Evander Kane Through A Scope

It seems that I’ve gone off on a bit of a tangent last post (and perhaps the one before that, too). It seems that I’ve gone crazy with freedom during the winter break. But the thought did occur to me that one, if not both, of the first-year journalism instructors at Red River College might have torn my last post to shreds if I attempted to hand it in to them as a serious paper… But it also occurred to me that I was (perhaps) writing for myself, and having fun whilst doing so, and it seems they don’t teach that in school.

Will he be missed from now until February?

But that’s enough about that. My focus today is Evander Kane.

Kane will become an unrestricted free agent in 2018. He’s currently in the middle of a six year, $31.5M contract. Some quick calculations puts him at $5.25M per season. When you divide that by 82 games per season, it gives you just over $64,000. Evander Kane makes more money per game than most blue-collar Winnipegger’s do in a year.

But that’s an easy pill to swallow, considering he’s a pro hockey player. I don’t mean to assume most Winnipeggers are losing sleep over the fact that some of the Jets are making more in one minute of ice-time than some labourers do in a month of back-breaking, thankless work.

Which brings me to my next calculation: the salary of Evander Kane per minute of ice-time. Kane has logged an average of just over 19 minutes of ice-time per game in the past five. In those five games he’s managed to score a third of his total goals on the season. Now, don’t get to excited, because he only has six. Which means, in the past five games he’s only scored two goals, with a total of five points. Which doesn’t sound so bad until you realize that he contributed nothing except two penalty minutes in the loss to the Flyers, and (somehow) ended up a -1 with no points in the 5-1 slaughter of the Blackhawks.

There I go ranting away again like some beer-fueled statistics nerd. Here are the bones of it all: of Kane’s 64,024 well-earned dollars per game—based on the aforementioned averages—he makes roughly $3,304 per single minute of ice-time. This is almost more than I made rough necking in a warehouse for a full month while maxing out my allotted over-time hours. (These numbers are, of course, approximate and subject to error as they’re based on calculations that I personally made on my calculator app.)

Of Kane’s 26 games played this season, he has 15 points (6 goals, 9 assists). He also has 46 penalty minutes.

According to spotrac.com, Evander Kane is in the salary company of NHLers like Zach Parise who, in 28 games, has 27 points (13 goals, 14 assists); John Tavares who, in 35 games, has 31 points (15 goals, 16 assists); Joe Pavelski who, in 36 games, has 30 points (17 goals, 13 assists); Ryan Callahan who, in 32 games, has 28 points (11 goals, 17 assists).

Most impressive member of the makes-as-much-money-as-Kane club is Joe Pavelski with his humble 17 goals on the season. If Kane were to have that many goals at this point in the season, it would take the Jets from 21st on the goals for chart, with 90, to tied for 9th with the Washington Capitals at 101. The Jets would be flanked by St. Louis and Detroit. But more importantly, this would put the Jets in the company of such scoring machines as the Pittsburg Penguins, Chicago Blackhawks, Calgary Flames and the Anaheim Ducks. And more than likely, the Jets would be a few notches higher in the Western Conference standings as well, however that sounds like speculation to me…

My attempt here is not to suggest that the fate of the Jets this season rests on the well-sculpted shoulders (by constant doing money-stack pushups) of Evander Kane. Nor am I suggesting that he is the reason the Jets are not reaching their full potential this season. Instead, it is to illustrate a certain inadequacy in the contract and salary department of team management. For reasons that probably made sense a few years ago when resigning this first-round draft pick, they made the decision to pay Kane big league money to stay in Winnipeg, hoping that this would persuade him to step up his game. But after a few seasons of Kane being invisible on the ice—and hopelessly inept at thinking while playing hockey—it may be time for Cheveldayoff to consider cutting his losses, gaining more room under the cap and acquiring new blood in the off-season.

Who knows, Kane might find a good fit somewhere warmer, like Florida; or better yet, Arizona…I hear the fans down there are top notch.

The Throes of Perception

Was that house always there?

