Sunday, August 31, 2008

Still choosing an adventure

You know, it's been a while (a couple months in fact) since I looked at the Choose your own adventure book I've been scraping together, and ... frankly I'm a bit impressed that I got as much of it done as I did when I was rushing it together. I can only imagine what could have come of it had I stuck to it a bit longer - although I have to admit, I gave it a good run while I was at it.

It's still something I'd like to continue - and I will. I recall that I was opening the story up to a pretty broad spectrum, and it could have wound up being a huge endeavor, which would certainly be cool, but a lot of work.

I might thrust at it much more seriously this November with Nanowrimo coming up. If you don't recall, National Novel Writing Month is a free competition for anyone who's interested in writing a book (who hasn't had the thought of doing so) and doing so. The goal is to kick out 50,000 words in a month (which I accomplished last year). It's rewarding, but the problem is, it doesn't necessarily mean you finish the book, just that you kick out 50,000 words. I've been dabbling at finishing that novel I started almost 10 months ago ever since. To be honest, I've only got about three and a half chapters to go, which is awesome.

But the Choose your own adventure idea still resonates with me. My current situation is a bit too 'realistic' in that the old CYOA's were more like fantasy novels. Snowmen, witches, vampires, the amazon,dragons and stuff like that. Writing a novel with all those things would be totally awesome, but ... I have stuck to a more dramatic path for this first attempt.

While I was posting the last link last night, I got to thinking that it would be neat to have a CYOA published entirely on a blog, with hyperlinks to the next story line after you make your 'choice.' That would be pretty neat. Each chapter would be another post, and you would just navigate through the blog rather than through an actual book. I suppose the same could be done with a website, but blogs are so much easier to write - mostly because you don't have to do any page design, you just post.

Think about it, jumping around and reading stories would be pretty awesome. But the Internet is a much more complicated medium than mere paperbacks. Why just have a CYOA novel when you could have a comic strip, or perhaps even a small video series. With each choice you'd get a different video to watch, or a different comic strip to read. The Internet certainly carries those media very well, and that sort of project would surely have a lot of potential.

I looked around (briefly) to see if there was anything out there already that might already be dedicated to something like this - and I couldn't quite find anything that matched. Although I did find others interested in writing more mature versions of CYOAs.

One writer wanted to have a collaborative effort to create a new CYOA for adults.

Linked from there was a flow chart of the storylines all thought out very well. I sure haven't plotted mine out this well, I can assure you of that.

Man, I make things up as I go along - certainly don't know what's going to happen until I write it. Probably why I can't come up with a title for my books, simply because I don't know what the hell is supposed to happen. But frankly, if I stopped to find the right title before I wrote anything, I'd probably not write anything at all - skip the tough stuff and get right to work. Of course, that usually only works when you're writing.

See y'all later.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Choose your own adventure - Excerpt 5

A5: Look around for the key to get her out

“Listen,” whispered Orrin, trying to take control of the situation, “we’ve got to look around a bit. This poor girl’s locked up like an animal. She needs our help. We’ve got to look around, and if we come up with nothing, then we get to the nearest phone and call the cops. It’s as easy as that.”

“Are you sure? What if this guy comes back?” said Andrea.

“We’re not sticking around, babe. We’ve just got to try to help, and then get the hell out of here,” he answered. “Come on. Help me look around for the key. It could be right here in front of us.”

Orrin began to hop around in search of an office or a closet or anything that someone might keep things in storage. There wasn’t anything. There were just rusted white bars and cattle stalls and a few troughs for feed. Flakes of rust flooded across the floor with the shit and the hay. Drips echoed through the dank basement, giving the environment a hollow and hopeless feel.

The captive girl rocked back and forth on the damp cot. She hugged her knees and stared blankly forwards through the bars. Her ankles were swollen and covered in filth. She had bruises all up and down her arms, and her hair hadn’t been cleaned or combed in days. What hells had she’d been subjected to were unimaginable. Her eyes were dark and sunken into her head, bags heavily formed beneath them.

Andrea splashed around the basement searching for another door or another area that might serve as a workshop or anything. Coming around the far side of the basement there was a wooden workbench that had a radio and a some tools on it, but nothing else. There were no keys to be found.

“I don’t think we’re going to find anything, Orrin,” she called out.

Orrin paused and winced as a flare of pain erupted in his leg. He gasped, but then regrouped himself. Things were going to be fine. He didn’t know how he was going to get back to the car, how he would get to a hospital, and didn’t know anything other than that by tomorrow, he’d be laughing about the whole thing. He hoped. He peered through the dank cells to the girl at the back. God, he thought, how selfish he was thinking of himself at a time in her midst. He felt a retched feeling in his guts as a sense of anguish empathized with her incarceration and torture. His broken leg and soaked clothing seemed a far worry from whatever she’s survived through – and then the pain flared again. He struggled to keep his eyes open with the sudden flashes of pain.

“Andrea,” he called out. After a pause to regroup himself, he said “there aren’t any keys. Let’s find a phone or something. We’ve got to just get out of here. I can barely stand up.”

“Okay,” she agreed. With a feeling of relief, Andrea hiked up her pants and headed towards the door. As a woman, Andrea had feared being captured and being held captive. She’d had dark imaginings of what it would be like to have the worst sufferable moments. For some reason, she’d imagined what it would be like to be the victim all her life. Groups of men intimidated her. Being alone intimidated her. She never carried a weapon to protect herself though, because she feared that any weapon she could wield would be used against her. Her greatest fears all met their match in this girl that she was juxtaposed with, contained and beaten.

She doubled back and waded up to the bars and faced the girl. She placed her hands through the bars and looked at the near-catatonic girl. “Sweetheart? What’s your name?”

The girl didn’t flinch, she just stared forwards, hugging her black and blue knees. Her eyes didn’t move, but she answered that her name was Mischa. She barely made a noise. She had removed herself so far from her situation that she ignored that her might-be saviours were at her door.

Andrea empathized so greatly with Mischa that tears welled up in her eyes. “We’re not leaving you here. We’re going to find a phone and we’re going to bring the cops and we’re going to save you. I promise. We’re not going away. Mischa, I swear everything is going to be better. Help is on the way.”

She turned and got away from her quickly. She felt so connected to her that it seemed like if she stayed longer that she might trade places with her. The water slowed her path to the door. Orrin was waiting at the door, holding it open.

The sun flared into their eyes as they took for their first step out onto solid ground from the basement. The air felt different from the dank basement. The scent of being outside was rid of the filth and desperation of the milking stalls. They paused to just smell the freedom of being outside after their tortuous journey through the barn. Orrin hobbled against the wall of the barn and regrouped his energy.

