Everything Else

Our Q&A With Daryl “Razor” Reaugh

In last night’s Indian, we had the honor of having Daryl Reaugh as our guest in the Q&A section. Although Daryl seemed more excited to do it than we were to have him. Either way, here it is in all its glory.
The Stars jettisoned Derek Roy, Brendan Morrow and Jaromir Jagr and yet got themselves into the playoff race after doing so. How, exactly?
Ya, whiskey tango effin foxtrot?! Three really good players get purged – including the captain and the leading scorer, and the team’s able to win 5 in a row to jump back into 8th in the West? How paradoxical. They’ve morphed into a good ‘team’. Everyone plays the same way, they haven’t been beating themselves (not a metaphor) with penalties and turnovers like they were, the youth has been splendid (Chiasson thinks he’s Selanne circa 92’), there is no diva component, the coach seems both vindictive and more comfortable with this attentive, blue-collar lineup, and they play much, much faster.

While lots of people like to mock the Neal-for-Goligoski trade, Goligoski does have 20 assists this year. Has he been developing at a better rate than he gets credit for?
Alex has gradually been returning to the player he was for the Stars right after the trade from Pitt (5-8=15 in 23gp). At the start of the season he seldom found an opposing forward he didn’t feel inclined to give the puck to, was easily cast aside in puck battles, and he couldn’t hit the net let alone score – outside of that he was fine. I think he’s one of those guys who is much better playing 23 minutes than he is at 17. Less thinking and dwelling, more doing. We might have to evaluate that trade after a half dozen years instead of two.

Cody Eakin would be on pace for a 40+ points in a normal season, and is only 21 years old. Is this someone the Stars might now consider a piece to build around or is he just a contributor?
I have a player-crush on the ‘Ginger Ninja’. He’s everything I like: competitive, determined, physically engaged, offensively adept, defensively conscious, respectful of veteran voices, coachable, and Western Canadian. The only organizational question seems to be is he a 2nd or 3rd line center? (Kinda like Bolland with the Hawks I guess)

Ok, you’re going to have to explain that Ryder-for-Cole trade. We don’t get it.
The franchise watched too many pending UFAs walk for nothing in past and so there was a shift in thinking this year to make sure they got something in return for expiring contracts. Recchi and Whitney both won a Cup with Cole in Carolina and spoke highly of him as an add, plus they liked the ‘straight North’ style that he plays. I think they knew that what Ryder was going to command in the summer was not what they wanted to commit to, so they flipped a couple 30g guys and got a veteran voice that is locked up for a couple years.

How much ground do the Stars have to make up in the Dallas market? Their attendance problems aren’t a secret, and this could be the fifth straight year without a playoff appearance. Are they so far away from being in serious trouble?
Attendance hit bottom last year at the tail end (or as I like to refer to it as, ‘the brown balloon knot’) of bankruptcy, and since you can’t fall off the floor, the fans have provided a gradual increase in ‘look-see’. Sure, things won’t get back to regular full houses until they have a winner in place on the ice, but the franchise is stabilized off the ice under Tom Gaglardi and they’ve put a lot of people in AAC this season with a lot of obstacles to overcome. Having the Mavs and Rangers suck would also help.

Let’s move onto more broadcast and NHL stuff. Among us weirdo bloggers, we’re delving into more and more sabermetric numbers like CORSI or PDO or zone starts and the like. And yet we rarely hear them mentioned on the broadcasts. Do you look at these things? Is it kind of like the old crumudgeons thing in baseball? How far away do you think we are from these being regularly being mentioned during broadcasts?
I live by Harry Neale’s creed: “Statistics are like bikinis, they show a lot, but they don’t show everything.” Corsi, Sabre-metrics, or any other such algorithms have a place no doubt, there is real value in the matrix, but I tend to believe that fans don’t want them to drive the broadcast – otherwise we should all just read the games on tv instead of watch them. I like the maxim: “Truth is more important than facts.” Plus, the amount of time afforded to us within a broadcast nowadays – thanks to the NHL’s ‘hurry up’ initiative – makes it a challenge to find spots to drop a lot of info in. Seems more useful for studio analysis…and numerologists.

How do you see the playoffs shaking out and who’s your pick to parade in June?
This hyper-season is a tough one to handicap. I love the Hawks but my lord they go to OT a lot. If the Blues get goaltending they could push through. Same with the defending champs, who, unlike the Blackhawks, didn’t get gutted and de-boned after winning. The East is dead to me this year. All I know is that it won’t be Florida.

If they gave you the authority, which rules would you change in the game?
They should give me authority, they really should. I’d twist this mother out. Here are the rules that chap my ass the most: 1) Icing puck while shorthanded 2) hand passes in only the defensive zone 3) goalie equipment size 4) goal scored during delayed penalty negating powerplay . All four are antiquated hogwash. I’d also like to see both teams wear their colors whenever possible because white jerseys against white ice kinda sucks the chocolate cheerio. Imagine Hawks reds vs Canucks blues. Poppin’! But the biggest change I’d make is to the number of skaters on the ice. I would drop it to 4 on 4. This would eliminate: the 5-minute a game 4th line knuckledraggers, ‘tracking’ as we know it (the reason teams can’t create poetically off the rush), and a lot of the shot blocking (the modern ‘obstruction’) that we see now. Four on Four forces mostly man-on-man defense which boosts scoring opps and it would make powerplays 4 on 3 which would bring a return of actual skill play PPGs. If there was another penalty called during the PP I’d award a penalty shot. The top players would be seen more, and scoring would get a legitimate boost. Ta-effing-da!!

When you see Pierre McGuire in person, how close does he stand to you?
Two hundred and fifty to three hundred feet, whatever the distance is from the broadcast booth to his silicon based box of euphoria at ice level.

Who do we have to kneecap or bribe or both to get you into the #1 national chair ahead of Eddie O?
Haha. That would only get you incarcerated. You, and ‘all those young hockey players out there’, please leave Eddie alone. But if you do try to take someone out make sure you go ‘backhand-forehand…’

Do you keep a thesaurus with you during the broadcast, or do you really have all those words memorized?
I keep a folder of interesting or descriptive words and jot a couple down before games. To be honest I toss them into the broadcast as flair, not to make myself sound edumacated. I just despise hearing broadcasters say “here’s a good job by…” or repeat simple, crutch words over and over. Makes me gag. Language is fun. There are lots of phenomenal words. More guys should use them. ‘Phenakism’ is my new favorite. Remember, my goal is to undersell the analyst and bring the broadcast color-man back into vogue.

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