"If you don't care about buying, selling, and trading, the sports world has much less to offer you these days.
"... My modest GM fantasies begin and end with baseball, where numbers rule and where such obsessions were born. Every other sport has to stay relatively pure in my mind; I've struggled for years to ignore the NBA's arcane salary cap rules, and I'm not about to change now ... I want to see the final product, not hear about how it was made in Santa's workshop.
"As deathly dull as a general manager's machinations may be, there's obviously an audience for it. I think that's warped ... Really, who would you rather be, Tom Brady or the guy who signed Tom Brady to a long-term deal? This may be the age of the general manager. But the quarterback still has more fun."
Who needs any of it? As far as this country boy's concerned, all the myriad hockey insiders in the newspapers, on the Canadian sports networks and among the blogeteriat combined who would have you believe it matters where Sean Avery signs combine to be a resounding gong or a clattering cymbal. (Not all of them, mind you; Mirtle should have outstanding coverage.) There's an element there of knowing everything about hockey except how to enjoy it.
They have not love. (It's in First Corinthians, people!)
(Devil's advocate: Who says hockey is meant to be enjoyed? After all, as any good hockey parent who just plunked down $425 to send little a week at Mike Fisher's hockey school knows, if you're not as serious as a heart attack about hockey from the time you're six years old, you'll have nothing but regret when you become one of the complete and utter failures otherwise known as the 99.5% of Canadian males who don't make the pros and have only themselves to blame.)
Hockey talk is most soothing during the time of year when the game is actually in season (which is a long enough timeframe already). It's OK to talk about the business dealings of certain NHL owners (cough) or possible rules changes during the off-season.
The only interest on this end is whether Mats Sundin will sign with a team that wears blue helmets, which won't be known for a while. Seeing him with a red or black bucket after all these years with the Nordiques, Leafs and Team Sweden would be too weird.
Seriously, though, anyone whose mind is on where Marian Hossa will sign should go a fly a kite on Canada Day. That's not just an expression.
The Cult of the General Manager; Can We Go Back To Worshipping Athletes Already (Neal Pollack, Slate, Aug. 29, 2005)