At the start of the Stanley Cup playoffs, I took the Chicago Blackhawks to play Boston. Looks like that isn't going to happen. Credit the Detroit Red Wings for playing the hockey that we are used to see them play. That team looked like they were going to be on the outside looking in come playoff time, but they have pulled it together and are arguably playing as if they could win the West. They are like the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA.....they keep getting older, but you just can't knock them off and if you do, you have to give one helluva effort. Its even getting to the point that at one time I wanted them to lose, but now I have somewhat of a soft spot for them because they have that underdog label. Yes, Chicago can come back and win three straight to take the series in 7, but the Wings have all the momentum and the Hawks will need a huge effort just to send the series back to Detroit.
Is there any doubt that Mike Babcock is Canada's coach at the Winter Olympics if the NHL goes.
How does a city like Detroit that is just about broke manage to sell out 100 straight hockey games at the Joe Louis Arena? That is passion folks!
The Saskatoon Blades are out and wow, did they go out in ugly fashion. That was not the memory that the Blades wanted to leave with their fans as they get taken to school by London in the tie-breaker game of the Memorial Cup. The knives will come out in full force now. When they won 18 games in a row, they were the toast of the town, but now their stock is lower than Enron. I'm guessing you will see a lot of blue seats on TV this weekend. I would hope a crowd of at least 11 thousand is there for the final. We'll see.
There's been a lot of chatter about the empty seats at CUC and whether or not this event has been supported by Saskatoon. The argument has been had on many levels. When its all said and done, I ask this question. Was the topic ever approached to tarp off the upper level of the rink and just sell seats in the lower bowl with the upper bowl being open only if the ticket demand was there? Doing that would have alleviated a lot of the questions being asked. If organizers didn't think they could sell out the facility, why not maximize what you have and sell 8-9 thousand seats nightly. Did greed come back to bite those responsible in the ass? Oh well, its too late to discuss that now.
Halifax Mooseheads forward Nathan McKinnon has been the best player at the Memorial Cup. Has he done enough though to surplant Seth Jones as the number one overall pick. Would Patrick Roy take another forward to add to the likes of Matt Duchene, Ryan O'Reilly and Gabriel Landeskog or does he take the potential franchise defenceman in Jones who has all the tools it would seem to have a long NHL career. McKinnon will give you more flash, but Jones is a blueliner that doesn't come along often. Its a tough choice, but I got to go with Jones.
I love the Eric Cartman chant of "Go Kings Go". I wish the Pats would find out who does that and what the cost is. The Brandt Centre would go nuts if Cartman started cheering "Go Pats Go".
Brent Hawkins is the new coach of the Regina Rage---Regina's entry in the Lingerie Football League. Hawkins' wife plays on that team. Would the coach dare bench his wife if she isn't playing well?
Former Baltimore Ravens and current FOX NFL analyst Tony Siragusa is hawking Depends to stop "leakage". Depends needs to expand this campaign to Canada and find a retired defensive lineman that is in the media to sell the product. Who could they find?? Did Siragusa wear 96?
With the addition of Jermaine McElveen on Thursday, the Riders have given themselves some more depth on the d-line. That d-line is said to be the weakest part of the team as they continue to look for a pass-rusher. What do you think? What position are the Riders weakest at going into camp? The roster they have assembled for the upcoming season is an experienced one and one that should be more than capable of hosting a playoff game this year.
How long will be it until Alain Vigneault finds work? Is he Dallas-bound? Don't be surprised.
Access tried their hand at reality TV with "Lamb of Love". They should try again with "A Day at a 7-11":.
Like many, I park downtown in an Impark lot. There are some spots that are reserved so you obviously can't park in them and there is a sign up to let you know its reserved. The question I have is who has some of these spots and do they own a vehicle? Since I started at CKRM, there have been a couple of spots in the Impark lot on Rose Street across from the parkade that has a reserved sign there but there has never been a car there. This is either a gigantic waste of money from some company or some guy has really great hours as he gets to work after me and leaves before I do.
