Friday’s Musings (10/1/10)

I haven’t been able to update the blog on a more timely basis because it’s a few days before the trip and, of course, two weeks worth of work gets piled up on my desk that has to be completed before I even step foot onto an airplane.

1.  Mair: The Contender. Adam Mair is probably one of the best contenders to make the Devils roster. He’s done a lot of great work and is determined to win.

2. NYR Hopefuls Proving Their Worth. I have to say, this is the first time I’ve seen several players vying for a spot on the Rangers that have struck my attention.  Derek Stepan, Ruslan Fedetenko and Pavel Valentenko top my list. 

I was pleasantly surprised to see how well Michael Del Zotto is doing in camp this season.  Del Zotto was my NYR top pick last season.  Of course, NYR fans were shocked that I made Del Zotto my pick, but he has proven himself over this last year.  He even made the squad last year.

This preseason, he leads the NYR in points.  That’s right…he LEADS everyone in points.

3.  Bryce Salvador OUT with a concussion.  Looks like another defenseman heads to the injured reserve.  Salvador left the game on Tuesday during the first period.  Today, it’s reported that he has a concussion and is out indefinitely.

Here’s best wishes for a speedy recovery.  Concussions are scary and very serious injuries.

4.  Mottaus have a new baby.  Congratulations to former NJD (now NYI) Mike Mottau who welcomed his fourth child this week. 

Many blessings to the family and the new little one.

5.  Bruins/Phoenix.  Next week, my hockey coverage will be solely on the Boston Bruins and Phoenix Coyotes.  Inside Hockey will have someone filling in for me on the NJD aspect (especially since the trade will happen while I’m away).  NYR will be handed to two other IH reporters.

You can follow AJ Manderichio (@manderichia2) who will be filling in for me…and he’s also one of the new Devils columnists at Inside Hockey.  With the two of us covering the Devils, you’ll be able to get more Devils updates and stories.

When I return from the Premiere Games in Prague, it’s back to business as usual.

6. Press Box Chatter.  You know that whole credential thing I’ve been talking about with color coding…blah blah blah…non-MSM will not be allowed into visiting team’s locker rooms…blah blah blah…

Well, I was updating a colleague of mine on the situation, who was unaware what was happening.  Ironically, the guy that almost got us all thrown out of the press box…this person had done a radio interview with them.

If the non-MSM crowd was completely thrown out or had their badges color coded, you can bet that the guy that started the campaign against Sather would have a stream of haters in no time flat.

Lesson here, kids…no matter how much you hate a GM, a player or a team, be smart about things.  Don’t start negative campaigns.  Don’t harass or belittle people in the NHL.  When you do (for those in blogdom trying to get into the press box and the locker rooms), you destroy not only your chance, but everyone else’s chances.

I get asked a lot…what’s the difference between a blog and a credentialed non-MSM?   First, I have an editor.  Most MSM have a blog, but they also have an editor to answer to.

Blogs generally do not have an editor.  Most editors, that have credentialed writers on their website, are former MSM writers and have developed a reputation with just about everyone in the league that they need to have a reputation with in order to let their site be a credentialed member of the media.  They abide by all of the rules required by the press.  Content on their sites are strictly by the rules.

Sure, I’ve seen the press box go from a full row of media to half the size it originally was.  A lot of it has to do with job cutbacks.  If the rules changed…I have no idea. 

Besides, bloggers are analyzing the game for free.  Their freedom of speech keeps them out of the press box…and gives the teams free press.

Everyone’s a blogger these days.  Everyone wants a credential to cover their team.  Everyone wants to get into the locker room and interview players. 

If everyone’s doing it…and you really really really really really want to be a hockey writer, you move on to a more prestigious site that has an editor that monitors ALL of your content: blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Editors also screen their writers to see which ones are just fans and which ones are the serious ones.  After all, those writers are the ones they ask credentials for.  They don’t want a fan representing them, because it reflects badly upon them and their content.

A member of the NYR media complained to me about how the NJD will not credential them.  I only shrug my shoulders and say…EH.  NJD have their own rules.

From my understanding the color coded whatchamawhozit…it’s going to be on a team by team basis for those non-MSM that are credentialed in. 

I was only told one or two teams will block access when their team is visiting other arenas.  Which teams those are…remains to be seen if it happens.

Needless to say, I think we’ve seen what too much freedom of speech can do to you and everyone else trying to make it into the press box.  If media can’t practice their own freedom of speech, why would NHL teams allow bloggers that do?

After all, I’ve watched Coach Tortorella look at a member of the media and tell them he wasn’t going to answer any of their questions…and he will tell them exactly why he won’t…because he read what they wrote about him, a player or his team.  You can sure as hades believe that he didn’t like what they wrote and will tell them right to their face.

That doesn’t mean that the media has to sugar coat everything.  You use your best judgment. 

7. LA Kings.  So I find it funny that LA Kings fans really hate me.  Why?  Because apparently I was right all along about Ilya Kovalchuk. 

A fan was telling me recently that he had to defend me when the ‘Kings?’ post went up.  I had to point out that I had already been delivered a beating from Kings bloggers since July 2nd when I talked about the Devils building a team around Kovalchuk.

They mocked me, said horrible things about me…and were very adamant about saying how wrong I was about that because Kovalchuk was going to the Kings.

What happened?

The only thing I can say to Kings fans is this…blame the Kings…blame the Kings media for filling your heads with thoughts that Kovalchuk was going to the LA Kings.  Not one member of the Kings media spoke to Jay Grossman or Ilya Kovalchuk about whether he was signing in LA or not.


Who spoke to Ilya and Jay about where he was signing?  WHO?  Apparently someone from the Devils did.  If you don’t believe Ilya and Jay…then lord help ya…because he signed in New Jersey.  It was not a prediction.

But what a fan pointed out that was very interesting: Kings fans act like they never wanted Ilya to begin with. 

If I Google “Kovalchuk and Kings”…what am I going to find?  A bunch of fans all excited that Kovalchuk was coming to the Kings?

Like I said, I told everyone the truth.  I didn’t predict Kovalchuk to New Jersey.  If you’re going to get mad…get mad at the people that lied to you, not the person that told you the truth from the very beginning!

So with that…I’m expecting to see mayhem in Los Angeles when the Devils visit Staples Center at the end of the month.  This may be a story within itself.

8. Ireland/Prague.  Special thanks to the NHL store for helping me with my special project for next week’s trip.  One of the sales girls had to dig through a lot of boxes to find these two little items that are going to be part of the special photos.  It’s going to be part of a new tradition for NHL road trips.

You’ll find out next week…

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