Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hypocrisy--Thy Name is The NHL

The Detroit Red Wings have taken a 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup final after another 3-1 win over the Penguins. This erases any theories about back-to-back games helping out the Penguins and should have people seeing that within the next week to ten days that Nick Lidstrom will have a meeting with Gary Bettman at centre ice to once again get the Cup.

While the Wings were perhaps a little fortunate to win this one as Pittsburgh had no puck luck, they once again capitalized on the opportunities they were given and they showed why they are the best team in the NHL. Its not the marquee Wings that are beating the Penguins....its the plumbers and the grinders. Fillipula, Helm, Cleary, Stuart, Kronwall and the Stanley Cup sniper--Justin Abdelkaber are the ones getting the job done. They are wearing Pittsburgh out and they are frustrating them immensely. So much so that Evgeni Malkin had to drop the mitts with Henrik Zetterberg at the end of the game. Malkin was given an instigator penalty which should mean a one game suspension.In fact, here's the rule stating such....

Rule 47.22: A player or goalkeeper who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation in the final five minutes of regulation time or at any time in overtime shall be suspended for one game, pending a review of the incident. The Director of Hockey Operations will review every such incident and may rescind the suspension based on a number of criteria. The criteria for the review shall include, but not limited to, the score, previous incidents, etc.

Oh wait, Malkin is a marquee player so the NHL will rescind that thus allowing Malkin to play. If Malkin was oh---Pascal Dupuis or Chris Kunitz or Rob Scuderi, I am guessing he would be sitting. I don't care who it is, if the guy has done something that results in a suspension then suspend him. Whatever happens from here on out can't have additional discipline tacked on now. Nice job Colin Campbell.


What is going on in Dallas???? It sounds like the naming of Joe Nieuwendyk as GM of the Stars caught everyone off guard. Its not as if the Stars ship is in that bad a shape is it. They missed the playoffs this year, but I think that had more to do with the Sean Avery situation. This team got their act together once Avery was gone, but by then it was too late. I expect Dallas to be a playoff team again next year. They certainly have the guys to do it in Turco, Richards, Morrow, Eriksson and Ribeiro. Don't forget about Modano either.


Former Warriors GM Chad Lang is inviting people into his home later today to talk about his weekend firing by the hockey club. I'm guessing it might be an interesting few minutes as Lang tells his story. I have heard a lot of horror stories about the Warriors board and one has to wonder if Chad is the latest to get caught up in a bad move. We will see. In an interesting move, the Warriors have called a news conference for the same time to introduce former Kelowna coach Jeff Truitt as their director of hockey operations. Why would the team send out a release acknowledging the hiring before the press conference. The Pats didn't do that with Curtis Hunt last week. It makes one go ??????. It also makes one wonder why the Warriors are choosing this time knowing its the same time as Chad's presser. Are the Warriors hoping no one will show up at Chad's. Do they actually think Chad won't wait for everyone to show up after going to the Truitt newser.
Whoever is in charge of publicity at the University of South Carolina might be wanting to clean out his desk today. Check out this ad that was put in Saturday papers throughout the state.....

Embracing mediocrity big-time in South Carolina ladies and gents. I don't know if something like this is that worthy of a full page ad is it.
I don't know if Charles Barkley was drunk Saturday night, but one has to wonder what the hell he was up to as TNT signed off on its NBA coverage for this year. Check out Charles.....

Seriously, what the hell are you doing and what are you thinking Charles??!!!Nice hat too!!!
Remember Rider fans. Single game tickets go on sale today. There aren't many to be had so buy them now. If you wait, you just might be out of luck.
Have a good Monday! OK...try to!

