Archive for September, 2012

GM one-on-one: OTT [PS3]

Posted: September 27, 2012 by Phuong Pham in Uncategorized

“Introduce yourself, who are you and what qualifies you to be a general manager in the NHL?”

My name is James and I’m the new GM of the Ottawa Senators. Though I may not be the only GM living outside Vancouver, I’m pretty sure I’m definitely the only one on the other side of the world. Holla from the 852, H to the K by way of the 604! You can find me on twitter at @jamjamtao. What qualifies me to be the GM? Well, I’m here aren’t I? So obviously the commissioner thinks I am, so therefore I am.

“What was your reaction to being award the Ottawa franchise?”

At first I was like … Then I saw my roster and was like …

But seriously, I’m happy to be here, the Ottawa Senators organization has always been tremendously active in the community, and we hold each and every one of our players to a very high standard when it comes to giving back to the community and the fans that supports us. Every month, we organize a seniors home visit with all the players. I’m positive that this team will be able to connect well with the seniors as they reminisce about the good ol’ days where they had to walk 5km in 3 feet of snow just to buy a loaf of bread for a dime.

“What do you expect out of this season? Are you trying to win the Cup this year?”

As a first year GM, there is a lot of housekeeping to be done. Not saying we will not contend for the cup, because we do have a group of veterans who are all thirsty for a chance to get back to the big dance. However, we will evaluate at the quarter pole of the season and decide which direction we are planning to go in. I definitely see us contending as a top team in the east in 3 seasons. A bright spot for the franchise is our young prospects waiting in the wings, we believe that after 2-3 years in the AHL, names such as Matt Puempel, Josef Silferberg, Mark Stone and Cody Ceci, will become household names not only in Ottawa, but around the NHL.

“Are there any areas you’d like to improve your team?”

As a GM, you are always looking to improve your team and build a winner. I’ve always been a firm believer in building from the net out, and I think our situation with Price and Hiller between the pipes for the next 5 seasons is one many teams would love to have so I think we are set there. On defense we have a core trio of Dan Girardi, John Carlson and Bieksa, all entering or in the primes of their careers. We expect them to improve by playing alongside vets Philips, Robidas and Streit and be ready once the torch is passed to them. Up front we are looking to get younger, as each position’s average age is over 30.

“Alright, enough formalities, let’s get into the real important stuff. You’re Asian AND you’re in Hong Kong, how do you know anything about ice hockey? Does Hong Kong even have ice?”

Are you telling me you’ve never had a iced milk tea? Of course Hong Kong has ice! We just prefer to keep it in our drinks than under some blades strapped onto our feet. Everything I know about hockey I learned during my 20+ years of living in Canuckastan. I’m now playing unprofessional rec hockey here where the winters are 12 degrees at its coldest and the rink is perpetually kept at 18 degrees. Sounds awesome eh? I know…

“How much fried rice can you eat in one sitting? Do you eat cat?”

I can eat about as much rice as you can eat hamburgers. And also, I don’t eat cat. I eat dog… JAPADOG.

“Okay, let’s get a little more serious here. Which will happen first, half you’re team retires or you blow up your team?”

The Ottawa Senators find themselves in quite a unique position. On one hand, we have a bunch of players who are in the twilight of their careers and while we are trying to build a winner, the organization understands that Aaron Rome was not built in one day. Entering the season, we have 10 players with expiring contracts and we plan on reviewing contracts only at the end of the season to avoid distraction. We don’t believe in blowing up the team for the sake of rebuilding because we are one of the league’s wealthiest teams, we don’t have fire sales. We’re perfectly fine with our veterans playing out their careers here in the nation’s capital and moving forward when their contracts do expire. Having said that, however, we will definitely look at any and all trade offers coming our way involving players not named Price, Carlson and OMG KoPiTaRZ. So if you’re looking for an expiring contract, you know who to call.

“Do you have any plans to lure Daniel Alfredsson back to the franchise? What about Zdeno Chara? I hear Wade Redden may be available.”

At this moment we are in the midst of intensive talks with Alexandree Daiglee and would prefer to focus on the original franchise player. He’s contemplating whether to give up his day job as a twitterr insiderr or rejoin the team that took him 1st overall in 1993. Alexx, if you’re out there, we just want to let you know publically that the 2 year 21 million dollar offer is still on the table because we think you’re better than Mats Sundin.

“How involved are you in the actual game? Do you like to back seat coach and just take control of the game?”

