Monday, July 28, 2008

My First Post

Greetings All! I'm Scott, "The Big Geek" Fowler, from OC Sports Geeks, and I'm a new Ducks writer here on Battle of the Pacific.

I recently had a chance to interview Greg Wyshynski, aka Puck Daddy from Yahoo! Sports hockey blog on the Ducks current offseason work. I also threw in a Mats Sundin/Leafs question, just because I'm that guy. Here's what he had to say:

The Big Geek: Brian Burke. Great Hockey Visionary, Blowhard Attention whore, or both? Your thoughts?

Puck Daddy:First off, there’s no shame in being an attention whore if you know how that game works. Burke is shrewd; Kevin Lowe came off like a dim-witted ex-jock trying to pick a fight in an ill-fitting varsity jacket.

I wouldn't say great hockey visionary. What's rather amazing about Brian Burke is that he's considered the gold standard for general managers when he’s actually hockey’s greatest hip-hop producer: He’s a remixer who knows what to do with samples, not someone who goes to the studio and builds a song from scratch.

He kept some beats in Vancouver, traded in some others, and then added samples like Ed Jovanovski from other teams. When he picked up an instrument and tried to play something on his own, he ended up drafting guys like Nathan Smith and Fedor Fedorov; one is most famous for showing off his twig and berries while streaking through Scranton, and the other … well, he ain’t exactly Sergei.

In Anaheim, he won with a roster primarily crafted by previous general managers. But the Ducks aren’t winning without Burke adding Pronger, Niedermayer and Selanne, so credit is due.

There’s no shame in taking pieces and creating a masterpiece. It’s just that he’s Timbaland, when a guy like Lou Lamoriello is John Lennon.

The Big Geek:Brian Burke, 2009-10 season: Toronto Maple Leafs GM?

Puck Daddy:Nothing is ever guaranteed with Burke, who reminds me of basketball’s Larry Brown in both his fickle nature and his insatiable desire for new challenges. But destiny does seem to smile on this potential marriage.

Like I said in your first query: Burke isn’t exactly the guy who rebuilds from rock bottom. So if the ego does land in Toronto, it’ll be interesting to see what he’s able to do to turn that franchise around in short order..

The Big Geek:Think Teemu's coming back? Lots of rumors flying out there...And if so, what do you think his level of contribution will be?

Puck Daddy:My money’s on his return, especially after Niedermayer decided to stay off the couch and come to camp.

As far as contribution, he had 48 power-play points in 82 games two years ago and 12 points in 26 games last season. He’s a remarkable weapon on special teams, and a complete difference maker with the man advantage. He could skate like Hurley from “Lost” 5-on-5, but if he’s putting up a power-play point once every two games, it’s worth having him back.

The Big Geek:What do you think the trade potential for D Mattieu Schneider is?

Puck Daddy:Ron Hainsey just signed for, like, eleventy-seventy billion dollars with Atlanta. So yeah, there’s a bit of a premium on offensive defensemen.

The Big Geek:This is un-orange county, but I'm curious cuz I'm also a Leafs Fan. Sundin, playing in 08-09? where?

Puck Daddy:I’ve stopped guessing on Sundin. The only inside information there is would be the information inside his big bald Swedish noggin. I’ll say this: If someone loves you $20 million and you don’t jump, maybe you’d prefer to kick back with some Absolut and meatballs for the next 30 years.

The Big Geek:Brendan Morrisson has shown that he's a great forward, when healthy and contributing. Think he's another Bertuzzi/Weight type of Bust or does he stand the best chance of making a difference on the second line?

Puck Daddy:He won’t be a bust, but the ultimate test for that is going to be chemistry with his wingers. I’m still rather stunned he didn’t take Columbus’s offer and score 60 points skating with Rick Nash. Maybe he’s allergic to Buckeye country, as any Wolverine would be.

The Big Geek:And finally, just generically, anything you're hearing out there in rumors other than Teemu regarding the Ducks?

Puck Daddy:Not a damn thing.. But Anaheim’s action usually comes at the trade deadline. That’s when the rumors start flying faster than Ryan Getlzaf driving to practice.

That's all for this round of questions, but a special thanks to Puck Daddy for his Insight, his time, and his flava. :) Thanks, Greg.


Mike in OC said...

great work.

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