2/13/18 – Quote or Content: What Drives a Story?

I remember early on in college I figured out how to get a competent paper written when I either didn’t care to write it or had nothing useful to say. I would find some relevant quotes that presented my idea, cite them carefully, and add my own thoughts on top of the quotes to build a solid A paper.

I don’t think I actually fooled anyone, but I wasn’t trying to. English papers didn’t really matter to me. I could blow off an entry level history paper for an A with relative ease. I still remember an online music history class I took at UNT. It was one of the most fascinating courses I ever took content-wise. One of the requirements was a 5-7 page paper per week. Cake.

You don’t really need quotes to build an argument or a story. Sometimes quotes can be a crutch for poor writing or laziness. They’re merely one form of evidence a writer can use to carry their point to the logical conclusion they’re attempting to lay out for their reader. Video, statistics, photos, diagrams, charts, graphs, and any number of other ways to say “data or pretty pictures or data and pretty pictures” can be substituted in the place of a quote.

The problem is that more often than not it takes more effort to do that than it does to drop a quote into a piece.

When I saw this Tweet slide into my feed I did the “confused dog tilting her head” bit or the “dog is confused why the cat is laying on her” thing and thought about if for a couple of weeks.

IMG_1545

There’s a lot to unpack from that Tweet. So let’s start with the trigger. Why does Ryan Rishaug need quotes so badly?

Hockey players are boring and rarely show their personality when the media talks to them. Does any reader consciously seek out player quotes because they just need to know how a player is doing prior to a game or after? The quotes usually add nothing.

Some random examples:

Dan Hamhuis on accomplishing one thousand career games:

“It’s something I’m quite proud of, but I certainly didn’t get here on my own. Getting to that first NHL game was, in large part, due to my parents and the sacrifices that they made to get me to game one. And then it took a whole team of people to get me from game one to a thousand. You go through a lot to get to a spot like this, but it’s been an incredible journey to meet so many great people along the way. It certainly has been a group effort.”

and

Ben Bishop on what he saw on Los Angeles’ three goals on 1/30/2018:

“On the second one; there wasn’t too much you could really do about it. It went off a handful of guys and it was like a backboard, and on the third one he [Alec Martinez] went back to the post and I couldn’t see around [Jason] Spezza. Martinez did a good job of just throwing it at the net and I don’t know how we didn’t have an instant replay yet, but I didn’t see it. The first one was a screen in front and sometimes you get bad bounces. I don’t think the bounces went especially my way tonight, but I don’t think it changes the outcome of the game. Sometimes you have a bad game and sometimes you have bad bounces. Tonight was a little bit of both.”

and

John Klingberg after the shootout win on 2/9/2018 against Pittsburgh


On the comeback win:

“Tough way to start a game but we showed character by coming back in this game. Obviously Lehts really stepped up and made key saves all game. It was a tough night with the energy, coming in late [from Chicago] yesterday, but we still got two points.” 

On the team’s character:

“We’ve come a long way from the start of the season. I feel like Jamie, Rads, Spezza and a lot of other guys are talking more in here. More guys are talking in the locker room and we have a lot of confidence in how we’re playing. We’re staying in the system and playing our game, so the confidence is high right now for sure.”

On bottling up three of the hottest players:

“That’s huge. Players like that are still going to get their chances, but I feel like we closed them off pretty good.”

Those quotes add virtually nothing to this story other than to prove that most quotes are boring. The occasional Ken Hitchcock quote is interesting, but we could do without most NHL player or staff quotes unless a specific story is being written about them or a topic they are being quoted on. Pregame and postgame quotes? Nah…

The funny part about this to me is where I got those quotes from. Public relations emails them out after each game. The quotes come from the media scrum, but you don’t need to be down there to use the quotes or transcribe them.

If you need quotes they’ll be there I promise.

It comes back to a question of audience. Does a reader want to read a bunch of empty quotes said by a member of a team, or do they want to read a well written column that explains or expounds upon an idea? Does that qualify as a writer making herself the story instead of just reporting, or is it just good writing?

Does any of it actually matter after you go on Twitter and try to shame the backup goalie of a mediocre Western Canadian team? Rishaug made himself the story anyway, but he did it without having to take the time to write a thought-provoking or interesting column. Instead, shred the goalie and get ratioed on Twitter. Rishaug should be ashamed for dragging that into this all because he couldn’t get a couple of meaningless quotes.

That shredding is part of the problem too. The “Montoya not talking” thing triggered his response, but the response itself is petty and childish, but not in the “fun NBA way”. How dare he question Montoya’s mental fortitude in response to not talking on game day. #BellLetsTalk is huge. The NHL has a mental healthy problem with several former players dying from depression and mental health related issues.

