The first one is overwhelmingly positive, and that is the departure of the Detroit Red Wings from the playoffs at the hands of the Nashville Predators. As mentioned in the post below, this was more than just a series win for the Predators, it was some kind of spiritual cleansing or rite of passage that means they can now be considered a "grown-up" franchise, and not the wanna-be little brother of their divisional rivals in Detroit. It's something that the Columbus Blue Jackets aspire to, but that they seem to still be at least 20 years away from.
The second departure is that of Dan Terhaar as play-by-play man from the Wild's TV broadcast team. By all accounts, Terhaar was a nice guy and I really don't want to kick a guy when he's down. Having said that, he was simply not up to the job. One of the beauties of subscribing to the NHL's Center Ice package is that you get to hear all of the different announcing teams from around the league, and any objective ranking would place Terhaar and his partner, Mike Greenlay, in the bottom 10% of the league's announcing tandems.
There was even a web site dedicated to his follies (www.firedanterhaar.blogspot.com), and one Wild fan site today heralded the news of his firing with a clip of Kool and the Gang singing "Celebration." Around the X it was common for fans to refer to he and Greenlay as "Dumb and Dumber," and he suffered from the inevitable comparison to the Wild's radio voice, Bob Kurtz, who is one of the absolute best in the business. The sad part is that Terhaar had improved a bit over the past couple of years, while Greenlay has regressed. He can't follow the play well, he's confused by the rules and it's puzzling why he would be kept on (as he reportedly is) while Terhaar would be let go. A Wild front office person told me once that in the annual surveys of season-ticket holders, the performance of Terhaar and Greenlay was one of the most-disparaged things about the entire organization.
I spent some time as a broadcaster, and I recognize that it's a far more difficult job than most people realize.But a mature, sophisticated hockey market like Minnesota deserves a highly professional, polished announcing team, and tonight we may be one step closer to reaching that goal.