RE 12-13: RYAN SMYTH

Ryan Smyth is 36 years old, a veteran of 1151 NHL games and could score his 400th career goal and 850th career point this season. The Oilers have him on a terrific contract and Smyth’s role will change over the next several months. Or will it?

RE 12-13: 69, 16-22-38

  1. The Oilers are going to have him on a checking line. Tough minutes line for sure and coach Krueger has been talking about his PP setup in a way that suggests Smyth (or a Smyth-type) is a certainty.
  2. What about special teams? I had Smyth in a support role until the coach’s words. After that, I pumped his PP time and do believe he’ll be part of the PK rotation.
  3. How many minutes did you nick him overall? I have him at 1200 minutes total, off 365 from last season. It sounds drastic, but I also have him playing 69 games overall. I think there’s going to be a lot of movement up and down the depth chart for a lot of players this season based on what the coach has been saying recently.
  4. So he’s the #3LW? Actually, he plays the 2nd most minutes behind Hall in my RE 12-13.
  5. Where do you see him playing 5×5? With Horcoff and then possibly Jones, Petrell, Hartikainen, Paajarvi and Curt Brackenbury. It’s kind of a mess.
  6. Could Smyth play more? Sure. Renney ran him ragged to start the season and for good reason. Ryan Smyth is a wonderful hockey player. His only crime is that he isn’t 25.
  7. Renney didn’t run him that hard. From the start of the season, Smyth’s TOI per game went 18, 19, 21.5, 20, 22, 23.5, 20, 18, 17.5, 17.5, 20, 20, 20, 21.5, 21, 22.
  8. He did well in his first 15 games? Smyth was 9-7-16 +16 during the run.
  9. And afterwards? 67, 10-20-30 -21.
  10. How far off was your prediction in the RE series last summer? It didn’t look good for a long time, but my RE was 70, 18-19-37 (.529) and he ended up 82, 19-27-46 (.561).
  11. So you don’t think Hartikainen and Paajarvi are going to play much this season? You’ll have to read the series.
  12. Is this an easy year to estimate? Hell no. It’s awful. I have 8 different names playing LW this season. Some may end up being listed on RW, but it’s a fairly open race.
  13. But you’re giving more minutes to Smyth than Hartikainen/Paajarvi? Yes.
  14. Why? I think it’s going to be really hard to suffer growing pains one more time.  Krueger may end up running Smyth on the 4line some nights when Paajarvi or Hartikainen are flying but I’m betting #94 is going to respond his usual ridiculous work ethic. It won’t be easy taking minutes from Ryan Smyth.
  15. And in a season when Yakupov is already taking some of those minutes? Exactly. Most of the minutes went from Smyth to Yakupov.
  16. Back to Smyth. Where would you rank him alltime among Oiler LW’s? #1.
  17. Really? Oh yeah. The Oilers on LW (at the top) have Esa Tikkanen, Ryan Smyth and Craig Simpson. The other two guys played in a more offensive era and believe me they played for better teams. Smyth has been useful for a long long time–certainly longer than Tikkanen and Simpson–and even though he cheats for offense and is not the young Smyth he’s still a useful player on this team.
  18. How long will Smyth be #1 LW for the Oilers alltime team? Until Taylor Hall has a couple or three of the enormous seasons that await him.
  19. Smyth lost his chance for a Stanley. Yes he did. But he’s home and his family is happy, maybe he’ll grab one as a coach down the line.
  20. A Stanley makes a career. No it doesn’t, that’s idiot wind. Ryan Smyth was an integral part of a team that came within a whisker of Stanley in 2006. This isn’t the original 6, a man can spend his entire career in the second division.

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63 Responses to "RE 12-13: RYAN SMYTH"

  1. Woodguy says:

    5. Where do you see him playing 5×5? With Horcoff and then possibly Jones, Petrell, Hartikainen, Paajarvi and Curt Brackenbury. It’s kind of a mess.

    Awesome.

    Brackenbury may have been the only NHLer who was guilty of charging with every hit as he took 5 choppy steps to get going in the right direction.

    He also may have been the only NHLer who actually was a better yachtsman than hockey player.

    True story.

  2. Woodguy says:

    Also,

    I don’t think its a mess.

    Bowman was King of playing players up and down the line up based on how they were playing that night.

    Need more of that in Edmonton.

