32 Thoughts: The Podcast

Houston, We Have a Problem

Episode Summary

Jeff and Elliotte discuss the report that the Arizona Coyotes could be for sale, they dissect the situation in Ottawa, discuss the Rob Brind'Amour fine and answer a few listener emails.

Episode Notes

Are the Coyotes on the move? Jeff and Elliotte discuss the report that Arizona might be for sale (1:00), the challenges that face the team in the area, they try to provide some short-term solutions and wonder if relocation is an option.

They also touch on the situation in Ottawa (11:30), the Calder race (17:30), Buffalo trading for Malcolm Subban (25:45), the year of the EBUG (23:00), the success Dallas is seeing (26:50), trade request by Jake DeBrusk (30:20), the $25,000 fine handed down by the league to Rod Brind'Amour (32:00), and a few listener emails are answered (37:30).

Full transcript for the episode can be found here by Medha Monjaury

Outro Music: Marquis Hill ft. Brandon Alexander Williams - It Takes a Village

Listen to the full "Modern Flows, Vol. 2" album here

This podcast is produced and mixed by Amil Delic, and hosted by Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman.

Audio Credits: AM 560 Sports WQAM and Bally Sports Southwest.

The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts and guests and do not necessarily reflect the position of Rogers Sports & Media or any affiliates.

Episode Transcription

OPEN //// Jeff Marek [00:00:00] That was better.

[00:00:01] SFX [Puck hitting the post.]

Jeff Marek [00:00:01] Elliotte, I want to start the podcast off by talking to one person and one person only. Mark Connors in Halifax. If you're listening, what you went through was garbage and Elliotte feels the same way I do, who feels the same way that Amil does. This is a place that supports you. This is a place that stands up for you, and we wish you nothing but the best of success in your goaltending career. Friedge?

Elliotte Friedman [00:00:29] I really believe this. Sometimes it's too silent, but I do believe that the silent majority support you too and are happy to have you in the game Mark.

Jeff Marek [00:00:38] Amen. With that, we'll kick it off. Welcome to 32 Thoughts the Podcast brought to you by the all-new GMC AT4 lineup.

[00:00:44] [Opening music by Jane's Party]

Jeff Marek [00:00:44] It's always a big story when someone says this team is for sale, but the Commissioner comes out and says, hold on, not so fast.

Elliotte Friedman [00:01:17] He rejects it into the stands like a Dikembe Mutombo in the late 90s. No, no, no. With the finger wag.

Jeff Marek [00:01:25] I have actually—have a Dikembe Mutombo story Elliotte, not from when I covered the NBA because that's your thing on the podcast, but I remember running into him—well not running into him, but seeing him walk through the airport in Philadelphia. And I remember saying to myself how kind of bad it must have been to be him because everywhere he went, like everyone just stood in, gawked at like one, if you knew who he was, it's like hey, check it out, it's Dikembe, but if you didn't it's like, wow, this guy's enormous.

Elliotte Friedman [00:01:54] I have to tell you, is one of the friendliest people I've ever met covering sports.

Jeff Marek [00:01:58] I've heard that.

Elliotte Friedman [00:01:59] Just a really... And he didn't know me from any other reporter, and he was always gracious with his time and friendly. Anyway, we got off track.

Jeff Marek [00:02:08] That's great. We did. Let's talk about Arizona and the Forbes story of Mike Ozainian, the Arizona Coyotes are for sale, the Arizona Coyotes are going to move to Houston. The Coyotes organization quickly threw water on that fire as did the Commissioner of the NHL. But what do you make of all this Elliotte?

Elliotte Friedman [00:02:27] So I think the thing that Arizona, the Coyotes organization and their fans have to realize and they don't like it, they won't like to hear it, but until we have clarity on what their playing situation is for next year, I just think these stories are gonna keep coming up and especially as we get later and later into the year, until we know for sure where they're playing, I think they're gonna have to deal with these kinds of rumours, and I know that's going to be frustrating for them and their fans. I know it's gonna be infuriating for them and their fans. But I think it's just the way it's going to be until there's an answer.

Jeff Marek [00:03:07] Yeah, it's gotta be awful being like, how many times have we said it before? It's really challenging to be a fan of the Arizona Coyotes, and this is a market that gets pounded on consistently. I really want this market to do well. I really like going to see Coyotes games like, I don't like the drive to Glendale, but you know, I like watching hockey games there. Having said all that, it's tough to be a fan when you don't know where your team's going to be the following season and Glendale's already said it's not going to be here, and nobody knows—there's a number of different ideas of what they could do with the organization next season. Maybe we'll do that on a podcast somewhere down the road.

Elliotte Friedman [00:03:48] We can talk about that a bit.

Jeff Marek [00:03:50] What are the options in, Elliotte, for Arizona?

Elliotte Friedman [00:03:53] I think we should say because this always should come up earlier than it did here is that Gary Bettman's history is, he's not taking a team out of a market until there's absolutely no options left. That's what happened with Atlanta.

Jeff Marek [00:04:05] Yeah.

Elliotte Friedman [00:04:06] There were no options left. They didn't wanna own it, there was nowhere else to go, and that was the end of the Thrashers. We're not there yet with Arizona. And until it's all done, they're staying.

Jeff Marek [00:04:18] Years ago, he said to me in an interview I did with him when I was doing any Hockey Night in Canada radio that I remember asking him, when do you know a team is done in a market? And his answer was simple: when no one wants to own it there anymore. And we're not at that place yet in Arizona. That might not be the answer that a lot of people wanna hear, but that's the answer from the NHL. As long as someone wants to own it there, there's going to be a team there. It's that simple.

Elliotte Friedman [00:04:43] Okay, so there's a couple of ways to look at this. First of all, I wanna address the Houston angle for a sec, and then we'll go back to the possibilities in Arizona. Houston, I think it's very fair to say, and you've talked about this before about how Houston makes a lot of sense for the NHL. Aside from Mexico City, where I'm not counting on expansion, it's the largest market in North America without a team. And you know that the NHL would like to do that because it's a big market, potentially, and it gives Dallas a rival. Here's the problem with Houston. A few years ago, there were rumours that Tilman Fertitta had some interest in an NHL team, and I believe he met with the league. The problem I heard coming out of that was, I should say, Fertitta's the owner of the Houston Rockets in the NBA and the arena there. The problem I heard was he really wasn't interested in the NHL at the number the NHL would want him to buy a team for. Like you're not selling the team below market, especially now that—.

