How Can AEW Be Fixed?

You may have seen that last week I wrote an article about whether or not AEW is doomed to fail. In this article, I mentioned a few things AEW could do to make the company better and keep it alive and well. Well now, there has been an interview with CM Punk with Ariel Helwani where he talked about some of the things that went on in AEW and it hasn’t put the company in a good light.

So now I have some more thoughts I want to share about the company and how they probably need to improve some things because this interview did them no favours and made them look worse. On top of all of that, AEW just released a number of talents which is never a good sign. AEW is kind of in the mud so let’s talk about it shall we?

This interview revealed many things about how AEW handles things and it raises a lot of concerns about things I mentioned in my previous article. I want to break this down by going over specific points so that’s what we’re going to do, and I want to start with the management of the roster.

So…the Jack Perry incident. If what CM Punk said is to be believed then the way Tony Khan handled this situation is not good. That’s not to say CM Punk handled it well, but it’s a bad look for AEW. To summarize what happened, there was a scuffle between CM Punk and AEW wrestler Jack Perry over how things should be done. Jack Perry wanted to do a spot where he broke real glass on the windshield of a rental car and CM Punk was telling him that he couldn’t do that. It could potentially cause issues for wrestlers to get rental cars and overall was unsafe. At AEW’s pay-per-view, All In at Wembley Stadium, Jack Perry referenced using real glass during his match and said “cry my a river” which was a shot at Punk for not letting him do the real glass spot. This resulted in CM Punk and Jack Perry ended up arguing about it backstage and CM Punk choked him according to himself. Punk had asked AEW president Tony Khan to deal with the incident but he didn’t and he said “what do you want me to do” according to Punk.

CM Punk didn’t handle this situation well, but he is not the only one to blame. One of the main concerns I had about AEW in my last article was Tony Khan running things. He doesn’t do a terrible job but the concern I had was that he doesn’t have the experience of someone who was a wrestler and that’s an issue because wrestlers know how to best deal with other wrestlers. They know exactly how they are because they’ve been around them and are one of them.

When you look at the way Tony Khan handled this situation, you can see exactly why that’s such an issue. CM Punk told him to deal with one of his wrestlers and he did nothing and threw up his arms and basically said: “I don’t know what to do.” You have to be able to manage your roster well and make sure that there are no issues and Tony Khan failed to do that because he completely neglected a concern from one of his employees. In an industry like wrestling, there are a lot of big egos and you need to be able to manage them to avoid causing issues. Tony Khan is not handling these situations like a boss would and try and smooth things over. Or at the very least, hire someone to deal with those kinds of things.

This leads to another criticism of Tony Khan that CM Punk mentioned which is that Tony Khan is not a boss, he’s just a nice guy. Tony Khan is far too friendly for the positions he has in the company and he needs to be more authoritative. This has resulted in his employees walking all over him and doing whatever they want with no consequence. For example, one of their wrestlers named Max Caster has been going off on some dumb rants on Twitter and starting issues for no reason. One of the things he did was say how good of a guy one of their other wrestlers was, Sammy Guevara, on the same day that newly signed wrestler Mercedes Mone joined the company which was a big hire for them. Caster saying this was significant because Guevara and Mone has had issues in the past so this was a clear shot at her. It’s just such an unnecessary thing to do and if Tony Khan was good at his job, he would tell his talent to knock that crap off. It’s little things like this that Khan doesn’t do that cause issues that could be avoided. There’s not precedent and people can do whatever they want.

Something else Punk criticized AEW for is not being a “real business” and just trying to put on five-star matches. I don’t 100% agree with this but I do think he has some points in some sense. It’s great that there is a company that focuses on putting on the best wrestling matches possible because a lot of people want to see that. The problem is the lack of stories to get with the wrestling. Drama helps build intrigue and AEW doesn’t have good enough storylines to bring people in. Good storylines can help make matches better and AEW needs to do this more. Good matches shouldn’t come at the cost of the storyline and AEW needs to improve here if they want to be seen as a “real business.”

The last point I wanted to touch on is something that happened on AEW Dynamite on Wednesday. This is something CM Punk alluded to but I’m not sure if he said directly. On Dynamite, Adam Copeland opened the show talking about how there have been negative things being said about AEW but they want to focus on the positives and that AEW is where the best wrestle. This shows that Tony Khan can’t get over his ego and that could be said for other high-ups in AEW. This whole thing seems pretty childish and if AEW were professional about it, they wouldn’t even acknowledge anything CM Punk said. However, there were multiple references to the CM Punk interview on the show and it just made AEW feel like such a B show.

This is something I mentioned in my last article in how AEW needs to focus on being their own brand and not focus on what WWE is doing or what other people say. Be what you want to be and don’t worry what other influences say. Well, maybe listen to some to fix things, but there are so many instances where they jab at someone for saying something and it’s just not necessary to respond.

So it seems pretty clear that the CM Punk interview did AEW no favours but it does seem like Punk wants to move on and not talk about it anymore, and maybe AEW should do the same. Punk also mentioned how he has more positive than negative things to say about the company so why is AEW focusing on those things?

I really hope AEW can turn things around because I want to see them succeed but it’s not great right now and things need to change. You got to love wrestling drama eh?

