Happily, the coverage of the start of free agency was decent: very little wild-rumor mongering, and an overall "report it as it happens" style, which I appreciate. The only complaint I'd log is that after Mueller was not extended a qualifying offer, Dater went off on a bit of a tangent about Tomas Fleischmann, writing not one but two blogs under the impression that the Avs "regret" not signing him last offseason. During the time Dater blogged twice about Fleischmann, he blogged zero times about the Avs' re-signing of wing Jamie McGinn. The first blog about Fleischmann at least tried to draw a connection between his situation and Peter Mueller's, but never really bothered to prove the central assumption that the Avs regretted letting Fleischmann go in the first place. The second Fleischmann blog was just Dater trying to defend the first one, and it was really unnecessary. I don't see why he thinks a guy on the Panthers' roster is more important than the guys on the Avs' roster... a little of this speculation/comparison is fine, I suppose, but two blogs on the subject is one too many.
So overall, I'd give the Post's free-agency coverage a decent grade, let's call it a B.
So here's something fun: read the following two quotes by Dater, and try to see if you can guess what he's talking about in each one:
"...wanted to give a plug here to a good story and interview..."
"...a rambling, semi-coherent, occasionally profanity-laced set of answers..."
Give up? It's a trick question: Dater is talking about the same thing in both quotes! Confused? Me, too. Tuesday, the interview with Scott Parker on Mile High Hockey was a "good story," and Parker's barbershop was "my kind of place." But by Wednesday, it was a "semi-coherent" interview and he questions Parker's intelligence, speculating that he "thinks they faked the moon landing once too."
What could cause a man to change his tune so quickly? Well naturally, it's the catnip of all hockey journalists, the Bertuzzi/Moore incident. One gets the impression that Parker went from being a straight-shooting man's man to a full-blown idiot in the span of about half a minute, in Dater's eyes.
This has got to just kill Avs fans everywhere... their beloved goon Scott Parker, Avs to the bone, says says that he really didn't care for Moore, says something nice about Bertuzzi, and actually says "I love the Red Wings!" It's got to be like learning that not only is Santa Claus not really making toys up at the North Pole, but he's actually in the next room screwing your mom.
Now, I don't necessarily agree or like everything that Parker said (why he felt the need to dis Moore to explain Bertuzzi's actions, I have no idea), but I'm happy as can be that he said it. Pro athletes are so PC and so polished that you never hear the truth from them, and frankly the truth behind the Moore/Bertuzzi thing is something that's been buried from the fans' sight for years.
When a guy like Parker is wound up, obviously comfortably engaged in the conversation and talking honestly, it's great to hear... until that honesty leads him to say something that--gasp--we don't agree with, which means that he's not actually honest and genuine, he's a rambling idiot. I'm not sure that's how it works... I think the thoughtful fan might use this as a reason to step back and think, you know, maybe Bertuzzi isn't a bad guy, just a dumbass who made a mistake without thinking. Just like Scott Parker did in this interview. But since people can't seem to get their heads around not hating Bertuzzi, they decide their only option is to now hate Parker, too.
Dater got a lot of props for this blog from the comments online, which sadly just leads me to believe that most of his followers are just as willing to dredge this up from the past once again as he is. Why not let Scott Parker have his opinion? Why not just let Todd Bertuzzi be a good man who did something stupid? Why not let Steve Moore be a guy who maybe wasn't well-liked by his teammates rather than some sort of martyr? Parker may not be entirely right, but he's not entirely wrong, either... and that's what scares and confuses people. It's high time that Avalanche fans let go of the entire, hateful aspect of this thing and move on, and it would be great if there was somebody in a prominent, visible position to lead the way. Unfortunately, Dater is not that person.