I’m writing from enemy territory today: Chicago. Famous for Sammy Sosa, deep dish pizza, that huge statue of Marilyn Monroe, and the dirty, rotten, stinkin’ Blackhawks.
Well, to be fair I’m not actually in Chicago. I’m in Waukegan. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, so here you go: Where’s Waukegan? (In case you don’t want to check out the link, it’s just north of the Windy City. Or, as Hockey Broad put it, Waukegan is “far suburban Chicagoland”.
I haven’t seen any Hawks paraphernalia around town just yet, but then again it’s 30 degrees Celsius hereabouts – not exactly jersey-wearing weather. Lots of Cubs and Bulls stuff on the streets, though.
Anyway, here’s 7 Things from Waukegan:
1) Alex Semin signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Hurricanes, proving once and for the speculation that he’s irrelevant. Gosh, whatever will the Capitals do without a freakishly talented forward who disappears when the going gets tou… oh, wait. Never mind.
2) So many suspicions answered this week. Two huge stars get moved to the Rangers and Yankees at the same time, lending credence to my long-held belief that Rick Nash and Ichiro Suzuki are, in fact, the same person. Seriously. Have you ever seen them in the same room at the same time? Nashiro singled on his first at-bat for the pinstripes – will he pull a Lemieux and score on his first shot as a Blueshirt?
3) Chris and I caught The Dark Knight Rises last week, and who was in line for popcorn in front of us? None other than Vancouver-based Bruins forward Milan Lucic. No, we didn’t ask him for a photo or a soundbite – we were too frightened by the sheer magnitude of his schnozz. Holy beaks, Batman! It looks big on TV, but in person Lucic’s nose may just be the only thing in the known universe that wouldn’t fit in Pekka Rinne’s glove.
4) I’m hoping to hook up with the brats at Hockee Night to chat summertime hockey and snort some Jeppson’s Malört. No, we probably won’t talk up Carly Rae Jepson’s nude picture “scandal” – but we might just come to blows over which of us deserves to see Roberto Luongo in their team’s jersey next season. Did I say ‘brats’? I meant ‘bratwurst’. These guys are one serious sausagefest, wherever they go.
5) David Poile matched the Philadelphia Flyers offer sheet for Shea Weber, guaranteeing the nasty defenseman will play angrily – hell, begrudgingly – for at least another year. $26 million this year will flow into the Weber coffers, but don’t be surprised if Poile is openly shopping the man in a year’s time. With Ryan Suter moving to Minnesota, and smaller pieces like Francis Bouillon & Jordan Tootoo jumping ship as well, the Predators are unlikely to threaten a post-season run any time soon. After Rinne and Weber get paid, the team has about a dollar and a half to shore up the rest of the back end. I hope I’m wrong, because folks like Buddy Oakes at Preds on the Glass make Smashville a fun place to see a game. But their window closed with Suter’s exit & Weber’s attempt to move to the City of Brotherly Love.6) The 2012 Summer Olympics get kicked off in England this week. For three glorious weeks, people will pretend to give a rat’s ass about rhythmic gymnastics, synchronized diving, table tennis and archery. I have yet to hear anyone talk like they’re interested in Olympic Trampoline, however. Let’s stop kidding ourselves. We all know it’s about swimming, soccer and the 100-metre dash, so how about we just combine all the other sports into one big centuri-athlon and save the host country a lot of money on medals.
7) Speaking of sports few people care about, triple-jumper Voula Papachristou got expelled from the Greek Olympic team mere days before the Games for tweeting about West Nile mosquitos in England having “home cooking” because there are so many African athletes coming to compete. Unfortunately, most of the online reaction isn’t about her racist comments – everything I’ve seen pretty much boils down to, “Too bad. She’s hot.” Sure, she’s easy on the eyes, but I’m impressed the Greeks didn’t let her TV-friendly visage get in the way of standing up against racism. This is one guy whose pretend Olympic cheering will be aimed at competitors from Athens, Rhodes and Thessaloniki! Go, Greece, GO!