Getting Ready For 09 Grey Cup In Cowtown

Calgary primed to party ; Grey Cup festivities planned
The Calgary Sun
Sat 30 May 2009

Calgary, get ready to party.
When the Grey Cup wave hits this city, it's going to be a flood of festivities, including a revival of the official kick-off parade not seen in the CFL four years.
The 2009 Grey Cup Festival, Nov. 26-29, will feature a block party on Stephen Avenue, family friendly event at Olympic Plaza, Molson Canadian Beer Garden at the Calgary Telus Convention Centre as well as a gala and concert at the Pengrowth Saddledome.
But a highlight will be the return of the parade, which hasn't taken place in the CFL since 2005 in Vancouver, said festival president Grey Albrecht.
"We will be reviving that tradition in 2009 -- it's a great community outreach event and everybody loves a parade," he said.
Stampeders president Scott Ackles said the parade is an important part of the Grey Cup experience.
"It's a big piece of what makes the Grey Cup festival so special in terms of engaging the community here, as well as engaging the fans coming here from abroad," he said.
Ackles said the Stampeders are searching for this year's parade marshal.
In 2005, Hollywood hottie Pamela Anderson, discovered in B.C. Place, led the parade for the Grey Cup in Vancouver.
"It would have to make sense like that scenario did -- we're out there looking and we have some ideas," Ackles said.
"A lot of the things we're gearing for and trying to accomplish with this festival will be over the top.
"A star of that nature would be over the top -- and at this time we're trying to figure out who that might be."
The committee aims to host the biggest and best Grey Cup party the country has ever seen, said Albrecht.
"We're looking forward to hosting Canadians, if they are football fans or not," he said.
A limited number of Grey Cup tickets go on sale today at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster, by visiting, at McMahon Stadium, or calling 403-777-0633.
Mayor Dave Bronconnier said the 2009 Grey Cup celebrations will be an exciting time to be in this country and this city.
"Calgary really has been known nationally as a place to have a party," he said.
"We intend to have a great street party on Stephen Avenue mall where everyone can come down and participate and get behind Canada's game and have it as Calgary's biggest street party."

Saturday, May 30, 2009

So What Did I Miss??

I am a little red after sitting under the Moosomin sun watching my daughter's softball team stumble and bumble their way through three losses at a tournament. It would have been nice had the team gotten a break here or there from the guys in blue, and it would have been nice if they knew how to field a bunt properly as it left this blogger a little frustrated, but I digress.

It was a busy Saturday and of course front and center was Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final. You know I think there are many hockey fans out there who could start rattling off the roster of the Detroit Red Wings, but I don't think there are many who knew who the h-e double hockeysticks Justin Abdelkader was going into the opener. I certainly didn't know who he was, but it was Abdelkader who helped Detroit get the 3-1 win as he scored the 3rd goal. Its his first career playoff goal and while its not an overtime winner or anything, his name now goes down on that long list of players who have scored in the Stanley Cup final---something we all dreamed of doing as kids.
Marc-Andre Fleury had a couple of bad bounces that resulted in goals, but at this time of year every play is magnified and the bottom line was Chris Osgood made the stops and Fleury didn't. That is why I think Detroit gets the cup again. We will see what Game 2 brings tonight.
A shocker in Moose Jaw. The Warriors decided to give GM Chad Lang the pink slip. Lang became GM of the team in 2004 season after joining the organization the year before. In that time, the Warriors had some ups and downs, but the biggest up was getting to the WHL final before losing to Vancouver in four straight. This is what Darin Chow told Matt Gourlie of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald

“Essentially the board has decided that it wants to go in a different direction,” said Warriors president/governor Darin Chow. “We’ve decided that the organization would benefit by having an individual dedicated as director of hockey operations and an individual who is a dedicated director of business operations as opposed to trying to expect one person to try to do all things. “Like any organization sometimes change is good. It’s an opportunity sometimes to go in a different direction.”

