Some links and e-mails that caught my eye over the long weekend:
First, Kukla's Korner had a fine post from George Malik on where the Penguins' new ownership and hockey fans might be best served if the team is eventually moved - and it's not southern Ontario:
The economic giant that is Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, as well as their biggest investor--the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Fund--have as much interest in competing for dollars as OPEC does in sharing their oil wells.
So, in the unlikely event that the Penguins were to move, where would they go? Kansas City? Las Vegas? Houston? Seattle?
How about Winnipeg?
Scott Stapp ("God Bless America," 2004 World Series, Game 4): Is it the punctuating breaths? The fact that he seems to have forgotten how to pronounce the "ve" sound in "love"? His introduction as "the voice of Creed"? Or is it just that he's Scott Stapp, and even when he's not inflicting his lyrical Jesus complex on the world, he's still flat and completely insufferable?
Monday was the anniversary of Tom Cheek's passing. Neate Sager remembers.
Whatever happened to Wayne Ruiney? Richard Williams investigates.
And one more. E-mailer Chuck
Smith Murphy sends in this on Kyle Wellwood:
Kyle Wellwood is simply a young Adam Oates looking for someone to finish off his fine playmaking ability. Could Mats be the guy for Kyle? Players like Kolovchek and Ovechkin are perfect matches for Wellwood's considerable playmaking skills.
Last year was particularly frustrating to see Pat Quinn limit Welly's ice time. He averaged more points per minute played than other other Leaf player. Yes PPM -Points Per Minute played is the most important offensive stat a coach needs to monitor, but many coaches don't understand that concept yet.
The Leafs may not realize it right now, but this guy is the cornerstone of the franchise once Mats Sundin retires. The team with a long history of extremely poor player management has to make sure he stays a Leaf for a very long time.
I was at the Leafs game last night, sitting in the greens, my first game in three years. I'd just said it for about the fifth time this season - "If this guy had a shot, he could book his all-star ticket right now" - when Wellwood, apparently tiring of deking the puck into the goalie's pads, simply blasted away and wired one past Alex Auld.
So maybe he does have a shot after all. In the bigger picture, it proves one thing. Although there's a time and place for everything, including Pat Quinn with the Leafs, there's no better illustration of the necessity for a coaching change this season than Wellwood's development from last year's spare part into this year's first-line, power-playin' dipsy-doodler.