Thursday, March 31, 2011

Oh Canada!!

Some familiar Canadian names will be looking to make an impact in Major League Baseball, with the opening Thursday of the 2011 season.

A total of 16 players from north of the border are on opening-day rosters, led by the reigning National League most valuable player, Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto of Etobicoke, Ont.

Catcher Russell Martin of Chelsea, Que., is in his first season with the New York Yankees after five seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau of New Westminster, B.C., is hoping for a healthy season after suffering a concussion last July, as is New York Mets outfielder Jason Bay of Trail, B.C., who is starting the season on the disabled list with a rib cage injury.

On the mound, left-handed pitcher Jeff Francis of North Delta, B.C., is in his first season with the Kansas City Royals, while Erik Bedard of Navan, Ont., is looking to rebound with the Seattle Mariners after missing all of last season and most of 2009 due to shoulder surgeries.

Rich Harden of Victoria, B.C., has returned to the Oakland A's, the team that drafted him in 1999. He spent last season with the Texas Rangers.

Ryan Dempster of Gibsons, B.C., is making his third career opening day start, and his first with the Chicago Cubs.

Pitcher John Axford of Port Dover, Ont., is back as the closer with the Milwaukee Brewers, and is joined by catcher George Kottaras of Toronto.

American-Canadian infielder Mark Teahan of Redlands, California, who played for Canada at the World Baseball Classic, is teammates with pitcher Jesse Crain of Toronto with the Chicago White Sox.

Pete Orr, an infielder from Richmond Hill, Ont., is in his first season with the Philadelphia Flyers, while Mike Saunders of Victoria is an outfielder with the Mariners.

Relief pitcher Blake Hawksworth of Vancouver is in his first season with the Dodgers after two seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Matt Stairs of Fredericton is in his first year with the Washington Nationals and his 19th major league season. The Nationals are the 13th team of Stairs' career, which sets an MLB record.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bombers Roll The Dice

Bombers GM Joe Mack is taking a big-time gamble. Its one that could conceivably cost him his job. Mack traded QB Steven Jyles to the Argos on Wednesday for the fourth overall draft pick in the upcoming Canadian Draft and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2012 Draft. The 2012 fourth-round pick could upgrade to as high as a second round pick depending on how many games Jyles plays in for the Argos.

The trade is a great one for Toronto as Jyles should be a major league upgrade for Cleo Lemon. In fact, I wonder if Lemon returns seeing Dalton Bell is still around. For the Bombers, they will get a good player at number 4, but they have now left themselves thin at the game's most important position. Buck Pierce can play this game, but he is fragile with a capital F. One hit to the noggin and that could be it for Bucky Boy. Joey Elliott is the backup and while Elliott comes from Purdue that has brought such names like Drew Brees and Jim Everett to the NFL, he is highly unproven. Unproven---that was a word used to describe a certain quarterback from North Carolina at one time. If Mack thinks Elliott can do the job if called upon than perhaps he has pulled off a coup. If he doesn't think Elliott can do the job, he is gambling the future of his football team.
All I had to do was look at Rod's blog Wednesday afternoon to know what would be discussed in the Sportscage. The organizers of the Ford World Mens Curling Championship is asking people to wear green for Tuesday's draw. Its a marketing ploy and they are making no secret that they are piggybacking off the Riders. I have no problem with that. However, I do have a problem with Jeff Stoughton wearing a green and white jacket. Canada is not green and white, we are red and white. I didn't like it at the World Juniors and I don't like it now. Do we really have to continue associating with the Riders to acknowledge our place on the national stage. NO? Someone phoned in and told Rod that our flag is green so why not? That's half correct---our flag is green and yellow. Much like Amber Holland, Jeff Stoughton won the right to represent our country and the last time I looked, our athletes wear red and white on the global stage. This wasn't done at the World Womens last year in Swift Current and I think it went over pretty well. It got some great debate going with some agreeing with me and some disagreeing. Hey isn't that what you want when doing a sports radio talk show. That being said, I'm sure Derek Boe and the organizers aren't happy with my stance. Once again, no problem with inviting people to wear green---but don't ask the participants. I don't like that.
CJME's Jamie Nye asked the question that everyone wants the answer to on Wednesday night. Nye and Drew Remenda had the grand poobah on...the big cheese, the one and only Jim Hopson. Jamie and Drew asked a variety of questions with the big one being from Jamie, That question (and its a sensible and informative one)----what number will Gainer wear this year. In 2009, he wore 13. We know what the number 13 means in Rider lore now. With it being the team's 100th anniversary last year, he wore 100. Does he go back to 13 now? Can he wear 13? He can't wear 100 and 101 would look dumb. If you ask me, there is no better mascot than Gainer so just let him wear #1 which is what the team will hopefully be this year.
St. Louis put up on 10 on Detroit? 10?!
Where do you take Sidney Crosby in a playoff draft this year as news comes out that he will be gone for the rest of the regular season? Pittsburgh has done well without Sid in the lineup so one must think they are still going to go far in the playoffs. If you get the number 1, 2 or 3 pick, do you take him? I don't know if I would.
Will you be able to fit another person into the Art Hauser Centre in Prince Albert Thursday night? The Raiders beat the Blades 6-3 to trail that first round best of 7 2-1. Raider fans were ready for this game---they have waited a while to see their team in the playoffs. They weren't disappointed and you know they will be ready to go again in Game 4. As for the Warriors, they were beaten 5-0 by Kootenay to even that back and forth series at two games apiece. Dave Hunchak has to be wondering where the consistency is as they have looked so good in Games 1 and 3 and not so good in 2 and 4.
Opening day in major league baseball is today. Always a special day. The Jays and the Cubs will open on Friday. Jays analyst Mike Wilner was with Rod and I on the Sportscage Wednesday. I asked Wilner if this is team is better on opening day than what it was last year and he thinks it is even though they don't have Vernon Wells and Shawn Marcum. Wilner feels Jesse Litsch can more than make up for Marcum with guys like Juan Rivera and new center-fielder Rajai Davis doing their bit as well. That rotation just seems a little too inexperienced for me and I think they will be hard-pressed to win 75 games. We will see. Word is Rogers Centre is sold out for the home opener against Minnesota. That is great..I  just hope Game 2 has a healthy crowd as well.
Spend life with who makes you happy, not who you have to impress.

TSN Ready For World Mens Curling Champ'ship

This weekend, Team Canada's Jeff Stoughton and his Manitoba rink head to Regina, SK for the 2011 Ford World Men's Curling Championship. Sweeping coverage starts Saturday at 3:30pm et/12:30pm pt live on TSN with Canada's opening draw against Switzerland.

TSN's exclusive live coverage runs from April 2 to 10 featuring every Team Canada draw, the Page Playoffs, Semifinal and Final.

Canada is represented by the 2011 Tim Hortons Brier winner, Team Manitoba, led by skip Jeff Stoughton, third Jon Mead, second Reid Carruthers and lead Steve Gould. Former world champion Stoughton, coming off a solid Brier tournament, has home ice advantage as he guides his team against the world's top men's curlers. In total, Team Canada will play 11 round-robin draws.

TSN's acclaimed curling broadcast team is also in Regina, SK with Vic Rauter calling the action alongside Olympic gold medallist Linda Moore and two-time Brier Champion and Olympic gold medallist, Russ Howard.

Saskatchewan is the current curling hotspot. On top of hosting the 2011 Ford World Men's Curling Championship, the province's women's team, led by Amber Holland, won the 2011 Scotties Tournament of Hearts and captured silver at the 2011 Capital One World Women's Curling Championship.

The 2011 Ford World Men's Curling Championship follows the successful 2011 Tim Hortons Brier, which attracted more than 7.8 million unique viewers at some point during TSN's 62 hours of live Brier coverage. Overall, the 2011 Tim Hortons Brier was the most-watched Brier ever.

A Legend Hangs Up The Mike

I've been an Oilers fan ever since they entered the world of the National Hockey League. From their statement playoff victory over the Habs, to Wayne's 50 in 39, to winning multiple Cups, to Steve Smith, to losing to Carolina in the Cup final in 7 to the doldrums of today, one man has seen it all. That man said goodbye last night. After 3542 hockey games, Rod Phillips--the long time voice of the Oilers--said goodbye last night as Edmonton lost 2-0 to the LA Kings. With this game being on TSN, I would normally have watched Chris Cuthbert(the best hockey p x p guy out there --sorry James Gallo) do his thing, but not on this night.

Like I was when I lived in Peace River, Alberta, I had to find the radio broadcast so in came the satellite radio for the last broadcast. There is no doubting Phillips is not as sharp anymore as he used to be, but in his heyday, there was no one better. I had a chance to meet him and talk to him for about 10 minutes several years ago and it was a tremendous thrill. I can only imagine the stories he has. I could probably listen to him rattle off story after story after story and just be captivated by it.

We were also fortunate enough to have Rod on a "Drew Remenda Sports Show" back in the day. I think it was just after Chris Pronger and Mike Peca had signed on. I asked him if he could give me one of his great goal calls and he was more than happy to. It was outstanding!

Anyways, I listened to Rod do his last game while watching it on TV and he didn't get a chance to give one of those last great Oiler goal calls seeing they were shutout. It was also a very classy gesture by TSN and by Cuthbert to go to Phillips' last minute. He handled it like a pro.

