My co-worker knows I like hockey and so he always e-mails me anything he accidentally reads about it, especially if it's about the Sharks. That's nice enough, I guess, if a little annoying. The problem, though, is that he loves Bleacher Report. Bleacher Report represents everything that is wrong with the democratization of content production on the Internet, and it sucks major balls. Bleacher Report is a retarded shadow of Sports Blog Nation, and seems to have even looser rules and even lower standards, which is truly breathtaking.
Most people don't know anything about anything, and this is doubly true when it comes to sports. If you've read a few of my posts, you're aware that I clearly don't know shit, but sometimes I don't know it in a funny way, so some people like to read what I write. Earl doesn't know stuff while he draws cartoons, and Rudy knows a little bit but is constantly distracted by naked dogs. These skills are what qualify us to write about hockey on the Internet.
The articles on Bleacher Report seem to mostly consist of people not knowing things in the worst possible way: smugly. It's nothing but rampant speculation and fantasy with little basis in reality and it bugs the hell out of me*. The veneer of professionalism provided by the trappings of Bleacher Report tricks countless foolish people (like my co-worker) into thinking the articles mean anything or aren't just the crazy mutterings of friendless shut-ins.
The latest story I had cluttering up my inbox was "NHL Trade Rumors: 10 Potential Mutually Beneficial Trades." It's absolute lunacy. Here is the entirety of what it says about the Sharks and Tim Thomas:
If the San Jose Sharks plan to stick with Antero Niittymaki as their starter, they could likely find themselves in hot water. Not to take anything away from Niittymaki, but he may need some help in net.
The best goalie on the market right now would have to be Tim Thomas. The former Vezina winner would be a perfect fit for San Jose, as he has shown time and time again that he is one good goalie.
A likely return would be Thomas Greiss and Niclas Wallin.
This way Boston frees up some space, and it allows Tuukka Rask to take the starting reigns. For San Jose, it gets a qualified starter, and some stability in net.
This doesn't make any sense. Is this even a "trade rumor," like it says in the title, or is the writer just identifying trades he thinks would help both teams? I'm so confused.
Because this article was written, I had to spend time explaining to my co-worker why Tim Thomas to the Sharks won't happen. Now you can enjoy it too:
First, Doug Wilson has made it clear that the Sharks like Niittymaki and the words they used about him made it sound like they saw him as a starter, rather than an expensive backup.
Second, the entire point of getting rid of Nabokov in the first place was to free-up salary, and if the trade this guy suggests goes through the Sharks would then be right back in the same salary-cap problem they were in before, only now they would be paying their backup even more than they had been before. That's madness.
Third, everyone knows we're paying Wallin too much and the Bruins definitely wouldn't want him.
Fourth, Wallin, as underwhelming as he is, is one of our starting defensemen, and it wouldn't make much sense to move him unless it was in a salary dump in order to sign a better defenseman, which this potential trade would make almost impossible.
In retrospect, I may be more annoyed at my co-worker for taking stuff like this seriously than at Bleacher Report or this writer. I can't really blame him for making up trades that will never happen; I know how hard it can be to come up with topics for posts in the Summer - just look at Wiki-Sharks, for Christ's sake. Perhaps my ire should be directed more at those readers who take a random fan musings as something meaningful just because it's presented in an organized format on an authoritative-looking website.
I hope we've all learned a valuable lesson about not believing everything you read.
Other stupid things on Bleacher Report about the Sharks include:
-This awful article about the Sharks all-time best players, which includes such gems as Kyle McLaren on the second defensive pair and Jeff Friesen as a second-line winger. What the fuck.
-An article that lists Evgeni Nabokov as the best player in Sharks history. I like Nabokov a lot, but the answer here is clearly Joe Thornton.
* = I am aware that attacking a hockey website for uninformed speculation and making stuff up is the height of hypocrisy. I don't care - Bleacher Report still stinks.