    Set pairs (93,13: 89,83, 10,94) and move the other wingers as they determine with their play.

    Get some competition back in the line up, its good for everybody.

  3. Lowetide says:

    Yeah but can Krueger do it? I mean, Woodguy, what happens the first night Smyth and Horcoff are on the 4line or pressbox? I imagine Ethan and his wife opening the top of Rexall and pouring blood inside ala Carrie.

  4. leadfarmer says:

    Hope the oilers limit smyth and horcoff to 15 min per night. Give belanger, petrell, jones and someone else the pk duties. I think those two would be more useful if they didnt ice skate uphill on old legs for 20 min a night.

  5. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    Also,

    I don’t think its a mess.

    Bowman was King of playing players up and down the line up based on how they were playing that night.

    Need more of that in Edmonton.

    Set pairs (93,13: 89,83, 10,94) and move the other wingers as they determine with their play.

    Get some competition back in the line up, its good for everybody.

    What about Ryan Jones?

  6. Ribs says:

    Woodguy: Need more of that in Edmonton.

    Very true. Renney’s in-game bench decisions may have been his biggest flaw. I hope Krueger has better vision in that sense.

  7. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Yeah but can Krueger do it? I mean, Woodguy, what happens the first night Smyth and Horcoff are on the 4line or pressbox? I imagine Ethan and his wife opening the top of Rexall and pouring blood inside ala Carrie.

    Smyth and Horcoff are a core pair, they never see the PB.

    Its MPS, Harski, Jones, Eager, Petrell, maybe even Yak (since he’s a rookie and will fuck something up) who will play the elevator game.

    The ghost of Mrs. Moreau and her unruly children live on though.

  8. Henry says:

    Woodguy:
    5. Where do you see him playing 5×5? With Horcoff and then possibly Jones, Petrell, Hartikainen, Paajarvi and Curt Brackenbury. It’s kind of a mess.

    Awesome.

    Brackenbury may have been the only NHLer who was guilty of charging with every hit as he took 5 choppy steps to get going in the right direction.

    He also may have been the only NHLer who actually was a better yachtsman than hockey player.

    True story.

    A few years ago I met Crazy George Henderson banging his drum at a San Jose (A) Giants ball game. He looked just like Curt Brackenbury without hair. Still leading 750 cheers too.

  9. Woodguy says:

    Henry: A few years ago I met Crazy George Henderson banging his drum at a San Jose (A) Giants ball game.He looked just like Curt Brackenbury without hair.Still leading 750 cheers too.

    Aren’t they brothers?

    Also,

    Forgot Hall in my list.

    Hall, MPS, Harski, Yak, Jones, Eager, Petrell.

    Any given night they could be playing 60% OZone w/ 14 and 93.

  10. DeadmanWaking says:

    No it doesn’t, that’s idiot wind.

    Nice gussy.

  11. jake70 says:

    I hope Smyth gets his minutes cut so he has something left in the tank well into the 2nd half. I have forgiven him for wandering around the D zone on Carolin’a first goal in game 7 a few years back, left his man wide open up top. Not all his fault I guess.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Npxeik4GnDo

    Curt Brackenberry.. older sister working out in Calgary in early 80s, went up to Edmonton for a visit, ended up somehow getting some Oiler autographs on a small piece of paper. Brought it home at Christmas time for me (with a flames jersey of all things….Flames were new there so no big deal I guess). Anyway, Brackenberry was the only name out of the 5 that I could make out on the sheet. She told me Pat Hughes, Moog and 2 others I can’t remember…always bugged me who those 2 were. Lost the piece of paper of course later on.

  12. godot10 says:

    Ryan Smyth Is NOT better than Esa Tikkanen. Period. It is delusional to suggest otherwise, IMHO.

  13. "Steve Smith" says:

    godot10,

    I do not think that H stands for what you think that it stands for.

  14. godot10 says:

    Plus, when Willy Lindstrom was an Oiler, Glen Anderson played left wing.

  15. "Steve Smith" says:

    godot10:
    Plus, when Willy Lindstrom was an Oiler, Glen Anderson played left wing.

    Mark Messier did for a time, too; I assume that LT’s only counting a player’s primary position over his entire tenure with the team.

  16. Lowetide says:

    godot10: during the five year period 86-91 Tikkanen was ridiculous. But his overall career doesn’t compare to Smyth 96-07. The Smyth coda is the cherry on top.

