Archive for the ‘Rant Of The Week’ Category

All About the Benjamins: Why NHL Players Are Choosing the KHL

August 7th, 2010 No Comments

This offseason we have watched as several NHL players have chosen to continue their career with the KHL, shunning the NHL in the process. At the top of the heap, former San Jose Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov signed a four-year, $24 million deal with SKA St. Petersburg, followed by former Atlanta Thrashers forward Maxim Afinogenov, who signed a five-year contract with SKA just yesterday. For many Russian players, heading back home to play is as much about convenience as it is about the money. That said, given the choice to make the same money, I suspect every one of them would rather be in the NHL—fact is, most of them are not worth it! While the skill level in the KHL is getting better, the league is nowhere near what the NHL is. SKA St. Petersburg, widely believed to be

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Ritter’s Rant: More On The Kovalchuk Saga- Who’s Laughing Now?

July 22nd, 2010 No Comments

Despite all the whining coming from New Jersey Devils fans, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and the NHL were completely within their rights to deem Ilya Kovalchuk’s 17-year, $102 million contract null and void. While on the surface Kovalchuk’s deal is not much different than the likes of Rick Dipietro, Roberto Luongo or Alex Ovechkin’s contract, the fact remains that given how little Kovalchuk was meant to earn over the final years of his contract made the contract a joke, which is why the NHL gave it the boot. Lost in all the Kovalchuk chatter is the fact that if Kovalchuk was to retire before his 17-year deal expired (which many suggest he would) whatever amount remained on his contract would NOT count against the salary cap. The NHLPA and the players themselves are sure to get their collars up about

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Ritter’s Rant: News and Notes From Around The NHL

June 23rd, 2010 No Comments

“Boo-uuurns” Talk about your stupid decisions. The Hockey Hall of Fame committee decided in their infinite wisdom to leave former NHL coaching guru Pat Burns off their list of inductees this week. Burn’s, who is terminally ill with cancer, may not have long to live. You gotta think it would have meant a lot to Burns to see himself inducted into the Hockey hall of Fame, now, having been passed over, Burns may pass not being able to celebrate what could have been a tremendous moment for both Burns and hockey. While many see this as a cry for pity, I will remind everyone that Burns owns some of the best numbers in NHL coaching history, including three Jack Adams Awards, a Stanley Cup ring with the New Jersey Devils and a record of 501-353-151-14 through 1019 career games. Let’s

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Pat Burns Snub By Hockey Hall Of Fame Hard To Take

June 23rd, 2010 No Comments

The Hockey Hall of Fame committee consists of 18 people, including the likes of Pat Quinn, Scotty Bowman, Colin Campbell, John Davidson, James Gregory, David Branch, Harry Sinden, Michael Farber, Serge Savard, Lanny McDonald and eight others. Of those 18 a total of 14 committee members must select a nominee on their ballets. Monday night, Burns fell short, which has enraged a number of hockey fans, players, current Hall of Fame members and writers alike. In order for a player, coach or otherwise to be selected to the Hockey Hall Of Fame he or she must qualify under one or more of three categories: 1) The builder category 2) The Player Category 3) The referee/Linesman category As an NHL coach, Burns would qualify under the Builder category. Why Burns? It’s pretty simple. Pat Burns owns one of the most impressive

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Ritter’s Rant: News And Notes From Around The NHL

June 21st, 2010 No Comments

Adios Mr. Blake! The NHL lost another one of it’s greatest players last week when perennial all-star defenseman Rob Blake (who was playiong for the San Jose Sharks) announced his retirement. Blake, who posted 777 career points, including 240 goals, will be eligible for the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013—It says here he should be a first-time ballet entry. Blake had an amazing career, complete with a Norris Trophy Award in 1997-98, a Stanley Cup win with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001 and an Olympic gold medal in 2002 as a member of Team Canada. One thing is for sure, the NHL needs players like Blake—ones that are good off the ice as they are on it. He will be missed; thanks for the memories Mr. Blake! Was The Price, Right? Montreal Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier has been

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Ritter’s Rant: News and Notes from around the NHL

June 16th, 2010 No Comments

Hawks Taking Flight? First off, congratulations go out to the Chicago Blackhawks, who, despite not having a “go-to” goaltender, pulled out a terrific Stanley Cup victory over the Cinderella Philadelphia Flyers. While I admire the team that Stan Bowman and company have assembled, I just cannot see this team becoming a dynasty, not when you consider how much talent the Hawks will have to part with this summer to get under the salary cap. A core that includes Duncan Keith, Patrick Kane, and Jonathan Toews is pretty good, but it was the Blackhawks’ depth that was the deciding factor throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs. Without that depth, the Hawks will be hard-pressed to enjoy a repeat, let alone a dynasty of three to four Stanley Cups. Missing “Toews”? As much as I loved what Chicago Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews did

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