N The Zone has landed it’s next flag in the great city of Philadelphia! I, Phil Allen (@MtAiryPhil) aka The King of Mt. Airy bring you N The Zone Philly! Whether it’s the beloved Sixers, Eagles, Phillies or Flyers, I will bring the HEAT to the fans! In this edition of the show, it’s “The Evolution of the Sixers.” The time is now for the Sixers to get back to playoff glory. Check out the show below.
ST. LOUIS, MO
The St. Louis Blues season ended in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals getting eliminated by the San Jose Sharks last week. It was a wild ride for the St. Louis Blues and especially for the fanbase, that grew as the postseason carried on. It was disappointing to see the Blues get this close to appearing in the Stanley Cup Finals and fell two games short. They were 4-6 at home and had the home ice advantage. The Blues just got beat by a better team flat out. The Sharks were more physical and they wasn’t giving the Blues much room to operate. The first two rounds of the playoffs the Blues were flying through the neutral zone creating several scoring attempts, sometimes controlling the puck at even strength and looking as if they’re on a power play. Well not this round. Then center Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks just owned the series scoring 8 points in the last five games of the series. As a whole he has notched 22 points in 18 games better than a point a game with a plus/minus rating of 3.
As the playoffs continue on without the Blues, they have some business to tend too with pending free agents. Unrestricted free agents David Backes and Troy Brouwer, both 32 years of age, and ranked 6th and 9th respectively by Frank Seravalli of TSN top 30 list of NHL free agents. I was also told that the Philadelphia Flyers have eyes for Backes and could offer as much as 25 million for three years. I could see him getting something like that; he had a great postseason and this was the most spirited I’ve seen him play since the 2002 Winter Olympics. Backes had finished with 14 points in the playoffs. He’s someone the Blues can’t afford to lose, but this could be his last chance to cash in. Troy Brouwer was second on the team with 8 playoff goals and he is in similar boat as Backes, we’ll find out in a couple of months how this will play out. Because, the Blues have to think ahead to 2017 free agency too, and head coach Ken Hitchcock contract expires next month.
But, I consider this a good season by the Blues for a few reasons. First, they appeared in only their third conference finals in the last 30 years. They knocked off the defending Stanley Cup and hugely disliked Chicago Blackhawks. Then followed that by beating the number one seed in the Western Conference Dallas Stars. The Blues were able to do this with a roster that had only two players over 20 goals or 50 points. They just ran out of gas. Two straight best of seven series caught up with them. The good that came out of it was the growth of the fanbase which is as diverse as ever. Quite honestly this might not have happened if the NFL was still in town. The Blues playoff run actually made many of us appreciate them more. It’s always nice to have playoffs outside of the baseball Cardinals, who’ve spoiled us so much with long runs into the start of the next hockey season.
The A-Train here. I am very excited because we have added another contributor to the N The Zone family. We are continuing to grow and ready to take on the “City to City, State to State, Worldwide” theme as it’s said on our podcast.
So folks, I present to you Phil Allen! Allen, aka @MtAiryPhil is a long suffering Philadelphia sports junkie, journalist and broadcaster who spent nearly a decade as the Eagles postgame show host, and ESPN RADIO Philly weekend studio host. He is also a special contributor at 900AM WURD and was featured in E-A-G-L-E-S The Movie!
But enough about that, I’ll let him do the talking for sure. Take it, Phil.
Excited? Yup! Intimidated? Little bit. I mean, it’s the A-Train, Arlington Lane and a brother aptly named the “Legend Killer” Palmer Alexander, whom I watched hold the St. Louis Rams front office, the City Council, and pretty much all of Missouri’s feet to the fire as the process that culminated in the Rams exodus to LA played itself out. Finally, it’s in N The Zone Radio/Podcast and as a listener, I can hear the coals roasting (along with some guests) on the fire. Let’s keep it 100, I can’t wait. I’m honored to contribute to N The Zone.
So what do I bring? I don’t know. The pain of a lifetime waiting for a Super Bowl Champion? 42 years without a Stanley Cup Title? Season tickets to an NBA team currently 9-62 that is 33 years removed from it’s last parade?
Here’s what I know for sure. We will create broadcasts that are memorable, informative, and I believe, have the air of a world heavyweight title match in the moments when the ring is empty, and the combatants stand poised in the entryway, awaiting music, pyrotechnics, and the dulcet tones of Michael Buffer.
The Sound of Philadelphia meets the Blues of St. Louis…the East Coast rat race merged with the Midwestern drawl and the history shared by Eagles-Cardinals long time rivalry, the recent detonation of Phillies baseball dreams by the DeScalsos’, Ecksteins’, Schumakers’ plus a heaping dose of Chris Carpenter.
I could go on. I won’t.
Only 7 years removed from an NHL lockout due to owners needing players to reduce their salaries so a profit can be made for their team, we are seeing huge contracts again. On Tuesday, the NHL players’ Association and the NHL only gently entered into talks for a new collective bargaining agreement. With negotiations only beginning these high salary deals remind us of frivolous high dollar amount spending begging these two questions.
1. Where are these NHL teams getting all this money to sign players?
2. Is there enough time to complete a deal between the two sides without having a lockout like the one that wiped out the entire 2004-05 season?
Heck, it was only 1972 just 40 years ago when two professional hockey players became widely remembered as hockey’s first millionaires. Derek Sanderson and Bobby Hull were those millionares who left the NHL to sign big contracts with the new World Hockey Association (WHA). Sanderson was only a millionaire on paper. His five-year, $2.65 million deal with the Philadelphia Blazers briefly made him the world’s richest athlete. But he played only a few WHA games before returning to the NHL, so he never collected his millions. Bobby Hull’s WHA contract was worth $2.75 million over ten years, with $1 million of it paid up front. So Hull qualifies as the first guy to make $1 million in a single year. No NHL salary came close to $1 million a year back then.
On Tuesday, the Nashville Predators matched the 14-year, $110 million offer sheet signed by Defenseman Shea Weber with the Philadelphia Flyers last week. Last month Sidney Crosby to signed a 12-year, $104 million contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins. All this after the two year anniversary of the Staggering Illya Kovalchuk; $102 Million deal with the New Jersey Devils over 17 years.
What gives with all these millions? Oh, nothing. Just New Jersey taking a dump on the salary cap, and wiping its backside with the current CBA. So…with all of these Hundred million dollar deals what’s in store for the next CBA. The current CBA is set to expire on September 15, 2012.