  17. godot10 says:

    Lowetide:
    godot10: during the five year period 86-91 Tikkanen was ridiculous. But his overall career doesn’t compare to Smyth 96-07. The Smyth coda is the cherry on top.

    Tikkanen has a Stanley Cup without Gretzky, and a Western Conference final without Gretzky on his resume.

    He pretty much singlehandedly willed the Oilers over the Flames in the playoffs one year.

  18. Lowetide says:

    He was outstanding in ’91. that OT goal is one of my alltime favorites.

  19. DSF says:

    Good grief.

    38 points.

    You must be expecting the kids to stay healthy despite all the evidence to the contrary.

    25-25-50.

    Easy.

  20. Lowetide says:

    DSF Man I hope he scores 25. That would be terrific.

  21. raventalon40 says:

    DSF:
    Good grief.

    38 points.

    You must be expecting the kids to stay healthy despite all the evidence to the contrary.

    25-25-50.

    Easy.

    Well your assumption is that Ryan Smyth will stay healthy…

    But I agree with you. I was going to go with 25-20-45 myself before I saw your comment.

    Ryan Smyth has always been and will always be up there with my favourite Oilers. Him, Doug Weight, Jason Smith, and Todd Marchant.

    Guys who filled their role and filled it so well that we never truly replaced them.

    (Yet. Who knows what the future brings.)

  22. Stocc says:

    I love that picture. Aulie is lying prone on the ice thinking “I hope Smyth doesn’t fall on my face and break it”. Smyth is tumbling awkwardly but still looking up the ice and thinking “What can I do next to advance the play.”

  23. Ducey says:

    Brackenbury may have been the only NHLer who was guilty of charging with every hit as he took 5 choppy steps to get going in the right direction.

    He also may have been the only NHLer who actually was a better yachtsman than hockey player.

    As long as he could float down the Bow River on a rubber dingy, he’d be a better yachtsman than hockey player.

    He was like a cross between Carrot Top and Rocky on skates.

  24. Kris11 says:

    Uh, Smyth has only scored 25 goals or more 4 times in the past 11 years and is now an oldy-olderson. He might get 25, and awesome if he does, but its not a sure thing.

    I might go a little higher for reasonable, though, just because I think he will see time on the PP. I’d Say 18 goals, but that’s picking nits.

  25. jp says:

    Stocc:
    I love that picture.Aulie is lying prone on the ice thinking “I hope Smyth doesn’t fall on my face and break it”.Smyth is tumbling awkwardly but still looking up the ice and thinking “What can I do next to advance the play.”

    That really is a great picture. Captures a lot of what Smyth is. Falling down, but with his eyes still on the prize, so to speak.

    raventalon40:

    Ryan Smyth has always been and will always be up there with my favourite Oilers. Him, Doug Weight, Jason Smith, and Todd Marchant.

    Guys who filled their role and filled it so well that we never truly replaced them.

    You’re really dating yourself here! Heroes of a pretty barren era. The pinnacle was beating Dallas to get the 2nd round (until the 06 run of course). That’s been pretty much my experience too – I only really watched the last cup, but missed most of the glory years. I’d add Mike Grier to my favourites list from the past 20 yrs.

    Pretty cool though that Smyth (along with Horc and Hemsky) have made their ways onto the Oilers all time scoring list (Smyth 6th, Horc and Hemsky 9th and 10th, but both within 5 points of Tik for 8th).

  26. jp says:

    PS – I think Smyth’s RE is very reasonable. He didn’t hit 20 last year, and hasn’t hit 25 since 08-09.

  27. Lowetide says:

    Oshie signed, 5 years $4.175 per. reportedly.

  28. serum114 says:

    .67 PPG, 4 years pro, 262 GP

    Have to think he’s a superior comp to Gagner…

    I’ve long thought 4×16 or 5×20 were the long term outcomes (and I would be happy with both) and I think this falls in line with that value, no?

  29. DSF says:

    Lowetide:
    DSF Man I hope he scores 25. That would be terrific.

    Bet I’m closer than you.

    If Igor doesn’t run him ragged, he can do it.

  30. Traktor says:

    Oshie 0.67 ppg
    Gagner 0.60 ppg

    I’m not sure how you put a dollar amount on it but Oshie brings a lot more to the table than just the points. He has some Dustin Brown physical edge to his game.