Why do you need quotes to write a story? The story is the story whether or not a quote comes from the source. We’ve all seen the quotes that usually come out of these scenarios. Most of the time the information relayed publicly is useless or a distraction.

Be better. Write better stories or more interesting articles. Bring back the creativity and writing quality that leads to more well-written and interesting columns. Above all else maybe don’t lash out in speculation about someone’s mental fortitude when you have no idea what is going on with that player. It’s a bad look.

Hey, click these

2/12/18 – Jamie Goligoski
2/8/18 – Team USA Men Would Have Been Really Good
2/6/18 – Jaromir Jagr and Tom Brady
2/6/18 – .insert(“Really Bad Chess Pun”);

2/13/18 – Is Hockey For Everyone in Dallas Yet?

Last year Hockey Is For Everyone Month was a big success across the NHL as a whole. In Dallas, not so much. The Stars more or less ignored it, and a vocal group of fans weren’t particularly happy about it. I put a poll together and wrote up a story for WFAA about the situation.

Dallas Stars President Jim Lites responded after WFAA reached out to the Stars prior to publishing the story. We got this response:

“We have run all of the league-sponsored PSAs on `Hockey is for Everyone.’ We have donated hundreds of hours to all of the initiatives, including sled hockey, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community. If we dropped the ball, we apologize,” Lites said. “It’s been a hectic week. We have been focused on Dave (Strader) and his return and doing work for the cancer society in conjunction with that. We spent all today with Pevs and the American Heart Association. That’s not an excuse, but it is what it is. If we left somebody out, we really apologize.”

That response left a lot to be desired, particularly since they specifically mentioned the LGBT community and there is no easily identifiable evidence that the Stars or Dallas Stars Foundation has ever done any work for that community.

Even now if you go to the Foundation website you notice this on their grants page:

Community Engagement

The Foundation strives to support organization who embrace individuals of all backgrounds, regardless of race, disability or situation, who encourage and empower people to maximize their potential and lead quality lives.

….which sounds great until contrasted with the stated goals of the NHL’s larger Hockey Is For Everyone initiative….

We support any teammate, coach or fan who brings heart, energy and passion to the rink. We believe all hockey programs – from professionals to youth organizations – should provide a safe, positive and inclusive environment for players and families regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation and socio-economic status.

Simply put, Hockey is for Everyone™

And that is kind of the problem, still. You can’t reasonably find any reference to anything remotely associated with the LGBT community or any activities in said community on the website. When Jim Lites says the Stars do work with them there is no readily available evidence to back that claim up. Given how little the Stars did on their designated night last year you are left to draw your own conclusions.

(And yes, the Foundation does do a lot of good work. This area, however, is severely lacking.)

This year the Stars have a chance to do better. Honestly it wouldn’t take much to do better than they did last year, but the club does seem to be doing more than showing a complete and utter lack of interest in the event.

The official Twitter account tweeted about the night three times by my count. All were on February 1st. The first was the official announcement:

The Stars host their Hockey Is For Everyone Month Night on February 16th when they play the St. Louis Blues which could be awkward for a number of reasons. I seem to remember St. Louis doing it up big either this year, last year, or both, though I can’t find evidence of it at the moment. The Stars share the night with the Carolina Hurricanes who absolutely crushed it last year.

The club also announced that Tyler Seguin was their team ambassador for the month.

The final tweet was the back of a goalie mask with a HIFE logo on it.

As for the night itself, the Stars released a press release listing a number of initiatives that do a somewhat better job of meeting the goals of the program. The only note from the press release that refers to the gay community is this:

Additionally, members of the team will tape their sticks with Pride-themed hockey tape during the warm-ups. These autographed sticks will be auctioned off online at auctions.nhl.com with proceeds benefiting You Can Play Project.  During the game, the Stars will run a public service announcement on the American Airlines Center video board of players Jamie Benn, Seguin and Jason Spezza in support of the efforts of the Hockey Is For Everyone campaign.

It still doesn’t reference the community by name or identify which players will use the tape, but it is a start. There is also no mention of any outreach to any groups associated with the community.

Dallas Voice reached out to Rafael McDonnell, communications and advocacy manager for Resource Center, to discuss the Stars’ efforts:

McDonnell praised the Stars for increasing their efforts in the diversity initiative this year, but, he said, “I do wish they would have reached out to local LGBT organizations to make them a bigger part of them. Teams have done that in other cities, but not here. We tried to engage them but haven’t gotten much in return.”

