Men’s Weekly Volume 1 - Pick-Up Moves and Sports

This article has been submitted by Paul O’Neill.

Now that the 2007-2008 NHL season is over, I have decided to start a new project. There are few upcoming sporting events which I am excited to write about. I thoroughly enjoyed Alex Jackson’s “preview” of the French Open, and considered doing a similar one for the 2008 Summer Olympics, but I shall leave it to the master. Another event I considered writing about is the 2008 Summer X Games, but I have this sneaky suspicion a young lovely and super bubbly ape doggy dogg has got that one covered with banana splitz toppings. So, I have decided to start a weekly article exploring topics of great interest to the male demographic. In these weekly articles, I will be exploring such topics as my limited theory on why women do what they do (looking to start discussion and criticism in the comments section), poker (how to build a bankroll from $50 to $1000, and the theory of poker to help improve your game) and some general articles relevant to the up and coming male generation as well as a little sports sprinkled on top.
More after the jump!

What You Need to Know About the NHL Draft

This article has been submitted by Paul O’Neill.

Is there any time more exciting for the die hard hockey fan than the day of the NHL draft? The answer to that question is unfortunately yes, but hopefully we’ve all been laid by now and the annual GMIL baseball game has come and passed. That being said, go to the beer store and pick up a case, lay out your favorite lounge gear and tell the bitty you’ll be taking care of business all afternoon. For those of you that are in the working world, you have a wedding to attend to in New York tomorrow, cough cough, or have your favorite sites bookmarked so you can procrastinate throughout the day.
More after the jump!

NHL Conference Finals Preview

PhotobucketThis article has been submitted by Paul O’Neill and Matt Douglas.

Paul: I went 2-2 in the second round, incorrectly relying on some dirty Frenchmen to live up to their expectations and I should have never made my love affair with Joe Thornton public (next year, I swear to god, next year). This puts me at 8-4 over the course of the playoffs and hopefully I can put together two solid predictions in the conference finals to match my perfect record in last year’s conference finals.

Matt: Guess who went 0 for 4 in the second round? Me. I’m an idiot and that horrid run puts me at 7-5 for the playoffs so far. Hopefully this time I can get it together, I am thinking a little more clearly with my Habs out of it and I’m not hungover while I write this.

The Habs bowed out at home in 6, leaving many fans asking what the hell happened to the team from the regular season. They are young and it showed, the defense was giving up the blueline, Carey Price looked rattled and never settled down , but still there were some bright spots and next year should be good. I couldn’t help but feel bad for Colorado, as the injury bug bit them at the worst time possible and they needed all of their pieces in place to beat a strong Red Wings squad. San Jose never recovered after the first game, but provided the most exciting second round series. Finally the Penguins dominated a very skilled New York team and may have enough to take the Cup this year.

More after the jump!

Another NHL Second Round Preview

This article has been submitted by Paul O’Neill.

Well I have to say I was pretty impressed with the overall quality of games in the first round. In the East, I’d have to tab the Flyers/Capitals series as my personal favourite as you got to see just how good Ovechkin really is (I pooed my pants a little watching the third period of Game 1). The Pens destroyed the Sens to everyone’s delight. Itching to get revenge for losing in five games last year, Avery and the Rangers drove fatso into self destruction (did anyone seriously think the Devils had a chance?). Lastly, Carey Price pulled up his pants and smoked the fattest pregame joint of his career to shutout the surging Bruins to win Game 7. I would have bet my lucky underwear and a lifetime supply of Lucky Lager on the Habs winning Game 5. Thank God, no internet site would take my bet.

In the West, the Calgary/Sharks series takes the cake. I give mad props to Darryl Sutter for mixing the perfect recipe for a playoff team. Iginla, Phaneuf, Nolan, Regher and Kiprussof are serious playoff performers. Iginla would be the MVP for the first round if one was handed out, but Kiprussof failed to pull through. If I was Mike Keenan I would have given Joseph a shot in Game 4, Kiprusoff had been shaky all year and the Joseph had all the momentum going into Game 4. Theodore stole Games 4 and 5 for the Avs against Minnesota and is playing like he did in ’02 when he won the Hart. The Wings rode a pair of ancient goaltenders to win in six games against the Predators. I have to give mad props to the Nashville fans who packed the Sommet Centre (formerly the Gaylord Entertainment Center, best arena name in sports) and made it one of the toughest buildings in the West to play in. Hockey may not be the pinnacle of entertainment in Nashville, but the fans who went to the games showed more passion than anyone expected. Lastly, the Stars shocked everyone and dummied the defending champ Ducks in five games. I still can’t believe this one. Scoring 10 powerplay goals in the series helps. Brad Richards is fitting in quite nicely on the powerplay.