    Assuming that Gagner gets 5 years I would imagine his cap hit would be below 4M per.

  31. HBomb says:

    Traktor:

    David Perron: 0.59 PPG

    Not to mention same draft year as Gagner. That’s the comparable right there.

    Perron got 3.8 per year on what, a four year deal?

    Expect Sam to get 3.6 or so on a one year deal with the AAV increasing depending on the number of years he ends up getting (with the outer marker perhaps being a 20 over 5 type scenario).

  32. Ryan says:

    raventalon40,

    Doug Weight FTW. Man, that guy had poise! :)

    Carried a blue collar Crew on his back to triumph over vastly superior teams.

    Talk about a modern day David vs. Goliath.

  33. Henry says:

    Really wonder what the RE for Hemsky will be this year. Should spark some debate.

  34. McSorely Head says:

    And what ‘s the deal with Smythy’s white skates? Extra ankle support? If so, can Whitney get a pair?

  35. jp says:

    Traktor:
    Oshie 0.67 ppg
    Gagner 0.60 ppg

    I’m not sure how you put a dollar amount on it but Oshie brings a lot more to the table than just the points. He has some Dustin Brown physical edge to his game.

    Assuming that Gagner gets 5 years I would imagine his cap hit would be below 4M per.

    Interesting comps.
    All are/were 2 yrs from UFA.
    Gagner is almost 3 yrs younger than Oshie, and about 1.5 younger than Perron (looks like he was passed over in his real draft year because he wasn’t playing in the Q yet).
    Gagner is a C, the others are wingers.
    Oshie is a 1st option PK, the others play negligible minutes.
    Gagner is a 2nd PP option, the other 2 were PP1 in StL.
    Overall TOI: Oshie – 19:31, Perron – 18:17, Gagher – 17:10 (on a worse team)
    All under 200 lbs with combined career high PIM in a season of 60 (from Perron). Apparently Oshie has some jam though. Supported by Hits last year – Oshie – 130, Perron – 32 and Gagner – 21 (a shameful total – worst hits/game on the Oilers as far as I can tell – eek!!)
    Career PPG very similar. As mentioned Oshie – 0.67, Gagner – 0.60 and Perron – 0.59 (Perron – 0.63 excluding his rookie year – the others were quite consistent).

    Sure looks like Oshie is the class of this group for a whole bunch of reasons. Could be argued based on age though that the others have more room to improve… At least using these comparisons Gagner won’t get 4M, no matter what the term. If the Oil are in a giving mood (quite possible) he should be very happy with 5/20M

  36. DSF says:

    Signing Gagner to a multi year contract is beyond stupid.

    Play him against the toughs and make him earn it.

    He won’t.

  37. bookje says:

    I presume arbitration takes place in Ontario and that it would start in the morning or early afternoon, so we should know by 11am Alberta time if they are going into arbitration or if a contract is signed.

  38. Lowetide says:

    7am our time according to twitter.

  39. Ribs says:

    Smyth is such a great player to have on this team. They’ll need all of the even strength goal scoring they can manage and he is a solid contributor.

    He said that he was humbled when he signed his new deal. I hope that doesn’t do anything to his drive on the ice this season. He always looks like he’s trying to be the best player on the ice when he’s out there and it’s a likeable trait.

  40. jp says:

    DSF:
    Signing Gagner to a multi year contract is beyond stupid.

    Play him against the toughs and make him earn it.

    He won’t.

    Gotta disagree. He’s kept improving defensively, he’s now holding his own in on faceoffs. He’s not perfect, but he can play hockey and compliment the budding stars. I have to think his RE this year has him finally topping 50 pts, and with his likely linemates it wouldn’t be surprising if he topped 60 (and against at least relatively strong comp).

    What he is right now is a solid 45-50 point 2nd line center. It’s a shame he doesn’t bring the size the Oilers really need to add in the top 6, but that’s no more his fault than it is Eberle or Hemsky’s. May be he’s dealt to bring in more size/physical presence/sandpaper that can play, but he’ll have a solid career for sure. His floor appears to be average 2nd line C. He is still just 22 and has been improving his all around game, if not his scoring, year over year. He’s a ~ 3.5M player without any growth, and I think it’s a good bet that he’ll continue to get better and have success against tougher comp. I’d be happy with 5/20M.