What’s Next For The Toronto Raptors?

Boy, don’t you think this Raptors season has been absolutely terrible to watch? Listen, I get it, the best course of action for the Toronto Raptors is to tank, but man does tanking suck. For me especially because I am constantly having to deal with cheering for a terrible team. Mind you, I am a Vancouver Canucks, Minnesota Vikings and Toronto Raptors fan. I know losing on a level not many other fans do. Yeah, it’s not great.

At least the Raptors have won a championship recently so I’ve got to see what it’s like to cheer for a winning team. And that’s what makes the Raptors this season so difficult to watch. You know how good it feels to watch your favourite team win and do well and create such great memories. 2019 was so much fun and it was maybe the most fun I have had watching sports in my life. But there is a desire to re-create those feelings but the Raptors are a bit away from that. They need to rebuild and it sucks to see them lose all the time but it’s necessary.

But that being said, if the Raptors do want to get back to those good old times where they were winning and having fun then they need to make some smart choices going forward. The team made the smart move of blowing up the core and going young as the core they had just wasn’t going to lead them to a championship. After losing Fred Van Vleet for nothing, they couldn’t have the same thing happen with OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam. They did the right thing and chose a direction and traded both of those guys and moved forward towards a younger team that’s centered around Scottie Barnes.

Adding Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett were really good additions to this team but they need to keep building their team up. The Raptors currently have two first-round picks in this upcoming draft and they also own the Detroit Pistons second-round pick which will be in the early second round so it’s basically like having a late first-round pick.

However, they could be down to just one first-round pick if the lottery balls don’t go their way. The Raptors first-round pick is currently top six protected so if it falls outside of the top six, it will be sent to the San Antonio Spurs. That would suck because it’s looking like the Raptors pick will for sure be in the top ten so if they have to give up a top ten pick then that’s gonna hurt.

So now it’s full tank mode for the Raptors for that reason and they could benefit from some of the guys in the top six of this draft. Since the loss of OG Anunoby, the Raptors have been lacking on the wing. While not the deepest draft this year, there are still quite a number of good wings available to be taken, especially if the Raptors are able to keep their own pick. Someone like Matas Buzelis, Stephon Castle or Ron Holland could be intriguing picks for the Raptors and could work as solid pairings next to Scottie Barnes. Or maybe they could luck out and get a center like Alexandre Sarr who plays a game kind of similar to Evan Mobley. They could also use their later pick to get a center like Canadian Zach Edey with their second pick if he’s still available.

There’s so many directions the Raptors can go with the draft and I feel like it’ll be hard for them to miss on their selection. Their immediate need would be to get a wing and maybe a center, but honestly they could draft at any position and be fine. Their team is so versatile that they can move players around and make things work. If they get a wing, they can move Barnes to power forward. If they get a point guard, they can move Immanuel Quickley to shooting guard. They have options and the Raptors need to be smart with their picks and get the most impactful players who will have a high ceiling.

So what about the current roster? What do they do with it? It’s honestly tough to say because they aren’t in too bad of a spot but they still need to upgrade the roster. A lot of their problems can be solved by their own players just getting better though. Scottie Barnes may turn into a true superstar player next year. Immanuel Quickley will continue to get better as a scorer and become and even better offensive player. Gradey Dick will only improve at the NBA level with more experience and could be one of the most lethal three-point shooters in the league. RJ Barrett could continue to improve his overall game and the offensive threat he was once projected to be. There’s so much potential with this roster still and they’ll only get better. Not to mention guys who are slowly getting better like Ochai Agbaji who has seen some improvement since being traded to Toronto.

However, if they want to upgrade the roster for next year, I would look to add a younger big who can provide more offence, protect the rim and spread the floor, and I would look for a backup point guard as well. There are a couple of guys who are on the younger side who I think could fit well for that.

The first being Onyeka Okongwu who is a center for the Atlanta Hawks. Okongwu has had a weird start to his NBA career as he’s been stuck playing behind Clint Capela and hasn’t really been given the chance to thrive in Atlanta. Okongwu is a good shot blocker who also has some underutilized offensive skills. He might be tough to pull from the Hawks, but if the Raptors could do it, he’d be a great young piece to add to this core.

The second being Tyrus Jones who could help be a facilitator off the bench for this team. Jones is a good passer who puts up a lot of assists and the Raptors could use someone like that as they don’t have much depth when it comes to facilitators. Jones has had a solid year and likely wouldn’t cost too much to sign him in free agency.

A third sneaky under-the-radar one could be Patrick Williams. Williams was a fourth overall pick of the Chicago Bulls in 2020 and hasn’t lived up to his potential due to injuries and poor development from the team. Williams had the potential of being a Kawhi Leonard-type player and although he may not reach that ceiling, the Raptors could take a shot on him and try and turn his career around. It could be a bet that could turn out to be unbelievably good so we’ll see if it’s something they do or not.

The Raptors are in such an interesting spot right now because they aren’t good enough to compete for a title, but they really don’t seem too far away from getting back to it. There’s a lot to look forward to in the coming years with the Raptors and I’m optimistic that the feeling we had with the 2019 team may be back sooner than a lot of people think.

