Saturday, February 26, 2011

Thank you readers! (Coleco Printable Devils, Penguins, Capitals, Jets, Canucks, Blues)

Well, it's basically been a year since I started blogging. (Give or take a week or so)

So let's say the anniversary is today. :)

Thanks to you, the reader, I now am more confident in my speech. I may not have grown as a writer in anyway, but I have grown as a person. This is all because of you. I'm not afraid to share my thoughts, either here or out in the real world. I now have friends spanning the continent. I have somewhere to complain about the ISLANDERS! :D

In checking my stats, I notice this blog is getting 1000+ hits a month on average since October of last year. Not bad, given I only advertise it to my 50 facebook friends and 35 or so followers on Twitter. Apparently, I have something worth looking for. :) Yay me.

As a thank you, I'll be posting the remainder of the Coleco decals here. To make sure people find them, I'll put team names in the key words and the title. I just now notice the blues team I have isn't a good scan. I'll skip that one until I find a better one.

With those, that's it for printable players. Anything else available is simply a custom jobby or a real old team from the time of tin players (Pre 1972 I believe) That's a little out of my era. If you want them though, I'll galdly make them upon request. Anytime you see a newer era expansion team like Tampa or Columbus, it is not genuine and a custom job only.

Until next time, laters!


Friday, February 25, 2011

Mortal Kombat Banned in Australia

Guess Which Country Just Banned Mortal Kombat

The upcoming Mortal Kombat game is brutal as hell. Meaning, and this shouldn't come as too great a shock to most of you, it's been "banned" in Australia.
I say "banned" because, like all other recent cases of a commercial title being barred from release Down Under, it's actually been "refused classification" (as Australia lacks an adults-only rating, and this was deemed too violent for an MA15+ badge), which isn't technically the same as a ban.
Though as the game is now unable to be sold at retail in Australia, it's pretty much the same thing. Semantics!
The bad news for Aussies is that they'll now have to import the game, which is also technically illegal. The good news is, with the Australian dollar at an all-time high, it's a good 20-30% cheaper to buy from overseas anyway.
It's expected/hoped that, at a meeting of State Attorneys-General later this year, an adults-only rating for video games in Australia will be introduced. Which will of course come too late for Mortal Kombat and its publisher, Warner Bros.
Mortal Kombat Banned In Australia [Kotaku AU]


Just passing this one along. Interested in the title myself, thank GOD Canada isn't stuck in the 60's like the Aussies. :S


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Top 10 Songs That Will Restore Your Faith in Rock 'n' Roll

You know, most modern rock acts are pretty terrible. You look at the Simple Plan clan (them and their clones), the Theory of a Deadman and Nickelback clones (Nickelback isn't THAT BAD but still aren't that great, but I HATE Theory of a Deadman). With major acts that we grew up with like Van Halen and Aerosmith all but dead now, what do we have to look forward to in good driving music and fist pumping action anymore? Well, these 10 songs will restore your faith in the land of ripped denim jeans. No, Lenny Kravitz. Rock and Roll is NOT dead.

10. C'Mon C'Mon - Def Leppard
To Star our countdown, we have the rebirth of one of our favorite late 70's- 80's acts, Def Leppard. Through much of the 2000's, this band toiled in bad CD/ Greatest Hits hell. In 2009, they released "Songs From the Sparkle Lounge", a hugely popular and well put together disk filled with great guitar licks. This is the second song released from the album. Check it out.

9. Misery Business - Paramore
Coming in at 9 in our countdown is the only female led act with Paramore.

8. 100 in a 55 - Pop Evil
At. Number 8 we have the slowest tune in our countdown, 100 in a 55 by Pop Evil. Labelled the best thing to come out of Michigan since the automobile and Kid Rock. Well, Kid Rock... not so good. These guys, they are AWESOME. The entire album that this came from, Lipstick on the Mirror is fantastic.

7. Full of Regret - Danko Jones
At number seven, we get the first of our solo acts, the heart attack rock of Danko Jones. Full of Regret appeared in the soundtrack of this year's #1 hockey video game, NHL11.

6. Ghost - Slash
The newest track of our countdown, this song comes from ex Guns 'n' Roses, ex- Velvet Revolver guitarist virtuouso Slash. On vocals for this tune we get Ian Astbury of the newly reformed Cult. Great tune and getting heavy radio play here in Newfoundland.