Jeff Marek [00:05:47] Pittsburgh.

Elliotte Friedman [00:05:47] —that Pittsburgh just got 500 for Vegas and Seattle 650 and now Pittsburgh we believe 875, you know, so you're not doing it at a no less than you think is market. And I heard that what they considered market at the time, is not what Fertitta wanted to do, and he was more interested in an NHL team coming to his city as a tenant to his arena. The NHL won't want that. Now what I do think is possible at some point, who solves a lot of these problems for the NHL? Tim Lieweke, Oak View Group. Seattle, they couldn't get an arena done for a long time, that's why it took a while for the Kraken to get into the NHL. Suddenly, Lieweke steps up, helps get it done, plays a big role in it, and now we have a Kraken in the National Hockey League. If you were to tell me that Tim Lieweke, for example, was going to end up going into Houston, building an arena, and the NHL would be the primary tenant? I could see that. But you know, we're not talking next season. Let's just say it happened soon. We're talking, you know three to five years.

Jeff Marek [00:06:58] Mhm.

Elliotte Friedman [00:06:58] So from what I understand about Fertitta and Houston and the NHL and less opinions have changed, it wasn't yet an ideal situation for the NHL, either.

Jeff Marek [00:07:09] All right, then here becomes the question What are some of the options for the Arizona Coyotes as soon as next season?

Elliotte Friedman [00:07:17] Well, we know that they want to do the arena in Tempe, right?

Jeff Marek [00:07:19] Yes.

Elliotte Friedman [00:07:19] And this one is a little bit out of my element because you hear, I'm not down there, I don't have boots on the ground and you hear so many rumours about whether or not they're gonna be able to get it done. You know, the Coyotes talk confidently that they'll—they're hoping they'll be able to get it done. You know, I had a couple of people that sent me a Reddit forum where there was some post from someone who clearly appeared to have some knowledge, who wrote that he or she believed that it was gonna be a big challenge because of some legal decisions that were handed down recently and that wasn't necessarily good news for the Coyotes. I don't know the landscape as well as I'd like to, and my boots aren't on the ground there, but it's a challenge. There's no question. What I've wondered is, if Arizona can get the commitment, if they can't play in their current arena next year, and we all believe they're not going to do it.

Jeff Marek [00:08:13] Mhm.

Elliotte Friedman [00:08:14] McGill—what are your options? There's been reports about Chase Field, there's Arizona State, there's the Veterans' Arena. You know, one of the things somebody was kind of saying to me was, could we see a situation where they play in a bunch of different places in the valley for a year or two? They simply say, we're going to play some of our home games at Arizona State. Are we gonna play some of our home games in the Veterans Arena? Are we going to play some of our home games, potentially even in Glendale, if we wanted to? Could we play some of our home games at Chase Field if that, for example, is an option to sign to, like, it's not ideal. But is that at all a conversation if they know they're gonna get an arena? I mean, the thing I feel badly for their fans is, you know, the people who really care about the Coyotes and you said it, until we know there's going to be all these crazy rumours and you're just like, oh my god, am I going to have to react to all of these things every day?

Jeff Marek [00:09:17] Is there any chance they could play in another market temporarily?

Elliotte Friedman [00:09:20] You might as well just take them out, right?

Jeff Marek [00:09:22] No, I mean, this is—

Elliotte Friedman [00:09:24] Once you break that umbilical cord—

Jeff Marek [00:09:26] Ehh, I don't know about that.

Elliotte Friedman [00:09:27] You don't eh?

Jeff Marek [00:09:27] I mean, as long as you know that there's a rink coming, like, how dire is this situation going to be? Like, I know the idea of, you know, being this—

Elliotte Friedman [00:09:36] Like what do you say like, take it to Kansas City for two years and then bring it back?

Jeff Marek [00:09:39] Correct.

Elliotte Friedman [00:09:39] Oh, I don't like that idea at all.

Jeff Marek [00:09:42] Hey, listen, man, we're talking about, you know, this is like Team Nomad bouncing around all these arenas in Arizona.

Elliotte Friedman [00:09:48] At least they're in the market.

Jeff Marek [00:09:50] I get it. I'm just saying like, what would have to be on the table for this? Like if that, okay, let's say that didn't work out for whatever logistical reason. Could you see a scenario where they're out of market for two years and then come back?

Elliotte Friedman [00:10:03] You know what that's like? That's like when you're 17 or 18 years old and a couple goes—decides to go to university and different cities and you're like—.

Jeff Marek [00:10:12] Always works.

Elliotte Friedman [00:10:13] Don't worry. In two years, I'll be there for you. Doesn't work in most cases.

Jeff Marek [00:10:22] You know what part of the conversation is always the funniest one. When one of the two says, we're mature, we can do this? Whenever we find as someone says we're mature, we can do this, nothing mature ever happens. Have you ever noticed that?

Elliotte Friedman [00:10:35] Yes, especially when people I know are involved. This reminds me of a funny story. I remember one time, oh my god, this is—we're at university and we come home for a weekend and my buddies and I, we all meet up to play cards and we all go to school in different places. And you know, one of my friends was going through a breakup and you know, it was it was—it was tough and we were trying to support him, and he says that his girlfriend at the time, you know, before they broke up, they said, like, you know, we need our... we know we need our separate time or I need my separate time and, you know he's trying to manage his way through it and she—and she said to him, well you know, it's like a bird. If you let the bird fly and it comes back to you, you know it's love. And we all looked at him and said, you're doomed. Like you're—you're just doomed.

Jeff Marek [00:11:18] Then you look back in 15 years, what was I thinking? My head is shakier...

Elliotte Friedman [00:11:23] Well, we were—we were right. Like I have to say it—they never—they never got back together!

Jeff Marek [00:11:27] Shocking. Shocking development.

Elliotte Friedman [00:11:30] Now that we've completely lost our train of thought, I don't like that idea like, you can't break the umbilical cord. I don't think you can do that.

Jeff Marek [00:11:38] Okay Elliotte, let's turn our attention now to the Ottawa Senators. I'm gonna flip this one. It was the worst of times, it was the best of times. Wednesday was the worst of times, a 6-2 loss at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks. They get on a plane, they fly to Carolina to face off against the Hurricanes, the General Manager Pierre Dorion on the flight with the team. There's trouble. Danger Will Robinson, danger! And they pull one out against one of the top teams in the NHL, the Carolina Hurricanes, 3-2 is the final. Anton Forsberg stands on his head as the Ottawa Senators are outshot 49 to 20, but they come away with the win, Friedge.