Thanks for the memories Rod....good and bad!
I'm not surprised to see Marcus Adams get cut by the Riders. With Ryan Lucas, Rod Wright and free agent acquisition Tearrius George in there, Chunky just didn't fit into the scheme anymore. He had a great career here and I don't think his CFL days are over. GM Brendan Taman said he tried to trade Chunky, but there were no takers. Is that a sign or are teams just waiting for him to be cut loose so they can negotiate a cheaper deal with the 31 year old. I would say the latter. I think you will see Adams coming to Taylor Field in another teams uni this year.
When the Warriors acquired Thomas Heemskerk at the start of the season, I knew they had themselves a solid goalie that would pay dividends in the playoffs. So far, so good. Heemskerk recorded his 2nd shutout of the playoffs last night as Moose Jaw beat Kootenay to take a 2-1 series advantage with Game 4 tonight at the Crushed Can. While some have scoffed at me, I really believe the Warriors have a team that can go deep in these playoffs and if Heemskerk keeps playing the way he has, I think Moose Jaw can give Saskatoon a battle. I would take Heemskerk over Steven Stamford any day of the week. I really hope that series materializes. I hope that not just for the fact that it would be a great series, but for the fact that if Brandon beats Medicine Hat it would mean an East final between the two meaning the WHL final would have Saskatchewan representation and we need that.
A few people want me to make a prediction on the SJHL final between the La Ronge Ice Wolves and the Yorkton Terriers. Here it are going to see a good series featuring some great Saskatchewan talent (Travis Eggum, Adam Bartko, Blaine Tendler, Jeremy Boyer) going at it in what should be an intense series with the winner having a solid shot at reaching and winning the RBC Cup in Camrose in May. All the games will be on Access 7 so I hope you can check it out. Game 1 is Friday @ 730.
With the parity of the NHL, is there an overwhelming Stanley Cup favourite? I think its wide open as to who the final two combatants will be this year.
Is Corey Perry going to score 50?
When do we just sit down and marvel at the player Teemu Selanne is. He is the best Scandinavian player I have seen and he is showing no signs of slowing down. Can you imagine if Winnipeg got back into the NHL and the Coyotes could swing a deal with Anaheim to get Teemu back. He would be a god in Winnipeg. He may still be.
Is there any doubt Tim Thomas will win the Vezina Trophy?
Rob Vanstone had an absolutely great column in Tuesday's LP about things he misses as he has grown up (OK ---aged). Rob was a fellow south-ender just like me growing up and I could relate to a lot of what he wrote. However, there were a couple of things he forgot and those that lived in south end Regina can relate

1. Checkers
2.  Seasoned fries at Pedeli in the Golden Mile. There has not been french fries in this city that have been better since Pedeli closed their doors way back when.
3. Road hockey games that seemingly never ended
4. Stampede Wrestling every Tuesday night at the Exhibition Auditorium.
Tiger Woods 12 is everything I thought it would be. With Saturday pins at Augusta, I shot a 75.
When is Graham DeLaet getting back onto the circuit and is he eligible for the Masters? My good friend Sudzy in Saskatoon should be able to answer that for me. Congrats to Sudzy as he became a daddy again on the weekend as he and his wife welcomed a baby girl into the universe. Rumour has it she does not look like the cable guy.
Have a good one!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Chunky Gets Cut!

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today they have released import defensive tackle Marcus Adams.


“We want to thank Marcus for all the contributions he made as a Rider both on and off the field,” stated Rider General Manager Brendan Taman. “We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”


Adams played the last eight seasons with the Riders after originally signing as a free agent in March, 2003. In 84 regular season games played, Adams had 129 defensive tackles, 12 quarterback sacks, five tackles for a loss and three fumble recoveries.


In 2010, the defensive tackle started in 16 regular season games and tallied 26 defensive tackles, two quarterback sacks and one fumble recovery.


Mustangs Need A New Coach

The Melfort Mustangs have decided to part ways with coach Darrell Mann. Mann spent seven seasons behind the bench with the team. This past season, Mann led the Mustangs to a regular season record of 32-18-3-5. They were eliminated in the Bauer Conference championship series by the La Ronge Ice Wolves.

NAHL Comes To Minot

The North American Hockey League is expanding to Minot.

The league, which had 26 junior hockey teams under its banner last season, announced on Monday that it will add a team in Minot.

Named the Minotauros (Tauros), the team is set to begin play in the 2011-12 season and will call Maysa Arena its home.

"We couldn't be happier to welcome the Tauros to our league," said NAHL commissioner Mark Frankenfeld in a release on the NAHL website. "Minot is a great addition to our Central Division footprint and, behind a sound, hockey-savvy ownership group committed to both the local community and player development, the Tauros represent everything the NAHL stands for, both on and off the ice."

The announcement is the culmination of a nine-month process, which started when Brad Porter showed initial interest in bringing a team to Minot last summer. The team will be owned by Heavy Metal Hockey Inc. and PlayForward Sports Groups Inc.

"Mr. Porter came into town 4-5-6 times, loved the facility and community," Maysa Arena manager Chuck Emery said. "The North American Hockey League did a very thorough background check to make sure (the ownership group) is the real deal. We've known it was going to happen for awhile, but until the league released it, we weren't allowed to say anything."

Emery said Porter is from Calgary and initially found out about Minot through his ventures in the oil business.

The Minot team will be coached by Benjamin J. Johnson, president of HMH. He will also serve as general manager.

Johnson coached the prestigious Shattuck-St. Mary's (Minn.) prep school to back-to-back national championships and has also coached in Europe.

A Duluth, Minn., native, Johnson played for Duluth East High School and went on to play junior hockey in the United States Hockey League. He played two seasons in the Western Hockey League and competed for a Memorial Cup championship with the Spokane Chiefs in 1998. Johnson won a gold medal as a player with Team USA at the 2007 Deaf Olympics.

"We're very excited to join a premier league and re-establish a junior hockey presence in Minot," said Johnson on the league's website. "We share the NAHL's commitment to excellence, both on the ice and in the classroom. Our top priority is producing further opportunities for players to develop their skills, advance to the next level and, ultimately, become future leaders in their respective communities."

Former NHL player Marty Murray, Jarrod Olson, Terry Dunbar and Jason Blackburn will all assist Johnson in his coaching duties.

Emery expects the team to have a positive impact on the community, both fiscally and otherwise.

"It's going to be huge for the community," he said. "This will be good for the town and the rink. We're excited. It's been a long road. They said they recognize that Minot will support this and will be the place to be. I think it will succeed."

Minot will join the Central Division, which includes teams from Bismarck and Aberdeen (S.D.), as well as Minnesota and Wisconsin.

"They'll be in the same division as Bismarck," Emery said. "That Bismarck High/Minot High rivalry is great. I think this will just continue that."

Minot has had past junior teams. In 2000-01, the Minot Muskies played in the America West Hockey League, which later merged with the NAHL.

From 1994-97, the Minot Top Guns played in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

Plans continue to move forward for adding a third sheet of ice at Maysa, with organizers hoping to consolidate all of Minot's hockey programs under one roof.

"We know as ice people, we have to be under one roof," Emery said. "We've had a disconnect for 10 years and it's hurt. We're really searching for someone to lead the fundraising. We know we have some people who are strong civic leaders and we're going to approach them and ask them to lead us."

Monday, March 28, 2011


Photo Courtesy Regina Leader-Post.

First off, thanks to Don Healy of the Regina Leader-Post for actually getting a somewhat decent picture of yours truly talking to Canada's curling queen. I went down to film a segment that will air on Locker Talk or as Derek "Duke" Meyers called it  "The Pete Paczko Show" tomorrow night. The girls looked tired, but as you can tell by the smile on Amber's face, they were happy to be home and home without having to go through the battle that they did after winning the Scotties.

It was great to see a good crowd at the airport and they were welcomed with a thunderous round of applause as they downed the stairs. Everyone wanted them to win gold and I think a lot of people thought Amber would come through with that final shot the way she had all week long when the pressure was on. She might have had the best quote of all when she said "You don't like winning silver because it means you lost the final game, but at least you know you were in the gold medal game and that there were many other teams who would gladly have traded positions with them. There is also no reason to think that this team can't be back at the World Womens Championship next year ----an event that will be held in Canada. Of course, she doesn't have to go through the gruelling qualifying procedure and provincials as she is already guaranteed a berth at the 2012 Scotties. I think we all know this team will give it their best and that we shouldn't count them out if they get off to a slow start.
Barry Bonds' ex-mistress testified at his perjury trial. What do you think this shunned woman would say in a court of law? Is anyone really surprised to hear Kimberly Bell throw Bonds under the bus with one damaging statement after another. The question I have is does anyone really care about this? We all know Bonds has taken steroids and that he continues to take the attitude that he hasn't done anything wrong. I think a lot of us want to see him fess up, but do we want to see him end up in jail. Because of his defiance and ignorance, I would love to see him spend some time in prison. Is that the right attitude to take?
Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams has promised there will be an NFL season in 2011 and that it will take a few months before the two sides come to a new deal. I think we will see these two sides smarten up and get something done by July 15 so that training camps aren't affected and the season will start as usual in mid-September.
Costco needs an express lane!
Perhaps the Brandon Wheat Kings will beat the Medicine Hat Tigers thus allowing for the Moose Jaw-Saskatoon Eastern Conference final that I predicted on "The Sportscage". The Wheaties are now up 2-1 in the series.
Its snowing outside. Words can't express my feelings for this.
Some animals are just better off small. Because if spiders were the size of bears the world would be a scary place.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Whole Lotta This And A Whole Lotta That!

