Puck Podcast – September 19th, 2009

On this week’s show we react to a pair of huge trades and discuss Wayne Gretzky’s absence in Phoenix. We’ll continue our Division Previews with a look at the Pacific Division including player interviews with the Ducks Joffery Lupul, the Kings Dustin Brown and the Coyotes Jason LaBarbera. We’ll read your posts and e-mails, review a certain video game and once again listen to some hockey songs.

MP3 File

About Doug Stolhand 27034 Articles
Doug Stolhand is one of the co-founders and co-hosts of the Puck Podcast and has been a member of the NHL media since the show's inception in 2006.


  1. Everyone

    I post again

    I need 6 players still for a fanasty league I put together. those who emailed me so far are in

    Its a head to head with a live draft that I would like to do Oct 1st

    Please email me


    Daft Mike
    Diamond Bar Cali

  2. I’m gonna play Devil’s Advocate regarding the Phanuef hit. I think if we are going to give Dion any grief over the hit, it would be because he’s not a player trying to make the team. And he doesn’t need to “warm up” shattering someone’s skull before the season gets underway. I wouldn’t give a second thought to the ninth or tenth defensemen on the depth chart trying to show the Sutter Brothers that maybe he can bring something else to the team and deserves a roster spot. But Dion and his ridiculous salary are in no danger of getting cut before the season begins. And I’m sure the coaching staff know that he posesses the skill set to knock another player into an adjancent time zone. So, with that in mind, did he REALLY have to hit this guy that hard in a preseason game.

    Of course, I would never expect Phaneuf to be thinking of all that as he’s barrelling down on someone, so I guess I’m ok with it.

    He really should be thinking about that hideous open chested shirt and super pimp necklace he sports in the NHL Network’s “This Is Your Network” ads. Frightening…

  3. Phaneuf is trying to make the team though – Team Canada. He got a lot of flack after last season’s play, and certainly needs to re-establish himself with a number of critics if he’s going to be considered the brightest rising star on the blue line again (league wide). Speaking of the Flames alone, another stud D just came into the lineup in Bouwmeester, who will certainly be absorbing a large chunk of Dion’s normal minutes. Heck, there’s a new coach in town too. All in all, he certainly DOES have a lot of people to impress this coming season, which not only makes the hit great in my eyes, but also a necessity. Totally understandable to me.

  4. A minor gripe with the last Puck Podcast – Do I detect a little too much glee when it comes to the woes of the New York Rangers and, in particular, Gaborik missing the first few pre-season games due to his tweaked groin? Love the podcast but have to admit that I get annoyed everytime you talk about the Rangers. Yes, Sather is an inexplicable twit most of the time, but he made some nice moves in the off season and don’t think you should project that on the players or their fans. You don’t know suffering until you’ve been a Rangers fan! ha ha Hoping Gaborik makes Doug eat his words this season – thanks for the podcast guys, it’s the best.

  5. I am going to listen to the podcast later today but Phaneuf takes 6 solid strides at a player with his head down. He leads with his elbo and it is a pre-season game. You might be able to argue whether or not it qualifies as charging but it is hard to argue that it wasn’t douche bag behavior. If you want to hit hard in the pre-season fine… but leave the borderline trash hits for the regular season.

  6. Mark- I’m gonna try and explain some of the Haterade we pass out regarding the Rangers. There is, I think, a simple explaination for it.

    They’re the NEW YORK (CITY) RANGERS.

    If you are not a fan of New York teams that play in the city- Rangers, Yankees, Mets and the Giants (who don’t play in NYC, but I think attempt to identify themselves as an NYC team), Knicks- you never feel ambivilent about them. You hate them. Why? Because, by virtue of their exposure to the country’s largest media market, so many other people like them!

    They’re on TV all the time. National newspapers and Internet news sites spend disporportioned amounts of space devoted to them. They have fans all over the country as New York travels well. My parent and brother were all born in the city before moving out here many years ago.

