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Paul Nicholson
Nashvegas TN
Digital Marketing Manager at HealthTrust. Social media junkie, strategist, and app idea guy. Hockey fan, photographer, and father to 2 awesome boys.

(Opinions expressed here are not those of my employer. Heck, they might not even be mine.)
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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

mtsu alum the next nhl comish?

That's right. Apparently MTSU alum (my alma mater) Eddie Gossage is the short list for the NHL commisioners job when Gary Bettman's contract expires after the 07-08 season.

I'm not a 100% Bettman basher the way some are - i think the new collective bargaining agreement and new rules, etc have been great for the sport. However, under Bettman's watch there have been 2 lockouts, one season lost all together, and the league has all but disappeared from the national radar in the US. Attendance is up, showing that hardcore fans in NHL cities are supporting the sport, but TV, radio, and other coverage around the rest of the US is paltry at best. I definitely think he needs to go and conventional wisdom is that the league owners agree.

At this point, no official inquiries have been made. Gossage is denying that he is going anywhere or that he has officially talked to anyone with the NHL. He has said he is commited to heading the Texas Motor Speedway as he has sucessfully done for a few years now. But he is a known hockey fan (gotta figure he's a Preds fan right?) and is apparently frequently courted by other sports entities for his marketing prowess.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

how long?

An elderly driver just killed an 8-year old boy and injured two others when she crashed into a school cafeteria.

How long will it be until we finally start requiring regular drivers testing?

After other cases like this some have suggested banning elderly drivers. While i agree in principle that would be good, where do you draw the line? 85? 80? 75? You are still going to have dangerous drivers on the road and take safe drivers off no matter where you draw the age line.

So why not more frequent tests? You are required to pass a test when you get your license at 16 (though terrifying enough - not all states required driver's ed first). Why not another test at 18?, Then 20? Then 25? ...and every 5 years there after? I know i could use the refresher.

Eventually everyone looses the mental or physical ability to handle the dangerous equipment all Americans are raised to know as a birth-right. Make the roads safer. Force drivers of all ages to think about their driving habits at least every few years.

Monday, January 29, 2007

0.7

0.7

That is the Nielsen rating that the NHL All-Star game managed to draw last Wed night. Just 672,948 people. 474,298 households.

Honestly that is better than it could have been. After all, Gary Bettman (NHL commissioner) and allowed Versus (formerly the "Outdoor Living Network") to cover the game rather than NBC or another major network. ...And they decided to run it on Wed night, not a weekend. ...And decided to run the Young Stars and Skills Competition against the State of the Union address in the US. ...And decided to run the main All-Star game up against American Idol - the number one program on TV. The only worse decision would have been to put it up against the Super Bowl, or maybe make it an internet-radio-only broadcast.

Even in Canada they only drew a 1.2 rating. That's bad. It measured a 0.5 rating in the host city of Dallas. The best US city was Buffalo (which counts as Canada) with a 7.1 rating.

To give you an idea of how bad this really is...
Many people are writing about how attendance is poor in the NHL this year. We are certainly hearing about it in Nashville. Well, the league average for attendance is 16,954 per game. Assuming that on any given night one-half of the league is playing, that means there are 127,156 people who actually pay money and take hours out of their day to go watch a game in person. That isn't counting the people sitting at home watching the games on TV. I can just about guarantee you that on any given night, more people watch a hockey game than they did last Wed night.

I really wish they had done what they did several years ago and do a combined All-Star Weekend. Do it the same weekend as the NBA All-Star game. Years ago they had the advantage of both leagues being covered by the same network so it was an all-day programming block. It was great. At the time i a basketball fan living in a non-hockey city - but i watched the NHL All-Star game that year and really enjoyed it.

And what baffles me...Bettman just allowed Versus to pick-up not only next year's option to cover games (it was their option), but also every season through 2011. The only hope the NHL has now is to get NBC (or another network if NBC drops out) to cover more games on broadcast TV. They might have a prayer there if NBC's upcoming schedule does well. After all - NBC lost the NBA and their only other sports property now is covering football on just 16 Sun nights a year. And after all, NBC's first hockey game of the year got a 1.1 rating. And it was just a random early season game.

