March 24, 2019
Best Rehearsal Ever
by Michael Menser Dell, Editor-in-Chief
Slava Kozlov, Atlanta Thrashers: I wasn't even going to mention Kozlov because, well, he's a weasel. But it's always worth noting when someone's point total drops by 40. That's hard to do. The 35-year-old former Red Wing has 17 goals and 40 points this season, just slightly off the 28 goals and 80 points he rang up last year. Kozlov blamed the lack of production on his continuing obsession with Larry King. Who knew?
Glen Murray, Boston Bruins: It's about over for Muzz. At 35, he missed more games than he scored goals, posting 15 red lights and 26 points in 56 outings with the Bears. He's now missed 67 games since the lockout. But never fear, Boston fans. He still has one year left on his contract at $4.15 million. Hard to get happy after that one.
Alex Tanguay... if you look closely, you can
see Keenen about to hit him with a stick.
photo by Matthieu Masquelet
Maxim Afinogenov, Buffalo Donald Trumps: Terrible magazine. Worse hockey player. Over his previous two seasons, Afinogenov recorded 45 goals and 134 points in 133 games. Ah, those were the days. He's managed just nine goals, 25 points, and a minus-13 in 49 games this season. Worse yet, Afinogenov's original commercial for the QVC product of his choice fell flat. The Donald is not pleased. Don't forget to watch "Celebrity Apprentice" Thursdays at 9PM on NBC.
Alex Tanguay, Calgary Flames: Gee, who would have guessed Tanguay would have trouble getting along with Mike Keenan? Oh wait, that would be everyone. Whether it was Iron Mike's influence or just some sort of vitamin deficiency, Tanguay has managed 16 goals and 55 points in 71 games, which is 26 points off last year's total. On the bright side, the $5-million check still cashed.
David Vyborny, Columbus Blue Jackets: Vyborny is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, so he picked a swell time to have the worst year of his career. I haven't seen a season this bad since they took "Roseanne" off the air. Six goals, 24 points, and a minus-10 in 62 games won't exactly win big money. I guess he could pretend to find a mouse in his beer bottle. I hear the people at Elsinore Brewery fall for it all the time.
Chris Drury, New York Rangers: Thirty-five million doesn't buy what it used to. Perhaps slowed by his massive wallet, Drury has mustered 14 fewer goals and 18 fewer points than last year. But the Rangers didn't sign Drury for the regular season. No, they signed him for their corporate softball team. He's a ringer.
Daniel Briere, Philadelphia Flyers: On the surface, Briere's 29 goals and 68 points in 75 games aren't completely embarrassing, at least until you remember he made $10 million this season. Hmm ha. And then when you notice he's a minus-21, it makes you reach for the nearest sharp object. But in all fairness, Kenny G is a millionaire too, so Briere is hardly the first person to devalue the dollar.
Jonathan Cheechoo, San Jose Sharks: Take away a 14-game stretch from February 9 to March 7 in which he rang up 11 goals, and Cheechoo's season would be positively dreadful. Thankfully, San Jose's current 14-0-1 streak has hidden many a sin. But Cheechoo needs to pick it up. A cool name will only get you so far in life. Just ask Koko B. Ware.
Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks: The Sharks "captain," and I use the term loosely, cashed in last summer, getting a two-year, $12.6-million contract from the Fish. He's rewarded the team with 16 goals, 40 points, and a minus-16 in 71 games. Yet despite his struggles, the Sharks have the second-best record in the NHL. The playoffs will present Marleau with a chance for redemption. It's never too late to mend. Or to fail to hit Valterri Filppula in the neutral zone and let your team completely collapse.