Maybe. But then again maybe not. If you subscribe to quantum mechanics theory, then you might be more inclined to say maybe not. Quantum mechanics is the only scientific theory that attempts to accurately explain the inexplicable, chaotic universe around us. And it does so by confusing the shit out of us. One of the main elements of quantum mechanics is time. According to physicist Brian Greene, time might not actually exist…at least not in the way we experience it.

Time is a fucked up kind of thing. We think that we exist in the present, always looking toward the future, with the past ever entrenched, unattainably behind us. A popular metaphor for this would be time as a river, only flowing in one direction. But what if time was something more illusory, or, not like a river at all, but more like a block of ice, with all of us frozen inside of it.

Quantum mechanics takes everything in the universe and attempts to break it down to an algorithm. In this case, we could throw a full bottle of beer at a brick wall as many times as our arms will allow and it will always yield the same result. In a quantum mechanical world, however, if we were to infinitely throw an infinite number of beer bottles toward an infinite number of brick walls, then eventually and inevitably the wall would assemble all the tiny shards from the ground and reform them into a beer bottle and hurl it back at you. You would, of course catch it very emphatically. This is, of course, time happening in reverse.

But these kinds of things might be happening all the time, and we’d never know it. Our meek little minds are programmed and conditioned from birth to only see what’s directly in front, and moving in the direction that we expect it to move. Who’s to say that the last beer bottle I threw against that wall didn’t actually come from the ground, reassembled by the wall and end up a full beer in my hand (much to my delight)? After all, we don’t really even live in the present. And once you wrap your head around that one, then everything else just kind of falls into place.

Our brains perceive and process reality about .06 (or something, I’m not a scientist) seconds after our external senses detect it. We are perpetually stuck just back of present and slightly forward of the past, in some sort of time limbo; a gap in reality which leaves us vulnerable to attack (or misconception). The future is a distortion, like the outstretched arm of the reaper…his boney hands purposefully reaching toward us, but somehow we manage to slip his grip until that one day when he touches us and the future, the past and the present all implode and our star goes supernova. Or is the future a distortion? Is it really unattainable? What do we say about prophetic dreams? Ever had one? Really think about it…

***

But that house…I’ve never seen it before, and I’ve walked that street a million times in the last three years. It’s the street that I take to get to the vendor and the corner store…everything I need…

…it is possible that house did not exist until just before my eyes caught it. Quantum mechanics also postulates that every electron is both a wave and a particle simultaneously. Also, for every particle in the known universe, there is a “twin” particle that matches the “spin,” “wobble” and “motion” of its brother. It’s called entanglement. Perhaps my perception fell pray to entanglement in the sense that this house actually appeared out of nowhere, right at the moment I looked at it, then once my gaze was safely pulled away, it disappeared again into the ether.

This process happens in nature all the time. When scientists observe particles, they behave in a way that is contradictory to how they behave when they are not being observed. Of course, this is on an infinitely smaller scale, but what does size really mean, anyway? In the context of the entire universe, the house I saw is infinitely small. In the context of the multiverse, our universe is infinitely small. Whatever lurks beyond that would, no doubt, make the multiverse appear infinitely small. In geometry, we can come up with shapes that can divide infinitely; like trying to cut something in half forever…it just keeps dividing. So where does that leave us? On the scale of size, where do we live?

This is what went through my mind as I walked to the store to get bread and cheese for breakfast…on the menu: grilled egg n’ cheese sandwiches!

The other thing on my mind was the imposter team that took to the ice at MTS Centre last night versus the Flyers. Perhaps the Jets were entangled with particles from the shitty hockey universe. Or maybe not. But there is definitely no excuse for blowing a 3-1 lead in the third period, just to lose the game in the first ten seconds of overtime. Injuries aside, that game should have been wrapped up. Or maybe it was, in some far off part of the multiverse, and through the entanglement process, because of the opposite reaction incurred by the entangled particle, “our” Jets lost, while the “entangled” Jets came from behind and stole the game from underneath the shitty Flyers.

Or maybe not to all of it…maybe that house was always there, and somehow I just never noticed it before. That’s taking the easy way out, though. Isn’t it?

