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October 4, 2006 12:00 AM

If a puck falls . . .


I lost all my enthusiasm for the NHL after Bertuzzi hit Steve Moore in 2004. It's never been the same for me since then. So I kind of approach the upcoming Avalanche season with a giant yawn. I'd be interested to know if anybody else feels the same way.

I'll be online at 11 a.m. today with Mark Wolf, who does Rocky Talk Live here at the News. Please stop by with any questions you might have regarding sports, cartooning or just anything in general. Look forward to seeing you there.



  • October 4, 2006

    1:52 AM

    Tom writes:

    Yep, there are folks that care about the sport of hockey, but not necessarily the NHL. I cancelled cable TV because I could not stand the officiating and felt like I was watching a 60 minute power play last season each game. The shootout was a horrible idea. What's wrong with a tie game? The salary cap was a good thing, but now GM's are exploiting it (see the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers.) So, what are we left with? Not a very good game. Too many teams, a handful of players worth watching (Alex Ovechkin for starters...what a kid! Too bad the nation will never know him because the NHL chooses not to market him, and most fans out this way West will rarely, if ever see him play.) In short, it's a league that is destined to fail and I think will fold completely in the near future. It cannot survive in it's current state. The league was fine at 21 teams. There was no reason to change it. Money talked. It's kind of sad, really. To 99.99% of the U.S. population, the NHL will not be missed when it folds. When Joe Sakic retires, the Avalanche will become an afterthought in Denver. There will be no face for the franchise. The winning seasons will come to a close, the team will miss the playoffs, and people will stop caring. Thankfully, real hockey will still exist north of our border where the game was created (Canada)and is a passion. That, itself, is comforting at least.

  • October 4, 2006

    4:36 AM

    Lance Hensen writes:

    It's always fun to watch an Alumni of the Omaha Lancers (USHL) finally get to the NHL.
    Paul Stastny was fun to watch when we went to see him play in Omaha, its going to be even more fun to watch him playing for my favorite NHL team, the Avalanche.

  • October 4, 2006

    7:54 AM

    Chris writes:

    I am admittedly an Avalanche fan - even more so when the playoffs roll around. And now I am not even sure who the Avalanche are. Losing Forsberg and Foote last year and now Blake and Tangay this year has really hurt the team. I understand there is a salary cap, but how are the other teams able to do so much better?

    It makes me wonder if the Avalanche was less a product of Pierre Lacroix's GM genius or Stan Kronke's deep pockets. At least we bought a couple of championships while we had the chance.

  • October 4, 2006

    9:45 AM

    Brent writes:

    All of you are morons- go watch your golf and your baseball and your nascar- because it is sooooo exciting. Lets see, losers walking around on grass smacking a ball around while everyone is dead silent. Hillbillies at a race track in god knows where screaming thru their toothless mouths, and juiced-up overpaid crybabies in baseball who win every year, hmm, wonder if the yankees are going to win again? Drew- if your so bored by hockey then don't draw it. Everyone is so "me, me, me. what have you done for ME lately"- well boo hoo- so the Avs might not have a good year- who knows- look at Edmonton last year- shouldn't have even made the playoffs but went to the finals.

  • October 4, 2006

    10:54 AM

    roland writes:

    just a note to you. I love all the old disney cartoon characters, warner bros. characters,woody woodpecker, all the old classic catoons. I just wanted to let you know you are right there with them all, you are a master at what you do. immensely enjoy your work.

  • October 4, 2006

    1:20 PM

    Zman writes:

    Unfortunately Arnie, I have to disagree with you this time.

    Hockey is one of the few sports I will watch on TV no matter who is playing. Baseball is only good for me if I am at the park and the constant hockey action is good for my A.D.D.

    Hockey will survive where there is passion...like any sport...how long did it take the Broncos to have the throng that have followed them through the really lean years at the old horseshoe stadium.

    I too love the idea of a tie game...but I am an action junky too so the shootout doesnt affect me as much as some of the purists.

    I wish I would see more dropkicks in the nfl rather than a holder...that would be entertaining...like seeing Jim Turner motoring to the end-zone in his black high top kicking shoes...

    Alas...I digress...

  • October 4, 2006

    1:28 PM

    Brent writes:

    Hockey and soccer should never be mentioned in the same anything ever again. when a player trips on a blade of grass and acts as if their spine was snapped in half like a slim jim- there is a problem. A hockey player will actually snap their spine like a slim jim and play the next shift. Actually- let us never speak of soccer again.