You better get ready because the Raptors are coming back baby!

Is All Elite Wrestling Doomed To Fail?

If you aren’t watching wrestling right now, then you should because it might be the best time ever to be a wrestling fan. There’s so much great wrestling that you can watch and there’s something for every type of wrestling you can enjoy. Whether you’re into storyline-based wrestling, wrestling that focuses more on the matches, comedy style of wrestling and many others as well.

While there is a ton of wrestling to watch, there will always be a top dog when it comes to wrestling and that of course is WWE. They’ve been the biggest wrestling company for a very long time now and are seen as the measuring stick for other wrestling promotions. It’s incredibly hard to compete with them because of their long-lasting history and how ingrained they are with wrestling. If you ask someone who knows nothing about wrestling to name a wrestling company then they are more than likely going to say WWE. They’ve become the name that comes to anyone’s mind when you think about wrestling because they have been the giant of the industry for so long. Although companies like WCW and TNA have tried to compete with them in the past, it hasn’t really worked out and WWE still remains the big dog.

However, there is a company that has been running for a few years now that has changed the game of wrestling for the modern era. That company being All Elite Wrestling or AEW for short. If you don’t know what AEW is, it’s a wrestling company owned by the Khan family who also own the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL. The company started in 2019 is was seen to be a competitor and alternative to WWE. What made AEW so different is they would do things WWE wouldn’t do. WWE nowadays is a lot more PG and panders more to a younger audience and advertisers to sell their product better. While this is a good idea to sell their product, it does kind of water down the product a bit because they are restricted from doing certain things.

That’s where AEW introduced themselves as an alternative. AEW started in 2019 and its product is for a more mature audience as they will swear, have blood, be more violent and overall have more of a feel of what wrestling was like in the 90s to early 2000s which many claim as the best time period for wrestling. AEW was there to try and recapture that feeling and bring an alternative to the wrestling world that was dominated by WWE.

At the beginning of the promotion, AEW was hot! They were putting on interesting storylines, had some great matches and were just offering something fresh and unique to what WWE was offering. Their attendance was doing well and there was a buzz about AEW being a legit competitor to WWE. Fast forward a few years and they’re signing big-name wrestlers, building up their roster and really starting to capture the wrestling community. Everything was going well for AEW and having a competitor to WWE was great for the wrestling industry as a whole.

There isn’t enough room for everyone in WWE so having a second big promotion was huge for the wrestling community and also helped in challenging WWE to push the envelope and create the best product possible. WWE is great now and I don’t think it would be as great if AEW wasn’t around. Evidence of that is the late 2010s when WWE was unwatchable. So AEW was huge for wrestling.

But then, things started to change. Over the past year or so, AEW has been seeing a bit of a fall-off. They were doing great when they started and even survived the pandemic era quite well, but now things are getting a bit rough. They aren’t selling out shows and are sometimes getting less than half the capacity of crowds, their viewership numbers aren’t great and have been dipping, and the company has sort of lost its touch. What once seemed like a true competitor to WWE is now desperately trying to catch up to them as WWE is doing great for attendance and viewership as they are getting some of the best numbers they’ve ever seen.

So what happened to AEW? How did all this happen? Well, I think there’s one situation that changed everything for the company. AEW was doing great and had little to no issues until something called “Brawl Out” happened.

To summarize what this is, AEW had signed a huge wrestler named CM Punk in 2021 who had been gone from wrestling for seven years and he was and still is a huge fan favourite.

In late 2022, CM Punk got into a bit of a spat with the executive vice presidents (EVPs) of AEW who are wrestlers named Kenny Omega and Matt and Nick Jackson who are also known by their in-ring tag team name, The Young Bucks. There’s a lot of details so I’ll try and spare them but basically, the EVPs got into an argument with Punk and had a brawl in the locker room.

President of AEW, Tony Khan, suspended both sides and this started the downfall of AEW. This situation was one that could’ve been avoided and better handled. Later on CM Punk got into another fight which got him fired by the company.

This situation really opened people’s eyes to how AEW was run and people started to sour on Tony Khan. There were more and more noticeable issues with AEW’s product and people were starting to tune away. And it seems all of this started with Brawl Out. The company now seems unprofessional and poorly booked at times (booked is a term referring to how the product is written)

So now AEW is on a decline and not looking too great. So how does AEW fix this? Well, I have some suggestions.

1. Tony Khan has to give up booking the shows. It may be tough for him to do but it’s for the better. The reason I say that is it’s very evident that Tony Khan doesn’t know how to manage his talent. Wrestlers are often people who have very big egos which you often have to have in this industry to make it. Tony Khan may be decent at writing stories, but he doesn’t have much experience managing people, especially wrestlers. One of the reasons why WWE has done well recently is that it’s run by Triple H, a former wrestler. I think if AEW let a former wrestler run the shows then it would be better managed because they understand wrestlers better because they were one. Bryan Danielson would be a great choice for this as he has already been doing some booking for AEW and could maybe do it full-time once he retires if he so chooses.

