Looking for Herle? 
I noticed that if you search Google for David Herle, this site comes up at number two.  I would hate it if people got their impression of the man from the couple posts I wrote about him here and here.

David Herle advising Kerry? 
It was funny to hear Kerry use the line that this election is the most important in their lifetime. Arguably so for the Americans I suppose.

Martin said the June 28th election was the most important in Canadian history - did anyone agree?

I did see a fair bit of Kerry's speech last night - I thought it was alright.  What really struck me was how old Kerry looked - even his speaking manner was old - a slight slur at the end of words or something that made me feel I was listening to an old man.  James liked it.  I kind of agree with him on the crowd issue - actually the end of the speech was better, in my opinion, as the crowd and Kerry got better synched.

I read a bit from the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth site yesterday - why are the Democrats playing up his Vietnam experience??

The Don will be back 
Okay - you can start breathing again.... 
According to sources, the CBC will announce as early as today that it has re-signed all but one member of its hockey crew. That means Cherry is back, former Vancouver Canucks GM Brian Burke is in and analyst Glenn Healy is out. (The Star)

Meandering Sens/Owner/Lockout post 
Rod Bryden was in the papers here in Ottawa today - he is no longer the CEO of WorldHeart.  He was the owner of the Sens until Eugene Melnyk (a Moldovan friend said is should be pronounced "uGEN" Melynk since it's a Moldovan name??) took over the team.

It got me thinking about the difference in the fan's attitudes now and then.  Bryden would every so often, come on the TV and Radio, and say how the team would leave if more fans didn't support the team.  I thought he was being slighly blunt about the issues but it made a lot of fans feel like pushing back as it felt like he was threatening them - buy tickets or else. 

Sure - it was a threat and a real threat as the bankruptcy proceedings could have ended a much different way than they did. 

But considering the success the team had attendance wise last year - even when not playing as well as the year before, you ask yourself why?  The local economy never improved - business owned season tickets in Ottawa still rank near the bottom - so why the increase in attendance?

A positive attitude coming from the organization is my guess.  Stability and optimism.  Fans love it.  Muckler talking about winning the cup, and Melnyk talking about beating the Leafs or whatever, brings passion to the team.  Sports, and being a sports fan, is about passion and a feeling like you are a part of the team - not about entertainment value, or the number of jobs the team brings to the city. 

It's this passion that will suffer if there is a prolonged lockout.  Fans don't need to be reminded daily from the day the lockout starts to when it ends, how much money these players make and how much each side is lying to the other, etc.  We want to hear if the latest draft pick will make the team, who is going to centre Hossa, and what the team will look like with the new coach.  We want to buy tickets to see Hasek in a Senators jersey, to see Spezza become a number one centre and to see Chara and Phillips punish opposing forwards. 

I'm a optimist as I still believe there will be no lockout.  I can't believe that the players and owners will ignore the truth behind their business - that it depends so much on more than CBA/salary numbers - it depends on the fans passion.

Why we need Fox News in Canada.... 
O'Reilly vs Moore
BILL O'REILLY: The issues… all right good, now, one of the issues is you because you’ve been calling Bush a liar on weapons of mass destruction, the Senate Intelligence Committee, Lord Butler’s investigation in Britain, and now the 9/11 Commission have all come out and said there was no lying on the part of President Bush.  Plus, Vladimir Putin has said his intelligence told Bush there were weapons of mass destruction.  Wanna apologize to the president now or later?
MOORE: He didn’t tell the truth, he said there were weapons of mass destruction.
O'REILLY: Yeah, but he didn’t lie, he was misinformed by - all of those investigations come to the same conclusion, that’s not a lie.
MOORE: uh huh, so in other words if I told you right now that nothing was going on down here on the stage…
O'REILLY: That would be a lie because we could see that wasn’t the truth
MOORE: Well, I’d have to turn around to see it, and then I would realize, oh, Bill, I just told you something that wasn’t true… actually it’s president Bush that needs to apologize to the nation for telling an entire country that there were weapons of mass destruction, that they had evidence of this, and that there was some sort of connection between Saddam Hussein and September 11th, and he used that as a –
O'REILLY: OK, He never said that, but back to the other thing, if you, if Michael Moore is president –
MOORE: I thought you said you saw the movie, I show all that in the movie
O'REILLY: Which may happen if Hollywood, yeah, OK, fine –
MOORE: But that was your question –
O'REILLY: Just the issues.  You’ve got three separate investigations plus the president of Russia all saying… British intelligence, U.S. intelligence, Russian intelligence, told the president there were weapons of mass destruction, you say, “he lied.”  This is not a lie if you believe it to be true, now he may have made a mistake, which is obvious –
MOORE: Well, that’s almost pathological – I mean, many criminals believe what they say is true, they could pass a lie detector test –
O'REILLY: Alright, now you’re dancing around a question –
MOORE: No I’m not, there’s no dancing
O'REILLY: He didn’t lie
MOORE: He said something that wasn’t true
O'REILLY: Based upon bad information given to him by legitimate sources
MOORE: Now you know that they went to the CIA, Cheney went to the CIA, they wanted that information, they wouldn’t listen to anybody
O'REILLY: They wouldn’t go by Russian intelligence and Blair’s intelligence too
MOORE: His own people told him, I mean he went to Richard Clarke the day after September 11th and said “What you got on Iraq?” and Richard Clarke’s going “Oh well this wasn’t Iraq that did this sir, this was Al Qaeda.”
O'REILLY: You’re diverting the issue…did you read Woodward’s book?
MOORE: No, I haven’t read his book.

