Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Kevin Lowe should take notes...

...from the Atlanta Falcons on how to properly re-build a team. Look at their off-season so far:

Alge Crumpler
Warrick Dunn
Dwayne Blakley
Demorrio Williams
Todd Watkins
Byron Leftwich
Wayne Gandy
Rod Coleman
Lewis Sanders
Jamin Elliott
Marcus Wilkins
P.J. Alexander
Jordan Beck

Michael Turner
Ben Hartsock
Erik Coleman
Von Hutchins
Rashad Moore
Kindal Moorehead
Simon Fraser
Tim Anderson
Alex Stepanovich
Jason Rader

Almost all of the departures are veteran players with big salaries and the arrivals (with the exception of Turner) are more or less warm bodies. By signing young free agents, GM (and former Guelph Gryphon) Thomas Dimitroff is doing two things: keeping salary cap room available and getting players who should still be at their peak if and when the Falcons get back to respectability.

There are reports of DeAngelo Hall being traded to Oakland for a second and sixth round pick, so long as a new contract is hammered out. There are also rumours that the Falcons will trade the 3rd overall pick in the draft. Both of these news items are music to my ears. For one, Hall is an overrated piece of shit and I look forward to seeing Hines Ward, after losing a shoe, beating him on a skinny post and then outrunning him to the endzone in another team's uniform. For another, Dimitroff was Director of College Scouting for the New England Patriots, and many of the players involved in the Pats 18-1 season and three Super Bowls were evaluated, scouted, and drafted by Dimitroff. The more draft picks the better; the Falcons need upgrades at just about every position (DL, DB, LB, OL, TE, QB) and it's not going to hurt them to slide down as low as 15th overall and throw a dart at the best player still available. The Falcons would have 11 selections pending the Hall trade, including the Raiders and Texans 2nd rounders, and they're also likely to pick up a 4th round compensatory selection for Patrick Kerney.

From the Atlanta Falcons Blog: "I can't imagine even the most optimistic Falcons fan is expecting much from the team in 2008. As long as no one is detained at the airport for carrying a pot-concealing water bottle or is sent to prison for murdering puppies, it'll be a successful season. And that's probably the best attitude to take. That way, if the team somehow manages to win five or six games, it'll be a pleasant surprise as the front office prepares to make another top-5 pick in a year's time."

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Alberta Election Predictions

Here are my predictions:
PC: 50
LIB: 27
NDP: 4
WRA: 2

Popular Vote
PC: 43%
LIB: 30%
NDP: 11%
WRA: 9%
GRN: 7%

Since poll results never give a regional breakdown, my predictions are based on the assumption that the Wildrose Alliance will play a big factor in the Liberals picking up seats in Calgary, but I have no idea how their campaign has been going there, if at all.

It's very puzzling how some people seem convinced that the Progressive Conservatives are going to lose this one. I think the NDP will keep the seats they have, but I think it would be funny to see Mason lose.

I have a prediction for each riding listed below. Some of the highlights (or lowlights, depending on your views) include Minister of Advanced Education and Technology Doug Horner losing to Ray Boudreau, Link Byfield winning one for the Wildrose Alliance, super-candidate Arthur Kent losing to Dave Taylor, and Independent Dan Backs losing his seat. And of course, we're all going to enjoy seeing Craig Chandler crash and burn.

Seems I actually know a few people running in this election:

  • Jason Nishiyama, the NDP candidate in Calgary-Egmont; a former cadet officer
  • Raj Sherman, running for the PCs in Edmonton Meadowlark; my landlord for a couple of years
  • While I haven’t personally met him, Edmonton Mill-Creek’s NDP candidate Stephen Anderson is engaged to a former Lister floormate of mine.