2. They need to market their stars better. AEW has some great wrestlers and some big names they’ve brought on recently. Kazuchika Okada, Mercedes Mone and Will Ospreay have all been massive additions, but they need to market them better. They need to showcase that their stars are big deals like WWE does with the likes of Roman Reigns or the Rock. They need to constantly promote these stars and make them feel like a big deal and people will start to treat them like a big deal. They have the talent to do it, they just need to market them better so that a wide audience will instantly know them.

3. Stop worrying about WWE. Sometimes it feels like AEW tries too hard to be what WWE is not and I don’t really like that approach. AEW should be what they want to be regardless of what anyone else is doing. You want to be unique and interesting and have your own thing. AEW is the alternative to WWE but that shouldn’t be your brand. You should be doing things because you think they are good and not because WWE isn’t doing it. Sometimes things they do will be similar to WWE and sometimes they won’t, but they really shouldn’t worry about that and just worry about making a good product for their company. The comparisons can be so tiring sometimes so AEW needs to stop feeding into it. Be your own brand and don’t worry about what other companies are doing.

I’m a big fan of AEW and I honestly prefer their style over other types of wrestling like what WWE does for example (although I still do like WWE). However, I do feel like they need to change a few things for me to enjoy it more and for a wider audience. AEW has the potential to be great and I want to see it be great but they just aren’t right now. But hopefully, they can change things soon because it’s not looking great for them right now.

Either way, I hope you enjoy wrestling because it is some much damn fun right now! Here’s to hoping it will only get better.

I’m Sorry, But The Elias Lindholm Trade Is Bad

Yeah, I said what I said! You may be wondering why all of a sudden I think the Elias Lindholm trade is bad. It wasn’t too long ago when I wrote an article talking about how I thought the trade was good and that the Canucks did a great job with that trade. Well, time can change thoughts and in this case, I have changed my opinion on what I think about the Elias Lindholm trade.

Lindholm is currently hurt and not playing games but he has also not had the greatest time as a Canuck. He hasn’t looked great at times and only has 9 points in 22 games since the trade. That is not exactly ideal for what the Canucks gave up to acquire him.

But that doesn’t mean he has been all that bad. Lindholm has had some games where he’s looked great on the defensive end of the puck and looked like a true shutdown center, which is something the Canucks were hoping he could be. However, things have been pretty inconsistent on that front as in some games he looks great and in some games not so much.

However, here’s the thing; I don’t think Lindholm is all that bad or anything, but I still think this trade was a mistake. The reason for that is this trade does not move the needle for the Canucks.

Now what does that mean exactly? To me, it means how much further it will improve your team in becoming a Stanley Cup contender. And in my opinion, the Elias Lindholm addition does not move the needle for the Canucks. He wasn’t what they needed the most and they may have been better off going after a different player.

That’s not to say Lindholm is just a bad player who doesn’t improve a team because that’s definitely not the case. I think if Lindholm had landed on a team like the Bruins who could use a two-way center who can produce some offence would’ve been a way better fit for him and he would flourish on a team like that. But for the Canucks, they don’t necessarily need someone like that. It’s nice to have, but it’s not their main area of concern. They needed someone who could drive play and create a bit more offence for the team, specifically on the wing. Elias Lindholm is not known for either of those things so the fit was kind of odd and has been since the trade.

The other thing that makes me think this trade is a mistake is looking at the other players they could’ve got. When looking at some of the other players who moved around the trade deadline, I tend to see more players the Canucks could’ve gone after that would be more of a needle mover than Elias Lindholm. The most notable name being Jake Guentzel.

The Carolina Hurricanes paid for what I think is a cheaper price for Jake Guentzel than what the Canucks gave up for Elias Lindholm, and I think Guentzel is the better player. Giving up a few B-tier prospects and a second-round pick is a steal for the Hurricanes and they were able to add one of the best wingers in the league. Had the Canucks waited a bit, they could’ve got Guenztel instead of Lindholm and I think he’d be a way better fit for the team.

Guentzel would’ve been exactly what the Canucks needed and would’ve fit nicely alongside of Elias Pettersson who has been not had consistent linemates this season, up until recently with Nils Höglander. While Höglander has become a great fit next to Pettersson, it still feels like that line is lacking a good winger and Guentzel could’ve been a great solution to that problem.

When you look at how good Guentzel has been with the Hurricanes thus far, it’s hard not to think about what could have been. He currently has 14 points in 10 games with the team and has brought out another side to the Hurricanes offence. There is a world where the Canucks could’ve had both Lindholm and Guentzel as the Canucks went hard after him at the trade deadline after the Lindholm trade, but they didn’t want to give up more futures just for success this season and wanted to look more long term. While I think that’s probably a good thing to do in the long run, I still wouldn’t have been mad if they had gone for it. But if there were a perfect scenario, I think the Canucks would’ve not gone after Lindholm and instead put all their chips into getting Jake Guentzel. However, that is not a reality we live in.

Another player they could’ve gone after could’ve been Tyler Toffoli. The Winnipeg Jets only gave up a 2nd and 3rd round pick to get Tyler Toffoli and he also does much of what the Canucks were looking for. He drives play and helps solve some of their offensive issues on the wing. Toffoli has also been on the Canucks previously and seemed to have gotten along pretty well with the group so he would’ve been a seamless fit. The team would’ve loved to have Toffoli back and he would’ve been a great fit on this team. And for the cost that the Jets gave up to get him, it would’ve been much more beneficial to the Canucks to do this trade than the Lindholm trade which involved a 1st round pick, a pretty good prospect, and Andrei Kuzmenko who wasn’t great but still had the chance to turn things around.

