It has been a while since anything's gone on here at Grading Dater. With the Rockies hot out of the gate, and the Avs just going through the motions as the season mercifully ended, there just wasn't a lot of motivation to follow the Avalanche, or the Avalanche's media coverage for that matter. Sorry for the lag, but with Dater now starting his Player Grades, there may be a bit more to talk about before going on permanent summer vacation.
Here I'm just playing a bit of catch-up. Enjoy!
Apparently tired of the criticism of his shallow and blatantly unfactual draft coverage, Dater just goes with a data dump with this blog entry. It's nearly impossible to read, but at least he finally, finally got the mechanics of the draft correct, and actually mentioned all the top draft prospects and not just the two or three he heard around the water cooler. As we know, the Devils won the draft lottery, meaning that Edmonton will get the first pick and the Avs will get the second pick. Whoo hoo!
Terry Frei pokes his head into All Things Avs for a bit, and that's usually a good sign as I enjoy his writing. Here, he writes a bit about a talk he had with Matt Duchene, makes a comment or two about Adam Foote, and then confesses that he regrets not making a bit bigger a deal of Foote's final game.
This is a good blog, I wish Frei would take a bigger role in the blog with entries like this one. Rather than just a sentence or two, a great deal of his interview with Duchene is presented; and when Frei does start to offer his own opinion, he confines that opinion to the way he and the Post did their job, without going off on some tangent or another. Focused and professional
Now, to change gears again. Above I mentioned a blog by a guy who I feel offers much better hockey coverage than Dater, and now we'll talk about somebody who I actually feel is a lot worse than Dater. That man's name is Mark Kizla, and he's a complete moron when it comes to hockey.
Dater is a guy who watches a lot of hockey, understands the game perhaps a bit more than a casual fan, but then writes like he's an expert. Kizla, on the other hand, is a guy who watches almost no hockey at all, and doesn't even try to pretend that he knows anything about it... but doesn't let that stop him from piping up two or three times a year about it with scathing, completely ignorant and worthless articles like this one.
Kizla's earth-shattering premise here is that the Avalanche won a Stanley Cup fifteen years ago, and because they didn't win one this year, everybody should be fired. It's a provocative assertion that could have made for a really dynamite article, but a good, thoughtful article has never been a goal of Kizla's. Attention is his goal, and the way he gets attention is to create controversy and put himself in the midst of it.
To accomplish this requires nothing more than to raise a question: like a sports Glenn Beck, he presents no facts, no informed opinion, no logical thinking. All he does is to compare this year's team to the one that was inherited from Quebec, and then blame a bunch of people for the fact that the two teams are so different. In short order, Kizla attacks the coach, the GM, the team president, and the team's owners -- easy targets all -- blaming them all for the team's failures this year.
The only example he bothers to offer is the Stewart/Johnson trade (saying, "Whoever is responsible for that deal deserves to be fired"). Ironically, though, it's that move, including the controversy it was destined to create, that convinces me that there is hope for this Avalanche team and its front office. The Avs of old would have simply signed a free agent defenseman or two, spackling the hole as the foundation failed beneath. As we know, the Avs have not been big free agent movers over the last few years... if Kizla thought about it, he'd realize that his own example proves that the Avs front office is very different than it used to be, but he's paid to write, not to think, apparently. This trade is the move of a GM who does know exactly what this team needed, and isn't afraid to make a big trade to address that need.
I rarely hesitate to rip on Dater, but at least he pays attention to the sport he writes about. Kizla does not. Sports is just the cheese in the trap for guys like Kizla and Woody Paige... they are just angry, frustrated people who just want to rail on anything, and sports is as good a place to start as any. Kizla's lack of attention to hockey and to the Avs is displayed in the fact that he spends more time reminiscing about the 1995 Avs than he does discussing the 2011 team. This, like 90% of the garbage Kizla passes off as journalism, receives a big, fat