January 3, 2012 :: 4:04pm ET New Year's Resolutions
Tab Bamford offers his advice to the following as we usher in 2012.
CHICAGO, IL -- In the spirit of the New Year beginning, let's look at
a few resolutions that might be appropriate for folks around the NHL
as 2012 gets going.
Dustin Byfuglien: Re-discover the pre-2011 All-Star Game "Big
Buff." After scoring 16 goals and piling up 25 assists in 52 games
before the break last season, Byfuglien has only 10 goals and 26
assists with a minus-13 rating in 64 games. The Jets need their
highest-paid defenseman to be more consistent.
Brian Elliott: Brew up a never-ending supply of whatever was
working in the season's first half. Elliott might have been the most
pleasant surprise of the 2011 portion of this season, carrying St.
Louis into the middle of the Western Conference playoff picture. If he
could bottle whatever he was doing and sell it, the line would be long
Ilya Bryzgalov: Contact the History Channel, get featured on
"Brad Meltzer's Decoded." If they can make sense of the Mayans, and
can crash the party at Area 51, perhaps they can get Bryzgalov's focus
back between the pipes and off his thermos.
Evgeni Malkin: Make friends with a masseuse. It has to be hard
on Geno's back for him to keep carrying the load in Pittsburgh with
Sidney Crosby out. Maybe a hot stone massage once a week would help
him stay on the ice into April and May?
Patrick Sharp: Get plenty of sleep on the road. Chicago's
sniper is a new daddy, but has continued to put the puck in the net
despite having to deal with diapers and late night feedings. Certainly
every time the Hawks leave town, he's thrilled to get a decent night's
Alex Burrows: Dye his hair red. Skating with Daniel and Henrik,
who are both over 40 points and near the League's lead, Burrows is off
to a relatively slow start. I'm not saying the Sedins benefit from
their hair, but could it hurt Burrows to give it a shot?
Bobby Ryan: Trademark the phrase "Bobby Ryan trade rumor." His
salary isn't anything to be ashamed of, but as long as the Ducks are
sliding the wrong direction in the standings, he could make a fortune
cashing in on the discussion about his future.
(Editor's Note: Also needing to trademark their names in trade rumors:
Sam Gagner, Ales Hemsky, Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, Shea Weber and Alex
Finally, the folks with the Players' Association and the NHL need to
make a serious New Year's resolution to avoid the same headaches and
public relations nightmare that the NBA dealt with during their
There is too much good going on in the League right now for there to
be a work stoppage.
To 2011, thanks for some incredible memories. But there's a lot to
look forward to in 2012, and the first 48 hours of the calendar year
have set the bar high for the rest of this season.