As a rec leaguer who’s tearing it up (by that I mean hockey tape, my hamstrings, and Achilles tendon) every week on the so called ice rinks in Hong Kong, I consider myself to be a player’s GM. I strongly believe in leading by example and will demonstrate that by being on the bench every single game meticulously micromanaging my team behind my coach. If he doesn’t like it, well then he’s fired. Nobody gets in between me and winning. Who knows, you might even see me take the ice once in a while, after all, I am younger than half the guys on my team.

“How often will the team being wearing their third jerseys this year?”

With a jersey that says SNES across the front, how can you not wear that more often? In fact, for the 2012-13 NHL season, the Ottawa Senators will be making the alternates the primary jerseys and worn at most home games. The original home jersey will only be worn at home games on Sundays. Also, in a totally unprecedented partnership with Nintendo, whenever a Senator scores a hat trick or records a shutout in a game while wearing the SNES jerseys, every fan in the Scotiabank Centre will be taking home their own copy of Chrono Trigger for the SNES, courtesy of Video & Arcade Top 10.
Wait what? What do you mean those aren’t the alternates? Fine, same offer stands, but instead of the SNES jersey we will wear the barbershop pole jersey with the big O at home. Man, Nicholas Picholas will not be happy to hear about this.

“Lastly, I heard you have a friend or two in the league, do other GMs have to worry about collusion?”

I have no idea what you are talking about. All the GMs in the league are my friends.


GM one-on-one: PIT [PS3]

Posted: September 22, 2012 by Phuong Pham in Uncategorized

I got the change to sit down with GM Paul to discuss all things Pittsburgh. I was shocked he hadn’t hung himself over losing Crosby, I guess he still thinks he can win a Cup without him. Enjoy folks.

“Introduce yourself, who are you and what qualifies you to be a general manager in the NHL?”

My name is Paul Almeida, and I’m an actor in Vancouver, Canada, just graduated from the Musical Theatre program at Capilano University. I really think its my ability to tap dance that landed me the job here in Pittsburgh. They’re big fans of tap shoes here.

“What was your reaction to being award the Pittsburgh franchise?”

My first reaction was ‘YES CROSBY!’

My reaction when I learned it was random teams was about the same reaction as when Canucks fans go back and look at who we drafted in the first round of the 2007 draft: “oh sweet Jesus. What the hell is going on?”

“What do you expect out of this season? Are you trying to get the first overall draft pick this year?”

I’ve talked to my players individually and as a group and we feel confident that we really can win it all this year. Of course I’m referring to the important trophy in hockey, the President’s Trophy. The Stanley Cup is just a cereal box prize.

“Are you in any trade talks right now? Any specific players you are targetting?”

No trade talks for the Penguins. We believe in the group we have here.

“Alright, enough formalities, let’s get into the real important stuff. So … you don’t have Malkin, Fleury or Crosby … tell me how you messed that up?”

It was Bettman’s fault. He made us trade Crosby to Detroit for Zetterberg and Ian White. He said if we didn’t do it, the loading times would be twice as long for each menu.

 “Don Cherry, yay or nay?”

His piano hands make me giggle. Yay for me.

“Okay, let’s get a little more serious here. You’re 4-0 on the season, are you cheating? If you are, how? GIVE ME YOUR WIDSOM!”
We’re gonna let team captain Dion Phaneuf answer that one:

“Well uhhhh we just came out hard and played it one period at a time and uhhhh, really just focusing on what we gotta do out on the ice uhhh putting shots on net and uhhhh good things will happen so uhhhhh yeah really just one shift at a time I mean uhhhh they got a good team over there so uhhhhh we’re just gonna keep working hard and uhhhh we’ll take it from there.”

Thanks Dion.

“Are you going to convince Bill Guerin to come out of retirement?”
Bill Guerin RETIRED?! Thought he was centering my top line? Hmmm. I’ll get my assistant on that.

“Ray Shero and McPhee has quite an entertaining rivalry, can we expect the same from you and GM Adolfo?”

I can’t hear you, I’ve got my two Stanley Cup rings plugged in my ears.

“Are you mad Pittsburgh isn’t in the Winter Classic AGAIN this year?”

I was upset, til I realized that my superstar won’t get a career changing concussion this year from his head smacking on the frozen cold outdoor ice. HE WASN’T EVEN LOOKING AND HE GOT BLINDSIDED BY A HEADSHOT! WE HAD TO TRADE HIM TO DETROIT CAUSE HIS HEAD HURT SO MUCH! CROSBY FOR ZETTERBERG AND IAN WHITE ISNT EVEN A FAIR TRADE!