[…]

But, McDonnell continued, the team definitely “upped the ante” on Pride-themed merchandise this year. “Last year, they had one Pride T-shirt,” he said, while this year’s shopping options include Pride hockey tape and several different t-shirt and hoodie selections for both men and women.

The Dallas Stars organization also came out very strongly and loudly against efforts during last year’s Texas Legislature to pass a “bathroom bill” targeting transgender people.

One minor quibble with his statement: let’s be careful giving the Stars too much credit for coming out against the bathroom bill. They were awarded the NHL Draft in late July, and NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly made this comment:

“It’s an important issue (the bathroom bill) for the league,” Daly said, “and we’re a very inclusive league, and we’re proud we’re an inclusive league. I think the legislation is important … From what I understand from the mayor is it’s not going to be a problem, so we don’t think it’s going to be a problem.”

 On August 9th Jim Lites released a statement on behalf of the Stars denouncing the legislation after rumors circulated that the NHL could pull the draft if the law goes into place. They will always be the first one to come out against it here, but don’t forget the context.
It seems like this will be a better night than the 2017 version, but there are still obvious steps it can take to continue to be better. They can do more for minority fans. They can reach out to LGBT groups, and have them be actively involved in the night. And, most importantly, they can continue to listen to feedback.
Last year a lot of people were upset. Their voices were heard. It goes to further show that if you speak up respectfully and honestly you can make a difference. It appears that the vocal group of fans who felt like the Stars did a poor job last year have been heard. If they want to continue to see this process evolve they need to continue to speak up.
Now we wait to see what February 16th looks like at the American Airlines Center.

2/12/18 – Jamie Goligoski

I’ve only ever rooted against one player wearing a Dallas Stars jersey. Sean Avery was gross the minute the late Ambassador of Fun made the deal happen for his former roommate.

I tend to not really root against any players anymore. I think even now being #Old and #Enlightened I wouldn’t even really root against Avery. I wouldn’t like him, but actively rooting against someone takes a lot of energy I can’t really spare any more with the mental and physical aches and pains of approaching middle age.

Jamie Oleksiak is no different. I never rooted against him. If he was successful it made the Stars successful and I like good hockey. Now, I DID root against his most fervent supporters who somehow couldn’t see him for what he was.

Did I root against him though? Never.

A Venn diagram of his supporters and those who bagged on John Klingberg was a circle. It drove me crazy in the way every Eric Nystrom goal made the ticking time bomb of his inevitable return to earth that more grizzly when it eventually exploded.

I didn’t get to watch the Pittsburgh Penguins fly (waddle?) into the American Airlines Center for their match up with the Stars live on Friday night for the “Return of the Rig” or whatever it was called. As with most things, I got to live vicariously through Twitter until recently.

I stumbled across this and cringed:

I came across this and laughed:

This made me laugh even more:

Despite all of the laughter and merriment, despite all of the schadenfreude, and despite the Stars eventually winning 4-3, Oleksiak was simply there. He merely existed in a universe with much bigger players who made much bigger impacts. You barely noticed him if you watched the game which is probably the best you can hope from him consistently.

Oleksiak was brutal at times for the Stars. Last season and the 21 games he spent in Dallas during the 2018 season he was just kind of there. He hovered around 50% Corsi, Fenwick, Shots, and Scoring Chance percentages while not producing much offense at all with 26 points in a career 162 games.

OleksiakSA

The snippet above from www.hockeyviz.com shows that defensively there are still a lot of chances coming from in close with Oleksiak on the ice. He’s just there taking up space.

And you know, there’s value in that. The NHL needs guys at the bottom of the roster. He was really bad early on, and developed into a back of the roster player. The outrage and fanfare over Oleksiak is overblown either way. He got treated like Alex Goligoski and John Klingberg after a rough start to his career, but at this point being Mad Online about him is a waste of energy.

Oleksiak may turn out to be a useful addition for the Penguins. I wish him nothing but the best. Sidney Crosby may be the best thing to ever happen for his career given that he’s humming along at 56% Corsi when on the ice with him (46% without). He hit what always seemed like the most reasonable ceiling he would hit, and then moved on. The nature of the draft being what it is, Oleksiak closed his story in Dallas as a successful pick.

Hey, click these

2/12/18 – Team USA Men Would Have Been Really Good
2/6/18 – Jaromir Jagr and Tom Brady
2/6/18 – .insert(“Really Bad Chess Pun”);
2/5/18 – Mooterart From Around the Internet
2/5/18 – Tyler Seguin’s 25th goal

2/8/18 – Team USA Men Would’ve Been Really Good.

