Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Wasn't hard to guess which paper would have the first story on the addition of impartial goal judges.

Hey, I feel the Mudbugs' pain. And like John Madden says, nothing can undo Game 7. But you also can't go back in time and give the Board of Governors the foresight to think that local judges were a pressing problem.

And what are the odds of ever seeing another play like that? About as high as the odds that all three game officials will come down with food poisoning, putting Rufus Lopez or his equivalent back behind the net.

The thing is, it is an indictment of the off-ice personnel. You are basically saying that they either too incompetent or too biased to perform their duties in the most important games. But if that's really the case, why are they still qualifed to work Game 4 of the first round, or even a regular season contest?

Replay? Still not realistic in my opinion, not in a world where a dozen higher, more prestigious leagues in several sports also do without it. Not to mention that, even if the CHL had NHL and ESPN-quality replay, I believe the ruling on the ice would not have changed (even the Times used the word "inconclusive!").

And frankly, if I was just your average ticket-buying fan (of any team besides the Mudbugs) and found out my team was going to shell out ten or twenty grand for replay, my response would be, "Screw that! How 'bout spending it on salaries, or an affiliation, or upgrading the bus?"

Lately I've heard a lot of people -- even one or two in Shreveport -- say, "well, it's their own fault, they blew two chances to put away the series." This is nonsense, because of course the Mudbugs still deserved the fairest shake. But everybody knows the truism -- you don't want a Game 7, because "anything can happen." Anything did.

As for the NHL stuff, my understanding is those players will count $725 against the cap, regardless of what he actually makes (unless, presumably, he's making more). The average CHL player salary is $472, so I could have seen them going as high as $900 -- clearly one NHL-caliber player is worth at least as much as a pair of second-line defensemen, or a single star offensive guy.

So if I were the Brahmas, for example (since they remain the lone example), I'd just carry 17 -- you gotta figure Lukowich can play so many minutes that a sixth defenseman won't be needed. Then if the lockout ends, you somehow dig up another vet who's worth that kind of money, or you have the option of bringing in two lower-earning guys.
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