Elliotte Friedman [00:12:18] That was a schedule loss. They were set up to be hammered in that game. One of the things about Carolina is, if you get a back-to-back with them.

Jeff Marek [00:12:27] Yeah, it's tough.

Elliotte Friedman [00:12:28] Going in there, or leaving there? Where you're coming in and out of can really be a challenge because it can be a little bit remote. Not too long ago, Philly played on a Friday there one, and then they had to go to Dallas, which is a three plus hour flight, and they lost the next night. Ottawa loses at home. They gotta go in the Carolina where the Hurricanes, a real good team, are sitting and waiting for them. That was a schedule loss and, in a year that's not going very well. Anton Forsberg steps up and delivers. That was a 25 out of 10 performance, outshot 49 to 20, up 2-nothing. They got it tied one and you know, the other thing too is they found a way to win in regulation. Brady Tkachuk on the Wednesday hockey game, we interview him at the bench and I asked him about what he's learnt as a captain in 26 days and actually was Carolyn who suggest I ask that question, and the one thing he talked about was being positive, no matter how bad it is trying to be positive. And he made a huge play at the end of regulation to clear the puck on the Hurricanes last rush. I know it's not exactly—who's your favourite artist? Is it Picasso? You know, Jeff, do you have a are you an Edward Munch guy? Like, I don't know. That was not a Picasso or a Munch. But when you need someone to step up and still you win Forsberg work did for them.

Jeff Marek [00:13:56] I'm an Alex Grey guy myself, that should come as no surprise to you. Listen, that was really impressive, and good on the Ottawa Senators, that's a real tough one. Things still aren't exactly peachy in the nation's capital here in Canada with the Ottawa Senators, you know, does this just, you know, buy them a couple of days of positive press? Or do they just go right back to hammering on this organization in your estimation?

Elliotte Friedman [00:14:22] Well look, I mean, it's one win in a in a tough season, but at least you feel better about yourself in that moment. When you have young kids who are in the middle of losing, you have to grasp on to anything that makes you feel good. And tonight they're going to look at Forsberg as they get onto the plane and, you know hopefully they formed a large unit to carry Forsberg onto the plane because he probably needed it. But, you know they're gonna look at Forsberg tonight and they're gonna say, man, you gave us a good feeling that we desperately needed, and that's not insignificant. You know, Kyle Bukaukas on the Wednesday night Hockey showed that shot of the front office sitting apart, a section apart like—

Jeff Marek [00:15:02] Oh boy.

Elliotte Friedman [00:15:03] —those are tough. And the thing I'd worry is that, when you have young players and just—I know this is tough for Senators fans to do, but just leave the status of the organization out for a second. When I look at that lineup of young players, Tkachuk, Chabot, who I think has played very well this year for a lot of the year, you know, Norris, Pinto, even though he's been hurt, Batherson, all the young guys you got there and the ones that aren't there yet that are coming, you know the Sanderson's, the Bernard Dockers, those kinds of players. I believe in it and I think their fans want to believe in it. Look, there's a lot of rumours, you know, is Melnyk selling, you know, what's kind of going on behind the scenes there? You know, he's still talking about a downtown arena. I mean, things are kinda all over the place. They're all over the map. You know, the Commissioner protects his owners and I get that, that's his job. You know, I get it. I just wonder, at what point do you say, we've got this group of young guys here and we can't let the overall instability or the way the franchise is run at the top affect them. Because right now you're worried that they're getting used to losing. I don't think they accept losing, I don't think that's right. But you get used to losing and losing becomes a part of your existence. I've seen too many young players in sports, not just hockey, be affected by losing. It hurts their careers and you know, Jeff, that's why I look at, you know, at some point in time, is the league going to have to step in here and say, we have to have this franchise run a different way? It's not enough to just say look like, and I know there are people in Ottawa who believe this: we get a downtown arena and everything's going to be okay. Yeah, but even if they put the shovel into the ground tomorrow, how long is that away? You have to build stability around these players. You have to give them a feeling that they've got a chance to win. And I just think right at the top, I just wish the league would get to a point where they'd step in and say, okay, there's a way we're going to demand that this organization is run.

[00:17:17] [Break.]

Jeff Marek [00:17:28] General managers hate it when you redo drafts. I remember I would always bring it up with Doug McClain when we worked together and he would roll his eyes and I could see him clenching his fist.

Elliotte Friedman [00:17:40] Cause he knew I was gonna come up.

Jeff Marek [00:17:41] Yeah, I know there's been a couple of them. [unintelligible] If you go back not that long ago to the 2020 NHL draft, stop me when you think I've hit the best player. Lafreniere, Byfield, Stutzle, Raymond, Sanderson, Drysdale, Holtz, Quinn, Rossi.

Elliotte Friedman [00:18:01] Think you? I think you've passed it already, yeah.

Jeff Marek [00:18:03] Is it Lucas Raymond?

Elliotte Friedman [00:18:04] I think so.

Jeff Marek [00:18:05] Cause it sounds like it to me.

Elliotte Friedman [00:18:07] Right now it is.

Jeff Marek [00:18:07] Right now it is, isn't it?

Elliotte Friedman [00:18:08] See, I'm not freaking out as much over what's going on with Stutzle? You know, I just think the guy's a really talented player, it's tough year this year.

Jeff Marek [00:18:15] Yeah.

Elliotte Friedman [00:18:15] But I still believe in Stutzle a lot. But I would say that Raymond is right now the best player. Look, I mean, Team Sweden Aftonbladet, one of the newspapers out there, reported that Sweden is asking to have him added to the Olympic list. And if you're doing that, you're doing that because he's a legitimate option for you.

Jeff Marek [00:18:36] Yeah.

Elliotte Friedman [00:18:36] I mean, the biggest question I have is, and I have a vote and I think you do too. You know, if you're voting for Calder today, who's your Detroit pick? Are you voting for Seider or you're voting for Raymond.

Jeff Marek [00:18:48] We've talked about my default setting before, it's always defence.

Elliotte Friedman [00:18:51] Yeah.

