Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Movement on the Press Credentials for Bloggers Front

Some interesting progress reported by cutting-edge sports blogger Eric McErlain of Off Wing Opinion. Working in conjunction with Caps owner, Ted Leonsis and Caps media staff, Eric has published a draft of some basic guidance clubs might use for the credentialing of hockey bloggers. Don't know Eric personally, but I've been inspired by some of his futurist views on the evolution of this media. Note just some of the other successes of members of this community over the past year:

  1. Paul Kukla now blogs for nhl.com, and deftly uses the forum to expand the big tent and evangelize for the new hockey media.
  2. Tyler Dellow (mc79hockey.com), Chris McMurtry (hockeycountry.blogspot.com), Patrick Angello (avsfans.blogspot.com) and David Lee (redblackhockey.blogspot.com) participated in a multi-segment playoff blogger forum on cnbc. com.
  3. Deadspin.com, one of the premier sports media/culture blogs, routinely links to posts that originate in our community.

I know I'm missing other breakthroughs. Chris of PK got a guest role on the Hockey Night pre-game, Her Majesty on Jim Rome...but the point remains - these times, they are a changin.'

Now the dilemma. If and when somebody awards me a press credential, I'm not sure how I would approach the opportunity. Would it look bad if I walked in an immediately started chowing down at the press row buffet table? Will I have to look the other way whenever Grapes starts french kissing Darcy Tucker? Is it "cool" to interview the interviewers? Will I get access to the Storm Squad locker room? Will I be obliged to talk to Kid Rock like all the other journalists?

Maybe James Mirtle could produce a code of conduct/insiders guide that will help regular folks like us better comport ourselves when venturing into this new environment. I wouldn't want to get off on the wrong foot with my new brother journalists. Can't wait to meet Cousin Ned and that lovable old curmudgeon Jack Todd...

Maybe not a match made in Hell...

Don't drive angry...Just play some friggin'' defense!!!
From Kukla's and the Toronto Sun today you'll find an article about Jeff O'Neill's summer of reflection. When the Leaf Nation signed Coach Mo, one of my first thoughts was that the fans up north wouldn't have to wait long for their first T.O. moment. Towards the end of the Mo-era in Raleigh, Jeff seemed to be the most frequent point of irritation for the floundering Mo. Many will remember that memorable practice when Jeff went off on Mo for making the team endure a Herb Brooks-caliber gasser session.

From this article, it looks like Jeff is saying all the right things heading into camp. I like seeing guys like Jeff and David Tanabe get a chance to redeem themselves. If only all of us could live the Mulligan-rich life of the pro athlete. I just hope it doesn't become a Groundhog Day season for both.

Monday, August 28, 2006

The big family reunion

Is this man the missing piece?
photo: Hyena
The Ducks re-signed Bruno St. Jacques for one year, breaking the Hurricanes nearly uninterrupted string of do-over signings. The news last week about David Tanabe lunching with JR and Lavvy brings to my mind two things:

  1. David is a guy both Jeff Daniels and Kevin McCarthy know well. Might be a relatively inexpensive acquisition of a guy with the kind of character they seek.
  2. The Canes must be finding their niche in Raleigh if a local business rag is doing a paparazzi piece like this. The fact that some tipster could identify David Tanabe across a restaurant bodes well the local media finally getting with the program.
I think JR's relative idleness this summer means that he expects a gem to emerge from the "system depth" pool. David Gove, Joe Barnes and Keith Aucoin are all pretty unproven commodities. Not sure if and how much time Trevor Letowski has spent at center. I hope Eric Staal found a faceoff skills camp to attend this summer, cause that was the only area he stunk at last year. Overall, I still think the Canes are talent-deprived at center, and I'm troubled that they have not moved to fill the void created by the departure of Matt Cullen.

At the start of last season, John Buccigross' rub against the Canes was that they were both too old and too young. Barring any late developments, that story angle might actually end up being more descriptive of this year's squad. There are still some intriquing seasoned but not over-the-hill UFA's and RFA's out there JR could still take a run at including big names Anson Carter and Brian Gionta. Hell, if JR want's to keep this old home week thing going, Jaro Svoboda is still looking for a job.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Her Majesty Steps Out Strong

Most of the time, CasonBlog focuses on the trite and irreverent. Today, The Acid Queen has a strong take on the serious and still evolving David Frost story. It's a must read.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

NFL Network Fills the Void

NFL Smackmaster Rich Eisen
I'm really missing hockey right about now. I've got somewhere near 500 channels on Direct TV and still really only watch three channels: Fox News, Comedy Central and the NFL Network. The other day, I sat and watched about an hour of coverage from the Colts training camp. How desperate am I for hockey when I'll sit and watch Peyton Manning throw 10 straight curl route passes to a unsigned free agent receiver from the Devry Institute of Technology? Only the NFL Network is bold enough to bring you live play-by-play coverage of basic passing and catching drills from week two of training camp - no offense, no defense, just Peyton and four receivers going thru basic pattern and timing drills live from Terre Haute, Indiana.

