We thought it best to keep Ol' Trusty locked away for a bit, let 'er cool down, work out some of the bugs. All of those Forsberg errors, the blue screens of Dater, the flat out struggles to make the thing work at all just frustrated Nathan to no end. With the amount of money he sunk into this thing, who can blame him?
However, after some intense negotiations with MBennett about the customer service agreement, we have the HWRG2000 operational and we are going to plug in some information about free agency and see what exactly the "improvements" Mr. Bennett supposedly made are.
If you are willing to help us test this thing out, make the jump for some free agency rumor mongering.
The first intelligence report we received on free agency was from a "KHitch" in Ohio. We thought it might be Ken Hitchcock, but figured it couldn't possibly be. I mean, he was fired, and who would stay in Ohio by choice? The information wasn't much, but this is what we received:
There were reports that Steve Nash watched the Stanley Cup Finals in Vancouver. As the Blue Jackets watched along with everyone else on proud television partner NBC, the Canucks lost. Being a hockey team, and fearing a karmic balacing against the name Nash, the Jackets are rumored to be offering Rick Nash for cheap.
Now, this didn't make much sense to us, since the Jackets just traded for Jeff Carter to likely center a line for Rick Nash. We, however, are not in the business of interpreting the information, thus we bought the machine. We took the care to input every character perfectly, and this is what we got:
RUMOR: The Minnesota Wild have offered a package similar to the deal that will bring Zach Parise to the Canucks. The rights to Josh Harding, Brett Bulmer, and Kyle Brodziak will move Rick Nash to Mikko Koivu's wing in Minnesota this season.
Interesting. I think I just saw Nathan pass out in the corner. I know how much he hates Rick Nash, so it os probably just over load. Moving on.
In a rather creepy report we received from "Madame X," we learn some interesting sources Chuck Fletcher is using to lead Minnesota to their first Stanley Cup in... well, ever. While we may be disturbed by the tactic, it is good to see the GM leaving no stone un-turned. The report we received was actually an unpaid bill from "Madame X's Soothing Seance." Here is what it said:
Customer: Chuck Fletcher
One hour seance: $250
Special instructions: Contact Carl Pohlad
Special instruction fees: $2700
Return policy: 30 days
I am not sure why or how you return a seance, but I'm not much of a spiritualist, so whatever. I simply slid the unpaid bill in the side slot marked "Cam Baker Contract Storage." It may have made a shredding sound, but I figured that was normal. The return was nothing short of remarkable:
RUMOR: The spirit of Carl Pohlad is frequently a source for wise hockey knowledge. This is no exception. Ghost Pohlad suggested signing famed slugger Ted Williams to ten year contract, noting he was already "on ice" and that he would play better on the blueline than "that Barking kid." Expect a contract to be done as soon as the heat in Minnesota passes.
Huh. Ted Williams? Interesting choice ol' trusty. Also, who in the world is Ghost Pohlad referring to by "that Barking kid?" We thought about feeding it back in, but Mr. Bennett assures us that would be a terrible idea. Something about "Jagr gears" breaking.
Recently, on a trip though Switzerland, Agent Double O zero thought he saw something of value. He sent in a secure text message that read simply:
IGOW in unemployment line. Thoughts?
Oh, we have some thoughts alright. What in the heck is Owen Nolan doing in an unemployment line? Terrible. Someone sign him. But hey... we have the HWRG2000, so we let it tell us what it meant.
RUMOR: Get your house in order, and pray to whatever spirit you believe in. This is clearly a sign that the Mayans were correct, as an unemployed Irish God of War shall result only in his boredom causing him to destroy the world. RUN! PANIC!
Who knew a machine could be so very, very wrong? There is nothing to fear with the end of day predictions. I mean, it;s not like the HWRG2000 has been right with every single prediction it has ever made, right? It has? Uh oh. Oh well, I guess we have until 2012. One more Cup run boys!
The staff here at Hockey Wilderness had a couple of tidbits from around the web we wanted to get a feeling for from ol' trusty. First up, the belief that Philadelphia is going to attempt to put in an offer sheet on RFA Steven Stamkos. The report is this:
$115 million over 12 years, for a $9.5 million cap hit for the life of the deal.
This struck us as odd, since the Flyers still have cap issues, despite offloading the two best players on their team just a week ago. We let the machine tell us what it means.
RUMOR: Flyers fans are drunk on power. They need to sit down, zip it, and relax. The indication from my sources is that the Wild have already signed Stamkos to an offer sheet for just $1.5 million per year for 20 years. It is being kept quiet until Friday, when the Bolts are so busy signing a backup goalie they won't realize the deal has been signed.
Nice. Stammer to the Wild, huh. Good choice, HWRG2000. Good to have that from a completely unbiased source, too. High on life with Stammer and Nash coming to the Wild, we were brought back to reality when it hit us that Brent Burns was not around to enjoy this new found happiness.
However, at the Mike Yeo press conference, Chuck Fletcher and Brent Burns had a conversation, but no one could hear what they said. We input the information we had and we got this back:
RUMOR: There is always talk before a big trade. Fletcher and Burns are not stupid people, and both know how the NHL works. With the knowledge that success will not come to Minnesota this season, Burns wanted to spend sometime in California. It is clear that Burns and Fletcher have a deal worked out for Burns to return to Minnesota next July 1st.
See? Everyone just needs to calm down. It is under control. Happens all the time, players are traded away, and then sign with their old team as soon as free agency hits. Just relax.
Finally, the trade rumor that the Canucks has traded for Zach Parise. We input the trade:
Zach Parise to the Canucks in return for Cory Schneider, Mikael Samuelsson, and Cody Hodgson.
The result was spectacular.
RUMOR: A back-up goalie, a marginal second line player, and an unproven, not highly prized prospect for a forty goal scorer? Sources say 0111010001000100001111001010101000010101010101000000101010001
At this point the machine shot out a shower of sparks, gears went flying, and we all learned just what it means for a robot to have a nervous breakdown. According to Mr. Bennett, the code at the end means "Morons would believe this." So, there's that.
Enjoy free agency tomorrow, folks. Just be sure to check Twitter feeds for truth before jumping off a bridge, and don't get your hopes to high. No one wants to clean that mess up. Besides, we'll be busy trying to figure out how the Jagr gear connects to the Modano wiring harness, and if we can rebuild that pesky Lecavalier chip.
See you tomorrow.