Nobody asked me ... but

Robin
Robin Short
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Has anybody noticed that of the top 16 scorers in the NHL playoffs, and that includes some players tied with the same number of points, Newfoundlanders Michael Ryder and Teddy Purcell (17 points apiece) have outscored all Russian hockey players? The closest is Pavel Datsyuk, with 15 points, the same number as Ryane Clowe.

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Nobody is confirming this, but our spies tell us Danny Williams is leaning towards ‘Caps’ as the name of the new American Hockey League club in St. John’s. Makes sense, to a degree. If you read various online comments on media sites, Caps or Capitals seems to be an overwhelming choice amongst fans. And Williams got his start in hockey management with the old St. John’s Capitals under Terry Trainor and Don Johnson. That was back in the day when Bob Badcock’s ‘Kiddie Corps’ were winning Herders.

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And speaking of all this Caps nostalgia, while we all remember the full houses at Memorial Stadium for the Herder playoffs, I can also recall many a Sunday afternoon when St. John’s or the Blue Caps or Shamrocks would entertain Gander or Grand Falls or Corner Brook in a half-full rink. Don’t know if it’s a case of the years gone by clouding memories, but stories of St. John’s being this raucous, hockey-mad town, and the Stadium on wheels for every, single St. John’s senior hockey game are simply exaggerated.

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Here’s yet another assessment on the Robert Luongo storyline: Was Luongo horrible in the post season? Not really. Did he steal games for the Canucks? No, not really. Luongo played well, but was hardly a game-changer. Still, given the fact the Canucks’ offence was anemic in the final, even a Ken Dryden-, Patrick Roy- or Bernie Parent-like performance would not have helped Vancouver win the Stanley Cup. That Vancouver even reached a seventh game of the final scoring only eight goals in the series is nothing short of remarkable. Thing is, when you make $10 million a year — A YEAR! — the bucks stops with you. If puckheads recall the 2010 Olympics, Luongo was okay, but certainly not brilliant, for Canada. When it’s said and done, Luongo will be known as a good NHL goalie. He will not, however, be mentioned in the same breath as Roy, Dryden, Parent, Martin Brodeur, Grant Fuhr or even Gerry Cheevers or Tony Esposito.

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Canucks fans shouldn’t be mistaken for the hoodlums who tore apart downtown Vancouver after Wednesday’s Stanley Cup final. On that note, however, the Canuckleheads didn’t show a lot of class booing Gary Bettman, leaving the NHL commissioner to shout into the microphone as he presented Tim Thomas with the Conn Smythe Trophy and Zdeno Chara the Stanley Cup.

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If Conception Bay North is/was interested in helping establish a new senior hockey league with the Mount Pearl H.J. Bartlett Blades and Clarenville Caribous, why weren’t the Eastlink CeeBee Stars represented at Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador’s AGM last weekend?

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Michael Ryder will have to take a pay cut to stay in Boston, but Teddy Purcell can expect a big pay day in Tampa Bay. Three or $3.5 million a year won’t be out of the question.

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Before fans start crying for Vancouver management to trade the Sedins, buy out Luongo and strip Ryan Kesler of his letter, remember the Bruins dropped three straight to the Philadelphia Flyers last year, including the three-goal lead in Game 7 of the Eastern final. What is it they call it? Oh yes, it’s learning how to win.

Robin Short is The Telegram’s Sports Editor. He can be reached by email rshort@thetelegram.com

Organizations: NHL, Canucks, American Hockey League Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador Bruins Philadelphia Flyers

Geographic location: Vancouver, Memorial Stadium, Grand Falls Corner Brook Canada Boston Tampa Bay

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