Oh - one more thing...Versus needs to do what every other sports broadcaster does and make arrangements for a flexible schedule. Just a guess, but in late March when the playoff race is heating up, i think they will regret having Minn vs. Phoenix lined-up.

Anyway...as soon as the NHL moves to a network that doesn't lead into games with Survivor reruns (yes - reality show reruns) and follow it up with angler fishing, i think they'll be doing better.

Just a guess.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

my favorites

My sister just made a fun post on her blog listing a lot of her favorite bands.

I am both too lazy and too compulsive to try to really put together a comprehensive list of my own, but i can copy and paste from Rhapsody...

This is a copy/paste from Rhapsody - these are my "top rated" artists. Not everyone i like/love is on Rhapsody, and even those that are, i haven't rated all of them yet. But anyway...here's the list, roughly in descending order, but don't put too much stock in that.

Enjoy.

Jamiroquai, Queen, Chagall Guevara, Dave Brubeck, Steve Taylor, Sixpence None the Richer, Leigh Nash, Weezer, Ella Fitzgerald, Relient K, The Sounds, Venus Hum, Imogen Heap, The Postal Service, The 77's, The Beatles, Radiohead, Stereolab, Santana, Annie, All-Star United , Ladytron, Garbage, Mr. Scruff, Smash Mouth, Tony Bennett, Zero 7, OK Go, Death Cab For Cutie, Fleming & John, Daft Punk, Louis Armstrong, The Beach Boys, Electric Light Orchestra, Stevie Wonder, The Clash, Ben Folds, Kylie Minogue, Nat King Cole, Wax Poetic, Brand New Heavies, Robbie Williams, Sufjan Stevens, Franz Ferdinand, Cool Hand Luke, Joy Electric, Benny Benassi, Goldfrapp, Fischerspooner, Switchfoot, Coldplay, U2, Dido, Frou Frou, Led Zeppelin, Everclear, Glenn Miller, Cake, Sum 41, Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, The Ramones, Johnny Cash, Blondie, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bodyrockers, Chuck Berry, The Brian Setzer Orchestra, Telepopmusik, Diana Krall, Earth, Wind & Fire, Chumbawamba, Duke Ellington, Michael Jackson, Vince Guaraldi, Frank Sinatra, Starflyer 59, They Might Be Giants

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Mason asks for fan support

I just logged in to my myspace account for the first time in forever.
Chris Mason is one of my "friends" and he just posted this message...

From: Chris M


Date: Jan 24, 2007 5:45 PM
Subject : Attention Predators Fans!
Body: I have noticed the empty seats at the GEC this season. This is odd because we are the best team in the league. All I am asking you is to go to more games or buy season tickets, and to spread the word to anyone else you know. To all season ticket holders, I thank you. Go Preds!

30 Mason
Now, take with a grain of salt that i don't know for sure that this is Chris Mason.
But...i found it interesting.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

latest sign of the apocolypse

In the latest sign that the world is about to end...

Leonardo DiCaprio, Will Smith, Penelope Cruz, Kate Winslet, Eddie Murphy, and Mark Wahlberg were all just nominated for Oscars.

Now i will say, i didn't see any of the movies in question. And i do like Smith and Wahlberg, and the one movie i've seen Cruz in was decent. But Oscar material?

Monday, January 22, 2007

summer festivals

Well, i think this will be the first time since i started blogging, but it was inevitable:

Sorry it's been so long!

Not that it really matters. I'm only averaging 6-8 a views a day, most of which are random hits or people looking for hockey stuff. Based on the great response from my request for comments, and the best i can tell, the remaining 2 of you are my wife and father-in-law. Thanks guys.

Anyway, just wanted to tell everyone about the two awesome festivals i'm not going to this summer. I am a big music fan, and love live music, but i mostly enjoy massive festival shows from the comfort of my DVD. I prefer my live music in groups of 200 or less. 200,000...not so much. However, these line-ups give me pause. Several of these bands don't actually exist anymore and a reuniting for these shows - or better yet - are cool, current acts that rarely if ever play live shows, much less play them in the US.