Now…on to my second round preview and predictions. I went 6-2 in the first round, failing to pick the Flyers and Stars. If Marty Biron wasn’t possessed in the third period of Game 7 I would have went 7-1. By the way, I’d just like throw out the fact that the Snuggler had the Flames in 7 until I chirped him to change it. There I said it, I feel better.
More after the jump!

The On Deck Circle Podcast Volume 9

We’re back at it, even during exams. Paul O’Neill is back on the show this time, and we talk NHL Playoffs, NHL Awards, and we talk juuuust a little bit about bitties, if you’re picking up what I’m putting down. Warning: this is the most juvenile Podcast to date, it’s awesome.

Guest: Paul O’Neill
Topic: NHL Playoffs, NHL Awards, Women

The On Deck Circle Podcast Volume 9

Note: The opening line makes absolutely no sense because I removed the song ‘Who Hotter Than Me’ by Plies from the intro music. It’s awkward.

On Deck Circle Podcast Volume 5

What’s good world! Bringing you the 5th installment of the Podcast today, with Paul O’Neill on the show this time around. We run down some of the bubble teams for March Madness, talk about the upcoming championship weekend, look at the NHL playoff pictures, and then talk about the Leafs and where this franchise is headed.

Guest: Paul O’Neill
Topics: NCAA Championship Week, NHL Playoff Picture, Toronto Maple Leafs Present and Future

Play it: here!

Download it: ODC Podcast Volume 5 - March 14 with Paul

All-Day NHL Trade Deadline Coverage

Welcome to The On Deck Circle’s all-day coverage of the NHL Trade Deadline. The deadline is Tuesday, February 26, at 3PM EST. Check back to the site and this post all day for updates and opinions on trades.

I will update the site in as close to real time as I can, immediately posting trades that become official and posting my (or Paul’s) opinions on them shortly after. To review what has gone down so far and to give you a feel for how things will continue to go down today, here is a look at what has happened on the trade market so far on D-Day 08.

Want to get ready for the deadline? This article looked at the biggest names in the NHL rumor mill and this article explains all of the salary cap rules surrounding Deadline Day.

Alright, the day has ended and I want to pass out. A whole bucnh of trades that we tried to cover semi-in depth. Thanks to Paul for the help. Hope you hockey fans enjoyed.