On last night's exciting edition of NFL Total Access, Rich Eisen had a discussion via Pantherscam with Steve Smith. Steve got off some nice smack on old community college teammate Chad Johnson. Unimpressed? I thought so...but it beats Greta Van Susteren and endless JonBenet Ramsey coverage any day in my book. These guys at NFL Network do more with less than any network I've seen since the days when ESPN programming was little more than SportsCenter and Australian Rules Football.

If you don't get NFL Network, you'll just have to live with bad news from the war fronts, creepy unsolved murder cases, summer reality show re-runs and 24-7 Yankee/Red Sox coverage on ESPN, ESPN2, etc.

Monday, August 21, 2006

VOP Update and My Drive Home from Hockey with Art Bell

Art Bell's Coast to Coast AM - The Official Post Game Show of VOP Hockey

Valley Oasis Pools Still on a Roll
Yet another shootout victory for the boys in dirty white. This time versus The Edge. The Edge are one of those teams that routinely have at least three lines and three defensive pairings every week. There are teams in our league that are lucky to put five skaters and a goalie on the ice, and The Edge bring 15-17 skaters every time we play them. So much for league balance.

The Edge have one of those guys who blast around the rink at Warp Factor 8, teetering on the edge of destruction on every shift. He had two breakaways that ended in abrupt meetings - one with the dasher and the other with the goal post. He did score their only shootout goal, flailing as he released the shot and then crashing yet again into the end boards. Their goalie couldn't move laterally very well, and our boys hung him out with two top-shelf backhanders.

Next up - Second place Sakura Sushi and Teppan Yaki

Art Bell on the Drive Home
One of the joys of being the newest team in the league is that we are usually slated for the late game. I've got a 45 minute drive home, and it's usually around 11 pm when I start the return trek. The last couple of early AM's (AM back east that is), I've been enjoying Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell. Art's radio show mainly focuses on the paranormal, alien invasions and weird science in general. He broadcasts from a super-secret location somewhere in the Philippines, but there seems to be no transmission lag in his discourse with callers. Got to hand it to Art. He brings absolutely no skepticism to his host/caller dialog. A guy calls to say he was abducted by aliens who stuck a probe up his schnoz, and Art asks how his other orifices fared. Here's a list of caller topics from last night:

  1. Dog possessed by the devil is cured by a layman's exorcism. Pooch now happy and wants to go walk-ees.
  2. I see shadow people. Who are they Art?
  3. I am a mouth-breather abducted by aliens who stuck a probe up my nose.
  4. Art, why can't you create an electronic device that will change the hearts and minds of Islamo-Fascists?
  5. I died Art, and Heaven is like an LSD-enhanced dream. OBTW, God sent me back to earth and told me to pass the word that judgement day is near.
  6. There's a ghost cat in my raunchy meth-addict motel room.
  7. Arrrrrrrr ya still interested in some pirate booty? Let me send you some Art...

Saturday, August 19, 2006

A M*A*S*H Unit to Start the Season?

Corey Stillman might be out until sometime after Christmas. Heddy is coming off thumb surgery...after hip surgery earlier this summer, and basically says preseason might not be on his schedule. Frankie Kaberle is back in Raleigh to have an ailing shoulder examined - surgery possible here too.

Coming off the '02 Cup run and going into the 2002-2003 season, the Canes were banged up. Many wondered how they would bounce back from the physical toll of a run to the finals. They finished that season with a paltry 61 points and only 22 wins - worst in the NHL. They were physical wrecks from day one and they seeemed mentally elsewhere all season. Couple this with a glaring lack of team depth, and you have the disaster that was '02 - '03.