Anyway...you can see the full line-ups other places. Here's the listing of bands that i would actually want to see at each show:

:::Coachella:::
Rage Against the Machine
The Police

Depeche Mode
Daft Punk
Franz Ferdinand
Sigur Ros
Ladytron
Imogen Heap
Massive Attack
Madonna
Paul Oakenfold
Coldcut
Los Amigos Invisibles
Jazznova

:::Bonnaroo (from a rumored line-up, not official):::
The Police
Bob Dylan
Willie Nelson
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones
Modest Mouse
Medeski, Martin and Wood
Four Tet

Now, many of these "bands" are electronic acts that consist of one or two people and whose stage shows consist of them pressing play then running cool light shows. I know this because i used to be the guy that pressed play in another band (whoa, flashback). So in reality i don't think i'm probably missing amazing shows as much as the chance to say that i saw Ladytron.

Now, i do think some of them will be great live (Medeski, Bela Fleck, Daft Punk, Sigur Ros), and one i have seen live and know they will be great (Imogen Heap). But over all it is definitely not worth the time, money, discomfort, and general hassle of dealing with the trips to cali or even just down the road to 'roo (man i'm hip...check me throwin' the slang). But i'll probably look to buy the DVD if they sell them.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

cool tech

It's time for an update on all the fun, cool things that Think Geek has to offer...

Power:
AA batteries that recharge in a standard USB port
   Or you can go the other way...
Standard Battery-based USB chargers
   Or you can go semi-old-fashioned
USB-based NiMH Battery Charger

Office Armaments:
USB Laser Guided Desktop Missile Launcher
Desktop Trebuchet
Palm-sized R/C Helicopter

Games:
Khet - Chess with lasers
* I just got this game for Christmas. Awesome. Highly recommended if you like to play chess at all.
Playable Atari Keychain Controllers
Pocket 20 Questions (Portable version of this. Amazing.)

PVP Stuff: (PVP is a great online comic i have gotten into lately)
Support the Pwned Bracelet
'Sup Shirt
Han Shot First (I have the original version of this shirt)

100

Well this is it.
My 100th blog post.

I know you were all keeping track and waiting in anticipation.

In grand tradition, i will now say "blog" 100 times.

Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog


(...you know, that doesn't look as big or long as i thought it would. And now to the actual post....)



Two issues:
  1. Many of my posts, especially recently, have been about the Predators, or hockey, or at least sports.
  2. None of you are commenting!
Point 1) I am considering branching off and making a Predators/Sports blog. Not that there aren't enough good forums and even a few decent blogs...but more than a few have gone silent. OK...even the official blog is pretty poor. Predators' PA announcer Paul McCann's is the only really solid, consistent one I have found.

Point 2) I know that many of you that read my posts may be new to this 'blog' thing, but it is traditional (or at least common) for people to actually comment on my posts. Can be as simple as "Amen brother!" or as long as the comment my dad posted when i ticked him off about the Billy Graham statue. My wife is the only person to comment more than once i think (thank you sweetheart).

So - your assignment...

USING THE COMMENTS FIELD - ANSWER THE QUESTION:
DO YOU THINK I SHOULD SPLIT OFF A SPORTS/HOCKEY BLOG, OR JUST KEEP POSTING EVERYTHING IN ONE PLACE?

Thank you for your time and attention.

Monday, January 15, 2007

it worked!

I'm almost afraid to think it. It may jinx it.

As my wife just said, "Craig Leipold is a genius".

We were just flipping channels watching the various local 10 o'clock news broadcasts tonight. Predators coverage was amazing!

Channel 2 gave a solid two minutes of coverage including several highlights of tonight's game. Game highlights, post-game interviews with Erat, Legwand, and Arnott. Then...and this blew me away...they showed 15 seconds of highlights from tonight's Red Wings game to promote our upcoming match-up! Wow! You mean there's a whole league of this "hockey"?!?

Next was Channel 5 with solid coverage and a good 30 seconds of highlights followed by post-game interviews with Erat, Legwand, and coach Trotz. Then they mentioned the upcoming Red Wings game, saying it was important because they were right behind us in the division.

