Monday, March 2, 2015

NHL Trade Deadline Deals

Boston gained RW Brett Connolly from Tampa Bay for second-round selections in 2015 and 2016.

Tampa Bay obtained D Braydon Coburn from Philadelphia in return for D Radko Gudas plus first-and third-round selections in 2015.

Montreal received D Jeff Petry from Edmonton for a second round and a conditional fifth-round selection in 2015.

Montreal acquired C Brian Flynn from Buffalo for a fifth-round pick in 2016.

St. Louis received D Zbynek Michalek and a conditional draft pick from Arizona in return for C Maxim Letunov.

San Jose obtained RW Ben Smith and a conditional 7th-round pick in 2017 from Chicago for C Andrew Desjardins.

Detroit acquired D Marek Zidlicky from New Jersey for a conditional 2016 third-round pick.

Colorado traded D Karl Stollery to San Jose for C Freddie Hamilton.

N.Y. Islanders obtained RW Tyler Kennedy from San Jose for a conditional draft pick.

Pittsburgh acquired D Ian Cole from St. Louis in return for D Robert Bortuzzo and a seventh-round pick in 2016.

Buffalo traded G Michal Neuvirth to N.Y. Islanders for G Chad Johnson and a conditional third-round pick in 2016.

N.Y. Islanders traded C Cory Conacher to Vancouver for C Dustin Jeffrey.

Minnesota acquired D Jordan Leopold from Columbus for D Justin Falk and a fifth-round pick in 2015.

Toronto traded C Olli Jokinen to St. Louis for C Joakim Lindstrom and a conditional 2016 sixth-round pick.

Montreal gained C Torrey Mitchell from Buffalo for LW Jack Nevins and a seventh-rounder in 2017.

Pittsburgh received D Ben Lovejoy and sent D Simon Despres to Anaheim.

Buffalo traded RW Chris Stewart to Minnesota for a second-round pick in 2017.

Vancouver acquired LW Sven Baertschi from Calgary for a second-round selection in 2017.

Columbus traded D James Wisniewski and a third-round pick in 2015 to Anaheim for RW Rene Bourque, C William Karlsson and a second-round pick in this year's draft.

Boston received C Max Talbot and C Paul Carey from Colorado in return for RW Jordan Caron and a sixth-round pick in 2016.

N.Y. Islanders traded D Mark Louis to Arizona for G David Leggio.

Colorado acquired D Mat Clark from Anaheim for F Michael Sgarbossa.

Anaheim received D Korbinian Holzer from Toronto for D Eric Brewer and a 2016 sixth-round selection.

Minnesota traded C Zack Phillips to Boston for C Jared Knight.

NHL Three Stars Of Week

NEW YORK – Ottawa Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond, Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban and Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week ending March 1.


Hammond went 3-0-0 with a 0.67 goals-against average, .978 save percentage and two shutouts to backstop the Senators (27-23-10, 64 points) to a trio of victories. He denied all 25 shots he faced to record his first career shutout in a 3-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks Feb. 25. Hammond followed that performance with a 35-save shutout in a 1-0 triumph over the Los Angeles Kings Feb. 26, becoming the second goaltender in NHL history to post consecutive road shutouts against the Ducks and Kings (Steve Mason: Dec. 29-31, 2008). He then capped the week with 28 saves in a 4-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks Feb. 28, helping the Senators complete a sweep of their road trip through California and extend their overall winning streak to a season-high five games. The 27-year-old White Rock, B.C., native has started all five games for the club during its current run, becoming the first goaltender in Senators history to win each of his first five career starts. Overall, he is 5-0-0 with a 1.18 goals-against average, .959 save percentage and two shutouts in seven career appearances.


Subban paced the NHL with five assists and shared the League lead with six points to power the Canadiens (41-16-5, 87 points) to three consecutive wins. He collected two assists in a 5-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues Feb. 24. Subban then registered 1-2-3, his fourth three-point game of the season, and a career-high +5 rating in a 5-2 triumph over the Columbus Blue Jackets Feb. 26. He closed the week with one assist in a 4-0 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs Feb. 28, giving him 1-11-12 in his past nine contests. The 25-year-old Toronto native shares second among defensemen with 12-36-48 in 62 outings this season. His 12 goals are two shy of his career high (set in 77 GP in 2010-11), while his 48 points are five shy of his best single-season performance (set in 82 GP in 2013-14).