5. Sugar - Les Respectables
Here we have the first and only Canadian act of our countdown. This band is out of Montreal and has a strong "bluesy, southern" style of music. Others to check out from these guys include "Sweet Mama", "Got more than I wanted" and "Devil in the Launderette".

4. Airborne - Runnin' Wild
The heir apparents to ACDC out of Australia, you'll definately hear their #1 influence of ACDC in their music. This tune is an amazing driving tune. Loud and strangely good for sing along.

3. Hell Yeah - Rev Theory
Easily one of my favorite tunes to come out of 2010, Hell Yeah, featured in WWE PPV commercials in mid 2010 has a fast pace, and fits right in next to Airborne as one of the BEST driving tunes to come out in years.  Take a listen, you won't regret it.

2. Wheels - Foo Fighters
Who doesn't have a great memory of a Foo Fighters song? This song in particular means a lot to me, with it's meaning to me being recovery, finding success after a great failure in life. "When ya feel like it's all over, here's another round for you, when the wheels come round". Soak in the fantastic lyrics, and amazing guitars. Just a perfectly created rock tune. A favorite of mine on Rock Band as well.

El Numero UNO: Push Push Lady Lightning - Bang Camaro
This song dates back a little bit to 2007, but it still rocks the world with it's sheer amazing guitar prowess. There is little in the way of lyrics, but it's really the guitars that do the singing here. I first heard this tune as a secret track back in Guitar Hero 2.
This song lives up to it's billing as THE song to restore your faith in Rock 'n' Roll, and goes further. It's unique, and even interesting to listen to. This is a song like no other, hence it's claiming the number one spot.

Hope you liked the countdown. A non hockey post, strange these days. :) Sucks to your rap and country, LONG LIVE ROCK!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A site everyone should visit, daily. :)


On the main page, my personal favorite headline:

"Maxim Magazine LOVE Chocolate Bacon."


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Islanders, Playoffs, one conscious thought... who went mad?

Quoted from CBS Sports:

"Though making the playoffs still seems like a stretch for the New York Islanders, they are certainly playing like a postseason contender.
The Islanders look for a third straight victory Tuesday night when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs, also desperate to move into playoff position."

So... who else thought that this phrase might never have been spoken again? Personally, I simply don't care. They are my team, I'll watch no matter what. If they make it, and win, great! WOO! Suck it blue. If they don't, there'll be next year. But it sure is getting to be fun to watch hockey again.

As I noted last post: Please, Al Montoya work out. So far, he has. 4 games, GAA of 1.23-ish, 1 shutout, 1 single goal game, and something unknown to Islanders fans in a while, stability.

I mentioned to @mattclasuen over twitter the other day, "Boy it's fun to be a fan again". Man, isn't it. Averaging 5 goals a game, a goalie playing for it all, and the comfort of knowing that the team has gelled into something exciting and fun to watch. Nay sayers, I got two words for ya:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Al Montoya, please work out. :)

I've heard the name Al Montoya since 2004, when he participated in the World Junior Championships of Hockey for Team USA. That year, they won the gold medal, beating out a STACKED Team Canada in the final. I watched him play then and said "this guy is something special". Low and behold, he gets chosen 6th overall in the NHL Entry Draft that year and seemingly was on his way to NHL stardom.

Now, I think many of us are a little spoiled with first round draft picks. We see the likes of Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin (loved that Ovechtrick commercial), Evgeni Malkin, John Tavares, Steven Stamkos, and so on, and we see guys who come right out of junior hockey and make an immediate impact. Well, not every player can pull that off. For every Stamkos, there's a Patrick Stefan, or an Alexandre Daigle, who in reality don't even make it to their potential, or as in this blogs case, Al Montoya, a fella with talent who doesn't get it correct right out of the gate.

The first thing that riddled this young feller's chance at the big time was that in general, Goalies do not develop into prime time players as fast as other positional players. The second was a fella by the name of Hendrick Lunquist. They came around the same time and he just developed a little quicker. Given that there was no room in the Rangers depth chart, Montoya was expendable and was traded to Phoenix. He toiled in the minors save for 5 games with Phoenix, where he had a respectable 3 win and 1 shutout in 5 games. Then, back to the minors.

Along came the Islanders with their Med squad of goalies (championed by Glass Jaw/ Hard Luck Rick Dipietro) and they find themselves needing a goalie so they wouldn't ruin the development of some of their younger players. Step in Garth Snow and a throw away 6th round draft pick and now Al Montoya gets the opportunity to step into the big time. He came in and finished up a game last week vs. Buffalo and seemed dependable enough, save for some rebound control issues (seemingly a common issue with the Islanders men in pads this year) and then Saturday night, came in and shut out a VERY hot Los Angeles Kings team.