Jeff Marek [00:18:51] Specifically at this age. If you can excel on the blue line at this age, that carries more favour with me. Listen what Lucas Raymond is doing here. 22 points in 24 games, 10 goals and some of the goals are just gorgeous. His release? His shot is just next level and playing top line and, I don't know. I love Mo Seider and we've talked about, you know, the fact that—

Elliotte Friedman [00:19:16] And after all that I'm voting for Lucas Raymond. Yes.

Jeff Marek [00:19:17] And despite all of these reasons why I should be voting for Moritz Seider, I'm taking Lucas Raymond. He's just too good. He's doing it from the wing, too. Like normally the centres really stand out, the defencemen stand out, the goalies stand out... he's doing this as a winger. And I know that, you know, Dylan Larkin's having a real good season—like the whole top line. I know that Tyler Bertuzzi's out on the COVID-19 protocol, even though Robby Fabbri looked really good on Wednesday night, playing left wing on that line. He's part of like one of the best lines in the NHL already, and he's a big part of it. Voting right now, Lucas Raymond's my guy. Like we talked today on radio, I think we were talking about who else could even challenge him at this point.

Elliotte Friedman [00:19:59] Well Seider—

Jeff Marek [00:20:00] Hasn't he already pulled away from Seider? See here's the thing about Seider, like Seider like within what, two weeks, became Detroit's best defenceman? There's no looking back. I know there's still a lot of heavy-lifting to do in Detroit? But man, already like, you got two amazing pieces here and there are more players coming. It's gonna take longer than perhaps Yzerman originally planned, we talked about that last year at the draft, but am I allowed to say that it's fun to watch the Red Wings again because they've won four games in a row and I find myself stopping on Red Wings games when I'm bouncing around, Friedge.

Elliotte Friedman [00:20:36] I think they are fun to watch and I thought something really important happened to them the other night, they won a game without Bertuzzi. Because some of the games that they've played without him, they've been just clobbered. I thought the fact that they won without him, I thought that was huge for them. Raymond, I think right now would probably be my vote. I'm with you on that. I think Seider will have something to say about it, I think Zegras will still have something to say about it.

Jeff Marek [00:21:00] Dawson Mercer.

Elliotte Friedman [00:21:01] Well, I'm just wondering if his offence might be taken away now that Hughes is coming back but, Mercer, I absolutely think, is in the conversation. Sadly, Bowen Byram's health.

Jeff Marek [00:21:13] Yeah.

Elliotte Friedman [00:21:13] Looks like it's gonna kind of knock him out of the race, unfortunately. And, you know, I hope he's okay. You know, there's a couple of really interesting things here, and that is some of the older guys like Nedeljkovic, like Bunting.

Jeff Marek [00:21:27] Mhm.

Elliotte Friedman [00:21:28] I really hate that older thing. It does make me crazy as a voter. The difference between a 20 year-old and say, a 24-26 year old. It does drive me bananas.

Jeff Marek [00:21:42] Don't like that Kaprizov's one of them.

Elliotte Friedman [00:21:45] It's—no, I had no problem with it because I think if you're—if you're eligible under the rules, you're eligible under the rules. That's it, right? But sometimes I do think it's too wide. I'm just talking about this off the top of my head, so I admit I don't have a great solution for it right here.

Jeff Marek [00:22:00] Yeah.

Elliotte Friedman [00:22:00] But sometimes I do find it very hard to decide, how do I vote between a 20 year-old and a 25 year-old? It makes me fret.

Jeff Marek [00:22:13] These are the things that keep you awake? These are the things that keep you, uh, you know, flip into the cold side of the pillow at night.

Elliotte Friedman [00:22:21] No I'll tell you what's keeping me awake right now is one of my buddies remembering that that conversation was about him and him calling me all angry about it. You brought up the—the bird is free conversation on your pod.

Jeff Marek [00:22:33] Well, you might as well just say his name then, Elliotte.

Elliotte Friedman [00:22:35] Well, so I know we're really going offline here, but I did that once on the air.

Jeff Marek [00:22:41] Yeah, don't do that.

Elliotte Friedman [00:22:42] It really caused a problem. So I'm not doing that again.

Jeff Marek [00:22:46] There's—there's as they say, there's no win there.

Elliotte Friedman [00:22:49] No it definitely isn't.

Jeff Marek [00:22:51] You know who's winning this season so far? For shine time? EBUGs! Is this going to be the year of the EBUG, Elliotte?

Elliotte Friedman [00:22:59] I have to find out about this a little bit more but, again, we've talked about whether or not they'll go to this, it's starting allowing teams some roster relief.

Jeff Marek [00:23:08] Yeah.

Elliotte Friedman [00:23:08] Doug Armstrong has to be doing a slow burn because he already did it once.

Jeff Marek [00:23:13] Oh man.

Elliotte Friedman [00:23:13] He already talked about it once when he wanted to bring up Perunovich and because of his bonuses, he couldn't do that. And he campaigned the league about it, didn't go anywhere. And now, on Thursday night, he's got—he can't call up a regular backup goalie. He's gotta use the emergency backup because again, of COVID, because Binnington's in the protocol right?

Jeff Marek [00:23:36] They were on the road in Tampa.

Elliotte Friedman [00:23:38] Colorado's situation was a little bit different because Kuemper got hurt in the morning at the skate and it took them a while to get their backup in from the American Hockey League, the Eagles. So they had to use the—the EBUG for a little bit as a backup. But as the COVID cases increase Jeff, I can only imagine how much this is gonna become a battle.

Jeff Marek [00:23:58] You think they'll be allowed to carry an extra goaltender on the road?

Elliotte Friedman [00:24:02] I don't know that. I don't wanna say that. I know they want to. The league has really pushed back against it. I know they want to. I don't know if that's gonna be allowed. Teams are starting to get really mad about things behind the scenes. They're getting mad about the roster situation, and they're getting mad about the Olympics situation, although I think the Olympics are really trending. I think even some of the players are beginning to realise now that this quarantine in China is not. Not feasible.

Jeff Marek [00:24:31] Well and, every day, like what do I kick off my radio show with almost every day? It's like COVID-19 protocol roll call. It's okay, it's Brendan Gallagher and Niku, and it's Dustin Tokarski and, you know, Thursday night it's Justin Faulk and before that it was Jordan Binnington and Tyler Bozak like, I'm with you. This is going nowhere good. I don't know at what point you start to have the conversation about participation. I know we're still a month and a half away from having to make a decision. But I don't know. They have to start at least having a couple of thoughts about it right?