One has to think it won't take Chad long to find another WHL job. Maybe he re-surfaces in Regina as he has had a good relationship with Brent Parker. Word around the campfire is former Kelowna bench boss Jeff Truitt will be Lang's replacement with an official announcement coming very soon.
The NBA final is set and its not the dream matchup the association wanted. Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers will not play Lebron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers. Opposing the Lakers will be the Orlando Magic led by Dwight Howard. The Magic completing a 5 game upset of Cleveland with a 103-90 win. The finals will begin Thursday night in Los Angeles. Did I mention that both the NBA final and the Stanley Cup final will go head to head twice. Why would the NBA do this???? Are they being that ignorant thinking the NHL is not a competitor to them?? Are they that smug!!! Its something that has to the NHL's little gnome--aka Gary Bettman--frowning. Then again, Game 1 of the Cup finals went up against the Orlando-Cleveland game last night. I wonder what Joe American Sports Fan had on his TV. Seriously, two leagues having their championship series being played on the same night...STOOOOOO-PIDDDDDDD!!!!!
The Western Major Baseball League season is underway. This isn't the majors folks, but its the best we are going to see in Saskatchewan so go out and enjoy it. With teams in Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Yorkton, Swift Current and Weyburn, it gets some good exposure so go check it out if you get a chance. The Red Sox open up their season this afternoon against Saskatoon at Currie Field. There is nothing like sitting on the ballpark on a nice summer afternoon or evening eating some seeds and drinking some suds. You'll find me there a few times this fact, I may be there later today.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Goodbye Jay. I Won't Miss You/ Rider TC Times

When the last Tonight Show with Johnny Carson aired, it was must-watch TV. An icon like Carson was saying goodbye. I remember watching the last week of Johnny's shows and then watching the last show. It was TV history. I guess TV history will be made tonight when Jay Leno signs off as host of the Tonight Show for the last time, but I won't be watching.
I've never been a Leno fan. I'm more of a Letterman guy. I appreciate Dave's humour more, and I have said to myself if I ever go to New York City that I must go see one of his shows. I have never said if I were to go to L-A that I would want to see one of Leno's shows.
At one time I used to watch Letterman religiously to see things like viewer mail, stupid pet tricks or what some of his friends were up to. However, I admit over the past few years I have watched less and less. Part of it is because he comes on from 930-1030 here and there are other things to either watch or be doing at that time and by the time he comes on the Seattle stations, I am deep into the land of Z's. I will though go online quite a bit to catch his top 10 lists.
So while Leno drifts away---albeit temporarily as he will return in an earlier time slot, it bothers me none. I'm not the biggest Conan O'Brien fan, but I may tune in from time to time. I certainly haven't and won't be watching Jimmy Fallon though. He just irritates me.
As for Letterman, here's hoping he continues doing what he's been doing for many more years and know that on the night he calls it quits that I will be watching because that will be a moment in TV history.

This blogger is unplugging for 24 hours. I am off to Moosomin to watch my daughter play ball Saturday so there will be no Friday evening lookback, but there will be a full recap of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals on Sunday. I'm not travelling in my own car to Moosomin meaning I will be without the good old XM Radio. It means I will be frantically pushing the buttons on the radio trying to find the game. I think I'll be out of luck. I guess that's why you have a PVR.

As I leave you, I do so with the 41 man roster that Hockey Canada has given out for the summer junior camp that will happen in Saskatoon in August. Take a look.....

Have a great weekend!!! Rider fans, its your last weekend without football. Yes, rookie camp begins next week and main camp starts one week from Sunday. In fact, here's the sked for the first week.....
WEDNESDAY JUNE 3rd 2:15 pm Rookie practice
THURSDAY JUNE 4th 9:30 am Rookie practice
FRIDAY JUNE 5th 9:30 am Rookie practice
SUNDAY JUNE 7th 8:15 am 1st practice
10:45 am 2nd practice
MONDAY JUNE 8th 8:15 am 1st practice
10:45 am 2nd practice
TUESDAY JUNE 9th 8:15 am 1st practice
10:45 am 2nd practice

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Saskatchewan's Top Golf Holes

We all know Saskatchewan has many great courses and many challenging holes. The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix is looking for your input as to what holes in the province are the nastiest ones and what ones are the prettiest ones. Here's the story....