Now, I dislike it when bloggers speak "directly" to players. But this is more wishful thinking than speaking to the player.


Please work out Mr. Montoya. I've been pulling for you for years now and my beloved sad sack Islanders are now giving you the chance you may have deserved a few years ago now. You got it in ya. I've seen you play. You got the goods, now go get em.


Best of luck in this tryout that Evgeni Nabokov has passed on. Show him and the rest of the world what you got in you.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Update on Footwear Photography, Fighting the Block, and more music.

I was able to start fresh with this photo and get it to work a little better (thanks for the tips Geoff!). I call it "Pop Took Me Skating". I duotoned over top of a HDR processing and it gives me a feeling of a very old, high contrast photo. I wanted to add dust and scratches, but in the end felt that may have been a little too much, so  skipped it.

This will be a little more like a personal journal entry next, feel free to skip.

The block is still there, photography feels like work to me. I have to work hard just to force out one or two shots that look good to me. But I do feel better about shooting these days. I just need a little inspiration.

Journal entry ended.

I've been listening to that song I mentioned a few posts back, Being Here by The Stills, and it really isn't an uplifting song. It's masked with wonderful guitar hooks but the lyrics are very very dark. Skip the rest of the album, too. It just isn't very good. In many instances, it tries to be good, channeling Steve Miller as best as it can. However, the songs sound "independent", and will only appeal to a real niche audience.

So, I moved onto the next "found" band. Danko Jones. (is he a solo? Or is it a band? Not sure) Take a listen to Active Volcanoes and Full of Regret. Great tunes.
Very HYPER. As well, a couple of bands I started listening to recently, Rev Theory and Pop Evil warrant listening to as well. Rev Theory's HELL YEAH and Pop Evils 100 in a 55 are particularly good.

See ya next time.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fighting the "block", trying to take photos

This is the original.
This is a HDR Conversion
This is the HDR Conversion with a Duotone filtering

Here's a couple of attempts at a photo for a little contest in my camera club. The feel was there for me this time, I wanted to take the shot. (Note: click each photo for a larger version) However, the execution was not. I like the shot, but the processing on the shot has left something to be desired. Notice the red scarf on the left completely loses detail and almost burns off the image with it's colour. Given the contest deadline is tonight, this one won't make the cut. I can work with it in the future though.

Comments would be appreciated.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Super Mario All-Stars Gets an Extra Life

For my dear wife, who sadly went without over Christmas past. I think it ruined her Christmas Morning to not be able to play Mario. :P Silly me, I had it in my hands to buy at least 3 times, but put it back thinking "she has the actual original version on SNES. Why would she want this?"

Luckily for me, they are doing one more run, and I have it pre-ordered ALREADY. Go me. :D


Link c/o IGN

Nintendo said today it will do one final run of Super Mario All-Stars Limited Edition for the Wii before it's gone for good.

The last retailer shipments are expected to arrive on Mar. 13 in North America. After that date, Nintendo will no longer manufacture the title. The $30 collection includes classic NES titles Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario Bros. 3, a soundtrack CD, and history booklet.

According to Nintendo's internal sales, Super Mario All-Stars has sold nearly 2 million copies worldwide since its release last year.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Mario Lemieux sits upon his mountain of cash and cast down the unholy Islanders who thrashed his beloved Penguins in more ways than one Friday past. As he did so, he did not speak of the filthy Matt Cooke, the dirtiest player in the league, as he sits out his current suspension for his latest evil deed.

Oh Mario, you will save us! The virgins (non NHL fans) cry.

As ridiculous as it is.

Zenon Konopka of the Islanders responds, speaking what most non- Penguins fans feel:

Link care of

One day after Mario Lemieux leveled criticism at the National Hockey League for the way they handled the brawl between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders, tough guy Zenon Konopka offered his own response after practice on Monday in Ottawa.

Konopka, who has 193 penalty minutes in 56 games, said he can't believe how far removed Lemieux is from the game of hockey.

On Sunday, the Penguins owner said what happened between his team and the Islanders was a "travesty" and "painful to watch".

Trevor Gillies and Matt Martin of the Islanders were suspended nine games and four games, respectively, a sentence too light for Lemieux.

"The NHL had a chance to send a clear and strong message that those kinds of actions are unacceptable and embarrassing to the sport," Lemieux said. "It failed."