Official Deadline Trades
5:00 - Just double checked, and two more deals went through after I bounced from Mo Cash/Douglas’ place, not sure why Nashville is so behind:
*Nashville Predators acquired Jan Hlavac from the Tampa Bay Lightning for a 7th round draft pick.
*Nashville Predators acquired Brandon Bochenski from the ANaheim Ducks for future considerations.
3:40 - A few other small deals trickled in:
*Anaheim Ducks acquired J.S. Aubin from the Los Angeles Kings for a 7th round pick.
*Atlanta Thrashers acquired Joe Motzko from the Washington Capitals for Alexandre Giroux.
3:25 - Anaheim Ducks acquired Marc-Andre Bergeron from the New York Islanders for a 3rd round pick.
3:18 - Florida Panthers acquired Chad Kilger from the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 3rd round pick.
3:17 - Phoenix Coyotes acquired Al Montoya and Marcel Hossa from the New York Rangers for Fredrik Sjostrom, David Leneveu, and Josh Gratton.
3:14 - Detroit Red Wings acquired Brad Stuart from the Los Angeles Kings for a 2nd and a 4th round draft pick.
3:10 - Minnesota Wild acquired Chris Simon from the New York islanders for a 6th round pick.
3:02 - The deadline is here, and TSN thinks the deals are done. The NHL doesn’t operate like the NBA with this stuff, so we are probably out of trades, leaving the total at 14. Lots of coverage all over the site and momentarily we’ll have an opinion up on the Hossa deal, which now includes Pascal Dupuis.
2:57 - Pittsburgh Penguins acquired Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis from the Atlanta Thrashers for Colby Armstrong, Angelo Esposito, Erik Christiansen and a 1st round draft pick.
2:53 - New York Rangers acquired Christian Backman from the St. Louis Blues for a 4th round pick.
2:52 - Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired Hal Gill from the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 2nd and a 5th round pick. (Wow)
2:50 - Still nothing brewing and TSN/ESPN don’t even have concrete rumors for us. It’s going to be an interesting 10 minutes.
2:30 - Nothing has happened in the last hour, but Yao Ming is out for the season and TSN is pretty sure Hossa is going somewhere in the next half hour.
1:43 - Somehow I missed this blockbuster half an hour ago: New York Islanders acquired Rob Davison from the San Jose Sharks for a 7th round draft pick.
1:37 - Washington Capitals acquired Matt Cooke from the Vancouver Canucks for Matt Pettinger.
1:15 - Washington Capitals acquired Sergei Federov from the Columbus Blue Jackets for Ted Ruth.
1:05 - Colorado Avalanche acquired Adam Foote from the Columbus Blue Jackets for a conditional first round draft pick and an additional conditional draft pick.
12:40 - Ottawa Senators acquired Martin Lapointe from the Chicago Blackhawks for a 6th round pick.
12:20 - Missed a lot during my lunch break. Here are a few deals that went down in the last hour:
*San Jose Sharks acquired Brian Campell and a 7th round draft pick from the Buffalo Sabres for Steve Bernier and a 1st round pick.
*Dallas Stars acquired Brad Richards and Johan Holmqvist from the Tampa Bay Lightning for Mike Smith, Jussi Jokinen, Jeff Halpern and a 4th round draft pick.
*Washington Capitals acquired Cristobal Huet from the Montreal Canadiens for a 2009 2nd round pick.
*Carolina Hurricances acquired Tuomo Ruutu from the Chicago Blackhawks for Andrew Ladd.
*Colorado Avalanche acquired Ruslan Salei from the Florida Panthers for Karlis Skrastins and a 3rd round pick.
11:20 - Florida Panthers acquired Wade Belak from the Toronto Maple Leafs for a fifth round draft pick.
10:45 - New Jersey Deviles acquired Bryce Salvador from the St. Louis Blues for Cam Janssen.
Feb 25 - This isn’t technically a deadline deal, but it happened late Monday night: Philadelphia Flyers have acquired Vaclav Prospal from the Tampa Bay Lightning for Alexandre Picard and a conditional draft pick.
More after the jump!

An Open Letter to Mats Sundin

This article has been submitted by Handsome Paul O’Neill. 

Dear Mats,

I want to start off by saying that over my lifespan there hasn’t been another player in the National Hockey League that has meant so much to me, and taught me life lessons in leadership, perseverance and responsibility. Your dedication to your teammates and the pressure you placed on yourself to consistently perform at the highest level will be a measuring stick I doubt any future captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs will be able to live up to. When times were bad, you never blamed anyone but yourself, and when times were good, you were always the first one to credit your teammates. You truly are the greatest captain in the Leafs’ history.

I am writing this letter to you, to ask for advice. You see, I have a horrible internal dilemma: choosing between my favorite hockey team and my favorite hockey player. There is no doubt in my mind that if you were to waive your no trade clause, the Leafs would be better off. There is no other player on the market that exhibits all the qualities you possess. Your size, your reach, your knack for scoring timely goals (how could I ever forget game 6 of the 2002 conference finals?) and your ability to make those around you that much better.
More after the jump!

A Running Diary of the NHL All-Star Game

Note: This article was submitted by a very angry/bored/bitter Paul O’Neill. It is a bad sign that our hockey expert seemingly hates hockey.

Yeah I know what you’re thinking, who the hell would want to sit through an entire NHL all-star game, never mind care enough to blog it. Well, I’ve just made cup of tea, put in some laundry, hopped into my pajamas and it’s game time esse. Since I refuse to do any readings before finals and am currently girlfriendless, I really actually have nothing better to do besides cry myself to sleep and watch bad hockey.

6:26 – Opening face-off, and before I can think of anything funny to say or find something to rip on, Rick Nash scores 12 seconds in unassisted. Hey Rick, remember last year? Score in games that matter you fantasy point sucking tool.
More after the jump!

The View From Amsterdam: An NHL Conference Finals Preview

Note: This piece was written by trick-ass mark Paul O’Neill, the resident gangster of Netherlands.

Eastern Conference
Buffalo Sabres (1) vs Ottawa Senators (4)

That’s pretty sweet we get to watch the two best teams from each conference in the conference finals. Sometimes we get a team like the Capitals in ‘97 or the Hurricanes in ‘02 who we know are just going to get brutally and sexually molested in the finals.
More after the jump!