Two entries in one day! It's been a while since I did that. Make sure you read both of them!
For anyone who wants to hear a little more about the Teppo Numminen situation, there's a really interesting interview from this morning with Paul Hamilton up in WGR's Audio Vault. Considering that one of you pointed it out to me (hi, Meg!), chances are good that some of you have already listened to it but for those of you who haven't, here's a brief breakdown:
- Despite people's eagerness to compare the Sabres' dealings with Teppo to the Canadiens' dealings with Saku Koivu, the situations are not really that similar. When Koivu was diagnosed with cancer, he was already into an insured multi-year contract. Teppo was beginning a new contract and that contract did not officially kick in until he passed his preseason physical which, of course, he didn't do. (And while Hamilton didn't say this, I'm pretty sure his contract wasn't insured anyway because of his pre-existing heart condition.) The reason the Canadiens didn't suspend Koivu is because there was no reason for them to do so. It wouldn't have made any difference to them. They weren't paying his salary, the insurance company was. That would not have been the case for the Sabres.
While it's kind of crappy, at times like this hockey's a business. If Teppo was going to be out for an extended period of time, the Sabres were likely going to have to pick up another d-man. And while they were able to pick up Nolan Pratt for a very reasonable price, they might have been in a situation where they had to pay someone a lot of money in which case it made sense to clear Teppo's salary from the books.
- Hamilton also addressed the quote from Darcy Regier that made it sound like the Sabres are not allowed to pay Teppo for the rest of the season. Thank goodness because I was dying for clarification on that and no one seemed to be getting it. He said that Darcy seemed reluctant to go on-record because he didn't want to sound like he was being critical of the league but that he implied that the Sabres were willing to pay Teppo from this point on and were prepared to do so but that the NHL stepped in and said they couldn't, that at this point they have to wait for the arbitrator's ruling. I was glad to hear that because while I can justify the initial suspension it seemed pretty petty to dither over his prorated salary for the last two weeks of the season especially since they do have cap room.
- Totally unrelated but I was happy to hear Paul Hamilton pick apart Al Strachan's diatribe on Sabres management on a recent Hockey Night in Canada Hot Stove.
- Also unrelated, but I love the re-design WGR has done to its Audio Vault. I never understood why there wasn't a search feature. (Now let's get some Henrik Tallinder interviews up there, people!) I also really like the way some of the interviews are earmarked where different topics start, allowing you to skip over topics you're not interested in. Very nifty.
- Still unrelated, but wow, Teppo looks great. I am so glad that it appears he's quit slicking his hair back! I don't always like longer hair on men but his is very pretty and full and the old dog is handsome enough to pull it off. It also helps that unlike Ryan Miller's former Jesus haircut it doesn't look like it was trimmed by a drunk teammate wielding nail clippers.