Now this is not the same group as the '02 squad. Jeff O'Neill is gone. Ron Francis, who was never the same after game one of the Wings series has retired and Sami Kapanen took his pervasive orthopedic issues and moved on to Philly. That being said, these late-summer lingering injury issues bug me. Why are these guys waiting the better part of the summer to take care of these things? Heddy is quoted as saying he hoped his torn thumb ligament would heal itself. Do torn ligaments heal themselves? Do they heal themselves in two to three months? Do they keep healing while you chug bubbly from the Stanley Cup and begin playing hockey again? So, it appears obvious that Bret is not going to retire. He's gonna have hip and thumb surgery, miss the preseason and then jump right into the flow? Riiight... No hating on Bret. He's a warrior. Just questioning how he and some of his pards are spending their summer vacations.

I've been blabbing about the need for a third line centerman. Maybe that's gonna have to be Trevor Letowski. I'm now thinking the club needs help at wing. David over at Red and Black speculates about adding Anson Carter and some lineup juggles the loss of Stillman might force. Anson and his 50-60 points could be a difference maker.

I have heard no rumblings about JR moving Oleg Tverdovsky. At $2.5 mil he'll be tough to move, unless the move gives some other club bottom line salary cap relief. So who's a $3-$4 mil guy out there that some club might be looking to move and maybe even share salary on? I'd love to see a deal worked that would bring Brian Gionta or Scott Gomez to Carolina. Devils are thin along the blueline and might still see value in Tverdovsky. Can't see JR paying some late addition more than team cornerstones Roddy, Colesy or Eric Staal.

Prediction: The player the Hurricanes will most miss this year will be Aaron Ward.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Thrash Sign Evil Bookend

Alex Tanguay has a Shane Willis moment
The defense of the Atlanta Thrashers just got a little better with the addition of Vitali Vishnevski. Should be a nice evil bookend to that little ball of hate, Garnet Exelby. Expect lots of highlight reel hits this season from the boys in the powder blue third jersey. Greg of Post-Pessimist, blogging on Hockey Rants hails the move.

The Thrash should have made the playoffs last year with that talent pool, but fell short. They put together a nice four game winning streak in April only to lose the final two games of the season (to the Craps and Panthers) and miss the playoffs. Tough year for Don Waddell highlighted by an Olympic meltdown and a playoff guarantee that went south.

I remember Thrash color-man, Darren Eliot, remarking during one late-season broadcast that Ilya Koval-chick had finally learned to hate losing more than not scoring, prancing and taunting. The Thrash are the team I most love to hate. That being said, and much as I hate to admit it, the Atl will be a very tough draw this year. I think they learned some lessons the hard way in April, and will come out a different team. But if the gods are kind, the Thrash might still have an Achilles groin in the goaltending department.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Malkin's Flight to Witness Protection

There are at least two sides to every controversial story. This Evgeni Malkin mad dash to artistic freedom saga seems to have many sides. Ingmar comes strong with a summary of how the IIHF/NHL transfer agreement is basically extortion. The Euro-clubs get screwed financially when one of their stars blows to hockey's promised land. I agree with Ingmar. Compensation of $200,000 for a player worth millions on this side of the pond is highway robbery. Ingmar also chafes at the term "defection." He reminds us that the Cold War is over and the KGB no longer exerts its iron grip on Soviet, errrr Russian athletes.

But wait, there's more...an interesting article by Chuck Finder in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette seems to hint that young Evegeni might of been the subject of a late-night shakedown at the hands of his Metallurg handlers:


Natalia Malkin told the Sport Gazeta. "But the management of Metallurg
played on his patriotic feelings. He was not able to refuse."
-more-

So, it was sign the 1-year deal (giving us leverage vs. the Pens/NHL in any future settlement battle), or wake up with the head of a dead horse in yer hotel bed?...Niiiiiiice.

The KGB may be officially gone, but Soviet-style coercive tactics seem to be alive and well in the la Cosa Nostra that is the Russian Hockey Federation.

As he departed Finland, Malkin had an Eddie Murphy moment as he sang along to his IPod...

All night diners keep you awake, hey, on black coffee and a hard roll
You might have to walk the fine line, you might take the hard line
But everybody's working overtime

You might not be looking
for the promised land, but you might find it anyway

Under one of those old familiar names
Like New Orleans, Detroit City, Dallas, or
Pittsburg P.A....


