"Well, at least we aren't managed like Team USA."
That's what every fan of a struggling team can say this week. Well... every team except for the Calgary Flames, who still have Brian Burke as their GM.
For those of you who have been living under a rock and missed out on what happened, the media was given unprecedented access to the selection meetings where the front office of team USA decided on its players.
It's only natural that, when arguing for certain players to be on the ice, you are going to speak a little poorly of others. It's the nature of the selection process, and it happens all the time. Especially when it comes to trades and arbitration. It's just part of the process.
However, there is a difference between those tactics, and some of the things Brian Burke said and did that wound up being reported. As a result, team USA is in major damage control this week, trying to fix what never should have been broken. Coming from
Allan Muir's sports blog the Sports Illustrated NHL page:
You know what they were going for here. Behind-the-scenes is all the rage in the NHL right now, what with the success of 24/7 inspiring several teams to produce their own pull-back-the-curtain series. They're seen as great vehicles for engaging fans and enhancing the brand. No doubt Poile, in his enthusiasm for growing the game, was hoping to tap into that zeitgeist. And good on him for that.
The problem is that he, and the rest of the USA Hockey brass who were involved, didn't exactly think the process through. Not even close.
And so instead of generating buzz about an exciting team that's gearing up to improve on the silver medal it won at the 2010 Winter Olympics, Poile succeeded only in alienating the second-leading American-born goal scorer of the past five years.
Make sure you check out the rest of the story, as it's a pretty balanced argument between what they were trying to do, and what exactly went wrong.
Of course, even if people forgive the bad mouthing of the players, there's still a question about the roster choices. Keep an eye out over the next week, as DBD's Josh Lile plans to have more thoughts about the selections and snubs.
In the mean time, let's move on with links, shall we?
- Is only one game preview by Brad not enough for you? Do you want three more? ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?! [CBS Sports] [Dallas News] [Dallas Stars]
- If you haven't been paying attention, the Stars are releasing weekly podcasts. The most recent one features Aaron Rome. Here's the listing page for you, so you can find them all. [Dallas Stars]
- Mike Heika has a great piece on Kevin Connauton, who has been performing well so far in place of the injured (Insert one of many defenseman here). [Dallas News]
- The Toronto Star has predictions on who they think should make the team Canada roster. Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn are desperately flipping through a dictionary to memorize I-N-T-E-N-S-E as we speak. [Toronto Star]
- Did I miss these power rankings in one of David's daily links over the last couple of days? It's possible, but I thought he would have been a little more excited to see the Stars move up so much. [Sports Illustrated]
- Here's a look back at the surprises of the first half of the season. The Stars get a pretty favorable mention here. [ESPN]
- In case you missed all of the games yesterday, here are your three stars from across the NHL [Puck Daddy]
- And finally, like a white blazer on the front row, here are the things you love to hate most -- Jersey Fouls! Which leads me to the question -- If someone gets you a jersey with your last name on it for a gift, is it still a foul? [Puck Daddy]