  • October 4, 2006

    6:16 PM

    Tom writes:

    Let's see how many of you remember who the Avalanche are after a couple -three losing seasons and no playoffs. Joe Sakic has maybe one more season in him after this one. He will retire for his family. Not because he can't play. He will not be one of those players who hangs on and on. He has respect for the game. But mark my words....the Avalanche were a product of Stan's deep pockets. They bought both Stanley Cups. The Cups were not earned. I personally cannot wait until the team becomes run of the mill like the Rockies. Denver got a ready made team from Quebec. Denver fans have been spoiled rotten with this team. You "fans" have not experienced the hardship of seeing an expansion NHL team struggle for a decade while it tried to reach respectability. Maybe soon you'll know that feeling. I've been doing it for 30 years for the Washington Capitals. So, I know.

  • October 4, 2006

    7:01 PM

    Dwayne writes:

    Actually if you really want to get technical the city of Denver suffered harder losing hockey seasons than Washington could dream of...or have you forgotten the Colorado Rockies. Times have changed Tommy boy. The city of Denver may not sell out every game for its beloved hockey team, but they'll know who's who long after Burnaby Joe hangs'em up. Those Cups weren't bought either, they were traded for. Look it up. Pierre Lacroix traded for talent. He gave away a lot of potential talent in the process and that is why the Avalanche are in their current state. He didn't sign big name free agents in the summer. Karyia and Selanne were the only ones he ever took in and that was at a massive discount. It wasn't Stans deep pockets, especially in 1996 because Mr. Kronke didn't own them then.

  • October 4, 2006

    10:52 PM

    Tom writes:

    Yes. The Cups were bought. I don't care if you say that talent was traded for or not. The Avalanche were GIVEN a ready made contender. They were incredibly LUCKY to acquire ROY. The city of Quebec got SCREWED! Denver should have had to deal with the hardship of an expansion franchise like everybody else. Period. I am so sick of Denver folks saying how diehard they are. Easy to say when the going is good. Lets see where things are when Colorado misses the playoffs. The Pepsi Center will be half full at best. God's sake....stop talking about this team like the fans here have been though tough times just because Drury and company got traded. They've been the Yankees of the NHL since they've been in Denver. Time for this to come to an end, I think. Thank God for a Salary cap. The best thing ever to happen to the NHL. Oh....by the way.....just finished listening to the Stars beat your mighty Avalanche. Nice OT goal. Poor Jose, eh? The Avs can't score unless they get 5 power plays in a row? Two 5 on 3's? Wow.....

  • October 5, 2006

    10:40 AM

    Rob writes:

    Hockey is a game invented by idiots who couldn't catch fish and therefore had to entertain the man who could so they could still eat. Here, go wack each other with these sticks. \_/

  • October 6, 2006

    5:34 PM

    Dwayne writes:

    So if you're so hell bent about this prospect that the Avalanche bought their 2 cups...then write something to Detroit...they have bought 3 Cups in the same time frame the Avalanche have been in Denver. They are the ones that went out and signed big money free agents. And while you're at it, file a law suit against the City of Denver because someone bought the economically strapped Quebec Nordiques who's owners could not afford to keep going in Quebec with the state of the Canadian dollar at that time. It is not the City of Denver, nor the fans of the Avalanche fault that they were bought by a Denver company and moved to Denver. To tell the truth, I'd have rather have had an expansion team. But I'm not the one making the decisions. If you want to pass around blame then you have to blame the Canadian dollar, and the owners of the Nordiques at that time also. You make it sound like Every citizen of Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region drove to Quebec, tied up the Nordiques, threw them in a van, and drug them kicking and screaming to Denver. Quit crying about a team that isn't even remotely close to Washington, in it's conference, or in its division. Just because the Caps have sucked for so long isn't the Avalanche, or it fan's fault, or problem.

  • October 6, 2006

    9:55 PM

    Anonymous writes:

    Hey, at the very least.....Ovechkin doesn't play in front of spoiled rotten Avalanche fans. You can't hang onto Joe Sakic forever.

