When Brad Richards departed for New York, there was nothing sudden about it. B-Rad leaving was as inevitable as Lindsay Lohan messing things up for herself…again. I knew it, you knew it, your neighbor who doesn’t even watch hockey knew it. We all knew it. That’s why it was so easy to deal with. Well, as easy to deal with as those sorts of things can be. I accepted it, albeit bitterly.
Even though there’d been trade rumblings for ages, I never saw the Mike Ribeiro trade coming. And as a Ribs fan, ouch. It hurts. I understand why the trade was made, and I like it. But that’s not enough to rid myself of the sadness that comes when a player I very much enjoyed having around is traded.
This post is kind of a eulogy, even though I hate to call it that. Ribs didn’t die; he was merely traded. Though in the hockey world, they might as well be the same thing. Analysis will come from everywhere as we prepare to assess our Stars team for free agency and the coming season, but I’m not going to dwell on how spectacular Cody Eakin will or won’t be.
No, right now I just want to take time to remember a guy who’s been an important Stars player and a hell of a great character.
Welcome to the club.
This year’s draft gave us a great bunch of new prospects, including our first round pick, Radek Faksa. Thanks to some truly random picks, Faksa magically fell into our laps.
If you’ll recall, Faksa was on the wishlist of several Stars fans and pundits, but he was slated to go as high as 6 or 7 and was ultimately deemed a bit of a reach. However, the top 10 was dominated by defensemen, so the Stars had a fantastic crop to pick from: Faksa, Teuvo Teravainen, Zemgus Girgensons (my Fighting Saints bb), and Grigorenko. It was pretty fantastic to be able to draft Faksa.
He has a fantastic story behind his career, and it’s one of those feel-good stories that show what hockey’s all about. A native of the Czech Republic, Faksa lived in hotels, starting at age 11, just so that he could pursue his dream. He left his family and lived alone, receiving two meals a day to play. Obviously, Faksa has an insane amount of character, which I always welcome on my team. Bonus: he’s cute. And I’ve decided his nickname is Foxy.
Here’s what Stars scout Jimmy Johnston had to say about Faksa as a player:
He’s got good size; he’s a smart kid on both sides of the puck. He’s good in the defensive zone, he’s good offensively. He can create offense and he can understand the other side of the game, too. He’s just a real good two-way player.
It’s no secret that the Stars are depleted at center, so this acquisition is a big step for the future.
Radek Faksa is the highlight of this year’s draft for the Stars. However, we had an incredible nine picks overall that evened out to…
- Four centers
- Three defensemen
- One goaltender
- One right wing
This years awards seemed even more awkwardly painful than they usually are. Part of this was the lack of a host, mixed with an awful crowd and some truly awful Nickelback performances.
For me, the best part was seeing hockey players in suits. As you can see above, Gabriel Landeskog looked goooooooooooood (quote courtesy of the most quotable movie ever, Mean Girls).
Here’s just some random thoughts I had from the night:
- Henrik Lundqvist is a life ruiner.
- Henrik Lundqvist is actually a prince.
- Hockey players are the most awkward human beings in the world–they’re basically 15-year-old girls–and should never be asked to step outside their comfort zones EVER. See: Steven Stamkos and Cheryl Burke.
- Fun fact: Of the 12 player awards that weren’t pre-determined, 9 went to players from the East.
- Gabriel Landeskog is very well-spoken, considering he’s a) Swedish and b) he’s only 19. He’s also ridiculously pretty.
- Nickelback is the WORST. I feel like the league was trying to punish us for something, though I have no idea what.
- Geno was very sweet and genuine when he thanked his friend, Sergei Gonchar, in his Hart acceptance speech. I’m not the biggest fan of Malkin as a player, but I love him as a person.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is Cory Monteith’s brother or something.
- I like Erik Karlsson, even if he’s a dirty Sen. He wore his pink shirt nicely.
- Brian Campbell has no eyebrows, and it’s creepy.
- The Will Arnett!Brendan Shanahan sketches were super entertaining, even if Shanny didn’t think so beyond the first one.
- I don’t watch Glee anymore (best decision ever), but holy crap is Cory Monteith charming. I just really love him. He smiled; I melted.
Basically, the awards are varying degrees of hilari-awkward and painful, but I do love them. Of course, it always helps when Henrik Lundqvist drops an F-bomb making him even more flawless than I previously thought him…
It would figure, of course, that a team like the Kings is winning a Cup in 2012 of all years. And, quite frankly, I’m not too happy about it. I’m going to let Martin Freeman (from the flawless Sherlock) and Ron Swanson gif it out for me:
It’s not cool, and I don’t like it. But, to be honest, I can’t wait for hockey to be over. This is the first time in a very long time that I’ve felt that way. I’m tired of watching the Kings be so disgustingly dominant. I’m tired of cheering for a team I don’t even like. I’m just tired of it all.
I want free agency to come so that Zach Parise, Alex Semin, and Ryan Suter can all become Stars and make us awesome and stuff. Or something like that.
I mean, yeah, i’d love to see the Kings disintegrate and the Devils to win, but I’d probably just find myself not caring. I haven’t really cared since the second round when all of my teams were knocked out. I’m sorry, but when the only remaining teams are two from the Pacific and two from New York (basically), it’s not ideal for me.
Good luck to the Devils, but if they don’t win, I don’t see how I can get any angrier than I have been.
I will try not to throw up seeing Dustin Brown join the company of the wonderful, awesome, kick-ass Derian Hatcher as the only American-born captains to lead their teams to a Stanley Cup.
Because Derian >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Dustin Brown. Always.