Friday, June 28, 2019
This and That
--Welcome to Friday and the usual thoughts running through my muddled mind. As always, they come in no particular order
--The Canada Day long weekend is here and believe it or not, we are halfway through 2019. Is it just me or have the first six months of this year just flown by!
--After having to watch the green-and-white battle it out on the road the past two weeks, we can end the Canada Day long weekend by watching Canada's team on home soil for the first time this year as they will meet the Argos in a 5 o'clock start. After seeing Toronto get blasted out of the water by Hamilton last week, one would think the home opener should be Craig Dickenson's first CFL win, but we all know things change from week-to-week. That being said, I will still take the /=S=/ to win and win big. They are favoured by 11 and a half and I would take them to get the "W" and cover. This of course translates to a late Lauther FG for the win.
Even if the offence tails off from what happened in Ottawa, I am not expecting the defence to have another game like what they had so go with the Riders. In talking with many this week, no one is pushing the panic button after an 0-2 start, but there is frustration as many think the squad should be 1-1 which I would agree with. If they are 0-3 come Monday night, you don't have to push the button, but you may want to take it out of the drawer and have it handy.
--I don't think we have to worry about it here, but it would seem to me as if early on in the season, there are some attendance woes. Toronto did have a solid crowd for its home opener, but it seems as if numbers are down and for a league that is gate-driven, there have to be some concerns early on.
--While there has been no announcement, one can't help but notice the Regina Pats have a home game on the day after the NHL's Heritage Classic. The game would be against Calgary. You can't tell me that talk hasn't been had about having that game played at Mosaic. Is Calgary the team you want though? Nothing against the Hitmen, but Moose Jaw, Saskatoon or Prince Albert would be a much better sell.
--The Raptors run to the NBA title is still being celebrated by many and for good reason. While the celebration continues, some are now saying (including Raps president Masai Ujiri) that basketball could overtake hockey in this country in the next couple of decades. WHOA WHOA WHOA!! The Raptors run to a title was tremendous and interest in the sport has piqued. That can't be disputed. However, what would the momentum be had Toronto gotten beat before the Finals. Are the millions and millions that tuned in during the playoff run going to be fully invested when the new season starts. I love the game, but it isn't taking over from hockey anytime soon. In fact, I would say more will take up soccer than basketball over that time-frame in this country. It's a great debate to have, but its one that won't be answered for quite a few years.
--Outside of Connor McDavid, is there any player in the NHL you would give up a whole bunch of first-round picks for? All the talk about guys like Mitch Marner, Brayden Point and Patrik Laine changing addresses after signing an offer sheet is just talk to me. I just don't think the return is what teams want unless Marner or whoever can take you to the Stanley Cup. That being said, after the Leafs nabbed John Tavares in free agency last year, wouldn't it be just like Lou Lamirello to stick it to Toronto and sign Marner.
--Congrats to Hayley Wickenheiser for getting named to the Hockey Hall of Fame. While Wickenheiser's selection is well-deserved, I question how guys like Sergei Zubov, Guy Carbonneau and Vaclav Nedomansky get in while Jeremy Roenick, Paul Henderson and Theoren Fleury still wait for the call. I would have the latter three in ahead of the other three, but I'm not part of that selection committee.
--Tyler Bozak and Jaden Schwartz are bringing the Stanley Cup to the Saskatchewan Legislature a week from Saturday. That should be a great afternoon. The Riders meet the Stampeders that night at Mosaic. I think we know who might be making the call to 'Bring Em Out" as Hockey's Holy Grail will likely be paying a visit to Riderville
--Its a joke that the Canucks lose cap money due to the Roberto Luongo retirement. If you subscribe to "The Athletic", read the excellent story on the situation by Ryan Blech. It is somewhat mind-boggling.
--It was great being at the Wascana for the Jon Ryan Gear Up Charity Golf Event. J-R has never forgotten about the community even though he was gone for a long time. While there are many good people in the sporting fabric of this city, you won't find many better than J-R. It shows!
--The rain we had means mosquitoes are coming. That's a shame because some of the nights we have had in Regina over the past couple of weeks have been absolutely perfect. If we could have that from May-September, not many would be complaining.
--The Regina Red Sox have gone into Alberta for a while, but maybe its time we start paying attention to this team. At 16-3, they are one of the best teams in the WCBL. There will be many chances to see the team at Currie Field in July so go check them out if a baseball fan. If we keep having some of these nights that we have had, weather won't be an issue.
--That's all I got. Have a great weekend!!