  • October 7, 2006

    1:00 PM

    DIEHARD AVS FAN writes:

    Hey TOM, guess what?? I am a diehard AVS fan and I have had the opportunity to see MY team go in and win a couple of Stanley Cups (sorry you have not been able to). Who cares if they were "bought" or "paid for". This city was very blessed with owners who wanted championships. When hockey first arrived in Denver there were few "smart" fans who knew the game inside & out and all the rules. Over the course of a couple seasons though, I would put us up against any fan base in the country with our knowledge of the sport. We did not act spoiled though; (which, if you remember there were signs & banners everywhere from CO fans giving thanks and letting the city of Quebec know that this was their championship as well). If the Avs do have a losing season this year it will be something new we have to experience with the Avs but not with our sports teams. We had to deal with a Nuggets organization that for years did not care if we were the cellar team of the league (which we were more often than not). This city has come to stand behind its teams......that's why you have NEVER heard of one of our professional sporting teams even talk about moving the franchise to another city. So Tom, keep your jealousy and snide remarks in Washington where they belong. And I'm sure we SPOILED and LUCKY Avs fans will definitely see another Stanley Cup long before the grand 'ol Washington Capitals fans.

  • October 9, 2006

    3:59 AM

    josh writes:

    actually, not all colorado fan bases stand by the team. case in point the cu football team for 2006. i hav ewanted joe gone for a long time. we havent stood on him. we stood on peter and the guys we traded and of course patty. and we dont need blake. he was -14 last year. thats pathetic for even a rookie. foote wasnt that bad and he played for a team in the cellar of the nhl. we need to quit letting go of people like peter and adam and tangs. it will be a tough year and i still say red wings suck and go avs. there are a lot of people here that loved hockey way before the nords came here. we did have an expantion and now they are in the east( correct me if i am wrong). soccer sucks and hockey is right up there next to football.

  • October 9, 2006

    10:49 AM

    Ken writes:

    Good thing the rest of Denver and Colorado don't agree with you, Drew. The Avs still get better ratings than the Nuggets and still draw more fans at Pepsi than the Nuggets.

  • October 9, 2006

    11:03 PM

    Tom (not that Tom writes:

    I'd agree with some of the comments made by Tom. Some of the stupidest comments I've ever heard concering hockey have been made at the Pepsi Center. But fans there HAVE gotten better, and the fans in the second and third bowls do tend to be the real fans. The people in the first bowl come halfway through the first period and leave halfway into the third. That's not a real fan.

    About the Avalanche: I think they'll suffer because of the salary cap, but more because Stan Kroenke now sees the Nuggets as his path to a championship rather than the Avs. Now the Nuggets will get the financial support that the Avs had for so many years.

    And Drew's cartoon, unfortunately, IS right on. Just look at any television ratings. The NHL got beat by a spelling bee on ESPN, for crying out loud.

  • October 10, 2006

    8:48 AM

    Ken writes:

    His cartoon is fine for the national picture. It is not right for the local picture. Hockey is very popular here, and the Avs get the 2nd highest ratings in the city behind the Broncos.

  • October 10, 2006

    12:34 PM

    DIEHARD AVS FAN writes:

    Tom (not that Tom)........great post. Kroenke has to put his money somewhere........unfortunately if you want a championship team in a sport and you have 2 teams you go with what makes the most sense. Nuggets are hopefully inching closer to obtaining a very difficult NBA title!!!

  • October 13, 2006

    11:00 AM

    avs4life writes:

    It sounds like to me that this Washington fan is a little jealous. I am from South Dakota and a devoted Avs fan. The Avs are not only Colroados team, they are the team of the Rocky Mountain region. The salary cap did to the Avs what a salary cap would do to the Yankees. Who cares if the Avs bought their 2 cups. So what if they had more money to spend on players than alot of other teams. That is how the game went. I do believe that they should have tried as hard as possible to keep Forsberg an Av for life. He is to good of a player to let leave and go play in that crappy Eastern conference. Hopefully the Broncos can bring home a championship this year, becuase the Avs sure won;t

  • October 13, 2006

    12:20 PM

    Ken writes:

    Anyone making a comment about Kroenke no longer putting his money into the Avs is clueless. What on earth makes anyone think that he won't spend to the cap. The cap will limit spending, not Kroenke. As long as they have an owner with pockets like this, the Avs will always be one of the teams that spends to the cap. The players they acquire and the money they spend will have nothing to do with Kroenke. They'll be decided by Giguere/Lacroix and limited only by the cap.

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