“Let’s get over to the farmhouse, find the phone, and just call the cops, call an ambulance, call a taxi, whatever and get the hell out of here, eh?” gasped Orrin. He could see the end of the day ahead of him. The circumstances in which they found themselves were surely to be short lived and they’d be fine.

The farmhouse was only about 100 metres from the side of the barn. Andrea helped to hold up Orrin as the two stayed to the front door. Orrin glanced over at the gas tank between the silos and spied the gas canister that they were expecting to return to their car with. He shot it an ironic glance, not believing that their current situation was somehow connected to their brief journey out to the city’s open house. He thought about how far they had deviated from sitting back at home, complaining that there was nothing good to watch on television.

They hobbled up the stone steps to the front of the house. Orrin leaned against the side taking the weight off of his left leg. Andrea opened the screen door and twisted the knob to the house. It spun around and the door pulled open. It was heavy enough to drop out of her hands and swing back. A small hallway sat before them, facing stairs to a cellar, and a living room to the left and a kitchen to the right.

Orrin hopped through the threshold and into the kitchen. There was canned food out on the counter tops cluttering up the place. The cupboard doors were all open, stocked with more cans of fruit, spam and vegetables. Boxes of crackers and cereal laid about. There was stale and stuffy aroma to the old farmhouse. Looking along the floor, Orrin saw two large bowls with wet dog food set out. The food was nibbled at, but not finished. He could smell liver and fish and who knows what else they put into dog food.

His eyes darted around looking for a telephone. He couldn’t see anything. Beyond the kitchen there was an old table absolutely covered in paperwork. He couldn’t make out what it was all for, but there governmental papers, letters from the mail, hand written notes and photographs of people riding horses. Cabinets and shelving units were lined with ceramic model horses, embroidered decorative plates and shoe boxes.

The walls were paneled wood and the ceiling was that Styrofoam tiling used in drop ceilings throughout office buildings. He saw no telephone.

Andrea slinked to the right, going through the living room. An old television sat quietly in the corner atop of a very old radio cabinet – the kind that might have a record player inside of it, and large speakers out front. It was serving as a table for the moment, and probably didn’t function any longer. A plush couch was pressed against one wall that held more paintings of horses pulling carriages. Against the other wall was a stone fireplace and mantelpiece. More trinkets pertaining to horses lay about and dark lamps with incandescent bulbs were covered in dust. Nobody cleaned this place and it appeared only one man lived there.

Cluttered shelves were full of books, photo albums, empty picture frames and the figurines of horses. They were also covered in dust. Andrea searched quietly, but couldn’t find a telephone to call for help with. Glancing out the window, she could see shrubs and trees up against the old house, and noticed that there were dark power lines that came towards the walls. ‘There’s got to be a phone in here somewhere’ she thought to herself.

“I can’t find a phone,” she whispered loudly to Orrin.

Orrin hopped towards her in the hallway. “There doesn’t seem to be one. How could you find anything in all of this clutter?” He glanced around some more. The hallway was the only empty area. Just a small and worn throw rug was in the hall. A staircase heading up to the second floor was a prominent feature in the hall, and he figured that there must be more upstairs to search through.

“Andrea, go have a look upstairs. See if you can find some keys in a bedside dresser or a telephone or something. I can’t believe that there isn’t a phone in here,” said Orrin.

“No, there’s got to be a phone. I’ll see what I can find. You keep looking around down here, okay?”


Andrea’s soggy feet slushed there way up the carpeted staircase and up and around the balustrade until she was out of sight. Orrin could hear her footsteps as she searched from room to room. Orrin’s leg was pulsing with pain, so he wobbled over to the couch and took a seat. As he flopped down, the air expired out of the couch, and he sank deeply into it. There was a tremendous amount of white dog hair all over the couch and it clung to his wet pants and shirt.

“See if you can find me a towel to dry myself off with, won’t you?” he called up to Andrea.

Andrea was in the washroom at the time, and snagged a towel before she left. There was a bedroom and a guest room up there and a standing fan that rotated around the hallway. She could feel its breeze against her wet legs and arms as it oscillated.

Stepping into one of the bedrooms, she looked at the large unmade bed and saw that there was white hair, dark hair and muddy stains all over the sheets. She sneered at the sight of all the filth where someone was supposed to sleep each night. There were more knick-knacks strewn about the room.

Light shone in through the windows of the bedroom and the early afternoon sun was beaming down on the wet earth that had been pounded by a flash hail storm only a half of an hour earlier. She looked out at a broad-leafed tree and noticed how the sun was reflecting off of the moisture on the greenery. As she watched the tree and the birds hopping from branch to branch, she noticed just beyond that a large grey pickup truck with a covered bed was pulling into the long driveway.

It rocked and bounced through the potholes as it gained momentum up the drive towards the farmhouse.

“Orrin,” she yelled. “He’s back! We’ve got to get out of here!” She darted towards the doorway and the staircase when she noticed a black rotary phone underneath a pile of magazines. “He’s back, Orrin. He’s pulling up right now! We’ve got to get out of here!”

“What?” she heard him respond.

“I found a phone!”

Andrea pushed the magazines aside, and then a buzzing ring shot out of the phone like a fire alarm. The intensity of the sound shook her heart. Andrea jumped a little, and pulled her hand away from the receiver.

The phone ringed again.

“Hey, there’s a phone down here!” called Orrin.

Andrea knew that she couldn’t answer it. They needed to call for help! She sprinted back to the window, to see the old dented truck pulling up to the farmhouse and come to a stop. The engine turned off and the door swung open.

“Orrin! Get out of the house! He’s back. He’s back!”

As the door popped open, a large and dark dog bounded out over the driver. It thumped down into the muddy gravel and circled around waiting for the driver to emerge. The farmer swung one leg out the door before another smaller terrier leapt from his lap and into the mud, as well.

The telephone rang again! It was so startling and loud that it pierced Andrea’s ears and made her heart race.

The little terrier began to bark loudly and frantically. A second leg pulled out of the driver’s side and two sloppy rubber boots plopped into the wet earth. A heavy-set man with broad shoulders and a trucker’s chicken mesh cap lurched out. He was wearing a plaid shirt and faded jeans.

“Shaddup!” the grizzly man yelled at the dogs. The dogs continued to yelp and circle around him.

The telephone continued to ring. Andrea couldn’t wait much longer. She would have to hide before she could make the call. She searched around the bedroom for somewhere to hide. She looked at the muddy bed sheets. She might be able to cover herself with those, but as she touched them she realized that the old mud stains were actually bloody smears.

Andrea face contorted with the realization and fear and disgust climbed up into her throat. She was either going to scream or throw up, and but now was not the time for either of those. She’d have to hide or escape. Those were her only options.

The ring of the phone drew the man out of his car. He reached behind the driver’s seat and snagged a large sledge hammer, and then threw the door shut. With a slight limp, he jaunted towards the house to answer the phone.

