Wednesday, August 31, 2005

What we do for family and PK - The Gambler?

photo: me
CasonBlog Aside: What we do for family...
Just got back after the road trip from hell. I looked like it was going to be a simple enough three phase jaunt. Drive 6 1/2 easy hours Friday to Grandma's house, pack and move her out of her place, blast back home Tuesday in time for a volleyball game and a football practice. Ah, but it didn't quite go as planned. Our beloved Durango got totaled in a four car wreck on the interstate when a kid driving a party rental truck smashed into us while we were at a stop. He lifted and rammed us into the back of the pickup in front of us, and that truck rammed a Honda in front of him. I loved that Durango. The only thing wrong with that V-8 powered hunk of American steel was a pervasive smell of yak that hung around two weeks after my youngest son barfed up pizza and two big lemonades in the back seat. C'est La Vie...

Now Back to the Puck Blogging
Not a great sign when your penny-pinching owner is talking smack about other owners before a puck has even dropped. In Luke DeCock's Sunday News & Observer piece, PK is unabashed in his disdain for the fiscal irresponsibility and even lack intelligence he see being demonstrated by many fellow owners, including, of course, arch-nemesis Mike Ilitch. This from the guy that brought us the $38 mil. bid for Sergei Fedorov in '97 that accelerated a fiscal crisis in hockey that ultimately lead to the loss of the '04 - '05 season. I don't mind PK going frugal if he just levels with the fans. If his new business model calls for positioning his club in the lower third of the payroll rankings to reap the benefits of revenue sharing, he ought to just be up front about it. Claiming his recent signings of Corey Stillman, Oleg Tverdovsky and Ray Whitney as strokes of genius before they've played a game is taking bluff poker to an extreme. No, genius is Don Waddell bringing in Holik, Hossa and DeVries, at the cost of a few mil and a physically and psychologically damaged Danny Heatley.

I sense the real truth is that PK is desperately attempting to navigate the franchise through troubled waters. I think the signings of Stillman, Tverdovsky and Whitney were truly artful moves for a club with little spending room. Just don't tell us they were strokes of genius. Come on PK, If you need to "hold 'em" now in the hopes of not having to "fold 'em" real soon, level with us. I think the Hurricane "party base" will rally around a lunch pail group of guys. What's not to love about these mutts? Roddy's face looks like the front end of my revered and recently departed Dodge Durango. Glen Wesley brings seasoned grit and DMV worker-type charisma every night. Kevyn Adams is a tough and over-achieving journeyman (and a fellow Miami Redskin, eerrr Redhawk). Finally, Corey Stillman brings top-ten scoring, a brand new "A," a guaranteed contract, cute kids in good schools, and probably a nice gray house in Cary.

Hurricane fans (including even the Chapel Hill chardonnay and bree crowd) just need to see the boys bring swagger, hustle and a killer instinct to the ice every night. Nobody wants or needs those things right now from the Hurricanes front office. I'll have more faith in the "Here to stay," mantra when I've seen a little more "Here to play" out on the ice.

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