I don't even know where you start when you start talking about what holes in Saskatchewan are the toughest and what ones are the prettiest. There are so many great courses out there and ninety percent of them have at least one very challenging hole. Whether it be a short par 3 or a long par 5, each course has a signature hole. I will be very interested to see what the final results are. Feel free to list your choice in the comments section.
I wonder if Marian Hossa knew his comments would come back to bite him when he signed with the Detroit Red Wings as a free agent. After leaving the Penguins to sign with the Wings, Hossa stated "I felt like I would have a better chance to win the Cup with Detroit." We will see if he is right. The Penguins are certainly using that statement as they get ready for the series which as you know starts Saturday night. As good as what Pittsburgh has been in these playoffs, I still can't see them beating Detroit. I just think from top to bottom Detroit is too good. I think Osgood can outperform Fleury and I think Lidstrom and Kronwall along with the muckers and grinders like Maltby and Helm can slow down Crosby and Malkin. Yes, Pittsburgh has revenge on their mind, but Detroit is thinking dynasty. Its never easy to repeat and if Detroit does, it will be a major accomplishment. An accomplishment that should secure Mike Babcock as the coach of Team Canada at the Vancouver Olympics.
By the way, this is the first time since 1984 that the same two teams have played in the Cup final. That year was the Oilers beating the Islanders after New York had beaten the young Oilers the year before. Many believe the same scenario will play itself out this year with the Penguins having learned their lesson last year.
Its starting to look more and more as if Regina will get a new stadium of some kind. Premier Brad Wall saying Thursday leaving Mosaic Stadium in its existing state isn't an attractive option. The full story comes from The Leader-Post....
Lebron James is by far and away the best player in the NBA, and he might be the best player in all of sports at this moment. The Cleveland Cavalier forward had one of his best ever performances last night as his team stayed alive in the playoffs as they beat Orlando to force a Game 6. James had 37 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists in a 10 point win over the Magic. In the 4th quarter alone, he had something to do with the first 29 points the team scored. If Orlando does win this series, you can't blame James.
That's all for now. Are we really less than a week from Rider rookie camp???

Henrik Is Ready For The Finals

Is this really Henrik Zetterberg. It matters not. Just watch....

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pens-Wings Pt 2

(picture courtesy Detroit News)

Darren Helm's overtime marker has sent the Detroit Red Wings back to the Stanley Cup final. The Wings beating Chicago 2-1 to win the Western Conference in five games. They will play the team they beat to win the coveted mug last year--the Pittsburgh Penguins beginning Saturday night at the Joe Louis Arena. In fact, here is the entire sked......

Saturday May 30 at Detroit 6pm Saskatchewan time
Sunday May 31 at Detroit TBA
Tuesday June 2 at Pittsburgh 6 pm
Thursday June 4 at Pittsburgh 6 pm
*Saturday June 6 at Detroit 6 pm
*Tuesday June 9 at Pittsburgh 6 pm
*Friday June 12 at Detroit 6 pm