Elliotte Friedman [00:25:10] Well I just think they'll wait until as late as they can possibly make it, but I think we can all see where this is trending. I think now that the teams feel like they're gonna let the Olympic arguments trend that way, I think they're really going to start fighting the roster argument. I don't know if they're gonna win. I have a better understanding of the league's thinking on this one after talking to some people about it, like I would use it as bonuses.

Jeff Marek [00:25:33] Yeah.

Elliotte Friedman [00:25:33] That if you can't fit a person under the cap this year, it's a penalty next year. I just think COVID is something we can't control. Everybody but one player's vaccinated. I don't think that the punishment should be what it looks like it's going to be.

Jeff Marek [00:25:47] Malcolm Subban goes from the Chicago Blackhawks organization to the Buffalo Sabres organization.

Elliotte Friedman [00:25:52] Mhm.

Jeff Marek [00:25:52] What does this say about Craig Anderson or is this just a reflection of Dustin Tokarski's in COVID-19 protocol?

Elliotte Friedman [00:26:00] I think it says something about Anderson unfortunately. You know, I heard Malcolm Subban was really excited when he heard.

Jeff Marek [00:26:06] Oh, good.

Elliotte Friedman [00:26:06] Because he's in Rockford, in the American Hockey League. You know you wanna be in the NHL. He's gonna get a chance to play for Buffalo, I heard he was very excited to go. As we've talked about, I think the Sabres feel that they owe it to their players to try to give them a bit of support. But, you know what it says to me, unfortunately, that Anderson's not in a great spot and—and you know, they generally haven't been happy with Dell, who gave them at least a good start tonight, Florida was starting to come back. But I just feel that Buffalo felt they needed help and Subban was the quickest place to go get it, and they knew he'd be happy coming there. So I think that that's part of the decision-making.

Jeff Marek [00:26:46] Speaking of happy, a lot of smiles around Dallas these days. One, do you have a thought on Rick Bowness? 2500 games. And you have a thought on the Dallas Stars, who have now ripped off five wins in a row, got themselves out of some heat I mean, the fire was clearly getting turned up in Dallas not too long ago, but they're trending in the right direction here Friedge.

Elliotte Friedman [00:27:06] Yes.

Jeff Marek [00:27:06] And what a—listen. If you wanna look at a save sequence this week? Good luck finding something better than Braden Holtby it's always good news, you the scorpion save.

Elliotte Friedman [00:27:16] Like four of them!

Recording [00:27:53] [Game clip of Braden Holtby's save in Stars game.]

Jeff Marek [00:27:54] Shades of Mika Kiprusoff back in the day for the Calgary Flames, anyway! Thought about the Dallas Stars and a thought on Rick Bowness.

Elliotte Friedman [00:28:01] You know, I'm happy for Bowness, 2500 games. You know, we've said before that we're, you know, happy for his opportunity to get back to be a head coach. I think he wanted one more chance and he got it. It happened under unusual circumstances, but he got it, and I think it meant a lot to him. 2500 games his whole family I understand was there.

Jeff Marek [00:28:24] Hmm.

Elliotte Friedman [00:28:25] Including grandkids, came down to watch it. That's a lot of coaching. That is a lot of coaching. You know, the thing about Dallas that's interesting to me is, you know, first of all, they've got a really hotline. And secondly, you know, a couple weeks ago, there was that Riley Tufte story, and I was concerned about what that was gonna mean for the Stars. I have seen situations where that derailed teams. When you have a young player who's going home or a player who's going home and they're excited about the whole situation and they think they're in the lineup and all of a sudden they're not. That happened to Kyle Turris when he was a member of the Arizona, then Phoenix Coyotes. He was scratched at home in Vancouver and it ruined the—it was one of the things that damaged the relationship between Turris and the coyotes. There was Jason Spezza's first game in Toronto, where he was a scratch, and that absolutely caused a problem amongst the team and the coach. And it caused a wedge that wasn't fixed. And so I thought in that situation, you really have to manage that properly because it's not only the player who's upset, the other players are upset.

Jeff Marek [00:29:35] Yeah.

Elliotte Friedman [00:29:35] So, you know, I think the fact that Dallas put a win streak together after that, that—it shows a lot because it's very easy to go in the other direction. And Amil, by the way, Amil just jinxed it because he sent a text while we were talking about this, the in-season Stanley Cup.

Jeff Marek [00:29:52] Oh yeah?

Elliotte Friedman [00:29:53] Amil, the game's still going on and they're tied. If they lose tonight to Columbus and Carolyn gets the cup, this is all your fault.

Jeff Marek [00:30:03] That's right, there it is in the in-season Cup in Dallas. Oh, Amil.

Elliotte Friedman [00:30:07] Now people will be happy for Carolyn because she needs some support in this competition.

Jeff Marek [00:30:11] Yeah. Come on, Elliotte.

Elliotte Friedman [00:30:13] No, I want to win by more.

Jeff Marek [00:30:20] Heartless. Just heartless. Do you get the feeling that I do which is Jake DeBrusk is gonna go somewhere else and light it up and turn into like the 30-goal, 35-goal guy somewhere because we know we have it in—and I know, we know, we know he has it in him. That's how I feel about Jake DeBrusk. That he's gonna go somewhere and torch it, just the relationship with Boston has just been so sour for so long.

Elliotte Friedman [00:30:47] It's time and I do think the Bruins are trying to do it. The tough thing for the Bruins is that you got Marchand suspended, you got injuries, you can't call up players, it's kind of an ugly scenario for them. You know, they've got games in hand, but it's gonna be a fight for them right now right?

Jeff Marek [00:31:02] Just so our listeners understand they can't call up players from Providence because the Providence Bruins are going through a COVID situation, an outbreak there so they can't call anybody up. Just for our listeners, though. Sorry, go ahead.

Elliotte Friedman [00:31:11] You're right. Thank you very much for clarifying that Jeff, in case people needed more of the information. I just think that Boston, they can't afford to make their team worse. So any deal they're making, you know, like sometimes if you've built up a cushion, you can say, okay, we're, you know, we can try something here or you're at a different point, but Boston wants to make the playoffs. They're in a battle. There's some separation between them and the other teams in their division right now at the top. You're in a position where if you're trading him, you need help. Immediate help back or knowing that you can make another move to get immediate help once you do it. I do think they want to accommodate him. I do. It's just that it's not always easy so quickly.

