Jul 21, 2000
Summer time, it's really the most bizarre time of the year. Think about it. 2 of the 3 summer months are named after 2 former Roman Kings, Julius Caesar (July) and Augusts Caesar (August); you'll find newer programming on ESPN Classics before you find new programming on any other channel; Alexei Yashin is still a Senator, Mark Messier is home with the Rangers, as of today Nomar Garciaparra is batting. 403, the White Sox came out of left field to lead; the weather is on average in the 90's, but we insist on sitting out side in heat and humidity to eat food that was cooked on an open flame.
Hockey is also affected by this phenomenon called the off-season, or in laymen's terms, summer. Claude Lemieux is a hot property, he's taking his time in choosing his next season team. Lemieux could potentially make a huge playoff difference for any of his courtiers.
He's not the only free agent that is testing the hockey pool. Many teams are finding their free agents are going home. Dave Andreychuk has felt the results of the heat and humidity and ran from the cool, scenic mountains of Colorado to the cold of Buffalo. If the weather didn't persuade the free agent to move then the chance of a new beginning led Ron Tuggnut to start a new with Columbus. Some guys did stay on with their home teams, like Jody Hull, Mike Eastwood,Rick Tocchet and Donald Audette.
More free agents have decided that they liked where they are, but darn it, they are underpaid and an arbitrator will make it all better. At least that's what Joe Sackic and John LeClair are hoping for. Bob Clarke wants to kiss and make up with Eric Lindros, Eric Lindros told Bob to kiss off. The summer heat caused Mike Milbury to confuse and combine the game "Risk" with the 2000 draft.
The summer also affected the national media; ABC has decided to expand it's NHL coverage next season. With all these changes Gary Bettman has decided not to make any.
With all the moves, changes of teams, and changes of hearts, maybe the critics are wrong, maybe the hockey season is too short. It would appear the off season is too long, these players and GM's have too much time on their hands to make changes. Or maybe it's just the heat.
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