Hockey season started on Wednesday night. Yankee Stadium, Yanks and Red Sox tied at 2 and Dustin Pedroia perfectly executes a hit-and-run. The Bosox have runners on first and third. The Yankees’ season - the last time they missed the playoffs was 1993, the last year the Islanders won a playoff series – is on life support.
Jason Giambi decides this is a good time to start yukking it up at first base with Pedroia. They chat, a few giggles, while Giambi is holding a supposed member of the archrivals on first. Really now: give me a frickin’ break. Could you ever see this happening in hockey? Tie game, third period, a March showdown in front of a crazed Coliseum crowd, Comrie and Gomez sharing a laugh before a faceoff.
I know baseball is a different game, but is it too much to ask the players to care as much as the fans? The Red Sox took the lead that inning. Later on, Pedroia hit a grand slam to pretty much end the Yankees’ season. Didn’t stay with the game long enough to see if Giambi patted his little pal Pedroia on the butt as he circled the bases.
Are you ready for some hockey?
Point Blank has learned from impeccable sources deep inside Newsday headquarters in Melville that plans are being made to increase coverage of the Islanders, Rangers and the NHL in the newspaper and on newsday.com. We assume this is simply because the powerbrokers at Newsday have come to appreciate the popularity of ice hockey on Long Island, but we have not been able to confirm the reasons for the change in policy. Doesn’t matter. We’ll take it.
Mats Sundin? Unlikely, but smart to make the call for a whole bunch of reasons. He’s still a great player that will only cost the Islanders cash, and they are currently more than $15 million under the salary camp. They could find a roster spot for him and his 22 minutes as the No. 1 center would not crush the development of any stud center prospect.
Mats also loves him some fine dining and culture and lists the Islanders as his favorite team growing up. Anders Kallur has not responded to my request for comment on whether he has been courting Sundin (that’ll stir it up!). As an added bonus, nothing wrong with some sincere, heated competition to sign him, right? Worst that could happen is Sundin signs with the Rangers for less, and that’s not really a big deal at this point. As far as I can tell, the Islanders have not made any firm offers and Mats’ people haven’t told the Islanders they’re wasting their time.
I am now on Facebook. That’s a line I’d never thought I’d write. But I am, so please join me.
Please stay tuned to this space and elsewhere in the next two weeks for news on my latest venture. I hope you will be as pleased as I am and will help me spread the word. Thanks for hanging in with me over a very different kind of off-season…CB