Andrea dropped to the floor to see if she could sneak underneath the bed for the time being. There was more filth on the floor, and she almost retched. There were dog bones and half-eaten chew toys lying all over. She got back up and resorted to climbing into the closet. Without even looking, she slinked through the door and gently closed it behind her. It was very dark inside, and she could feel the fabric of clothes on hangers behind her. She pressed herself up against the clothing and tried to bury herself amongst them, just in case.

But what about Orrin? He was still down there, and he couldn’t run. His leg was so badly broken that he’d have no chance to escape. The phone continued to ring, and Andrea could hear the dogs barking as the man opened the front door. She could hear the squeaking screen door open and close and the heavy footsteps of the farmer striding towards the phone.

In the middle of one of the shrilling rings, it was cut dead, and she heard the farm bark loudly, “What?” There was a long pause. “NO,” yelled a grizzled old voice. “Don’t you ever call me here again!” The phone was set down loud enough to audibly jingle the ringer. Andrea hid quietly. She didn’t suppose that the man would come up to the bedroom right away. She could hear the claws of the dogs clicking across the wooden floor as they scurried around the house. She didn’t know what happened to Orrin. She feared that the farmer would find him.

Did he get out of the house? Was he just hiding in the yard somewhere? Or is he still in here? Andrea worried and felt trapped. She didn’t know what to do. Perhaps she could slink out of the closet and use the phone, call for help, and get back into hiding? The thought was in her mind to do so, but the courage wasn’t in her heart to pull the maneuver off.

She could hear the man yelling at his dogs. It sounded like he was getting some food out for them. She could continue to hear the clattering of their claws on the hardwood. Still no indication that they’d discovered Orrin.



Again ... if you're interested in a plot direction, let me know and next time I'll post that journey. And let me know if you like it or not.

Friday, August 29, 2008

How to make the Maple Leafs relevant

At the risk of alienating the few readers I have left - I will talk exclusively about the Toronto Maple Leafs

Well, I don't think there is anyone so disillusioned that they'll believe that the Maple Leafs will be contenders once again for the upcoming year. We've all come to terms with that once again. And if they're going to be significantly non-competitive in the upcoming year, it will surly be difficult to get excited about watching, listening, or following any of the games. 

BUT I HAVE a solution that will solve all of your Maple Leaf-following problems, make them relevant to watch for yet another grueling season, and yes, even exciting once more! I'll bet you're wondering how on earth I'll be able to pull something like this off - and I'm going to spend my September setting everything up so that it work not only efficiently, but also with breath-taking excitement! 

Trust me, this will be the greatest invention in Toronto Maple Leafs history - and we're all going to have a wild time being involved. I promise this will have you checking the box scores, reading the news, and following along with the team in a way that you've never been involved with before - I promise!

But, until I'm ready to unveil how it all works - you'll just have to wait. I swear, you'll be rooting each and every game, eyes glued to the screen, and you'll have a chance to creep one step closer to glory with each and every one of the upcoming 82 games. 

It will be glorious.... (my voice quivers with the effervescent satisfaction and delight of my upcoming plan, and fades away into a breathy rasp.)
Yes, it will be glorious. 

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Choke Palahnuik

Man, am I ever looking forward to this movie. I've got all kinds of stuff for you to enjoy about the upcoming movie Choke, scheduled to be released in select theatres by September 28. It can't come soon enough.

When I noticed the trailer on a few weeks ago, I got psyched and reacquired the novel so I could reread it. And it's just like I remember it. My brother found the Palahnuik series and introduced me to it, and it's just amazing.

If you've read the book, you may wonder, 'How did he come up with the idea of the Victor Mancini character?' and your answer is at your fingertips right now.

Just in case you don't remember what the book is about - Victor Mancini has a delusional and sick mother who can't recall who he is, and her health is declining. To help pay the medical bills, he has dropped out of medical school, works at a colonial throw-back village set in 1734, and he visits fine restaurants so he can choke on food, hoping that a good samaritan will save him - and send him money afterwards. Oh, and Vic is also a sex addict.

The story is about translating his mother's Italian diary, and the shocking truths about his origins and his father that the diary reveals.

I'm just about finished the book again, and it's a piece of art from beginning to end. If you've ever read the story-telling of Roberston Davies or Michael Ondaatje and felt that you were reading something fresh and engaging like no other novel you've read, then be prepared to reintroduced to reading and storytelling once again, because every sentence could be the one that blows your mind.

Here's another discussion with the Director and Author of Choke, showing how the actors all made sacrifices to be a part of this film, including actually staying at an abandoned mental hospital instead of staying in the usually posh trailers that actors aways seem to get.

Everything else you want to know about the movie is available here, at Fox Searchlight studios.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Coed Naked Hockey League Champions!

Well, good news! We won our hockey league championship game last night, which was awesome. It was close, 2-1, until we scored an empty netter, and held on for the win. There was a trophy and everything. I heard last year's champs had their names put on it, so they'd better spell mine right when it gets in there!

I haven't been on a sports team that's won a championship since my parents coached the Nobleton Angles back when I was ... 12? That's a fair 15 years removed, so it was a good feeling. We all had a great time playing this year and the team played really, really well. Our defense was solid and we played defense like a team all game.

I even managed to get a couple shifts on the penalty kill last night, and we held our own very well. It was probably the best team game we've played all year, and it was fitting that it won us the championships.

So next time you see me, you can call me 'Champ.'

The Lance

A new edition of The Lance is out on shelves. While there wasn't anything tremendously necessary to read, there is a new Lance out Loud that's fun enough to watch.

In dinosaur news - this guy doesn't like Barney the Dinosaur. With comments like:
if i am a jew i will still hate barney more than hitler.
That make me think this guy is likely not a Jew. He's also probably never scored as high as a C+ on an English paper before. Yet his bio indicates he's immigrated to the UK to become a pharmacist.

Beyond his shock-tactics, he also has a list of 'fags' on his blog.

Bloody murder
Is it bad that I think I've been hearing someone screaming like they're in a static state of ultimate horror for, like, 30 minutes now? I figured it was just the children outside, but ... well, they'd have to be seriously concerned to be screaming this much! And at that pitch.

Then again, it could just be a grinder scraping away at some metal down the street where they're doing construction.

Or it could be some combination of the children next door screaming as a grinder is scraping them away - for over 30 minutes.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hall of Famer set to retire! & Zombies

Woody Harrleson prepares to fight zombies:
According to The Hollywood Reporter,Harrelson will play a zombie fighter named Albuquerque in the Ruben Fleischer-directed project, which focuses on a pair of poorly matched survivors making their way in a zombie-occupied world. It's like "Shaun of the Dead" only with... Americans, we guess.
Continuing along with the zombie theme, here is an interesting new release sure to interest yours truly. 

There's a bright review for it at this link. 