Enjoy your Ben RoethlisBurger Evgeni, compliments of capitalism and of course the Godfather of Soul, Mr. James Brown.
I feel GOOOD!!! HEH!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here's a quick blast from the past. I found a 1999 PBS Frontline expose featuring some Russian mob shenanigans including this gem on Hurricane-in-limbo-pending-trade, Oleg Tverdovsky:


On January 30, 1996, Tverdovsky's mother Alexandra was kidnapped from her
home in Donetsk, Ukraine, and was held for ransom. The leader of the kidnappers
was one of Tverdovsky's former minor league hockey coaches in
the Ukraine.
-more-

Monday, August 14, 2006

Valley Oasis Pools on the Rise

Every adult league has at least one team where all the buttheads congregate. Ever notice that most butthead teams also seems able to get away with stacking the roster with ringers from leagues above? In the Tucson Ice D3 league, we've got two of those teams.

One beat us 9-2 two weeks ago. Their ringers scored eight of the nine goals that night. Last night we played the Shadows (foreshadowing of a Babylon 5 comparo?) - they are the other one. The Shadows wear slick gray and white custom jerseys with nicknames on the back. They have a nice stable of ringers in roller hockey pants. I think I've solved the Evgeni Malkin disappearo case. He played for the Shadows last night. Like a any real D3 squad, our Valley Oasis team is composed of a bunch of recent Rookie League grads and two 50+ year olds whose last real hockey experience was 30 years ago on a pond in Minnesota.

On to the game. It was 1-1 after the first period. The Shadows ran it up a bit in the second and had us down 5-2 in the third period. Somehow we battled back with two in the third. Our second goal was a lucky one. Their goalie was real good-and real cocky. About mid-way through the third, he came out to the blueline to play a loose puck. He whiffed giving our guy a Phil Mickelson-on-the-18th-at-the-US-Open-moment. Unlike Phil, our guy chipped it home to bring us to within one.

Now up until the third period, this referee crew hadn't called a single penalty. The Shadows ringers pretty much cherry-picked and rarely had to cross into their defensive zone. For the most part, their weaker players played defense. It was a pretty good system. Whenever we started the break the puck out, one of their defenders would grab and hold our guy just long enough to allow one of the ringers to back-check and retrieve the puck. With about three minutes left in the final frame, the refs finally called two interference penalties. Problem was they called two on our guys in the offensive zone on the same play. So we go down two men with less than three minutes left and those Shadow bastiges up one.

Shadows call a time out and come out of the break with all four ringers on the ice (saw that coming didn't ya?). Their centerman chipped the faceoff down into our end in the hopes of springing a winger for a breakaway. Our goalie got there first and saucered one to our centerman at the red line who wheeled and sliced between two Shadow defenders. He banged a nasty wrister off the crossbar and in to tie the game with around two minutes to play.

We hold them for the remainder of the third and take the game to a shootout. Much like the new NHL, the finish is kind of anticlimatic. We win the shootout 2-0. They hit the post on two of their three of their shots. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.

Last night's victory gives Valley Oasis Pools a two-game winning streak and catapults us out of last place going into the playoffs. That means we'll probably play UMC in the first round. They are a bunch of firefighters who rarely have more than five guys show up. We'll win that one by forfeit and then get to play the Quagmires. They're the ones who beat us 9-2. Oh well, I guess I'll have to be content with basking in the glow of our David over Goliath victory for the remainder of this week.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Marty Gerber Celebrates with Meat

On nhl.com today
Marty Gerber has his day with the Cup in Switzerland, and donned the sightless eye one last time for pictures. The day featured the Swiss version of a barbeque. In the land of cheese and neutrality, a good old fashioned BBQ apparently calls for twelve different kinds of meat. And I thought there was no legit Barbeque beyond pulled pork...

Marty handled the backup role like a true pro. He played sick at the start of the playoffs, rode the pine for a slew of games without whining, and still stepped in and pitched a shutout in Game 4 of the Sabers series. Marty got his payday with the Sens. I only wish he was playing out west.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Migrating CasonBlog

It's time to upgrade and move CasonBlog to its own domain and look. I'd like to find a host/software that is user-friendly but feature rich. I want to create my own damn template. I'd like to have the latest comments post a la Japers' and A2Y and be able to migrate more images to the site. I'd like an online tool built in that will permit the creation of tables. I'd also like control over advertising and where it is placed. I want to manage thru blogads - subtle advertising, not something the user has to navigate to get to content. I'm only marginally programming savvy. Any suggestions? Wordpress?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Darren Pang - Shilling for Chicklets

Meesa Love Meesa New Toofus!!!
(note the Reuters-quality mad PhotoShop skills)
KFYI radio in Phoenix is running an ad on their Internet stream that features Darren Pang talking about the wonderful cosmetic dentistry options available thru his Nobel Biocare sponsor. Darren laments all the teeth he lost in his playing days and the fact that such slick chicklet repair wasn't available back his playing days.