You probably get the point by now about why getting Elias Lindholm doesn’t move the needle for the Canucks. Again, I don’t think he’s bad, I just don’t think he fits well with this team. They’ve tried him in various different spots on this team and nothing seems to be sticking. I think they are best off having him play with Pettersson since Dakota Joshua is back now they have reunited that third line that was so good at the start of the year. However, Lindholm is injured currently and it sounds like he might be gone for a while. That’s never something you can predict but that also makes this trade sting even more. Who knows if he’ll even be back for the playoffs or not and if he is, who knows how good he will be.

Now don’t get me wrong, I hope in a few week’s time I am completely wrong about this and Elias Lindholm is great and is instrumental in helping this team win a cup. I will gladly be wrong about that, but I don’t think that will happen. All the Canucks can really do at this point is learn from their mistakes and move on forward from there. But it does suck that this doesn’t seem to be working out because you have to take advantage of every chance you have of winning a Stanley Cup.

So how will we look back on this trade in a few years? It likely won’t be good, but again, I am more than happy to be wrong about that. I hope you’re ready for the playoffs because I really don’t know what to expect, but be sure to expect chaos!

What Is Wrong With The Pittsburgh Penguins?

You know when you wake up in the morning and your hair is a complete mess, so you think to yourself “Oh no worries, I can easily fix this and make some adjustments and I’ll look fine.” And then you try to fix your hair and then it makes it way worse and your whole day is ruined. Well, this is what’s happening with the Pittsburgh Penguins and their hockey team.

It’s crazy to see how bad things have got for the Penguins because they really aren’t that bad of a team but nothing has gone right for them this year. They made some intriguing off-season moves by adding players like Erik Karlsson, who had just won the Norris trophy for the best defenceman of the year, and Reilly Smith who was a pretty good player for the Vegas Golden Knights during their Stanley Cup run. On top of that, they still also have Sidney Crosby who is still a top-tier player, Evgeni Malkin who is slowing down but still performing well, and Kris Letang who is in the same boat as Malkin.

However, although they look like a solid team on paper, they sure haven’t played that way. The Penguins have found ways to lose games they should’ve had no business losing. Blowing big leads to Calgary and Colorado has basically derailed any chance they had of making the playoffs. The crazy thing is they haven’t even been that bad when you look at their stats. They’re 11th in the league for goals against so they aren’t doing too bad on that end. But their goals for is in the bottom half of the league. The funny thing is if you look at this team on paper, you would think it would be the opposite. They have some incredible offensive players and not the greatest defensive players.

On top of this, they have the second-worst power play in the league which sits at 14.3%. That is absurd! For a team that has Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Erik Karlsson, Kris Letang, and for most of the season, Jake Guentzel, how is it even possible to have that bad of a powerplay when you have so much star power? It honestly doesn’t make sense. Either the Penguins are the most unlucky team in the league or their star players are starting to see a decline.

But I don’t even know how true that is. You can argue that we’re seeing a decline from Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang as they have had seasons that aren’t up to their standards which is expected to happen at some point due to their age. Erik Karlsson was never going to be as good as he was last season as that season was an incredibly good one and one he probably won’t replicate. Those players I can understand seeing a bit of regression.

However, Sidney Crosby has been playing like he’s still in the prime of his career. He’s putting up points and scoring goals while trying to carry this team as much as he can. The Penguins have some solid pieces around him that should at least be good enough to make the playoffs. But unfortunately for them, they’re pretty bad still.

So this season has been pretty bad for the Penguins, but things may even get worse for them. Because of the Erik Karlsson trade, the Penguins don’t have their first-round pick unless the pick is in the top ten. The Penguins are in such a bad spot in this. It would take a miracle for them to make the playoffs and they probably won’t get a top-ten pick so they’ll lose it. But even if they do get a top-ten pick, I don’t see a world where the Penguins are a better team next year so conveying an unprotected first-round pick next year would probably be worse.

So either way, the Penguins are in a terrible spot because they aren’t good enough to make the playoffs, they aren’t bad enough to tank and doing that could result in them giving up a high first-round pick, their prospect pool is not great, and they just really don’t have a clear direction right now.

The best-case scenario for the Penguins, in my opinion, is to do their best to get that first-round pick they owe the San Jose Sharks this year and then next season start to begin a full rebuild. Now if they somehow end up getting the first overall pick and get Macklin Celebrini then that changes everything and they will be more than fine, but that is probably not gonna happen. At least, I wouldn’t bank on it happening.

So what’s the plan for the Penguins then if that doesn’t happen? I think they have to basically sell everyone. And yes, that includes Sidney Crosby. What else can the Penguins really do if they wanna turn this thing around? Again, unless they win the first overall pick this year, I just don’t see it happening. They don’t have the assets to add impactful players so this may be it for this core of Penguins players.

