win before salary cap incompetence
forces you to tear the team apart?
What's that? It's not unique? Every blog in the world is doing the same thing today? Hmm. OK, let's try this again.
As we prepare to ring in the New Year tonight, let's engage in the rich and greatly beloved tradition of taking a look back at the past 12 months. Here are some of 2010's most memorable moments in the NHL.
January 31 - The Maple Leafs acquire defenceman Dion Phaneuf from the Calgary Flames, filling a critical void that came to light when it was apparently discovered that nobody on the current roster knew how to work the volume knob on the dressing room stereo.
February 28 - Sidney Crosby scores the dramatic winning goal in overtime of the Olympic final, then puts his gold medal in his trophy case next to his Stanley Cup ring. Meanwhile, Alex Ovechkin scores the dramatic winning goal in overtime of the Olympic final, then puts his copy of NHL 11 back on the shelf next to Guitar Hero.
April 21 - Trailing the heavily favoured Washington Capitals three games to one in their opening round playoff series, Montreal Canadiens' coach Jacques Martin makes the controversial decision to bench starting goaltender Jaroslav Halak and replace him with a 6-by-4 brick wall with a picture of Jaroslav Halak painted on it.
June 9 - Moments after Patrick Kane's overtime winner ends the Flyers' championship hopes, a disappointed Chris Pronger concedes that Chicago was the better team, offers his sincere congratulations to the Blackhawks' players, and then turns and walks slowly to his car while dragging a Stanley Cup-shaped duffel bag behind him.
June 22 - In the biggest trade of draft weekend, the Bruins send Dennis Wideman and two draft picks to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Nathan Horton and the right to not have any of their players get suspended anymore.
July 20 - While being announced as the new coach of the New Jersey Devils, John MacLean declines to offer detailed thoughts on his new team. "I believe you can't truly evaluate a team until they have ten wins," he tells reporters. "So check back with me some time in early November."
July 31 - While spending his day with the Stanley Cup, Antti Niemi wonders if it's a bad sign that his named is engraved as "miscellaneous replaceable starting goaltender".
August 9 - An arbitrator rules that the New Jersey Devils' front-loaded contract offer to Ilya Kovalchuk is in violation of the league's collective bargaining agreement. In a punishment that many feel is overly harsh, the team is forced to indefinitely employ Ilya Kovalchuk.
October 7 - The season kicks off in Helsinki with the Minnesota Wild hosting the Carolina Hurricanes as part of the NHL's comprehensive program to get Finland to stop bugging them about getting an expansion team.
October 31 - After their unsuccessful attempt to playfully frighten him, Brian Burke lectures the group of children on his doorstep that trick-or-treaters never yelled "boo" when he was in Vancouver.
December 7 -After his introduction of new mayor Rob Ford at his first council meeting creates controversy, Don Cherry explains his conservative views by saying he's been in Toronto for years without ever meeting a single decent left winger. "Tell me about it," says Mats Sundin.
December 28 - Calgary General Manager Darryl Sutter makes the difficult choice to resign his position. He later explains that he reached his decision based on the Flames' lacklustre record, a desire to spend more time with his family, and the fact that team president Ken King was dumping the contents of his office onto the front lawn and setting fire to it.