Well, I'm back from a quick jaunt to the great state of Texas, where I celebrated the NHL trade deadline at opening night of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. My lady grew up there, and I know the trade deadline is exciting and all, but if you get an opportunty for 75 degree weather in February, you'd get the hell out of New York too.
On the day of the deadline, I walked around the rodeo in my cowboy gear, and (with apologies to the last place Houston Aeros) ruminated on sports that are more popular down there than hockey.
Here's an example of just one of them:
Still, as great as the food is in Texas, I'm happy to be back in a state that is a little less excited about it's own shape on the map.
That said, I do have a few thoughts about the trade deadline, which I'll keep short and sweet:
-With the Guerin deal, the San Jose Sharks are doing their best to look like the 2002 Boston Bruins. Bill Guerin rejoins Joe Thornton and Kyle McClaren. Get ready for this crew to make an impact on the league. Or at the very least, maybe they'll finally kill Richard Zednick.
-Speaking of Guerin maybe I owe John Davidson an apology. I've shit on him before, but if the strategy of signing veteran all stars to a) hope they still have some left in the tank, and b) if not, selling them off to desperate contenders for top draft picks was an intentional ploy, he may be quietly pulling off a Pittsburgh-esque turnaround. When you add what he's earned from dumping Tkachuk and Guerin to last year's #1 overall pick Eric Johnson, emerging sniper David Backes, goalie Manny Legace, and serviceable 2nd line winger Brad Boyes, you have to like how this team is rebuilding.
-And speaking of apologies and Zednick, why not an apology for Garth Snow? Sure, he's is under a fair amount of pressure to make a big deal to get him into the playoffs as a rookie GM, but with the team getting hot at the right time, and Mike Sillinger quietly making a case as the most underrated two-way player in the game, picking up Zednik was nice and Ryan Smyth was a COUP. Given the fact that the Isles have become as solid a team as they have, (what was it- two regulation losses in February?) the addition of these veterans could lead the Islanders to stun somebody in the first round. This team is looking really good, and the less people talk about them, the better they'll be. Lucky for them, they play on Long Island. It seems like there are more Houston Aeros fans these days.
-Atlanta picks up Tkachuk and Zhitnik? Did Waddell sign everything on his scouting report that set off his spellchecker?
-And Bertuzzi goes to Detroit. I guess they figured if any group of people wouldn't mind someone almost murdering a member of the Colorado Avalanche, it'd be Red Wing fans.
As always, thanks to Ben and Jen for picking up the slack while I was running around the country.