Airdrie-Chestermere: Rob Anderson, PC
Athabasca-Redwater: Bill Bonko, LIB
Banff-Cochrane: Janis Tarchuk, PC
Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock: Ken Kowalski, PC
Battle River-Wainwright: Doug Griffiths, PC
Bonnyville-Cold Lake: Genia Leskiw, PC
Calgary-Bow: Alana DeLong, PC
Calgary-Buffalo: Kent Hehr, PC
Calgary-Cross: Yvonne Fritz, PC
Calgary-Currie: Dave Taylor, LIB
Calgary-East: Bill Harvey, LIB
Calgary-Egmont: Cathie Williams, LIB
Calgary-Elbow: Craig Cheffins, LIB
Calgary-Fish Creek: Heather Forsyth, PC
Calgary-Foothills: Len Webber, PC
Calgary-Fort: Carole Oliver, LIB
Calgary-Glenmore: Ron Stevens, PC
Calgary-Hays: Art Johnson, PC
Calgary-Lougheed: David Rodney, PC
Calgary-MacKay: Tianna Melnyk. LIB
Calgary-McCall: Darshan King, LIB
Calgary-Montrose: Michael Embaie, LIB
Calgary-Mountain View: David Swann, LIB
Calgary-North Hill: Pat Murray, LIB
Calgary-North West: Dale Martin D’Silva, LIB
Calgary-Nose Hill: Len Borowski, LIB
Calgary-Shaw: Cindy Ady, PC
Calgary-Varsity: Harry Chase, LIB
Calgary-West: Ron Liepert, PC
Cardston-Taber-Warner: Paul Hinman, WRA
Cypress-Medicine Hat: Leonard Mitzel, PC
Drayton Valley-Calmar: Diana McQueen, PC
Drumheller-Stettler: Jack Hayden, PC
Dunvegan-Central Peace: Hector Goudreau, PC
Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview: Ray Martin, NDP
Edmonton-Calder: David Eggen, NDP
Edmonton-Castle Downs: Chris Kibermanis, LIB
Edmonton-Centre: Laurie Blakeman, LIB
Edmonton-Decore: Bill Bonko, LIB
Edmonton-Ellerslie: Bharat Agnihotri, LIB
Edmonton-Glenora: Bruce Miller, LIB
Edmonton-Gold Bar: Hugh MacDonald, LIB
Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood: Brian Mason, NDP
Edmonton-Manning: Peter Sandhu, PC
Edmonton-McClung: Mo Elsalhy, LIB
Edmonton-Meadowlark: Raj Sherman, PC
Edmonton-Mill Creek: Gene Zwozdesky, PC
Edmonton-Mill Woods: Weslyn Mather, LIB
Edmonton-Riverview: Kevin Taft, LIB
Edmonton-Rutherford: Fred Horne, PC
Edmonton-Strathcona: Rachel Notley, NDP
Edmonton-Whitemud: Dave Hancock, PC
Foothills-Rocky View: Ted Morton, PC
Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo: Guy Boutilier, PC
Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville: Ed Stelmach, PC
Grande Prairie-Smoky: Mel Knight, PC
Grande Prairie-Wapiti: Wayne Drysdale, PC
Highwood: George Groeneveld, PC
Innisfail-Sylvan Lake: Luke Ouellette, PC
Lac La Biche-St. Paul: Ray Danyluk, PC
Lacombe-Ponoka: Ray Prins, PC
Leduc-Beaumont-Devon: George Rogers, PC
Lesser Slave Lake: Pearl Calahasen, PC
Lethbridge-East: Bridget Pastoor, LIB
Lethbridge-West: Bal Boora, LIB
Little Bow: Barry McFarland, PC
Livingstone-Macleod: Evan Berger, PC
Medicine Hat: Rob Renner, PC
Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills: Richard Marz, PC
Peace River: Frank Oberle, PC
Red Deer-North: Mary-Anne Jablonski, PC
Red Deer-South: Cal Dallas, PC
Rocky Mountain House: Ty Lund, PC
Sherwood Park: Iris Evans, PC
Spruce Grove-Sturgeon-St. Albert: Ray Boudreau, LIB
St. Albert: Jack Flaherty, LIB
Stony Plain: Fred Lindsay, PC
Strathcona: Dave Quest, PC
Strathmore-Brooks: Arno Doerksen, PC
Vermilion-Lloydminster: Lloyd Snelgrove, PC
West Yellowhead: Robin Campbell, PC
Wetaskiwin-Camrose: Verlyn Olsen, PC
Whitecourt-Ste. Anne: Link Byfield, WRA