Konopka jokingly added that when he gets home, he was going to take down the Lemieux poster from his bedroom wall.

The Islanders face the Senators at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa on Tuesday.



Sunday, February 13, 2011

Two Worlds II: The Review

Two Worlds 2 was created by SouthPeak Games.

So i finished 2W2 last night and I have to say, barring the little frustration I had at the beginning with the horse racing, it was an enjoyable experience that I would recommend to anyone looking for that "Western" action RPG styled game. Gamerscore-wise I accumulated 775 out of a possible 1000 so far, with all the remaining points coming from the multiplayer experience that I'm waiting on a friend or two to play with me on.

The good:
Excellent visuals and lighting in the well realized world
Beautiful musical score
fairly well laid out control (save for the horse riding)
Beautifully designed monsters
Excellent weapon, item,  and spell customization

The Bad:
Last generation character models for humans
Quite possibly the WORST Voice acting and translation in all of gaming
VERY confusing quest log
Graphical and Quest Glitching
Annoying "safe area" text windowing.

To start off, the question that many will have is whether or not it improves on the first game. Given that this wasn't a hard task, yes, it is an improvement. The world, while it has an occasional slowdown and pop in is well delivered and not choppy. The grass and foliage sways when you run through it, fences fall down when you run into them accidentally, and areas where you are supposed to "hate" to go do give you the ominous feeling of dread every time you need to venture into them. (See: The Swallows). The cities, while not super large, are designed well enough anddo give a sense that you are out of the woods and in civilized lands. Two cities in chapter 1, Hatmador and Cheznaddar were particularly well designed.  The creatures of the game are incredibly well imagined, with zombies, ghouls, Varn (Jackal like dog people) and various critters populating the world. In contrast, the human character models looked right out of last gen technology. Yes, their hair wavers in the wind, but when you see games like Assassin's Creed (which someone painfully compared it to to get me to play this) it's impossible to understand why characters like this are created. BAD Southpeak, BAD.

The music is gorgeous, but truthfully not original. (I can't hold that against it though, as a musical score of any sort in games these days is similar to most others) often times reminding me of games I loved in days gone by. In particular, in chapter two you land in the "oriental" portion of the game, with music strikingly similar to Guild Wars Factions, and even some visual elements looking similar.

The voice acting, in STARK contrast to the music, is absolutely terrible. Wasn't there an article published recently about how disconnected the audience feels to their gravelly voiced protagonists? (I do believe it was IGN... SOUTHPEAK! READ THIS!) The lead character is ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE. Nobody talks like that! DEAR GOD. Do yourself a favor as well, turn off the subtitles.  They are filled with typos and often times, do not even say the same things as what the characters are saying.

The controls are somewhat simple, with the "A" button (I played the 360 version) being used for pretty much any interaction with the environment, and jumping. As strange as it sounds, it is fairly well realized. The fighting is good as well. Right trigger for "kill", left trigger for "keep from being killed". It's rather effective. The other buttons were assignable skills like spells or special warrior attacks.

The story isn't anything spectacular, with many of the side missions being more engaging. Having said that, there were a LOT of side missions. A particularly good one was solving a well laid out murder mystery. It's too bad the quest log was so confusing. It actually takes away from the experience of playing the missions when you cannot easily check your journal/ quest log to keep yourself up on what needs to be done next. There was a great ending to the game though, look forward to being pleased.

If you go into this game looking for the next Dragon Age, you will be sadly disappointed. It's a strong game with a lot going for it, but it isn't in the same league as games created by Bioware. If you go into this game looking for a fun fantasy experience along the lines of a great no name book you find in some no name used bookstore, then you will be vvery pleased with what you come out of it with. Minor glitches and TERRIBLE voiceacting aside, this is a game for a fantasy fan looking to kill 30 hours of his life and to like doing it.

Given that I haven't played the multiplayer portion of the game save for the first 10 minutes or so, perhaps my review can be considered incomplete. I was able to find games really quickly, and the multiplayer "questline" looks well designed and implemented. There was deathmatch, quest mode, and village mode (I guess it's something like Command and Conquer... I'll get back to you on that one.) The matchmaking looked a little broken though, as in a deathmatch, as a level 1 character, I was first paired with a level 390 player. Dear god.                           

to me, it's a $39.99 title. Buy it when you see it at this price or cheaper, new or used. In real world metacritic game ratings, I'd give it a 78 out of 100.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

RIP Guitar Hero

In a move that most will not cry over, Activision has disbanded it's Guitar Hero publishing unit due to declining interest in the music game genre. Undoubtedly the multiple versions of the already over saturated market of music games had something to do with this.