  41. DSF says:

    jp: Gotta disagree. He’s kept improving defensively, he’s now holding his own in on faceoffs. He’s not perfect, but he can play hockey and compliment the budding stars. I have to think his RE this year has him finally topping 50 pts, and with his likely linemates it wouldn’t be surprising if he topped 60 (and against at least relatively strong comp).

    What he is right now is a solid 45-50 point 2nd line center. It’s a shame he doesn’t bring the size the Oilers really need to add in the top 6, but that’s no more his fault than it is Eberle or Hemsky’s. May be he’s dealt to bring in more size/physical presence/sandpaper that can play, but he’ll have a solid career for sure. His floor appears to be average 2nd line C. He is still just 22 and has been improving his all around game, if not his scoring, year over year. He’s a ~ 3.5M player without any growth, and I think it’s a good bet that he’ll continue to get better and have success against tougher comp. I’d be happy with 5/20M.

    Betting that kind of money on a tweeter is just ridiculous.

    He IS Kyle Wellwod.

    How much would you offer Wellwood on a 5 year deal?

  42. Ribs says:

    Reminiscing now about the Russian Super Series that Gagner played in. I actually made it to the Red Deer game with a few of my buddies and now wife. Crazy to think that Gagner outpaced Tavares in the series and was playing on a power play at times with Claude Giroux, Drew Doughty, John Tavares and Brandon Sutter.

    The poor Russians didn’t have a chance….Of course they tied the game that I went to (tied thanks to Samwise!)

  43. spoiler says:

    -Don’t know if this was mentioned, but Weber’s agent today said Weber wants to play for the Flyers, doesn’t want to go thru another rebuild. Wants out.

    -LT finally dancing over a Rider loss I hope, in a remarkable ending that featured all the dropped passes and blown calls and banked-in field goals that you expect in a CFL game.

    -Arbitration has had some bizarre outcomes over the years. I will be worried till we know.

    -Smyth has been a joy. Tikk was the better player, but there’s no denying Smyth’s value to the franchise. I think he starts the year with 2nd minutes, and gets PP time.

  44. jp says:

    DSF: Betting that kind of money on a tweeter is just ridiculous.

    He IS Kyle Wellwod.

    How much would you offer Wellwood on a 5 year deal?

    I know you keep going with this, but you are just trying to stir shit up, right? Their 11-12 counting stats are eerily similar, but come on…
    Wellwood is 29. Gagner 22.
    Gagner has 40+ points and 135+ shots all 5 years in the league. Over that span, Wellwood never topped 100 shots, and only last year topped 30 points (aided by that 19.4% shooting percentage).

    The comparison is just silly. I would offer Wellwood about 5M total on a 5 year deal. I would be much happier to offer Gagner 20M on a 5 year deal.

  45. spoiler says:

    I give Gagner 3 X $4M max, unless term can be extended at that caphit. In 3 yrs the kids will be getting paydays and the org’s salary structure will be mapped out. Plus it will be an attractive team to stick with. The org will have the upper hand.

  46. spoiler says:

    DSF is somewhat right in that the one year deal is probably the best outcome for the Oilers, whatever the arbitrator awards.

    In one year we’ll know more about Gagner’s arrows. We’ll know more about Ebs and Hall’s contracts, and Gagner’s trade value will probably be high, with no future salary liability but still an RFA.

  47. jp says:

    spoiler:
    DSF is somewhat right in that the one year deal is probably the best outcome for the Oilers, whatever the arbitrator awards.

    In one year we’ll know more about Gagner’s arrows. We’ll know more about Ebs and Hall’s contracts, and Gagner’s trade value will probably be high, with no future salary liability but still an RFA.

    If Gagner’s trade value is high in 1 year, he’s going to need to be paid more than $4M. Gagner is a $3M+ player right now, and there’s absolutely no reason to think he’s going to regress. We’re not talking about Wellwood here. Even if he remains the exact same player he is now, $4M is not a huge overpay, and wouldn’t be a major obstacle in moving him going forward.

