Nice to see nice guys finally get their shot.
Now, there was more than one deserving candidate for the GM job in Minnesota. But the fact Chuck Fletcher, a young man who has certainly put in his time leanring the hockey business, ended up getting the job is a positive story. Fletcher, son of Cliff, had a brief shot running a team back in 2001 with the Florida Panthers, but this is really his first bona fide opportunity to develop and manage a club.
It's a nice situation to step into. You don't have to worry abouit selling tickets, there are already some nice pieces in play and its a market that knows the game. What will be interesting will be to see how Fletcher is different from his predecessor, Doug Risebrough, and how he's different from his Hall of Fame father.
The nice part is that no one will say he got the job because of his famous dad. Chuck Fletcher earned this opportunity.
Other stories on the go:
-- First Martin Brodeur was the victim of a stunning Carolina comeback. Then Roberto Luongo couldn't hold the fort against Chicago. Now Cam Ward, seen as the dark horse in the race to be Canada's No. 1 goalie in next year's Olympics, gets blasted for a six-pack by the Pittsburgh Penguins in a game Carolina really needed to have.
More and more, it's looking like this is a decision that's going to have to wait. Whoever is the hottest goalie next January gets the job. If Detroit wins the Cup again, does Chris Osgood at the very least get an invitation to the Team Canada orientation camp in August?
-- So here's how this works. If both conference final series are sweeps, the Stanley Cup final begins next Thursday. If either goes longer than four games, the Cup final waits until June 5th at the earliest.
And ends just before the Super Bowl. Ridiculous.
-- Not going to say "told you so" about the Jays starting to slide 'cause I didn't. I was one of the many hoping this could be real. The city could use a winning franchise. But losing five of six to Boston/New York sure undercut the legitimacy of the Jays early season excellence. Now they need to get back on the winning track very, very soon or people will be more than happy to start ignoring them again.
-- Not sure that I get Jim Balsillie's exuberant optimism that an NHL team for Hamilton is just around the corner. Not sure I get why he thinks a heavy P.R. campaign in Canada is going to make a difference. On the other hand, you sure do get the feeling that there's a big, big twist coming in this story before it's all decided.
-- Pavel Datsyuk is the most dominant goal-less player I've ever seen.
-- Kris may have won American Idol. But I'm betting Adam has the bigger career.
-- Not sure I know how much a Hamilton franchise would hurt Buffalo. But I am sure two U.S. Senators have absolutely no idea.
And you're telling me the Sabres can't survive because a team is 100 kilometres away with a border between them? Then they ultimately won't survive.