The 2018 Winter Olympic opening ceremonies are Friday night. I’ve always loved the Winter Olympics. All the bobsled-type events, the speed skating, and that one that looks like Russian prisoners of war preparing to escape the Gulag. Biathlon maybe? I don’t know. Hockey has always been my favorite though, obviously.

I love watching the American hockey teams play, both the men and the women. I’ve even, until recently, been able to stomach watching Patrick Kane play. I once enthusiastically cheered for David Backes in NHL games as he went after Canadian Olympians during regular season play. I still have a USA Hockey hat that barely fits over my giant adult head that I’m considering pulling out tonight with the first events being broadcast on TV.

The NHL not allowing players to go to the Olympics is robbing hockey fans of an awesome experience, but it’s also screwing easily the bestAmerican men’s hockey team of the last 20 years and probably ever.

When the World Cup of Hockey took place it really hit me how much talent the US team has now after years of being “just ok”. They have enough talent now to be disappointed when they don’t medal. Even more has emerged as the year has progressed.

Up the middle they would have Auston Matthews, Jack Eichel, and Joe Pavelski for sure. Dylan Larkin should go for his speed alone. Paul Stastny or Derek Stepan could have made it in a depth spot. He has missed a lot of time, but you know Ryan Kesler would have been the fourth center. It isn’t Sidney Crosby and McDavid 1-2, but if I’m USA Hockey I’m proud to go to war with that group.

The wingers are obscene by American standards. Phil Kessel is 2nd in the league in scoring and has been on top of the leaderboard at times. After being left off of the roster  for the World Cup for ridiculous reasons he scorched the earth a bit:

It should be a no-brainer that he would have been there, but we know USA Hockey. I’m going to ignore the possibility of them doing something silly and assume Phil would be there. The other locks for wingers are full of star power. Patrick Kane, Blake Wheeler, Max Pacioretty, Johnny Gaudreau and Calder Trophy front-runner/All Star game MVP Brock Boeser are givens. Hell, that gets you to the third line with legit stars on the wings. You only need three more guys to fill out the roster, and they would have had a lot of options.

Timothy Jimothy Oshie and James van Riemsdyk are old national team standards you could have seen make it. Brandon Saad, Nick Foligno, Chris Kreider, Kyle Palmieri, Kyle Okposo, or Cam Atkinson would have made sense too. They could have gone the fun route and gone all young with depth with Matthew Tkachuk, Clayton Keller, Alex DeBrincat, Jake Guentzel, or Kyle Connor.

The young guys plus the stars (who are mostly young) would have been so much fun. Even the defense is young and fun and good. Check out the defensive scoring leaderboard some time. John Carlson (4), Shayne Gostisbehere (6), Ryan Suter (10), Seth Jones (11), Jake Gardiner (12), Torey Krug (13), Nick Leddy (16), and Keith Yandle (17) are all Americans in the top 20 of scoring. Several more (including rookie Will Butcher) are just outside. Canada, for the record, also has eight in the top 20.

I was absolutely floored by how many defensemen were up that high. There’s no way they would have taken all of those guys, but it would have been criminal to leave Carlson or Ghostbear off. Suter and Jones would be locks too. Ryan McDonagh is probably making it unless he pisses the organization off the way Kessel did.

Gardiner, Krug, Leddy, Yandle, and Butcher could all fit in those last couple of spots. Zack Werenski, Dustin Byfuglien, Justin Faulk, Jaccob Slavin, Jacob Trouba, Matt Niskanen, Kevin Shattenkirk, Noah Hanifin, and Charlie McAvoy could all make claims. The sheer number of American defensemen who are legitimately solid is stunning. I think I’d take Werenski, Slavin, and McAvoy, but I’d have to think about it.

In goal you know they’d start Jonathan Quick with Cory Schneider or Jimmy Howard backing him up.

The more I’ve thought about this the more I’ve been annoyed by it. This would have legitimately been a really fun team to root for despite the presence of Patrick Kane. This is the best collection of American talent possibly ever and instead we’ll get to see Mark Arcobello lead the squad to hope and pray for a chance at a bronze medal. The only saving grace here is how young they are. If the NHL gets it together the American team should be great in 2022.

2022! Jesus, I’m old.

Look at Phil again in that ugly jersey.

 

Hey, click these

2/6/18 – Jaromir Jagr and Tom Brady
2/6/18 – .insert(“Really Bad Chess Pun”);
2/5/18 – Mooterart From Around the Internet
2/5/18 – Tyler Seguin’s 25th goal
2/4/18 – A Hockey Rink is a Hockey Rink and a Game is a Game 

 

2/6/18 – Jaromir Jagr and Tom Brady

He had 34 games, 14 goals, 12 assists, and 20 penalty minutes as a Dallas Star. That’s it. Out of 1733 games, 766 goals, 1155 assists, and 1167 penalty minutes the Stars career of the legendary Jaromir Jagr is a gust of wind after a hurricane.