Now the question going into the off-season if the Penguins are going toward a rebuild is do they trade Sidney Crosby or let him retire a Penguin and lead the new era of Penguins. If you were to ask me, I think it would be great for Sidney Crosby to end his career only playing for the Penguins, but I feel like the team wouldn’t be doing right by him if they did keep him. Crosby is still a great player and more left to give in his career. Crosby is a very competitive player who wants to win and I’m sure he would like to try and win another cup before his career ends. Not to mention the fact that Crosby has lost a couple of years due to injuries so having him not have the chance to win another to close out his career feels almost wrong.

Now what would you even get back in a Sidney Crosby trade? I have no idea but it’s likely going to be a big return for the guy who was the best player of the late 2000s and early 2010s. The team that gets brought up a lot with Sidney Crosby trades is the Colorado Avalanche since Nathan Mackinnon plays there and he is from the same hometown as Crosby. It would be a good fit and would help Crosby contend at least once more.

With all this being said, I don’t know what’s in store for the Penguins but Kyle Dubas has one hell of a job ahead of him. The problem for him is, he may not have a choice in what he does. If he wants to do a rebuild he may get vetoed by ownership to try and still compete. With their ownership changing not too long ago, they may not be too interested in a rebuild. But we’ll see where things with the Penguins go as it’s going to be interesting to watch.

Knowing how the NHL works though, they’ll get Macklin Celebrini and create another juggernaut that will contend for years. That’s just how the NHL works. But I’m sure you knew that at this point.

Top 3 DreamWorks Animated Movies

Don’t you love animated movies? They’re the best, aren’t they? One of my favourite companies that make animated movies is DreamWorks. If you don’t know, DreamWorks is a silly little company that makes silly little animated movies. And let me tell you, they have some movies that are straight GAS. There’s so many great movies that they’ve made that almost anyone can enjoy. Are all their movies bangers? No…but the ones that are great are phenomenal. There’s so many great DreamWorks movies we could talk about but we only have so much time here. So why don’t we discuss what the top three best DreamWorks animated movies are? If you haven’t seen these movies then you for sure have to.

Before we get into it, I do want to disclose that I have not seen every DreamWorks movie so there may be some omissions from this list due to the fact that I haven’t seen certain movies. For example, I know a lot of people rate The Prince Of Egypt very highly but this is a movie I haven’t seen. The same thing goes for the new Puss In Boots movie (which I have to get to soon). With that being said, let’s get into the list.

3. How To Train Your Dragon

How To Train Your Dragon is a movie I haven’t seen a ton and one I haven’t seen in quite some time. I’m definitely due for a re-watch of this movie because my goodness is this movie great! It’s one of those movies you can watch with anyone and have a great time watching. The story revolves around a teenager named Hiccup who is a bit of an outcast from the rest of his peers. His goal is to prove himself as a true Viking but he can’t seem to fit in. He attends a dragon fighting school and ends up befriending an injured dragon named Toothless which then begins the hero’s journey of this movie.

This movie has a pretty stereotypical underdog story too it but it has such a unique plot that it holds up very well and makes for a fantastic watch. The humour is done well most of the time and the jokes don’t feel out of place which can sometimes happen in animated movies.

One of the things that this music does so well is the soundtrack. The music in this movie just fits so well and sounds incredible which just further enhances the movie experience. There’s a magic to this movie that you don’t often see with DreamWorks but in this case, they did a fantastic job.

If you haven’t seen How To Train Your Dragon then this is a must-see movie to see with your loved ones as you will have a joy watching it and it will absolutely warm your heart.

2. Kung Fu Panda

If you haven’t seen Kung Fu Panda then it’s a must-see movie. It’s a movie that has aged incredibly well and is such a joy to watch with anyone. This movie is a classic underdog story but it’s told in a way that’s unique and interesting.

Kung Fu Panda is a movie about a panda named Po who is searching for a purpose in his life as all he does is work at his father’s noodle shop but he wants to become great. The village is about to crown the Dragon Warrior who is supposed to be the most powerful fighter in the village. When the selection is about to be for one of the Furious Five to be the Dragon Warrior, an “accident” happens where Po ends up being in the selection and Master Oogway ends up pointing to Po and naming him the Dragon Warrior.
The story goes on to tell a story about Po trying to fit in with the rest of the Furious Five as a true fighter but he just can’t keep up. But Po ends up finding a way to become a great fighter by using unconventional methods that work for him. He ends up being one of the best fighters for simply being himself and thus completes his hero’s journey.

This movie has a great story but the fight scenes are so incredibly well done. The pacing is fast but done well enough for the audience to be able to keep up with. They have some of the most unique fight scenes in awesome locations. The fight scene at the bridge with the Furious Five and Tai Lung. This scene is so well-animated and such a joy to watch.

This movie will make you feel good and teach you some lessons you may have already known but teach them in a way that captures your heart. Watch this movie right now!

1. Shrek 2

This is the greatest sequel of all time. Fight me about it because it’s not even close. Shrek 2 does an incredible job of building on the first movies. The first movie was based in this kingdom area where it was mostly in the wilderness I guess you could call it. However, Shrek 2 turns the dial up to a thousand as the setting for this movie is Far Far Away which is basically just a parody of Hollywood. The first few shots of Far Far Away are of real-life stores that have been converted into jokes for this setting. Starbucks is Farbucks, Abercrombie and Fitch is Evercrumbly & Witch, and Versace is Versarchery. It’s little things like this in this movie that will give you a chuckle and they’re nice editions.

