Blake’s Takes: The Stanley Cup Finals are Almost Set

This is the best time of year in the hockey world. We are in the midst of the Conference Finals and the World Championships. A few coaching hires were made and I look into the officiating problem that is leaving a black mark on this year’s playoffs.

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Collectors Corner #13 – The 5 Stages of Sports Card Collecting


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In the lucky 13th episode of Collectors Corner, Ron Barr and I talk about the Five Stages of Sports Card Collecting. Where  does it all begin and end for sports card collectors — and what happens in between? 

Blake’s Takes: Conference Finals and the World Championships

The might be the best time of the year to be a hockey fan. We are in the midst of the Conference Finals and the World Championships have started. I dive deep into both tournaments and bring back my award predictions.

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Would Pavel Datsyuk’s Return Help or Hinder the Red Wings?

For 14 seasons, Pavel Datsyuk wowed NHL fans with his elite stickhandling, skating, and passing. Defensively gifted as well, Datsyuk won the Selke trophy three consecutive seasons from 2008-2010. He was a member of two Stanley Cup-winning teams, and an almost certain Hall of Famer. After the 2015-16 season, Datsyuk returned home to Russia to be closer to his young children, and joined KHL team SKA St. Petersburg.

With his KHL contract expired, Datsyuk flew to Detroit recently and met with new Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman. Datsyuk has stated that he is not ready to retire, and made it clear that he will only play for the Red Wings should he return to the NHL. A decision on whether to return to Russia or Detroit appears imminent for Datsyuk, and is eagerly anticipated by Red Wings fans. Here is why the Red Wings should sign Datsyuk — and why they shouldn’t. 

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Collectors Corner #12 – May 3, 2019

What Happens to My Collection When I Die?


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Many collectors don’t think about what will happen to their beloved treasures once they pass away — and might be surprised to learn where their collectibles end up. Ron Barr and I also discuss why sports memorabilia seems to retain its value more so than other types of collectibles. 

Year of the Pig, Part III: The Postseason

Part III in the recap of the 2018-19 Carolina Hurricanes’ season & run to the Conference Finals. But will there be a Part IV? 

Note: Be sure to read Part 1 and Part 2 first. 

In the Hurricanes first postseason game in a decade they fared OK, but played like a team that was still in the regular season, while a far more experienced Washington squad played “playoff hockey.” Andrei Svechnikov, being a rookie, didn’t know they were suppose to lose, and put up two goals to make the Canes look good. Game 2 ended tighter, but novice play in OT put them down 0-2 in the series. Another rookie, Warren Foegele, started to make a name for himself here (besides being the thief that stole all the E’s out of Petr Mrazek’s name).

Game 3 was in Raleigh, the first game in a generation of new fans. Continue reading “Year of the Pig, Part III: The Postseason”

Year of the Pig, Part II: Regular Season

Part II in a three-part retrospective on the
Carolina Hurricanes’ 2018-19 season. 

NOTE: Read Part I first if you haven’t done so already. 

Where was I? Oh yes, the vastly retooled Carolina Hurricanes began their pre-season with a bang, topping the powerhouse Lightning twice, the Stanley Cup Champion Capitals twice (to be fair, they were probably still drunk), and Western Conference BBQ rival Preds once and to a OT loss; outscoring their opponents 28 to 13!

Many of us longer-suffering fans were cautious because we’d seen decent preseason teams trip on the door step to the regular season, Continue reading “Year of the Pig, Part II: Regular Season”

Year of the Pig, Part I: The Offseason

Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard recaps the Carolina Hurricanes’ 2018-19 season — in three parts!

Last year, Tom Dundon became the new majority owner of the Carolina Hurricanes. Shortly after he stepped in, the hockey world sat up and took notice of the irreverent moves that he made. Let’s take a look at what happened since then and how it has impacted the Hurricanes’ organization this season. 

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Blake’s Takes: Gold Medals & Game 7s

Every week in the Spring is another big week in hockey. This week, we saw a bunch of jerks move on to the conference finals and a prospect finesse his way into a contract. The World Championships are also starting this week and one country is particularly stacked. I also highlight a few potential additions to the Triple Gold Club.

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A Look at the Career of Gary Bettman

The NHL has evolved tremendously over the past 26 years — from a league of mainly Canadian athletes and meager television revenues, to a multi-national, multi-billion dollar league. At its helm since February 1, 1993 is Gary Bettman, a New York City raised attorney. Bettman’s mandate centered on growing the game, particularly in non-traditional regions of the U.S.

During Bettman’s tenure, the NHL has expanded by five teams; Florida, Nashville, Minnesota, Columbus, and Las Vegas, with a fifth coming to Seattle in 2021. Additionally, the original Winnipeg Jets and the Hartford Whalers moved to Phoenix and Carolina, respectively. These expansions, along with the recent success of teams such as Tampa Bay and Los Angeles, have increased viewership and participation in the U.S.

However, Bettman comes with his detractors. Continue reading “A Look at the Career of Gary Bettman”