A Game 7 on a Friday night. NICE!! (dripping with sarcasm)
Great news for Western Hockey League fans. The league and SHAW Communications are extending their agreement through the 2013-2014 season. At least 30 games plus playoffs will be shown across Western Canada. The agreement between the two paid off big-time this past season as over three million people took in the 56 games that were shown. I don't like the fact that not all teams come to Regina to play so at least we can see them and the league's top players through this initiative.
I didn't think open wheel auto racing was still relevant on the sports calendar of many---especially in Canada. I guess I was wrong if this past weekend was any indication. Word today that Sunday's Indianapolis 500 was witnessed by 252-thousand people in Canada. The Memorial Cup final between Windsor and Kelowna was watched by only 234-thousand. I thought the junior hockey final would be a far more attractive watch for Canadians than the run around the Brickyard. I am wrong. Somewhere, 650 CKOM's voice---the one and only David Kirton smiles and says "I told you so Blair!!" David's a huge NASCAR fan as is CKRM's Rider guy--Joe Hadesbeck. They both know I have no time for the sport they worship. I don't know if they feel the same way about open wheel racing but they have some fodder against me now. DAMN!!
I said I was going to watch the Champions League final. I did--sort of. I was clicking channels between that, the Jays game and the Cubs game along with interviewing Riders coach Ken Miller for a story you will soon see on It was an entertaining game with Barcelona beating Manchester United 2-1, but again, if its not an international game of meaning like a World Cup or a European Championship, I just can't watch it the same way. I don't know why!!! Sorry to the Portuguese Sensation for letting you down.
I should have watched more soccer and less baseball---at least as far as the Jays were concerned. Holy crap did they blow one!!! The bullpen, or should I say Jesse Carlson let one get away. The man with the Jason Maas like ears allowed five runs in a third of an inning as Baltimore erased an 8-3 deficit to tie the game--they probably would have won it had it not been for Alex Rios throwing out Adam Jones at the plate with the potential game winning run. After Aaron Hill hit a two run shot to give Toronto the lead in the 11th, Brian Wolfe and B-J Ryan combined to soil the linen by allowing four runs in the bottom of the inning as Baltimore wins 12-10 making it nine straight losses by Toronto. So much for that great start.
As mentioned, I had a great conversation with Riders coach Ken Miller on Wednesday. You will see a story soon on about his thoughts going into the 2009 season. Lets put it this way. Miller is extremely confident. He says he has told his assistant coaches that they will have the individuals in their locker room that can become a team and do what is necessary to win the Grey Cup. He is also very confident that the defence will be fine despite losing five starters and that Darian Durant can succeed as the starting QB and become an established CFL starter. I tend to agree with Kenny on those statements.
I have had people ask me how they see the West shaking out this year. You would have to say Calgary still has the best team on paper and should be the team that finishes first. You know the Stamps would love nothing more than to play in their own stadium on Grey Cup Sunday and repeat at home but will their cockiness hurt them---especially when they suffer their first slide of the season. Edmonton will be better while BC won't be as strong. That leaves a Rider team that won 12 games with a patchwork lineup last year. If they stay healthy and if that defence can flourish under Gary Etcheverry, I see no reason why they can't be hosting a playoff game this year. Time will tell though and we all know there will be many potholes in the road to navigate over before all is said and done.
I thought the Denver Nuggets were in control of Game 5 of the NBA West final with the Lakers as the two teams were tied going into the 4th quarter with Denver looking like the better team---until the final 12 minutes. The Lakers win meaning they can wrap the series up in Denver on Friday. Here's hoping it goes seven. I have actually made a point to watch a lot of this matchup because it has been such a good series.
An Olympic oracle says Canada will do very well as the host nation of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Luciano Barra says Canadian athletes will win 29 medals in Vancouver---six of those medals being gold. The 29 medals will be the most of any country according to Barra whose count is based on how country's perform at the various world championships. The former director general of the Italian Olympic Committee tracks the world results and adjusts them throughout the winter.
Archie Andrews has finally made up his mind. The world's oldest teenager--and perhaps the dumbest one too--seeing he is still attending Riversdale High along with Reggie, Jughead and the rest of the gang has finally decided. Is he going for the girl next door Betty Cooper or the rich bitch Veronica Lodge. Its something he has debated for years and after all this time, he has chosen................Veronica. Yes, Issue # 600 will feature the freckle-faced high-school klutz on bended knee with a ring in his hand. Veronica screams out "Yes!" while Betty stands in the background wiping away a tear. Its about damn time Archie!! Will Issue #601 be Archie's Bachelor Party!!!!
If I was on an airplane and that stuffy, pompous piece of crap that is hawking Avion for the Royal Bank sat down beside me, I think I would ask when the next flight is. I'm not sure, but I think that guy is Budd Light's dad!!!!