    I think they’ll end up paying more for him in the long run if he signs for 1 yr than if they could get a longer deal done (of course assuming he’s not traded). Guess we’ll know soon enough what the deal is…

  48. stevezie says:

    In some ways the Gagner arbitration is the least suspesful thing all summer, because we know exactly what he will get- between 3.5 and 4. He has clear comparables in St Louis. DSF, your points about his shortcomings are well taken, but players with his strengths at his age get right around four million. If Kyle Wellwood was 22 and coming off his season he would be getting 3.5-4 million.

    Now, there is no such thing as a bad one year contract, so I won’t be mad if that’s all he signs for. That said, i believe in him. I like his compete and his defence gets a little better every year, asnd he’s always been a personal favourite. I could live with 4X5. The cap gets higher every year, and Gagner’s good enough that he will be tradeable if need be. Someone of his talent, age and injury history is a good bet for a few years at affordable dollars.

  49. Bails14 says:

    Hate to thread jack but Capgeek has details on the Weber’s contract and it’s a doozy. I suggest everyone have a look.

    http://capgeek.com/news/shea-weber-offer-sheet.php

    For the lazy, he’ll take home $27 million (signing bonus included) the first 4 years then it drops to $20 million for the next 2 years. Of note, his NHL salary over the length of the term is $110 million but with bonuses that total pumps up to $178 million (!!).

    It was mentioned in the Weber thread (by GCW) that bonuses count against the cap. This contract proves that wrong, unless I’m misinterpreting what GCW meant by “bonus count against cap hit”.

  50. Bails14 says:

    Wait, that should read $27 million in EACH of the first 4 years, then $20 million in each of the next 2 years. Therefore, in the first 6 years of the contract (all the years with signing bonuses) Weber will collect $148 million.

    That’s a lot of money for any team to pay one player, let alone NAS.

    BTW, that is more money per year than what Suter, Parise, and Crosby signed for earlier in the summer.

  51. russ99 says:

    The only way Smytty breaks 30 goals is if there’s a successful return of the Smyth / Horcoff / Hemsky line and it has more offensive leeway under Krueger than it did under Renney. But I suspect Hemsky will be lining up with younger and better players.

    I’m still a big fan, i know he’s an Oilers legend and love what Smytty brings to the room, and it’s a nice story that he’ll likely retire as an Oiler. But it it still seems that $2.25M likely could have gotten us a NHL 3rd line checking winger, instead of us having to use a declining Smytty as one, and then hope he doesn’t decline much more rapidly or run out of gas by the last third of the season again.

    Making the playoffs is more important than sentimentality at this point.

  52. Woodguy says:

    russ99,

    But it it still seems that $2.25M likely could have gotten us a NHL 3rd line checking winger, instead of us having to use a declining Smytty as one, and then hope he doesn’t decline much more rapidly or run out of gas by the last third of the season again.

    I’d argue that Smyth is one of the better 3rd line wingers in the league, even at his age and price.

    He ran out of gas because he had the MOST TOI for LW for a while as LT had shown above.

    If they pace him more evenly and give him a defined role, I think he’ll thrive.

  53. bookje says:

    Lowetide:
    7am our time according to twitter.

    Thanks LT, the Internet knows everything!

    Well, it’s almost 7am.

  54. DeadmanWaking says:

    This is way OT, but I’ll lose this before we get to Cam Barker Mark II and the triple OT word score.

    I’ve mentioned that I’ve begun to dabble with wine making and quickly had to learn how to tell the coonskins from the whitecoats. I just figured out last night by reviewing my production notes from my first batch that the coonskin who sold me my starting equipment package sold me the wrong size carboy: 24.9 litres (my gram scale and blender carafe were busy) when it should be not more than a smidge bigger than 23. FFS, the guy who designs the wine kits packed into that store (the large and highly opinionated Tim Vandergrift) is rather adamant about this. The night after my four-pint opus I was blotto again because I had nearly a 700 ml to spare after putting down 30 bottles and still my headspace was ghastly by whitecoat precepts. My discount Costco wine kit sure took its lumps: sparring partner from day one, you were never a contender, but so much I’ve learned.

    Well, I’ve now bumped into another wine species, the Tweedles. A guy who blogged satirically about this crowd had this to say about his blog’s first incarnation:

    I did use a bunch of cheesecake photos on the first HoseMaster incarnation because I loved the absurdity of naked women interspersed with insane wine commentary. I had this weird idea that the blog was incongruous in both the comedy sense, and the visual sense. That, and it gave me an excuse to explain to my wife why I was surfing those bizarre websites.