It feels like it was more significant than that. Jaromir Jagr is one of those names that brings gravitas with it. His name alone just sounds like hockey. It rolls off the tongue with alliterative perfection. The cult of personality he brought made hockey fun. The stories about his workout habits added to his legacy. The mullet. The Travelling Jagrs. Adding him to a Stars team coming out of bankruptcy hell under Tom Gaglardi felt meaningful.

In the end the Stars turned Jagr into a first round pick that became Jason Dickinson which is likely to be where most of the significance of the Jagr in Dallas tenure comes from. Dickinson shows flashes and has the statistical profile to suggest he’s going to be a quality NHLer.

Can we take a moment to appreciate the Pittsburgh Penguins teams he was a part of early in his career? In his rookie season Jagr was teammates with Hall of Famers Mario Lemieux, Ron Francis, Paul Coffey, Larry Murphy, Mark Recchi, Bryan Trottier, and Joe Mullen. It’s almost insulting to just call these guys Hall of Famers.

He ended up playing with Eric Lindros, Luc Robitaille, Brian Leetch, Adam Oates, Mark Messier, Brendan Shanahan, Henrik Lundqvist, Sergei Zubov, Peter Bondra, Sergei Gonchar, Markus Naslund, Alex Kovalev, Jamie Benn, and numerous other great players throughout his career. He’s seen everything at this point.

Watching the Super Bowl made me think more about Jagr. He and Tom Brady are approximate equals in their sports. Brady, even though he lost, was still Brady in the Super Bowl at 40 years old. Barring something unforeseen he’s going to go out leaving his fans with a final image that looks close to peak Brady. Seeing Jagr limp out of the NHL, probably for good, with his 20th franchise (estimated) sucks.

I promise this isn’t about to turn into a #PleaseLikeMySport story.

I think it goes to show you how physically difficult playing in the NHL is compared to being an NFL quarterback. Brady does get hit sometimes. His main job is to maintain his arm strength enough to let the football IQ he has developed over 30 whatever years to shine through. I can’t stress enough that I’m not minimizing what he has been able to do. It’s immensely impressive.

We know the reputation Jagr has for fitness. Sure, he isn’t on the TB12 athletic scientology plan. He has to maintain his legs. He has to be able to skate well enough to keep up with younger and younger players who keep skating at higher and higher levels. Can you even imagine Jagr in a straight race with Connor McDavid? It would be embarrassing. He has to be able to take a more consistent physical toll and his body has to respond faster to the more rigorous demands of an NHL schedule.

So I watched the Super Bowl both impressed with Brady and thinking about how impressed I am with Jagr despite both players being at different points in their careers. I’m 32 and my knee hurts walking up the stairs. Brady keeps doing his thing, and despite time catching up with him Jagr continued to be a useful NHL player into his mid-40’s.

He’s going to go down as one of the 5-10 greatest players in league history. There will always be a legit Stars 68 Jagr jersey. We were fortunate enough to get to see greatness up close and personal, old greatness but greatness nonetheless, for a handful of games. His tenure with the Stars may ultimately be meaningless, but anyone who got to experience those few games will remember them.

Hey, click these

2/6/18 – .insert(“Really Bad Chess Pun”);
2/5/18 – Mooterart From Around the Internet
2/5/18 – Tyler Seguin’s 25th goal
2/4/18 – A Hockey Rink is a Hockey Rink and a Game is a Game
2/3/18 – The Conservative NHL and Mooterus Culture

2/6/18 – .insert(“Really Bad Chess Pun”);

Henrik Lundqvist could’ve been a Star. I think about this whenever the Rangers come to town. He was almost a Stars 7th round pick a million years ago. How much different would things be?

Optimistic me pictures Lundqvist winding down his long Stars career after multiple Stanley Cups with Jamie Benn and making all alumni games exponentially more handsome. Realistic me realizes he would have found a new team due to the #PeskyStars inability to pay him during bankruptcy hell.

One fortuitous pick changed so much for both of these franchises. Ben Bishop, Kari Lehtonen, and Antti Niemi never make it to Dallas. What happens with Lundqvist vs Marty Turco? The Stars cap situation looks much more muddled off and on in the aughts.

Most importantly we would have a picture of Lundqvist in a Mooterus.

Lundqvist was really good tonight. The Stars peppered him with shots with ease.