[00:31:56] [Break.]

Jeff Marek [00:32:07] Okay. Before we get to some emails here, 32thoughts@sportsnet.ca or some thought line comments at 1 833 311 3232 again, say it slower dummy not everyone's holding a pen, I was once reminded. 1 833 311 3232. How are your DMs these days?
Elliotte Friedman [00:32:29] That's a good question Jeff. You know I wanted to talk a little bit about some DMs I received because there were a few of them, more than normal, about one of the notes I had in the blog. There were—there were a few people who had very measured and thoughtful takes disagreeing with my position on Rod Brind'Amour's fine. My reaction was basically, I didn't see the big deal and I had several direct messages, more than normal, which is why I'm mentioning it, of people arguing politely but passionately that I missed the mark on this one. So I said, you know what? I'll give some equal time. And Tyler Anderson is one person, I asked him if I could read parts of his note, and he said no problem so, because there were a lot of you who disagreed with me, I'm just going to give you a bit of equal time here because there were so many. So Tyler writes, "hey, Elliotte, I'm pretty disappointed in your 32 Thoughts article. You said what Rod Brind'Amour did wasn't that bad and even made a joke about it. Across North America and across all sports, we have youth league officials quitting or not enrolling at rates we've never seen before, due in large part to the abuse directed them by coaches and parents and even kids. While I understand things were a bit different in the NHL or professional level than the youth level, he felt it far exceeded normal coach referee interaction. I was glad to see the NHL step in with a fine because that's behaviour that should not be tolerated all at any level of sport. The life lesson in disagreement isn't to lay into someone and shout at them, maybe that was okay in previous generations, but it's certainly not any more on whether professional or not. No one deserves that. It's been saddening and eye-opening to me watching and reading so many people joke about this fine insinuate that what he did has a place in the NHL." I think that's basically his feeling. Like I said, I don't completely agree with it, but you know, the one thing I completely agree with is that way too much abuse is happening of youth officials. I don't think that because Rod Brind'Amour did it, it's acceptable for youth officials to do it. I'm still concerned that this overall memo and suspension is more punitive than it is about anything else. But I wanted to say that Tyler Anderson and a few other people sent similar notes, and I just wanted to give them equal time. That's all.

Jeff Marek [00:34:46] I think officials basically are—are fine getting barked at, I think that's baked into the pie, like that's in an official's DNA. I do think there's a line.

Elliotte Friedman [00:34:56] Yes.

Jeff Marek [00:34:56] And I think we all think that there is a line. I know this used to be true, I think it is still true, perhaps to a lesser extent now, that officials wear the ability to be thick-skinned like a badge. We've seen officials take it and sometimes give it back.

Elliotte Friedman [00:35:13] Mhm.

Jeff Marek [00:35:13] But I don't know. That's just sort of part of the officials' DNA. Like, I don't like it at the—listen, and the youth levels and I see it in everything. Like any hockey mom or dad'll tell you Elliotte, the minute you're—you know this you're a parent, the minute you know you have a kid, everything changes. Certainly when you have a kid in sports, it changes. And I don't like seeing it at the youth level, either in the stands or behind the bench like it's...

Elliotte Friedman [00:35:36] I would hope that every youth league, not just hockey boys, girls, anyone. The youth league's at all ages could send a note out and say, If you think that this is something you're going to get away with, well, we're going to throw the book at you, I would be fine at that. I do think at a higher level and actually, Steph says this to me. She sometimes she worries that I'm going to get in trouble because it really does take a lot to bother me or offend me. I don't think anybody should have to put up with racial abuse, I don't think anybody should have to put up with abuse. But I think that the higher you get up and the more that there is at stake, the more you recognize that you have to, there's a lot of things you have to shrug off. And I don't think I'm being a hypocrite because there's a lot of things that I shrug off that I take that I think a lot of other people wouldn't take. But I think the key thing to me Jeff is, I would like to know maybe what the NHL needs to do is say, this is what we found that we didn't like. Because from the video I saw, I didn't think he was way out of line. And you know what, like fans ask for their players and their coaches and their organizations to be as invested as they are. If I was a Carolina Hurricanes fan, I think they are. They probably think like, I know every night when I pay for my ticket, Rod Brind'Amour is gonna coach that team to give them every dollar's worth that I have. And there's a lot at stake, there's millions at stake, these games have huge ramifications. I think at the pro level, there has to be a bit more of a line. But maybe what has to happen, is the league has to come out and say this is what Rod Brind'Amour did, so we all know the answer. Anyway, like I said, I wanted to give equal time because Tyler wasn't the only person who wrote, there were like six or seven very similar arguments. In any time it's like that, I think, you know what? Give people the voice, particularly if they think I'm wrong on this issue, because if you're gonna tell me I'm wrong, but you come at me with a good argument like Tyler and some others did. What's wrong with sharing it?

Jeff Marek [00:37:40] Let's get to some emails and see if I can squeeze in a phone call or two as well. Okay, so Elliotte, a couple of podcasts ago, we had a gentleman by the name of Mico from Finland write us in and ask about players who missed their chance to play in the Olympics.

Elliotte Friedman [00:37:54] Oh yeah.

Jeff Marek [00:37:55] They missed their Olympic window. Remember that one?

Elliotte Friedman [00:37:57] Yes.

Jeff Marek [00:37:57] So we said we would follow up. I threw out, there are a couple of names. One Mark Giordano and the other Taylor Hall. Dino emails in on the same subject as players who missed the Olympic window, and this is what Dino says. "As a Winnipeg Jets fan, I'm disappointed that Dustin Byfuglien missed playing on an Olympic team during his peak. As a Canadian, I'm quite thankful that he didn't have the chance to stop McDavid, Crosby, and others in the Olympics, however." So I wanna read something here to you, so—

Elliotte Friedman [00:38:26] I miss Byfuglian by the way, I do.

Jeff Marek [00:38:29] Dude, this game misses him.

Elliotte Friedman [00:38:31] I miss Byfuglien in the NHL I really do.

Jeff Marek [00:38:34] I want that guy back in the NHL yesterday. Loved watching him play.

Elliotte Friedman [00:38:38] Yeah.