    And some of their fans are some of the most myopic on the planet! They REFUSE to admit that sometimes their team SUCKS. See: Rangers Pre-Lockout. See: Mets’ current disasterous season. But fans still demand to have them on national television. They demand that sports pages be littered with tales of their excuses as to why teams with $150 million payrolls finish 25 games out of playoff berths. They fail to respect their opponents, yet feel it’s a Federal Offense if you criticize Jeter’s haircut.

    Now, these fans are most likely the minority. I would put even money on you yourself not falling into this category. But they are SO vocal that the PERCEPTION of the greater sports fanbase is that all the NYC fans are like this.

    Think of the perception of Philly fans. Not all of them are street tough thugs. Think of Raider fans. Not all of them are violent felons. Well, no, wait, that one is true.

    I also think this animosity extends from a social consciousness of rooting for the little guy. New York teams USUALLY have alot of money. As is their right from simply being in a huge market and successfully marketing themselves. But, when you see a team just throw money out there to nab free agents and your team can’t, it irks you. Slather made horrible decision after horrible decision regarding free agents and just backed the money dump truck up to their house. When they inevitably failed on the ice, the response was “ehhh? Who cares? We got more cash to get the next guy!” Again, look at the Mets; they doled out nearly $100 dollars in contracts to THREE closers! (Nevermind that all of them are injured and/or SUCK- hehehehe… Sorry, I’m a Braves fan!) For us “real-world”ers, we have to watch every penny. Throwing out expired milk makes us wince because we “payed good money for that.”

    I’m sorry, but I take delight in the errors of a franchise that continues to tout it’s relevance and self-importance when it has none. The Rangers proudly boast of being this great franchise of the modern NHL, but the Tampa Bay Lightning have as many Stanley Cups as the Rangers since 1945. The Carolina Hurricanes have more Finals appearances than the Rangers in the last two decades. The Islanders have made the playoffs as many times as the Rangers since the lock-out. I’m not buying the idea of the Rangers being a premier NHL franchise right now. Same goes for the Maple Leafs (don’t get me started on that), the Hawks (give me another succesful season before you start proclaiming your Western Conference dominance, ok?) and the Oilers. Only the Ducks (grrrrrr!), the Wings (GRRRRRR!!) and the Penguins (eh…) can beat their chests right now, as these are the only clubs consistently making deep runs in the post season over the last two three seasons (and, of course, have won it all).

    Sorry that turned into a diatribe essay. Thought I’d just try and stick up for all us Ranger Haters out there! 😉

  7. Mathew – Charging calls haven’t been on the radar ever since the league noticed how much viewership Ovechkin brings to the game.

    Mark – When I read “You don’t know suffering until you’ve been a Rangers fan!”, I was going to reply “Sure I do. I’m a Leafs fan”… but… at least we don’t have Sather. He is a twit. My condolences to you.

  8. Ha! Thanks for your honest replies Kris and Adam, I appreciate it. I grew up in New York but have lived in Denmark for the last 7 years, so I cling to my NY sports teams, especially the Rangers. I understand the delight in watching the Rangers fail year after year, I could use the Dallas Cowboys as an example of a team I am particularly fond of hating – America’s Team my ass! lol.

    And I know all too well the types of New York fans you were describing up there Kris – I stopped going to games when I still lived in NY because I couldn’t take the idiocy. Still, as a lifelong Rangers fan, it pains me to see others taking such a delight in hating my team. As a kid growing up on Long Island during the Islanders’ Stanley Cup heyday, being a Rangers fan was the worst thing you could be. Nowadays, we have Sather who keeps me up nights, ha ha.

    Not all Rangers fans are a-holes, I guess that’s what I’d like to get across here.

    Adam, how are you liking the Kessel trade? How do you like Burke as GM? Giving up those 2 first rounders is bothering me, and I don’t even support the Leafs. I think the two of us probably have a parallel suffering – guys come to our cities with lots of hype and past success and then fall on their faces in spectacular fashion. Hope you guys do well this year.


  9. Mark,
    Rest assured that I take no pleasure in seeing the Rangers fail on any level. I neither hate nor love the Rangers and don’t view them any differently than I do the Thrashers, Canucks or Blue Jackets.

