Category Archives: Cyclones

Sunday round-up

We’re drifting into summer now, so I expect to be updating less often, at least until the draft and the UFA madness that follows. I realize that the playoffs are just heating up, but I’m the sort who, once my team is out of it, I still watch, but don’t really get into it that much. And anyway, there are plenty of blogs out there written by fans of teams who are actually still playing, so I’ll let them cover the playoffs. I will say that Game One of the Pens-Caps series yesterday did live up to the hype as far as being an entertaining game to watch. Although who would have thought the most exciting moment would come courtesy of a goalie?

In the ECHL playoffs, the Cincinnati Cyclones progressed to the Conference Finals with a series win over Elmira. They have games Wednesday and Friday in Cincinnati. Those games would actually be next week, not this week. I’m going to Toronto that week and getting a little ahead of myself on the dates…

In other hockey goings on, the eminently forgettable 1986 film Touch and Go was on cable this morning. It stars pre-Batman Michael Keaton as a Chicago hockey star who falls for a single mother and her hoodlum son (who is played by Ajay Naidu, of Office Space fame!). Hockey is really pretty secondary, although there are a few action scenes, which are far from the best I’ve seen, but not utterly unbelievable. I’m pretty sure I watched this movie on cable way back when, although it was completely different from how I remembered it. I think I had it conflated in my head with V.I. Warshawski, another vaguely hockey connected film set in Chicago from the same era. And also with the Booker episode about hockey.

As far as the Jackets go, Jan Hejda and Alex Picard had surgery on their respective left wrists. And the team’s radio and TV broadcasters remain in limbo waiting to see if their contracts will be renewed. If it were up to me, I’d keep the radio guys — who have their quirks, but are beloved by the fans — and look for a new TV crew. But it’s not up to me, so we will see.

And of course, on Friday we heard the sad news of the passing of Ryan Salmons. If you’re not familiar with the Salmons story, read this, and keep a box of tissues handy. It was nice to read that Manny Malhotra and Jason Chimera went to visit Ryan towards the very end. Those are a couple of players I am often very frustrated with on the ice, but they have shown themselves to be class guys off of it. Kudos to them, and condolences to Ryan’s family.

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Most hated Jacket and more

I am intending to do one of those spiffy year-end wrap up posts some time soon, but I am suffering from severe post-playoff-partum depression laziness, and am putting it off. So I’m putting up a little time waster instead.

Before I get to that, I would like to note for those who are interested in such things, that there is still an Ohio team playing hockey out there — the Cyclones knocked off Wheeling in seven games and are now facing Elmira in the second round of the ECHL playoffs. They beat the Jackals last night and go again tonight at USBA. The Cyclones website informs me that tonight is $3 Miller High Life tallboy night. If that isn’t an enticement to go to a minor league hockey game, I dunno what is! If not for the Crew game, and also the difficulty and general illegality of driving back to Columbus after $3 Miller High Life tallboy night, I might go myself.

And now for the time-waster: While trying to get to sleep after Game three of the Jackets-Wings series last week, I was trying to figure out who would qualify as the most-hated Blue Jacket in franchise history (by the home fans, and players only, so Doug doesn’t count). Adam Foote is obviously the most-hated ex-Jacket, but he wasn’t really disliked until after he was gone and all those allegations about forcing the trade came out.

Jan “Captain Hook” Hrdina stands out as a player for whom many fans had a great deal of disdain during his one season in Columbus. Doug signed him to be the first-line center, IIRC. Good lord.

Scott Lachance was another overpaid and oversold Doug signing who attracted some vitriol.

Grant Marshall always used to come up as a player fans saw as useless.

I had the misfortune on a couple of occasions to sit near a father and son duo who apparently came to games strictly for the purpose of heckling Ron Hainsey all night at top volume. But apart from them I don’t recall “Hollywood” being especially loathed.

Nik Zherdev won a lot of enemies, and a lot of insults tossed from the crowd, with his moodiness and at times indifferent play. But he also won a lot of fans with his slick moves, so that was more of a love/hate thing.

I’m going to say Todd Marchant was probably the most disliked by the most fans. Like so many others, Doug signed him to a big, long contract and oversold him in the media — Marchant, a skilled defensive forward, was going to come in and replace the offense of recently-departed Ray Whitney. Which of course he didn’t, and people hated him for it. Then he made some mildly intemperate remarks during the lockout, which got people (not the least of whom — Doug MacLean, who took down his picture from the wall in the Jackets offices, or some such) all frothing at the mouth angry at him. Then he refused to waive his NTC to go to Anaheim as part of the Fedorov trade so MacLean put him on waivers and Anaheim claimed him. That sure showed Todd! That and the Stanley Cup he won with the Ducks…doh!

I never minded Marchant much. If he’d been used correctly and not expected to be a big offensive contributor, he could have been a positive asset in Columbus. I never saw much point to Mike Rupp as an NHL player, but he seemed like a decent enough guy that I can’t say I hated him. Plus he was from Ohio, so I kind of had to like him. The Jacket I never could stand was Lyle Odelein, although that had as much to do with off-ice stuff as anything he did on the ice.

So, your most disliked Jacket of all time? Or the one you think the fans as a whole disliked the most?

And another…

Not exactly uncharted territory in this case, but the Cincinnati Cyclones kick off their post-season tonight as well. The ‘Clones are of course the defending ECHL Kelly Cup champs.

I only made it down to one game this year — last Friday. But those games are a fun time, and tickets (except for the front row) are only $12, so if you are in that neck of the woods, I heartily recommend checking them out. I honestly did not expect this team to last through last season when they were drawing a thousand people a game, so to have them defending a title and drawing some decent crowds at USBA (over 11,000 for the regular season finale last Saturday), is pretty cool.