Kraken McCann, Bruins Neely

Simmer’s Tuesday 9; Kraken Make GM Wait, ‘Rogue Podcaster’

Which Seattle Kraken team shows up to face the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night at Climate Pledge Arena remains to be seen. The club has shown Jekyll and Hyde tendencies over its last few performances.

You just never know; one of the many beautiful things about live sports. I guess that’s why gambling is so popular.

In the meantime, here’s an important set of “Simmer’s Sunday 9” just two days late:

1) I’ve been compared to a “rogue podcaster” by a local radio host when I wondered why I had never been invited on one of the station’s hockey programs for two seasons. I stopped giving it much thought quite awhile ago, but started asking again recently when a few local friends kept pressing me on why they hadn’t utilized my decades of radio and hockey experience.

Aside from me being “rogue”, whatever that means, they’ve apparently booked their guests through the end of the season, which, having hosted and produced national and regional radio programs for many, many years, is a load of horse—-.

Insulting my intelligence appears to be a regional past-time.

There’s your answer my friends. Thank you. Moving on.

In the meantime, here’s one of my 7 recent rogue podcasts with the TV voice of the Kraken, John Forslund. Below that is one my recent 12 with former long-time NHL head coach Bruce Boudreau.

Look out! We’re dangerous …

(“Simmer’s NHL/Kraken 9” continues below these)

2) How about the Bruins going to overtime for a 6th straight game and for the 7th time in their last eight matches. Boston has lost five of the seven games, two of them in shoot-outs. One of their two wins came in OT and the other in the mini skills competition.

The Kraken swept the two-game season series against the Atlantic Division leaders, having won 4-1 a dozen nights ago in Boston to go with Monday’s 4-3 shoot-out win.

3) I had a lengthy chat with Bruins President and Hockey Hall of Famer Cam Neely at their morning skate on Monday. The last topic while departing was his “relationship” with Ulf Samuelsson, the former NHL D-man known for cheap hits and clipping opponents, with Neely being his most notable and angriest victim.

Neely went through one of the most extensive and impressive rehabs on a knee after “Ulfie” clipped him in the 1991 playoffs. Neely returned almost fulltime for the 1993-’94 season and earned the Bill Masterton Trophy (awarded to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey) the following summer.

When I compared he and Samuelsson to Darren McCarty of the Detroit Red Wings and Claude Lemieux of the Colorado Avalanche, who publicly made amends after some ugly incidents in 1996 and 1997, Neely laughed and essentially said, “yeah, I’m not there yet.”

4) By the way, for the younger folks in the audience, Neely famously played “Seabass” in the 1994 comedy movie “Dumb and Dumber” starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels. It would be considered a timeless comedy classic by most.

There was a New England connection for a lot of the actors and crew, with the Rhode Island based Farrelly brothers directing.

5) This past Saturday marked the 47th anniversary of the release of the classic hockey film “Slapshot” starring Paul Newman. The aforementioned Boudreau was an extra in the film, a quick skating forward playing for the “Hyannisport Presidents”. Newman’s character Reg Dunlop used Boudreau’s real apartment in Johnstown, Pennsylvania for the film, as it was the messiest of those playing on the local minor league team at the time and fit it the bill.

6) Trivia Slot: What number did Jared McCann wear his first season in Seattle? (answer at bottom of page)

7) I appreciate Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery popping on and doing a rare head coach pregame appearance on “Simmer’s Pregame Skate” on Monday. I usually catch league coaches and GM’s in the morning but this one was done at 4:05 in the afternoon. Great guy who’s seen a lot in life and in hockey, including helping win an NCAA championship as a forward with the Maine Black Bears in 1993.

8) The Kraken have four games remaining ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline on March 8th. They have another one that evening. Will there be changes, or will Kraken GM Ron Francis stick with the status quo in attempting to make the playoffs. The rumors have already started as the clock ticks and Seattle finds itself five points out of a playoff spot and having to hop over four teams.

Common sense prediction: They’ll be “selling”, trading assets to the highest bidder(s).

9) We talk about great number-9’s in this slot, but how about 99? Two players wore it before Wayne Gretzky and no one has since. The NHL retired the number league-wide when he retired.

The two players who donned it first back in the 1980’s: Rick Dudley with the Winnipeg Jets for one season and Wilf Paiement with the Toronto Maple Leafs for three.

((– Trivia Answer: Before switching to number-19, Jared McCann wore 16 for the Kraken))

Recent Kraken:

— Kraken Beat Bruins In A Thrilling Shoot-out 4-3, Still Alive

— Seattle Kraken’s Tomas Tatar Still Has A Lot To Offer

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.
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