Malkin tied for the League lead with 2-4-6 in two games to propel the Penguins (36 17 9, 81 points) to a pair of victories and their fourth straight win overall. He collected three assists in a 4-3 triumph over the Washington Capitals Feb. 25, his 25th career contest with at least three helpers. Malkin followed that performance with 2-1-3 in a 5-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets March 1. The 28-year-old Magnitogorsk, Russia, native has posted three points in three consecutive team games (also Feb. 22 vs. FLA: 2-1-3), the second time he has achieved that feat in his career (also Feb. 7-10, 2008: 3-7-10). Malkin also is the first player to accomplish that feat for any team since Patrick Marleau did so for the San Jose Sharks Jan. 22-26, 2013 (6-3-9). Overall, Malkin has points in five straight games (5-6-11) and 26-38-64 in 57 outings this season, one point shy of the League lead.

2018 Curling Trials To Be Held In Eastern Canada

The road for Canada’s bid to become the first country to repeat as men’s and women’s Olympic curling gold-medallists will go through Ottawa and Summerside, P.E.I., it was announced today by Curling Canada.

Ottawa’s Canadian Tire Centre will play host to the 2017 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings from Dec. 2-10, while the final qualifying tournament for that event, the Road to the Roar Pre-Trials, will take place Nov. 6-12 at Credit Union Place in Summerside.

“We received an amazing response to the Request for Proposal we put out to host these events, and it was an extremely hard decision that came right down to the wire,” said Greg Stremlaw, Curling Canada’s Chief Executive Officer. “All of the candidate cities put in superb bids, and once we got to our shortlist, we knew that we had nothing but winning proposals on our hands. It’s a testament to the popularity of our sport, and these events, that there was so much interest in hosting them, and we know Ottawa and Summerside will put on terrific shows in 2017.”

The process for determining the competing teams for both the Road to the Roar and the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings, as well as the formats for both events, will be announced before the end of this curling season. The winner of the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings will represent Canada at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

This will mark the fourth time that Tim Hortons has sponsored the Trials, following the 2005, 2009 and 2013 editions; that’s in addition to one of North America’s leading quick-service restaurant chains being the title sponsor of the Tim Hortons Brier.

“The commitment Tim Hortons has shown to the sport of curling speaks for itself,” said Stremlaw. “Tim Hortons has repeatedly gone above and beyond to demonstrate its passion and enthusiasm for making our events special and memorable, and they continue to play a significant role in raising the profile of our sport.”

It will be the first time a major curling event has been staged at the Canadian Tire Centre, the 19,153-seat home of the National Hockey League’s Ottawa Senators. But the city has hosted numerous curling events over the years, and will play host to the 2016 Tim Hortons Brier , March 5-13.

Meanwhile, it will be the first time Summerside's Credit Union Place has hosted a Curling Canada Season of Champions event. The 4,228-seat arena is home to the Summerside Western Capitals of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League.

TSN/RDS2, the official broadcast partner of Curling Canada’s Season of Champions series, will provide complete draw-by-draw coverage of both events, the first time the Road to the Roar Pre-Trials has been broadcasted from start to finish.

Already qualified for the Road to the Roar Pre-Trials are the winners of the 2014 Home Hardware Canada Cup, presented by Meridian Manufacturing — men’s champ Mike McEwen of Winnipeg and women’s champ Val Sweeting of Edmonton. Also in the Pre-Trials field is recently crowned Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg, while the winner of this week’s Tim Hortons Brier, presented by SecurTek Monitoring Solutions, in Calgary also will earn a Pre-Trials berth.

It was Team Jones and the Brad Jacobs team from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., that prevailed at the 2013 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings in Winnipeg to qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, where they produced double gold for Canada — the first time one nation has swept the Olympic curling competition. While Team Jones pre-qualified for the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings, Team Jacobs needed to come out of the Road to the Roar Pre-Trials in Kitchener, Ont., to have the chance to play for Olympic gold.