The story for this movie is about Shrek trying to fit in with Fiona’s family. Fiona comes from royalty and Shrek is an ogre who lives in a swamp so he doesn’t exactly fit the mould of what Fiona’s parents thought would be her prince charming. It’s kind of like wearing dress shoes to a farm. It’s not necessarily a bad idea but it’s just odd. And for Shrek, he is very much an outsider in this town. So Shrek then goes on his journey of finding a potion that will give him his happily ever after with Fiona. Throughout this movie, Shrek has to deal with the main antagonist which is the Fairy God Mother who is in my opinion the best villain in any animated movie. She has an interesting motive of wanting her son to be the prince and getting Shrek out of the way to make the happen. It all culminates in a very interesting rivalry between Shrek and the Fairy God Mother.

But here’s the thing; I haven’t even mentioned the best part of the movie. The Holding Out For A Hero scene is the greatest animated scene of all time. The action, the tension, and the stakes could not be higher and this scene is just so so good. If there is any reason to watch this movie, this scene alone should encourage you to watch it.

The giant gingerbread man trying to open the castle doors, Shrek and Donkey fighting their way into the castle, Fiona trying to delay time without even really knowing why, and the singing from Jennifer Saunders is maybe even better than the original version of Holding Out For A Hero.

You don’t necessarily need to watch Shrek 1 to understand Shrek 2 (although it could help for some context) so if you haven’t already watched this movie then you absolutely have to. And if you have, watch it again because it’s that damn good.

DreamWorks is very hit or miss but when they hit, they HIT. Why are you still reading this article? Go watch these movies now!

Quick Album Reviews | Care For Me By Saba

Do you want to know about an album in a quick and brief article? Well, you’re in the right place! I’m the kind of person who likes to listen to full albums and more recently I have been listening to a lot of albums that I have missed in the past. And boy have I heard some great albums recently. So here’s a very brief album review of a hip-hop album I heard recently called Care For Me by Saba.

The way this album starts is with the song BUSY / SIRENS. And to be honest with you, this may be my favourite songs of the whole album. This song is essentially two songs and has more of a mellow and reflective vibe to it. The first word he says on the album is “I’m so alone” which becomes a theme of this album as he talks about the trauma he’s had to endure, specifically with the death of his cousin Walter who was killed during an incident on a train. The SIRENS part of the song is so relaxing and meditative and almost makes me wish it was its own song. Nonetheless, it is still a fantastic song to listen to.

Another song I enjoyed was FIGHTER which is essentially a song about not wanting to fight with the people you care about. This hit home for me because I am someone who hates getting into fights with people as I often feel like there just isn’t enough time in this world to waste on fighting. Saba also does a great job of explaining what it is like to get in fights as well and how it’s not always physical but often times verbal. Lyrics such as “I know that you think you listening but you just waiting to talk” and “t’s harder to love myself when all these people compliment me. Somehow it just remind me what I don’t got” are lyrics that stand out to me on this song and makes the song feel more relatable. Maybe not one of the more popular songs on this album but it’s definitely one of my personal favourites.

I should also quickly mention PROM / KING which may be one of the greatest storytelling songs I’ve heard. I won’t spoil this song for you as it’s one you must listen to.

Overall, I loved this album and I’m surprised it took me this long to get to it. It’s an album that has some relatability for me and some fantastic storytelling, production and lyricism,


Overall Rating: 8.5/10

Who Are True Cup Contenders?

Are you ready for silly season? It is fast approaching and it’s an exciting time to be a hockey fan. The NHL trade deadline is now behind us but playoffs are just around the corner. It seems pretty clear at this point which top teams will make and which ones won’t. But this year seems more wide open than it’s been in a very long time. So we will be Stanley Cup Champions? Well, I got a top three list for you of who I think will bring home lord Stanley’s Cup and give us some hilarious Cup celebration videos.

Honorable Mentions

I can’t not talk about the Vancouver Canucks in this conversation. While I think they’re not the favourites to win it, if things go well for them, they very much could do what Canucks fans have been longing for for over 50 years. For the Canucks, my only hesitation with them is their inexperience in the playoffs. A lot of this will depend on Thatcher Demko’s health more than anything, but although the Canucks may not be the favourites, if 2020 is anything to go off of, never count out the Vancouver Canucks.

3. Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars are never bad because of how well they draft and this team has stayed competitive while still getting younger over the past few years. There really aren’t a ton of holes on the Dallas Stars and they are primed for at least a decent showing in the playoffs. Their only question mark has been their goalie Jake Ottinger who hasn’t had a great year, but I’m confident he’ll turn it around for the playoffs. Also, shoutout to Kamloops native, Logan Stankoven, who is well on his way to being a star in this league.

2. Colorado Avalanche

You can never go wrong betting on this team. They have so many offensive weapons and they can shut you down defensively as well. The Avs are pretty close to a complete team and the only question they have is similar to the Stars which is goaltending. Alexandar Georgiev is solid but he hasn’t proved he can win in the playoffs. But with how good the Avs are, it may not even matter. Watch out for the Avs because they could very well win their second cup in three years.