But that's not all for this terrific day for the undead. Another movie has been announced, based on a comic book. Called Virulents this film is about a military troop in Afghanistan who comes across a drove of zombies. That should be sweet, too. The write up makes this film sound pretty awesome. 

With hockey news, there's a lot of quiet going on these days, but apparently Thursday will be a big moment for a future hall of famer! That's right, Joe Sakic will address the Colorado media to make an announcement about his future career in hockey. Will he retire? Will there be a new signing? (Normally the team announces when they signed a new acquisition, but not a resigning of a life-long teammate. It would appear that they're going to gather for his retirement!)

What impact does that have on Sundin, if any? Well, if Sakic retires, then Sundin will lose the limelight. Seriously, think about it this way:

Imagine you were going up for Karaoke, and you were planning on signing Free Bird, but you knew your voice wasn't very good. But you've got the guts, and you're going up next! But wait a minute ... the guy who's right before you ... that's ... that's fucking Lynyrd Skynyrd going up before you!

And they're singing Free Bird!

Well, they just blew your idea out of the water! They were amazing! They had the whole thing down to a science, and the crowd is pumped with their excellence. Everything from now on will be judged against them, whether you want to be judged or not. 

Well, Sundin, this will be you if you don't retire before Sakic on Thursday. He's got you seriously trumped, and you're going to look foolish retiring within even a month of Sakic. He's going to be on high-light reels, news reels, and in tributes all over the media all weekend. AND IT'S A LONG WEEKEND, TOO!

Man, we're going to be covered in hockey excellence and wicked highlight reels until September. What are you going to do, Sundin? Ruin it by retiring amidst the celebration of Sakic's career? Nah, you can't do that. 

So, now we're going to have to wait until mid-September for Sundin's retirement, or at least until after the long weekend. Another week wasted!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Totally my bad

Alright, I know I didn't update today, and it's all my fault. And this is absolutely no way to celebrate my breach of 600 visits! Of course I can blame things for getting in my way and stopping me from getting this done ... but I'm not a big fan of excuses.

So here's an update, and I regret that it isn't to you sooner. All ... three or four of whoever reads this. Whom I diligently admire for joining me with any regularity - esp. my Boston reader. I don't know who you are, but either you're frequently loyal, or Boston has a suspiciously random amount of visitors each day to my very not Boston-esque blog.

Windsor has had tainted meat kill someone, but the big news for me is:

Doesn't he look absolutely nuts? I see him at my gym, and he is so crazy I can hear the voices in his head when he walks by. I'm not kidding! He just spouts out numbers, like he's doing some random equation in his lobotomized head. Nuts, I swear, this guy. And he's senior management for Windsor's health! This city has its concerns, I admit.

My desperate essay at providing anything of quality means I have to provide borrowed material, almost entirely. I'm sorry.

- seriously, that wasn't even all that funny.

Generally, this link will work, but I can't access it tonight. Hopefully you have more luck with it.

I'm sorry, that's all there is, unless I check the Boston Globe!

Of course there's an internationally deviant plot by the Canadians to do something 'unthinkable!' They're going to drill for oil on the George Banks! Whatever that means. You can make sense of it and leave me a comment about it, 'cause I'm not even reading the damned article.

But ... "Nova Scotia v. New England" has a great ring to it! Let's see what happens.N

I'm tired, and am going to bed.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Goblins, zombies and chainsaws

Good afternoon, I hope you're having a great weekend. A lot of people have had good weekends, and there's news to show because of it.

click here if the video isn't working.

The Maple Leafs apparently have signed another defenseman, for some reason. Josef Boumedienne (whom I like when I play NHL 2006!) has agreed to a one-year, two-way contract, according to a Swedish newspaper.

Related to hockey, someone has published a dictionary of all hockey terms, including 'noodle,' 'turtle,' and 'boo.' Apparently a publisher thought this was a good idea - believe it or not. This would be the kind of thing you buy at Christmas for someone else, and it would be a terrible gift.

There is a new update on the Goblins Comics website, which is nice for a change of pace. The entire story is pretty good, but it's taken far too long for regular updates, which is unfortunate.

Boston News:
And in Boston news, for my regular visitor from the south, The Toronto Blue Jays stomped the piss out of the Red Sox, 11-0 yesterday. Take it like a champ, Boston.

And I've even got a Novel Update today, too.
Part One:
1 prologue
18 chapters
111 pages
64,447 words

Part Two:
6 chapters
38 pages
23,094 words

Total novel:
1 prologue
2 parts
24 chapters
147 pages
85,481 words

Saturday, August 23, 2008

5 second rule

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic

If you're wondering who will be the leaders on the Leafs next year, you can look toward Matt Stajan and Alexander Steen, though, don't count on them to be great at it. Stajan can't even grow a beard, let alone lead a locker room. It'll be interesting to see how this all comes together. And by interesting, I mean the Leafs will be lucky to have 21 wins this season.

Another blogger argues that Sundin is going to return as a Leaf or bust. I am of the same persuasion, although not for the same reasons as this guy. I don't know if Sundin will retire or not, but I'm pretty sure that if he returns, it will be as a Maple Leaf. I doubt he'll play for another team. NOW, do I understand that? No way! But starting a new life with a new team takes a big step, and if you only want to play for one more year, is that really worth all the hassle? Seriously, he's unlikely to win a Stanley Cup if he goes somewhere else, and then he'll just be another guy who's bandied about hoping for a chance to win.

You don't hear about Sakic and Shanahan not being on teams though, do you? Another example of how the Toronto hype has improved Sundin's visibility - this franchise has made his career.

Did you know that dinosaurs helped to build the pyramids? Yeah, and where's the proof? It's on the moon. Believe it, or don't join the Creationists.

Finally, I saw The Dark Knight last night. If you want to hear my thoughts on it, you'll just have to leave me a message - else I'll just leave it alone. Too much hype, I tells ya.

Friday, August 22, 2008

More dinosaur fighting!

I've got some exciting news! but first a small confession - I haven't played my Nintendo DS since I was at my cottage over a month ago. I'm not sure why, but I have trouble keeping up with it all the time. While I've got some interesting games (including one with over 100 sodoku puzzles, which is awesome) I just don't find myself drawn to it.

Also, I don't wind up a passenger in many long car rides/ bus rides/ etc (plus, I'd rather read than play games) BUT that could all be about to change!

Combat of the Giants: Dinosaurs
for DS
It would appear that Ubisoft will introduce a new game for DS that allows you to fight dinosaurs against each other, and that could be very cool.

