Stargate Universe : Episode 27 “The Greater Good”

A late, unusual for him, Col. Young is brief by Camile that Homeworld Command is happy with the help & co-operation that Ginn has shown to them and would like to speak to her, using the communication device. As Camile goes to Ginn’s quarters to inform her of this, the lateness in the latter answering the door, flustered look and Eli’s shirt lying on a chair leads Camile to the truth as to how far the relationship between the two young people have moved on. She smiles, indicating that she is happy for Eli. Meanwhile Destiny has come out of FTL and there is no planet near by but….the crew spot a battle damaged ship.

They send a kino over to investigate and the ship appears to be empty, leading the crew to assume that it was abandoned after a losing battle. It is decided that Rush & Young will suit up in the environmental suits with 6 hours of breathable air in the tanks. They board the ship through a breach in the hull and explore it through the low ceilings barely high enough for humans. There are open pods like the alien that they had encountered on the other ship. Although life support is down, the ship does have artificial gravity, making it easy to move around. Rush is able to fix life support and get the lights going, as well as establishing communications so that the two do not have to rely on the suits. But soon the engines catch fire and the ship moves away from Destiny.

In order to help them with the equations for moving Destiny closer to the ship, Rush asks the crew to contact Dr. Amanda Perry and have her switch bodies with someone in the crew. Camile briefs Ginn before the former Lucian Alliance member swaps bodies with Amanda. Amanda is able to access the bridge, which still remains unknown to the rest of the crew, and Rush makes her promise not to tell the others.  However Eli, Brody & Volker stumble upon her talking to Rush on the bridge and they are furious. On the other ship Young confronts Rush & Rush is forced to admit that he gained control shortly after the Alliance attack. Young sets his gun down and attacks Rush in a rage, claiming he should have killed Rush when he had the chance.

They fight and Rush becomes unconscious. After he recovers he & Young talk about the reasons for the deception & Rush’s belief that Young is no longer fit to make command decisions. Rush then tells him about Destiny’s true mission – to find out the origins of a pattern buried deep in the cosmic microwave background radiation, one that could not have been natural in origin. Rush believes that as the current crew of the Destiny, it is their duty to continue on the mission to follow that pattern that will lead to a better understanding of the universe. Rush & Young have to now jump across in space & land on Destiny in order to make it back safely.

Towards the end of the episode Rush & Perry (in Ginn’s body) catch up and later kiss. Eli walks in on them, embarrassed as it is Ginn that he sees. He & Rush leave off to meet Young on something urgent. As they leave, an unguarded Simeon enters Ginn’s quarters, unaware that Amanda is in her body and sinisterly closes the doors to her room.

The Winnipeg Jets Are Back!!

So it’s official – the Winnipeg Jets are back. Winnipeg’s new NHL franchise will be called the Jets as announced in Minneapolis just before the NHL Draft of 2011.

Let’s take a brief look at the history for clarity’s sake – it’s not the same franchise. No, the original Winnipeg Jets began play in the World Hockey Association (WHA) in 1972, moving to the National Hockey League (NHL) in 1979 following the collapse of the WHA. Due to mounting financial troubles, in 1996 the franchise moved to Phoenix, Arizona and became the Phoenix Coyotes. They were the original Jets.

Since 2005 there was a movement in Winnipeg, headed by True North Sports & Entertainment (TNSE) to bring back NHL hockey to Winnipeg and they preferred trying to purchase the Coyotes from Phoenix as the franchise had been losing money badly each season ever since they moved back and two years ago after the owner became bankrupt, the team has been financed by the NHL, who were looking for new owners for the franchise. With the sole exception of captain Shane Doan, who only played one year in Winnipeg (and that too his rookie year just before the franchise was sold and moved to Phoenix) and the rest of his career in Phoenix, no other player on the Coyotes roster have ever played as a member of the Jets. However for reasons of pride (having failed to have  hockey succeed in the Arizona desert) and perhaps others, Commissioner Gary Bettman wanted to hold onto the franchise in Phoenix and after 2 season of the NHL owning the Coyotes, the city of Glendale (a suburb of Phoenix where the team actually is located) has agreed to foot an additional $25 million to adjust some loses of the team.

