SHITTY EXECUTIVE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: MIKE MILBURY
New York Islanders longtime General Manager Mike Milbury has agreed to step down this season, ending his ten-year reign of hilarity. If there’s one thing we love more than impotent coaches at Internet Follies, it’s apocalyptic GMs, and Mike Milbury is a man who truly embodies the spirit of the word “cancerous.” Cue Greenday’s “Time of Your Life,” and let’s take a spin back through Milbury’s amazing career on the Island.
1998 – Mike Milbury trades Todd Bertuzzi and Bryan McCabe to Vancouver for Trevor Linden. In desperate need of what he called a “veteran presence of washed-upness,” Milbury sought after Linden; since then, Bertuzzi, despite his misgivings, has scored 161 goals to Linden’s 74, while throw-in Bryan McCabe, now with the Maple Leafs, leads all NHL defensemen in scoring this season (49 points, Linden has 6). Milbury blames the trade on “playing too much NHL ’94,” and swears “I thought Linden’s cheap-ass backhand wraparound was unstoppable.”
2000 – Milbury drafts goaltender Rick DiPietro with the first overall pick instead of Dany Heatley, despite having drafted goalie Roberto Luongo with the fourth overall pick three years earlier. Milbury then trades Luongo and Olli Jokinen to Florida for Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha. Now, instead of having Luongo (set an NHL record for saves in 2003, probable starting goalie for Team Canada), Heatley (2002 Rookie of the Year, currently 6th in the NHL in scoring), and Jokinen (Florida’s captain at age 27, 46 points this year), the Islanders have DiPietro (3.45 GAA, as “potential” is not a solid object and cannot stop pucks), Parrish (27 points, but would make a great XFL name), and Kvasha (a big, worthless piece of shit). Worst trade in recent NHL history? Nope. Because…
2001 – Milbury, now sure nothing he can do will get him fired, decides to test that theory, acquiring fellow “cancer” Alexei Yashin from Ottawa for Zdeno Chara, Bill Muckalt, and the 2nd overall pick in the 2001 draft, which became Jason Spezza. Yashin currently has 37 points, is the second-highest paid player in the league behind Jagr, is booed every home game, and has been called a “cancer” more times than the actual disease cancer (which is still less frequently than Terrell Owens). The 22-year-old Spezza has 48 points, the 6’9” Chara was a finalist for the Norris Trophy last season as the league’s top defenseman, and though Muckalt never panned out, he would have had to score about negative a million goals to make this deal even.
January 12, 2006 – Mike Milbury announces his resignation. Subtract 2001 from 2006 and you will get the number 5. That’s five years after the Yashin trade Milbury kept his job, and that is a walking-on-the-moon, polio-vaccine caliber achievement.
Mike Tice, you’re terrific, but you’ve got a long way to go before we hand you one of our lifetime achievement awards of hilarity. In case you're wondering, the award is shaped like Kevin and I looking at espn.com pointing and laughing.