Welcome to the end of March. Baseball season begins Friday and the Masters are right around the corner. Look outside, can't you tell. I have just had it with this winter. Is it just me or has this winter just dragged on and on and on. I don't want a quick melt so temperatures in that plus 1 to 3 range are OK, but I want to see the grass in my backyard again. I want to get the barbecue going and I want to get the clubs out. During Sunday's World Womens Curling Championship, Global Regina news director Brent Williamson asked in a tweet to Duke Meyers, Warren Woods, Murray McCormick, Jamie Nye and myself when was the last time this many sports guys were up this early on a Sunday morning. Jamie quickly replied golf season and then took a good natured dig at Duke and Lee Jones. Someone asked him when golf season was and I replied about one week in June and one week in August. Isn't that the way its been?
Amber Holland didn't win gold at the WWCC, but she and her team need not hang their heads after providing Regina, Saskatchewan and Canadian curling fans with a tremendous weekend of curling which was full of great shots from the skipper. It seemed like time and time again, Amber needed a big shot and she came through. It made you think that draw to the button would be a simple one, but I really don't know if she could have thrown much more weight than she did on that final shot. If she does, she probably crashes on the guard out front. It ends a year where Saskatchewan won the womens title and both junior titles with a pair of silver medals and a 4th on the world stage along with hosting a world event starting next weekend. Not too shabby! We have a lot to be proud of when it comes to curling in this province and there is no reason to think we can't do it again very soon.
Do we really need a Scream 4?
In a real life Family Guy, who would play Lois Griffin?
How unpredictable has this year's NCAA mens basketball tournament been? ESPN had 4.9 million people fill out brackets and in the end, only two have Butler, Virginia Commonwealth, Connecticut and Kentucky as their final four teams. TWO!
I thought the Oilers had driven the final nail into the Flames playoff coffin on Saturday night. They led 4-1 with 12 minutes to go, but they gagged and lost 5-4 in overtime. I had tweeted about how good it was to see the Flames go down at the hands of the Oilers only to have some ask me why I have the gall to not cheer for a Canadian team. How many times do I have to say this. I don't care if the team is based in Canada. Guys like Ales Kotalik, Olli Jokinen and Miikka Kiprusoff are not Canadian. If there was a Canadian based NHL team with 20 Canadians on them, I would root for them, but there isn't. I'll have to look once the playoffs start to see what team has the most Canadians on it. I'm thinking off the top of my head that it could be Philly. Those that say you should cheer for this team or that team just because they're Canadian is one of my pet peeves.
I hope one of our sports networks allows us to see the Frozen Four (the NCAA mens hockey championship). It is always great hockey and it will be again this year with Notre Dame, Minnesota-Duluth, North Dakota and Michigan. The semi-finals are April 7. It would be odd seeing Michigan and Notre Dame fighting it out for a hockey title since they are one anothers rival on the gridiron.
I know there is good Canadian music out there somewhere. It wasn't at the Junos. Canada is not hip-hop and rap and I can't stand Michael Buble so there. Give me some good old Bryan Adams ahead of that sludge that was trotted out on stage last night. (Arcade Fire and Hedley excluded). Speaking of Hedley, that was the worst mustache I have ever seen on Jacob Hoggard and as Mrs. Scruffy said, he must get up every day and thank Canadian Idol. He is the biggest one to come off that show is he not?
How about this endorsement of the Rider Nation from Winnipeg! WOW!!!
Season 2 of "The Hard Times of RJ Berger" begins tonight on Muchmusic. Its a good show, but its made that much better by former Seahawks cheerleader and hottie extraordinaire Amber Lancaster.

I really don't think I can end it on a better note than that can I. Have a good Monday and yes, wrestling fans, you are now less than one week to Wrestlemania 28.

I Don't Really Know What To Say

I'll just let you read this story and you can decide for yourself. Its funny, with an EWWWWWWW tinge to it.

Tough End to Great Game

Amber Holland's quest for a gold medal at the World Womens Curling Championship fell one shot shy. Facing a tough draw to the 4 foot with her last shot, Holland came up short allowing for a steal of two and the world title for Annette Norberg and her Swedish rink. Still a tremendous effort by the Canadian girls who I'm sure will come home to a great reception at the Regina airport tomorrow just before 6.

A great effort by Amber and crew. No complaints whatsoever.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Going For Gold

There were some Amber Holland doubters out there this week as she struggled at the World Womens Curling Championship, but doubt no more. The Canadian women are on their "A" game as they won their 5th straight this morning beating China in the semi-final 8-5 to advance to the gold medal game against Sweden's Annette Norberg. That game will go at 7 AM Saskatchewan time Sunday morning.

Amber and her entourage are expected back in Regina late Monday afternoon.

Canucks Fans Show Their Cl"ass"

I know a lot of people who are Vancouver Canucks fans. They are good people. They have a belief that their team is going to win the Stanley Cup which is a belief I don't share in. They give their opinion which they are entitled to do and I give mine back which I am entitled to do. Theoren Fleury gave his opinion on the Canucks this week. He stated "The Canucks will not get out of the first round." He also questioned whether or not Roberto Luongo has what it takes to get the job done citing his playoff failures the past two years against Chicago. Fleury is entitled to say what he feels and people are entitled to say what they feel----however, some Vancouver fans have gone WAYYYYYYYYY over the line.
They have gone after Fleury on his Twitter account and they have gotten very personal as they attack his substance abuse problems and the sexual abuse he took at the hands of Graham James. These people have painted themselves to be Grade A jackasses. I know there is a certain faction of Rider fans that take their team just a little too seriously and lash out (like on a certain fan site) unrealistically at those who might criticize, but those on the Rider site have not stooped to the level that some of these people have gone to. I would like to say it amazes me that Fleury keeps the idiotic tweets on his account, but then again this is Theoren Fleury and he does beat to a different drummer. You can see what I'm talking about by going to Theo's Twitter account at!/TheoFleury14. Some of it will be an eye-opener. I would like to see some of the idiots who have tweeted held responsible for their comments and asked why they feel they are so high and mighty to respond in such a fashion, but really why give these schlubs a second more of notoriety.
The WHL playoffs opened Friday with seven of eight series kicking off and Pats assistant coach Shaun Sutter may be on to something. Sutter said the Brandon Wheat Kings would beat the Medicine Hat Tigers and that is what they did in Game 1 and then some winning it 7-2. This was a team that wasn't supposed to be very good this year right? I thought Moose Jaw could give Kootenay all it could handle and on night 1, the Warriors won 4-0. I still say look out for this team.
The La Ronge Ice Wolves and Yorkton Terriers surprised everyone last year when they were the final two combatants in the SJHL final. One team finished fourth in their division, while the other finished 5th. No surprise this year though. Both teams won their respective divisions in the regular season and they have come out to once again play one another in the final series. It will start April 1 in La Ronge. Access 7 will  have LIVE coverage of the Credit Union Cup final--a final that should be pretty good.
Amber Holland will play Denmark bright and early Saturday morning in the 3-4 game at the World Womens Curling Championship. Even though the Canadian rink suffered some brain cramps late, they still were in control throughout their game against Switzerland to advance. Here's hoping the Canadian train keeps rolling. It looks strange seeing Amber and team in red and white as I'm used to them in green and white. Speaking of green and white, there was talk that the Canadian team at the Worlds in Regina would wear green and white one night (gee, I wonder why) and that Kevin Martin had already agreed to it. Would Winnipegger Jeff Stoughton do that? I wouldn't. In fact, I wouldn't no matter who I was unless I am from here. As was the case at the World Juniors, don't honor a football team at a curling event or a hockey event. You are Canada and that means you are red and white.
I wonder how many people will have correctly picked the final four in their brackets. I'm guessing not many as Duke and Ohio State are now out of the NCAA mens basketball tournament. The Kentucky-Ohio State game was just the latest in a long list of tremendous basketball games we have seen over the past couple of weeks. In fact, I have talked to many people who have said they are starting to watch more basketball--college and NBA--instead of the NHL. That can't be good.
Rockstar B wins the provincial championship at High Impact Wrestling. CMON!!!! BOOOOOOOOO!!!!! The script-writer has failed miserably at this one.
 Have a good weekend!

Friday, March 25, 2011

SJHL President Laury Ryan Steps Down

After serving for eight years, SJHL President Laury Ryan is announcing he is stepping down at the end of this current term. In making this announcement, President Ryan wishes to acknowledge the many people in the present and in the past, involved with the member teams and their contributions to the league.

During Ryan’s term, the SJHL has prospered and is considered by many as one the top junior “A” hockey leagues in Canada. The league has seen many developments including the creation of the World Junior “A” challenge which allowed junior “A” players and coaches to represent Canada for the first time in history. The establishment of the SJHL Hall of Fame that in 2011 will see its third induction ceremony as the league recognizes its past heroes. The Saskatchewan Development Model, which coordinates elite hockey in Saskatchewan and the Junior A Supplement, that is a partnership with Hockey Canada and four other Junior A leagues are considered key achievements. The SJHL has had a successful run with league teams participating in six RBC championships finals collecting three national championships. The SJHL also became the first Junior “A” league in Canada to have live games broadcast across the province including the Credit Union Cup Championship series on cable television.

“It has been an honour to represent the league on behalf of so many great individuals who work tirelessly in their respective communities to make their franchises viable and successful. Any and all the good things that were achieved are a testament to their efforts” stated Ryan, “It has been an honour to serve as President of the SJHL”

On behalf of the SJHL board of Governors I would like to thank Laury for his many years of service and numerous innovations and contributions to the league and wish him the best in his future endeavors.” SJHL board of governors chair Rick Shultz said. “The SJHL management committee will be advertising and accepting applications for the position of SJHL president.”

One Down, A Few To Go

Amber Holland had to draw to the four foot with last rock in 10 to beat Switzerland this morning at the World Womens Curling Championship. The win moves Holland into the 3-4 game vs Denmark which will be played Saturday morning. For all you die-hards, it will be on at 3 AM.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sacre Bleu!!