  • Experience an intuitive combat system based on player’s dexterity:
  • Adapt the level of difficulty to your choices.
  • Face a more difficult drawing to inflict more damage.
  • Launch deadly ultimate moves.
  • Feel the victory by throwing your opponent on destructible objects.
  • Win the fight and collect special eggs, unlocking customisable features!
  • Pick the dinosaur you prefer from 26 different species out of the 5 most popular families of dinosaurs: Ravenous predators, witty scavengers, horned territorials, mighty tanks and peaceful herbivores.
  • Customise your dinosaur:
  • o Choose the colour and pattern that you prefer.
  • o Use your earned special eggs to add thorns, feathers and bones so your dinosaur becomes stronger, faster or tougher.
  • Challenge your friends. 2 multiplayer combat modes are available using the Nintendo DS™ wireless capabilities:
  • o Quick Combat Mode: 2 players head-to-head.
  • o Tournament Mode: up to 8 players.
  • Find water and food to keep your dinosaur healthy and be sure to heal its wounds after each fight.
It will be interesting to check it out, and hopefully, the thing'll only cost about $20 anyhow, so we won't have to be too worried about it sucking - cause it won't be too expensive to try. Imagine purchasing Sim Earth for $60 to find out it was boring as all hell. Yeah, not too rewarding - unless you saved and loaded until you could get your monoliths to mutate your choses species to evolve to level 5. But I digress.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Just a few interesting links today

Hi folks,

If you recall just after Mark Bell was signed by the Maple Leafs last year, it was announced that he was convicted of a DWI and he'd have to spend some time in jail. Well, it was negotiated that he could spend that time in jail in the off-season. The Toronto Sun has an interesting story about it.

This was all part of the fad of having celebrities pay for their crimes. Dany Heatley, on the other hand, was off the hook for killing one of his teammates in a car accident in 2003. It would appear as of 2007, he still hadn't served his three-weeks community service. Man, I hate celebrities.

Here's a story I didn't say anything about, but is an example of how disgusting things here in Windsor can get. The CEO of the Windsor Public Library was on sick leave, too sick to work. Turns out he wasn't taking time off to get better (if he was ever sick at all) but rather he was putting in his time as an articling student for his law degree (which the city paid for). They city reportedly paid him $36 K while he was off work. If you'd like an example of how people feel about it, read the comments at the bottom - that's how every article in the Star looks at the end of the day. People hate this city.

But Windsor isn't alone in its misery - of course Detroit's Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is having big trouble. Now the mayor's former CAO is being investigated by the FBI. Man, when it rains it pours around here.

Blinky the fish from the Simpsons was found just outside of the Oil Sands in Alberta. Well, it's his cousin Mouthy. This should be of extreme concern to everyone in that area, seriously!

And here's a neat interview from with Jorge Garcia on his role of Hurley on Lost. It's worth a read.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Why Sundin is no Hall of Famer

I've been sitting on this post since August 20 - and now that Sundin has signed - it is ready to roll!

Here is a few good reasons why Sundin is not yet an NHL Hall of Famer

Without going too overboard, here is a lot of work why Mats Sundin shouldn't be in the Hall of Fame, as argued by The Hockey News, argued against by some cry baby, and then commented on by myself.

Ten Reasons Why Should Fact Check

Tuesday August 19, 2008 @ 12:29 AM EDT

If Mats Sundin isn’t a Hall of Famer, it’s not for these Ten Reasons by SteveDangle. Basically, this guy disagrees with The Hockey News report that argues Sundin isn't qualified to be a Hall of Famer. Well, here goes:

10. Has never lead his team to great heights (THN)

He only led his NHL team to the conference finals twice, yes. But he captained team Sweden to a gold medal at the Olympics in 2006. Oops. And he also won three IIHF world championships from 1991-1998. It’s not the cup, but it’s difficult not to call these “great heights.” (Dangle)

- - was he leading the team, though?

First of all, taking your team to the third round of the playoffs is a big deal, but you have to win your conference to be considered a champion of any kind. Sundin hasn't done that. I can't recall if the Leafs even won their division since Sundin became captain. Certainly not since they moved to the Eastern Conference, right?

As for the 2006 Gold Medal, that was an achievement to be proud of, no doubt. BUT did Sundin really 'lead' that team?

Among the players on the team there were:

  • 15 Stanley Cups (Lidstrom x 4, Holmstrom x 4, Forsberg x 2, Pahlsson, Modin, Samuelsson, Zetterberg)
  • 12 First-Team All-Stars (Lidstrom x 9, Forsberg x 3)
  • 6 Norris Trophies (Lidstrom x 6)
  • 5 All-Rookie Team members (Lundqvist, Ohlund, Lidstrom, Forsberg, Zetterberg)
  • 2 Calder Trophies (Alfredsson, Forsberg)
  • 2 Conn Smythe trophies (Lidstrom, Zetterberg)
  • 1 Art Ross trophy (Forsberg)
  • 1 Hart trophy (Forsberg)

  • 2 Calder nominations (Ohlund. Zetterberg)
  • 1 Lady Byng nomination (Alfredsson)
  • 1 Selke nomination (Zetterberg)
  • 1 Vezina nomination (Lundqvist)
Notice that Sundin is not among any of these players, which argues - how much leadership does a team of this calibre require? And let's not forget what a fucking joke the Mark Messier Leadership award is. If you think I'm alone in believing that this award is a total joke, you can see other public opinions here. Or here. And here. That's enough for now.

9. Has just 16 more points (1,321) than games played (1,305) during his 17-season career. Very good, but not great. (THN)

I wasn’t aware having 1,300+ points over a 1,300+ game career wasn’t great. And as you will see later in the article, this argument falls flat on its face when it comes to Dino Ciccarelli. (Dangle)

Points NEVER dictate whether someone makes the Hall of Fame, on their own. You have to do some MAJOR stuff AND have great points to be considered Hall-worhty. Sometimes you can do great things and NOT have a lot of points and make the Hall. But often enough, you have to do some major, MAJOR things AS WELL AS score points, to be a Hall of Famer. From here on, we will absolutely disregard any comment that suggests that POINTS are reason enough to be elected to the Hall of Fame.

If you want examples; leave a comment and I'll dig some up. But POINTS are not reason enough to be elected.

8. He never posted a 50-goal season and had just one 100-point season. Pavel Bure had two 60-goal seasons and two more with 58 and 59 and he’s an outsider. (THN)

No 50-goal seasons? Well neither did Adam Oates. Actually, he only ever scored over 30 goals twice! Hopefully he doesn’t try to defend Oates later in the article. Oops again. Also, Pavel Bure played just 702 career games due to injuries. But saying “Well he would have done better if-“ is not good enough for the hall of fame. He still may get his call yet, though. As for the lack of 100-points seasons, he’s currently 30th in all-time NHL points. If he plays just one more year and scores just 60-points – which is far less than what Mats is used to doing – he could jump as high as 23rd, assuming Recchi and Shanahan continue to produce points typical of their skills. And if he plays two more seasons? He’d likely pass Gretzky’s pal Jari Kurri and maybe even gulp Doug Gilmour. Both players are under 100-points away. If Mats Sundin breaks the NHL’s top 20 all-time scorers, is anybody really going to care how many 100-point seasons he had? (Dangle my emphasis)

Simply scoring 100 points in a season (in only ONE season ever) also doesn't make you worthy for election. Simply scoring many goals in one season ALSO doesn't make you worthy. You have to have exceptional numbers for a long time, or do something exceptional as measured against your peers, to stand out for Hall of Game voting.

