NHL All-Star Weekend: Tidbits and Links

Robert McGeeSenior Writer IJanuary 27, 2008

Last night’s skills competition was not the most exciting that I have ever seen, but it was entertaining.

Eric Staal certainly showed off as he went 4 for 6 in the shot accuracy competition, and hit the post on his shootout attempt. The coverage was annoying the whole night as they kept interviewing, showing replays, and leaving the action while it was in progress. I am still confused how Brian Campbell made it to the finals in speed skating when he looked like the slowest skater out there.

Manny Legace and Rick DiPietro did fine jobs with commentary while being “miked” up throughout the night. Both men were very personable, perfect choices. Manny’s best quote- “Should I let Kovalchuk score since he is the home town boy?” Rick’s best- “I was a forward until my parents dropped me on my head, then I switched to goalie”.

The NHL may have something with the shoot out competition at the end, but there is plenty of room for improvement. First of all, the goalie is not needed. Since they seem to want to copy the NBA, who does not play defense during the slam dunk competition, do they? Also, hire judges with personality like Don Cherry, Jeremy Roenick, and Ray Whitney. And have them commenting during and after the shot attempts.  That would be entertaining!

All-Star activities continue today and the game starts tonight at 6.

Speaking of the All-Star festivities, the Hurricanes have a blogger, (Paul Branecky) covering the events. He has done excellent posting a ton of information. If you missed the skills competition, he has video of it up here as well. Click (All-Star Blog), to access the site.

I have also found a couple of other Hurricanes related sites which are new to me and this blog. First of all, the Canes created a site called Carolina Hurricanes Care which is a resource for hockey families who support youth and amateur hockey. This site also has a new blog feature called “Canes Stories Blog” which has stories from various players about how they got into hockey and some of their youth experiences. So far they have insights from Tim Gleason, Chad LaRose, Mike Commodore, and Cam Ward. Great stuff! These links have been added to the permanent link database on the left sidebar.

The following new blog site is not funded by the Hurricanes organization, but is a commercial effort by Nike/Bauer. The name is “Staal Blog” and is about all of the Staal brothers, (but has been primarily about Eric so far). The blog looks good and I have also added it to the blog-roll on the left.

Finally, Jim Rutherford must be getting bombarded in Atlanta by the Canadian media about the possibility of being Toronto’s new GM. Here is a link to new a story I recently discovered this weekend, probably the first of many that will be posted. In this interview, Jim claims not to have an escape clause in his contract with Carolina so that he can coach the Leafs.

Come on CBC Sports, this is old news! Peter Karmanos has already stated a long time ago that he would release Rutherford from his contract and would not stand in his GM’s way if he wanted to move back up north. An official “escape clause” is not needed.

Get used to this Mr. Rutherford. If you take that job up in Toronto, the media will be like this every single day!