Sorry. I’m not over it yet, as you can tell. Deep breaths.

 “Lastly, how long until you build a Crosby statue?”

Already got one in my garden at home. Making a replica for the Consol Energy Center and Heinz Field as we speak.

Alex Ovechkin traded; Vows revenge against previous GM

Posted: September 21, 2012 by Wyatt Arndt in Uncategorized

“Is BULLSHIT.” screamed a visibly angry Alex Ovechkin as he was escorted out of Madison Square Gardens for the last time as a home team player. “I do nothing wrong. They ask me score, I score. They ask me check? I check. They ask me make love beautiful women? Well they don’t ask me that but their wives did. If you know what I saying. What? You want to know real reason I got ‘Mr. Big’ ads?” said Ovechkin before pointing at his groin, making back and forth motions, than licking his lips. Security quickly escorted Ovechkin out of the press conference area before more could be said.

“Sex. It’s that simple.” said GM CJ Miller when asked about the reason why Ovechkin was traded. “He is just addicted to sex. Doesn’t really matter what he’s having sex with, person, animal, drying machine, if he can fit into it, he’s going to have sex with it. There are only so many times I can lie to the rookies as to we had to buy them new skates and threw out their old ones.”

Ovechkin, apparently taken by surprise by the move, vowed revenge on GM Miller. “I will kill him. Not physically. But mentally. By making love to his favorite pair of socks. He won’t know when….but once it happens, he’ll find out. Oh, he will find out.”

The team who takes on the headcase? Pittsburgh Penguins GM Dane Bjerno, most well known for starring in the early 2000’s boy band, R*Sync. “We weren’t very popular. We were on the Disney After Hours channel mostly. One of the guys in our band, he had sex with a lot of socks. This is nothing new for me, Alex should be fine here.”

Despite Ovechkin’s troubles off the ice, GM Miller still demanded a large price for his winger, and he got it.

Pittsburgh trades M. Cooke (79 ov), Laich (84ov). Byfuglien (87ov), R. Hainsey(83ov) 15.8 mil combined.

Rangers trade Ovechkin (93ov), Fasth (3 star potential, 60 ov), Matt Anderson (71ov, 29 yrs old) 11 mil combined.

Pittsburgh drops a ton of weight in Byfuglien and money, but also had to give up several stars to get Ovechkin. This deal should help provide depth to the Ranger’s lineup, as well as give them a break from Ovechkin’s odd ways.

“Seriously, not one day went by where I didn’t see Alex’s penis. I had enough.” sighed GM Miller.

Other news on the day, it wouldn’t be a day in LoB if Flames GM Dave didn’t make a deal, and he did just that, trading Tim “GET OFF MY LAWN” Thomas for Mikal “I won’t get benched for Holtby in this game!” Neuvirth. A solid deal for both teams, as Dave gets a young goalie to build around, and Boston gets Tim Thomas back. Thomas loves Boston I am told and will be a great fit- wait……

Oh you thought Dave was done? He wasn’t. He dealt Mike “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” Ribiero and Colin “Yes I haven’t retired yet” White to Pittsburgh for Curtis “Canuck Killer” Glencross and Mike “Even I’m embarrassed about my contract” Komisarek. The winner of this deal? Pittsburgh. Anytime you trade Komisarek off your team you win. Even if it takes trading Crosby to do so, you win the deal. Every time.

Rumors persist that a huge deal involving such names as Toews and Staal have gone done, but I will have to confirm before I give more details.


GM one-on-one: TBL [PS3]

Posted: September 21, 2012 by Phuong Pham in Uncategorized

While I was out in Florida drinking with GM Artie, I head out to Tampa Bay to meet new Tampa Bay GM Henry. Enjoy getting to know him folks.

“Introduce yourself, who are you and what qualifies you to be a general manager in the NHL?”

I’m Henry Shum, General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Born in Asia, but received all my education in Canada B.C and a Vancouver Canucks fan growing up! I guess understanding the league’s system and able to make wise decisions qualifies me as a GM of in the NHL.

“What was your reaction to being award the Tampa Bay franchise?”

To be honest, I was quite surprised when I was informed I was hired to be the general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning. But this is huge for me because it proves that my hard work has paid off as I was hired to this organization

“What do you expect out of this season? Are you trying to win the Cup this year?”

Of course every team wants to win the Stanley Cup. As for us right now, our task is to make the playoffs first and we’ll go from there.

“Are there any areas you’d like to improve your team?”