I dig Darren Pang. Loved him on ESPN and still love watching him on Phoenix Coyote TV broadcasts. Curt Keilback is baritone-voiced and old school good as well. Phoenix has a good TV team. Just seems like an odd endorsement for a hockey culture guy like Panger. Maybe he did sacrifice some teeth to the hockey gods back in the day. Maybe he's got some of the Panger fortune invested in the company. Maybe they offered him a great deal on teeth whitening. I just cringed when I heard a hockey player shilling for Hollywood smiles. As a matter of principle, hockey players don't dwell on personal hygiene in any form, especially when it involves something as inconsequential as the quality of their smile.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Safety, Sex and Death at the Home Depot

It's just the best Home Depot image I could find today...

The other day I'm in Home Depot looking for a bracket to hang some decorative stuff on the wall of Chateau CasonBlog. As I'm moving down the center east/west isle in my local Home Depot, I hear the telltale sound of an approaching picker/fork lift. We're all used to seeing these machines at the Depot. They are usually found abandoned and clogging up the isles. You can't miss them when they are in use, since they beep incessantly and have that little flashing orange police light on top.

Well, now Home Depot has gone one step further. On this past Saturday, the picker was preceeded by a little man of undocumented citizenship status waving two small orange flags. His job, I assumed, was to add yet another element of customer safety to my HD experience. I watched him meticulously scout out every intersection and signal to the driver in some sort of crude semaphore whenever the coast was clear. The driver, who bore a strong resemblance to Larry The Cable Guy, seem unamused.

Looked to me like some flaming toilet seat (in the Navy, that's what the lawyer's collar insignia looks like) at corporate hq decided this would be a good idea - one that would cover the corporate six should some crazed picker driver run somebody down. What, you can't already see and hear these machines coming from across the warehouse? It didn't look real safe for the flag man who was forced to operate with his back to this fiendish machine. Why not let Rachel don her lil orange apron and work with the picker. I'm sure nobody would miss her sauntering up the isle. No flags necessary. SCHWINNNNG!!!

All this seemed like so much silly, lawyer-driven overkill...until I found an article in the Atlanta Business Chronicle during my search for images (the search that gave us the lovely Rachel above). According to the article, HD averaged 185 customer injuries per week back in 1998. Included in the article are vignettes about people getting killed by countertops and boxes of wood that have fallen 20 feet to crush women and children. Maybe they need a flag corps to man each isle and alert customers to falling inventory.

Today I was in McDonalds. The french fry sous chef was wearing what looked like a welder's mask and a rubber glove that telescoped all the way to her arm pit. She looked more like a bovine insemination specialist than one of Ronald's minions. I don't think I want to look into what caused this radical change in work attire.

Friday, August 04, 2006

My 5 Weird Thangs

DLee tagged me, so here goes...

1. I hate the telephone. At home I rarely answer, rarely even look at the caller id display to see who it is. I have to answer the phone at work, but when I do, I have this incredible urge to bring up solitaire while I talk. The urge increases with the likelihood that the person on the other side of the line will bore me. I think it's an adult ADD thing. I can't stand to engage only one sense at a time.

2. I played in a band in college we initially called "The News." We changed our name to "the Cement Heads" after Huey Lewis broke. The Sniffer was on drums, Dirtball on guitar and Ronnie Wisdom (or Ronnie Wad depending on the audience) was the lead singer. His big KISS-like stage trick was to paint his face black and white and spit mouthfulls of beef stronganoff at the audience. I played bass...poorly - sort of like the fat kid with no skills who gets stuck in right field. Sniffer is now a very successful architect in the Bay area. Ronnie is a big-wig with INVESCO, and Dirtball is now a TV and radio celebrity in Cleveland.

3. I once killed a bluejay with my Daisy BB gun with a single shot from the hip that tagged the lil birdy in the mellon. I felt so bad I buried him in a shoebox and created a little cross to go on the site (hope he wasn't Jewish).

4. As a kid, my favorite toy was always my latest stick. I could make a stick into anything - a musket, a spear, a wizard's staff. My kids watch a cartoon with a little Indian or Pakistani kid who has a wooden plank for a friend. I can relate.

5. I once engaged in a 35 mile Cannonball Run-type race from I-275 in Cincinnati to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio coming back from college spring break. I was driving my buddy's Monte Carlo and the competition was in a Camaro SS. We hit speeds in excess of 120 mph on many occasions. At one point I had the speedomter pegged at the little odometer nob. I pulled ahead for good by cutting thru a gas station in Millville (the birthplace of Kennesaw Mountain Landis) thereby avoiding the only stop light on the route. It's I wonder I survived to this point of my life.