Channel 4 even covered the Radulov/Fiddler roster issues. They interviewed Fiddler about it, thought they misspelled his name ("Fidler"). They then showed game highlights for about 15 seconds, then showed post-game interviews with Legwand and Erat. They too plugged the next game vs. the Red Wings. They also pointed out that we now have more wins than any other team in the NHL.
Yesterday Channel 5 also did a great feature story on Scott Nichol and another recently on Alex Radulov. They were nice enough to post the video online here.

Wow...
I just can't believe it.
A great article in the City Paper today.
Great coverage of the game on local TV.

Awesome!
Keep it coming!

we're number one (almost)

The Preds are just 3 points behind the Ducks for #1 in the conference with two games in hand.

And this math-based (read: "non biased") Power Rankings site now shows Nashville as the #1 team in the whole NHL.

Go Preds!

headphones at the opera

Now this is cool!

The Nashville Opera is about to start offering directors commentary tracks to be listened to during the performance! I'm pretty proud that Nashville is pioneering this.

Apparently you are supposed to go to the first show, then go home, download the commentary to your MP3 player, then listen to it during the 2nd or 3rd shows. You just start playing it back at the beginning of the show and it should stay roughly synced (maybe the scenes or acts are broken up into separate files?). They even discount the tickets to your second show.

I would also assume that some that are curious about the technology or are totally newbies to opera may just do this on their first viewing, but personally i don't think there's anything wrong with that.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

more respect

It looks like the respect and media coverage for the Preds is continuing to snowball.

  • Kimo Timmonen was just named to his second All-Star game appearance.
  • Head Coach Barry Trotz will be the assistant coach for the game (by virtue of being in 2nd place in the conference).
  • Shea Webber and Alexander Radulov will play in the Young Stars game.
  • Radulov just got a feature story on the front of NHL.com. Though the Tennessean should sue them for it. It is almost a word-for-word copy of a story about Radulov's celebration's that the Nashville paper did exactly one month (and i wrote about here.)
  • This article on SI.com argued that Paul Kariya and Chris Mason should have made the All-Star squad too. Oh well.
  • Si.com also gave us an "A" for the mid-season grade. Not the A+ that a couple of other teams got, but better than most. Also named Chris Mason the first-half MVP and called Timmonen a Norris trophy contender.
Also an interesting note: Former Pred Yanic Perreault (a journeyman face-off specialist who was unsigned at the begining of the season and is largely credited for helping turn around Phoenix's year) has made the All-Star game as well. Go Yanic!

divisional parity

I just noticed something really odd/funny/amazing about the standings in the western conference of the NHL.

All of the games aren't over for tonight, but as of this second, the point rankings of the western conference look like this (not playoff standings, pure point rankings).

Team





Points Division
1. *Anaheim





67 Pacific
2. *Nashville





65 Central
3. Detroit





61 Central
4. San Jose





58 Pacific
5. Dallas





53 Pacific
6. *Vancouver





51 Northwest
7. Calgary





50 Northwest
8. Minnesota





49 Northwest
9. Edmonton





46 Northwest
10. Colorado





45 Northwest
11. Phoenix





42 Pacific
12. Chicago





39 Central
13. St. Louis





39 Central
14. LA Kings






38 Pacific
15. Columbus





37 Central
* = Division Leaders will be seed 1-3 for playoffs.

Notice anything?
Just a guess here, but i think the Northwest Division is fairly well balanced.

skin deep

For those that haven't seen these, i think it's pretty cool. Good selection too.

http://www.skinit.com

You can pick just about any logo out there for any sports team, college, or product you like. Then pick the device you have and you can order a skin for it. One of my friends at work just got a Predators skin for his Razr.

These images are a couple of examples i am considering buying...one for my work laptop, one for my Axim...maybe. We'll see. Prices aren't bad, but they aren't free either.

eye ken reed gude

For those that don't know, my wonderful wife is an editor. But for some reason, i think this bothered me more than her...

Backstory: There used to be a cheap "discount tobacco" store at the intersection of Porter and Greenwood (across from Family Wash) not too far from our house. Not to long ago new ownership bought the building and kicked them out (yay!). New, better businesses were promised. Then came the news that another smoke shop was coming in, but it would be a high-class smoke and liquor store, not a trashy one. I would actually welcome that...we don't drink, but i know many respectable people that do, and I don't envy them having to go into trashy liquor stores to buy their wine for dinner.