Never say I'm not one to help you with informational videos.

One final question as you start your day or continue it depending on when you read this. Is Pamela Anderson still hot?????
Stay thirsty my friends and thanks for checking in!!!

One More Body For Rider Camp

Yet another copy and paste from the /=S=/

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today they have signed import receiver and returner Jeremy Gilchrist to a contract. Financial details were not released.

Gilchrist (5’10 – 174 lbs) spent two seasons at Hampton University after transferring from Virginia Tech where he played as a true freshman. He recorded 40 catches for 544 yards and two touchdowns in his senior season and also averaged 15.6 yards on 28 punt returns with three more touchdowns. The 23-year old had 69 catches for 1,043 yards and seven touchdowns to go along with a 19 yard average on 20 punt returns and three more scores as a junior. He was a first-team all-conference in 2007 and a second-team All-MEAC in 2008.

"Last year we all agreed we put too much on Weston's (Dressler) shoulders,” stated Riders Director of Personnel Joe Womack. “We felt putting the return game in someone else's hands would allow Weston to have more of an impact on offense. So, this winter we made a decision to alter our ratio, by adding a full time returner, which not ONLY helps Weston, but upgrades our special teams, too. Signing a couple of dangerous return men has been a priority for us, and we feel like we've achieved that goal. Jeremy certainly will bring a very high level of competition to training camp."

Stories That Bother Me

There are two stories happening in the news right now that really, really bother me. Maybe I should say REALLY REALLY bother me. The first is a story that fell into the lap of my former employers---a story that they are doing a helluva job on.
Its the story of Megan Howse. Megan is a 25 year old woman who lives in north central Regina. On the weekend, she was sleeping in her home when she started to hear her dogs bark. It was because someone was breaking into her home. Megan screamed, but it didn't deter the thieves who tried to enter her bedroom. Only what she describes as a "rush of adrenalin" is what kept these low-life dirtbags from entering her room and doing god knows what.
Megan is now afraid to live in her home and can you really blame her? What makes this matter worse is the person who was arrested at the scene was not charged with a home invasion. Can someone with a background on justice tell me how that can be??? The person charged has also been set free until another court appearance next week. ?????? How can a judge do this! For all we know, this guy has terrorized someone else along with his buddies who remain at large. Someone really needs to explain why this guy isn't a gold card member at the Crowbar Hotel for a while. Mayor Fiacco telling Sarah Mills today that he has a lot of questions on this matter---questions that I think every Reginan and every Canadian should have.
I wonder what would have happened if Megan had a weapon with her---like a large butcher knife or a shotgun--and she stabbed this clown or shot him. Would Megan be facing a murder charge. Sadly, the answer is probably yes. If this doesn't prove our justice system is a joke then maybe this does.

From Canada. com

The public may never learn whether a man who decapitated a fellow passenger on a Greyhound bus en route to Winnipeg last summer is hospitalized or released.
Manitoba's criminal code review board meets Monday to decide whether Vince Li, who was found not criminally responsible for killing Tim McLean last July, should now be institutionalized or given a conditional or absolute discharge.
"Our current practice has been to treat the decisions as being private and only available to the parties involved and to the treatment team," said John Stefaniuk, the chairman of the review board.
"However, we are aware that information in other jurisdictions is readily made available, particularly in Ontario and British Columbia."

Released?? Released!!!!! Are you f***in kidding me??!!! If this guy is given a conditional or an absolute discharge, it will be one of the biggest abominations of all time. A guy --whacked out or not--can just pull out a knife, behead some individual that he only just met, proceed to cannibalize this individual and be walking on the street a while later. I don't think anyone on that bus would have minded seeing an RCMP officer throw some lead into Mr. Li on that nightmarish night. I know it wouldn't have bothered me. Mr. Li shouldn't be allowed near anyone for the rest of his life, much less be set free to walk the streets again.

