June 03 2013 01:23PM
As the calendar turns to June, the NHL playoffs are just above the halfway point, the NHL combine has come and gone, CFL camps are starting up and the oddest, yet most hilarious, new fitness craze is upon us.
If you are a sports fan read on, but if you are a creative, witty and tech savvy you should definitely read the final thought.
- Finnish goalie Antti Raanta was this year's Fabian Brunnstrom. Many were gushing over Raanta on twitter and impatiently waiting his decision. He ended the drama by signing with the Blackhawks today. The Edmonton Oilers did make him an offer, but they have yet to hear from his agent. Raanta did struggle at the World Championships when he had to deal with a lot of traffic in front of the net, but most scouts seem to rate him as a solid prospect. Will he be as a good as Viktor Fasth was in Anaheim, or will he fizzle out like some other highly-touted European free agents? We will see.
- The Oilers don't have much goaltending depth at this point. Last week, Craig MacTavish basically said the jury is still out on whether Devan Dubnyk can be a consistent #1, (I feel he will) or if he is a tweener 1/2. They don't have a backup, and they don't have a solid #3 either. Yann Danis is a veteran AHL goalie, but he is not someone the organization feels can become a #2. Raanta would have had a great opportunity in Edmonton, but now the Oilers will look at the UFA route and don't be surprised if they look at another European goalie as well.
- If Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau or Alex Ovechkin had one goal in 14 playoff games, they'd be getting ripped, however, very few want to admit that Jonathan Toews is struggling offensively. He is 11th on the Hawks in goals, with one, and he hasn't been consistently dangerous. It doesn't mean he isn't a great player, but he is struggling to produce points at the most important time of the year. His overall game is fine, but when a #1 centre isn't producing usually they hear about it.
- Toews' struggles further illustrate how deep the Blackhawks are. How many other teams could be two wins away from the Stanley Cup finals with only one goal from their #1 centre?
- Remember when some scoffed at the Blackhawks decision to trade for Michal Handzus? Turns out Stan Bowman and Joel Quenneville knew what they were getting. Handzus is on a tremendous hot streak. He has points in five straight games, all wins, and he looks re-born. Some times you can't explain why a player gets hot or cold, but the Hawks look like geniuses for grabbing Handzus at the deadline.
- If, still a big if, Pittsburgh doesn't get by Boston it would be fair to say that the Handzus trade was the most important of any deadline deal.
- Steve Tambellini also gave up a 4th rounder, but he got Jerrid Smithson in return. Not all trades are created equal.
- The Oilers did, however, win the Garrett Stafford for Dane Byers trade. Stafford has played all 15 playoff games for OKC, and he's been solid on the blueline.
- Four of the Hawks regular 12 forwards during this year's playoffs need new contracts next year. Handzus, Brian Bickell and Viktor Stalberg are UFAs, while Marcus Kruger is an RFA. The Hawks don't have enough cap to keep all of them, and some feel Bickell might get as much as $3 million/year on the open market. That would be a huge leap of faith for any GM, considering Bickell has only scored 10 goals once in his career. I still believe the Hawks will find a way to keep Bickell, but they will let Handzus and Stalberg walk.
- I don't think Stalberg would be a good fit for the Oilers. He's a big body, but his lack of consistent effort would concern me. The Oilers need consistent, reliable veterans, not guys who are prone to take nights off.
- The Oilers will hire an associate head coach. He will be an experienced NHL coach with a strong technical background. The big challenge for Ralph Krueger will be trying to find the right mixture of player's coach and disciplinarian. Krueger will need to demand more of his players next year. The big question is can he do it successfully
- There is nothing better in sports than game seven. The Heat/Pacers series has been great, and I'm hoping tonight is another close battle. I'm pulling for the Pacers, but I'll pick the Heat to win. Lebron James will score 35 tonight if they win.
- Edmonton Eskimos GM Ed Hervey vowed his O-line would get bigger and nastier and he stayed true to his word. He cut Kyle Koch, Joel Bell and Dale Stevenson on Saturday and added three hulking imports to fill the gaps. Here is my run down on the positions that are up for grabs heading into camp.
- *** Spoiler Alert...*** Game of Thrones is easily my favourite show on TV right now. I wasn't a fan of "King" Rob, so I wasn't sad to see him killed off last night, but I was surprised. If you haven't watched G.O.T I recommend you do. Great show.
A FUN CONTEST...
We've all seen many ridiculous fitness fads come and go. Most of them don't last very long, and I'm sure Prancercise won't either, however, very few of them will have a video as AWESOME as this.
The best part is when you go to her website and see the definition of Prancercise.
"A springy, rhythmic way of moving forward,similar to a horse’s gait and ideally induced by elation."
"Induced by elation," is one of the best lines I've read in a long time. Classic.
I discovered "Prancercise" during my radio show this past Friday, and we had so much fun with it that we decided to come up with a video contest.
We are looking for the best mock/funny video of Prancercise. The best video will win a total of $1,000 in gift certificates from The Pint, Rona, United Cycle and vivo ristorante.
I'd like to thank Joanna Rhorback from coming up with such an elating fitness workout. Pure Gold.
You have a week to come up with your best mock video. Keep in mind there are 4 types of Prancercise in this video, so you'll need to show you are well-versed in all of them.
You can submit your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to enter is next Monday, June 10th at 2 p.m.
Be creative, be witty and be funny. Good luck.