Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Pikkarainen Goes To Finland

Hannu Pick-your-anus

Hannu Pikkarainen has returned to HIFK Helsinki, the Finnish team he's spent most of his pro career with (thanks to Pack Attack for the tip).

The question now is, how with the Wolf Pack replace this huge hole in their defense?


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Fear The Dynamo

To offset the shock of Dynamo's recent signing of world-class sissy Jamie Lundmark, which is enough to make anyone disavow themselves from anything Dynamo-related through the near future, I've decided to trot out mine and Mrs. Brushback's collection of Dynamo (pronounced dee-NAH-mo) Moscow game-worn hockey jerseys, and hopefully make myself feel a little bit better that way.

I bought most of these from the exceptionally honorable Alexander Brokhman ("abrom" on eBay), except for the '04-'05 jerseys and my '02-'03 Yeremeyev, which came from other sources.

Denis Kartsev (D) '04-'05 home jersey
Notes: Spent eleven seasons with Dynamo before moving on to Lada Togliatti

Andrei Skopintsev (F) '04-'05 home jersey
Notes: Skopintsev spent parts of three seasons in the NHL, most recently for the Atlanta Thrashers in '00-'01

Vitali Yeremeyev (G) '03-'04 away jersey
Notes: A former Wolf Pack/Rangers prospect, and currently one of the best goalies in the RSL

Vladislav Boulin (D) '03-'04 away jersey
Notes: Played in the AHL with Philadelphia and Hershey between '94-'97

Vitali Yeremeyev (G) '02-'03 away jersey
Notes: G12 has pointed out to me that this one's a little too short in the hem to be a gamer, and I can see what he means, but it does have the sponsors patches sewn onto it (which are applied only by the team), and the tell-tale scuffing on the left sleeve from the catching glove. I didn't get this direct from Alexander Brokhman, but from another dealer who sent along a Brokhman certificate of authenticity

Yuri Babenko (F) '02-'03 away jersey
Notes: Played for Hershey, AHL, '98-'02; appeared in 3 games for the Colorado Avalanche, '01-'02.

Vladimir Vorobiev (F) '03-'04 home jersey
Notes: Scored 132 points in 136 games over two seasons for the Wolf Pack, '97-'99

You'll notice that Dynamo used two jersey styles in '03-'04; they first tried to re-use their jersey design from the season before, with the slight change of adding sponsors logos on the back numbers; but in the interim, the Russian National Insurance Agency became the team's primary sponsor. The insurance company didn't think their winged logo (up near the collarbone) was displayed prominently enough, so the team had to change the design of the jersey to make the "Rosgosstrakh" logo front and center.

Oddly enough, Tapeleg of Jerseys and Hockey Love has the replacement version of Yuri Babenko's jersey from '03-'04, while I own Babenko's '02-'03 jersey.

Here's one more jersey that's not game-worn:

Vitali Yeremeyev '99-'00 replica home jersey

And, lastly, to keep up the Dynamo good cheer-- little Alexander Ovechkin and Vitali Yeremeyev Dynamo figurines (not mine, unfortunately):

Friday, July 27, 2007

Jamie Lundmark signs with Dynamo Moscow

Jamie Lundmark

Link to announcement on Dynamo web site.

This is not a joke, though I almost wish it was.

Meanwhile, whomever guessed Jeff O'Neill should stay away from the dogtrack...

UPDATE 7:40pm -

G12's next jersey purchase

Through an incredible set of circumstances, I've managed to get ahold of this sound bite from Jamie Lundmark, at the press conference announcing his signing:

Click here to hear Lundmark's words

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Closet Morneau

Type 'new russian jersey' into eBay and you get a Bon Jovi CD

For my first post about the mysterious Brushback jersey closet, you'd probably expect me to pick out one of the Russian jerseys to talk about, or any of the Wolf Pack/Rangers jerseys, but I'm not. Just to be different (stupid, some might say), I'm going to post about the minor league baseball gameworns that I own.

New Britain Rock Cats ’97-’99 #35 Alan Mahaffey jersey

Alan Mahaffey was a left-handed starter who pitched in New Britain for three seasons, including the fabled '98 season when the Rock Cats made their first trip to the Eastern League finals. I bought this jersey at the New Britain Stadium team store, and like almost all minor league jerseys from that time, it was used for more than one season.