Case in point, Sundin scored a fantastic (and career high) 114 points in the 92-93 season, but that wasn't even good enough to crack the top-10 scorers that year. He had to stand out among his peers, and he didn't. Not even close; Mark Recchi (in 10th spot) had 123 points.

As for being 30th in league scoring: I'll bet everyone ahead of him in the scoring race that's in the Hall of Fame was among the Top 10 scorers of all time when they were elected, and they have since been surpassed by current players who last over 25 years in the league (like Ron Francis, Chris Chelios and Adam Oates who all played well into their 40s). You can find the list of the Top Scoring players here.

What you need to know about the 29 players in front of him:

  • 11: Sudin has already played more games than. (His scoring highs are likely because he's played over 1330 games!)
  • 18: In the Hall of Fame already.
  • 3: Not in the Hall (These include Doug Gilmour, Adam Oates and Pierre Turgeon - is Sundin better than these guys?)
  • 8: Not yet eligible to be entered.

Please note that the five players that Dangle highlights as being Hall-worthy are not in the Hall. Adam Oates, Pavel Bure, Mark Recchi, Brendan Shanahan and Doug Gilmour all did some outstanding things, and I promise that Recchi, Shanahan and Gilmour get in before Sundin is even considered.

7. His 1,321 career regular season points are impressive, but not good enough. Adam Oates has been rejected two straight induction years and he retired with 1,420 points. Same with Doug Gilmour and his 1,414 points. (THN)
For Adam Oates, you can more or less read #8 over again. As for Doug Gilmour, most seem to agree he actually will be in the Hall of Fame. He’s been rejected once in a good induction year. You could compile a staggering list of players and coaches that had to wait several induction years to get into the Hall, so I find this argument easy to scoff at. (Dangle)

As we've argued earlier, POINTS aren't a good enough reason to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Oates and Gilmour are going to have tough fights to get inducted, but here are some things that Oates and Gilmour have that Sundin doesn't - ON TOP OF having a lot of points (and in fact more than Sundin).


  • 1 Stanley Cup with the Calgary Flames
  • 1 Selke Trophy
  • 1 First Team All-Star
  • 1 Hart Trophy nomination


Had the misfortune to be a centre while Gretzky and Lemieux were battling for the greatest hockey players of all time. He had more assists than anyone not named Gretzky during the 1990s. If it weren't for the greatest forwards to ever play, Oates would have been the undoubted champion of the league.

  • 6 Lady Byng nominations
  • 3 finishes in 3rd place in league scoring (behind Gretzky and Lemieux)

If Sundin had these things, do you think there would be a debate of his worthiness or eligibility for the Hall? Me neither.

6. His 555 career regular season goals are impressive, but not good enough. Dino Ciccarelli has 608 and he has been rebuffed and Dave Andreychuk (640) won’t get in when he’s first-time eligible in 2009. (THN)

Yes but Sundin also has more total points (over 100 more) and more points per game than Dino Ciccarelli. On top of that, Sundin has a career +78 while Dino is a career minus-2. Ciccarelli is also without a cup, and he was convicted of assault in 1988 for attacking Luc Richardson with his stick. I’m not trashing Dino, and I’m certainly not saying he doesn’t deserve to get in, but let’s not be selective with our information. As for Andreychuk, not everybody can get in on their first try, especially when they’re competing with Steve Yzerman, Luc Robitaille, Brian Leetch, and Joe Nieuwendyk (all eligible 2009). (Dangle)

The only way scoring goals is going to get you into the Hall of Fame is if you scored more than someone more often than anyone else. Again, goals and points will not get you into the Hall of Fame. Even with trophy wins like the Maurice Richard Trophy, which you can share, you might not get in. Although it couldn't hurt to win a few, right? Too bad Sundin didn't win any.

Also, Sundin has played so many hockey games that the volume of goals he's scored is beginning to lose its significance. Yes, it demonstrates durability and longevity - but consider that the players that played before him made the same scoring impact in fractions of the time that Sundin has done it in. For example, IF Sundin doesn't retire and he scores 20 goals (which would be likely) and he passes the 3 players ahead of him, the stats look like this:

  • Guy Lafleur: 560/1127 = 0.497 gpg (inducted in 1988)
  • Joe Nieuwendyk: 564/1257 = 0.449 gpg (uneligible)
  • Mike Bossy: 573/752 = 0.762 gpg (inducted in 1991)

Sundin: 555/1305 = 0.425 gpg (unqualified). He's played 178 more games than Lafleur, 48 more games than Nieuwendyk, and 553 more games than Mike Bossy. We're talking almost entire SEASONS more than these players. That's almost like comparing apples and oranges.

5. Has averaged less than a point per game in the playoffs in his career. (THN)
He also averaged more than a point a game during international play, so let’s not be selective (again). I’m about to make an argument most Leafs fans wouldn’t contest: his supporting cast was never all that great. What do you do when the team you’re facing has just one legitimate star? Get on him like a straight jacket, and that’s just what teams did in the playoffs. Just ask the Philadelphia Flyers how worried they were when Robert Reichel was coming down the wing. Not so much. (Dangle)

Internationally fantastic hockey players don't get into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Don't believe me? Check this link. The highest scoring players in international history don't make it in, unless your name is Valeri Kharlamov, who was inducted in 2005, but died in 1981. Vladislav Tretiak is also inducted - although it is admitted that he's one of the very few to never play in a North American professional league.

Is Sundin exceptional enough to cross this threshold of outstandingly remarkable internationally recognized players? Well, that's a rhetorical question, because I don't need you to say, "No, he's not" out loud, because we all know it.

OK - so we've dispelled any arguments that a strong international career will traditionally qualify anyone for the Hall of Fame.

The argument toward his playoff performances speaks for itself.

Believing that he was never equipped with quality linemates is bullshit. The Maple Leafs entered the playoffs with plenty of quality players that Sundin never managed to excel with. He didn't make them better, and he didn't lead his team with their help. How many times can you bring in a guy like Gary Roberts, Alex Mogilny and Owen Nolan and not win? These were players that had skills as high as anybody out there, who didn't excel playing along with Sundin. You put those four players on a team, and you should have what you need to win a few games in the playoffs.