There are things in this world that I just shake my head at. I can't believe some of the idiocy that takes place on a daily basis and this is two more examples of it.

I'll get back to blogging on some sports matters now.

Matt Dominguez Update

Riders head coach Ken Miller released a statement on the Matt Dominguez situation this morning. Here it is....

Over the past several weeks, we have had numerous questions regarding Matt Dominguez and the upcoming season. Making a decision in this matter has been a very complex process, as we have attempted to strike a balance between our profound respect for Matt and our health related concerns, given his unfortunate history of knee injuries. Matt is far more than just a football player in the eyes of this organization. He is a highly respected person who, along with his family, has invested significantly in our community, living here year round. He is, and always will be, beloved by the Rider Nation." "Regarding his most recent knee surgery, to Matt's full credit, he has worked very hard this off season, making substantial progress. And, our medical staff has done an outstanding job of keeping us up to date relative to his improvement. At this time, however, we feel the prudent decision is to enter training camp with the strong group of young talent we have assembled, and make any further decisions, if needed, after evaluating our new group very carefully." "In making this decision, we are not closing the door completely on Matt's career with the Roughriders; but, if he should choose to pursue an opportunity elsewhere, Matt will certainly do so with our gratitude and very best wishes."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Back To The Finals

I don't think a lot of people thought we would see a rematch in this year's Stanley Cup final. With so many contenders out there, another finals between the Wings and Penguins seemed very remote on the radars of many. However, it would appear as if it will be those two teams fighting it out for hockey's holy grail. We know the Penguins will be there after a 4-1 win over Carolina to give them the Eastern Conference title for the 2nd straight season. Detroit will try to join them tonight. If Chicago were to come back and win the series, would this be the first Stanley Cup featuring two teams that got rid of their coaches during the season? Joel Quenneville took over for Denis Savard at the start of the year and Dan Bylsma took the Penguins job after relieving Michel Therrien late in the season. By the way, it was interesting and refreshing to see Sidney Crosby actually accept the Prince of Wales Trophy. In the past, teams have steered clear of the conference champion trophies avoiding it like the plague because its not the trophy they want to get their picture taken with. Winning the conference is still special and it was nice to see the Penguins have a small celebration and have some pics taken.
Despite the fact they fell in four straight to Pittsburgh, one would have to think it won't take the Hurricanes long to take the interim tag off of coach Paul Maurice. If they don't, one would have to think Maurice will have another NHL job waiting for him somewhere.
There doesn't seem to be any negative chatter about the hiring of Pat Quinn and Tom Renney in Edmonton. I certainly like the move. One of the comments posted on the Quinn hiring suggests this could mean Jordan Eberle will not be back in a Pats uniform because Quinn knows what type of player Eberle is after coaching him at the World Juniors. I think Pat has been around the block enough to realize another year of junior and perhaps a 2nd straight world junior gold would be very beneficial for Ebs. He could stick in Edmonton, but I like his chances of being in a Pats sweater when the 2009 season begins. OK, he could miss the first couple of games while at Oiler camp, but he will be here.
Rod Pedersen has a list of potential Pats assistants on his blog. One name that caught my eye was that of former Pat Gerad Adams. He would be a solid addition to this club. If his coaching style resembles his playing days, there won't be a lot of messing around and the job will get done or else. What this team needs is guys like Adams when he wore the sweater. Perhaps his style can rub off on some guys who will give it just a little more than they did last year. Then again, some of those guys probably aren't going to be back.
Interesting comments from Flames GM Darryl Sutter. He says he will look for a replacement for Mike Keenan, but the best guy to coach the team is himself. Flames Nation loves Sutter because he got his team to the finals and they haven't been close to getting back under guys like Jim Playfair and Keenan. They will lap it up if Sutter comes back. Then again, don't be surprised if brother Brent moves from New Jersey to Calgary because of his desire to be closer to home. When all is said and done, I don't think Darryl is behind the Flames bench. I don't think Brent will be either, but you never know. I didn't realize when Keenan was given the boot that former Pats coach Rich Preston was also let go. Rich has a solid hockey mind and is one of the best guys you will ever meet. He will not be unemployed as long as I have. It won't even be close.
Sad news from the NHL. Peter Zezel died in Toronto at the age of 44 from a rare blood disease red blood cells are destroyed faster than the body can replace them. He played with seven teams over a 15 year career including Philly, St. Louis and Toronto.
It was great to get the release from Rider communications man extraordinaire Ryan Whippler stating the itinerary for Rider rookie camp and then training camp. Yes, you can see the finish line now Rider fans. The off-season is just about over and soon you can concentrate with what is going on on the field.
We love our hockey in Canada, but in Europe they love their soccer and the biggest game of the year occurs today. Barcelona meets Manchester United in the Champions League final. I like international soccer---especially the World Cup and the European Championship, but I can't get into club soccer. That being said, these two teams have star-studded lineups, so I may have to take in some of this contest--I mean match. I love soccer play-by-play guys too---they are so dignified and flowery with some of their calls. I would love to see guys like Hughson, Cuthbert and Loubardias repeat some of the phrases that are uttered during a soccer game.
I should have taken a jacket with me when watching my daughter play softball last night, but it was actually enjoyable to go to a game without having to take my winter jacket or a toque or just outright shiver.
Message to Global Regina's Derek Meyers. Get that Scott Schultz cannonball dive that he performed Sunday and put it on your blog. I will link it. If you haven't seen it, Alexander Despatie has nothing on Schultz. In fact, maybe Pilot Butte's Reuben Ross needs to come back home and have a charity dive-off with the big guy. That would be outstanding!!!!
A good story in the Globe on Moose Jaw's Dylan Barker who hopes to get his CFL career started this year after being unable to last because of injury. Take a read...
Looks like Lebron James will have to wait another year to bring an NBA title back to Cleveland. His Cavaliers look as if they are going down to Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic after Orlando wins in overtime last night to take a 3-1 lead in the East final. Somewhere NBA commish David Stern phones his officials and tells them Cleveland is to get every call for the rest of this series. Say what you will about NHL refs, but they are as sharp as a tack when you compare them to refs in the association. In fact, I would put NBA refs as the worst out of the five major pro leagues(MLB, NHL, NFL, CFL, NBA) we follow. Yes, they are even worse than a CFL official. I know that is hard to believe but it is the truth.
If you want to see Jose Canseco get squashed in his MMA match, here you go....

