Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Names I don't expect to see reappearing dept.: during the 2006-07 season, when the Thrashers dumped half their prospects to reach the playoffs and get swept by the Rangers, the only deal I really, really bemoaned was the one that brought Pascal Dupuis south -- the Thrashers gave up first-round pick Alex Bourret, and I started counting the days until he hit it big and made the deal look awful.

I'm still counting -- he never hit the bigs in his stints in the Rangers and Coyotes systems. I'd kind of forgotten about him until this past week, when he popped up in my browser: he's now playing for who else but HC Kometa Brno over in the Czech Rep. He's a rarity -- North Americans are virtually never seen in the Czech Extraliga, but that may be changing. I know ex-Rangers minor leaguer Colby Genoway is now with Pardubice and I think there's a couple others. I saw something recently about a slowly growing number of foreigners playing in the Czech and Slovak leagues, and wouldn't it be nice if I remembered where I saw it, but I don't. If I dig it up again, I'll post it unless I forget again.

Since we last checked in, Kometa and Alex have won a few games to get off the schneid a bit, but they're still deeply in last place in the league, 12 points back of the next-bad team.

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#73 -- "Mystery" by Peter Straub

I got into this a bit reluctantly. When I read it (back when it came out, 1990-ish) I absolutely loved it -- all-time favorite and so on. But I haven't read it in more than a decade and I really disliked a lot of the stuff that Mr. Straub wrote afterwards. And I worried as I got into it, and realized what my younger self didn't -- that around 80 percent of the characters in the book are little more than caricatures, who might as well be depicted carrying signs that read "I'm shallow" or "I'm an asshole." Still engrossing, I thought, but not near what I remembered. Some really good scenes mixed with some really irritating character interaction.

But then ... it just started picking up steam. It's dreamy and hazy, scenes half-seen slowly coming together. And absolutely engrossing. Not a mystery that the reader will be able to solve, but watching it come together is a pleasure. Once I got into it, I loved it again, and picked up on some plot points that I believe I missed when I was younger (not that they were all that subtle -- I guess I just wasn't a very critical reader when I was 17). Even with my overinflated expectations, this was fantastic -- reasonable people should like it even more.

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