I first played Guitar Hero back on my old PS2 way back in... oh... I think it was 2006? Or was it 2007? Who knows. It was a few years ago. When I first strapped on my little guitar, I knew there was something special happening. I was immediately immersed into guitar karaoke at it's best. Since then, numerous titles have hit the market, but none others ever reached the brand recognition of Guitar Hero (although Rock Band came close).

Rest in Peace, Guitar Hero. We had some good times. Thank God they've finally decided to stop beating the dead horse.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

WWE All Stars... why do I want to play it so much?

I'll be honest in saying that I'm not a WWE fan. I go to pay per views, but it's to hang out with the guys, not to watch wrestling. I was big into it back in the day, but I just find I don't enjoy it the same anymore.

So it is that I ponder, why does this look so fun? I'm more looking forward to this than the new Mortal Kombat. We'll wait and see I guess.


Farmville for Dummies? WTF??

Once again, courtesy of Major Nelson.

Yes... we've fallen THIS FAR.


"The only how-to, full-color book available on the game sensation FarmVille"... how did the guy writing this keep a straight face?


And the Survey Says....

Dear God, stop us from going to hell. :D


Monday, February 7, 2011

An Avatar for Matt Clausen

As promised. A new avatar, hope you like.


Carcassonne: A Thinking Man/ Woman's Game


This past weekend, a couple of friends introduced my wife and I to Carcassonne. It's a very interesting tile based game based on city and road building. Originally, I tried a demo on Xbox Live and truthfully, didn't like it very much given I truly didn't understand the concept very much. (Gronk CHRIS!)

The first game we played with our friends lasted quite a bit of time, but truthfully, it was over a glass of wine and there was a little "learning" involved, given my wife and I had never truly played beyond that demo I mentioned. This was a great evening indeed, given the game encourages conversation on what to do in game and it generally is a social type game as well.

Last night, I grabbed the game off of Xbox Live with it's expansions and gave her a whirl again. This time, it was great. Steph and I played through a half dozen games or more (she literally murdered me 3 times over!) then we played the computer a bunch of times together. It is a game I'd recommend to anyone who likes a good strategy game. It's well played, and truthfully is very simple to learn.

Check it out.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

One of my favorite new songs: Being Here by The Stills

I heard this on the radio about 2 weeks ago and have been scavenging to try and find it for my Ipod. FINALLY GOT IT!

It seems every year I find some sort of tune or band that I just really dig. Last year, we had Les Respectables. This year, we have The Stills. Enjoy, this is a mountain of an awesome song.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How much it costs to transmit a Gig: UBB related

An interesting article C/O Brian Kidney.


For the last month Digital Home has been lit up with readers from across Canada who are venting their anger over the ever increasing cost of Internet service and new charges for usage-based billing (commonly called UBB).
Clearly, no one wants to pay more for internet service, but at some point the price of just about everything goes up. So recently I decided to investigate whether the spate of price increases were justified and fair.

LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean First Look c/o IGN


I put this here more for my wife, as she will never make it to IGN to check it out. :D



Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Whiny Bitch of a Leafs Fan

Now, I'm a fan of a team that didn't have a rep at the All Star Game. This gal whines that Kessel is picked last? And does so trying to sound convincing? SHE EVEN SAYS "THE HUMANITY! in a serious tone even!" No wonder people laugh at Leafs fans...


NHL's all-star gimmick leaves bitter aftertaste


Posted 2 hours ago

The National Hockey League took a stab this past weekend at freshening up its all-star game.
It held a lottery-style draft that saw its all-stars essentially pick teams. Other than that, it was a lot of the same. Snooze-worthy hockey.

And after having sat through the entire draft, which certainly sounded interesting enough to give up some of my Friday night, I pray to the good lord that it was a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence.
The idea was certainly interesting. The captains and co-captains would hold a lottery-style draft to select the teams.

OK. That had my interest.

As I researched it, I discovered that there were rules in place to ensure fairness.

First, the captains/co-captains had to have at least one defenceman per side.

Second, both clubs had to have selected all three goaltenders by the time the 10th round ended.

And third, both clubs had to have selected all six defencemen by the end of the 15th round.

So essentially, eight of the first 15 picks would be either a goalie or defenceman.

OK, so be it.

Immediately following the announcement of the draft system, the subject of being the last player drafted surfaced.
Players discussed how unpleasant an experience it might be to be drafted last.