If the Montreal Canadiens are seething  over the Max Pacioretty hit by Zdeno Chara earlier this month, they sure aren't showing it. Thursday night was a statement game for the Habs. It was their first game against Boston since the controversial hit. Would they take a run at Chara? Would they be pumped up for this game---one that could conceivably see them overtake Boston to finish first in the Northeast. The answer was no. In fact, the Habs were meeker than a new-born kitten as they were pummelled 7-0. Tim Thomas proved that all talk of the Vezina Trophy starts and ends with him and that any talk of Carey Price winning the award is ludicrous as Price was yanked for Alex Auld for the 2nd time in a week. This is not the type of game the Habs had to play if they were going to take a measure of revenge for the Pacioretty  hit. They had to show Boston they meant business. Instead, they showed Boston they are a pushover.
Oh yes, Habs fans, I am well aware that the Oilers sucked just as bad with a pathetic loss to St. Louis in which they mustered less than 20 shots, but I did not expect Edmonton to be a playoff team this year and the Blues had done nothing to get under our skin the way Boston had to Montreal.
The WHL playoffs begin Friday with seven of the eight series getting underway. If you heard the Sportscage on Thursday, you heard the predictions of myself, Rod and Pats assistant coach Shaun Sutter who did a helluva job in breaking the matchups down. My final four combatants would see Moose Jaw playing Saskatoon in the East--although I was politely informed via e-mail after the show that those teams would meet in Round 2 if my first round predictions were correct as I have Saskatoon, Red Deer, Medicine Hat and Moose Jaw winning in Round 1. Out west, I see the final series pitting Portland against Spokane with Prince George and Tri-Cities winning first round matchups. For some strange reason, I see the Cougars upsetting Kelowna.
The SJHL final could be known on Friday. La Ronge leads Melfort 3-1 with Game 5 in La Ronge. If the Ice Wolves should win, it sets up a rematch of last year's final that no one expected. I can't see many being surprised if it ends up that way this year seeing both teams won their respective divisions. The Mustangs have a team that can force the series back to Melfort for a Game 6, but I don't know if the Mustangs or any team in general can beat La Ronge three straight right now.
It will be breakfast with Amber Holland on Friday. Her game against Switzerland will be on TSN starting at 7 AM Regina time. Lets hope we get to watch Amber curl all weekend long. Amber got to the tiebreaker by beating Germany's Andrea Schopp in the final game of the round-robin. Was it just me or does Schopp look like Scott Schultz with hair. Both of them are German so you never know.
Butler was the Cinderella story of last year's NCAA mens basketball tournament getting all the way to the final before losing. They may very well get to the final four again. The Bulldogs knocked off Wisconsin to get to the regional final. If they win, they won't play Duke this time as they were beaten by Arizona. You can't help but cheer for these guys now.
LP sports reporter Craig Slater is in Arizona doing a lot of baseball stories. He spoke to Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster earlier this week in a story that made me jealous seeing I am a Cubs fan. He has a great story in todays LP with former Yankees first baseman and current Dodgers coach Don Mattingly. Don's brother Randy played with the Riders and that was Craig's line of questioning towards Mattingly. Don knew about Regina, the Riders and Ron Lancaster informing those around him that Lancaster is a legend. It would behoove the Regina Red Sox to find out how much it would cost to get Mattingly to Regina for their sports dinner in 2012. I'm guessing he would be more than happy to come if his schedule would allow it.
Speaking of baseball, opening day is one week away. Look outside!!! Yes, its baseball weather! YEESH!!!
Its now less than a week until Tiger Woods 12 "The Masters" comes out on the PS3. Once the SJHL season is over, I may be barricading myself down in the basement for a while.
Harry Houdini was born on this day, 137 years ago. When using handcuffs or other restraints tonight, please do so in his honor.

I'm A Fan, But Not That Big of One

Those of you that know me know I love the show "24". Jack Bauer would have blocked the field goal that Damon Duval kicked after the 13th man. Jack Bauer would have pushed Steve Bartman aside and let Moises Alou catch the ball in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS. Jack Bauer would kick anyone's ass once the time was right. As big a fan as I am of Jack and the show though, I certainly hope Mrs. Scruffy doesn't see this

WHL Award Finalists And All-Star Teams

The Western Hockey League announced today the 2010-11 WHL Conference First and Second All-Star Teams and the Conference Finalists for the 2011 WHL Awards. The WHL Player of the Year finalists will be announced on Wednesday, April 20th, 2011. The winners of these awards along with the WHL Player of the Year will be announced at the 2011 WHL Awards Luncheon in Calgary, Alberta on Wednesday, May 4th, 2011.

The WHL announced the Finalists in the following categories.

WHL Rookie of the Year, Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy
Eastern Conference – Matt Dumba (Calgary, AB), Red Deer Rebels
Western Conference – Sven Bartschi (Langenthal, SUI), Portland Winterhawks

WHL Goaltender of the Year, Del Wilson Trophy
Eastern Conference – Darcy Kuemper (Saskatoon, SK), Red Deer Rebels
Western Conference – James Reid (Calgary, AB), Spokane Chiefs

WHL Defenceman of the Year, Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy
Eastern Conference – Stefan Elliott (North Vancouver, BC), Saskatoon Blades
Western Conference – Tyson Barrie (Victoria, BC), Kelowna Rockets

WHL Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year, Brad Hornung Trophy
Eastern Conference – Stefan Elliott (North Vancouver, BC), Saskatoon Blades
Western Conference – Tyler Johnson (Spokane, WA), Spokane Chiefs

WHL Scholastic Player of the Year, Daryl K. (Doc) Seaman Memorial Trophy
Eastern Conference – Adam Lowry (Calgary, AB), Swift Current Broncos
Western Conference – Colin Smith (Edmonton, AB), Kamloops Blazers

WHL Coach of the Year, Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy
Eastern Conference – Jesse Wallin, Red Deer Rebels
Western Conference – Don Nachbaur, Spokane Chiefs

WHL Executive of the Year, Lloyd Saunders Memorial Trophy
Eastern Conference – Lorne Molleken, Saskatoon Blades
Western Conference – Mike Johnston, Portland Winterhawks

WHL Humanitarian of the Year, Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy
Eastern Conference – Spencer Edwards (Coquitlam, BC), Moose Jaw Warriors
Western Conference – Jeff Einhorn (Red Deer, AB), Chilliwack Bruins

WHL Marketing / Public Relations Award
Eastern Conference – Calgary Hitmen, Mike Moore
Western Conference – Tri-City Americans, Brian Sandy

WHL Regular Season Champions, Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy
Saskatoon Blades: GP – 72 W – 56 L – 13 OTL – 1 SL – 2 Pts – 115

WHL Top Scorer – Bob Clarke Trophy
Linden Vey – (Wakaw, SK) Medicine Hat Tigers
GP – 69 G – 46 A – 70 Pts – 116 PIM - 36

The WHL Eastern and Western Conference All-Star Teams are as follows:


Goaltender – Darcy Kuemper (Saskatoon, SK), Red Deer Rebels*
Defenceman – Stefan Elliott (North Vancouver, BC), Saskatoon Blades*
Defenceman – Brayden McNabb (Davidson, SK), Kootenay Ice*
Forward – Linden Vey (Wakaw, SK), Medicine Hat Tigers*
Forward – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Burnaby, BC), Red Deer Rebels
Forward – Mark Stone (Winnipeg, MB), Brandon Wheat Kings

Goaltender – Tyler Bunz (St. Albert, AB), Medicine Hat Tigers
Defenceman – Alex Petrovic (Edmonton, AB), Red Deer Rebels
Defenceman – Duncan Siemens (Sherwood Park, AB), Saskatoon Blades
Forward – Cody Eakin (Winnipeg, MB), Swift Current Broncos
Forward – Brayden Schenn (Saskatoon, SK), Saskatoon Blades
Forward – Quinton Howden (Oak Bank, MB), Moose Jaw Warriors


Goaltender – James Reid (Calgary, AB), Spokane Chiefs
Defenceman – Tyson Barrie (Victoria, BC), Kelowna Rockets
Defenceman – Jared Cowen (Allan, SK), Spokane Chiefs
Forward – Brendan Gallagher (Delta, BC), Vancouver Giants
Forward – Tyler Johnson (Spokane, WA), Spokane Chiefs
Forward – Ryan Johansen (Port Moody, BC), Portland Winterhawks

Goaltender – Calvin Pickard (Winnipeg, MB), Seattle Thunderbirds
Defenceman – Brenden Kichton (Spruce Grove, AB), Spokane Chiefs
Defenceman – Ryan Murray (White City, SK), Everett Silvertips
Forward – Brendan Shinnimin (Winnipeg, MB), Tri-City Americans
Forward – Brendan Ranford (Edmonton, AB), Kamloops Blazers
Forward – Ryan Howse (Prince George, BC), Chilliwack Bruins

Henry Burris Sings!!!

And I hope TSN isn't thinking about re-doing its Friday Night Football theme after hearing this. Sorry folks, but sometimes you gotta post things that are painful!

Holland Assures Herself a Tiebreaker

Amber Holland needed a win over Germany's Andrea Schopp at the World Womens Curling Championship this morning and she got it. Thanks to a big steal of 2 in the 8th, Holland beat the Germans 8-6 to finish the round-robin at 7-4. The final draw is this afternoon so everything will sort itself out then.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

How Did This NOT Go In!!!

When watching hockey games, we will  hear play by play guys whether it be on radio or TV ask how that puck did not go in the net. After watching this video, I ask how did this NOT go in???


Is This The Best News Coming Out Of The Budget?

Finance minister Ken Kravetz has tabled what will be the last provincial budget before we go to the polls in a provincial election. There are many things in idea that will save Saskatchewan citizens some loonies, but I get the feeling this might be the most popular thing.

WHL Bantam Draft Lottery Results

The WHL Bantam Draft lottery was held today at the WHL Office in Calgary to determine the order of the first six selections in the first round of the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft.

The WHL Bantam Draft Lottery involved the six non-playoff teams (Calgary, Kamloops, Lethbridge, Regina, Seattle, Swift Current) from the 2010-11 season. A team can move up a maximum of two positions in the Bantam Draft. Only one ball is drawn in the Lottery.

The Lottery selection process was performed by Chris Marra from KPMG. The 2011 WHL Bantam Draft will be held in Calgary, AB, on Thursday, May 5, 2011.

A Kamloops Blazers ball was drawn first in the lottery, meaning the Calgary Hitmen will have the 1st overall selection in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft. The Blazers will move up two spots as a result of their ball being drawn in the lottery, and will make the 4th overall selection in the 2011 Bantam Draft.