1. Florida Panthers

The team that failed to win the Stanley Cup last year may just be the favourites to win it all this year. Much like the Stars and Avalanche, the Panthers don’t really have any holes and their goaltending with Sergei Bobrovsky has been excellent. The Panthers are hungry and they want redemption for losing in the cup finals last year and they just may be better than they were last year.

The Stanley Cup playoffs is always such a joy to watch and this year is primed to be another exciting year. And you know damn well that all these teams I mentioned aren’t winning it and it’s going to be some team that is an 8th seed or something like that.

People Are Freaking Out About Elias Pettersson And They Shouldn’t Be

If you’ve been paying attention to the Canucks recently, you may have noticed there has been some discourse on Twitter (I refuse to call it X) about whether or not Elias Pettersson is in the top tier of players in the NHL. The reason being that his new contract makes him paid like he is as he is now going to be the fifth highest-paid player in the NHL. With that definitely comes some pressure and I feel like that pressure has gotten to Pettersson a little bit. But I’m not concerned about that at all. However, it seems some Canucks fans are.

Many fans have recently been making the argument that Pettersson is not on the level of McDavid, or Mackinnon, or Matthews, or basically any top player in the league you can think of. And when you look at Pettersson’s play lately, it hasn’t been all that great so maybe there’s some merit to those claims.

But there isn’t. I’m sorry there just isn’t and that’s a ridiculous thing to think. Elias Pettersson at his best is a top-ten player in the league and he still has another gear to hit. He’s only 25 years old and is just STARTING his prime.

But I get it. His play hasn’t been great as of late and Canucks fans are concerned if he has what it takes to be the top guy of a team. The problem I have with that argument though is that Pettersson doesn’t have nearly as good of linemates as some of the other players in the league do. McDavid is a cyborg so he can play with anyone, but even then, he wouldn’t be as good without Leon Draisaitl. Nathan Mackinnon has Mikko Rantanen and Valeri Nichushkin to play with. Auston Matthews has Mitch Marner or William Nylander to play with. Nikita Kucherov has Brayden Point. Need I go on?

All these players have great linemates to play with whereas Pettersson has been playing a long list of players such as Ilya Mikheyev, Pius Suter, Nils Höglander, and Sam Lafferty. Höglander is a solid player but he is still getting his footing in the league. The rest are good, but not top-six calibre players. Pettersson needs better linemates to help create for him because defences have figured out that when they’re against his line, if they neutralize Pettersson then they’ll be fine and that makes his job so much harder.

So basically the reason I wrote this is because people need to stop worrying about Pettersson so much and the team really needs to go out and get him some good linemates. Pettersson is great and you know he’s great, so just enjoy him because he’s only going to get better, especially when he gets better linemates.

Victor Wembanyama Is Taking Over The NBA, But He Needs Some Help

Have you watched Victor Wembanyama play basketball? Yeah the NBA is so screwed. How do you guard a player who is 7’3 and can shoot like he’s Steph Curry? It’s nearly impossible. He’s block shots like a madman and as he starts getting more experience in the league, he’s only going to get better which is a terrifying thing to think about.

However, his team kind of sucks. You can’t really blame the San Antonio Spurs either since they had to be REALLY bad in order to get Wembanyama (or Wemby for short) in the first place. Naturally, the Spurs are still pretty bad but when you have a player like Wembanyama, things will turn around eventually. But the Spurs should start looking into getting Wemby some help. So here are a few quick suggestions of players the Spurs could get to help Wemby.

Tyrese Maxey

While this will likely not happen, at least anytime soon, it is something to keep an eye on. Tyrese Maxey is on a Philadelphia 76ers team that may be close to blowing things up if the team doesn’t find success soon. Joel Embiid is getting older and has a long injury history and if the time comes where they move Embiid then Maxey will likely soon follow and he would be a perfect fit with the Spurs next to Wemby. We’ll see how things go though but Spurs should really pay attention to what goes on with the 76ers

Mikal Bridges

This one is a bit interesting. While not the perfect guy to put next to Wemby, Mikal Bridges could still be a great option to have as a teammate. Defence would not be an issue at all for the Spurs as Wemby and Bridges would look down teams offences. The Brooklyn Nets seem poised to go for a rebuild soon and they have some players the Spurs could target. Although Bridges is having a bit of an off year, he could still be an intriguing player to have alongside Wemby.

Don’t Trade For A Star

Maybe the more boring option but possibly the best option for the Spurs is to just not trade for a star and try and draft one instead. That is easier said than done since the draft can be magic beans that you don’t know what you’ll get, but the Spurs are going to have a top-ten pick this year and maybe even have two depending on how the lottery works for the Toronto Raptors as the Spurs will own their pick if it falls outside of the top six. Either way, the Spurs will have the chance to draft a good guard to play next to Wemby. On top of this, they have six first-round picks in the next two years and are bound to hit on some of those picks.

Overall, it seems the best option for the Spurs is to wait it out and draft players and build the foundation of their team on their own. Regardless of what they choose to do though, what I can say for certain is you better be ready to watch Wembanyama dominate the league because he will be unstoppable.