Buys and Sells: Thank Goodness the Season Has Started Edition

Each Friday throughout the season,I'll provide you with my predictions on whose stock is on the rise and whose is failing miserably like an American bank. It's a neat little segment entitled Buys and Sells. There are a few teams/players/issues to buy and a few to sell.

Ah, yes. The smell of a brand spankin' new season is permeating throughout North American and isn't it b-e-a-u-tiful? And with a new season comes all the usual rites of fall; the return of Hockey Night in Canada, the constant questioning of Gary Bettman's sanity and Chris Chelios yet again featured on an NHL roster. But I'm leaving something out... Something really important... Oh, yes! The return of the NHL season also signals the return of Buys and Sells! What? Buys and Sells isn't synonymous with opening night? You cannot be serious. And neither is this column. Ba-dum-bum. Thanks, I'll be here all season. Hey! DO NOT roll your eyes at me!

Strong Buy: Citizens of Detroit Report Sightings of Airborne Swine

Pigs must be flying in Detroit these days. That's really the only explanation I can come up with for the score of this game. How the Maple Leafs -- a team that has been picked by many to be the East's bottom feeder -- pulled off a win against the Red Wings -- a team picked by many to win the Cup again -- in Detroit, on opening night, after the 2008 Stanley Cup banner was raised to the rafters during the pre-game is simply absurd.

Either the general population is completely wrong in their evaluations of both teams, or this was a serious fluke. And someone go check on Ted Starkey, his head might have exploded since the #30 team in his power rankings just beat the #1 team. Did I mention that it was on opening night? In front of the #1 team's home crowd? After they had raised their Stanley Cup banner? That stuff is not supposed to happen. Jeez, I think my head is going to explode!

Sell: Def Leppard as a viable NHL marketing tool
Hoo boy. These guys are getting grilled and rightfully so. One of the members, Joe Elliott, was given the esteemed privilege of lifting the Stanley Cup. Even the most casual of hockey fans understand the responsibility that comes with. Joe didn't drop the cup. No, that would probably have been easily forgivable. Joe actually hoisted the Cup, walked around with it, then set it to rest upside down. Really? How do you do that? I didn't even know the Cup could sit like that without falling over. But now I do and I kind of wish that I could erase that from memory.

Buy: The Unnecessary Mascot That is Blatantly Only Being Used for Marketing
From a business standpoint, if you can design a cuddly looking mascot, you're set. It's one of the golden rules in sports business. You need a name, logo and mascot that lend themselves to easy marketing and merchandising. Too bad for the Minnesota Wild they dug themselves a bit of a hole on the first requirement. 'Wild' doesn't exactly lend itself to easy brainstorming sessions. But that's OK. Now they have a mascot who may or may not have an over sized brain. And hey, it can't be worse than this disaster of a mascot.

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