Friday, July 14, 2006

The hottest hockey ticket of 2006-07.

Golden Gophers hockey.

They'll have #1 overall pick Eric Johnson (St. Louis) and #5 overall pick Phil Kessel (Boston Bruins) both returning to play for the University of Minnesota. Johnson is old news, but the Minneapolis Star Tribune ran a story about Kessel's decision yesterday, and the Boston Globe picked it up today. Scroll down, it's in there.

Christ, if there was ever a time to get into college hockey, this is it.

UPDATE: It seems that Kessel's situation is still unclear - the Star Tribune jumped the gun. Click the link for the full story from the Globe. I'll tell you, if you're in doubt about a hockey rumor, go with DuPont's version. I get the sense he's a bit of a prick, but the real deal, certainly.

Hey "Versus" network- (I still can't get used to that name, and wrote about it here.) are you listening?

Cause if you really "believe in hockey," you should know that any respectable hockey fan would LOVE to see Kessel and Johnson playing together. And you think the opposition won't be up for it? Anybody know how to get tickets? Drop me a line, cause I wanna go.

Oh, and if there are people from "Versus" watching this, do us all a favor and check out this . It's Sportsnet Canada's list of games to watch for this season. Now, I know that your ratings get a little boost when you show big market games like the Rangers playing Philly, but real hockey fans would much rather see a game like the 'Canes home opener against Buffalo on October 4th. The rematch of game seven of the Eastern Conference final is the game everybody wants to see, and there's sure to be a surly contingent of Sabres fans making the trip. Remember, Sabres fans hate Hurricanes more than the entire city of New Orleans.

On the other side of things, you might never see a more effusive lovefest for a returning/visiting player than on January 7th when Todd Bertuzzi returns to Vancouver as a member of the Florida Panthers. It will be a wonderful display of affection marred only by an incident in which, and you heard it here first, Bertuzzi will break Markus Naslund's neck.

Talk about awkward.

While the crowd reaction will be anybody's guess on December 9th when Zdeno Chara returns to Ottawa in a Bruins sweater, The Edmonton crowd reaction will be a bit easier to predict on November 28th when Chris Pronger comes back. I'll go ahead and assume Lauren will be staying in Anaheim for that one. The mightiest ducks of all will be shown off by Pronger, who'll be ducking questions like crazy at the post-game press conference. And yes, please show us the press conference.

A few others that aren't on the list:

Nov 2: NY Rangers at San Jose Sharks
Jagr and Thornton, who battled over the scoring lead and the Hart trophy all season face off for the only time next season, in a battle of the big men. Yes, they both choke in the playoffs, but THIS ISN'T THE PLAYOFFS.
Should be a good one.

October 18th: Canadiens at Blackhawks:
OK- I know, but c'mon! Original six! Plus, the Hawks added Havlat and Smolinski, you never see the Blackhawks on TV anymore, and if the Hawks were good this year, it'd be fun to see it early. Plus, Mike Ribeiro is back with the Canadiens, and I love to root for somebody to punch that guy in the mouth. Seriously, what a little weasel. I hate the Canadiens. I even wrote about it once. Thank God my prediction was wrong.

Multiple dates: Colorado Avalanche at (anywhere)

These will not be as interesting for the games themselves, but just to see if while the Avs are on the road, goalie Jose Theodore stays at the Hilton.
(snicker, snicker)

Am I missing anything?


Oh, but seriously, I want Golden Gopher tickets.

Tell me how.


Tapeleg said...

Don't expect any college hockey on OLN. Who would win a bidding war, ESPN or OLN? Dumb question, of course, but ESPN"U" had college hockey last year. Which is proof that hockey is fine for ESPN, just not the NHL.
Why? Was it price? Attitude? Since I get OLN, I'm fine with it there, now that they stopped jacking up the quality. Now that they have learned how to zoom out.

Jim Dwyer said...


I agree with Tapeleg and think that whichever network covers college hockey should advertise the "Messing with Sasquatch" commercials OLN, when it was still OLN, aired while covering the Stanley Cup Finals.

Jim "the Canadian spy" Dwyer

Achtungbaby said...

It will be certainly interesting to see how all of these college players pan out. Canadian hockey leagues have traditionally been the best streamliner to the NHL. That might have changed.

My gut says it hasn't. I love Jack Johnson though and would take him on my team anyday. I always trade my expensive talent in 3 way deals involving this guy in my online leagues.

nuts4pucks said...

College hockey is so great. I subscribe to a college sports package on cable (Time Warner) and get a fair amount of college hockey throughout the year. Mostly WCHA and the CCHA, but some other conferences from time to time on CSTV (It might vary from market to market - couldn't say for sure). I don't get ESPN"U" but maybe some day.

Got to see Jack Johnson a few times last year and look forward to more this year, unless of course he decides to jump to the pro's in which case I can look forward to seeing him up close and personal on a much more frequent basis! Don't know how likely that is, but the 'Canes are going to keep trying.

courto said...

Gopher Schedule:

Looks like the closest they get to your part of town is Michigan Tech or Ohio State.

Charles Star said...

How hard have I tried to get you interested in college hockey? And your solution is to follow the Golden Gophers? The NCAA equivalent of rooting for the Yankees? *sigh* (Not that you said you would root for them, but still.)

Cornell Big Red is the way to go. Let me know if you want to come with this year when I go to either Princeton or Yale.