Canadian curling teams have reached the podium in every Olympic curling competition since the sport was re-introduced as a medal sport in 1998 at Nagano, Japan.

The first men’s and women’s direct qualifiers for the 2017 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings will be decided at the 2015 Home Hardware Canada Cup, Dec. 2-6 in Grande Prairie, Alta.

Something To "Mitch" About

Its one of the annual calm before the storm times we see in sports.

The NHL hasn't gotten to playoffs yet,  MLB spring training is just getting underway, there is no football and well, there isn't a lot of talk about, but it will all heat up in a few weeks in what is one of those magical times of the year when the excitement of one season ends as the optimism for another season begins.  I can't really decide if the end of March-the beginning of April is the best time of sports for me or if that comes in September when the CFL is in full swing, the NFL is starting, MLB is into its stretch drive and hockey is right around the corner.


One thing you can start getting excited about are the WHL playoffs as the Pats clinched a playoff spot over the weekend.  While the on-ice product is playoff bound, fans are now mad because ticket prices are going up. This just life, the price of things go up. In the end, you make the decision as to what you can afford and what you can't afford. I haven't really gotten the whole story behind the ticket increase, but I know that QCSE are going to a model many professional sports teams use. Is that a bad thing?  It seems to me there are many who just want to complain about something when it comes to the local junior hockey team whether it be under the old regime or the new regime.  Congrats to John Paddock for getting his team into the playoffs. Lets see how far they get. A win over Swift Current is not a certainty, but if this team can put in the work, they can get there and give their "fans" an extended run from what has been seen in these parts for the last many years.


Its trade deadline day in the NHL and by the time you read this I'm sure some trades have been made.  It will be fun today watching TSN and Sportsnet trying to tap dance their way through what is a tedious day for sports TV as the two try and out do one another with their "Trade Day Coverage".  While I think the coverage is over the top. many will be glued in to see what their team does if anything and what players go where.  A notion was recently put out there saying there should be a no-trade memorandum issued by the league leading up to the deadline so the networks have something to talk about. That can go down as one of the stupidest ideas I've ever heard. Yeah, I can see the Devils not playing Jaromir Jagr for two or three games so he doesn't get hurt because they have a trade in place that could go up in smoke because TSN or Sportsnet need something to talk about. CMON!!! Anyhoo, it will be interesting to see how Duthie and company and Millard and his gang kill the time.


An interesting article in the Globe and Mail on the weekend and whether or not curling should be added to hockey and lacrosse as our national sport. You can read the article here if you want.  Say what you want about the game, but its impressive that more than a million people watched the Scotties final when the Oscars were on at the same time. Perhaps that's just the fact that many Canadians (like me) could give a rats ass about the Oscars. If Dumb and Dumber 2 didn't get nominated for an award then it tells you something about the nomination process and voting procedure.


Here is a question for Saskatchewan curling fans. I'm watching the Brier and seeing Regina's Braden Moskowy and Ben Hebert along with Moose Jaw's Pat Simmons playing for other teams.  I realize the rules are there, but does it bother you to see these quality curlers representing someone else when they should have the Sask jacket on. I say find a quality 4th and get these guys home,


I could be wrong, but I believe all is over for another year of U of R Cougar athletics after the womens basketball team bowed out of the playoffs on the weekend at UBC.  Now that the season is over, can someone at the bookstore look into purchasing Cougar golf shirts. In fact, maybe hawk those shirts outside the CKHS and rinks next winter. I went in to the bookstore three times this year to see a lot of Cougs gear, but no golf shirts. CMON!!


I wonder what the CFL thinks of the Northern 8 proposal. I would be very interested to hear their take on the project to get CIS football some more exposure. I would think they would be all in favour of it.  Why wouldn't they be?


A question for those who do business in East Regina and Harbour Landing. What area is tougher to drive through? I was in the Grasslands complex (is that what you call it) and its about as difficult to navigate if not moreso than it is in east Regina.


