It’s a little over two weeks until NHL training camps get going, and things are just starting to ramp up. Major junior leagues have started their camps, and rookies camps and tournaments are about to start. Needless to say, the 2010 NHL offseason is finally winding down to a close.
I took an informal poll yesterday among some of the SB Nation hockey writers on what was the most overrated/overhyped hockey story of the 2010 NHL offseason. I just threw open the doors and waited to see what people came up with. Here was the response:
- Ilya Kovalchuk – need I say more?
- The Dismantling of the Chicago Blackhawks – including their goaltending situation.
- CBA fearmongering – hide the women & children; the next lockout’s coming!
The overwhelming response was this whole Kovalchuk signing/contract saga. For obvious reasons. First it was the question of where he’ll sign. And then it turned into if he’ll sign in the NHL or the KHL. Followed by the insane contract offered by New Jersey. And continuing on with the NHL striking down that contract. Even now, they're still trying to work out terms for another contract, and speculation is starting up again about whether he'll play in the NHL or KHL this season.
It almost makes you wonder when the reality show’s coming to TV.
Then there was Chicago winning the Stanley Cup, followed by the completely dismantling the team immediately afterwards – and on through the summer. Why didn’t anyone see this coming from a mile away? It should’ve been obvious that this would happen if they won the Cup. Or even if they didn’t, frankly. I'm not sure why anyone was surprised by it.
And then – and then – there’s the "fact" that when the CBA comes back up, it’ll be death, destruction, and despair for hockey fans. The lockout is almost inevitable now, because of the Kovalchuk contract (or lack thereof) and because Donald Fehr is likely to become head of the NHLPA. It’s all over. We might as well pack it up, because the NHL’s going to be done.
Ummm…don’t we have two more years until the CBA runs out? Isn’t is a little early to be thinking that it’s all over? A lot can happen in two years, after all. So you just never know.
There were a few other things that were brought up when I asked what was the most overrated/overhyped hockey story. Some of it was local, like the Montreal Canadiens trading Cedric Desjardins to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Karri Ramo, or Jason Spezza’s supposed trade request from the Ottawa Senators. Others were stories that sort of were pushed to the side when another story came up, like the on-going sale issues with the Phoenix Coyotes and Mike Modano’s signing/retiring rumors - Kovalchuk's saga sort of did those stories in. Things that could’ve been blown up into a silly frenzy, but were superseded by other, more sensationalized topics.
So what do you think was the biggest overrated/overhyped hockey story of the 2010 offseason?