Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

That's the Sound of No One Caring

Oleg Tverdovsky, the well-traveled defenseman once hailed as the "Ukranian Bobby Orr," looks to be taking his puck and going home. Russian newspapers are reporting that Tverdovsky has signed a 5-year deal with Yulaev of the RSL after realizing that there was no way he was going to play for the Kings this year. He’ll probably say that he missed his family and wanted to be back in Russia, which we all know is bullshit because no one wants to spend a winter in Russia (except maybe Ilya Brzyzgalov, but he's insane).

It's so cold that guy's head fell off!

This is good news for the Kings because it means Tverdovsky’s $2.5 million dollar contract comes off the books; the Kings probably won’t spend any more money, but it’s nice to have in case they want to pick someone up for the stretch run. And I’m sure Carolina GM Jim Rutherford is cursing the heavens, wondering why Tverdovsky didn’t do this earlier. In the end, the Kings traded Eric Belanger and Tim Gleason for Jack Johnson and $2.5 million dollars (since Tverdovsky barely played for the Kings). Belanger was later traded for Josef Vasicek and the Canes have since indicated that they won’t re-sign him. Going forward, this essentially makes that trade Jack Johnson for Tim Gleason. To the Canes, I say: whoops.

Earl Sleek is now curled into a ball, muttering, "No, no..."

With the NHL career of Oleg Tverdovsky essentially over, I think we should all take a moment to reflect on an, uhh, interesting career. Tverdovsky was drafted 2nd overall in the 1994 NHL entry draft by the Anaheim Ducks. (I was going to point out what a terrible pick that was, but the Kings drafted Jamie Storr 7th, so I’ll shut up.) Tverdovsky was always a 4th forward out there, but his unique defensive play (ie., letting people skate right by him) made it difficult for any team to handle him for more than a couple of years. He bounced from Anaheim, to Phoenix, back to Anaheim, to New Jersey, to Russia, to Carolina, and finally to the Kings. I didn’t really get to know him while he was on the Kings so I don’t have any great stories about him. I call on Ducks fans to please share their favorite (or most infuriating) Tverdovsky moment if it’s not too painful. So long, Oleg. I hardly knew ye, thank God.

(P.S. Please refrain from calling him “Turn-overdovsky.” If I hear one more person call him that, the hilarity of the phrase might actually make my sides split.)

(P.P.S On the pre-show for the Dodgers game, Steve Lyons said that Reds pitcher Phil Dumatrait “…got whacked around in his last start.” Teehee.)


Bryan said...

We can joke all we want at Oleg but he does have 2 rings. Sure he was a healthy scratch for both Carolina and NJ, but he got his rings. And I love the Oleg draft pick because we traded him along with Kilger to Winnepeg for Selanne. Thats awesome.

Earl Sleek said...

I don't know--my head's all over the place when it comes to Tverdovsky. He was a guy I was always excited when the Ducks acquired him, then always excited when the Ducks got rid of him, then afterwards I would miss the hell out of him.

But yeah, as Bryan alluded to, he was part of the first Selanne acquisition, and also part of the Sykora acquisition (including trade assets that would later become Rob Niedermayer). In that regard, even if his play on the ice was never as good as you'd hoped, he was pretty instrumental in improving the franchise.

I dunno, he existed at a time when the Ducks had awful blueliners (Freddie Olausson excepted), but nowadays I'm a little more Norris-spoiled.

Fuck. I still miss him.

RudyKelly said...

Okay, so one person cares, but that's it.

Earl Sleek said...

Yeah, your title probably summed this up well. It's nearly impossible to care about Tverdovsky in August.

Doogie said...

Tverdovsky is one of those guys who's awesome in video games because you can control him yourself and eliminate all his defensive shortcomings (or at the very least, replace them with your own).

On an absolutely unrelated note, I've never heard a North American announcer actually attempt to pronounce the "Tv" together. And now we never will.

hockeychic said...

I used to be a big Oleg fan..lame, I know. He was on my fantasy hockey team for awhile. To me, he was one of those "potential" players. Great potential but didn't come through consistently.

Earl Sleek said...

This is good news for the Kings because it means Tverdovsky’s $2.5 million dollar contract comes off the books.

Do you think it's too late to enroll Dan Cloutier in some Russian-language classes? :P

KMS2 said...

I think DL's head is too far up Cloutier's ass to actually put him on waivers.