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After Pleks and Begin (Menachem), I give you Brian Smolinski...and that's Bob Gainey's fault, not mine.
The tits -Brian Smolinski's breasts both end in nipples, a testament to healthy appurtenance. The good man has both nipples, they seem to be in place and, as this piece goes to the presses, the FHF are in the process of acquiring information on the orientation of Smolinski's lactiferous ducts, you know the lines that cut across the tip of the mammary papilla and that make them look like the head of a nail, with plus (+) signs or a simple straight horizontal line (-) (I often feel that my chest is really trying to express a mathematical proof, am I alone on this? anyone?, anyone?, Bueller?, Bueller?). Why such parlance on Brian's areola? These are the only tits we can comment on at this juncture, because we defer to Jack Shit when time comes to discuss the Smo. There was a time when Smo was considered a strong second or third line centerman, combining decent and opportunistic scoring skill with grit and defensive awareness. Over 13 seasons and 992 NHL games played, he has amassed 266 goals, 360 assists for a total of 626 points and a +/- (more nipple patterns for you) of + 52 (if your tit looks like this please consult a physician). The stats aren't bad. His best season was in 95-96 with the Penguins during which he tallied 64 points. Last year, over 10 years later, he totaled 44 points and played all 82 games, not bad for a guy pushing 40. Sure he's slowed down, but he can still prove to be a reliable presence, provide much needed calm and leadership on and off the ice along with a mild offensive threat. Mild. The FHF also like the +58 in the playoffs stat.
The cellulite - He's going to be 37 years old just before the new year. That makes him vulnerable to the inevitable "he's finished" season, sulking to the tune of a 4-11-15 pts stat sheet. And we in this city are no strangers to this occurrence, as evidenced by the Doug Gilmour, Randy McKay and Mariusz Czerkawski experiments (although the latter was a case of severe Progeria). Five teams in five years. Makes us think that management likes the idea at first and grows tired of the concept quickly.
The armpit hair - Suffice it to say that he hasn't won anything in the NHL. He can boast about 2 Conference finals in 13 seasons. He comes to Montreal by way of the UFA route and that may be his biggest weakness, though through no fault of his own. Just like the kid who's drafted too early, the pressure associated with being a UFA arrival creates added and often unfair expectations. As a late season add-on he would have been perceived as a more subtle acquisition. However he's basically all we got, that and MC Hamrlik, and we wanted more.
In the VIP Room - The man seems to be well liked by his peers. Saku will miss Sheldon St-Laurent and Rivet and the man love they shared. Smo will slip into this role easily.
Chez Parée bound? - In a cab discussing politics in Haiti with driver Gérard De La Matisse along the way. If the Habs tank by trade deadline, it's going to be another youth movement as the season winds down. He'll be seen as what the Québécois refer to as a "voleur de job", and will be shipped off to a team with Stanley in their sights.
Signature song - Who Are You? Old enough to appreciate Daltrey and the boys. So many variables, we just have no idea what to expect from Smo this year.
6 lap dances (out of 10) - He's supposed to replace Radek Bonk on the 3rd line. That trio produced an amazing +/- differential last year on a very mediocre team. If he allows for that song to remain the same, he'll have done his job. But he's not the answer to this team's many ailments, not by any stretch marks of the imagination.
4 AM Smoked Meat Sandwich:
Panger: While Smo will be no Samsonov, the fact that he was the consolation prize in the Daniel Briere sweepstakes guarantees he'll be a whipping boy for the French Press (i.e. 110%) by November. Otherwise, he's a solid if unspectacular addition - 8 teams also means 8 teams found him valuable enough to sign/trade for.
HF29: Who Are You is right. Maybe we should have had a blogger from his last team do this preview. Who was that again? Chicago? Vancouver? Ottawa? I can't keep track.
HF10: I think I saw Smolinski in a bar once. It could have been Nelson Emerson. Whatever. We signed a guy who played for the Blackhawks; we're fucked.