The 10 Worst Mistakes of 2013 (Puck Daddy Year In Review)

Hindsight is 20/20, right? Lets all point and laugh at the mistakes made by others in 2013.

10. Setting the execution date of the Hockey Night in Canada brand

In the 1994 movie North, the title character played by Elijah Wood is tasked with finding new parents because he doesn’t like the one he has. There is a scene where North is with the Inuits and they’re performing a rite of passage – putting their elderly on slabs of ice and shoving them off to die in the Artic. (Movie rated PG!) This is what Rogers has done with the Hockey Night in Canada brand.

As part of the $5.2-billion agreement effective next year, the CBC will give up almost everything related to the Hockey Night in Canada brand except for airing it on their channels. The partnership between the CBC and Rogers is for four years; meaning the 65th season of HNIC is likely to be its last.

The iconic institution has been put on a small glacier and we’re all watching it melt. No word yet if Don Cherry gets a separate sheet of ice.

9. Jason Botchford of The Province breaking the locker room Cone of Silence

Much ado was made about Tomas Hertl’s four goals in one game and his celebration. Many thought it was funny; others found it disrespectful. Joe Thornton found it … arousing?

The mistake isn’t that Thornton made a comment some found to have crossed the line of decency. The mistake is it being reported on to the general public by Jason Botchford of The Province.

Joe’s off-the-cuff remark to a conversation he wasn’t directly involved in at the time happened in the Sharks locker room. The locker room has always been a safe-zone for players. As an implied, unwritten rule passed on by writers for generations, unless a player is talking directly to a reporter (or scrum of reporters) what’s said in the locker room is kept behind closed doors. Botchford didn’t follow the rule and unleashed a chicken coop amount of undue criticism on an already stupid discussion.

With players feeling as if they need to keep their guard up all the time, it’s going to be even more difficult to get non-generic answers from guys who can be kind of boring to begin with.

8. Assuming Roberto Luongo would be anywhere BUT Vancouver to start the 2013-2014 season

Prior to the 2013 entry draft, anyone who knew anything about the NHL would have told you there was no possible way Roberto Luongo would be in Vancouver. Even Luongo himself thought he wouldn’t be in Vancouver. He was put through the ringer in the 2013 season. It would be just plain mean to keep him there, right?

Apparently to Mike Gillis, not so much.

Luongo, likely held back by his massive contract with 600 years left on it, was the goaltender that was kept by the Canucks as Cory Schneider was shipped off to New Jersey.

I’d like to congratulate Eddie Lack in advance on his eventual trade to New Jersey to back up Cory Schneider.

7. Using your first round draft pick in your fantasy league on a top-tier goaltender only to get screwed by some random goalies you’ve never heard of.

Jonathan Quick – injured
Jimmy Howard – injured
Craig Anderson – not good
Pekka Rinne – has E. COLI!!!
Henrik Lundqvist – meh
Corey Crawford – injured
Sergei Bobrovsky – injured

Don’t tell me you knew Martin Jones was going to be great or that Ben Scrivens is the better goalie in the Scrivens-for-Bernier swap. How about Frederik Andersen? He’s 8-1 and can only crack the Ducks roster because of an injury to Viktor Fasth. And really, Curtis McElhinney is better than Marek Mazanec?? WHO THE HELL IS MAREK MAZANEC?!

[Author’s note: I’m not saying I did this in both my leagues…]

6. The Metropolitan division


5. The Montreal Canadiens giving PK Subban a two-year, $5.75-million total deal.

PK missed training camp and four games of the shortened-2013 regular season because of a contract dispute. Subban didn’t have much leverage at the time to get a blockbuster deal so he did what every young, unproven defenseman does – goes out and wins a Norris Trophy.

So what if he is a bit moody, puts ice-time grievances to song and might be left off of Team Canada’s roster for the Olympics?! Teams will fork out the cash for a young, Norris trophy-winning defenseman no matter what kind of baggage he might carry with him.

How do you say ‘kiss my ass and show me the money’ in French?

4. Using George Parros’ first fight (and subsequent concussion) of the 2013-2014 season as the key example for the anti-fighting stance.

Just don’t. It was gravity doing its thing.

3. Everything Tyler Seguin did before he got to Dallas

You’re a good looking kid in your early 20’s making millions of dollars in one of the most fun cities on earth, what else are you going to do? Can you really blame the guy for wanting to have a lot of a little fun?

It’s not like he’s gone full Kaner, anyway! Punching a cabbie? Nope! Photographed in bed asleep and your airplane ticket to prove your identity by a floozie you just hooked up with? No way! Did your boss (allegedly) make your mom chaperone you on your overseas lockout playing adventure? Well no, not that specific. It wasn’t his mom but it was a guard. And it wasn’t an adventure, it was the playoffs.

Not sure what is more embarrassing to Seguin: being traded away because of your behavior or being 21 years old and having your parents defend your actions to the public?

Wrong bench, Tyler. Awkward.

Seguin has settled in nicely with the Stars becoming a scary-good tandem with Jamie Benn. No Mike Ribero-esque Dallas incidents reported thus far, so I guess that’s a positive sign?

2. GM/Owner giving coach his full support (a.k.a. ‘The Kiss of Death”)

During a tough stretch in the season or a slow start, the worst thing a coach could hear from his owner or GM is a ringing endorsement. There were 10 coaches fired in 2013, seven of whom received the seals of approval from their GM and/or owner prior to getting canned.

Congrats to Kevin Dineen, formerly of the Florida Panthers, for being lied to for the shortest amount of time – three days!

Lindy Ruff (Buffalo Sabres): Vote of Confidence on February 7th, Fired on February 20th
Guy Boucher (Tampa Bay Lightning): Vote of Confidence on March 3rd, Fired on March 24th
Ralph Krueger (Edmonton Oilers): Vote of Neutrality (new GM) on April 14th, Fired August 6th
Glen Gulutzan (Dallas Stars): Vote of Neutrality (new GM) on April 29th, Fired on May 14th
Peter Laviolette (Philadelphia Flyers): Vote of Confidence on September 13th, Fired on October 7th
Kevin Dineen (Florida Panthers): Vote of Confidence on November 5th, Fired on November 8th
Ron Rolston (Buffalo Sabres):
Vote of Confidence on September 26th, Fired on November 13th

I couldn’t find Glen Sather directly endorsing John Tortorella (fired May 29th) – shocking. The last time Mike Gillis publicly supported Alain Vigneault was in 2012 (fired May 22nd); same thing for Greg Sherman and Joe Sacco (fired April 28th).

1. Allowing the lockout to go until 2013

What were you doing this time last year? Spending too much time with your friends and family? Being productive at your job? Behaving like a civilized member of society? Disgusting.

The NHL lockout lasted until January 6, 2013. We all wanted to punish the NHL, the owners and the NHLPA for the misery they inflicted on us for so long but we just couldn’t stay away; the action we get is just too good.