The Swift Current Broncos will have the 2nd pick, and the Seattle Thunderbirds drop from the 5th pick to the 6th pick as a result of Kamloops’ ball being drawn.

The Lethbridge Hurricanes will have the 3rd overall pick, having acquired Regina’s first-round pick in a trade last season, and will also have the 5th overall selection in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft.

The order of the second round and all other rounds will be the inverse order of final 2010-11 WHL regular-season standings.

Players eligible for the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft will be 1996-born players who reside in Alberta, B.C., Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.


Following is the order of selection for the 1st round of the WHL Bantam Draft:

1. Calgary Hitmen

2. Swift Current Broncos

3. Lethbridge Hurricanes (From Regina)

4. Kamloops Blazers

5. Lethbridge Hurricanes

6. Seattle Thunderbirds

7. Everett Silvertips

8. Prince Albert Raiders

9. Edmonton Oil Kings

10. Prince George Cougars

11. Brandon Wheat Kings

12. Chilliwack Bruins

13. Swift Current Broncos (From Kootenay/Vancouver)

14. Moose Jaw Warriors

15. Kelowna Rockets

16. Regina Pats (From Tri-City)

17. Kootenay Ice

18. Medicine Hat Tigers

19. Spokane Chiefs

20. Vancouver Giants (From Portland)

21. Red Deer Rebels

22. Brandon Wheat Kings (From Saskatoon)


Following is the order of selection for the 2nd and all subsequent rounds of the WHL Bantam Draft:

(Please note that traded picks are not indicated)

1) Calgary Hitmen

2) Swift Current Broncos

3) Regina Pats

4) Lethbridge Hurricanes

5) Seattle Thunderbirds

6) Kamloops Blazers

7) Everett Silvertips

8) Prince Albert Raiders

9) Edmonton Oil Kings

10) Prince George Cougars

11) Brandon Wheat Kings

12) Chilliwack Bruins

13) Vancouver Giants

14) Moose Jaw Warriors

15) Kelowna Rockets

16) Tri-City Americans

17) Kootenay Ice

18) Medicine Hat Tigers

19) Spokane Chiefs

20) Portland Winterhawks

21) Red Deer Rebels

22) Saskatoon Blades

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Back In The Mix

Amber Holland and her Kronau rink have gotten back into the hunt at the World Womens Curling Championship in Denmark. Holland beat the Czech Republic and the US today and is now 4-3. Sweden and Switzerland provide the opposition today. The Swedes lead the way while the Swiss are also battling for a playoff spot, so its going to be a big day.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Verdict Is In On Matt Cooke

According to multiple sources, Matt Cooke has been suspended for the rest of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs after his elbow on New York Ranger Ryan McDonagh yesterday. This would mean at least 10 games and somewhere between 14-17.

Avs Sign Elliott

(From Colorado Avalanche)

The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has signed defenseman Stefan Elliott to an entry-level contract.

Elliott, 20, led all Western Hockey League defensemen with 31 goals and tied for first with 81 points in 71 games for the Saskatoon Blades this season. He was the first WHL blueliner to reach the 30-goal mark since 2006-07. The Vancouver, B.C., native led the entire league in plus/minus with a +62 rating.

Colorado’s third selection (second round, 49th overall) in the 2009 Entry Draft, Elliott finished his junior career as the highest scoring defenseman in Blades franchise history, compiling 241 points (82g/159a) in 282 career games. Elliott helped Saskatoon capture the league’s best record during the regular season and he and his teammates will face No. 8 seed Prince Albert in the first round of the WHL playoffs beginning this Saturday (March 26).

“Stefan is another one of our talented young defensemen in the Avalanche system,” said Avalanche General Manager / Executive Vice President Greg Sherman. “He has put together a strong final season of junior hockey and we look forward to him beginning his pro career with our organization.”

“I’m really excited,” said Elliott. “The Avalanche is a great young organization and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of that. Right now, I’m looking forward to hopefully a long playoff run with Saskatoon.”

Ti-Cats/Eskimos Trade/Cory Boyd Signs Extension


The Hamilton Tiger-Cats announced today that the team has acquired import kicker/punter Justin Medlock, import defensive back Carlos Thomas, a third round selection in the 2011 CFL Canadian Draft and a fifth round selection in the 2011 Draft from the Edmonton Eskimos in exchange for the Ticats second round selection in the 2011 Draft and the rights to a negotiation list player.

Medlock, a 6-0, 208-pound native of Fremont, California, spent the final four games of the 2010 season on the reserve list after signing with the Eskimos as a free agent on October 12. He was exceptional with the Toronto Argonauts in 2009, connecting on 40 of 46 (87%) field goals while averaging 42.3 yards per punt, earning him a nomination as the team’s Most Outstanding Special Teams Player.

After spending time with the NFL’s Washington Redskins and Detroit Lions in 2010, Medlock returned to Toronto, playing in four games with the Argos before being released on October 12. The UCLA product was originally selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth round (160th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft.

Thomas, a 5-11, 195-pound native of College Park, Georgia, finished the 2010 season on Edmonton’s practice roster after signing as a free agent on October 5. In 2009, Thomas joined the Saskatchewan Roughriders practice roster in October after a stint with the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers. During his collegiate career at South Carolina, he made 60 defensive tackles and six interceptions in four seasons.

“We’re pleased to complete this trade as it provides our team with depth at kicker and defensive back as well an additional pick in this year’s draft,” said Head Coach Marcel Bellefeuille.

The Toronto Argonauts Football Club is pleased to announce that it has extended the contract of its star running back, Cory Boyd, through the 2013 season.

Commented Argonauts General Manager and Head Coach Jim Barker, “Physical. Relentless. Dynamic. Those are the words I would use to describe Cory Boyd’s style of play. He is the kind of player other teams do not want to play against and the kind of player you want on your side. We are very excited to extend Cory’s current contract through 2013. He proved to be a vital part of our offence and locking up key players is a core part of our philosophy. With one year under his belt, and the understanding of what is needed to train and condition for this league, we look forward to seeing the even greater things Cory is capable of – both on and off the field – in the seasons to come.”

In 2010, RB Cory Boyd took the Canadian Football League by storm in his rookie season. The New Jersey native was named a CFL All-Star, a CFLPA All-Star, an East Division All-Star and was named the Argos’ Most Outstanding Player. Boyd was the first Argos running back since Michael Jenkins in 2001 to be named a CFL All-Star. He finished the season as the league’s second-leading rusher with 1,359 yards, scored eight (8) touchdowns (six rushing & two receiving) and was the club’s fifth-leading receiver (363 yards). Boyd led the CFL in yards from scrimmage with 1,722 and broke or matched several club records.

Boyd was the fastest RB in Argos history to achieve 1,000 yards rushing in a season, accomplishing this feat it in just 11 active games. Boyd rushed for at least 100-yards in six games in 2010. He is tied with Gill Fenerty (1989) and Bill Symons (1968) for second-most in a season in club history. He was named CFL Offensive Player of the Month in August, was Runner-Up, CFL Offensive Player of the Week in Week 4 and was CFL Offensive Player of the Week in Week 6.

You Can Decide Who is on Madden 12 Cover

I love this idea from EA Sports. They are allowing you to have a say in who goes on the cover of the game. You can start voting now. Just head here.

If they had a Madden 12 CFL game (and oh how I wish they did), although they would have to call it Suitor 12 or something, who would be on the cover? My vote would go to Anthony Calvillo.

Wrapping Up The Weekend

It was a very busy one so where do you start. I guess I'll start with the Matt Cooke elbow. Where is Mario Lemieux's hue and cry now? Did I miss the latest memo from Air Canada. Has Stephen Harper weighed in? Are Ranger fans protesting outside Madison Square Garden? The Cooke elbow is brutal and he should be suspended for a long time. He likely will because of his past record. However, I will maintain that Dany Heatley should also have been suspended for more games after his blatant cheap shot on Steve Ott this week. Here are the two of them---you decide what one is worse?