I don't know if they're still there now, but there used to be a bunch of old-timers who'd sit in the front row of the first base side bleachers at every Rock Cats game, and they knew the number of every player from the '98 team by heart. Whenever I'd walk past them with this jersey on, even three or four seasons later, one of them would invariably croak, "Hey, Alan!" or "Hey, Mahaffey!"

Two seasons after I bought it, current AL MVP Justin Morneau played his first full season in New Britain, wearing #35. Since home jerseys don't have names on their backs*, it made my #35 Mahaffey jersey look like a game-worn Morneau jersey, and I was able to walk around like a big shot.

Waterbury Spirit ’97-’00 #10 Mike Church jersey

Pitching coach Rich Gale also wore this jersey, as well as an outfielder whose name I've forgotten, but catcher Mike Church (from Cheshire, Ct.) was the last player who wore it, and he was also one of the better players in the team's short history.

When the Spirit closed up shop after the 2000 season, they put all of their jerseys up for sale for pretty cheap, so I was able to get this for only $50. I still remember the day I went to pick up the jersey at the team office inside Municipal Stadium, mostly because I felt kinda sad that the team wasn't going to be around anymore.

Bridgeport Bluefish ’00-’01 #29 Dave Swanson jersey

I bid on this jersey at a post-game silent auction, not actually thinking I'd win it. Apparently there weren't a lot of bids, so here it is-- a testament to my incredible bidding luck.

Another lefty pitcher, Dave Swanson's main claim to fame is that he was a throw-in in to trade that sent Bret Saberhagen from the Mets to the Colorado Rockies. Besides that, he's also a Ct. native and a former Waterbury Spirit player, which means he should practically be on the Municipal Stadium Wall of Fame right now, if it hasn't already been flooded by the Naugatuck River or plowed under to make room for another Dunkin' Donuts.

*Baseball jerseys are also 100% polyester-- there's no cotton on a baseball diamond!-- so remember that the next time you're tempted to buy one of those cotton t-shirts that only looks like a jersey.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

J Skidmark

Click to see actual size

This is it, folks: the oft-mentioned, but heretofore unseen, Jamie Lundmark-signed Wolf Pack souvenir Zamboni.

How much do you think this baby's worth on the open market? $10? $100? $1 million??

To be honest, I couldn't even begin to think of parting with such a precious artifact.


Oleg Saprykin close to signing with Salavat Yulayev

Oleg Saprykin

Having rejected the Ottawa Senators' $1.064 million qualifying offer, Oleg Saprykin is close to signing with Salavat Yulayev of the Russian Super League, according to a quote from Saprykin's father that was posted by Soviet Sport earlier today.

Said father Dimitri, "My son has received a number of offers, from Florida and other NHL teams, but he has not signed a contract with any of them, and it is most likely that he will continue his career in Russia. We'll have a clearer picture by Friday, I think. Oleg is now training in Moscow. I will catch up with him by the end of the week, and possibly by then we will know what his new team will be."

According to the Soviet Sport article, Salavat confirmed that they are interested in Saprykin, but also said that an official announcement wouldn't come before Friday.

Saprykin, who tallied a career-high 15 goals last season, joined the Senators after a late-season trade with Phoenix. Saprykin scored the game-winning goal for Ottawa in Game One of the Eastern Conference finals against Buffalo.

UPDATE 7/25/07 - A report from Sport Express today says that Saprykin received interest from Dynamo and Salavat Yulayev, but he is going to sign with CSKA-Moscow, whom he played for during the '04-'05 lockout season.

UPDATE 7/26/07 -, referencing Sports Daily as a source, says that Salavat Yuleyev's offer to Saprykin is $1.3 million, while CSKA Moscow's offer is $1 million. However, Saprykin has already been skating informally with CSKA, and will probably sign with the team today after he meets with CSKA head coach Vyacheslav Bykov.

The report also says that Saprykin plans to only play in Russia for one season, and then return to the NHL.


UPDATE 7/30/07 - Saprykin signs with CSKA-- a three-year deal, surprisingly enough. In an interview with Soviet Sport, Saprykin claims he had contact with four NHL clubs, including Florida and the Rangers, but said in the end he was tired of the income tax structure and his decreased playing time ("9-10 minutes per game") in the NHL.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Bobcat Tailgate

Two Cow Garage

Folks who're looking around for the next Replacements can keep on looking, but Columbus, OH's Two Cow Garage could already be the next Buckpets, though I'd be surprised if anyone's looking around for the next Buckpets.