    Best of luck to your Rangers this season and if Gaborik plays in 75+ games and has a great year I’ll be sure to heap praise on him and Glen Sather. If not, though, I’ll be sure to ridicule Glen for spending too much money on damaged goods.

    Thanks for supporting the show and I am very jealous of you living in Denmark – I’m sure it’s a beautiful place to live.


  10. The only thing that ever really bugged me about the Rangers is that they always tried to buy a Stanley Cup team.

    The mentality that I find amazing every year is the high expectations placed on the Sharks.

  11. Doug,

    Thanks for your comments. No explanation necessary really – you and Eddie are far more even-handed in your coverage than any other hockey-related media out there. Being a Rangers fan can be a bit of a burden sometimes and I used to get upset by their inability to put a good team out on the ice year after year, but now I just want them to be competitive. I enjoy hockey way too much to let Glen Sather ruin it for me.

    Denmark is indeed quite a beautiful country to live in – it’s clean and things work as they should for the most part, plus you have pretty much unspoiled nature wherever you turn. I live on the island of Fyn and the summer months are like living in Paradise. The winter months are a whole other story! haha But you guys have got it all in California, no? And the nature there is unbelievable. Don’t know if you’d be all that impressed with little Denmark.

    Good luck to your Ducks and Eddie’s Kings this year. I’m looking forward to another great hockey season and hope this year’s playoffs will be as thrilling as last year’s was.


    PS: Mathew, doesn’t every organization in the NHL try to buy a Stanley Cup team? Is there a team out there that is made up of entirely home-grown draft picks?

  12. Mark- My ex-girlfriend is Danish and I’ve always wanted to visit. Family pictures of the “homeland” were always breathtaking. Count me in the jealous category, too.

    Thanks for taking one on the chin with good humor. Unlike certain Wings fans who have left the board in a huff! In some way, I know how you feel, but to a lesser degree. Like I said, I’m a Atlanta Braves fan and by 1996-1997, it seemed EVERYONE around me was a Braves Hater and I started to take it personally. So I’m totally a hypocrite, cause I totally give Rangers fans the business! 🙂

    I’ve been mulling over the Kessel trade for a bit and i’ve done a •180. At first, I felt the Bruins were idiots for letting their top goal scorer and a leading playoff contributor, especially if no NHL level talent was coming back in return. I understood that the Bruins were up against it, but I couldn’t understand how they let it get to that point. But, in the end, they turned one first round pick into two, plus a two. And, considering that the Bruins are still considered a top tier team and the Leafs will probably be near the bottom of the NHL pack, this is actually a great deal. The Bruins will likely be a top four Eastern Conference team and still have a top ten pick for two more seasons. I’m starting to believe that Mr. Burke might have got hosed. Kessel is going to have to put up spectacular numbers for his five year contract to stop inviting comparison articles: “Kessel was traded for Player A, B and C and it was obviously a steal…”

  13. Mark in Denmark…. yes every team tries to get the most for their money. The statement, “Rangers try to buy a Stanley Cup Team” dates back to the pre-salary cap era. Basically, because they could, the Rangers spent considerably more than other teams to try to get a Stanley Cup.

    That is how you get a roster with names like…
    Wayne Gretzky
    Mark Messier
    Brian Leetch
    Luc Robitaille
    Alexi Kovalev
    and Ulf Samuelsson

    only to dump a couple names the next year and pick up people like.

    Kevin Stevens and Pat Lafontaine

  14. Well, that’s ancient history now, no? Besides, Leetch was drafted by the Rangers in the 1986 draft and Kovalev in the 1991 draft(so they were homegrown Rangers) and only 3 of those players were on the cup winning team in ’94. Mess came over in a trade, as did Robitaille and Samuelsson. The only player the Rangers threw money at to get on that list was Gretzky. After Gretz, they kind of went nuts with spending money on players. But so did a lot of other teams.

    I don’t think you can honestly compare a huge market like New York with any other in the NHL, with the exception of Toronto. The pressure to win in those cities was gigantic. Still is.

