air time anyways. Meanwhile, the boys running NHL Live were scrambling to save their broadcasting lives. Obviously they weren't planning on having to bullshit for over an hour while waiting for their guests. They opened up the phone lines where I was witness to one of the dumbest suggestions of all time.
 You love the Hawks eh? Who was their goalie in 03-04 again? Oh you don't remember?

A guy who was only identified as Rich from Chicago phoned in with his suggestion as to bring out the skills in the game. I couldn't make this up, his suggestion was as follows: if, for example, the right winger enters the offensive zone, and holds onto the puck behind the net long enough to come out the other (left) wing, the play gets blown dead and he is given a two-minute delay of game penalty.
Rich from Chicago is a dick and doesn't understand that having that as a rule doesn't encourage more skilled players to play the game. In fact Rich, it does the opposite. Did you drink a gallon of bleach before you phoned in today? Why don't we eliminate defensemen joining the rush while we're at it?

My only guess is that Rich from Chicago is over 85 years old and wants to see a return to old time hockey. Like, before you could pass the puck forward, and before goalies were allowed to fall on the ice. This is one of the stupidest suggestions I've ever heard for how to give skill-players the chance to excel. Does he even watch Blackhawks games? How many times does Patrick Kane do this a game...

By the time I finished taking mental notes so I could write about it on this site, it was around 11:30 and Chris Pronger was on the phone. He had a great line too, when the guys asked him about how he felt being 3rd in all-star defense voting behind Lidstrom and Keith. Something to the extent of, "I'd ask people go to out and vote for me but I've got a feeling a lot of cities don't like me".

So it's 11:40 and I've heard from Rich from Chicago and big bad Chris Pronger. Where the hell are Giordano and Bourque? They're only gonna have twenty minutes to be interviewed. They take a commercial break and finally, at 11:45, Rene and Gio hit the screen. They stick around and answer literally three questions: what its like being in NYC, what it was like to go 7-0 in the preseason (remember that?), and whether or not Bourque had fun at University. Then they left.

Thanks Calgary Flames, even when you're not on the ice you manage to underwhelm me time and time again.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Turco Sucks

It became pretty clear to me pretty quickly last night that Marty Turco is not a good goalie. I can say that most of the goals he let in were soft (save a sick Iggy tip) and that if he had any clue how to fall to the ice in a butterfly stance, almost all of those shots could have been soft. On that note, I'm happy to credit the Flames for truly playing until the final buzzer. They kept putting shots on Turco, and when you do that with a lazy goalie, you can score seven goals a game.

I'm still not sold on Nik Hagman. Yes he scored a (weak) goal last night and was originally credited with Iggy's second, but the last few games the guy has quite frankly looked like a steaming pile of dogshit. As for the new guys, Kosto and BABchuk, the only reason I noticed them was because they were on the ice and I wasn't used to seeing 16 and 33 without Friesen and Aucoin on the backs of the jerseys (who, by the way, would make some nice veteran signings Darryl). Of note: the Flames are now 1-0-0 without Olli Jokinen in the lineup. Just sayin'.

Best text from last night goes to Donsky (he in red, myself in green):

Holy [expletive] Turco is lazy

Haha I'm at the other end of the rink I can't see him much

Saw Gio layout Hossa just fine

I find myself feeling split right now. Although I never want to wish bad tidings on the Flames, I think I wanted them to lose the game last night just to see what the reaction would be in terms of the front office management. But I suppose we're just another January away from drowning in the obscurity of the bottom of the NHL... and this becomes relevant again:

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The 4th annual Calgary Flames freefall

With last night's 4-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks, my confidence in this year's Calgary Flames hockey club is whittled down, not unlike the puck that Logan Couture rubs on his stick before every game he plays.

The Flames have played sixteen games this season, not even a quarter-way through the year, but if there is any reason to think differently that this team is so fundamentally flawed and will not compete for a spot in the top-eight teams in the conference, please inform me.

Calgary is now 1-6 in their last seven games. Five of the six losses were games that Calgary held the lead in. Here are some things to think about: The Flames, supposedly Stanley Cup contenders a year ago, slipped down the stretch (read: January) last year and removed themselves from a playoff spot. The supposed problem? A new head coach, time to buy into the system, etc. Now the Flames are 7-9 on the season and currently look like they have no idea how to win a hockey game.