On the other hand, if hoarse-shouted rockers, "heartfelt" ballads, and songs about drinking and "being tired of this town where all the faces look the same" all seem new to you, then you probably haven't already heard any of Two Cow Garage's obvious influences (Uncle Tupelo, early Soul Asylum, "Sticky Fingers" even). If that's the case, then having a condensed/Cliff Notes version of "indie rock" on your way to becoming a jaded motherfucker like the rest of us probably wouldn't be a bad thing, which means Two Cow Garage should be your next favorite band.

Despite any of their material's shortcomings, Two Cow Garage present a kick-ass live show, with bassist Shane Sweeney's between-songs wisecracks and Micah Schnabel's constant thrashing around and guitar-hero poses. On stage, Schnabel's a dead ringer for Dave Pirner, too, if Pirner sang like Bryan Adams, or Ryan Adams, or Jesse Malin, or any of those guys. Heck, I'll even bet that if someone shouted out "Summer of '69", Schnabel would even try to play it, instead of being a dick about it.

From "Please Turn The Gas Back On" (2002)

River (listen)
Found (listen)
Forget You (Try To) (listen)
Youngstown, The City Of (listen)

From "The Wall Against Our Back" (2004)

My Concern (listen)
Make It Out Alive (listen)
Burn In Hell (listen)

From "III" (2007)

Come Back To Shelby (listen)
Epitaph (listen)
Mediocre (listen)
Should've California (listen)

Songs have reverted to listen-only files

Ovechkin, Malkin might play in Russian pre-season tournament

Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin at the 2007 WC in May

According to a report posted yesterday by the Russian site Sports Daily, Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, and Sergei Gonchar may chose to play together for SKA-St. Petersburg at a pre-season tournament in Russia next month.

The tournament, which is to take place in St. Petersburg, Russia, between August 1st - 6th, is being played in the memory of Russian Hockey Hall of Famer Nikolai Puchkov. Six Russian Super League teams are participating in the tournament this year: Ak Bars Kazan, Dynamo Moscow, Severstal Cherepovets, SKA-St. Petersburg, Sibir Novosibirsk, and HC MVD Moscow.

Ovechkin, Malkin, and Gonchar have already been skating together with SKA-St. Petersburg, as part of their training for the upcoming NHL season.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Flames' McLennan signs with Metallurg

Jamie McLennan

Soviet Sport is reporting that Calgary Flames goalie Jamie McLennan has an agreement in principle on a one-year deal with Metallurg Magnitorgorsk of the Russian Super League, and will be finalizing the contract and joining Metallurg at their training camp in Germany within the next few days.

McLennan, who appeared in only 9 games as the Flames' back-up goalie last season, still has 4 games left to serve on a 5-game suspension that he was given for his slash of Red Wings forward Johan Frazen during the playoffs.

Oddly enough, last season's starting goalie for Metallurg, Travis Scott, was fined during the Russian Super League playoffs last season after taking a wack at Ak Bars forward Alexander Stepanov and then getting into a fight with Ak Bars goalie Mika Noronen.

UPDATE 7/25/07 - Metallurg officially announced the signing on their web site today.

Palffy Returns To The Ice, Signs With Skalica

It was a couple of months ago that I first posted the news of Ziggy Palffy's plans to come out of retirement here, based on a Russian report; the report turned out to be correct (how about that?), and so now, thanks to the IIHF forums, I can pass along a link to Skalica's official announcement of Palffy's signing, as well as these photos from the press conference.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Well To Be Gone Once Too Often

Craig Weller (Chris Rutsch photo)

Cleaning up on some Wolf Pack transactions from this week:

Team captain Craig Weller was given a one-year deal by the Phoenix Coyotes, where the general manager, Don Maloney, is the former Wolf Pack GM/Rangers assistant GM.

Hitchin' a ride in Colton Orr's eye

Also, ten-thousand-year-old defenseman Dale Purinton was signed by the Colorado Avalanche, and will probably end up playing for the Lake Erie Monsters, where he can sit around swapping old-age stories with the lake.