By the way. It's a cool 84 in Tucson today. Weather.com says it feels like 85. Yesterday it got up to around 77 in the Old Pueblo. Right about now it's 99 in Raleigh and feels like 106. Have fun cutting the Kudzu and crabgrass this weekend boyzzzz.

I tag PK, American Hockey Fan, JP, Mudcrutch and End o the Bench

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Check out deadspin.com

I'm probably behind on this one, but I discovered deadspin.com when the Harold Reynolds firing story was making the rounds early last week. This site is full of biting and hilarious takes on sports culture and sports media. They must have Ingmar working the PhotoShop desk.

The Bull Part Deaux

Is it the second time that's the charm?
Canes signed Jesse Boulerice...again. Not sure how this makes the squad or system depth any better. Like Stormbringer said in her post about the Jesse signing:

"We're putting the band back together. Now we need to sign Jaro, trade for Bates and bring Ronnie out of retirement."

I'd rather see JR add depth thru younger guys with some potential offensive upside - kind of what he did in signing Chad LaRose in '03. Yeah, I know. We're still waiting on Chad to break the elusive 2 career NHL goals mark.

Burning questions that remain in my feeble mind on this August 2nd include:

  • How will JR fill the hole at 3rd line center created by the departure of Cullen? UFAs out there include Travis Green, eurosoft Jan Hrdina, and the equally soft Boyd Devereaux. How about a blast from this time last season. Remember when the Canes were reported to be courting Jason Allison? This season, a second run at Allison might be intriguing.
  • What's the deal with Heddy's status going into next season?
  • Canes have six proven NHL blueliners and two they want to turn into NHL blueliners (Babchuk and Hutchinson). How hard are the Canes gonna try and move Oleg Tverdovsky and his $2.5 mil salary?
  • Is there a even a snowball's chance that Jack Johnson will be in camp? I'm tired of being teased by this story line.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Kukla Breaks Thru

A hearty Bravo Zulu goes out to our revered colleague Paul Kukla who is now a contributing writer to nhl.com.

Hard work, passion and vision pay off. I'm much more likely to look at more than stats, game summaries and transaction reports on nhl.com from this point on.

Rebel without a clue walks

According to today's N&O, the Carolina Hurricanes decided not to press charges against one Davis Jones, the box cutter wielding vigilante historian who sought to shred the Hurricanes jerseys affixed to the statues on the state capital grounds last spring. Davis apparently remains unreconstructed, defiant and without any sense of humor about the whole Stanley Cup Championship run thing.

I think Andy Jackson would be proud to align his likeness with the Hurricanes ascent to glory. Yup, Old Hickory would have been a hockey fan - a southern hockey fan. Jackson was frontier populist. He liked to think himself the champion of the underdog in a world dominated by eastern aristocrats. In Jackson's eyes, such modern day "aristocrats" might include...oh, I don't know, Toronto-fan/journalist, MSG Network-fan/journalist and/or Habs-fan/journalist.

Jackson would have also been the classic ugly hockey fan. He'd be Mel Gibson on a bender. He'd be drunk by the end of the first period, drooling and spilling his jumbo Miller Light on the poor family in front of him. He'd also repeatedly run down to bang the glass and scream obscenities at the refs or Darcy Tucker or Bobby Holik (I'm Ok with the latter two).

One of the best (and goriest) books I ever read is called The Frontiersman by Allan Eckert. The hero of the book is the largely forgotten frontiersman Simon Kenton. Kenton was everything Daniel Boone got credit for being - times ten. Eckert describes an event in Kentucky when Andy Jackson, in the Kaintuck with a survey party, walks into a frontier pub and challenges the toughest man in the town to a fight. The crowd points to Kenton as the toughest man in town, but Simon initially refuses to brawl. After constant goading from the inebriated Jackson, Kenton takes Hickory out back and kicks his arse. On second thought, Jackson probably would have fit in more as a Buffalo fan. Can't you just picture him shirtless and screaming profanities at passing Caniacs in the RBC lot?

I think the Canes should at least pursue a civil case against Jones and get him to pay for the damage to Hurricane property. The fact that some commission didn't follow proper procedures in authorizing the display of the jerseys doesn't give citizen Jones the right to go the vigilante vandal route. I think the Canes deserve reparations and Mr. Jones needs to look into some anger management therapy.