Injuries, The Storm Cloud, and Evander Kane

The RCs have swooped down from their pedestal to invade the city of Winnipeg as of late, as city hall is once again mired by controversy. What is to become of this foul-land once the sizzled bacon spits boiling grease into the eyes of the new establishment? Will they buckle? Only time will tell, and I’ll be watching it unfold as if it’s a Jets game…

The skills competition is going on right now at MTS Centre, a few blocks away, and I wonder if anybody even cares at the end of the day. After all, what is a skill competition without Zach Bogosian in the… Or Toby Enstrom representing his best skill in the…damnit, why can’t I think of his skill-set? Surely Jacob Trouba will be missed in the…

Well I guess the Jets aren’t reeling too badly for a friendly game of who’s faster? Those three are really just observers and cheerleaders when it comes to skills competitions anyway. The real meat of the event is whether or not Scheifele can regain his fastest skater title. His recent three-point night, including two goals, should give him the confidence booster he needs. But what about Evander Kane?

He also scored, leaving the four-goal-club behind him in the dust like he just burned rubber in a high-priced sports car that he’ll later hit a pot-hole in, and irreparably damage, and thus, turn to Instagram to take more money pictures in order to offset the sense of loss. I understand the gesture; a man can grow infatuated with his vehicle, even learn to platonically love it; but other Winnipeggers, I get the sense, don’t share my sympathetic view on the issue.

But in all seriousness, with Kane’s sluggish play (generous statement) as of late, I’d be surprised if he got the nomination to participate in even the shootout contest. Here is an overpaid NHL player that can’t score. The goal he got yesterday against the pitiful Sabres should be fully credited to Blake Wheeler, and Kane knows it, too. Did you see his reaction upon scoring? It wasn’t one of relief that he’d finally scored, or even exuberance for finally getting his fifth of the season, nearly midway through; it was one of thanks. He mouthed the words “nice fuckin’ pass” to Wheeler as he skated up to give congratulations. I most likely could not have scored that goal, but any beer leaguer worth a pint surely could have.

Other meaty contests that won’t miss the likes of Bogosian or Enstrom is the hardest shot. We can be sure to expect another strong performance from reigning champion Anthony Peluso. But expect Dustin Byfulglien to reach out and grab what is (most likely) rightfully his. The 260 pounder won’t be leaving the ice this year without that title.

***

The latest of the Winnipeg Jets to take a leave of absence is blue-liner Jacob Trouba, out until February with an “upper body injury.” If you were to ask coach Paul Maurice, he’d tell you that it’s going to be a challenge to fill his skates, especially with Bogosian and Enstrom out too, but he’d also tell you that this is a fine example of opportunity for some of the ‘other guys’ to prove themselves (not to put words in his mouth, of course).

While I can’t disagree about replacing Trouba being a near impossibility, the other two have been scarcely missed. I barely realized that Enstrom was missing from the lineup. And as for Bogosian, it’s like watching Buck Pierce; I love the guy, but goddamnit he’s made of glass.

Credit is due, however, to Bogosian for always thinking about his fellow teammates. If it were not for his selfless acts of continual injury no other players would ever get the chance to “prove themselves,” as Maurice so politically puts it.

Bogosian singlehandedly gave Byfuglien exactly what he’s been wanting ever since the Jets tossed out Claude “Mr. Mackey” Noel, which is to be back on defense. Despite being an abysmal -26 (or something to that effect) last season before being yanked off the line, he’s always had a certain affection for the position. So far, he’s been holding out alright; but if the Winnipeg sports storm cloud has any reality­—and I’m sure it does—then he should slip back to his old ways before too long. As it was last night, he nearly allowed one of the Sabres to get past him for a shorthanded break.

The Winnipeg sports world has been in a paralyzing need for a playoff team for a very long time. The Bombers can’t play football, nor do they try. Sometimes I think they’d be better off playing baseball, until I remember that we have a team playing that game already, and if I’m not mistaken, they’re actually pretty good. But nobody honestly cares! This year’s Jets are the best shot since the days of Selanne and Zhamnov to make the playoffs. Currently, we sit at fourth place in arguably the toughest division in all of hockey. With a five point cushion over the Wild, and only two wins back of the Predators, this team is looking it’s best ever.

Making the playoffs this year is just what Winnipeggers need to help forget that we live in a city rife with shitty planning, terrible roads, high taxes and shrouded in as much controversy as the Senate.