Selective

Me, an adult: I think of a lot of things in terms of video games of various quality. If I were watching this game as the General Manager/Coach of the Stars in EHM and saw all of those shots going for nothing I would have lost my mind and switched to selective shooting. The Stars had to be getting frustrated with so many good looks being thrown aside by King Henrik, but to their credit they didn’t show it.

***

“It didn’t feel like we were dominating. It felt like we were getting a lot of shots but it didn’t feel like we were dominating. We had some point blanks but they were getting chances too. At the end of the night there isn’t going to be much difference in the scoring chances. I know there was a big difference in the shots but I don’t think there was much difference in scoring chances. “  — Ken Hitchcock on tonight’s game

I mean…

Rangers

There is no reason for Hitch to bury a team they beat 2-1 in the media, but they were pretty clearly the better team. That’s the even strength expected goals chart from Corsica.hockey.

The Corsi chart isn’t much prettier for Team Kasparitis. In the second period the Rangers got tied to some train tracks with no one around for miles to save them with a locomotive bearing down on them.

RangersCorsi

I’d be curious to see if the Stars changed a matchup in the second with the long change to exploit something the Rangers were doing. Hitchcock made reference to a change with Radek Faksa’s group:

“We weren’t really bringing them in, in a checking role until they made a switch on their line and then they had a job to do. …For me, they negated three really good hockey players. They still got their licks in, some of those players, but that line did some damage themselves. They made them defend more than they wanted to.”

I wonder if that change is the one that turned the tide further in the Stars direction at even strength in the 2nd.

***

This was one of the rare games on the NHL schedule where we have the opportunity to lament the fact that the NHL has robbed us of two great hyphenated names. We still get to hear Ryan Nugent-Hopkins regularly, but when the Rangers meet up with the Stars it’s hard not to think about Mattias Janmark-Nylen and Mats Zuccarello Aasen.

Bonus points for Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson not being a thing anymore either.

***

My favorite Stars-related Tweet of the night:

***

And finally the NHL is doing all of us a disservice. Here.

This was Tyler Seguin’s 26th goal of the season. The full play was probably 30-45 seconds long and included Alexander Radulov single-handedly running his own forecheck, John Klingberg making a filthy pass at the blueline to Esa Lindell, and the Jason Spezza pass seen to set up the goal. If you can find the full clip do yourself a favor and watch it.

Hey, click these

2/5/18 – Mooterart From Around the Internet
2/5/18 – Tyler Seguin’s 25th goal
2/4/18 – A Hockey Rink is a Hockey Rink and a Game is a Game
2/3/18 – The Conservative NHL and Mooterus Culture
2/2/18 – A New Hope

2/5/2018 – Mooterart From Around The Internet

I’m torn about what to do. I feel like I need a prominent Mooterus at the top of the page and Mooterus accents everywhere. I would happily take one of the many you can find with Google.

The problem there is theft. I feel like that would risk a lawsuit from the Stars. I don’t want to get sued  Then again getting sued for ripping off a Mooterus is very much On Brand and might make it all worth it.

I can’t imagine anyone has the word “Mooterus” trademarked. There is no way the Stars do because they don’t even acknowledge the jersey, and the term isn’t “official” anyway. Plus if an outside force tried to trademark it there almost certainly would be a lawsuit. I feel like I’m pretty safe using it as gratuitously as possible though I’m no lawyer.

I hit Google looking for inspiration and ideas. Mooterus artwork and Mooterus themed drawings are pretty common. If you aren’t familiar with the Mooterus (for one, why are you here?) this is it in all of it’s glory:

Dallas-Stars-logo-2003-06

If you’re unfamiliar with why it is colloquially referred to as the Mooterus that’s because it bears a stunning resemblance to the female reproductive system:

Uterus

Professionals have tried to make the logo less fun by removing the red to make the original jersey more aesthetically pleasing and On Brand for the Stars. Hockey By Design did this for some reason:

Screen-Shot-2017-06-09-at-2.21.14-PM.png

It just doesn’t look right.

A couple of enterprising individuals tried to mock up a Stars third jersey with an up to date Mooterus. This one appears to be done by a scholar named Coby Schoolman. Boffo work.

CobySchoolman-DAL (2)

We also have a fine piece of Photoshopping that shows us what the Victory Greem jersey looks like Mooterized.

mooterus2

I appreciate the invention. I appreciate the creativity. These people clearly have their priorities in order and know how things should be. I salute them.

I need the dedication of those who decided to draw Mooteri. Imagine the dedication needed to craft a Mooterus from crayon, ink pen, marker, paint, or charcoal. I think this one is watercolor and I would love to discuss the work with the artist to understand their motivations and goals with the piece.

mooterus_by_ashtonmack-db97kvlAs much as I love the effort and work my favorite depiction has been saved for last. This artist put so much thought and effort into their work. The MS Paint craftsmanship is unparalleled. I’m in love.

iwG0WWu

If any of the last two artists see this I would love to talk to you. Your work is phenomenal. I am beyond moved and inspired.

