Friday, February 18, 2011

Music that inspires

A 10 year old in Winnipeg, MB has a youtube channel, and it is about to change her life.  Maria Aragon has been uploading videos of her music for over 2 years and on Wednesday she caught the ear of the artist she covered, Lady Gaga.  At about 4000 views Lady Gaga tweeted that video's like Maria's cover of her latest hit "Born This Way" are the reason she makes music and touted Maria as the future of music.  Two days later her video has rocketed to over 2 million views, appeared on local radio, and there is no end in site.

Take the time to check out this cover and some of the many other inspiring videos at her channel

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Don't trade proven NHL producers

There is a lot of talk about trading Ales Hemsky and Dustin Penner at the upcoming trade deadline.  We could get high draft picks.  We could get good young prospects.  We could get screwed.  As much as we hype prospects, many don't live up to expectations.  Trading proven NHL performers for potential that may not be realized is not a recipe for success.

There are arguments to trade these guys that sound good at first.  
  • We are in a rebuild and they are in their late 20's.  
  • Penner doesn't try his hardest.  
  • Hemmer is a Prima Donna and not a team player.  
  • Hemmer is hurt all the time.  
But I don't believe any of these are necessarily true or valid reasons to trade Penner or Hemsky.  

We should keep Hemsky.  
Hemmer was hurt most of last year, but since 05/06 he has played 81, 64, 74 and 71 games and scored close to a point a game.  He may come across as whiny and self absorbed, but if you see his interaction with Hall this year, the smile on his face and encouragement he gives, I would guess that we are seeing a fierce competitor who gives his all to win.  Sometimes this is misinterpreted, but the will to win is not something that you can teach and we should not disregard it.

We should keep Penner.  
Penner scores.  Penner is big.  Penner is great on the powerplay.  We have no one else with all of these traits and will not get someone back who does.  In fact, because of the lack of size in the rest of the lineup he is even more valuable because of his size than he would be otherwise.  Penner's perceived lack of effort I call big man syndrome.  Because his legs aren't pumping a mile a minute and his face isn't angry looking it appears like he isn't trying and doesn't care.  I do not believe that to be true at all.  

Both of these guys could be in their 30's when the young ones come into their own.  Good!  You cannot win without veteran leadership.  I'll use Sharp as an example of a guy who was on a team when it was at the bottom, and then was the veteran leader when they finally achieved their goals.  If we trade these guys for prospects then we might as well add 2 to 3 more years to the rebuild.

There is only one good reason to trade either of these proven veteran producers, and that is if they are not going to sign here after next year.  This summer we should be working hard to sign them to extensions in the 2 to 5 year range.  But if either indicates now that they have no intention of signing and will test free agency then, and only then, should we seriously look at moving them before the deadline this year.

I believe that if we are to trade this year, we need to make decisions on our small players.  There are too many players 5'10" and under and eventually we need to decide which ones we are going to put our money on.  But really there is no need to do that this year either.  Wait until the off season and see how things unfold.  There will be contracts to work out which may help some decisions.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A new beginning

Going to ease back into this.  Look for opinions on hockey, tech tips, political comments and whatever else I'm in the mood for!