Another break from hockey…

While seeking inspiration for the poetry assignment before me in Creative Writing, I decided to check out some of my old stuff to see if I can’t get the old mass of fat grey matter moving.  No such luck.  But I did find this piece…check it out…you just might like it.  I wrote this somewhere between now and 3 years ago and posted it to autopoieticsystems.wordpress.com.

Dementia’s Wakemare

I thought that last Friday
Was this Tuesday
But it actually turned out to be
Wednesday night

And while I sit here
Contemplating oblivion
Pondering infinitum
And seeking to disprove
Popular theorem
I am confronted
With a swirling cloud
Of disbelief

I know nothing of everything
Something of nothing
Nothing of something
And everything just might be bleak

Perplexity seeps into my brain
From various design
Forcing me to lie
Lest I appear to have fear
Rooted deep in my eye
The myriad of colour
Beset on all sides
Tells me I’m confused

What is this piece of glass
And who is that man
Standing within it
If I attack him
My hands bleed
And falling shards of reality
Impale my throbbing feet
That bleed out upon the floor

I rue the emptiness innate
And ruin all we’ve created
Imprisoned in this nightmare
I live to regret my life’s wakemare
As the space becomes ever smaller
Consciousness gives way to confusion
Confusion confronts sanity
Insanity acquiesces to dementia

Time Flow

Things get old. It’s just the hard reality of time. Despite (or maybe in spite of) quantum physics telling us that time is most likely illusory, we buy into it and root ourselves in it from our foundations up; right from our very DNA, we believe so strongly in time, that we even age ourselves.

Sometimes we use the things around us to tell us how much time has passed relative to that thing. An easy example of this would be the accumulation of dust on the top of my TV. I can’t honestly say when the last time I’ve dusted anything is, therefore it’s safe to say the dust is pretty old.

Some things feel the passage of time physically, like my laptop charger. But I won’t get into the “built in China” rant…that’s for another post.

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Other times we look at an object that we used to be fond of, and realize it’s our emotional response that’s become old. I have a lot of band shirts. Many of them are now on my wall because I’ve retired them for various reasons. Some are too old and ragged to wear anymore; some are too small; some have always been too big; but mostly they’re up there because I don’t feel the same way toward wearing a band shirt as I did eight to ten years ago. There’s just something about it that seems (and I hate to use a term that comes from my Ottawa days, but…) try-hard. These days, I’d much rather let my personality show through my actions, beliefs and philosophies, rather than the clothes I’m wearing.

IMG_20141201_161059

So, as I sit here in an empty apartment, with an empty head, staring at my empty beer can, I wonder just how old was that beer I drank. And as I go to the fridge to crack a fresh one, I wonder just how fresh is it. Just how long has it been since the harvest of the barley, to the production, to the consumption? I’ll never know. But regardless of its age, I drink it just the same.

I don’t treat everything the same, however. Some things get old, and I just cast them aside like garbage, never thinking twice about it after it’s left my hand.

The real question here is: how does this relate to the Jets, Sean? Well, I’m glad you’ve asked, because I do have a point…I think…maybe. The Jets are currently enjoying a rare four-day stretch with no games. This gives them a great opportunity to rest up and recharge. It also gives them a good chance to look back on their season and try to figure some shit out. Shit like: how they took what could have been a three game winning streak, and turned it into a loss.

They lost to the Boston Bruins on Friday night. The worst part about the loss is that they started the game with a 1-0 lead. The best part about the loss was the point they got from it (because it went to overtime), and the play of backup goalie Micheal Hutchinson (originally drafted in 2008 by the Boston Bruins).

As I said, this break will give them a change to re-energize, and hopefully make some adjustments to their offense in order to produce more goals. They currently sit in 4th position, three points behind Chicago (who used to be behind us), and only one point ahead of Minnesota. The Jets need to put their offensive woes behind them and get with the flow of time. They need to be like a river, and constantly move forward, and if that means making some big-time trades, so be it. Something needs to happen, because I don’t think Winnipeg will stand for yet another year of not being part of the post-season party.

Maybe the Jets can find a way to make losing old…