Zuccarello Speaks… Again: Open Thread 7/22/2013

Mats Zuccarello has spoken to the Norwegian press for what seems like the billionth time these past couple of weeks. This time, Zuccarello all but admits that he's going to get far less money than he wants in order to accomodate the Rangers and, indirectly, Derek Stepan. From the article:

"I may have to sacrifice myself and take less pay, says Zuccarello"

The Rangers and Zuccarello have an arbitration date on July 31st and would almost definitely get more money awarded to him than the Rangers right now are offering. He could very easily tell the Rangers to deal with it, go to arbitration, collect a healthy sum, and let Sather deal with the consequences. If he accepts a sizeable paycut just for the sake of the team then Zucc deserves an "A" on his jersey; I say that only half-joking. 

Nonetheless, perhaps this could work out for Zuccarello long-term. As opposed to getting a two or three year deal at $1.75 million or so, Zucc could take less on a one-year deal but, with a productive season, earn himself a better contract in the summer. Still, though I wouldn't say the Rangers have done anything unjust with Zuccarello since he first came to NY, it's been a rough ride for the young Norwegian. It almost feels like Stockholm Syndrome that dictates Zuccarello devoting himself to a team that has sent him back-and-fourth from the NHL to AHL with all sorts of uncertainty blanketing his entire career in North America.

Anyway, keep reading for more ridiculous thoughts that I feel compelled to bring to the website. Sorry, James.

A picture from someone I'm not even friends with ended up on my Facebook feed, and it was a photo of a black-and-white dog that apparently she just acquired that she named "Oreo." Is there a more lazy, played-out, unoriginal name for any pet? Go to any animal shelter and there's a 50/50 chance there will be a black-and-white dog named Oreo. Here's an entire gallery of 732 different dogs named Oreo. And that's just from one minor website. I bet if Cruella de Ville called the name "Oreo" roughly 72 dalmatians would come charging at her to see what she wanted. Hopefully Kim Kardashian gets knocked up by some other idiot and names the kid "Oreo" and the fad will be killed off once and for all.

I was watching Chopped yesterday (a cooking competition on The Food Network, for those unfortunate souls who aren't aware of the show) and, while I think it's a great show with a great concept, there become repetitive patterns that annoy me. Ted Allen should automatically disqualify and physically throw off the set any contestant who does one of the following:

1. Anyone who "disagrees" with the judges

This isn't a debate on climate change.The judges are brought in to give their opinion on how the food tastes to them. And, inevitably, everyone has different preferences and biases.Taste isn't something that can be objectively quantified. Geoffrey Zakarian isn't going to suddenly change his mind and decide that your sausage isn't too salty because you insisted he was wrong. If he doesn't like it then he doesn't like it. Even worse are the people who are told not to do something by the judges, and then go ahead and do it the next round anyway because they "disagree." THEY'RE DECIDING YOUR FATE. Is your ego that big that you're going to purposely serve them something you know they're going to complain about and potentially chop you for just because that's how you, despite not even having to eat it, prefer it? I'd bake a shoe and use cough medicine as marinade if that's what would make the judges happy and get me to the next round.

2. Anyone who serves french toast as a desert

Is there any restaurant in the world that serves french toast for desert? And I don't mean some chocalatey, sugary hybrid that serves as a half brunch, half desert kind of thing. I mean a place that actually offers you french toast on the desert menu along with the usual cakes and ice cream and whatever else. Anyone who opts to go for a french toast desert either has no clue how to make actual desert – and therefore doesn't deserve to win – or is using it as a safe, last resort because of a lack of any other ideas – and therefore doesn't deserve to win. 

3. Anyone who claims to have the ability to win because of "heart" and/or "soul"

In hockey one can generally make up for a lack of ability to some degree by his willingness to put everything on the line and work hard every shift. Ryan Callahan is a pretty clear-cut example of this.  It means absolutely nothing in a cooking competition. Either you know how to combine ingredients and cook things or you don't. Your dish is not going to taste better because you put "heart" into chopping the cucumber. Obviously you have to be motivated, but the guys you are going up against were chosen for the show a reason; they're going to want to win as well.

4. Anyone who insists that "it's anybody's game" or "anything can happen"

The whole skit where they have the contestents sit in another room and awkwardly banter while the judges talk is awful and needs to be done away with all together. But the worst is the schmuck who declares some variation of "at this point, it's anybody's game." Every other episode has at least one person declaring this. It's completely forced and adds nothing to the show at all. Even if it isn't "anybody's game" the producers are going to have the show edited in such a way that it seems like it is. Using a term like this should be like the Secret Slime Action in Figure It Out, except when it's uttered the guilty contestant doesn't get slimed but instead gets locked into a walk-in freezer with Guy Fieri.




Consider for a second that this is a live version. No lip syncing. No pre-recorded music or beats or anything. The girl is good, but Tyson Ritter sounds better live than most singers do in studio after fifty takes and all sorts of doctoring. His body gyrations freak me out, though.

Happy Monday, everyone.

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