  15. Like I said it was the only thing that ever really “bugged” me about the Rags. The fact that they continuously failed to bring home the cup was what made it such a sticking point even with Rangers fans.

    I don’t know if there is more pressure on the Rags than there is on the Flyers, Sharks, or Sens… just to name a few teams.

    I would say that the two teams that lately have had to deal with the greatest expectations are Detroit and the Sharks. For some stupid reason every year people think that anything short of the Sharks making it to the finals is a failure of the team. They should be making it out of the first round to be sure but beyond that point I never have any expectations for a team.

  16. Hey Mathew,

    Let’s call them the Rangers, okay? “Rags” is the name of the dog in the movie Airplane.

  17. I think you were talking about the Kessel trade in this podcast and I think it was a pretty even trade for both teams even though I wouldn’t have done if I was the Leafs.

    As to why they didn’t wait for an offer sheet, if they were unsuccessful/did not want to sign Kessel to that contract then they would have only gotten a first, second and third round draft pick. Obviously two ones and a second are better.

    Nice Show. Sad it only happens once a week!

  18. Hey guys, I’m looking for any interested players for a head-to-head fantasy league on Yahoo. We’re shooting for 16 total, split into two divisions of 8. Live draft on Wednesday the 30th 10 pm est, right on the eve of the opening of the regular season. It’ll be a great way to get jacked for the drop of the puck.

    Just click here, then when you click on join a league, go to join a custom league. It’ll ask for an ID and a password, you’ll put in:

    ID: 199424
    Pass: hockey

    Thanks and hope to see a bunch of you in there!

  19. Scott,
    My point is why didn’t the Leafs sign Kessel to an offer sheet for the exact same money they ended up signing him for? If the Bruins had matched they would have been in salary cap hell and would have had to trim salary before opening night. If the Bruins had not matched they would have gotten Kessel for a 1st, 2nd & 3rd rather than a 1st, 2nd and 1st.

  20. Wait, I think I know the answer to this!

    Because Brian Burke is nowhere near as smart as many people think he is! Not that he isn’t smart at all- he engineered a Cup team- but be isn’t the HOCKEY GENIUS ABOVE ALL OTHERS that some people believe him to be.

    Like, oh, I don’t know, the Toronto media…

  21. Hey, I’ll take a Burkie for Sather GM swap any day of the week! Actually, the Kessel trade is almost Sather-like, except for the fact that Kessel is 21 years old instead of 35. lol

    It’s a good trade for Toronto in the short run, but I bet those draft picks come back to bite them in the ass down the road. Plus, Kessel is supposed to be dumb as a box of hammers. And who’s going to be his Marc Savard, the one who gets Kessel the puck so he can score? Jason Allison maybe? 😉

    Anybody heard about Burke’s hot dog business – Burkie’s Dog House? I thought it was a joke when I first heard it, but apparently it’s an actual thing.

  22. Sorry about calling the Rangers “Rags”. I am so used to reading them referred to as that I didn’t think about it when I typed it. I will not; however, stop calling the Flyers the “No Talent Ass Clowns”.

  23. You may have to. I have a feeling the Flyers are going to reclaim the name that most Rangers’ fans know them by; the F-ers. That is going to be one mean, nasty team. And even though their a division rival, I’m looking forward to watching the F-ers play. Going to be a great year!

  24. Gretzky just stepped down as coach of the Coyotes. Dave Tippett is his replacement. Glad to see Tippett is back after being unfairly dismissed as coach of the Dallas Stars. The guy is a hell of a coach. Wayne was in a pretty tough spot but let’s face it; he conducted himself in a less than upfront manner and it was not only bad for the sport, but also for his legacy – makes you wish he had never gotten into coaching. The fact that he was making 8.5 million a season as coach of the Coyotes was utterly ridiculous, and his record as coach made it impossible to justify that salary.

