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    Tucson, AZ / Bemidji, MN
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    Good craft beer while watching sports. I enjoy most sports, but love hockey, lacrosse and baseball.
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    Nashville Predators (primary and pick), Toledo Walleye, Odessa Jackalopes, Milwaukee Admirals (primary and 3rd jersey), Boston Cannons, LA Riptide (defunct MLL team) New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, Richmond Flying Squirrels, Hillsboro Hops.

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  1. I don't think it was rigged. Whether or not it was fair is a matter of perspective. '98 - '00 teams paid $80 million. The NHL absolutely had to give better draft terms to justify $500 million. Were the terms too generous? Possibly, but a better product was seen as essential to sustaining what could have easily (and still could, honestly) become Coyotes 2.0. Columbus and Minnesota picked what was left after either a 9F/5D/1G or 7F/3D/2G protected list. On top of that, they were coming in at the tail end of a decade where expansion had just happened seven other times, diluting the talent exposed in a huge way. The argument that this team is just a bunch of third line talent is inane. Every team would have theoretically exposed at least one second liner. Teams taking the 7F/3D option exposed a second line D, and that's not counting exposing better current players to keep an eligible prospect. Seven teams opted for the 8 skater option, meaning they would be exposing at least 2 second line forwards. Any time Vegas took a third-liner, it was mostly due to choosing to. The draft rules themselves left them only having to select 9 third liners, total, and that's before talent vs. prospect and salary dumping factors. This team is a combo of second and third-line talent, with a franchise goalie who could have been the Vezina winner, if he hadn't missed so much of the season. The NHL owners got greedy and agreed to this, plain and simple. I'm almost certain I had this team pegged as a bubble team, maybe squeaking into a 3 or wild card slot, and being bounced in the first round. It's not like the Pacific is the deepest division, right now. I never saw them being this good. Some of the credit absolutely has to go to the GM, coach, and players for making the most out of their circumstances. Acting like the draft had little to nothing to do with it is idiocy. I'm not disgusted with the Knights, themselves. This success has been key to making the most of their two year head start over the NFL. I loathe what this run represents: the owners being greedy and offering expansion terms that I think were way too generous, especially in light of how much they comparatively hobbled the last four expansion franchises. I'm saying that as a fan of the first of those four to claw their way to the Final. I can only imagine how much more frustrating this must be for the other three fanbases, especially Columbus.
  2. Nobody just protected their top nine/eight and called it a day. Most split their exemptions between veteran players and prospects. Vegas got more than a couple 2nd-line players, and not all of them were because teams were trying to unload salaries. Nashville would have loved to protect Neal, but opted for a prospect, instead. They even tried to make a deal for Vegas to take someone else, but Vegas wanted too much, according to Poile.
  3. NHL Anti-Thread: Bad Business Decision Aggregator

    Shhhhhh...stop talking sense, this is the NHL...
  4. That's my whole point. Yes, LA got swept, but all of those games were really close. I like Malcolm Subban, but he's not MAF, and I don't think he could have outperformed Quick the way Fleury did.
  5. That's more what I'm thinking. I was just saying that if they absolutely were going to try to shake up the crease, I could see them trading Saros and going to a more established young goalie who they can do a 2-man system with. Then let Rinne retire and back to a single goalie. I think it comes down to the confidence they have that Saros is ready for the #1 job sooner, rather than later. With Hartman and Saros being the only significant contracts up for negotiation, this offseason, the Preds are poised to have a good run next season, with little need for changes.
  6. He has a NMC and one more season on his contract. He's still playing above average, especially for his age. Yes, there were absolutely consistency issues, in the playoffs, but the guy just had a Vezina-caliber season and 2 shutouts in 7 playoff games. It needs to be addressed, but this isn't an abandon ship situation. If anything, Nashville eats cap space and moves to a 2 goalie system, letting him choose to either finish out his career as a Predator, or go be a veteran backup for another franchise. Absolutely not. Playoffs, probably, but not 1st in the Pacific, and there's no way they would have gotten out of that LA 1st round series with Subban in net.
  7. Well, the Jets were the more consistent team. Congrats, Winnipeg. Here's hoping for a Winnipeg/Washington Final.
  8. Well, the Jets were the more consistent team. Congrats, Winnipeg. Here's hoping for a Winnipeg/Washington Final.
  9. NHL Anti-Thread: Bad Business Decision Aggregator

    This is inane. It's basically doubling down on failure. You'd almost think they want to become Nordiques 2.0
  10. Probably is an awfully strong word. I won't be shocked if it's Vegas, but the WCF will be the first time, this playoffs, that the Knights face a team with depth that at least equals their own. Depth and Fleury are the 2 biggest strengths Vegas has going for them. Quick did as good a job as MAF, but depth was a difference maker. If it's Winnipeg, I give the goalie edge to the Jets, depth to the Knights. With Nashville, goalie edge to Vegas, and depth to the Preds. Either way, the next round should be the toughest matchup Vegas has seen, yet. That plus relative inexperience gives them the low ground, as I see it (slightly more so, versus Nashville). Like I said, I'm about 60/40 on Central advancing, if it's the Preds. 55/45 versus the Jets. Can the Knights do it? Sure, but acting like it's a foregone conclusion seems pretty foolish.
  11. I would say 6 games. Any team that loses in game 6 or 7 of the Cup Finals should be safe from being labeled "chokers," in any year. Also, it all depends on the year. Vegas can be swept in the Conference final, and no one will be accusing them of choking. Washington didn't come into this playoffs with the kind of hype or expectation they did the last 2 years. I would say that most people will stop calling them chokers if they lose to TB in 6 or 7, with their heads held high. That is to say, as long as they show up and are just outplayed by a deeper team. I think the majority expected whoever won the TB/BOS series to go to the final, much like the WPG/NSH, in the West.
  12. Preds up 2-0 in Winnipeg, and Subban takes an undisciplined penalty in the third period. Stop me if you've heard this one before...
  13. Trying really hard to stay zen, today. It's a combination of emotionally preparing myself for an exit, versus reminding myself of the fact that 4 of the last 5 Cup Champions were down 3-2 at least once, on their run.
  14. I don't like having to win two in a row to get by this Jets team. This may be where the Preds lose the series.