The major league baseball season is at the one quarter pole. I think its safe to say that the Jays have been one of the bigger disappointments, but not as disappointing as the Angels and Dodgers who have high payrolls. There is talk that Toronto should perhaps trade off guys like Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion if they aren't in a position to take a run at a playoff spot by the all-star break. I say that is the wrong idea. As bad as they have been, they would be a lot better if Jose Reyes was playing all year. Yes, their pitching hasn't been great, but Reyes would have added some runs to that offence.
Speaking of disappointing, who does graphics at Fox Sports Kansas City. They put this dandy up on Thursday night. Can you spot the errors????
Good luck to Metro Regina reporter Jeff Mackey. He is headed back east to serve an internship with the Canadian Press. He helped give that paper some credibility and he put in many a solid day.
Its just a matter of time before Graham DeLaet wins on the PGA Tour and perhaps that time is coming up. He is two off the lead after one round of the Colonial. Who gave him his fashion advice though? I'm guessing he wasn't dressed like that playing the Weyburn Golf Club. I still think he needs something on his apparel to signify his Saskatchewan heritage whether it be the iconic /=S=/ or PotashCorp or something.
The WMBL season starts next week. That is a good thing!
The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today they have acquired import defensive lineman Jermaine McElveen from the Hamilton Tiger Cats.
McElveen (6’4 – 265) will be entering his sixth CFL season as he joins the Riders for the 2013 season. The University of Alabama-Birmingham product spent the 2012 season with the Hamilton Tiger Cats where he appeared in 15 regular season games totaling 31 defensive tackles and led the team with six quarterback sacks.
Prior to joining Hamilton, the 28-year-old spent four seasons with the Montreal Alouettes. In 68 career CFL regular season games he has totaled 109 defensive tackles and 24 quarterback sacks.
McElveen is a two time Grey Cup champion having won with the Als in 2009 and 2010.
In exchange, the Riders sent import wide receiver Lyle Leong Jr. to Hamilton. The Abilene, Texas native was set to enter his first CFL season after signing with the Riders in January, 2013.
Jack Brodsky is aware of the shots on social media about the empty blue seats at Credit Union Centre during this week's MasterCard Memorial Cup.
The attendance, or lack of, at 15,195-capacity CUC is a hot topic of conversation from those who can plainly see occupied seats mixing with waves of bare blue while watching on TV.
"We weren't expecting to sell the building out," Brodsky - the Blades' owner and Memorial Cup chairman - said Wednesday.
"But you can always use a couple-thousand more tickets (sold), that's for sure. I'd like to see us at 10,000 and north of that. But there's no disappointment - it's been great electricity in the building."
The situation truly is, for lack of a better cliche, glass half-full versus glass half-empty.
On one hand, the average attendance at CUC through six games so far is 8,993, the sixth-highest total in Cup history. If that number holds up, their overall attendance at tournament's end would be 80,937 - good for fourth all-time.
On the other hand, shouldn't tickets be scarce every time a Memorial Cup comes into town?
Grumblings have been heard about ticket prices, which for Wednesday's game between the Blades and Portland Winterhawks ranged from $66.25 (including service charges) to $113.75 in the lower bowl. Most upper-bowl tickets were $66.25, though $37.50 tickets could be had at the back of the arena.
London, hosting next year's Cup, seats 9,000 and has already sold approximately 7,000 ticket packages, with a similar pricing structure to Saskatoon.
"I think ticket prices are where they should be," Brodsky said. "This is the national championship; this is the top teams in Canada playing. If you compare it to some of the NHL exhibition games we have in Saskatoon and the quality of hockey there ... our prices aren't as high as some of those are. I think we're priced right."
Saskatoon surpassed the total attendance from last year's Memorial Cup in Shawinigan during the fifth game of this tournament, though that arena seats just 4,125 - much smaller than the comparatively-cavernous CUC.
Brodsky says the 2013 Cup event will turn a profit, but he also readily concedes he'd like to see more people enter the building for the three games that remain.
"We have a city our size with a 15,000-seat building, that's a somewhat unusual matchup," Brodsky said.
