Saturday, February 23, 2008

Hockey Nomad


In Dublin this weekend, returning to Canada on Tuesday. Read Dave Bidini's terrific book, The Tropic of Hockey, on the flight over.
When I was in Edmonton on Grey Cup weekend and flew back on the Sunday night the pilot came over the intercom to tell us that the Riders had won. I wonder if he will give us continuous updates on the frenetic activity of the trade deadline.
Folks, Keith Carney was just traded for a fifth rounder. Again.
I remember last season's trade deadline, trying to work while keeping an eye on what was going on, mostly concerned about the future of Smytty. The rumours that he had signed and then the trade.
This year of course the usual media madness is already reaching a fever pitch as Fletcher tries to move Maple Leafs and its possible that at the end of the day there will be one trade reported (Sundin) and two dozen others forgotten.
I'm thinking that we may see a new trend very soon, one that is already starting to show its face. I remember last year, I believe it was, and Matt Fenwick had a post about players sticking with the same team. Now before the 1980s it was a matter of course that guys played their entire careers with one squad. In the thread for that post I talked about a team that I had picked out of a hat, the '71 Blackhawks I think it was. It was amazing. Over half of that team played their entire career with Chicago and another group either played a handful of games at the beginning of their career (Tony Esposito) before coming to Chicago and playing 90% or more of their career there or they were moved at the very end of it all.
It was easy to identify with your team back then. They were a team. Same faces, for better or worse, year in and year out.
Now that has all changed. The guys who play their entire careers with one team can be counted on one hand. There was Yzerman and Danyko most recently. Likely Sakic, Modano, Lidstrom, Brodeur and some others will join the club soon.
With the change brought on by the CBA I think that we may, may, see a little bit of a return to this, at least with star players. The Hat said the other day that hockey players are creatures of habit and that given their druthers they will stick with what they know. Its the truth, I think, and with so many young stars signing longterm deals with their current clubs it seems that we may see a few more guys playing their careers with one club.
On the other hand, of course, we have the other side of it. Guys like Comrie getting one year deals and then getting rented at the deadline, year after year. A lot of guys who will be breaking Brent Ashton's record.

1 comment:

Matt said...

Here's the link to that post you're talking about.

List of players in at least their 12th season with the same team:

Joe Sakic, Martin Brodeur, Jarome Iginla, Mats Sundin, Daniel Alfredsson, Saku Koivu, Olaf Kolzig, Mike Modano, Nicklas Lidstrom, Kris Draper, Markus Naslund, Shane Doan, Wade Redden