Heatley on Ott

Cooke on McDonagh

At least Ott had a chance to see the elbow coming at him---albeit I'm sure that chance was quite fleeting. Both hits are B-S. The NHL gave Heatley two games. They dropped the ball as far as I was concerned. Lets see what happens here.
The first weekend of the NCAA mens basketball tournament might be the best one I have ever seen. The first four days were full of close games with upsets, exciting finishes and buzzer beaters. You can't script this up. The last 5 seconds of the Butler-Pittsburgh game on Saturday night was reality TV at its finest. You saw one team go from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows in just the snap of a finger. My bracket has exploded. I'm guessing many others have as well. One would think Ohio State will win it all considering the weekend they had, but next weekend is another story and there are many Cinderellas waiting in the wings.
The Pats season came to an end Saturday night in Saskatoon. It was a 23 win season for the Queen City kids and that has a lot of people in Regina po'ed. Those that are upset should pull back just a little because I don't think anyone thought this team was going to be a playoff team at the start of the year. Chad Lang made great strides in his first year as GM. However, Lang must get this team to the playoffs next season. That is a must. With guys like Weal, Mitchell, Bell, Davidson, Hewitt, Klimchuk and Stephenson around, I would think they would.
Its good to see Natasha Staniszewski make her TSN debut Sunday night. Expect to see a lot of the former CTV Yorkton and Saskatoon sportscaster on the big network as they are without their female anchor. Jennifer Hedger gave birth to a baby boy on St. Patricks day evening.
Regina drivers (especially those in the East end) were at their finest on Saturday. I guess that since the streets were dry they could be idiots again. I can't tell you how many near accidents I saw or how many stupid things I saw people doing on Saturday afternoon while in the east end. Some have apparently forgotten that there is a 3 way stop in the Vic Square parking lot. Some think they can roar off Prince of Wales onto Vic even though the green arrow has disappeared...some think they can rip across the service road with traffic bearing down them from both ways. It was purely ridiculous.
Ever been to Chuck E Cheese on a Saturday afternoon. I took my seven year old daughter there. I know it can be a zoo in there, but on a Saturday afternoon its a zoo and then some. They serve alcohol in there. They really should have a room for mom and dads where they can just let the kids go and go for a cold one or ten. GOOD GOD!! If your kid accidentally takes someone elses tickets or if a kid takes your kids tickets or doesn't get off a game or this or that or this or that, its pure chaos. Bottom line is the kids enjoy themselves so what the hell? Perhaps the Boston Pizza should expand and put a child care area in there so that Mommy and Daddy can go to BP's and relax after an hour or two of that. I can only imagine how much of that Grandma would take!
Amber Holland is 1-2 at the World Womens Curling Championship in Denmark. As is seemingly always the case when the Worlds are in Europe, there is nobody there. I saw Holland's game against the host country and they might as well have played it at the Callie as I'm sure there were just as many people there. It really is disgraceful how Canada can sell out a mens or womens worlds, but you only get a handful of people when the event is in Europe. I guess its the same for the World Junior Hockey Championship though.
From a city champion to a provincial medallist. Even though my 16 year old daughter was battling through a bad hip, she managed to get her way to a bronze medal at the provincial high school wrestling champ'ships. I'm sure if she had been 100 percent she would have won gold. Next year! Still pretty proud of what she has done in just two years.
Jon "Bones" Jones lived up to all the hype on Saturday night. He destroyd Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in the main event of UFC 128. They say he's the future. Let's see him win a few more times before putting that moniker on him.
The Kindersley Klippers got brought back to earth big time by Yorkton in Games 1 and 2 of the SJHL Sherwood Final. The Terriers putting up back to back sevens on the Klippers to take a 2-0 lead. The Bauer final between La Ronge and Melfort is even at one game apiece with Game 3's in both series on Tuesday. It makes me ask what game do I watch online?
Not to be for the U of S Huskies as they lose the CIS womens basketball crown to the host Windsor team in a battle of 1 vs 2. The Huskies had a lot of 5th year players on that team so they may not be back on this stage for a while. Those 5th years were hoping to cap it off with "The Bronze Baby", but they will have to wait. Why do they call it "The Bronze Baby" when it goes to the gold medallists. Just something to think about.
More snow is in the forecast. Perhaps 20 centimetres this week--OH GOODY!!!
If the NHL playoffs started today, Boston would play Montreal. YIKES!
Will the NHL have a 50 goal scorer this year? They would have if Sid was playing, but he isn't.
Fake friends are like shadows. They are there during your brightest moments, but disappear during your darkest moments or just disappear altogether.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What's This One Worth?

This is Matt Cooke's latest escapade from today's game against the Rangers. Some have said this will be at least 8 games. Others are saying its double digits. Cooke has a past, but is this hit really no different than the one Dany Heatley gave to Steve Ott this week---one that got him a paltry two games. Lets see!

WHL Eastern Conference 1st Round Playoff Dates


Husky WHL Eastern Conference Quarter-Final
(Series A)

Game 1 - Sat Mar 26 7:05 PM Prince Albert at Saskatoon
Game 2 - Sun Mar 27 6:05 PM Prince Albert at Saskatoon
Game 3 - Wed Mar 30 7:00 PM Saskatoon at Prince Albert
Game 4 - Thurs Mar 31 7:00 PM Saskatoon at Prince Albert
Game 5 - Sat Apr 2 7:05 PM * Prince Albert at Saskatoon
Game 6 - Sun Apr 3 7:00 PM * Saskatoon at Prince Albert
Game 7 - Tues Apr 5 7:05 PM * Prince Albert at Saskatoon

Husky WHL Eastern Conference Quarter-Final
(Series B)

Game 1 - Fri Mar 25 7:30 PM Edmonton at Red Deer
Game 2 - Sat Mar 26 7:30 PM Edmonton at Red Deer
Game 3 - Mon Mar 28 7:00 PM Red Deer at Edmonton
Game 4 - Thurs Mar 31 7:00 PM Red Deer at Edmonton
Game 5 - Sat Apr 2 7:30 PM * Edmonton at Red Deer
Game 6 - Mon Apr 4 7:00 PM * Red Deer at Edmonton
Game 7 - Wed Apr 6 7:00 PM * Edmonton at Red Deer

Husky WHL Eastern Conference Quarter-Final
(Series C)

Game 1 - Fri Mar 25 7:30 PM Brandon @ Medicine Hat
Game 2 - Sat Mar 26 7:30 PM Brandon @ Medicine Hat
Game 3 - Mon Mar 28 7:30 PM Medicine Hat @ Brandon (Winnipeg)
Game 4 - Thurs Mar 31 7:30 PM Medicine Hat @ Brandon (Winnipeg)
Game 5 - Sat Apr 2 7:30 PM * Brandon @ Medicine Hat
Game 6 - Mon Apr 4 7:30 PM * Medicine Hat @ Brandon (Winnipeg)
Game 7 - Wed Apr 6 7:00 PM * Brandon @ Medicine Hat

Husky WHL Eastern Conference Quarter-Final
(Series D)

Game 1 - Fri Mar 25 7:00 PM Moose Jaw @ Kootenay
Game 2 - Sat Mar 26 7:00 PM Moose Jaw @ Kootenay
Game 3 - Tues Mar 29 7:00 PM Kootenay @ Moose Jaw
Game 4 - Wed Mar 30 7:00 PM Kootenay @ Moose Jaw
Game 5 - Fri Apr 1 7:00 PM * Moose Jaw @ Kootenay
Game 6 - Sun Apr 3 7:00 PM * Kootenay @ Moose Jaw
Game 7 - Tues Apr 5 7:00 PM * Moose Jaw @ Kootenay

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Caps Sign Mitchell

The Regina Pats are proud to announce that Garrett Mitchell has officially tendered a standard 3-year player contract with the NHL’s Washington Capitals.

The 19 year old native of Regina has had a break out offensive year topping career highs in goals (18), assists (32) and points (52) all as captain of the Regina Pats. Garrett hit a career high for points in a game with a 4 assist night in a 6-5 victory past the Brandon Wheat Kings on March 5th at the Brandt Centre.

Garrett was originally chosen by the Pats in the second round, 33rd overall in the 2006 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft, and has been with his home town team ever since. Tonight’s game in Saskatoon will be his 264th career game as a member of the blue and white placing him 14th all time on the Pats game played list, passing Jamie Heward and Colten Teubert.

One Last Night At The Crushed Can

I had to be there. I wanted to be at the last ever game between the Pats and Warriors at the soon to be no-more Civic Centre, but I wasn't. I want to be at the last ever game in the old rink and I may get that chance. With the last regular season game going at the place on Friday, I had to be there and I was.

I remember the first time I walked into the Civic Centre, it was to see the old Moose Jaw Canucks play I forget. What I remembered most about the game was the rabid fans and how they just got into the game----perhaps too much. In the 2nd intermission, a catfight broke out that ended quickly when one girl--I think from Moose Jaw---ended it with a cowboy boot kick straight to the unmentionables.

Since that time, I have seen a lot of good hockey players do their thing in Moose Jaw. From Chelios to Howden, from McKay to McIlrath, from Fleury to Brouwer and even from Griffiths to Gallo, I've seen and heard a lot.

I knew it would be different walking in last nite and it was. The team brought in Mark McKay--the Warriors first ever captain to drop the ceremonial faceoff.....

There was only one other person that they could have had to drop the puck and that was the best Warrior ever--one Theoren Fleury, but McKay would be choice number 2. Watching him in his first year as a Warrior was something to behold.

I quickly found out I wasn't the only Indian Head boy in attendance. The other guy I found is just a little more important than yours truly....

I really should smile when I'm getting my picture taken, but I sometimes have a smile that resembles that of Dr. Sheldon Cooper. If you don't watch "The Big Bang Theory" on a regular basis, you don't know what I'm talking about.

In the end, Warrior fans went home happy as Antonin (Tony) Honejsek got the winner in a shootout....

As I walked down the stairs with Kelly "The Silver Fox" Remple, he turned and asked what was the matter. I said "nothing, I just want to take it all in" We sat in seats behind the penalty box for about 15 minutes with Kelly getting embroiled in conversation with Warriors marketing guy Corey Nyhagen. Wheaties coach/GM Kelly McCrimmon walked by and saw the legendary Rob Carnie who had called the final period (was there a hi diddle diddle uo the middle call)coming down the stairs. Kelly just looked at Rob and said "How many lies did you tell during the 3rd period."

I just sat there and thought about the games I had seen in there. The brawl between the Pats and Warriors when goalies Jamie Reeve of Regina and Rex Grant of Moose Jaw hit one another with the force of two locomotives at centre ice during a brawl. I thought of Donovan Nunweiler standing on his head during a playoff victory over Medicine Hat and I thought of Cam Ward standing on his head denying a Mooae Jaw win in double overtime of a playoff game that changed the series in Red Deer's favour. I thought of Dustin Slade being stupid in a playoff game and I thought of a Moose Jaw fan who had just been introduced to Rod Pedersen saying "F OFF to him". I thought of the first ever Trans-Canada Clash and what a great day and night that was. And I also thought "Mission completed". I have been to one last game at the Civic Centre. There's a chance I could be in there for either Gane 3 or 4 of their first round series. If I do get back, its a bonus. If not, I've said my goodbyes. I had to be there for this night and I was.

Ron Robison also informed everyone that the first game of the WHL schedule next year will go at the new Multiplex with the Warriors playing whoever. THAT HAS TO BE THE PATS!! I don't know what the date for that game is, but I'll be there. During the game, Bryn Griffiths texted me that he will be at that game and to save him a seat in the press box. I don't think he'll have any problems getting in and I can't wait. I wonder if I'll see a catfight that night. If its between the Pats and Warriors, I figure there's a 50-50 shot.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Tristan Jackson Comes To Saskatchewan

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today they have acquired import kick returner Tristan Jackson in a trade with Edmonton. In return import defensive back Ladarius Key was sent to the Eskimos.