However, shortly there after a cheap banner went up on the still-vacant building reading "Smoke Depot, Now Open". About 2 months later, after a coat of bright yellow paint (that matches the mailer below), the store actually did open. It looks worse than what was there before.

Then, earlier this week, we got this mailer delivered to us. I expected that it was just put in our mailbox illegally (non-postage) since they are just down the street, but no, it was actually mailed from Murfreesboro, TN.

Just give yourself a minute to study this "flayer".
I count 26 flagrant spelling or punctuation errors alone - not counting bad formatting, non-centered heading, tacky graphics, etc.

I would give it to my mom to use in her classroom as a lesson on why it is important to be literate, but i'm not sure that the content is appropriate.

Friday, January 12, 2007

rory was robbed

Extra extra, read all about it .

got $50mil laying around?

I was having a good day, and then this just ruined my morning.

There are two ways to look at this:

  1. The newspaper is making a big deal out of this and Leipold is just crying out for fans to come to games and looking for help to lessen the financial burden of a franchise that is still loosing money.
  2. Leipold's promise that he is not interested in moving the franchise is just typical sports-franchise owner misdirection and he has seen in the discussions about the Penguins moving that there is money to be made in other markets.
I have also been surprised by the fact that we still don't have a new corporate-name sponsor for the Home of the Predators. It is still officially called the Gaylord Entertainment Center, but the Gaylord company stopped paying for naming rights a long time ago. It is just part of their original contract that is has to still be called the GEC until another name-rights holder is found.

Our attendance averages are up this year so far from last year about 300 per game, and we still haven't gone through the playoff buildup, and post-Titans part of the season that always increase attendance. I don't think the franchise is really in danger of moving. But i hope this does light a fire under local media and the Predators marketing office to get attendance numbers up.

I don't think Leipold is really looking to move. As this article points out, he has one of the cushiest arena deals in all of sports. I think he just wants to shake things up and share the losses when the team runs negative.

The good news out of the second article: We get our new scoreboard over the summer!

(note: Paul McCann's got a good write-up here)

random philosphy

Spiritual beliefs should be found by the individual.

If you believe what another person suggests, you haven't found religion or God, you've found a leader to follow.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

goalie news

Quick note about the Predators goalie "controversy" as it stands today. Vokoun will take a while to come back to full strength (at least 6 weeks). But here's the important note:

Trotz said the goaltending chores likely will be split between Vokoun and Chris Mason for this weekend's back-to-back games against Columbus, and for every set of back-to-backs in the future.
Very glad to see that.
Get both players a lot of time. There are 7 back-to-backs left in the Preds schedule, including a home/away over-nighter against Detroit in mid-March. Assuming the Mason will get a few more games scattered throughout the next few weeks, that should keep both goalies fresh and running strong - and happy.

Related note: We lost Mike Leighton to Philadelphia, but that's no big deal.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

switchfoot




she's right.


media coverage update 2

It looks like the media may finally be noticing.

The Tennessean had an actual column on the Preds on the front of the sports page! Granted, college basketball isn't really going yet, college football is done, the Titans' season is over... but we'll take it!

I think this really will be the time for the Preds to get a lot of coverage and win over a lot of fans. With nothing else going on in Nashville, a strong showing (run for best in the west? maybe some all-stars?) will really help the cause with casual 'fans' in town.

And Yahoo left us as the feature story on the NHL's front page:

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

outdoor NHL hockey

This would be cool. Literally.
From this article:

It appears to be the Toronto Maple Leafs' turn to play host to an outdoor game.

The team is planning to play a regular-season game next season – possibly on Jan. 1, 2008 – at a new 20,000-seat outdoor soccer stadium in Toronto.

"We haven't signed off on it yet, but it would be a special event for a new stadium and put it on the map," said Richard Peddie, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.

media coverage update

Well, it still isn't the front page of the NY Times, but i'll take it.

Front of Yahoo Sports NHL page tonight:

Front page of ESPN's NHL section:

And ESPN's power rankings for this week:

Also, for those who would like to know more about the tradition of fights and tough-guy enforcers in the NHL, read this article on ESPN's site.

