Skip to main content

Mario On The March

Just as the movie industry has been surprised by the unexpected hit March of the Penguins, hockey fans might be surprised at the march of the Pittsburgh Penguins this coming season. The new CBA has allowed many small market teams to pick up top-drawer talent, but the Penguins seem to have a plan in place to compete right away in the "new" NHL.

The headline grabber, of course, was when they lucked out and landed Sidney Crosby with the top pick in the draft, but since then their free agency pickups point to a desire to surround Crosby with high-powered offensive talent, which will not only help the rookie's development, but should put some fannies in the seats, which Pittsburgh sorely needs after its awful 2003-4 campaign. The first step in launching the offense is get the puck moving out of your own zone, and few do it better than Sergei Gonchar, who was Pittsburgh's first big acquisition this month. Over the weekend, they also added Ziggy Palffy, who is a legitimate scoring title threat. Combine that with a Mario Lemiuex who has had plenty of time to heal, and you've got the makings of a league-leading power play. Perhaps there is no greater sign of Lemieux's optimism for the team is his retention of majority ownership in the Penguins, when it was expected that he and his group would sell out majority rights to an outside investor.

One addition which snuck under the radar, however, is Mark Recchi, who returned to the Pens by signing a multi-year contract in July of 2004, after the last regular season and before the lockout. So that means Pittsburgh has added Crosby, Palffy, Gonchar and Recchi to the squad. There is still much to be done before Pittsburgh challenges for Eastern Conference supremacy, but at the very least the Penguins will put a competitive, entertaining team on the ice this season.

Popular posts from this blog

How I'm Trying To Make Money Sports Blogging

To kick off this series of articles general sports-blogging articles here at OTF Classic, I think it's best to start with a comment that Brad left here last week, after I shared my goals for 2012, which include specific revenue targets:
I considered diving into the world of internet marketing myself, but I felt that my friends would hate me for bugging them about stuff. I mean, it's pretty low-risk high-reward, so it's tempting. I wouldn't mind reading about tips on how to maximize impact of blogging in general to make it a legitimate income source. Trying to make money at sports blogging can be a very touchy subject - for the vast majority of us, this is an activity we pursue to both exercise our creativity and share our love of the game, whether it's hockey, football, badminton, whatever, with fellow fans. Mixing that personal conversation with a commercial message can turn people off, especially if it becomes too intrusive for the reader.

It's not unreasonabl…

Canadian Baloney, starring James Mirtle

A tireless refrain from the Canadian media is that Nashville is an absolute failure as a hockey market, and failing to move the team north of the border is an exercise in folly by the NHL.

Our latest exhibit comes from James Mirtle, usually one of the more thoughtful hockey bloggers extant:
But Nashville, quite simply, has proven it cannot sustain an NHL hockey team. Even with the lowest ticket prices in the entire league (I know: I've looked into flying there for a game or two) and a ridiculously forgiving arena lease, the team has had attendance issues despite having one of the best records in the league.

It's not a matter of Canadians not wanting teams in the southern U.S.; I've argued time and again in favour of teams like Dallas and Tampa Bay that have supported their teams and really brought something to the table in terms of bringing news fans and new energy to the game. That's a good thing.

The Predators, however, are not that, not in the beginning and certainly no…

Get Your NHL Super Schedule 2008-9 Right Here!

Click here for the 2009-10 NHL Super Schedule, at my new site,!

The NHL announced the 2008-9 Regular Season schedule today, so of course, it's time right here to publish my very own NHL Super Schedule 2008-9 as well.

For those unfamiliar with what I did last year, the NHL Super Schedule is a spreadsheet that I put together and make publicly available via Google Documents*. It includes an entry for each game in each team's 82-game regular season schedule, with additional information such as how far that team has had to travel since its last game, how many days have passed since that previous game, and various statistics relative to the opponent that evening, such as 2007-8 Winning Percentage, Goals Per Game, Goals Against Per Game, etc. For example, you can total the distance that each team will travel during the upcoming season, or find who plays the most back-to-back games. Check out which team faces the toughest opposing offenses, or which power plays…