Jackson (5’8 – 185lbs) has played the last three seasons with the Eskimos after signing a free agent in May, 2008. He had 109 kick returns for 2,361 yards and one touchdown and 178 punt returns for 1,700 yards and three touchdowns.


In 2010, the 25-year-old Central Arkansas product played in six regular season games after starting the season on the nine-game injured list. In that time he had18 kick returns for 355 yards and 27 punt returns for 170 yards.

An Apology to All Shaun Marcum Fans

Its a curse! It has to be. Baseball players in Florida and Arizona at spring training should be publicly warned when I take them in a draft. This past Tuesday I got involved in a fantasy draft. I took Jays 2nd baseman Aaron Hill knowing he wasn't at 100 percent, but also knowing (or at least reading) that he would be ready by opening day. I took Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain only to find out he might not be ready by opening day because of an injury suffered that day and on the day after the draft, Colorado 3rd baseman Ian Stewart comes down with an injury that could prevent him from being on the Rockies opening day roster. Yesterday, I am just combing through some things when I see that former Jays-current Milwaukee starter Shaun Marcum had to leave his spring training start Thursday with shoulder soreness and that the Brewers are quite concerned. GREAT!!!! I had Marcum winning between 15-20 for Milwaukee this year. Someone should have told him. This being said, I also took young Chicago sophomore shortstop Starlin Castro who is said to be a star in the making. I may have cursed the Cubs this year. I'm sorry! It could be a long season. I now just wait for the next member of my squad to go down. Can I get an extra DL slot?

The way the Montreal Canadiens talked about it after it had happened, Max Pacioretty would never play hockey again and that he was lucky to be alive after what happened at the hands of Zdeno Chara. That was on March 8. Nine days later, Habs coach Jacques Martin says he may return for the playoffs. WHAT? His career was seemingly over last week as the outrage over the Chara hit hit its peak and now he's a possibility to return. CMON!! Perhaps Zdeno should only get probation now and not life in prison as some have suggested. In all seriousness, there is no way Pacioretty should be allowed back on the ice this season even if Montreal gets to the Cup finals. Get him ready for September.
If you watched Day 1 of the NCAA mens basketball tournament, you know why its considered to be one of those must-watch events on the sporting calendar. Buzzer beaters, upsets, emotions galore. Many of the games can right down to the wire and it was a great day of hoops. I hope the same can be said tomorrow.
I want TBS back! For that matter, I want WCCO in Minneapolis back as well. Let me take that one step further and say you can ditch all the Boston stations as far as I'm concerned and give me all the US networks from the Twin Cities.
I downloaded the demo for Tiger Woods 12--The Masters on Thursday night. It allows you to play the 18th hole at Augusta. The game comes out at the end of the month. I will be buying it! Look out Amen Corner, here comes Scruffy!
Congrats to "The Polish Princess". Cougar lady basketballer Joanna Zalesiak was named a CIS 2nd team all-Canadian on Thursday night. The Cougars have put out a lot of quality players over the past many years and Zalesiak is right up there. I don't think she's in the Cymone Bouchard or Trena Mott stratosphere, but she is definitely on that 2nd level and I think she has two years to go. If that isn't a reason to watch Dave Taylor's squad play next year, I don't know what is.
The SJHL divisional finals begin Friday in Yorkton and La Ronge. Both series will be outstanding and I wouldn't be surprised to see both go seven. No matter who wins, the league final will be great.
Charlie Sheen's tour is apparently going to make stops in Toronto and Vancouver. Are you going?
What does it say when people in Vancouver and Calgary wouldn't wear green on St. Patricks Day choosing instead to wear Lions orange or Stampeders red. That's sort of sad. Would we do that here? Yeah, sadly I think I know the answer.
On St. Patricks Day, its too bad that the NHL's best Irishman didn't play. I would be talking of course about Alex "O" vechkin. Yeah, I know that's bad, but its late and I'm tired.
Have a good Friday!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ti-Cats Extend Glenn's Contract

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats announced today that quarterback Kevin Glenn has signed a contract extension with the team that will keep the team’s 2010 Most Outstanding Player in Hamilton through 2012.

Glenn, a 5-10, 203-pound native of Detroit, Michigan, put together one of the best single-season performances by a quarterback in Ticats history last season, completing 388 of 602 passes (64.5%) for 5,102 yards and a team-record 33 touchdowns. His completion percentage and passing yards were the second highest single-season totals in team history.

The Illinois State product signed with the Ticats as a free agent on March 20, 2009.

“Kevin was very productive last season and has established himself as one of the league’s top quarterbacks. We look forward to watching him lead our offence again this season,” said General Manager Bob O’Billovich.

Glenn’s CFL career began in 2001 with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. After three seasons with the Riders, he was dealt to the Winning Blue Bombers prior to the 2004 season. Glenn spent five years with the Bombers, helping them reach the Grey Cup final in 2007, before signing with the Ticats. He was named the East Division’s Most Outstanding Player in 2007.

In 168 regular season games, Glenn has thrown for 20,483 yards and 160 touchdowns.

Last year, Glenn created his ‘Touchdown For Kids’ program presented by Tim Hortons, which raised $7,000 for the Tim Horton Children's Foundation. Glenn also brought 300 kids from Tim Hortons Children's Foundation Camps to a Ticats home game in July.

Let The Madness Begin!!!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hockey Needs To Take A Page From Baseball

Atlanta Braves minor league manager Luis Salazar has been told by doctors that he is going to lose his left eye after being struck in the face with a foul ball last week. Salazar was standing in the dugout watching the game when the ball hit him. This is a tragic story from something that happens time and time again during a baseball game. Its a freak event that had terrible consequences. What I don't see here is baseball saying this must stop immediately and suggest changes. Baseball acknowledges this isn't a day-to-day thing and that what happened to Salazar was unfortunate, but that it wasn't pre-meditated and was just a freak occurrence. Hockey could take a page from baseball's stance. The Zdeno Chara hit on Max Pacioretty had everyone wanting instantaneous change and for Chara to have the book thrown at him. Like Salazar, Pacioretty was in the wrong spot at the wrong time and the consequences were terrible. Guys are rubbed out along the boards all the time in a hockey game, but in this instance that rub-out turned into a serious injury. If baseball can look at what happened and admit to a freak occurrence taking place, why can't hockey?
The NHL is showing how much it cares about blatant headshots with its weak punishment towards Dany Heatley. Watch this cheapshot from the Sharks forward if you haven't seen it already.

The NHL suspended Heatley two games for this. Two games? I hope his wrist heals in time after it was slapped so hard. This was a chance for the NHL to show its serious about headshots and flag Heatley with a 7 or 8 game suspension for this gutless act. Unlike Chara, this was pre-meditated. Heatley showed no respect for Orr in this instance and went out of his way to deliver the elbow. For that, he gets two games! Is this supposed to deter others? The NHL had a chance to show they had had enough and they fumbled that chance away. I'm not surprised!
Why did I take Joba Chamberlain in a baseball draft I am in. I am going to regret that down the road methinks.
I don't know if you caught the Sportscage this afternoon, but Rod and I went from talking about his picture with legendary porn star Ron Jeremy to him playing CKRM"s World Curling contest called "Hammer Heaven". You can't go from Ron Jeremy to something called "Hammer Heaven". I lost it! Apparently so did some others who were listening. You can't rehearse that crap bay-bee!! I can only wonder how much more that would have gone off the rails if Derek Meyers or Scott Schultz had been around.
How about this for a goaltending performance. Lucas Gore of the Chilliwack Bruins stopped 78 of 79 shots last night in a game against Spokane. The Bruins lost 2-1 in a shootout. Spokane fired 32 shots on Gore in the 2nd period and 30 more in the 3rd.
Its St. Patricks Day so we are supposed to wear green. Don't we wear green in Saskatchewan all summer?
How many more days until training camp?
Regina police arrested a man who stole some items from the Pats and from some rec hockey teams. I know its vigilante justice, but that individual should be allowed to go back into the dressing rooms with the players in there when all of a sudden the lights go out if you know what I mean!
The deadline to fill out brackets has just about arrived. If you are a US college basketball fan, you will be finding a way to stay in front of a TV today and tomorrow as its the first two days of the NC double A mens basketball tournament. I know many a person who will be keeping an eye out on whats happening and I'm guessing some of those people will be found at the 4 Seasons or the Press Box. For what its worth, your final four will be Duke, Pittsburgh, Purdue and Syracuse. Duke beats Pittsburgh in the end.
Is it just me or should the people from "Antique Roadshow" contact the people from "Hoarders"
CC, Lorie and Buzz from Z99 have started their annual radiothon. The trio are staying awake for 36 hours to raise money for the neo-natal unit at the General Hospital. This is a great cause and I encourage you to drop a couple of dollars if you can. As is always the case, you can donate by heading down to the Cornwall Centre.
Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

Rangers Sign McIlrath

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with defenseman Dylan McIlrath.

McIlrath, 18, has skated in 59 games with the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League (WHL) this season, registering five goals and 18 assists for 23 points, along with 141 penalty minutes. He ranks third among team defensemen in points, goals and power play goals (two), and ranks third on Moose Jaw in penalty minutes. McIlrath established a career-high with his 18th assist of the season in a 5-3 win vs. Regina on March 1.

He has also tied his career-high with four multi-point performances this season, including back-to-back two-assist efforts on January 19 vs. Lethbridge and January 21 at Edmonton. McIlrath recorded at least one point in six of eight games from October 13 vs. Kootenay to November 5 at Regina, registering seven points (two goals, five assists) during the stretch.

In addition, he posted a career-high, four-game point streak from December 14 vs. Saskatoon to December 28 at Calgary, tallying five points (one goal, four assists) over the span.