If you watched last night's contest, San Jose looked like they did everything they could to lose that game. Dany Heatley had four shots on net --those don't count the two he absolutely rifled over Kipper-- and he finished without a point on the night. The Sharks were taking penalties left right and center. They started Antti Niemi in net for Christ's sake, who got his second win of the season and brought down his GAA.

This is not a team, but rather a conglomeration of players. For whatever reason, they can't seem to get it together. So fifteen games into the season, I present to you, where I would like to see some of these players go.

Jarome Iginla

I am personally against Iginla being traded. I think that after all he has done for the franchise and the City of Calgary, he needs to retire as a Flame. Not sold? Take a look at Mike Modano right now. If you were a Stars fan would you be able to take him seriously?

If Iggy goes anywhere, its got to be Pittsburgh. If the debate in Calgary is "get a center for Iggy", the call in Pittsburgh has been "get a winger for Sid". Would this move realistically happen? Iginla would be a fool to not waive his NMC, and the question would be what the Flames want in return. I assume Darryl Sutter hates first-round draft picks so that's out of the question, and I also happen to have a sneaking suspicion he loves defencemen. The trade goes down as follows: Jarome Iginla and a 3rd round pick to PIT for Brooks Orpik and Max Talbot.

Why the trade makes sense:
Because it doesn't make any sense.

Robyn Regehr
This is your childhood dying on  your computer screen

I've said before I think Regehr is one of the most over-rated defencemen in the league. Here is a guy who makes $4million and is not expected to chip in offensively at all. The last three years he has scored five, zero, and two goals, while earning point totals of 20, 8, and 17. For four million dollars a season. The argument is that he is supposed to be one of the better defensive defenceman in the league. EVEN IF he is the PREMIER defensive shutdown guy in the league (which he is not), four million bucks a year?

Regehr goes to Ottawa if anywhere. Ottawa is a team that recently called up David Hale on defense. When your team is screaming for help on defense, they call up David Hale. Regehr goes to Ottawa in exchange for Nick Foligno and Chris Kelly, thus adding more depth forwards and still not addressing any of Calgary's real needs.

Why the trade makes sense:
In this case the cap numbers actually work out, Ottawa gets a defensively reliable player to play with Gonchar, and Calgary spins its tires once again.

Miikka Kiprusoff

This is the man who is acting as Mighty Putty for this Calgary Flames team. This basically means he is patching up every hole in this team to date. Far and away the team MVP, the Flames actually owe it to Kiprusoff to trade him away to a contender so he can win the Stanley Cup he deserves.

What team on the edge of greatness needs a goalie? Couple of choices. The obvious pick is Washington. Sure people are raving about rookie Michael Neuvirth's play so far in net. But are you really going to sit there and tell me that he is going to win the close games for Washington in the playoffs? Kiprusoff to Washington for Brooks Laich, Tomas Fleischmann, and a 3rd round pick.

Why the trade makes sense:
Washington gets a goalie, Calgary gets depth depth depth! On the condition they re-acquire that pesky draft pick they were able to ship off in the Pittsburgh trade.

The other not-so-obvious choice I'd say is Detroit. I've never been sold on Jimmy Howard, and with Kipper in net wearing the winged wheel, this is a team that would benefit greatly from his services. Kiprusoff is shipped off to the Motor City in exchange for Daniel Cleary and Justin Abdelkader.

Why the trade makes sense:
Jimmy Howard might be a fine goalie but there's no way to say he is better than Kiprusoff, and Kipper will most definitely make it past the last day of the regular season first-round of the playoffs. Flames get a couple younger players who might actually look like they give a rat's ass.

All in all I know its only fifteen games in but quite frankly I'm just getting bored of watching the Flames play, and these changes would really alter the team and perhaps send them in a direction that is up from 14th in the conference.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Flames PR falls flat

Are the Flames talking about a game against kids in wheelchairs or about the season as a whole?

Most striking things about this video:

Who wears #32 on Calgary?
Ryan Stone.
If Ryan Stone tried to play ball hockey with me, I'd probably tell him to fuck off.


Why are some of the players wearing jerseys with 30th year anniversary patches?


Where is the 2009 banner, and why is the 2010 banner shown before the game has been started in the video? This is a simple matter of continuity editing.


Jokinen unable to clear the puck for a goal against the Flames, not an unusual sight.

"We either need some goals from him or we need him to go back and stop some goals, but he's just kind of floating out there"- Brendan Morrison on Iginla's struggles this season from the game.

