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January 17, 2019
NHL News and Notes
by Michael Menser Dell, Editor-in-Chief
MAYBE NOW HE CAN AFFORD A HAIRCUT
While it may seem like a hefty contract, keep in mind, the U.S. dollar will be worth about 40 cents in the year 2018, so it really isn't as much money as it seems. Unless, of course, Ovechkin included a clause ensuring he'll get paid in space bucks, which will surely be the currency of the future. But Ovechkin has big plans for the money. Once the contract is over, he intends to retire to a condo on Mars with his lovely robot wife and their six clones.
At least the signing will put an end to all the preposterous rumors of Ovechkin signing with Montreal over the off-season. The Canadian media is great. They never let facts or common sense get in the way of a good story. They always add two plus two and get a big pile of (sunshine). I blame the metric system.
Considering his modest background, Leonsis should really be more careful, especially since he's been burned in the past giving European scorers long-term deals. He handed Jaromir Jagr an eight-year, $88-million contract and watched Puff Nuts wilt under the pressure. To be fair, when Jagr arrived in Washington, he was pretty jaded and didn't seem to enjoy hockey much, so Ovechkin's passion for the game is much greater. But will it stay that way? Knowing you've got $124 million in the bank can do strange things to people. Hell, knowing I've got $1200 in the bank does strange things to me. I'd get into detail about it, but I've never had $1200 in the bank.
And is it just me, or does Ovechkin seem like the kind of guy who could go all big time? Granted, it's not like he's been in the poorhouse the past few years, but he was always working for a new contract. Now he has it. And he's going to have it for virtually the rest of his career. We could be about six months away from finding drunken photos of him and Tara Reid on TMZ.
And here are December's least popular items...
1. Gary Bettman Growth Chart
"Jarome (Iginla) in my books is a better hockey player than Crosby because he does those things. He will fight, he will lay his body on the line and take the hit and not complain if someone hits him and stuff like that. The superstars of the league should have to do that because they're hockey players, they're not ice-skating princesses. Hockey is an emotional game, you have to stand up for yourself. You have to stand up for your actions. If you punch somebody in the face, then you should fight, that's the way hockey is suppose to be."
And isn't that what Crosby did to Ference? I guess Ference was complaining because he thinks Crosby gets mad when people hit him. Yeah, because Sid never gets hit. Crosby has been taking hacks, hooks, and hits from scrubs his whole life. Ference has no idea what Crosby has to put up with. It's ridiculous. Good ol' Andy needs to shut his mouth and know his role.
As for Iginla being better than Crosby, that's just silly. Iginla is a great hockey player. I've got him ranked third on the pound-for-pound charts, but Crosby is a whole different level. It's like comparing Michelangelo to a house painter. It's cool to say Iginla or Lecavalier is better than Crosby, but it's also wrong. Crosby's the best. And it's not even close.
One guy who recognizes greatness when he sees it is LeBron James. The Cleveland Cavaliers superstar had some kind words for Kid Crosby.
"I know he's great at what he does. They call him 'Sid the Kid,' he's been great for the Pittsburgh Penguins and what he's able to do, as young as he is, is pretty good. I know they compare him to me, and I'm excited to be compared to a guy who plays the game the way he does."
It's actually kind of weird how history is repeating itself. Back in the day, the careers of Michael Jordan and Mario Lemieux seemed to mirror each other, and now James and Crosby are tearing up their respective sports in similar fashion. And that will be the last time the NBA is mentioned on this site.
In related news, I'll be featured on the cover of this month's "Frail and Sickly" magazine. I'll be sharing tips on how to skip meals and dress in layers. Look for it.
Needless to say, I repeatedly ripped Zherdev for making me look like a stooge, but this season he's proving it's never too late to mend. He's got 17 goals and 35 points in 44 games. While that's still well below his potential, at least he's back on the right track. His two goals the other night against St. Louis were spectacular.
On the first one, he pulled the puck through his skates as he cut through the high slot and then laced a wrister behind Hannu Toivonen. On the second, he took a long lead pass from David Vyborny and broke behind the defense, freezing Toivonen with some quick moves before burying a backhander. If the goals were any prettier, I would have asked if they had a sister.