Jeff Marek [00:38:38] So Willy Daunic, play-by-play voice Nashville Predators, sent me this DM after hearing the podcast "Jeff catching up on the pod. Good stuff on the topic of players who missed their Olympic window. My Nashville nominee is Pekka Rinne. Hadn't quite established himself in 2010 yet, maybe he should have made it in retrospect. Backstrom, Kiprusov, Niittymaki, had a freak hip infection in 2014. Missed 50 games. 2018 would have been the year,, Vezina season. He was the MVP of the World Championships in 2014, but never got to represent Finland in the Olympics. Bummer. Interesting that Saros may get the chance this year if things fall right." So that would be Willy Daunic's nominee for players who missed their Olympic window. And I'll just, listen Friedge, throw this out to anyone listening right now. This one could be an interesting conversation starter if you could think of any other ones. I knew Giordano, Taylor Hall. Willy throws Pekka Rinne out there. If anyone out there can think of any other obvious ones. And this doesn't just have to be at the most recent Olympics, but previous as well, send them in. I think this one Friedge could really be some fertile ground here on the podcast.

Elliotte Friedman [00:39:52] That's—that's a great, it's a great gem. Pekka Rinne is a good call.

Jeff Marek [00:39:54] Yeah, that's a great one.

Elliotte Friedman [00:39:55] I was on the radio with Willy on on Thursday in Nashville, bit of a regular radio hit Nashville on Thursdays, didn't mention anything about it. I guess what happens on the podcast stays on the podcast. Don't cross the beams. Ghostbusters.

Jeff Marek [00:40:09] Him and Mason have a great call, man.

Elliotte Friedman [00:40:10] Yeah, they do.

Jeff Marek [00:40:11] They are outstanding. Okay Elliotte, here's another one. Man we've had a lot on the hockey jersey idea. The third jersey, the third party jersey. Paul [Zulac] submits this. "Going back to your discussion about wearing a third party NHL team jersey at a game that does not involve the third party, I do not partake in wearing NHL jerseys outside of the two participating teams. However, as a Philadelphia Flyers fan who resides in Carolina for several years, I did often wear hockey jerseys outside of the NHL, most notably my Dmitri Khristich and Alexei Zhitnik, Ukrainian national hockey team jerseys. What are your thoughts on this jersey preference?

Elliotte Friedman [00:40:54] So what Paul is asking Jeff, if I—and tell me if you think I'm wrong here, he's asking if he goes to a game in Carolina and he's wearing a Ukrainian team jersey, is that okay?

Jeff Marek [00:41:04] Yeah. Khristich and Zhitnik specifically.

Elliotte Friedman [00:41:06] I have to tell you that I give credit to our listeners because we're going into areas I never even thought of. So this is totally off the seat of my pants. I think that's okay. I think a Ukrainian team jersey in a game between Carolina and anyone is okay.

Jeff Marek [00:41:25] You know what I think, Friedge?

Elliotte Friedman [00:41:27] What?

Jeff Marek [00:41:27] Wear whatever you want. It's okay.

Elliotte Friedman [00:41:29] Yeah.

Jeff Marek [00:41:29] One of my favourite things is it's like the Jersey Watch phenomenon, right? Going to hockey games and finding people wearing the... the weirdest jerseys or the most obscure jerseys from various hockey teams. Actually Elliotte, you know which one pops up a lot more, like a lot more than you would think?

Elliotte Friedman [00:41:51] What's that?

Jeff Marek [00:41:52] Troy Crowder, do you notice it like considering how you know Troy Crowder, real tough hockey player had some very high profile fights was, you know, a name in the NHL, but considering how briefly he was in the NHL, is there not like a disproportionate amount of Troy Crowder jerseys that are out there? That's what I seem to find.

Elliotte Friedman [00:42:12] I can't give you any statistical evidence on that.

Jeff Marek [00:42:16] This is all just personal experience, just anecdotal.

Elliotte Friedman [00:42:19] I don't even know how you expect me to answer that question, except I'm very happy for Troy Crowder that that might be the case.

Jeff Marek [00:42:25] I don't know what it is, maybe I just—they just find me. But for whatever reason, I find Troy Crowder jerseys everywhere. Okay! From Jonathan, the keepers of the in-season Cup, grade four and fives. This is a good one. "With the increase in COVID cases around the league, can we get an official ruling from the In-season Cup commissioner about how we will proceed if a Cup game gets cancelled or postponed because of COVID?" Now, Jonathan says, "Our class did a quick brainstorm and we came up with two ideas.".

Elliotte Friedman [00:42:58] Wow.

Jeff Marek [00:42:59] "First, the day"—they think about this man they're way smarter than us. "First—"

Elliotte Friedman [00:43:03] And they're in grade four, which is even scarier.

Jeff Marek [00:43:05] It's so embarrassing for you I feel so bad. "First, the days with the Cup will be frozen until the team can play its next game like the All Star/Olympic Christmas break. Second—".

Elliotte Friedman [00:43:16] That, I like that. I think that's good.

Jeff Marek [00:43:17] "Second, if the team with the Cup gets shut down, they would relinquish the Cup to the team they were planned to originally play, i.e.—".

Elliotte Friedman [00:43:27] No. No.

Jeff Marek [00:43:27] Hang on, listen to Jonathan.

Elliotte Friedman [00:43:28] No, no, no, no, no.

Jeff Marek [00:43:28] "If Dallas got shut down tonight, December 1st, then Carolina would be the new champs."

Elliotte Friedman [00:43:35] No, we're not doing that. No, no, no. And I'll, I'll say why. I think that first of all, I agree with if a team, for example, Dallas has the in-season Cup, if they're shut down, yes, their days with the cup get frozen, but they're not losing the cup. You're not losing the cup because of COVID.

Jeff Marek [00:43:52] You are a coach. You are such a coach, you sound like a coach. Cause all I can hear is various hockey coaches that I've either had or my kids have, or the you just—you're always saying one thing, you never let a player injure him or herself out of the lineup.

Elliotte Friedman [00:44:09] Yeah, but that happens. So that's B.S. like that does occur. To ask Wally Pipp about that. Did he ever get back in the lineup? No, he never got back.

Jeff Marek [00:44:17] Ooh, yeah. That's uh, that's a good one.

Elliotte Friedman [00:44:19] So if a team shuts down, the Cup gets frozen, that's the answer because, in theory, they're gonna make up those games, right?

Jeff Marek [00:44:28] Yes. You've not thought a second about this, though.

Elliotte Friedman [00:44:32] Well, excuse me, when I was in high school, I didn't know what COVID was. That was 1987.

