Success is defined as the, “favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one’s goals.” (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/success?s=t)

The 2013-14 LA Kings reached the pinnacle of success by winning the Stanley Cup. The Kings 26 game championship run, which included three game seven wins on the road and three consecutive home overtime victories in the final against the New York Rangers, defines the ultimate accomplishment. When Alec Martinez scored at 14:43 of double overtime in game five against the Rangers, the Kings players and personnel enjoyed a moment that most aspire. Their victory parade was a crowning moment that was certainly fit for a King.

Do you subscribe to the theory that success in professional team sports is only measured by winning a playoff championship? If so, does that mean the NHL has just one winner and 29 losers, regardless if they were bottom feeders or runners-up to a title?

I don’t understand the rationale behind this theory. I believe the Eastern Conference champion New York Rangers and the East runners-up Montreal Canadiens had successful seasons considering their talent and recent history. The Habs and Rangers both peaked during the playoffs. Sure, it’s not the same as LA, but their fans were rewarded with a thrilling ride and should feel a sense of accomplishment.

Do the Prince George Cougars have to win the Ed Chynoweth Cup or Memorial Cup in order for the 2014-15 WHL season to be considered a success? Of course not. If the Cougars, as part of their ‘New Ice Age’ can significantly increase their fan base and improve their on ice product to a point where they are competitive, a realistic goal, I think that will be a successful “first” season.

So let’s analyze success in the NHL by categorizing each team’s (non) success in the 2013-14 season:

Awful season: The Vancouver Canucks and the 13 other teams that failed to qualify for the playoffs. Some teams in this category may have suffered more misery than others, but no matter what spin a team tries to portray, not qualifying for one of 16 playoff spots is a reflection of a deplorable season.

Intolerable season: Pittsburgh. The Penguins blew a 3-1 second round lead against the Rangers and then fired the GM and later sacked the coach. Yes, considering the mega stars, this team badly underachieved again.

Disappointing season: San Jose and St Louis. A positive regular season for the Sharks and Blues
again led to heart break, blowing a series lead and losing in the first round.

Ho-hum season: Dallas and Philadelphia. The Stars and Flyers made the playoffs after a slow start but falling short in the opening round left a bitter taste.

Mediocre season: Anaheim, Boston and Detroit. The Ducks and Bruins lost at home in game seven of the second round after a strong regular season. Both of those teams expected more, particularly Boston. The Red Wings made the playoffs for the 23rd straight season, which is impressive, but Detroit is no longer an elite team.

Stomach turning season: Chicago. So close, yet so far after losing in game seven of the Western Final in OT against the Kings. The Blackhawks remain a model franchise and are at a stage where it’s win the Cup or bust.

Encouraging season: Colorado, Tampa Bay, Columbus, Minnesota and Montreal. The Avalanche, Lightning and Blue Jackets showed considerable improvement despite losing in the opening round. The Wild upset the Avalanche and then threw a scare into the Blackhawks and they appear headed in the right direction. The Habs turned a corner by sweeping the Lightning, upsetting the Bruins and then demonstrated combativeness with a third string goalie against the Rangers.

Overachieving season: New York Rangers. Does anybody really believe the Rangers are the second best team in the league? Coach Alain Vigneault can be proud he got the most out of his resilient team that was 5-1 in elimination games.

Ultimate season: LA. 16 wins, half of them come from behind efforts. The Kings were also 7-0
while facing elimination. Can it get much better than this?

Yes, only one true winner out of 30, but several teams gave their fans a promising season. It is worth noting though how sometimes hope one season can certainly be followed by hopeless the next.

It’s easy to identify the Cup winner as having success, but depending on the team and circumstance, a successful season is possible without having a ring to show for it.

From the Quote Rack:

In the Ed O’Bannon vs. NCAA trial, a lawyer compared Johnny Manziel to Tonya Harding. Upon hearing this, Brian Hoyer went out and bought some steel kneepads.

For Father’s Day on Sunday, the San Francisco Giants gave away ties.With closer Sergio Romo blowing saves in the 9th on Friday and Saturday, it was only fitting.

Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

Sunday was Father’s Day. A day to call dad. And for those whose fathers are in the NBA, hope they called early so they didn’t get a busy signal.

After New York Mets reliever Carlos Torres’s bad outing in the 13th inning, he repeatedly punched himself in the head. This was shocking as Mets fans didn’t think their bullpen could hit any target.

Contributor Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

ESPN tennis analysts said Canadian Eugenie Bouchard plays like a younger Maria Sharapova. Well, other than Bouchard being shorter by four inches and quieter by 104 decibels.

Orange News reports an estimated 8,000 Portland men and women took part in the 11th annual World Naked Bike Ride. This puts a whole new spin on cycling buff.

Comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

Milan Lucic says he learned his lesson and will keep his mouth shut during future post game congratulatory handshakes. He’s going to take a page from soccer and head butt the other players instead.

The World Cup is using goal line technology for the first time ever to verify goals. Why would you need that, asked Winnipeg Blue Bomber executives and fans?

Comedy writer TC Chong of Vancouver (http://alwaysfunny.com/)

A multimillionaire was the referee for the Americans first World Cup match, a 2-1 victory over Ghana. He’s the only referee wielding a yellow card, a red card, and a platinum American Express card.

Comedy writer Gary Bachman

And in case you missed it:

A report says that World Cup referees run up to six miles during a game. That doesn’t even include the ones who make a call against the home team and end up running another ten miles after the game.

Jim Barach of WCHS-TV in Charleston, W.Va. http://jokesbyjim.blogspot.com/

Hartley Miller is the sports director for radio station 94X. His column appears Fridays on hqprincegeorge.com. Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to [email protected]
Follow him on twitter: @Hartley_Miller