Welcome to Saturday! It's one day late due to some problems, but here are the weekly collection of thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always, they come in no particular order!
--The Riders are getting ready for the 2016 season, and on Tuesday let Rider Nation know what is planned for the final year at Mosaic Stadium. All of the events are great and the four championship teams will be recognized as the year goes along. There is only one game that matters though. That is the last regular season home game of the year. It could be the last one period. It sparked a debate between co-worker and fellow schmuck Phil Andrews and myself. I will not be in attendance at the last regular season game of the year as I will be on the road with the U of R Rams. (Damn you Canada West football schedule maker!!!) That October contest against B-C will be full of emotion as Rider Nation enters and then will take a damn long time to leave Mosaic Stadium. Phil says "If there is a playoff game, who cares about that nostalgia because there will be one more game!"
That isn't the point. The last regular season game at Mosaic will be something else from the time fans make that walk to the stadium till the time the last person leaves. Yes, a playoff game would be nice, but those buying tickets for the game are there for a reason and that is to say good-bye to a place that has meant so much to them over the years. It is a place where many memories good and bad have been made. A playoff game would mean one final memory, but would it be the same? I don't think so.
A playoff game brings its own emotions. Yes, win or lose that game the finality of everything hits, but I am of the belief that October 29th is the night we say goodbye. A playoff game is just icing on the cake. Where do you sit on this one?
--While I don't know where you sit on that one, I am guessing I know how you feel about Josiah St. John demanding a trade. The number one pick overall looks like he is trying to pull one over on the Riders and that just isn't going to happen in this neck of the woods. Assistant GM John Murphy told "Sportscage" on Wednesday they made two very good offers, but both were rejected. I am not sure what his agent is thinking, but he is stunting the growth of his client and giving him a very bad reputation and he hasn't even put on the hat yet. I get the feeling he isn't going to get his wish for a trade, and I also get the feeling he won't be putting on a helmet for quite a while. Not the start to the pro career he envisioned I am guessing.
--Two thumbs up to the BC Lions for starting a promotion that sees kids 12 and under get in for 5 bucks. Get them in young, get them interested and keep them invested. That's a solid move for a franchise who needs to get the younger demographic going to games. Are you listening Toronto?
--The Stanley Cup Final, otherwise known as the series featuring logos of two animals trapped in a triangle, is heading to San Jose with the series in Pittsburgh's favour at 2-0. Obviously, Game 3 is a must win for the Western Conference champs. In all honesty, I am having a tough time watching this series as the calendar hits June. I have always said hockey should be over by or on the May long weekend.
--Canada is a hockey country and the US isn't. That was evident again on Monday. Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final drew 1.7 million viewers in Canada while Game 7 of the Oklahoma City-Golden State NBA west final drew a paltry 660-thousand. Compare that to south of the border where TNT had an all-time record for viewership with 16 million people taking in the basketball game with the hockey game which was on NBC got a 2.8 rating which is down from the 2015 final where Game 1 on NBC had a 4.2 rating. It's no surprise that with Bay Area teams playing that many in northern California were glued to the Warriors and not the Sharks.
--What did Matthew Tkachuk's Memorial Cup mean for his draft stock? There is no way he becomes a Leaf or Jet as Auston Matthews and Patrick Laine are going 1-2, but has the London Knights forward moved his way past Jesse Pulijarvi to get the number 3 spot. At the end of the day, that will be up to the Columbus Blue Jackets to decide, but if you are the Oilers, Canucks and Flames who pick 4, 5, 6, it could throw a monkeywrench into what you are planning on doing.
--Is Saturday the biggest night in Saskatoon's history when it comes to sports? The Saskatchewan Rush will look to win the franchise's 2nd National Lacrosse League title and Saskatoon's first pro championship as they take on Buffalo in Game 2 of the championship. While Sask-Tel Centre has been buzzing throughout the season, I am guessing there will be an atmosphere inside the building second to none. The Rush have done a tremendous job in their first year in Saskatoon, and the city as well as the province has responded with tremendous support.
--I hope this kid's dad took him for ice cream after!!! LOVE IT!!!
--That's all I got. Sorry for the delay, but that is what happens when your power goes out about midway through typing everything. Have a great weekend!