Monday, March 29, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
I was letting something that happened at work earlier this week marinate for the last couple days and I was prepared to right a little post about it, but as I was waiting for a buddy to finish something up before heading to lunch today, I snuck a peek at tsn.ca and read the headline that Ryan Kesler signed a mammoth extension to stay with the Vancouver Canucks. Since I’ve been told that my devoted support for Kesler makes those close to me feel a little uncomfortable, I feel I would be doing a disservice if I didn’t give my reaction to the signing here. So you'll have to hear about the first time I've ever felt anything near sympathy for someone in a suit until later.
First, I’ll start of by saying FUUUUCKKKKK YEEEAAAHHH!
Kesler was a impeding restricted free agent and I was more than a little concerned that he would be offered some mega-deals this offseason. It was one of the things that had been nagging me throughout the season. (Now we just have to sign Mason Raymond back for something reasonable.) Kesler had quickly become my favourite player on maybe my favourite Canucks team ever (well, ’94 will always be my favourite until we win one). But I was always a little anxious that maybe he wouldn’t be wearing the blue and green next season. Now I can rest easy.
Ryan Kesler, or Maestro Kes Wes as I call him, has come a long way in just a few years. I don’t think anybody predicted he would be doing the kinds of things he is doing now – playing Selke caliber hockey, while averaging nearly a point-per-game on the Canucks’ second line – but he keeps doing it every night.
I remember back in early 2008, when my sister had won some fifth row seats to a Canucks game and I flew down to the Garage to watch them take on Joe Sakic and the Avs. (Sidenote: it was the game where that guy shot pucks in from centre ice and won a million clams. We sat beside the zamboni entrance and before the intermission, Bobby Orr waited for about five minutes. I was a little tipsy and yelled out “Yeah, Bobby!” He looked over and smiled and nodded. And then he looked a little longer at my sister and smiled and nodded. Pimp, Orr what?) At that time, Kesler and Burrows were infuriating the opposition, splitting time with the second and third lines. I remember watching this Kesler kid just take the puck and start flying. He had game-breaking speed and I remember two rushes distinctly where he took the puck behind his net and started breaking down the ice with such speed that it was like the entire arena held its breath to see what he was going to do. He still had stone hands, but he was just playing at a different speed than everyone else. He was just flying all over the place, crashing into people and drawing penalties. I guess that’s where the man crush started. I was more than a little tipsy that night. Yeah, I was drunk. As a show of appreciation for my sister's free tickets, I went to the Canucks Store and dropped like $400 on two jerseys: a vintage Black and Gold joint for my sister, and a new replica Kesler ‘17’ for myself. I felt no regrets.
So yeah, he’s come a long way. I even remember by buddy Tooms thinking I was mental for buying that jersey back then. “Why didn’t you just buy a Rick Rypien jersey?” But I knew. I knew.
So here we are now. We’ve got Kesler locked up for six years. $30 million is a lot of cheese, but with the way he has played the past two years, I think it’s money well spent. Not only is he putting points on the board and playing lock down defense, he plays with a chip on his shoulder. I don’t know if it stems from him being cut from all the rep teams when he was 13, or the shin splints that nearly derailed his career when he was 16, but he’s never satisfied with anything. I’ve never seen him give up on a play. He dogs people down the ice when they carry the puck. And like Brian Burke said “he’s a huge prick.” Everyone seems to hate the guy. Even I started to dislike him with all the “I hate Canada” and “Roberto’s fighting it” talk. Actually, no I wasn’t. I was proud of the guy. Sure he was talking up a storm, but he was backing it up with his play. He had guaranteed the U.S. would medal a year before, and they did. Isn’t that the kind of player you want on your team. When he scored that empty-netter in the Olympics and everyone around Montreal and Canada was throwing stuff at their televisions and swearing about the guy, I did a abbreviated Tiger fist pump. Kesler had arrived.
The guy will be the Canucks’ next captain and it was evident as far back as 2007, when he threw down with Jarome Iginla and didn’t get completely tuned up.
He leads by example and with his mouth. Hell, he even dusted it up with Willie Mitchell in practice and the next day they were clowning around.
And not only that, he is one of the only good interviews in the NHL. He doesn't pull any punches and he actually seems like a funny dude. He pulls pranks on teammates and jokes around with guys like Burrows, Bieksa, Raymond and Bobby Lou.
Now all that hard work has paid off 30 million times. I just hope he doesn’t develop Horcoffitis. He is starting to get recognition, through a Selke nomination (and I would think an award this year,) an Olympic team spot and even the NHL2K11 cover. He's gotten the respect now. I just hope it doesn’t soften him up and make him satisfied. I don’t think it will.
Just gotta keep the Blackhawks down now...
I am a happy Canucks fan today. Congratulations Maestro Kes Wes.
- -- All I do all day is type. But at work, I have so many different autocorrect buttons to fix each of my reoccurring typos, that I’ve become lazy and accustomed to making those mistakes. Now it takes me twice as long to type anything anywhere else.
- - I got sick again this week. Everyone in the office was sick, plus my immunity was beaten down by two weeks of self-negligence. Walking home today, I horked a giant loogie and a pigeon walked up to it and started eating it. I wondered, if I’m sick and spit and a pigeon eats my sick spit, does the pigeon get sick too?
- - I had a flypaper song day today. Every second or third name that I had to call brought a song to my head. I called a lady with the last name ‘Nong,’ and then I couldn’t stop humming the ‘Thong Song’ for an hour. I called someone named ‘Charon’ and I spent the next 15 minutes humming My Sharona. I called a dude with a last name ‘Camacho’ and then two minutes later, I had Big in my head. – I got so much style I should be down with the stylistics- It was a long damn day.
- --- I finally got up onto my rooftop this week and it is completely gorgeous up there. I might spend days on end reading with beers there this summer. I just have to find somewhere to tie up a hammock. Might have to consult Patch about locations, since he could not be talked out of climbing up there at 3:30 a.m. last week after RJD2. What a guy.
- ---- I just realized this week, with temperatures in the low- to mid-teens, that I have the greatest walk to work. It’s only about twenty minutes long and I get to walk down one of the liveliest, seediest streets in all of the country. St. Catherine. There is something bizarre happening each week. Today, there was a fire or something and 10 cop cars, 4 ambulances and three fire trucks blocked traffic on Rene Levesque, just west of St. Laurent. I watched an ambulance try to get to the scene down a small street, but the motorists here basically told him to go fuck himself. They didn’t budge. And when a few did, a couple of the people on the shoulder, sped into position behind the ambulance and took advantage like a halfback behind a fullback.
The street is so great. There are always sketch bags with different excuses – and in differing levels of intoxication – asking for change. There is an aerobics class happening above a Shoppers Drug Mart each time I’m heading home and the girls are ridiculous. I walk past venues like L’Astrale and Metropolis, where there are always excited people lined up down the block puffing doobies, waiting for shows. There are the same classy restaurants with different, happy people dining in them each evening. There are the strip clubs like Pussy Corps, where wannabe mafiosos in full sweatpant get-ups and gold chains stand outside smoking cigarettes, talking into their blackberries in languages I don’t understand and where the girls yell at each other and others. I walk the twenty minutes and watch the spots get seedier and seedier as I get closer to home. The pizza slices are cheaper, the beer at happy hour costs less and the strip clubs do not look as… umm… reputable.
I think I’m more excited right now about what I’m going to see every day walking to and from work this summer than just about anything else. And that shouldn’t make you feel depressed. This place is for the characters.