I've never heard of Dan Olsen before, but we might after this story if there is anything to it.  I think its safe to say this would shake the sporting world to its foundation if its true. I'm not the biggest Tiger fan, but I don't see this at all. Mr. Olsen might be getting a call from Tiger's lawyers.


From the Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons...

According to the statement of claim Eric Lindros has filed in his defamation suit against former referee Paul Stewart, Lindros was made out to be: “unfriendly, hostile, rude, insulting, vindictive, cruel, uncharitable and generally a despicable person.” Which I’m figuring is about five for eight.




That's all I got. Have a good week!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Tim Hortons Brier Preview

The Tim Hortons Brier returns to Saddledome ice for the fourth time, and if history is any indication, keep your eye on the local rinks. The previous three Briers in Calgary were won by Team Alberta: Skips Kevin Martin in 1997 and 2009, and Randy Ferbey in 2002.

The odds of a local rink winning it are doubled this year, with two Calgary-based rinks. Team Canada–skipped by John Morris–is coming in as the defending champion, while Kevin Koe–the former skip of Team Canada–left in the off-season to start a new rink (third Marc Kennedy, vice-skip Bren Laing, lead Ben Hebert).

This year's field is full of talent with a number of rinks having a chance at hoisting the trophy on March 8.

Northern Ontario, skipped by Brad Jacobs, enters as the clear favourite coming off an Olympic gold medal performance in Sochi. They also won the tankard back in 2013.

Brad Gushue returns to the Brier for the twelfth time. His Newfoundland and Labrador rink have won twice this season on the World Curling Tour and sit second in money earnings.

Quebec skip Jean-Michel Menard is back for his ninth appearance; he won back in 2006 when the event was played in Regina.  Manitoba skip Reid Carruthers may be a rookie skip at the Brier, but he’s been on the big stage four times before, including winning it all as a second for Jeff Stoughton in 2011. Carruthers also had to beat one of the hottest teams in Canada this year, Mike McEwen in Manitoba play-downs, just to earn the right to play.

Not to be forgotten is British Columbia’s Jim Cotter, who was the runner-up in Kamloops last year. While Steve Laycock and team Saskatchewan sit fifth on the Canadian Team Ranking system, and are making their fifth appearance.

2015 also marks a changing of the guard in men’s curling. Absent are some of the most recognizable names in the sport: Glenn Howard, Jeff Stoughton and Kevin Martin, with some new faces coming to the forefront. While Stoughton has been replaced by Carruthers as Manitoba's rep this year, the Ontario rink, after being skipped by Howard for many years, is now led by Mark Kean.

Complete Brier coverage can be found by clicking right here

Friday, February 27, 2015

This And That

The usual assortment of thoughts running through my muddled mind in no particular order

 --Is it safe to say the Saskatchewan Roughriders may have started a succession plan on Tuesday afternoon when they announced assistant GM Jeremy O'Day had signed a three year contract extension and was now director of football operations.  There is no doubt O'Day is one of the bright young minds in the CFL and he has general manager written all over him. Do the Riders take him through to the end of the 2017 season and then make him GM while moving Brendan Taman to a spot higher up in the organization. O'Day has been and will continue to learn from Taman over the next three years and that should make him more than ready to take over.  This was a great move by the team to keep O'Day in the plans for not only the next three years but many more after that I would wager.

 --How many Rider fans breathed a sigh of relief when it was learned Nik Lewis had signed with Montreal. Many hated the Dwight Anderson signing because of his past but they grew past it. I don't think the same would have been said had Lewis been wearing green.

  --I've heard a lot of good things about defensive back Kris Robertson. The Canadian, who played CIS ball, at Concordia is said to be a real ballhawk and a great player. The Riders may have gotten a steal here if he can make that move to the next level.

 --Those suggesting the hit that knocked Patrick Kane out for what likely is the remainder of the hockey season was a dirty one make me shake my head. That hit wasn't dirty! Its a hockey play! Alex Petrovic gave him a stick in the hips like many d-men do and sadly for Kane, he lost his balance and went unprotected into the boards breaking his collarbone. The attention on this play is purely because it happened to one of the NHL's top players. Had Bryan Bickell, Brandon Saad or Kris Versteeg been the victim of this hit, we would not be talking about this.