So, the guy that is giving the majority of Americans and Canadians their information on 9/11, Iraq, Osama, etc., hasn't read Woodward's book? Scary.

Funny debate to read - would have liked to see it for real. Actually - Fox has the video on the website to see.

Moore goes on and on about sacrificing children. "It's Bush sending the children there." O'Reilly brings in Hitler. Hilarious debate.

Just saw this quote from Moore in Simpson's Globe column:
Mr. Moore even got onto one of his favourite subjects -- Canada. "Thank God for Canadians," he said. "They're just like us, only better. They like us. They really do. They just wish we'd read a little more."

Funny that - you'd think the guy would have read "Plan of Attack" then...

Sidetracked thought - reminds me of the insult my brother heard a Leaf fan yell at Ken Dryden one time at a Leaf game:  "Hey Dryden - go read a book!" 

Back from the Beach 
Quick thoughts in my attempt to restart this blog after a brief summer vacation...

1.  Love the new Hip album - You're Everywhere and Gus: The Polar Bear from Central Park are my favs so far

2. Expect Harper to fade from view until the Health Care conference in September - Martin's track record of being pretty much incompetent might not change.  Harper might as well see if the Liberals can keep screwing up.  McGuinty might help the Conservatives as he tries to rebuild his reputation in Ontario.

3. World Cup of Hockey - I've got tickets for the exhibition games here in Ottawa.  One month away. 

Gone swimming... 
in the great beaches of Lake Huron. Be back in a couple weeks.

Read Jay Currie's law troubles if you haven't already and Andrew Coyne's simple look at Ontario and the Conservative Party.

Captain Fish? 
Scanning the local sports blogs for Hasek reaction I came across this at Andrew's Sens Fanblog:
Steve Madely (580 CFRA) is claiming that the Senators will change the team captain before the start of next season. Daniel Alfredsson will apparently be replaced by Mike Fisher as the leader of the team.

I would support the move as a fan. Actually, moving Bonk makes this more likely as Fisher will play a much bigger role as a number 2 or 3 center (with Smolinski). It would be tough for a young captain to be moved on and off the 4th line or being shuffled to the wing like he was last season.
This rumour contradicts the statements that Murray made since he was named coach - he publicly said that he hoped Alfredsson would remain the captain - though, in hindsight - what else could he say. I think Alfredsson would benefit from removing the C. He's a great player and taking off the cup prediction pressure would help him focus on his play.

The greatest player to wear the Senators jersey 
In the modern era of course.

I was impressed with Hasek in the news conference. He subtlely accepted responsibility for last years comeback flop - saying he didn't adequately prepare himself. This summer, in recovering from his groin surgery, he's been doing two-a-day workouts with a personal trainer (a first for Hasek) and will be hitting the ice August 1st.

He brings a confidence with him that is unmatched in the Senators organization and that in itself is so important for the team. He also brings with him 6 Vezina trophies and a Stanley Cup ring.

Why do fans have mixed feelings?

By signing Hasek you leave yourself open to the very real possiblity of a mid-season injury and having to lean on Prusek/Emery until you can deal from weakness and pick up a true number 1 tender. Also, with Hasek as the starter and Prusek as the backup, you have two very promising young goalies in Emery and Kelly Guard sharing time with the Binghamton Senators - with Billy Thompson left out of the mix?

Sure. But if the Sens passed on Hasek who would they start the season with? Surely a team of the Sens calibre can't start with Prusek and Emery? UFA goalies are limited to Burke, Snow, Dafoe, Weekes, or Potvin - none on the top of any fans list. Dealing for a Turco type player could be an option but would command a Havlat/Volchenkov/Phillips plus price tag.

Signing Hasek takes nothing from the organization and comes a at reasonable price tag (no more Eddie jokes - but compare the two - three months difference in age - 8/10 million difference in salary?)

Another note - Spezza gave Hasek his number 39 and will be wearing 19 - a number with a tremendous history in Ottawa - Yashin/Schastlivy. And is it just me or is Muckler trying to make this team into the 97-99 Sabres? Look for Peca to join the team sometime this season to play a leadership role and take the number 2/3 centre spot.

From politics to hockey...

The CBA issue might just make the free agent sweepstakes a little more interesting. Instead of billions of dollars being spent the first week of July we're seeing a chess game being played out. Cheaper third liners are being picked up for 1.5 million or so but nobody is willing to pay for stars - not knowing if the going rate will be $4mil, $6mil, or $8mil after all is said and done with the talks.

I'll probably be writing some stuff about the Sens situation - signing Hasek is supposedly a done deal. I think it's great for the team at the money I've heard ($3mil + bonus for the cup) but it is very risky considering Hasek's gimpy groin.

Spector's Trade Rumours is the best place to keep up to date on all the activity in the league - I see Kariya might be going to Vancouver?? - Thornton to Florida??

Regarding the Leafs - they are already committed to spending close to $60 million for next season - no rebuilding - no retooling - just retreads. But hey - they made budget last year for the teacher's pension fund - 5 home games is the goal of the organization.

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