    But then it got too weird. First of all, you never want to do a Google search for “nude woman with a bat”–which I did for a baseball piece. Trust me, DO NOT GO THERE. It gives squeeze bunt a whole new meaning.

    Secondly, I began to get some very odd folks lurking on my blog. So what seemed like a good idea at the time turned a bit scary. So I pulled the plug, took a break, and started fresh, sans nudes, about six weeks later.

    Ouch, I’m so busted. He also mentions that there’s hardly anyone writing about wine on the modern scene who holds a candle to the long established Gerald Asher, who is altogether a fine writer. Here are some cribbed notes from a lecture by Gerald Asher on Wine Writing.

    When you taste a wine, there’s usually something that really stands out to you. Certain wines have a finish of grapefruit. Or some other thing distinctive about that wine. That’s the hook you must write down. Maybe it’s not the predominate feature, but what it does is call back to your mind that wine. At that point you can write something about it.
    [snip]
    One of the things that I reminded myself I must make clear, is that distinguishing between objective accounts of the wine and the subjective, one should never say, this wine tastes of …. It’s rather about making clear that you are being subjective. Say, that a wine puts you in the mind of this or that. Never that the wine tastes like something. Otherwise someone is going to open the wine and say “Hell, where are the truffles I was promised?”

    Made me think about the whole culture of scouting reports and “saw him good”. Cripes, people go around saying “Hell, where are the truffles?” on posts composed from the poop deck of the good ship Reasonable.

    It was in part the Parker point system that drove me to homebrew. I just completely ceased to believe I had any clue what I was getting in the average wine store. 94 points and priced to match. Hell, I’m worth it.

  55. Lowetide says:

    You’re the best writer about wine I’ve ever seen. That carboy thing takes me back. Back in the day I did some things in my basement re:copperhead road and all those things have to work together. I remember doing several batches of beer that were mush and then a buddy who had done it successfully coming in and breaking down everything I did wrong.

    It was a lot. Quite sad, actually.

  56. Woodguy says:

    Kulimen signs 2yrs x 2.8MM.

    That’s a nice contract for Burke.

  57. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    You’re the best writer about wine I’ve ever seen. That carboy thing takes me back. Back in the day I did some things in my basement re:copperhead road and all those things have to work together. I remember doing several batches of beer that were mush and then a buddy who had done it successfully coming in and breaking down everything I did wrong.

    It was a lot. Quite sad, actually.

    Cleaning everything properly, particularly the carboy was always where we fell down in beer making.

    The slightest contamination ruined some good beer.

    I just can’t be that clean.

  58. Lowetide says:

    But wasn’t that a great idea? God, if I’d been able to make beer successfully lord knows what would have happened.

  59. gcw_rocks says:

    Bails14,

    The signing bonuses are part of the NHL salary, if I am reading this right. It appears to be a way to protect Weber from a salary roll back should the NHLPA agree to one in the new CBA. His “salary” for year one of the deal is a paltry $1M.

    If I were Bettman, I would be furious at the way this deal is structured, and be adding a few more tweaks to the next CBA proposal called the Snider adjustments.

  60. gcw_rocks says:

    CBA reference:

    (g) Accounting for Signing Bonuses, Reporting Bonuses and Roster
    Bonuses.

    (i) For purposes of a Club’s Averaged Club Salary, any Signing
    Bonus, Roster Bonus and Reporting Bonus shall be subject to the
    “averaging” rule, and the Club’s Averaged Salary shall be charged
    the Averaged Amount of any such Bonuses over the entire term of
    the SPC, regardless of when such Bonuses are paid.

  61. russ99 says:

    gcw_rocks,

    Agree, but I also wonder if Bettman is in the wings waiting to strike this contract down due to cap circumvention…

  62. justDOit says:

    russ99:
    gcw_rocks,

    Agree, but I also wonder if Bettman is in the wings waiting to strike this contract down due to cap circumvention…

    I certainly hope so. That the current CBA strictly regulates a performance bonus, but allows a signing bonus structure like this is pathetic.

  63. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    But wasn’t that a great idea? God, if I’d been able to make beer successfully lord knows what would have happened.

    Drank a ton of homebrew from ages 17-20. Just never got good at it.

    Gagner signs 1yr 3.2MM before arb.

    Good wait and see deal for both sides.

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