Who cares that Brett Sutter got arrested, this should in no way affect the on-ice product. Maybe it will force Darryl's hand into retirement so he can focus on his family etc, paving the way for a new GM and possibly a first-round draft pick.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

How to not get a job pt. 2

New Flames goal song

For those who made it through the preliminary bullshit of my last post and got to the cover letter I actually bothered to submit to IGN, you will enjoy this.
Actually, I might as well take some time to clear some things up:

1. This is primarily a hockey blog that focuses on the Flames and Oilers. The Real Dan Moser and I are really fans of the game though, so its not unusual to see us writing about something else hockey-related.

2. Sometimes this is where I post other things I feel like writing about.

3. I've not written in quite some time but I haven't been sitting around doing nothing. I'm working on a 25 page paper for a 400-level History of Sport in Canada class. It is fucking awesome. We got to pick our own topics, I'm writing about why there are so few black hockey players.
3a. I'm done 14 pages, which is four-thousand words. This means I only need another...four-thousand words.
3b. I'm out of shit to talk about so gimmie any ideas if you got 'em. If this paper makes me famous I won't forget who you are.
3c. I also need a catchy title (Black Ice is not good enough).

Now that we've got that out of the way, I'd like to continue with my mini-series entitled Lessons in Stupidity. Volume 1 was pretty much me making fun of myself in a cover letter I sent to IGN that should be immediately below this post. Allow me to set you up for part two of this documentary. My roommate Chris told me he had heard about a marketing internship that was opening up with the Oilers

This is why I chose to clear some things up at the beginning of this post: how could a Flames fan even contemplate working for the Oilers? Well its because quite frankly I love hockey regardless of who is playing it, and come on like I'm gonna get a job offer from an NHL team and turn them down...Although that wouldn't make me the first Calgarian to refuse to work for the Oilers.

Honestly, I look back at this cover letter I sent to the Oilers and just laugh about some of the shit I actually wrote in it. As always I'll provide my commentary where I see fit, and after this maybe I'll actually write something about the Flames:

Good day,
My name is Richard Shilling and I am applying for the marketing internship with the Edmonton Oilers. I am a fourth year student at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, and I will be graduating in December of 2011. I am originally from Calgary and decided to come to Edmonton to see what the City of Champions was all about. I arrived in 2007 and have yet to see a championship come through the city, although I am optimistic about the city’s chances for the future. Being from Calgary, I am a Flames fan, but that should not hinder my chances of working for the Oilers organization. Just look at Taylor Hall. If one good thing can come out of Calgary, can’t two?

My God, did I just chirp the city of Edmonton in my opening paragraph? I can only assume they threw this whole application away after that. I think the Taylor Hall line is great.

I have some experience with amateur writing; I started a hockey blog in December of 2009 that mostly focused on the Flames. Unlike many blogs, mine does not contain much statistical analysis, it is writing with a more satirical focus. Being self-deprecating while cheering for the Flames generally goes hand-in-hand. The blog that ran from December 2009 to September 2010 is Currently I am working on a different blogging website, this one that focuses on the Flames and Oilers. I co-run the website with a young man named Daniel Moser who interned with Off The Record at TSN this summer. That (active) blog is Also, I recently realized the importance of social networking, and thus have joined Twitter. I can be found at!/rshillin

"Being self-deprecating while cheering for the Flames generally goes hand-in-hand". This is the best sentence I have ever written. Also, follow me on Twitter.

I have experience working with children of varying abilities as I worked at a summer camp, Camp BB Riback, from 2006 to 2010. Going through the ranks of Junior Counselor all the way up to Assistant Director, I have had the opportunity to work with many different people who come from different backgrounds. 

Where to start...
a. The term "Assistant Director" is not true. I was the "Operations Manager". Which would you write?
b. Working with different people who come from different backgrounds? More like going into Red Deer to buy shit that slipped through the cracks and cleaning toilets.
c. Darryl Katz's kids went to Camp BB Riback in 2009. They did not re-register for 2010. Oops.

Applying for a marketing internship is something I’ve always been interested in, and I happened to hear about this from my roommate. If hired, I am willing commit full time from January until the end of the season or longer, even if it means putting my education on hold. I already will be staying in Edmonton for the first semester of 2011, and pushing it back to 2012 would not devastate me, especially if it meant having an opportunity like this.
I thank you for your consideration and I hope to hear back soon.
-Richard Shilling

I almost feel like I should start applying to all sorts of jobs with cover letters like these and then post them on a website like Don't Even Reply.