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When and Howe - Carnival of the NHL #9

Number Nine...
Number Nine...
Number Nine...
Number Nine...

It's the Beatle fan in me trying to force the White Album on readers everywhere as I kick off the Howe of Carnivale -- Carnival of the NHL Number 9. I guess it's rather fitting I put the Beatles reference in there because the first highlights of this Carnival are supposed to be geared towards older posts by bloggers (greatest hits if you will)... I had asked for posts from 2003-04 and onward (from during the lockout up until now) and I must say I am happy with the results.

We'll start off with the guy who gave me the job of presenting the Carnival this week -- Eric McErlain. Eric chimed in with two incredible posts with regards to two separate topics from years past...

We'll start with a 2002 post where Eric comments on International losses improving game play for leagues. His post starts out talking about the NBA and the falling quality of players in the league and then goes on to talk about the famous Canada vs. Russia tournament that changed the entire attitude of play and course of the NHL. Dated September 20th of 2002, it's the oldest post of the carnival.

Another submission from Eric is timely because it is just past the 2nd anniversary of the passing of the man who built and managed the US Hockey squad in 1980. Herb Brooks was an icon and we lost him well before his time....

Yesterday, on a highway outside of Minneapolis, America lost a hero. A team lost it coach. A family lost its father. And I said goodbye to a cherished piece of my childhood. Rest in peace, Herb Brooks. And thank you. Thank you for more than you could ever know.

The man who lifted America's morale when we needed it the most is better than a cheesy Disney movie. We miss you, Herb Brooks...

Lyle over at Spectors sent me a What If piece he wrote in November of 2003... I've reposted it and have been nodding in agreement while going over it... It beats some mainstream media what-ifs by a year and I know I've had discussions with friends regarding who they've lost over money and bad management that could have kept their squad a contender or perhaps put them over the top.

I know I usually mention Tommy from Sticks of Fire on here about something or other but another local blogger who I am just getting acquainted with -- CT over at Population Statistic -- submits a plethora of bit stories from the past year. Lets start out with the strangest of them all that will get Canadians up in arms about the Stanley Cup being held by Tampa Bay over the last year...

Young people were turning to Shuffleboard.

Kitschy, my ass.....I’m telling you, this can be correlated directly to the lockout; these hipsters normally would be kickin’ it at the St. Pete Times Forum instead of making like Sheldon Shuffleboard.

CT also takes the time to comment on Gerald Coleman - Yoga Guru, Blue Ice Specials and a flash in the stands for tween players....

The man, the myth and the legend that is Gordie Howe kept playing well past his prime with thanks to the WHA... The WHA had various attempts to get back into the fray during the lockout and Jes at Hockey Rants (the man, the myth, the legend in his own Write :-) ) took the opportunity to report on the fallacy and fantasy that was WHA Hockey 2004-05...

Lets start with the "Fantasy draft" and then work our way up to the WHA's death knell

Really, it is no big surprise that the WHA never got going in the first place. Their business plan ($15 mil payrolls are not workable for the WHA), stupid franchise names, and lack of good management could not make up for Bobby Hull's big dreams.

What's really sad is just how quietly and pathetically the WHA has died.

He's just getting warmed up here, ladies and gents! Jes takes on the Bobby Hull Invitations and has some scathing rhetoric for the deep-in-lockout NHL and the PA:

While the NHL and NHLPA would like to manipulate our opinions into their vision of financial utopia, the WHA seems to be treating the fans with some respect. The WHA knows that it has to provide an entertaining product in order to entice and keep fans. Why not asking the people what they want? If the NHL ever really listened to the fans (and I'm not talking just looking at attendance figures), they would probably clue in to the fact that their product needs tweaking.

A comment that remains true to this day.

And then there's the 3rd incarnation and the fourth incarnation that makes you wonder just why the hell keep trying things under the WHA label? The name suggests they can't get off the ground now, instead of suggesting they are competition for the NHL.

Tom Benjamin's blog was wiped out sometime after the 2003-04 season concluded, he had been blogging from around the start of the year till it's close.... Though a server crash cost hockey readers everywhere insight into the past of Tom Benjamin's NHL Weblog, the innovations of the web -- namely the WayBack Machine at Archive.org -- allow all a glimpse at this foursome of posts by Tom...

First, I thought Canuck fans might be interested in what I wrote about Anson Carter before he started his first full Ranger season. In early December I decided the Flames were for real and as the playoffs neared I was terrified of them. Of course there is a post on the night Kukla's Korner will be hosting Carnival #10 next week, good luck to him with that.