(The Leafs haven't managed to get their hands on a bonafide defense-man yet. When Rob Blake was available, and the Leafs didn't snag him, I knew they weren't serious with winning.)

4. Has never been a first-team all-star. (He has been a second-teamer twice.) (THN)
No, but on top of being a 2nd team all-star twice, he was also on the all-star team eight times, including seven consecutive years between 1996-2002.

All star teams don't mean a lot. It means fans want to see you there. When you're the number one player in Toronto, the largest hockey market in the world, you're going to get a lot of votes to be on the All Star team (which is decided by votes). THEREFOR he SHOULD have that many appearances just for the sake of being a part of the Franchise. If this is a worthy accomplishment, then Sundin should THANK Toronto for being on the all-star team so many times.

He still hasn't been a first-team all-star, something which is a statement to the hockey world, that you stand out among your peers. He hasn't done that.

3. Has never won an individual award. (THN)
Really? 2008 The Mark Messier Leadership award 1992 Best forward at the World Championships
I suppose these wouldn’t be considered one of the “big” awards, but the argument is still false. And even if Sundin won the Hart Trophy for example, as Alexander Ovechkin said in June 2008, the Hart is nice, but it’s no Cup. Which do you think Marcel Dionne would rather have: his scoring title over a young Wayne Gretzky, or a Stanley Cup? Individual awards are important for most hall-of-famers to have, but in the end it doesn’t matter. (Dangle)

First of all, we've already discussed the Messier Leadership Award in Item 10. Second, we discussed the international achievements in Item 5. The argument that Ovechkin makes is absolutely irrelevant, in this instance. Ovechkin can remark that he's not entirely satisfied with the Hart Trophy because he's so geared toward winning a Stanley Cup. Sundin, on the other hand, has nothing to show for his absence of a Cup. Nothing.

Marcel Dionne, though never won a national championship, had a lot to hang his hat on beyond the numerous trophies and accolades that he received. Plus he was happy to have his younger brother win a cup years later. I'm sure Dionne is at peace with not winning a cup.

Individual awards play a major factor in voting for the Hockey Hall of Fame. Sundin is going to have a helluva fight if he wants to get in without one.

2. Has never won a Stanley Cup – or even made it to the final. (THN)

For this argument I’ll forgive that his international achievements were ignored yet again. Are you saying guys like Marcel Dionne, Darryl Sittler, and Gilbert Perrault aren’t worthy of the Hall of Fame for not winning the Cup? We also seem to forget how close guys like Ray Bourque and Dave Andreychuk came to not hoisting Lord Stanley’s Mug. The argument, I’m sure, for most of these gentlemen will be that their supporting casts were not very good. My point exactly. I’m sure had Sundin won the cup he would have passed it to Ladislav Kohn or Jonas Huglund first. (Dangle)

International achievements don't need to be reiterated, as they are demonstrably unimportant in Hall of Fame voting. THN is not saying that anyone is not worthy of the hall for not winning a cup, but they are saying that not winning a cup is a major strike against you. You'd have better done something remarkably notable in your time (because you had lots of it while you were winning nothing) if you want to get into the Hall. He could have passed the Cup to Cujo of Belfour, but hey, that's just me, thinking that it's great goaltending that win Cups.

1. Has rarely played at a level where he’s considered among the top few players at his position. He has been loyal, durable, his production has been remarkably consistent, but he hasn’t crossed the line between being a very, very good player and a truly exceptional player. (THN)
This is the one solitary argument that is at least semi-legitimate, partially because it’s opinion. I too would argue that Sundin was never considered the best center in the NHL. Let’s keep in mind who he was dealing with, though: Gretzky, Messier, Lemieux, Yzerman, Lindros (back in the day) and recently some no-name kid called Sidney Crosby. I’m sure there are dozens of arguments for why Sundin should not be in the Hall of Fame, but these certainly aren’t them. (Dangle)

Hey, you got one right. But the proof is not that it's opinion, but rather that Sundin is standing in the shadows of his peers. He's not the best player, not the best leader, not the best scorer, not the best European, not the best Swede, he's just not ... the best - he's kind of just behind the best, and that's going to be where he stays. He's not going to be a Hall of Famer.

My arguments:

Sundin has scored a lot of points. That is NOT why someone gets into the Hall of Fame, unless they score a NOTABLY or REMARKABLY large amount of points. Sundin has not done that.

A big day full of Goblins, homeless guys and Maple Leafs

How to make hockey interesting in August.
TSN has taken the NHL off-season hiatus as a time to come up with some thoughtful analysis. In this case they'll make their case for the 50 most valuable players for the trade market. They only list from 50 - 25, but the top 25 should be notable.

Goblins Tempts Fate 8.5
From the comic website that keeps me looking for updates, you can see Tempts Fate 8.5.
These story lines are not related to the main thread of Goblins, and it doesn't include a character from the comic, either. The character here, named 'Tempts Fate,' (goblins are named by an oracle, who sees their inner essence) goes through dangerous trials so he can tempt fate - and donors contribute funds. If the funds come in quickly, Tempts Fate easily dodges the dangers, but if they come in slow, he struggles accordingly. So far, the financial goals have been met, so he hasn't really had too much trouble.

Sundin and Flyers
Apparently Philadelphia is on the record for being interested in acquiring Mats Sundin. Not really new news.

McCabe maybe to Carolina instead?
of course i can't read a lick of German.

Some dummy's thoughts on the Leafs available GM position
Rumours that Joe Nieuwendyk is scheduled to be the next Leafs GM? Yeah, because the Leafs have been holding out for the just the right guy - who's never GMed anything in his life. Riiight.

Rockin' Ronnie clip
If this clip doesn't work, follow this link. This video is awesome!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Event Horizon: Fishburne joins CSI

Hey, CSI is on.

If you've got cable, then you've likely watched CSI in back-to-back episodes at least 20 times in your life. And that's cool with me. I've seen most of the episodes, and was following along last year right up until Lost and CSI were on the same nights. 

So I'm not entirely sure what all happened in the last few episodes of CSI after Sarah Cidle decided to walk away from the show - but I heard rumours that Warrick was killed off. So ... how can they make next season more interesting yet remain diverse? Bring in a ringer!

THIS is a good start. The show locked up Larry Fishburne to join the cast for the next season. His character doesn't have a name yet, but it's important to note that he's apparently not replacing Warrick, but he's replacing Grissom! I guess William Peterson needs some time away from the spotlight - although, big ensemble casts that stick together for 8 years are rare. Think of shows like ER, where the cast changes considerably from season to season. 

Even Lost, with its core group of characters, finds ways to introduce at least 10 new characters per season. 

Besides all of that, Fishburne in his own way, has a presence that precedes him, and just his image on the CSI screen should begin to move stories forward. 