Which meant that the Coyotes were not going anywhere, atleast for another year and TNSE immediately turned their attention to another team in dire financial situations – the Atlanta Thrashers, a franchise established in 1999 and whose owners could not continue maintaining the team as they were losing money fast. Discussions later, the sale of the Thrasher to TNSE was announced on May 31st and the team would be relocating to Winnipeg to play in their new home, the MTS Center. Now what remained is the name of the team. You can’t just have a nameless team or call the team the Winnipeg NHL franchise! You need a nickname, something to identify the team, make the fans bond with it and have a logo proclaiming the name proudly to all & sundry.

Initially I was among the minority that did not want the team to be called the Winnipeg Jets! I had strongly felt that if the Coyotes were the team that would be bought by TNSE and moved back to Winnipeg, back where they belong, then the team should be called the Winnipeg Jets! If it were the Thrashers or some other team being sold & moved to Winnipeg, the name should be different, a new one for new beginnings. The internet was filled with opinions, discussions and polls and it was clear that the overwhelming popular choice was still the Winnipeg Jets. Other names in the fray were the Falcons & Polar Bears. Some even thought that the team should be named as the Manitoba ‘somethings’, including the whole province instead of just the city.

Now the NHL owns the rights to all team names, including the Jets, and were willing to give it to the new team in Winnipeg. The owners of the team were interested in going in a new way. However all over Facebook, Twitter, blogs and chats the fans wanted their ‘Jets’ back. Even a vast majority of fans of other hockey teams seemed to be in favour of naming the franchise as the Jets. I had long back jumped on board and wanted the team to named the Jets. And yesterday, bowing to fan pressure, TNSE’s chairman Mark Chipman announced that the team would indeed be called the Winnipeg Jets just as they were going to select their first round pick in the NHL Draft, to the raucous sounds of joy and excitement by the fans. However, the team will have a brand new logo – which is ok, most teams change their logos, even if it is ever so slightly , after a decade or so – and new colours, which will be very different from the old colours.

So the fans get what they want and will now wait for the day that the team colours, logo & jerseys are revealed. The management is going to look at trades and building up the team and drafting for the future. What will the new logos look like, what will the jersey colours be? Time will tell.

Smyth Back In Edmonton

Former Edmonton Oiler faithful, Ryan Smyth, is heading back to the place where he belongs and never wanted to leave. The Los Angeles Kings forward was traded to the Oilers in exchange for forward Gilbert Brule and a fourth-round draft pick. Smyth is in the final year of a contract that will pay him $4.5 million this season, although the cap hit is $6.25 million.

Earlier in the week, Smyth asked the Kings to be dealt back to the Oilers, where he spent the first 11 seasons of his career. He’s been on three other teams in the last five seasons, the last two with the Kings. He had 23 goals and 24 assists with the Kings last season. Smyth has 355 goals and 405 assists in 1069 career games.

Back in 2007, due to failed contract negotiations, Smyth was traded to the Islanders for part of the 2006-07 season. Becoming an unrestricted free agent in the subsequent off-season, he signed a five-year contract with the Colorado Avalanche. After two seasons with the team, he was traded to the Kings in July 2009.

A crying Ryan had held a conference before leaving for joining the Islander – that was the scene that stole the hockey headlines at the time of the trade that sent him to Long Island. When it became public that his contract extension was denied on the  basis of just $100,000 the whole thing seemed very avoidable by the Oilers management. Now things seem to be set back in place and a 35 year old Smyth can return to his beloved team and perform a more supporting role and help mold the youngsters there.

Update: Looks like I spoke too soon, the trade may be in jeopardy. It seems that the LA Kings have raised an issue with forward Gilbert Brule’s fitness. Kings were to get Brule and a fourth round draft pick in exchange for Smyth. We’ll have to see what happens.

Second Update: The deal to bring Ryan Smyth back to the Edmonton Oilers is complete. The Los Angeles Kings traded to Smyth to the Oilers in exchange for forward Colin Fraser and a seventh round draft pick in 2012 on Sunday