The View From Wisconsin

Just a random set of rants from a Sports Fan from Wisconsin.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Simple Things

As hockey withdrawl has set in, I am now reveling in the simpler things in life.

  • Finding a new Interactive Game channel on Digital Cable.
  • A chicken wrap from Subway.
  • A lower cable bill

  • Monday, June 21, 2004

    Haven't Come Down

    Milwaukee Admirals, Calder Cup Champions.

    Still getting used to those words.

    The only thing that's been slowly bringing me down to earth (besides the tons of junk mail I've been getting from the Kerry campaign... oops, I mean AFSCME) is the realization that there probably won't be a 2004-05 NHL season.

    There will be a 2004-05 AHL season, though - the league extended its contract with the PHPA through 2007. So we'll be able to defend that Calder Cup championship.


    I have this bad feeling that this will be the first year in about five that I may not be going down to Nashville for an NHL road trip.

    Of course, that's not the only thing I have a bad feeling about, but that's another post...

    Thursday, June 10, 2004

    Calder Cup

    This was taken right before I planted a nice sloppy kiss on the thing.

    The Difference between a Tax and a Cap

    In the labrynithe world of attempting to follow the NHL's labor situation as a hockey fan, it's a bit hard to tell the difference between the league's proposal (a strict salary cap) and the players' proposal (a luxury tax).

    Here's a basic rundown of the differences between the two for easy reference:

    Salary Cap
  • Sets an absolute, arbitrary limit on player salaries.
  • Teams that go over the limit lose players, draft choices, heavily fined.
  • Limits player salary levels due to percentages and minimum salary requirements.
  • Limits player movement due to inability of teams to get a player "under the cap".
  • Does NOT guarantee that teams can get out of a financial hole.
  • Actually encourages teams to find loopholes (such as backloading contracts, signing bonuses and "personal services" contracts).

    Luxury Tax
  • Sets a maximum amount that can be spent on player salaries without being taxed
  • Teams that go over the limit are subject to a minimum tax, and a maximum of the amount over the limit they go.
  • Does not limit player salary levels as teams do not have a maximum amount to stay under; Teams that do well one year can spend more the next year.
  • Allows player movement as teams that have the money and can spend it on players can not only pay for the star players, but for the penalty on going over the tax limit.
  • Funds from teams that go over the tax level are distributed among lower revenue teams by a league-approved formula.
  • Main drawback is that if no teams spend above the maximum level, there is no tax revenue to share with low revenue teams.

    All in all, I think I'd rather live with a Luxury Tax system than a Salary Cap system. The NHL, however, does not see it that way.

  • Thursday, June 03, 2004

    A View of the Finals

    Game Two, the most surreal game I have ever witnessed.

    It was a tight game. The officiating was bad, but it had actually evened out (it was bad for both sides) by midway through the game.

    And then Vern scored the shorty.

    All Hades broke loose after that.

    The Pens, in short, came completely unglued - starting with Therrien, their head coach.

    I have, in my years as a minor league hockey fan, seen a lot of things, but I have never seen a coach physically climb up onto the dividing wall and nearly climb over to try to throttle the opposing coach.

    Therrien went berserk when Claude called the time out when the Pens dropped two guys in the third. He perceived it as a major dis to the Pens, and he went off, both on the refs and on Claude. (He used an Anglo-Saxon verb towards the refs, with "you" as the predicate; and he called Claude a commonly-used slang term for the rectal area in the press conference - which was terse and surreal, according to what I was able to find out from Eriks and Charles.)

    Chiodo was chased, Caron came in and before we could finish seranading him in welcome we scored.

    It was 6-1 before the third period even started.

    Even though it was a pleasant thought, there was still that nagging feeling that there was 20 to go and we could get very sloppy. And, in fact, we did allow three goals in the third.

    The Pens, however, were getting called for twos-and-tens constantly, and our power play finally showed up. Thus, the 8-4 final.

    This was a potential turning point game. There will be a lot of bad blood in game three, almost like game three of the Chicago series. If we manage, as Haydar said, to "weather the storm" in that game, I think we'll be all right.

    I hope that Claude shows the tapes of games three and four of the Chicago series on the plane/bus to WB/S to remind the guys of what they did - and what can be done.

    This was a bittersweet game for me, because I do have the fear/hope/feeling that they may clinch it at WBS - making this the final home game of the year.

    I don't want it to end.

    "However, if we win that 'big ol' fondue pot', it'll be all worth it..."

    Tuesday, June 01, 2004

    Days That Shook The World

    The History Channel is running a Days That Shook The World marathon. This is the lineup:

    * - The Wright Brothers
    * - The Moon Landing
    * - The First Chain Reaction by Enrico Fermi
    * - The Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster
    * - The Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand
    * - The Last Day in Hitler's Bunker
    * - The Dropping of the A-Bomb on Hiroshima

    Interesting selection, to say the least.