James Tanner: Coyotes Resume Countdown To Draft, Make Weird Call-Up

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The Coyotes resume their 2014-15 season with mixed feelings tonight in Philadelphia.

Well, I can’t offer you any insight into their feelings; what I mean is that my feelings are mixed. A week ago, after the Coyotes lost their sixth game in a row for what felt like the sixth time (I am assured that it wasn’t) the remaining 36 games seemed like they would drag on forever as once again, a Playoff race is not in the cards.

However, that was before the All-Star break happened. And, like a well off first-world person complaining about something as frivolous as a slow internet connection or a long line at the bank, I realized things could be worse.

Sure, 36 games of losing and waiting for trades to happen is pretty crappy, but it turns out that a week without hockey is worse. Standing outside, freezing, I had to turn to internal thoughts like a normal person since there was no hockey news, no boxscores, stories or hockey pools to track.

Imagine having to spend time with my wife during the evenings instead of watching the Coyotes lose another one? (Note that last part is a joke, I just wanna see if she reads this thing or not!!)

So, anyways, the boys are back and like when your kid brother goes away to camp and there’s no one to beat up for a while, you realize you actually like playing with him.

So what can we expect from our team that currently sits 16 points out a Playoff spot?

Well, I am going to guess not much. Some tough losses and some trades are the best we can hope for. Maybe, if we’re super lucky, the Oilers will pass us and we will get to draft one of the top picks (and then trade it for David Runblad?).

Entering this game, Boedker (spleen) is of course still out. The Coyotes have made a strange roster decision though. Before the break they sent down a few players to keep playing while the team was off, but instead of recalling Gormley – who is a big part of the future of this club – they recalled Andrew Campbell – who is not.

While Coyotes GM Don Maloney noted that Campbell was the best defenseman of the Pirates lately – who cares? Nothing you can do in the minors can equate to NHL game experience and why not play your top prospects in zero-pressure NHL games?

I mean, the Coyotes schedule the rest of the way has all the meaning of the Pre-season, so instead of rewarding a 26 year old, former third rounder who in all likelihood won’t be here longterm, I feel they should give some big minutes to Gormley who they – one assumes – hope to one day partner with OEL what projects to be one of the best Dpairings in the future of the NHL.

Whatever. The Coyotes do not make typical roster decisions and for that maybe we should be thankful. They like to go their own way and who am I to say differently? Ultimately, it’s just something to think about. I mean, is it better to reward a dud and make your top guys work for it or to trade off discipline in favor of getting your best guys some potentially great experience?

It’s a philosophic question worthy of Kierkegaard or Kant.

Or, well, maybe Just Kouleas.

Thanks for reading. Top Ten Records of All-Time

For something to do during the All-Star break, I have been counting down my top ten all-time favorite records. The List so far:

10. The Smiths The Queen is Dead

9. Warron Zevon Excitable Boy

8. Guns N’ Roses Use Your Illusion

7. R.E.M Document

6. The Cure Disintegration

5. Belle and Sebastian If You’re Feeling Sinister

4a. Radiohead Kid A

4b. Nirvana In Utero

Counting down your favorite records turns out to be more difficult that it at first appears. First of all, I was only unable to whittle it down to ten – there is clearly 11 on the list. What this says about my inability to make decisions is best left up to my analyst, but for whatever reason, I just couldn’t make one final cut.

Then, there is also a problem with diversity: I didn’t realize that I basically listened to white, male driven, rock and roll. Not very PC that is for sure. I like other types of music – I listen to a lot of hip-hop and dance music, plus quite a few female signers. However, I decided it wouldn’t be honest to include something just to look more inclusive and so I just went with my heart.

As for albums that almost made the cut? Well, Beatles, Beach Boys, Dylan, Neil, Tom Petty – I decided that while I love a lot of those records, I pretty well overplayed them in my youth and they just don’t speak to me for whatever reason anymore. I still love ’em, but, well….I don’t know.

Tragically Hip Fully Completely, Lil Wayne Tha’ Carter III and White Stripes White Blood Cells where probably the last cuts.

Anyways, enough preamble – on with it: 3. from 1978 Bruce Springsteen Darkness on the Edge of Town

This is, in my opinion, the greatest of the Springsteen library, which means it’s obviously incredible. A lot of people would go with Nebraska but DET has the better songs. “Adam Raised a Cain” has one of the best guitar workouts in Rock music, “Factory” is a song everyone can relate to and the title track is for my money one of the best songs in the history of music.

Oh, plus “Badlands.” I made up the list and I can’t believe it’s only #3. 2. From 1989 Pixies Doolittle

This might go down as the weirdest thing to ever get popular (possible exception: Lil Wayne) Nothing on this album follows normal conventions. Not the opening track, not its lack of professionalism, it’s 16 song length or it’s bizarre lyrics.

There isn’t a bad song here and it only speaks to the power of the next record that I am not calling this number one. I should have just had two number ones instead of two number fours, because I think this deserves the distinction.

But don’t take my word for it. Go put it on. And, if you don’t own, it,

http://www.amazon.ca/Doolittle-Pixies/dp/B000065PUE 1. From 1983, R.E.M Murmur

This album came out when I was just a baby and I am pretty sure my Dad probably played it a ton before I could even know what music was. Perhaps it seeped into my brain. Who knows?

Either way, it is, in my (let’s be honest, not humble at all) opinion, the greatest record ever produced. Who knows what Stipe is talking about in any of these songs? They don’t seem to be about anything. “Radio Free Europe” is perhaps the greatest album opener of all time, and it just gets better: “Pilgrimage,” “Talk About the Passion,” and “Catapult,” to name a few.

It is, however, not a single song that makes this a great record: it’s the way it flows, the way the songs tap your emotions despite the lyrics being meaningless. It’s original: virtually every rock/alternative record that comes after owes a huge debt to Murmur certainly Nirvana, Radiohead and the Pixies never exist without it. There is a case to be made that not only is it the greatest record, but also the most influential one of all-time. Sure, it didn’t sell a lot of copies, but, like the Velvet Underground before it, at least half the people who bought it probably started bands. Murmur= Perfection

Thanks for reading.

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