"Our building is fairly large. Obviously, we'd love to have the place sold out, we'd love to have more people come to the building. The ones who aren't coming are missing something, because the hockey's been outstanding. But you can't be disappointed. With the electricity in the building and the quality of hockey, it's been a lot of fun to be here."
When the Blades hosted the 1989 Memorial Cup, they drew 77,296 with a smaller facility, an average of 8,588. Both numbers were event records at the time.
- During a special presentation today to the City of Toronto’s Economic Development Committee, Toronto Argonauts and 100th Grey Cup Festival Executive Chairman & CEO, Chris Rudge, officially unveiled the results of the Economic Impact Assessment conducted for the event.
The total economic activity generated by the 100th Grey Cup was more than $133.1 million throughout the province, with $94.7 million occurring in Toronto. These expenditures supported $38.4 million in wages and salaries throughout the province, and supported 795 jobs, of which 596 - including $26.6 million in wages and salaries - occurred in Toronto. The net economic activity (GDP) generated by the event was $70.2 million in the Province of Ontario, of which $48.9 million occurred in Toronto. The assessment was prepared by the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance using the STEAM PRO economic impact assessment model which is widely considered to be the gold standard for evaluating the economic impact of a particular event in a region or area.
"The City of Toronto scored an economic touchdown with the 100th Grey Cup Festival," said Mayor Rob Ford. "This tremendously successful event brought in nearly $95 million in economic benefits, resulted in hundreds of jobs for our residents, and was enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people."
Considerable tax revenues were also generated by the event, totalling nearly $25.3 million. The event supported federal government tax revenues of nearly $11.6 million; with an additional $9.3 million in taxes accruing to the province of Ontario, and more than $4.3 million to municipalities in the province, of which $3.4 million was in Toronto. The event attracted more than 199,400 spectators, including 86,400 out of town spectators to Toronto. Each out of town spectator spent an average of $354.87 in the community over the course of their trip. The average day-trip visitor spent $122.60 and the average overnight visitor spent $646.98.
“The Grey Cup Festival was a huge win for our city, both on and off of the field,” said Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the City’s Economic Development Committee. “It is most gratifying that an event of such national importance also brought with it economic, cultural and employment benefits for our city and its people.”
Commented Toronto Argonauts and 100th Grey Cup Festival Executive Chairman & CEO, Chris Rudge,“We are very pleased with the results produced by this assessment. The Festival was an important celebration of sport and culture for our city, province and country, and this evaluation demonstrates the positive, far-reaching financial impact it had on all of us. The people of Toronto opened their arms to the nation and were rewarded with a tremendous infusion of economic spending that also resulted in job creation and millions of dollars in municipal and provincial tax revenue. We look forward to hosting the Grey Cup festival and game again soon.”
The economic impact results were derived from surveys taken during the 100th Grey Cup Festival. A total of 1,148 visitor parties who were approached responded to the survey, with 444 indicating they were from Toronto, while 704 were visitors. The study was commissioned by Heritage Canada and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.
Vancouver Canucks President and General Manager Michael D. Gillis announced today that Alain Vigneault has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the Vancouver Canucks. Associate Coach Rick Bowness and Assistant Coach Newell Brown were also relieved of their duties today. The Canucks finished the 2012.13 regular season with a record of 26-15-7 and won the Northwest Division Championship before losing 4-0 in the Western Conference Quarter-Finals to the San Jose Sharks.
“We have made the very difficult decision to relieve Alain Vigneault, Rick Bowness and Newell Brown of their coaching duties today,” said Canucks President and General Manager, Michael D. Gillis. “Alain, Rick and Newell worked tirelessly to lead this team to great on-ice success. I am personally grateful to each of them and their families for their commitment to the Canucks and the city of Vancouver and wish them continued success in future.”
This is a Regina sports blog with a focus on everything going on in the world of sports and whatever else interests me. I'm a freelance Regina sportscaster who is never afraid to let his views on sports be known, and is never afraid to cheer on Regina's teams because they are a major part of the fabric that makes Regina the great city it is.