Brian Slagel is Chairman/CEO of Metal Blade Records. He also loves hockey. While he can talk your ear off about metal (and has, at the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival/Metal Insider Metal Summit), we thought we’d give him a forum to talk about his other passion. Here’s Slagel’s take on the season so far:
Okay so we are about a third of the way through the latest NHL season, and we have some surprises as well as some things we expected. Now unfortunately there are no juicy Tiger Woods-style stories, but I know a bunch of NHL guys knew him, so maybe those will come later. Anyway, let’s look at the surprises first.
My LA Kings ( alright I am a Pens fan first, but I live in LA so I have feelings for the Queens, I mean Kings) are at the top of the league in scoring and points. Now I once was a season ticket holder for the Kings for over 20 years so this is amazing to see. But they followed the usual course to success – be terrible for a long time and eventually you get good draft picks. Also this time the Kings have not traded their young talent, so they are developing. Kopitar, Frolov, Quick, Simmons, and Johnson are amazing young players. BUT there is one guy who drives the Kings and is the biggest reason for their success. Drew Doughty, I will say it right here and you can point back to it. This guy will win a Norris Trophy one year, I guarantee it! He looks like a wise old veteran out there and really has fueled the Kings to success so far. If they stay healthy, they could do some damage. Also out west, how is it Colorado is winning? I don’t get it. I try to watch them but they bore me to sleep, will have to try again. Did Disney buy the Ducks again? Oh this is what happens when a bunch of old guys play an extra season for money? Hey, I still like the Ducks, but we want Brian Burke back.
The biggest surprises out east are how poorly the Flyers and Rangers have done so far. Now I am NOT a Flyers fan, but am surprised they are this bad. As for the Rangers, I like Torts, but not sure what is happening here. Chris Drury, please phone home.
Now as expected the Penguins are amazing and the Caps are the most fun team to watch. Really just watch these 2 teams and no one else. They are both so much fun!!! What sucks is they are out east, ugh!!!! Not good for a west coast hockey fan. If they play again this year in the playoffs and both are healthy, it may be one of the best series in NHL history!
No what did surprise me is how bad Sid the Kid did when both Malking and Gonchar were out. What he had 2 points in 10 games? I guess we know who the real guys on that team are. Hey, Crosby is great, but he cannot put a team on his back like Malkin can. That said, they should win it all again, just too much talent.
If you can, watch the World Junior Championship in late December. Awesome tournament showcasing all the next great players coming to the NHL. It is like watching all the best new bands all play in the same week!