I still don’t know what to do for a logo or a banner, but I do now know that the precedent of hand drawing one is out there. It remains to be seen which direction I go. If you have any suggestions I would love to hear them. If you would like to offer up your own rendition of the Mooterus I would love to see it too. Thank you for your courage should you decide to share one.

Hey, click these

2/4/2018 – Tyler Seguin’s 25th Goal
2-4-2018 A Hockey Rink is a Hockey Rink and a Game is a Game
2/3/18 – The Conservative NHL and Mooterus Culture
2/2/18 – A New Hope

2/5/18 – Tyler Seguin’s 25th Goal

It’s flattering that as of 4 pm there have been over 120 visitors to this site on the third day of it existing without me doing anything more than tweeting a couple of links in the middle of the night.

I initially posted that this was about not caring about an audience because ultimately it isn’t. I think worrying about who will read something over a long enough time period stifled what I wanted to say and made me dread writing at times. It is nice to see that even a few people clicked on something they didn’t have to. I do appreciate it.

I also appreciate Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, and Alexander Radulov. Opposing teams pretty clearly do too. The Dallas Stars laid the wood to the Minnesota Wild last night 6-1, but I keep thinking about Seguin’s goal in the middle of the 2nd period. The more I watch it the more ridiculous it is.

Here it is again. It starts out with a simple breakout.

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The three Stars in the picture are Benn, Seguin, and Radulov. The Wild aren’t in bad shape here.

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The Stars turn the puck over and the Wild defender chips it blindly up the boards. From here the Wild lose their minds. The same defender drops back at least 15 feet as Radulov picks the puck up. Seguin is already on the blueline ready to join the attack.

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Even NOW the Wild still out number the Stars four to three. All four Wild players are in position to guard the center of the ice. Notice where Seguin is. Within five seconds he’s going to be on the opposite side of the rink wide open.

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Two seconds later the Wild are completely screwed. Two of the Wild go to attack Radulov in the corner. Two Wild players go to Seguin to prevent the tap in goal. No Wild players have any idea where arguably the best player on the ice, Benn, is located. Benn, being who he is, goes right into the undefended area in the faceoff circle.

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The Wild STILL have a chance here now that the forward Realizes What He Has Done and goes to front Benn. Seguin still isn’t wide open, but he may as well be. Mike Reilly of the Wild is staring at Benn. The high forward is watching Benn instead of looking at Seguin, but his responsibility isn’t either of those guys.

Still, Seguin is a right shot. His stick, at this point, will end up closer to the forward than Reilly, but Reilly is in a position to make a play as of now.

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Not even one second later look how much separation Seguin got because no one is watching him. This is the same thing Brett Hull and all elite goal scorers have an ability to do that mortal humans like us will never understand. They just know how to get open. Reilly made it easier, but it takes high quality hockey intelligence to know how to get just enough space to make a goal a tap in.

You may notice that this was the fourth goal of the game. It made me think of this Ken Hitchcock quote from after the game:

This is the first goal after the moment Hitchcock claims to have noticed it looked like they played last night. He’s probably on to something.

So I think there’s something to having one of each of these guys on three different lines. Then I see goals like that happen and realize I don’t care because sometimes it’s fun to watch a dominant line dominate even if they aren’t together all the time.

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2-4-2018 A Hockey Rink is a Hockey Rink and a Game is a Game
2/3/18 – The Conservative NHL and Mooterus Culture
2/2/18 – A New Hope

2/4/2018 – A Hockey Rink is a Hockey Rink and a Game is a Game

I think that quote might be the perfect way to describe the Dallas Stars under Ken Hitchcock. Kari Lehtonen is a poet.

The Stars flicked a cigarette out the window of their T-bird going 30 miles an hour early in the 2nd period and quickly sped up to 70 and got the hell away from the scene of the crime as the rapidly spreading fire they started made the entire Minnesota Wild forest submit to the inevitable quickly in a 6-1 win.

Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and Alexander Radulov are simply too much for any team to defend. I wrote about this earlier in the year at WFAA.com, but watching the Pittsburgh Penguins still makes you wonder if splitting all three of them up would be beneficial long term. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Phil Kessel are all on different lines and dominating. They pose matchup threats that the Stars can’t recreate with all three guys on the same line.

Then again I don’t think it’s possible to defend them. Here is Seguin’s 2nd period goal off a feed from Benn. Look at how open Seguin gets.