Jeff Marek [00:44:36] No. But for this season's in-season Cup, you did not think about this for a second until—

Elliotte Friedman [00:44:41] No, it's because, you know, I just assumed that COVID would be solved by now.

Jeff Marek [00:44:44] From the four/five class—

Elliotte Friedman [00:44:45] The world was definitely trending in that direction.

Jeff Marek [00:44:47] —in Oakville is putting us to shame with how they think at an elite level, unlike us, still playing with marbles. Okay. Dale. Dale submits this one. I'll get you to add the way on this one. But Dale says, "What did Jeff think about Ekblad lifting the stick off Farabee in overtime, sending the stick 15 feet in the air. It reminded me of Jeff's"—oh my god, I forgot I used to have this obsession, "Reminded me of Jeff's obsession with Chara doing that to opponents. Then Ekblad buried the winner, Philly fans were saying it should have been a penalty, Tim Peel on Twitter said it should have been interference. I say, hold your stick tighter Farabee. No penalty. Great play, great win."

Broadcast Clip [00:46:09] [Game clip of Aaron Ekblad's overtime goal against the Flyers.]

Jeff Marek [00:46:10] Remember when Chara went on this spree of like launching sticks into orbit?

Elliotte Friedman [00:46:15] Yes.

Jeff Marek [00:46:15] I loved it. I completely loved it, I had zero problem with Aaron Ekblad lifting Farabee's stick. He's not holding onto it tight enough. Too bad as far as I'm concerned and then, you know, Ekblad, who's having a Norris-type season, by the way, we should really point out here, and then Ekblad burying the game winner. I had no problem with all of it, and I loved all of it, and I love people sending sticks into the stands by launching them like Chara or in this case, Aaron Ekblad. What do you think?

Elliotte Friedman [00:46:44] While you were—you were talking? I went back and I watched the replay.

Jeff Marek [00:46:51] Yeah. It's awesome.

Elliotte Friedman [00:46:53] It's funny—.

Jeff Marek [00:46:53] And then he scores!

Elliotte Friedman [00:46:54] You see, like—like, I'll tell you this Ekblad took advantage of—and when I say take advantage, I don't say it in, in a bad way. I think Ekblad made a great veteran play at the expense of a younger player. Like, I guarantee to you that Farabee is looking at that and saying that guy just taught me a lesson. Because if you look at it, Farabee's kind of thinking, he never expects that Ekblad's going to do it. Never. But Ekblad sees he's got a chance to get Farabee beat, and he could get a pass to win the game, and he absolutely takes advantage. To me, if I'm looking at that play from Florida's point of view, I'm saying, genius veteran schools rookie. But if I'm—well he's not a rookie anymore but you catch my drift—but if I'm looking at it from Philly, oh yeah. Ekblad knew exactly what he was doing and he got away with one.

Jeff Marek [00:47:52] Okay, what a great way to end it, because I love the play, it was sneaky good, from someone who may win the Norris Trophy this year.

Elliotte Friedman [00:47:58] He knew exactly what he was doing.

Jeff Marek [00:48:02] Elliotte, before we wrap up here on the podcast, we should say a thing or two about a legend in Canadiens sports broadcasting, calling it a career after 50 years in the industry. Brian Williams. There have been a lot of great Olympic hosts. We've seen a lot of people hosting the Olympics. I'm really gonna miss the quadruple time checks from Brian Williams which is how we start—.

Elliotte Friedman [00:48:24] How many hometowns did he have?

Jeff Marek [00:48:24] Listen, I always love the time checks. I never knew I could enjoy quadruple time check like I do when Brian Williams delivered it. But do you have a thought or two on Brian Williams calling it a career?

Elliotte Friedman [00:48:39] I have many. First of all, a legend like, there's no question about it. An absolute legend of a broadcaster, and very fortunate, I had the opportunity to work with him at the CBC. After meeting him, he used to come into the fan for roundtables and, he was a presence. And got a chance to work with him on the CFL, on CBC and what a phenomenal broadcaster he was and a great storyteller and, you know, the one story I do remember was, we were doing a game in Ottawa CFL on CBC. It was Calgary to Ottawa and there was a rain delay. It was a lightning delay actually, and I had to go out onto the field as we were killing time to interview the referees and the coaches as they were trying to figure out what time the game would start. And it's raining. And I had a CFL on CBC umbrella and the umbrella, I couldn't use it because it was lightning. So there's. And—and so I had to put the metal umbrella away because that's a story I didn't need. And the other thing I remember about this was I had forgotten my tie that week, so I was borrowing one of Brian's. And so I'm on the field and I'm interviewing... Tom Higgins was the coach of the Stampeders and the referees, and I'm giving reports back, and after I throw back, I hear Brian, "Can I still talk to Elliotte? Can I still talk to Elliotte?" He's—he's on the line and I go, oh yeah, Brian, I can still hear he you goes, where is your umbrella? Young man? Why are you out there without an umbrella? And I said, Brian, the umbrella has metal in it, and I don't feel like getting hit by lightning right now. And all I heard was this high pitched laugh that literally blew my IFB out of my ear like he thought that was the funniest thing around. You know, he had a high standard for himself. He was mad at me because he had to get that tie dry cleaned, it was one of his favourite thighs. He was just like—such a high standard for himself, a brilliant broadcaster, the amount of preparation he did... That was the thing that really stood out to me what he expected about himself. He'd make the smallest mistake on the broadcast, he'd be so mad. I loved listening and learning around him. He was a very, very, very generous teammate. He was very good about setting us up and, you know, "Elliotte, did you feel you got enough to do on the broadcast?" And it's not something I ever really care about, but he wanted to know. He wanted me to know that, you know, I was a part of his team. I really loved working with him.

Jeff Marek [00:51:15] Brian Williams, take a bow. Heck of a career. Really quick, before we get to the take out music. Amil Delic, our producer extraordinaire, will be updating the 32 Thoughts music playlist for season five. That'll be on Spotify... Next week? There we go. Meanwhile, taking us out, an award-winning trumpeter, composer and bandleader whose collaborations run deep, Marquise Hill has released 12 records in the last 10 years, busy, each with its own unique sound from his 2018 recording, Modern Flows Volume 2, here's Marquis Hill featuring Brandon Alexander Williams with It Takes A Village on 32 Thoughts the Podcast. Enjoy.

Recording [00:52:00] [Outtro music. End.]