 -With Kane being hurt, do they give the Leafs a call about Phil Kessel? How about perhaps going after a Jarome Iginla who won't win a Cup in Colorado this year.

 --Was Kane the front-runner for MVP this year, He would have been the first American MVP if he had been voted. How will Canadians react when an American is named MVP of what supposedly is "our game". Will it be treated the same way it was when Steve Nash was named MVP of the NBA and there was considerable moaning.

--Thursday was the night in the history of the Toronto Maple Leafs that the David Clarkson era at the same time as the Zach Sill era started!

--I have no problems with the rule baseball is putting in place to speed up the game. Pitchers pitch and batters bat. This other crap that both do have to be stopped. Get the ball, get the signal, let the hitter dig in and throw the ball. No screwing around! Get it done!

 --The Regina Pats will have an "x"  beside their name on the WHL standings meaning they have clinched a playoff spot.  I hope this is the year the team can get to the second round of the playoffs. Swift Current will be tough, but I think the Pats have the horses to get it done. If not, it will be another long summer around here and I don't think QCSE wants that as they try to re-establish this teams identity.

--Speaking of the Pats, last week on the Sportscage, I asked people who was the next player who should have his jersey retired in the wake of the Warriors retiring Ryan Smyth's jersey. A few people said Rick Rypien's #11 and I couldn't agree more. The Winnipeg Jets are doing their best to honor Rypien by starting Project 11. It is a positive mental health program that helps Grade 5-8 kids in Manitoba. It is a Manitoba project, but the website is I don't know if there are any plans to expand this into Saskatchewan and I know there are agencies promoting mental health awareness, but lets hope. Here is a video the Jets played inside MTS Centre before their game against St. Louis Thursday night that centers around Rick and what he was all about. Its long, but if you're a fan of Rick, watch it!

For those who wondered why the Saskatoon Blades would play the Pats on a Monday afternoon and laughed about it or thought it was dumb,  Here is what CJWW's Dave Thomas had to say about the affair.

PS: This must be a part of the Pats season schedule in 2015-16 and beyond. Why wouldn't you do something like this?

There's an interesting poll on asking about the Riders logo and what your favourite one is. Over half say they like the current one which is fine, but 18 percent say its time to get a new, modern logo. I say no to that idea!

Good luck to Steve Laycock at the Tim Hortons Brier. I don't see the drought ending with rinks like Morris, Jacobs and Kevin Koe in the field, but one never knows. TSN will have multiple games on each draw through their multitude of channels(where was that for the Scotties) with Bryan Mudryk being joined by David Nedohin.

Rob Ford is selling off his Rider jersey, but its for a good cause as money will go to fight the cancer he is battling. You can make a bid on that sweater right here.

I don't know how many radio types across this fine country of ours reads this blog on a day to day basis, but if you are looking for someone who will add to your newsroom, I highly endorse and recommend the name of Thomas Strangward. "Tom the Intern" as he became quickly known at 620 CKRM was a tremendous addition to our newsroom in the month of February from SAIT. If you are looking for someone, he would certainly fit the bill. Good luck Tom!

--Good luck also to the Cougar ladies basketball team. Dave Taylor's crew upset Fraser Valley last week and they have a very tough task this weekend battling UBC in Vancouver. GO COUGS!

And while this damn dress is stirring up debate all over the place for what colours it is, I think I can honestly say around here, there is no doubt as to what the colours of this fine garment are

That's all I got for now. Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Northern 8---Good or Bad for CIS Football?

I'm sure you have read about this, but if not, Vancouver broadcaster Jim Mullin and Saskatoon businessman David Dube are trying to create a higher profile for Canadian university football.  They want to see the top teams in this country playing against one another and they want to see the product that is Canadian university football get more exposure across the country by having the games shown nationally on some network which isn't being done right now.

I love the concept and I think this is something that could fly, but it would seem there is a lot of resistance on the parts of some in the CIS to make it happen.

Watch this video and feel free to comment as on the surface, it would likely be a good thing for both of Saskatchewan's university programs.

David Dube will be with me in the Sportscage Friday afternoon at 505 to discuss this.