Pucking Around – Why, Arizona, Edmonton, and Galchenyuk, Why?

This week, on Pucking Around, Franchise and Jason dig in to Jason’s newfound inability to sleep, Franchise’s newfound inability to predict a team’s season (Arizona), Tampa Bay’s recent successes, and Arizona/Edmonton/Galchenyuk’s recent struggles.

 

Spinning The Wheels – Hi This Is Justin, First Time Long Time

Franchise, Jason, and Justin (surprisingly in studio for this recording) get together to review an alarming result of games in the past week of Red Wings hockey. Jason attempts to fool two goalies into shouldering goal blame, Justin offers a sophie’s choice of defensemen, and Jason mixes up who is playing net in Vegas.

SRD Post Game Show with Raymond Bennett- Game 17 vs Tampa Bay Lightning

Nikita Kucherov continues his dominance of the Red Wings as the Lightning squeak out a 4-3 win at Joe Louis Arena.

Cost of Loyalty: The Difference Between Stamkos and Durant

 Kevin Durant joins a loaded roster with the Warriors that also includes two-time reigning MVP Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant joins a loaded roster with the Warriors that also includes two-time reigning MVP Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports

“If you can’t beat them, join them.” That was a term commonly used just moments after Kevin Durant signed a 2-year $53 Million dollar deal with the Golden State Warriors to chase an NBA Championship.

Sports fans everywhere, especially those of the NBA, were up in arms about how this is allowed to continue in the NBA. “Super teams” are common place in the NBA, and it has been going on as far back as the Lakers and Celtics of the 1980’s.

The biggest difference is that many of those teams were built through the draft, and a lot of those players came up together. The same could be said about the “Bad Boy” Detroit Pistons, the Jordan Era Chicago Bulls, and the San Antonio Spurs.

But lately, and this has been going on for quite some time now, NBA teams are building their franchise around the best three players money can buy.

You could say this trend started with the 2008 Boston Celtics when they acquired Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to join Paul Pierce for a chance to chase a NBA title. Sure enough, the formula worked, as the Celtics dispatched the Kobe Bryant-led Lakers to win the NBA title. A few years later, after making the Free Agency process basically his own made for TV movie, Lebron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers to join Dwayne Wade in Miami to chase after his much alluded first NBA Championship. Soon after, Chris Bosh would join the duo as well to create yet another “Big Three.”

After a failed attempt in their first season together, the Miami Heat won the NBA title the next season, finally getting Lebron his first NBA Championship. The Heat would go on to win another NBA Championship the season after that, before running into the San Antonio Spurs who got “one for the thumb” in 2014. Lebron James would right the wrong of leaving Cleveland and return for another shot at bringing home a championship to his hometown team.

After failing in 2015 to the Golden State Warriors, a team built more like the Spurs instead of building a “Big Three”, Lebron fulfilled his promise in 2016 and bring a championship to Cleveland after a thrilling series comeback against the Golden State Warriors.

That same week, another superstar decided to make a decision regarding his immediate future in free agency, and instead of leaving for a potential greener pasture.

Steve_Stamkos_-_Tampa_Bay_Lightning

Steven Stamkos warms up with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Wikicommons

Steven Stamkos stayed with the girl who brought him to the dance in the Tampa Bay Lightning. His and Durant’s situations are awfully similar. Durant’s team made it to the NBA Finals but came up short, Stamkos team did the same. Before their free agency period hit, both their respective teams went on successful playoff runs before losing in the Conference Finals. So why would one player decide to leave his team and the other decide to chase a championship?

Is it money? Is it market? Or is it a cop out? Who knows? But what I do know is a lot of hockey players are proud guys, many of them dream of playing for one team their whole career, and a lot of those teams tend to lock up their star player.

Detroit did it with Datsyuk and Zetterberg, Chicago did it with Toews and Kane, Pittsburgh with Malkin and Crosby, etc. And a lot of those players dream of being the guy who brings a championship to the team who drafted them. All the great NHL players have done this since the dawn of Free Agency began, while a lot of those players may have needed an ingredient or two sprinkled in, many have fulfilled that promise. Gretzky did it with Edmonton, Mario did it with Pittsburgh, Stevie with Detroit, Toews and Kane, Malkin and Crosby, etc.

So I can see why Stamkos would balk at the chance of being the catalyst to a resurgence in Detroit or Toronto. He has himself a great situation in Tampa, one in which he has helped build, much like Durant did in OKC.  

The problem and the difference I feel with the NBA, and why so many “Super Teams” are built, and why Kevin Durant could care less about whether OKC wins a title or not, is because in the NBA it’s so easy to build a winner than it is in the NHL.

In the NBA, if you have three guys scoring 25 points, that’s 75 points. Get a few guys to chip in 15-20 more, and you average a winning point total every night. Where as in the NHL, you need 4 lines all clicking at the same time, it’s tough to chase a title in the NHL, ask Marian Hossa.

So while some NBA fans may be up in arms, what Durant is doing is smart business. And that’s what the NBA understands most, the business of money.

Out of Bounds Detroit Podcast- Tampa Bay’s AM Load

Dan,Dave, and Mike go over why a Tampa Bay Radio host is a complete load of radio host before going over the actual game 3 and why Detroit fans need to calm down before celebrating the win. We discuss the Pistons game one loss in Cleveland. Dan is losing his patience for a Pistons “Superstar”. We Give you Our first throwback “Out of the Box” Hottie of the week