    It would be interesting to know what happened behind the scenes between Gretzky and Bettman and the NHL. I’m sure he’ll get the money owed to him for his share of the Coyotes, the NHL really has no choice in the matter. They can’t hang the face of hockey in the ’80s and ’90s out to dry in front of the public. It’s a shame to see how he’s fallen from grace and I’m embarrassed for him as a fan. Thoughts.

  25. Well, if Gretzky stepped down, he is no longer owed the remainder of his contract, yes? Of course, he will still recieve a sizable chunk of coin when- and, really now, it seems “if”- the team gets sold; but forcing whomever takes control of this team to fire him would net the rest of his ridiculous contract. Or at least most of it. It seems odd that he would step down now, when nothing concerning ownership has been decided yet. Maybe he knows something we don’t?

    On a Facebook thread, Eddie said he thought Gretzky’s inevitable return to the NHL would be something high profile like coaching again, and not as a GM or Assistant GM. Personally, I think he would take a lower “profile” job, something like Director Of Hockey operations or Player Personnel Director or one of those disengenuos titles to be a face of a franchise, but not really be someone the fans can directly point a finger at if the product on the ice is no good. I’m thinking something more along the lines of what Luc Robatille does with the Kings. As a fan, I still can’t tell you what he does or what his title is- I’m paying that little attention; I know Kings FANS know- but I know it’s important. But, if say Ryan Smyth plays less than 30 games due to injury and Jack Johnson can’t QB the PP as well as Quincey, I’m certainly not blaming Luc. The team gets to trot him out to team functions and spectators get to catch glimpses of him at home games, but no one will really call for his head. I think if Messier becomes the Rangers’ GM, Gretzky will have a figurehead role there for a bit, then maybe slide into something more hands on.

    (Eddie, if I misrepreseted your FB statement, please correct me here!)

    Mike- on the boards for last week’s Podcast, you asked if I played golf. I answered and then asked why the question was posed; but I never got an answer. I’m really curious!!

  26. Kris,

    I was talking more about the money owed to him for his share of the Coyotes, not so much his salary. I think it would make more sense, not to mention enabling both Gretzky AND the NHL to save face, if Gretzky was given some important role in the NHL front office. Is there a better ambassador for the game around the world than Gretzky? Not to mention the fact that he has Christ-like status in Canada, and would go a long way in countering what many hockey fans in Canada perceive as Bettman’s “anti-Canadian” policies.

    In listening to Toronto radio’s Hockey Central show today, I was amazed to hear how many apologists there were among all the hosts and guests regarding Gretzky’s less than stellar record as a coach. It seemed to me that the folks in Canada took his stepping down as a personal insult. The dude is loved.

    On a side note, does anyone know who has the authority to remove Bettman as commissioner? I was just wondering about that today and realized I had no idea how the commissioner is appointed or removed. Anyone?

  27. Mark – The Board of Governers of the League (I.E. The head owner of each franchise, or whoever is appointed as a representative of a franchise’s ownership) have the ability to hire and fire the commissioner. People forget that the league is really just an association between all the franshise owners. The league itself only exists to organize and overlook everything that happens between the teams. I’ve even heard the league refered to as a non-profit organization, where the franchises themselves are the corporations within the entity.

    So, Bettman was brought in to be commissioner by the B.O.G., in order to realize their dream of making hockey a less region-specific sport, and make it appealing to all of North America (it’s generally considered that the focus of this was to reach the overall goal of netting a large Network TV contract). While that hasn’t been reached (IMO, they’ve gotten further away from that goal since Bettman has come along), the NHL has still had huge growth in revenue under Gary, so they’ve been content with him up to this point in time. If they no longer see him as the right man for the job, they can vote to have him removed as the commish, and then choose someone else to fill the job.

  28. Doesn’t the Board Of Governers also have the ability to block the relocation of any franchise? This is the question I keep posing in regards to the Coyotes situation, but no one seems to answer me. I thought any attempt to relocate a franchise must be approved by the Board. If that’s true, Balsille is NOT moving the team. The Board will side with the man who has helped their revenue share grow.

  29. I know its a little late for this but great podcast. You guys are the best. Keep on the great work.

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