Seeing that all eyes were on the All-Star Game last week, there wasn’t much other news in the world of hockey. So I wanted to focus my column this week on a few players that deserve your attention. I’ll also make my case for why the league needs to change their All-Star Game format to something much more interesting. Happy reading!
Happy third night of Hannukkah and merry Christmas Eve. This edition of Blake’s Takes won’t be very festive, but it will have some interesting content. Last week was a busy week in the NHL. Taylor Hall was finally moved and Ilya Kovalchuk is now a free agent! I’ll also highlight a breakout performer and take a closer look at one of my favorite plays of the week.
This week marks my 52nd week writing this column. Although I’ve been writing Blake’s Takes for a bit over a year, this felt like the perfect time to celebrate. I want to thank everyone who reads this column each week. I appreciate all of your support and I have really enjoyed the experience. A special thanks to my number-one fan, Aaron Walters, for all of the kind words. Here’s to another 52 weeks!
The NHL is buzzing right now and takes are easy to come by. For this week’s Blake’s Takes, you can expect a Jack Hughes update and additional Devils’ news. Also, I’ll feature one of the best rivalries in the sport that flared up over the weekend and highlight what could be this year’s best goal.
The NHL needs to take a page out of the NBA’s playbook and create some buzz during the offseason. There is no one talking about the NHL. Other than a few small signings, roster movement is dead. Thankfully, there were a few headlines that people were talking about this week. You can look forward to a personal story, a new alternate jersey, and a surprisingly long take about a player’s need for a dictionary. Enjoy!
This week, I had to scratch and claw to find five things worth writing about, but I did it. I could never disappointment my fans. This week, the Hurricanes dominated the news cycle after they re-signed GM Don Waddell, and after Waddell announced that captain, Justin Williams, is still mulling retirement. There were a few other diamonds in the rough like a big jersey retirement and a trophy malfunction.
There were so many moves made this offseason that I had to comment on some of the signings from the beginning of July. I also look into the new contracts of Jordan Binnington of Kevin LeBanc, and the big trade between Colorado and Toronto.
“Game Change: The Life and Death of Steve Montador and the Future of Hockey” is the latest treatise by Ken Dryden, and a difficult book to categorize.
As the title implies, the book tells the story of former NHL defenseman Steve Montador, who died at 35 — but “Game Change” isn’t a traditional biography.
It explains how concussions and traumatic head injuries affect the brain, body and mind — but “Game Change” isn’t a scientific journal entry.
It also recounts how the NHL, over the past century, has reached its current level of violence and physicality — but “Game Change” isn’t a history book.
“Game Change” is more than the sum of its parts, and like its name implies, it may very well change the sport of hockey. Dryden, the former Montreal Canadiens goaltender and six-time Stanley Cup-winner, has written several other hockey books. “The Game,” Dryden’s seminal work, is widely-considered to be the best hockey book ever written. “Game Change” may became the most important hockey book ever written, as it thoroughly discusses hockey’s concussion problem — illustrating it with Montador’s biography — and how to fix it.
…with Sal Barry & Tim Parish
Player not working? Listen to this podcast on SoundCloud.
In the latest Puck Junk Podcast, Sal and Tim (@TheRealDFG) talk about:
Playing fantasy hockey on Topps Skate
The Vegas Golden Knights’ name, color, jersey and logo
Gerard Gallant being fired by the Florida Panthers
Lighthouse Hockey’s campaign to make N.Y. Islanders’ third-string goalie J.F. Berube an NHL All-Star Game captain
Podcast #20 weighs in at 55:31, so have a seat before you click play.
Theme music by Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard.
So, what do you think about the new Vegas team, the Panthers firing Gallant or the push to get J.F. Berube into the 2017 All-Star Game? Leave a comment below. ■
Congratulations to Jaromir Jagr of the Florida Panthers, who passed Gordie Howe to become third all-time in NHL scoring with 1,851 points.
For more of Shellie’s work, visit her blog. ■
…with your hosts, Sal Barry and Tim Parish.
Player not working? Listen to the podcast on SoundClloud.
- The Wild-Blackhawks Stadium Series game
- The North Stars-Blackhawks Alumni game
- Why Sal hates the word “franchise”
- Dennis Wideman’s suspension appeal denial
- The effects of a mild concussion
- Jaromir Jagr moving to third all-time in NHL goals
Total time is 39 minutes, so get comfy!