Dynamo might sign Jeff O'Neill, or somebody

Not something I spent more than a few seconds on, obviously

According to, Moscow Dynamo president Mikhail Golovkov recently had a heated back-and-forth exchange with some Canadian journalists from Radio Canada, who are touring Russia to do some filming for some upcoming Super Series/Winter Olympics broadcasts.

When pestered by the arrogant visiting Canadians (that's a joke, son) about the nearly-unchecked loss of Russian prospects to the NHL, in particular Dynamo's Alexander Ovechkin, Golovkov is said to have responded (in part):

"Furthermore, I know that many NHL players have received generous offers from Super League teams this season. Not all of them have agreed to come over, but the exodus has begun. I will say that as soon as next week, if the deal doesn't fall apart, we will sign one of the better players in your league to a contract."

Based on a set of clues Golovkov gave as to which NHL player it is that Dynamo might be negotiating with-- a forward, currently a free agent, drafted in the first round, not young but a veteran, not a superstar "like Crosby" but a decent enough player-- Soviet Sport is guessing that it's Jeff O'Neill.

Wow-- Fedor Fedorov and Jeff O'Neill on the same Dynamo team? I think my jersey closet's going to need a few more hangers...


We're Number Two or Three But We Don't Try Any Harder

Male models Boris The Sprinkler

A few things that are fairly useless to know, but I'm putting 'em out there anyway:

1) Sick Teen was the greatest 'zine of the '80s, if not ever.
2) "Saucer To Saturn" is just about my favorite punk rock CD of the '90s.
3) If I'm not the only hockey blogger who owned an original copy of the Suburban Mutilation LP, then I feel sorry for that other guy.

I tried making a scan of the "Saucer to Saturn" lyric sheet, since it's always best to listen to Boris the Sprinkler when you can figure out the hysterical stuff that Rev. Norb is singing about, but CD booklets are a bit small and all I got was this somewhat unreadable blob. Tough luck, Schleprock.

The only other thing I have to offer is the review that ran in Brushback of "Saucer to Saturn", written in 1995:

This one's got more hits than the "Flashdance" soundtrack, plus it's almost twice as long*... Delivers the goods faster than Steve Howe serves up three-run homers. Includes the famous line, "My phone never rings and my life is a drag, I'm into punk rock and I throw like a fag," which has become somewhat of a motto around Brushback headquarters. Even funnier than that Bob and Doug McKenzie album that sold millions, but with three more actual songs.

Speaking of which-- I still have an original '95-vintage Boris The Sprinkler t-shirt, and here's a photo to prove it:

Click to enlarge

Now that's a shirt that gets chicks alright.

Ah, yes-- the CD (crank it up):

No I Don't Care About You Yeah (listen)
Worm (listen)
I Wanna Get To Third Base With You
Sidewalk Sidewalk Yeah Yeah Yeah
(Do You Wanna) Grilled Cheese? (listen)
(She Must Not Suspect) I Dig Her
Ejector Seat
Destination Saturn
Screamin' Demon Martians Ridin' Go-Karts In My Head (listen)
I Object
Superball Eyes
Weird Tattoo
Goddamn Rollerbladers (listen)

*The fifteenth track on "Saucer to Saturn" is the entire 28-minute CD replayed again all the way through. Funny, ha ha.

Actually, one other thing I have is an interview that I did with Rev. Norb on the day after Cal Ripken broke Lou Gehrig's record. Maybe someday I'll post it here...

Songs have reverted to listen-only files


Yashin Takes Hometown Discount

Yashin only hopes that Judd Hirsch will stop stalking him now

Alexei Yashin settled for less money by signing with Lokomotiv Yaroslav, according to an interview posted only hours ago by Sport Express.

In the interview, Yashin revealed that every other offer he received was for more money, but said that he chose to sign with Lokomotiv for what Sport Express calls "a modest salary" because of family reasons, as well as his familiarity with the team and the area.

Yashin played for Lokomotiv during the 2004-05 lockout and considers Yaroslavl to be his second hockey home, mentioning by name several friends and former teammates (Ivan Tkachenko, Igor Ulanov, Dimitri Krastokin, and Dimitri Vlasenkov) that he looks forward to catching up with, adding that he's also looking forward to playing alongside goalie Semen Varlamov, "whom I've heard a lot about."