Seguin

Two Wild defenders attach themselves to Radulov and Benn. Mike Reilly is the defenseman in the same county as Seguin. If you watch that video closely you’ll notice that at no point does he even look at Seguin. The entire time he’s watching the puck, then sticks his stick out to block the pass, and finally watches the puck go in his net.

It’s hard to complain when things are working, but I do wonder if they would be a better playoff team with one alpha on each of the top three lines. Either way, a 6-1 win is good.

***
https://twitter.com/SportsSturm/status/960004855606792192

I mentioned this on Twitter, but I would have been more surprised to not see Jason Spezza anywhere near this list than to see John Klingberg or Alexander Radulov leading it.  Of those top seven guys five were either drafted by the Stars or made their NHL debut with the club. Only Radulov was a free agent signing. Tyler Seguin was picked up in a trade using players drafted and developed by the team.

Mattias Janmark is playing at a 45 point pace. Radek Faksa is on a 38 point 82 game pace. Since the lockout the only Stars who have been drafted and/or developed by the Stars to eclipse 45 are Benn, Klingberg, and Loui Eriksson. 38 has been eclipsed by Steve Ott and Trevor Daley also.

***

Ken Hitchcock On Retro Night:

“I love those sweaters. The part I like is that when we wear those sweaters our team looks really big. We looked like a football team in warm-ups which, to me, is intimidating. It just reminds you of the good old days. It’s good to reminisce but I really like those sweaters.”

Fortunately that football team looked more like the New England Patriots than the oddly Cleveland Brown-looking Wild. Dallas Stars Poet Laureate Lehtonen put it best. A game is a game, but beating the hell out of a division mate is pretty choice.

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2/3/18 – The Conservative NHL and Mooterus Culture
2/2/18 – A New Hope

2/3/2018 The Conservative NHL and Mooterus Culture

There is nothing wrong with the Mooterus.

I know what you’re going to say, but I don’t care. It’s in the URL. I announced that this was a safe space in the very first thing I wrote. The Mooterus, the Executive Board of Directors of The Mooterati, all donors, all intellectual supporters of the Mooterus, The Mooterus Appreciation Society, Mooterus Historical Society, and all those who support our cause are welcome here.

Many find the Mooterus to be aesthetic anthrax. I’m not here to convince those people that the Stars need to have red in their color scheme or that they should have a giant bull for a crest. A bull makes as much sense as The Big Dipper anyway. When is the last time you saw a bull in Dallas anyway? The Stockyards are in Fort Worth.

Honestly if you want a constellation I’ll draw a bunch of scribbly-ass lines on a document in MS Paint and we can have an NHL Rorschach Test jersey for the next Stars third jersey. The pictures are made up and make no sense anyway.

The Mooterus is simply fun. Third jerseys are supposed to be fun. Sports in general are supposed to be fun. Yeah, the Mooterus is funny because it looks like a female reproductive system, but that adds to the charm.

The NHL is largely the sport of middle to upper class whites with a more conservative lean the higher the age goes up which causes an internal conflict with the need to attract as many young fans as possible. No one under 25, maybe under 30, wants to watch Bryan Adams, Billy Idol, Goo Goo Dolls, or KISS perform. Yet, these are just some of the recent examples of performers the NHL has hired for their marquee events.

When the NHL actually tries to be progressive people lose their shit and they retreat back into a cave of conservative boring presentation. The initial third jerseys got kid me interested. I loved the flaming horse’s head in Calgary. The Burger King jersey still makes me laugh. Who doesn’t enjoy the tacky as all hell Blues jersey? Or the Gorton’s Fish Stick jersey?

I still remember watching the NHL Draft the first time I saw that Flames jersey to this day. I thought it was so cool as a kid. How often do you remember where you were the first time you saw a jersey?

My biggest gripe with the NHL is that collectively they take themselves too seriously. They have a stuffy image they want to uphold. The last two years they’ve tried to be more “new age” with their All Star game jerseys. Of course they were ugly. They weren’t targeting you, the person seeking out an unread blog on a small corner of the internet. They were targeting kids. Kids love tacky and bright things.

The Mooterus is shunned in much the same way. I’m not saying it needs to be a regular jersey or worn during any game, but shunning it does nothing to get rid it. The Mooterus is history. No matter if the Stars move to Mexico City and drape themselves in red, green, and white they will always have the Mooterus in their history. They may as well embrace it.

This petition is on the first page of Google when you search Mooterus. You should sign it.

https://www.change.org/p/dallas-stars-the-dallas-stars-should-wear-the-mooterus-jersey-for-at-least-one-game-in-the-2019-season

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2/2/18 – A New Hope