I'm looking forward to Spike's Season 8 Marathon, or whatever season CSI is on now. 6? It came out in 2000, I thought. Maybe they just had season 7?  ( I checked wikipedia - they just finished Season 8). 

Sundin stuff:

Some fan takes a top-10 list and refutes the points. I'll chime in on what kind of players make the Hall and which ones don't, some day soon. I've been struggling to find players that are 'similar to Sundin' to make more sense out of what he's done/doing  and without going into too much depth about it: Olli Jokinen, Rick Nash and Shane Doan come to mind. I'll defend myself on that stance later. If you're interested, stay tuned.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Baseball's awesome

Well, the baseball tournament has come and gone, and it was great. The whole weekend is special in terms of a team-building exercise in so many ways, but chiefly,we all end up staying together for about 2 days straight, just getting to know one another better.

We were the Saturday morning champions, going undefeated in our first two games of the playoffs, downing Dr. Disc and then Bottoms Up (whom our Crush team from years past hadn't been able to beat for two years). 

Then we got a well-deserved break until about 6:10 when we went head-to-head with the defending champions called Soft Porn. We had about two bad innings, and were defeated, unfortunately. That meant we had to fight it out for another game against ... I think they were called Thirsty Faces. Or they used to be Thirsty Faces, not sure what they're calling themselves now.

Either way, they beat us by just enough to eliminate us from the competition - but we had a great time together and then all went back to one our guy's place for a great BBQ.

The next day was the real good time. Sunday we all went back to the diamond to watch the final game between Bases Loaded and Soft Porn, and Bases Loaded wins. 

I think the best part was the party at Faces afterwards - which was better this year than the last four or fives years that we've been in attendance. Although we'd never had the cops called during the foot races before. 

It was a great time, and this baseball weekend is probably one of my summer highlights. It just feels great. Thanks for a great season. 

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sorry so late

I'll have to keep this one short - unfortunately I've got little to say, and ... well, didn't get up to posting anything earlier.

Bryan McCabe is expected to collect $2 million as a signing bonus on Sept. 1 as mentioned yesterday, after which he will be accepting a trade to Florida for Mike Van Ryn, says Sportsnet. I still expect that a major part of the trade will be Toronto paying big portions of McCabe's big contract.

Van Ryn, on the other hand, grew up in London, Ontario and I actually spent a brief moment with his sister (I just met her very briefly) while visiting a friend there a couple years ago. His agent was Bobby Orr, and apparently he got this sweet Mustang for signing somewhere - but he didn't want it, and so his sister got the car. Something along those lines - all heresay, right?

The other cool thing that I noticed today was that Alyn MacCauley (who was supposed to be a great player for the Leafs) has accepted a position at Queen's University, where he'll be an assitant hockey coach for the Golden Gaels. He apparently retired because of knee problems, but I was at the actual game against New Jersey when MacCauley was crushed by Sheldon Sourray - which led to his massive head trauma and concussion problems. He was injury-prone ever since.

MacCauley was a heavily touted prospect from the New Jersey organization that the Leafs acquired for Doug Gilmour back when that trade went down. It was too bad MacCauley's career never picked up - he would have been great.

And for my man in Boston:

Investigated fire chief drops disability claim

A Boston fire chief who has been on injured leave for nearly two years awaiting
approval of his disability retirement claim abruptly withdrew the application
this week after two witnesses recanted their initial statements about his
injury, according to two senior public officials.

The unusual withdrawal follows the recent disappearance of the chief's medical file from department headquarters as federal investigators were pursuing an inquiry into dozens of questionable injury claims, including his, the officials said.

Whoah! Sounds like someone is going to have a bad day tomorrow - have something to explain to his wife, and have trouble making eye contact at the dinner table this Thanksgiving. For the record, that is some outstanding reporting!

I might have trouble updating the site tomorrow because of a massive baseball tournament I'm in. Gotta be on the diamond at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow, and we might have to play six games before the day is through. That's 57 innings, if you're counting - if we're lucky.

Then hopefully we'll still be playing games on Sunday for the finals. But .. .that's getting ahead of ourselves. I'll recap our ball tourny as best I can the next chance I get.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

McCabe waiving good bye?

TSN has put up a nice recap of the changes that have taken place in the off-season for the Maple Leafs. You can find that here. The article says:
Another big unknown is the status of Bryan McCabe and his $5.75 million salary. The rearguard is said to have softened his stance on his no-trade clause and will give the club a list of teams he is willing to play for.
But SportsNet has the scoop that McCabe has waived the clause and is interested in playing for the Florida Panthers. Kypreos says McCabe has "officially waived his no trade clause." The one Toronto publication you can count on to print hasty trade rumours, the Sun, has even shied away from being that assertive with the news. So SportsNet might be the new 'John Davidson of Toronto.' 

ASIDE: J.D. would sit down on the Satellite Hot Stove with HNIC and state that "every player you can think of is rumoured to be coming to New York!" It didn't matter who the player was, how they were doing, or whether they were on the trading block - JD would say they were going to the Rangers.

Consider this, though - the Rangers did get Pat Lafontaine (one of the greatest American born players ever), Wayne Gretzky (the greatest player ever born) and Jaromir Jagr (one of the best Europeans to ever play?) as well as at-one-point-in-their-careers flashy players like Pavel Bure, Theo Fleury, Bobby Holik and Alexei Kovalev. So JD wasn't necessarily wrong, but he always had a big whopper to tell each Saturday. Now he's the Prez for the St. Louis Blues, of course.


The Sun simply states that McCabe could be on the move - and if he is, not to expect it till after September 1. 

What could be the explanation for him waiting till after Sept. 1?

“(Bryan) isn’t going anywhere until Sept. 1, at the earliest,” the source said. “That’s the date (he) gets his $2-million US signing bonus from Toronto. According to the source, the Panthers, Philadelphia Flyers, Boston Bruins, New York Islanders and New York Rangers are among the teams McCabe would consider, although the Rangers might be out “because they’ve already signed everybody.”

Oh, he's waiting for another $2 million signing bonus before he moves? Sounds fair to me. I wonder how much of his big contract the Maple Leafs will still have to pay when they trade McCabe?

IF Toronto couldn't buy him out because he was too expensive, then there must be some line that's been drawn indicating how much wasn't too expensive. I would imagine that any trade with McCabe will include the 'affordable' amount that Toronto can pay to no longer employ McCabe per season. 

Another rumour suggests he's available to the NYI for Freddy Meyer (who?) and a 4th round pick (soon-to-be a who?).
I just got a tip that Bryan McCabe is close to being dealt to the New York Islanders for a 4th round pick and Freddy Meyer.
So Toronto will be paying Tucker, Raycroft and McCabe to get away from the Leafs. This is all the cost of executing the master plan I outlined a few months ago: no big signings, no long-term contracts, and trades for the future until the front office is in place (read: until Fletcher hires a GM).