Monthly Archives: January 2016

My Thoughts on John Scott’s Player’s Tribune Editorial
(Warning: The following article contains profanity, and has been labeled by the editor as NSFW.)


As I sat at the tail end of class close to lunch time scrolling through my Twitter feed, I stumbled across another Puck Daddy article about John Scott. This time it was a little article kind of talking about and summing up the Montreal Canadien enforcer’s piece from The Player’s Tribune. Well, trying really hard not to spoil anything until I actually had The Player’s Tribune piece opened up (I’m usually really bad about not spoiling anything for myself), I tapped the link that came with the article and read through it.

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Kassian Gamble Paying Dividends for Oilers

Zack Kassian. A name that has gone hand in hand with controversy ever since he emerged as a high level prospect. Taken 13th overall in 2009 by Buffalo, Kassian has earned plaudits for his physical approach to the game, but it is his off-ice antics that threatened to curtail an NHL career that began with significant promise.

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John Scott Will Captain Pacific Division After All

Last time I posted for INUK, I expressed my bitter outrage on how the NHL disregarded fan vote and were destroying John Scott’s and his family’s lives. All over twitter, people were divided into those who were just as bitter as me that John Scott was being forced out of the All-Star Game, and those who thought the fans who voted him into the game were just flat-out stupid.

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Life on the Blue Line: The NIHL Defender

Home to the powerful penalty killer, the long-distanced lamp lighter and the speculative shooter, the NIHL blue line has presented its fair share of defencemen over the years, but just how important is the role of NIHL defender and why is the hard work of blue liners so frequently overlooked?

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All-Star Game Controversy: Shame On You, NHL

Former Arizona Coyotes forward and All-Star captain John Scott, who was selected by the vast majority of hockey fans to go to the All-Star game in Nashville on Jan. 31st, was one of the few players excited to go to the ASG. According to the article written by Puck Daddy’s Josh Cooper, Scott wasn’t rattled by the controversy surrounding the amount of fan votes piled upon him. No. According to the enforcer himself, he was going for his family.

Unfortunately, today that plan was ruined by 3-player trade involving the Coyotes, Montreal Canadiens, and Nashville Predators. While I’m sure all three teams had their other needs and necessities (although the Habs clearly lost out on such a one-sided trade), according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie… well, I’ll just let you read his tweet for yourself:

Here’s more:

As I certainly would too, Bob. As I certainly would too if I were him.

See, here’s the thing. We all know John Scott isn’t a very good hockey player. It’s been proven before, and he’s had a bad rep from his past of being a pest. Truth is, that’s kind of his job as an enforcer, other than at least try to play some decent hockey.

However, in this case, that’s not the point. Why do sports leagues have an All-Star Game? Why? Clearly, it’s for all fans, players, coaches, and the Leagues, as well as the players’ families to have fun, regardless of whether or not they actually do. The NHL opened the All-Star voting earlier in the season to let us fans pick and choose who we want in the All-Star Game, right? It’s been that way for quite some time now. But to forcefully kick John Scott out of the All-Star Game when 1) he was voted in by the fans, 2) his family encouraged him to go, and most importantly, 3) he never ASKED to be in the All-Star Game (no one really asks for it anyway), that’s a bush-league move, NHL. Oh, and I almost forgot, his wife is expecting to have twins, making all this unnecessary drama hard on him and his family.

He’s a freakin’ human being, for Christ sake! I don’t give a sh*t how much he earns as an NHLer/AHLer. I don’t care how much time of ice he gets, how many points he’s scored over the course of his career. That stuff doesn’t matter in this case, and it shouldn’t!

If the NHL didn’t want John Scott to be in the All-Star Game, they shouldn’t have opened fan voting to begin with. They shouldn’t have even had fan voting. Just pick and choose whoever the hell they want to make the All-Star Game, or in this case, whoever’s “eligible” to be in the ASG.

This was bush-league. It all would have been for laughs, especially since it’s all for fun anyway, but nope. Fun’s over. Right, Gary Bettman? Shame on you for ruining a good thing, NHL.