Monday, January 08, 2007

funny hockey video

This is really funny.

The Ottawa Senators are famous for doing their postgame interviews during their cool down process on exercise bikes — something New York Rangers winger Brendan Shanahan had a little fun with when the Rangers were in town last month.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

hockey videos and notes

For those of you that are not hockey fans i hate for you to see these videos. You think hockey is about fights. You have no respect. But for those that understand that what you are about to see is not all hockey is about, enjoy:

First is the fight from last night's game. Tootoo vs. Mayers.
The really strange part...they took their sweet time setting up to fight, and Tootoo even asked the linesmen if they could fight before going at it. Strange.
Good fight. Toots took a lot of hits, but Mayers went down first. Call this one a draw.



Second video is what will soon be known as the most embarrassing play in NHL history until someone does something similar in the playoffs. In a huge game between Edmonton and Dallas (fighting for position in the western conference), Dallas has a chance to close out the game with an empty netter and then it all goes horribly horribly wrong.

Just watch.

For the record, Dallas won in the shootout, but gave Edmonton a free point in the standings.


Lastly, The New Jersey Devils and goalie Martin Broduer just shut-out Montreal and win 3-0. Broduer made 28 saves in the effort. According to the box score, the 3 stars for the game:
  1. Brian Gionta, 2 goals (Devils)
  2. Scott Gomez, 2 assists (Devils)
  3. Chris Huet, 34 saves (Canadiens)
Now Huet may have played a great game, but how do you make the loosing goalie of a shut-out one of the three stars and NOT include the goalie that got the shut-out? Is Broduer that great that he is taken for granted that much?

Friday, January 05, 2007

random

I am so glad that i have the phone i do with the camera it has...it lets me share things like this with the world...

On my way out from the office today i passed by a "team room" that i pass by almost every day. Today - it was a little different...
Keep in mind the scale here - this is a 4'x 6' white board.
My guess is someone's kid here as free day-care did this.

Isn't your life better now?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

peace in the format wars

Several years ago i was big into media. OK, i still am - but i used to be really into it. I had a website design company, and was working on a media transfer company. I would charge people to transfer old home movies to DVD, records to CD's, etc.

To do this i needed a DVD recorder for my PC. At the time, DVD recordable formats were unsettled. There were 2 competing formats (+ or -) and no one knew who would win out. However, based on past history (beta/VHS, etc) it was conventional wisdom that only one format would win.

So, in order to ensure that I would be able to record to whichever type of DVD survived the war, i talked my wife into letting me shell out nearly $400 for a four-format external DVD recorder. I could have spent $200 on one that just recorded one of the two formats, but i wanted to make sure i was good for years to come... Within months, four format drives were standard and going for less than $150. I still occasionally apologize to my wife for that one. by the Way...no format won out as i thought they would. We now exist in a world with more than 6 formats existing quite nicely together.

So...keeping that story in mind, check this out:
LG to release hybrid DVD player for Blu-ray and HD-DVD

(For the record, i am not planning on purchasing any HD or Blu-Ray players for some time. At this point there aren't enough titles. That and i'd rather just wait a few months for the online services to offer the movies for download, since i always rip my movies onto my network drive anyway.)

holding out for a hero

Check this out:
NY subway 'hero' saves teenager

Is this guys split second decision, heroic action, and subsequent response all just too good to be true?

The skeptic in me wants to say this stuff only happens in movies. I am just to synical. After all - the guy that sent St Jude's the McDonald's Monopoly winning piece turned out to have stolen it.

But this sounds legit.
I would assume there are witnesses.

Cool.

respect?

Still no feature stories.
Still no major coverage.

But even ESPN can't help but recognize that the Preds are good.

They have us ranked 3rd over all, and the best team in the west - above Anaheim and San Jose.

And now it looks like our goalie controversy is behind us. Which as a fan is good. But is too bad at the same time - it would have brought a lot of media coverage.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

rookie of the year

Conventional wisdom says that Evgeni Malkin will be receiving the Calder trophy as the NHL rookie of the year at the end of the season. I admit he has played an outstanding season. Anze Kopitar is the other name sometimes mentioned. Here are the reasons everyone thinks they deserve it....