Last season, McIlrath received Moose Jaw’s Most Improved Player Award for the second consecutive season, establishing career-highs in games played (65), goals (seven), points (24), penalty minutes (169), plus/minus rating (plus-20), and game-winning goals (two). He ranked second on Moose Jaw with a plus-20 rating, having made a plus-42 improvement in plus/minus rating over the previous season. He also tied for third among team defensemen in goals, assists and points, and led the Warriors and ranked seventh in the league in penalty minutes.

The second-year defenseman was selected to participate in the 2010 Canadian Hockey League (CHL) Top Prospects Game on January 20 as a member of Team Orr, and he finished second in the Hardest Shot event at the Skills Competition with a 91.8 mph shot. In addition, McIlrath registered one assist and 21 penalty minutes in seven playoff contests, making his WHL playoff debut on March 18 at Calgary and tallying his first career playoff point with an assist on March 23 vs. Calgary.

The 6-5, 215-pounder has appeared in 177 career WHL games over three seasons with Moose Jaw, registering 13 goals and 38 assists for 51 points, along with 412 penalty minutes. McIlrath captured Moose Jaw’s Most Improved Player Award following his rookie season in 2008-09. He made his WHL debut on September 19, 2008 vs. Swift Current, and registered his first career point with a goal on January 10, 2009 at Saskatoon. McIlrath has also tallied one assist and 21 penalty minutes in seven career playoff games with Moose Jaw.

The Winnipeg, Manitoba native was originally selected as the Rangers first round choice, 10th overall, in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

What Now?

The Regina Pats will miss the WHL playoffs again after last nite's loss to Swift Current. Its news that isn't going over well with the Regina hockey fan----the Regina hockey fan that realistically had to think this team would not make the playoffs this season. The question now is what next? I've had a lot ofpeople ask me over the past couple of days what is going to happen with the Pats and the answer is I don't know.

I will be the first to admit that I didn't see a lot of Pats hockey games this year. Whether it be the fact that I work for another league now or not, going to games this year just didn't provide me with the same level of excitement that it used to. I listened whenever I could and I read all the articles and followed what they are up to, but I just didn't have that desire to head to the rink on many nights this year. When I did go, I left some nights saying that team is going to be alright and there were other nights when I thought that team was god-awful. It was tough for me to get a good read on them. Some that I talked to said they were going to be fine, others said it was just another disaster in what has become a tradition of disasters over the past few seasons.

However, I will say that I think Chad Lang is on the right path and got this team a lot closer to a playoff spot than many thought he would. He has some talent to work with. The Carter Ashton trade that brought some players over from Tri-Cities seems to have worked out. He has Jordan Weal, Garrett Mitchell, Myles Bell, Brandon Davidson as core players. I am excited to see what Morgan Klimchuk does in a Regina uniform next year and it will be interesting to see if guys like Chandler Stephenson can take his game to the next level. The big question though is Curtis Hunt and what becomes of him. Do the Pats go looking for a head coach or not? I can't say.

What type of relationship does Curtis have with Chad? If its a good one, he might stay. If its a bad one, see ya. If you do bring in a new head coach, who would it be. Is Chad Mercier ready to become a WHL coach, Steve Young took the Warriors to the finals when Lang was GM in Moose Jaw. Young is an assistant coach and GM in Prince Albert. Does he want another coaching gig? Is there an SJHL coach out there who could move up the ladder? It won't be Dean Brockman in Humboldt seeing he will be guiding the Broncos as the host team of the 2012 RBC. If Bob Beatty could take the La Ronge Ice Wolves to a 2nd straight league title, would there be interest there? I just don't know.

Then there is the ongoing story of what the Parkers will do with the hockey club. You can't go far without Pats fans wondering if and when Russ Parker is going to sell this team and to who and for how much. I am guessing the bottom line can't be that great considering the playoff failures of the past few years, but is Russ considering selling the team.

In closing, I have no idea what is going to happen, but I get the feeling it could be a very interesting summer at the Brandt Centre.

Any thoughts you have are more than welcome.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lions Extend Superman's Deal

From BC

The BC Lions Football Club officially announced today that slotback Geroy Simon has signed a contract extension through the 2012 season.

“Geroy’s accomplishments on the field are well documented and he continues to be a significant part of our offence,” said Lions GM and head coach Wally Buono. “He’s led by example throughout his time as a Lion and his dedication to being the best player on the field is remarkable.”

In 2010, Simon added another outstanding season to his amazing CFL career and moved into fifth spot on the CFL’s all-time receiving list with a team-leading 1,190 receiving yards (7th overall in the CFL), 78 receptions (8th) and six touchdowns. He also recorded a club-record, eighth consecutive 1,000-yard season and added three more 100-yard games in 2010 along with 12 games with four or more receptions.

“I am very happy to sign another extension,” said Simon. “I feel as strong and fast as ever and I truly believe we have a legitimate shot at winning a championship in 2011 with the team we’re putting together.”

One of the Lions most reliable and consistent performers, no player has had more clutch second-down catches to create first downs than Geroy over the past two seasons (61). He will return for his 11th season as a Lion and 13th season overall in 2011.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Do The Riders Need Mo Lloyd?

As soon as I saw the news that Mo Lloyd would be released from the Edmonton Eskimos I knew the debate would start. Should the Riders bring him back? I say no!

What purpose would Mo Lloyd serve on the Riders. Last I looked the team was stacked at linebacker with Barrin Simpson, Sean Lucas, Jerrell Freeman, Kye Stewart, Byron Bullock and Mike McCullough. Who does Lloyd replace in this bunch. Simpson isn't retiring, Lucas has just re-signed, Freeman and Bullock have stars written all over them, Stewart is up and coming and McCullough just makes plays.

Put the money elsewhere. There's no room left at the inn for Mo as far as I'm concerned. Can he still play the game? Yes he can, but so can the guys we have.
Sidney Crosby is finally speaking out. Crosby was back on skates Monday for the first time since leaving the Penguins lineup because of a concussion. He says ""No matter if it's from the blindside or straight on, if someone targets the head, then yeah, I think it should be banned," Crosby said in an interview posted on the Penguins website.

"If a guy has enough time to line someone up, then he's got enough time to decide whether he can hit him in the head or not. You're not going to lose anything from the game if you take that away."

You can't ban head shots completely and penalize guys every time there is on. It won't be fair on defencemen who are trying to check forwards reaching for a pass. When a forward sticks his neck out, is a defenceman just to leave him alone. It won't happen. The only way head shots are going to be eliminated from the game is when the players deem it so. As has been said so many times, players don't care. They will keep playing with the rock em sock em mentality that they have now.

NHL GM's are meeting right now and while there will be plenty of rhetoric, they won't come out with anything concrete. Gary Bettman has provided a 5 stage list of what happens to a player that is concussed, but that list doesn't say anything about how to get rid of head shots completely. This debate won't go away anytime soon.

You Won't See This On Global or CTV

At least I don't think you will. Enjoy the following three minutes...

TSN Brass Are Smiling

Toronto, ON (March 14, 2011) – While Team Manitoba swept away Team Ontario during last night’s Final of the 2011 TIM HORTONS BRIER, TSN was sweeping up fans all week long with its coverage of the tournament.

Preliminary overnight data from BBM Canada confirms that overall audiences for the 2011 TIM HORTONS BRIER averaged 682,000 viewers on TSN – the most ever in tournament history and 13% higher than last year. In total, more than 7.8 million unique viewers tuned in at some point to TSN’s 62 hours of live BRIER coverage from London, ON this year.

BBM Canada also confirms that the following audiences were achieved for TSN’s coverage of the 2011 TIM HORTONS BRIER:

• An average audience of 1.3 million viewers watched Manitoba’s Jeff Stoughton defeat Ontario’s Glenn Howard to win his third career BRIER championship, making this year’s championship final the second most-watched broadcast ever in tournament history.

• The BRIER match-ups on Saturday delivered record audiences for TSN, as both games set new benchmarks for the Page Playoff and Semifinal draws: the 3-4 Page Playoff game featuring Team Alberta vs. Team Ontario attracted an average audience of 990,000 viewers, while the Semifinal draw with Team Ontario vs. Team Newfoundland and Labrador was watched by an average audience of 1,004,000 viewers.

• In a battle of Olympic gold medal-winning skips, Sunday’s first-ever Bronze Medal game at the BRIER featuring Alberta’s Kevin Martin versus Newfoundland and Labrador’s Brad Gushue attracted an average audience of 438,000 viewers on TSN2, making it the most-watched curling broadcast ever on the digital network and the third-highest audience in TSN2 history.

• Friday’s 1-2 Page Playoff game featuring Team Newfoundland and Labrador versus Team Manitoba delivered an average audience of 855,000 viewers.

“The TIM HORTONS BRIER is consistently one of the most popular and entertaining sporting events on the TSN calendar. Curling fans always look forward to the tournament to see championship curling at its finest and this year’s BRIER certainly did not disappoint with its phenomenal end-to-end action,” said Stewart Johnston, President, TSN. “TSN is extremely proud of its long-standing partnership with the Canadian Curling Association. It is a privilege to be the official broadcaster of Season of Champions curling and deliver the BRIER to its passionate fans across the country.”

“Viewership for the CCA’s Season of Champions properties continues to increase and our fan base is certainly growing across the country. The TIM HORTONS BRIER is a flagship event within the Season of Champions and the Canadian Curling Association is so pleased to have TSN as our exclusive broadcast partner for the long-term,” said Greg Stremlaw, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Curling Association. “TSN continues to do a wonderful job of helping expose curling to all demographics and our Association is so appreciative of the significant publicity that the BRIER received both leading up to and during this event. This clearly created a win-win scenario for all involved.”

TSN’s exclusive curling coverage continues in 2011 with the CAPITAL ONE WORLD WOMEN’S CURLING CHAMPIONSHIP from March 19 to 27 in Esbjerg, Denmark, and the FORD WORLD MEN’S CURLING CHAMPIONSHIP from April 2 to 10 in Regina, SK.