Steps were taken to counter that. More on that later.

So there I sat, on my couch, on a Friday night no less, giving my precious spare time to the National Hockey League.
What unfolded before my eyes was a trainwreck that even I couldn't have imagined in my wildest dreams.

First, Eric Staal drafts Carolina Hurricanes teammate Cam Ward with the first pick.

I get the loyalty thing, but with the likes of Steven Stamkos, Alexander Ovechkin and the Sedin twins ripe for the picking, not to mention five goalies statistically better in most categories than Ward, it was clear from the get-go that Staal was not out to pick the best team, but to play favourites.

In fairness, both teams made some absolutely ludicrous selections on a bunch of occasions.

Staal would later make more head-scratching picks, including when he selected his brother Marc, who arguably was the worst player selected to the allstar team, in the seventh round, ahead of the likes of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Brad Richards, etc., etc., etc.

He again made a baffling pick when he took teammate Jeff Skinner in the 11th round, ahead of guys like Martin Havlat, Anze Kopitar, Corey Perry and others.

I understand picking players to please the home crowd. I get the idea of picking buddies so you can play together, but this was my problem with the whole thing. It was a popularity contest from the beginning and it played out exactly that way.

The problem, from my perpective at least, was I was left with a bitter taste in my mouth after about 10 rounds.

That bitter taste turned to disgust as the gong show neared its conclusion.

By the end of the 16th round, there were four players left.

All of the other chairs were removed and they were singled out, like losers for lack of a better term, and made to sit there while TSN overanalysed the event to death.

There were commercial breaks, interviews and any real suspense was overshadowed by the pity you began to feel for these four guys.

Many have argued that these guys are professionals and allstars, therefore being drafted near the end didn't diminish the fact that they were all-stars, but I have to tell you, I didn't feel that in the least.

By the time Staal, in his most classless move of the weekend, took a shot at Toronto while shunning the Maple Leafs' Phil Kessel in favour of Colorado's Paul Stastny, I was feeling sick for both.

Just like that, Kessel was left there, sitting in a chair, with the cameras pointed at him and Team Lidstrom was forced to verbally select him, even though he was the last man.

Now, I'm a Leafs fan, so clearly I was hurt by this. But I'm a human being first, and by the time there were four guys left, I was feeling for them all. Heck, I even felt for Anaheim's Jonas Hiller when he was the final goalie selected and for Ottawa's Erik Karlsson when they were the final picks at their respective positions. Both are great players. Hiller, in particular, looked like he too was affected by being the final goalie selected. And why wouldn't he? He has more wins than the other five, a better save percentage than all but Thomas and is third among the six allstars in shutouts.

But when Kessel's name was uncomfortably announced, I felt just disgusted by the whole process.
Here was a guy, a cancer survivor no less, who has scored at least 30 goals in back-to-back seasons and who will do so again this year, who was selected to play in the all-star game for the first time in his career (he played in the Young Stars game in his rookie season with Boston).

This past weekend was supposed to be spent soaking up the limelight with the game's best players. He was supposed to be celebrated as one of the game's top players.

It was supposed to be nothing but a positive and uplifting, perhaps confidence-building, experience.

Alas, thanks to a silly gimmick, he was ostracized by his peers and left to be humiliated in front of millions on TV.

I don't care what you say, that was the feeling that was conveyed through the TV.

There was Alexander Ovechkin, supposedly one of the game's ambassadors, snapping a photo of Kessel as he was announced as the final selection.

To his credit, Kessel kept his head high as he slipped on his sweater and attempted to slither up the step to the final seat.

If that weren't enough, TSN's James Duthie wouldn't let Kessel quietly take his seat. Instead, he kept calling him. Kessel was seated before he realized he was being summoned for an interview.

The humanity.

The man is singled out on national TV, in front of all of his peers and TSN needs to rub a little salt in the wound by interviewing him for good measure.

Kessel was humble and classy, something this Leafs fan will not soon forget, as he was told that the NHL was giving him $20,000 to donate to a charity of his choice -- he chose cancer research -- and a new car, which he said he plans to drive.

I'm sure the donation and the new wheels took away a little of the sting and sourness of the allstar draft for Kessel, but it did little for the bitter taste I was left with Friday night.

My thoughts immediately following the draft, at least the ones that can be published, are that the NHL prides itself on being a league of professional hockey players, the key word being professional.

The "gimmick" they staged on Friday night was anything but.