Quite honestly, no matter how good a team is, there would always be room for improvement. That being said I won’t comment on that too much. We’ll let our action do all the talking.

“Alright, enough formalities, let’s get into the real important stuff. Are you for or against diving?”

Ahh Diving, HA HA HA HA! Well, there are embellishments here and there once in a while that being said, of course I wouldn’t accept diving. Just play the game!

“Any plans to sell the naming rights of the arena this year and make it a yearly thing?”

Good question, I wouldn’t do it. My job is team itself and that’s what I will be focusing on. Nothing else!

“No Stamkos, how do you handle that?”

One player doesn’t guarantee anything. Hockey is a team game. As long as the team plays well under the system, we will be fine!

“The current incarnation of the Lightning make me think of the toughness and bully-ness (is that even a word?) that the 2011 Cup champs Boston had. Are you trying to replicate their success?”

Well no, we have a different system that we follow. I expect the coach to discipline the players!

“What’s it like to be a GM in the sunbelt? What’s “Business casual” out in Florida?”

Well, this is my first year so I will not be able to give you a definite answer on that, but only time will tell. Business casual? Ha ha I have no idea.

“Have you thought about implementing open-toed skates for the players to bring in more of a “Florida” feel to the on-ice product?”

I haven’t thought about that to be honest with you. As I’ve mentioned above, my job is to deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning, nothing else. But good question!

“What’s Christmas like in Florida? Do you even know what snow is?”

Maybe a bit colder and some snow???? Florida doesn’t seem to be a place that we will see snow here! I grew up in BC, so I guess I would know what snow is?

Toronto 3 Columbus 2 – Game Recap by Kierangunn [Xbox]

Posted: September 19, 2012 by Wyatt Arndt in Uncategorized

It was a special night of celebration in Toronto, as the club honored one of the survivors of their last cup win. 95 year old Johnny Taylor worked concession for the Leafs back in 1967, where he says to have invented the Big Mac, in honour of Frank Mahovlich, one whole year before McDonalds unleashed its awesomeness on an unsuspecting American public. Thankfully the pregame celebration was brief as both Drakkus (Tor) and Colenuck (Col) quickly jumpped on the A button in order to quickly get to the faceoff. Toronto was forced to wear their away white jerseys as the Columbus GM informed them that replacement laundry workers in Columbus only packed their ceremonial dark 3rd jerseys for their road trip.

The Leafs started the game of well crashing and banging in the offensive zone for the first few minutes until an untimely turnover led to a Columbus 2 on 1 and a Martin Havlat goal on their very first shot. The Leafs GM, not Brian Burke, wanted to blame his goaltending coach as obviously the two on one was created by some out of date goaltending techniques on the part of goaltender Hiller. The coach replied “00101000111010101010101” as the new EA Sports AI rudely stated that it was the most up to date that is available, and that the GM should watch some old John Garrett clips to discover what is truely outdated.

In the second period, a controversial goal by Toronto evened up the game as a pinching John Carlson put home a loose puck as a pile of bodies prevented Pavelec from covering it up. Were the Toronto forwards preventing a save?You make the call.

The Leafs then took the lead with a goal from the high slot from Adam McQuaid. Pavelec probably should have had that one, and definitly wishes he could have that one back.

Midway through the third period another odd man rush for the Blue Jackets, and nice passing play, saw Franzen tap in a beautiful pass from Havlat tieing the game. Near the end of the third Jeff Skinner interfered with a pinching Columbus defenceman creating a threatening powerplay for Toronto to kill off. We were headed to overtime.

With time running out, a shootout looked inevitable but a point shot from Dion Phaneuf was blocked and created a Jeff Skinner breakaway who deked out Pavelec and scored to give the Leafs the victory. Just as last year the parade route has been planned early and there seems to be a surplus of paper bags and waffles at the local supermarkets in Toronto.

Finding the Panthers Roar: Training Camp [PS3]

Posted: September 19, 2012 by Phuong Pham in Uncategorized

“Finding the Panthers Roar” will be an ongoing series following the Florida Panthers as they try to go from crappy basement team to not so crappy basement team to mediocre bubble team. I can see it now, this is going to be TONS of fun. The idea was originally pitched to me by GM Artie over beers last night. I assumed it was just drunken suggestion like “Let’s open a bar together” or “We should totally pick up some chubbies tonight” but I quickly realized this morning when GM Artie had written the idea with blood on my washroom mirror that he was serious. You don’t say no to a guy who does that, you just don’t. I’m still wondering where he got the blood.