Monday, July 16, 2007

I'll Take That As A 'No'

Semen Varlamov

Newly-signed Washington Caps goalie Semen "Simeon" Varlamov, in Soviet Sport on Friday:

"I have a contract with Lokomotiv for three more years, and I will play one more year in Yaroslavl. That is the agreement with Washington. My contract in the Super League allows me to leave for overseas after the following season, if I want. But first, I should have a good year with Lokomotiv." (Russian Prospects provides a translation of the full interview here.)

In a companion article to the Varlamov interview, Soviet Sport then spoke with Capitals' GM George McPhee, who said, "We'll agree if he wants to play for Lokomotiv this year. The Super League is a better place for Varlamov to work on his skills."

According to the article, McPhee then reacted "as if in shock" when the Soviet Sport reporter told him that Varlamov has three years to go on his contract with Lokomotiv.

McPhee said something to the effect of, "Is that true? That can't be true," then added, "From what we know from the press, most in Washington thought that Varlamov was a free agent after next year."

Soviet Sport also included the quote from Lokomotiv Yaroslavl GM Yuri Lukin, who said, "We agreed for next year that Semen will decide where he wants to continue his career. If he wants to play in the NHL, how are we to stop him? He'll just leave, as Malkin did."

UPDATE - Off-Wing Opinion covers all of this, including video, here.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Bob Scrotum Loves New Jersey

Since nobody asked, but I'm feeling very helpful today, I'll mention that I just got back from a weekend trip to New Jersey. Some of the highlights of the trip were, as usual--

1) Driving past the big neon Dykes Lumber sign that's visible from the Saw Mill Parkway (I'm sure there's a very reasonable explanation for the name, it's just a funny thing to see at night while you're driving).

2) Visiting the nearby White Castle, where I set a new personal best of nine White Castles in one sitting. Not as if that's a lot, mind you, just that it's a lot for me.

3) Waiting at the light next to "Nu-Wave Kitchens" in Toms River and thinking of Yo La Tengo.

One of the other high points came while I was at the beach, and spotted a plane flying overhead towing one of those infamous "Bob Schroeder Loves New Jersey" banners (which explains the stupid title of this post).

Also, the Gin Blossoms were playing a couple of blocks away from where I was staying on the exact night I got there, but even if I had known about it beforehand, I still wouldn't have gone because I hate crowds. Especially big crowds that are running away from whatever shitty club the Gin Blossoms are playing at.

Anyway, it turns out while I was gone that I was getting bitched out for not keeping the blog up to date, I'll quickly note a few things that I might've covered at the end of the week and over the weekend had I not been away:

Ken Gernander becomes head coach of the Wolf Pack.
This is because Jim Schoenfeld is being moved to the Rangers assistant GM position, though he'll still be the Wolf Pack GM.

Dave Liffiton signs contract with Rangers?
Wolf Pack free-agent defenseman Dave Liffiton is listed on as having a $495,000 contract with the Rangers for 2007-08.

The Minnesota Wild sign Metallurg Magnitogorsk goalie Anton Khudobin.
Khudobin once made 80 saves in a WHL playoff game. This makes two good young goalies that Russia could be losing to North America this year, on the heels of the Capitals signing Semen Varlamov-- who, as Greg of PPA first pointed out to me, is now being referred to as "Simeon" instead of his given name. Does this make Varlamov a "player to be named later"?

Alexandre Giroux moves on. Lawrence Nycholat stays put.
Two former Wolf Pack players, both deserving of an honest shot at cracking an NHL lineup on a regular basis. At least they didn't go to Europe.


Friday, July 13, 2007

AC/DC - Shot Down In Flames

Fuck that weak hippie shit. For my money, AC/DC invented ROCK.

That's Such Great News

News of Fedor Fedorov's arrival (only a few days late) at Dynamo Moscow training camp today was so big, it earned its own headline in Sport Express.

Meanwhile, I've only just now stumbled onto sometime-reader Wisp666's Fedor Fedorov page, which includes (among other things) a pictorial showing how he turned a Sergei Fedorov McFarlane into his own custom Fedor Fedorov Syracuse Crunch figure, right down to the same color gloves that Fedor wears and the sponsors' patches on the jersey:

I applaud his dedication, as well as his attention to detail.