(These stats are based on all rookies who have played in 10 games or more this season and scored at least one point. You can see all these stats yourself on my cool google spreadsheet here)

POINTS

Rank
Player
1 EVGENI MALKIN 36
2 ANZE KOPITAR 35
3 WOJTEK WOLSKI 29
4 PAUL STASTNY 29
5 DUSTIN PENNER 24
6 MATTHEW CARLE 21
7 TRAVIS ZAJAC 19
8 ALEXANDER RADULOV 18
9 G. LATENDRESSE 17
10 IAN WHITE 15

GOALS
Rank
Player
1 EVGENI MALKIN 18
2 DUSTIN PENNER 15
3 WOJTEK WOLSKI 14
4 ANZE KOPITAR 11
5 ALEXANDER RADULOV 11
6 JORDAN STAAL 11
7 PAUL STASTNY 9
8 TRAVIS ZAJAC 8
9 G. LATENDRESSE 8
10 JOE PAVELSKI 8

POINTS PER GAME
Rank
Player
1 EVGENI MALKIN 1.09
2 ANZE KOPITAR 0.85
3 WOJTEK WOLSKI 0.76
4 PAUL STASTNY 0.74
5 JOE PAVELSKI 0.72
6 ALEXANDER RADULOV 0.67
7 DUSTIN PENNER 0.59
8 MATTHEW CARLE 0.54
9 TRAVIS ZAJAC 0.53
10 G. LATENDRESSE 0.45

Here's the real reason i think Malkin and Kopitar don't deserve it...

PLUS / MINUS RATING
Rank Player +/-
1 SHANE O'BRIEN 13
2 ALEXANDER RADULOV 11
3 LASSE KUKKONEN 8
4 MARK GIORDANO 7
5 JAMES WISNIEWSKI 6



47 EVGENI MALKIN -4



59 ANZE KOPITAR -12

I'll give you one guess who i think has earned it more at this point in the season...Alexander Radulov. Besides the above mentioned +/- stat, here are the other stats that support this argument...

POINTS PER MINUTE ON THE ICE
Rank Player
1 ALEXANDER RADULOV 1.55
2 EVGENI MALKIN 1.30
3 WOJTEK WOLSKI 1.26
4 PAUL STASTNY 1.05
5 JOE PAVELSKI 1.05
6 ANZE KOPITAR 1.00
7 DUSTIN PENNER 0.97
8 G. LATENDRESSE 0.89
9 BEN ONDRUS 0.86
10 RYANE CLOWE 0.83

GOALS PER MINUTE ON THE ICE
Rank Player
1 ALEXANDER RADULOV 0.95
2 EVGENI MALKIN 0.65
3 JOE PAVELSKI 0.64
4 DUSTIN PENNER 0.61
5 WOJTEK WOLSKI 0.61



18 ANZE KOPITAR 0.31

Alexander Radulov (like Kopitar) is on a competitive team. The Penguins are fun to watch, but they aren't winning games and will not make the playoffs. The Predators meanwhile are fighting for position as one of the top 4 teams in the west and the league.

The only reason for Radulov to not be rookie of the year is that Malkin and Kopitar get far more ice time than Radulov per game (Malkin, 20:11 - Kopitar 20:29 - Radulov 10:19). This is strange reasoning, but i will admit that this stat could be a disadvantage when voting begins, though i'm not sure it should be that way.

To me, the plus/minus stat is huge - Malkin and especially Kopitar are huge liabilities to their teams when on the ice. Radulov meanwhile has a +11 rank. Good for any player. Great for a rookie.

Will Radulov get the award? Only way that will happen is if Malkin gets hurt or just goes cold, which i don't think is going to happen.

But hey, the league owes Pittsburgh the Calder trophy that Sydney Crosby should have gotten in the 05-06 season. (Ovechkin was given the award because the year that should have been his rookie year, 04-05, was canceled due to lockout, giving him an extra year in the minors to develop). That, plus the fact that the NHL wants the Penguins to be as high-profile as possible to make them harder to move given their recent ownership issues.

And after all...we're "just Nashville".