September 13, 2012

9:15 AM

Training camp was scheduled to start 15 minutes ago but I don’t see any players on the ice or in the locker room. This is probably why they are the worst team in the league.

11:45 AM

The first Panthers player on ice is P.K Subban, 2 hours and 45 minutes late. I asked P.K why the delay, a jittery Subban informed me that GM Artie has mandated that all players drink a flat of Red Bull before heading onto the ice.

12:10 PM

The entire Panthers roster is now on the ice and each player is vibrating so quickly they are melting the ice beneath their skates. #WOW

2:00 PM

The on-ice session has ended, the team is now being asked to continue with some off-ice workouts that involved drinking more Red Bull. I caught up with Abdelkader and asked him what he thought of this new training method.

“Well … uh … it’s different … uh … never gone through a training session like this … uh … but I have tons of energy … uh … and for a guy like me, in my role … uh … energy is a big thing.”

4:00 PM

The day is winding to an end, about a quarter of the players are taking naps on the ice in their gear and another quarter are sleeping in the hallways. I’m floored by what I’ve seen today. I really don’t know how to explain any of the things I saw today or if any of it has any impact on how these hockey players develop. I did see a lot of players come to the rink in flip flops and shorts, so that’s nice.

Be sure to check back next week for more updates on the Florida Panthers.

GM one-on-one: BUF [PS3]

Posted: September 19, 2012 by Phuong Pham in Uncategorized

I had the pleasure of interviewing GM Brad from Buffalo. It was a much, MUCH more comfortable interview than the one I had yesterday with a certain GM. I was a little disappointed that GM Brad had not turned his entire stadium into a palace of gold, like a certain other GM I know. Anyways, here’s the interview.

“Introduce yourself, who are you and what qualifies you to be a general manager in the NHL?”

Thanks for allowing this opportunity to discuss my current promotion to General Manager. Brad Knight here, played hockey my whole life… street hockey as a child, BWC for minor hockey.. all the way up to junior. I’ve been following hockey my whole life and never miss a game. I’ve coached at minor hockey level as well. From player to coach, I understand different sides of the game. I surround myself with smart people and give everything I have.

“What was your reaction to being award the Buffalo franchise?”

I was thrilled, new ownership has allowed this team to spend the money it needs to compete with the best. I believe this team has the ability to be a dynasty.
“What do you expect out of this season? Are you trying to win the Cup this year?”

The team is young, so young in fact that it is one of the youngest average age of any team in this league. Led by a steller goaltending duo of Neuvirth and Leclaire. A young all-star in Couture at center. This teams goal is to work hard, finish in a playoff position and gain much needed playoff experience. Patrick Sharp adds a Stanley Cup ring and experience to the line up and hopefully he can add a calming presence to this team.
“Are there any areas you’d like to improve your team?”

I feel our Defensive core is a little thin, a very strong top 3 with a fairly inexperienced bottom 3. We will look at different options throughout the season and see whats available. Edler is a very solid defenseman who has all the tools to be a Norris candidate.

“Alright, enough formalities, let’s get into the real important stuff. Are you for or against knobs and are you a big knob or little?”

If you are referring to Burke, I can’t stand him. On sticks, I’ve always been a fan of little knobs, adds just the right amount of comfort.

“Are there any players on your team whose names you just can’t pronounce?”

Klesla always gives me trouble, and Rostislav doesn’t help either. I avoid eye contact with him at all times.

“Be honest, how many of your prospects did you even know about before you were awarded the Buffalo franchise?”

I knew some, still learning about some of the later picks. But overall this team has a good foundation in place. Looking forward to a bright future.

“Have you thought about changing the Buffalo logo? Will you be going back to the ug-slug?”

The logo will stay for now, if ownership is looking for a quick money grab in merchandise we may consider a new 3rd jersey logo. Ill keep the ug-slug in mind.. HA!

“Are you for or against sexual intercourse the night before a game?”

I’m not for or against any sexual activities the night before a game. Whatever the players decide to do in the hotel rooms is their own choice, Gomez and Couture room together, you will have to ask them.

“How often are you yelling at the refs from your press box?”

Every second I get, to avoid any fines, thats as far as I will go though regarding the refs.

“Lastly, what are your thoughts on Scott Gomez not scoring a goal for a year?”

He’s always been more of a playmaker, every player goes through a rough patch. He is a true professional and will have a huge bounce back season this year. I expect a highly motivated Scott this year and will be given every opportunity to prove the critics wrong. A lot of pressure on the guy. Gotta feel for him.

“Thanks for your time and it was great getting to know you a little bit more.”