Also, since we’re on this subject, I don’t know if anyone from here at INUK is going to be covering the trade from today, but here’s Darren Dreger’s tweet:


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“Weird” 2015-16 NHL Season is Result of League-Wide Parity

See update below article

Earlier this year before the regular season even began in the National Hockey League, the Anaheim Ducks were the early favorites to win the Stanley Cup. However, due to a poor early start* they are now (believe it or not) worse than the Edmonton Oilers in the Pacific Division standings. Regardless of the numerical positioning, though, let’s take a look at the number of points for each team. Aside from the Los Angeles Kings basically just running away with the division with 42 points, San Jose has 33 points. The Calgary Flames and Vancouver are currently tied with 32 points. Arizona and Edmonton are tied with 30, and then there’s Anaheim with 27. That’s just the Pacific Division.

The same general tightness applies throughout the League. The competition is just so high nowadays. It’s absolutely phenomenal. Now, why is it so high?

It Ain’t Old Time Hockey Anymore

Without trying to overstate the obvious, the game is played at a much faster pace these days. Now, I don’t know about the old days in terms of how much strategy there was to a team’s game play other than just shooting the puck on net and expecting it to go in, but every facet of the game has changed since. Teams are much more structured defensively, which makes it harder to make offensive plays. The importance of being a role player is most definitely well defined in today’s NHL. While offense is still an important part of the game today (because you need enough goals to win), it’s especially important to play that two-way game. Instead of going end to end by yourself or on the rush with team mates to score a goal without having to worry too much about defense, you’d need to be able to recognize the play so well both offensively and defensively.

Also, gone are the days of simply going after a guy from the other team and mashing their face in. Hey, we love rivalries, right? Who doesn’t love a good face mashing? However, again, this is hockey, and in the modern NHL, unless they can actually play hockey goons are quickly disappearing from the League. Of course, there are other reasons for this such as player safety, but the ability for a “goon” these days to be able to play hockey just like everyone else and provide the physicality and grit to help their teammates while also not being afraid to drop the mitts once in a while is important. The best they’d do is be a fourth liner, but that at least beats being cut completely from being on the roster.

Salary Cap

I’m not a huge financial guy. In fact, I’d probably be bankrupt by now if my parents actually let me really spend my money on the stuff I wanted, but I can tell you that the salary cap is a definite huge reason for the high competition in this league. Let’s face it. Everyone wants to win. Everyone wants a shot at Lord Stanley, but of course not everyone gets a chance to. That’s why you’ve got teams rebuilding, retooling, and just trying to make themselves better by picking up better players.

However, with the salary cap system so tight now, it’s impossible to really retain a player or certain players for so long. Take Chicago for example. It’s amazing to me that this Blackhawks team has been able to keep their core in tact and win three Stanley Cups in just six years while under the salary cap. Of course, now Patrick Sharp is with Dallas, along with Johnny Oduya. Brandon Saad is with the Columbus Blue Jackets, but this team is still very dangerous with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. There’s just so much budgeting and knowing who to trade and get and who not to give up. It’s not easy to do that in the modern NHL, but the Hawks have done it.

The problem with a lot of teams, namely my own San Jose Sharks, is that they love to give out NTCs and NMCs to old veteran guys and key pieces. The problem with that it’s much harder to trade them unless they’re asked to waive their No Movement Clauses. Then there’s the buyouts, the cap penalties, and all that. It’s ridiculously hard to keep your team strong at an elite level and add the necessary players, not to mention you’d have to also draft really well and be lucky.

The Bottom Line…

The talent, compete level, and expectations for every player and team is only going to trend upwards I imagine. So, it’s not going to get any easier to win a championship. Honestly, while I don’t watch other sports much, I can’t imagine that there’s another League with more competitiveness and more parity than the National Hockey League.

UPDATE: I started this article late last year before my trip when the Ducks were still struggling at the bottom of the Pacific Division standings at around 6th or 7th place. Here’re the updated standings since then:

1. Los Angeles Kings (57 pts)

2. Arizona Coyotes (48 pts)

3. San Jose Sharks (44 pts)

4. Vancouver Canucks (44 pts)

5. Anaheim Ducks (41 pts)

6. Calgary Flames (40 pts)

7. Edmonton Oilers (38 pts)


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The Coyotes are flying high in the Pacific, but the best is yet to come

After 40 games the Arizona Coyotes sit 2nd in the Pacific Division, with 20 wins. The Yotes went winless in pre-season, but then started the league with a three game win streak – defeating LA, Pittsburgh and Anaheim.

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