Getting Ready For Camp

The Saskatchewan Roughriders will open their 2009 training camp at Mosaic Stadium in less than two weeks. Two-a-day workouts will start on Sunday, June 7th on the turf at Mosaic Stadium.


Wednesday, June 3 – Friday, June 5:
· Rookie camp at Mosaic Stadium (Times TBD)

Saturday, June 6:
· Veterans report

Sunday, June 7:
· First day of training camp
· Two-a-day practice sessions begin (Times TBD)

Saturday, June 13:
· Roughrider practice in Saskatoon (Times TBD)

Friday, June 17:
Pre-Season Game One
· Saskatchewan at Edmonton – 7:00 pm at Commonwealth Stadium

Tuesday, June 23:
Pre-Season Game Two
· Calgary at Saskatchewan – 7:00 pm at Mosaic Stadium

The New Coach in Oilerville Is.....

Pat Quinn is taking over from Craig McTavish. Tom Renney will serve as an assistant. Thumbs up from this blogger. Discuss Oiler fans!!

This Is Funny

The following is a Cleveland TV station wrapping up its late newscast Friday night when Lebron James hit a last second three pointer to give the Cavaliers a win over Orlando in Game 2 of their NBA East final. This is simply too funny!!!!!

Riders Sign Draft Picks

Is it another day of copy and paste specials???

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today they have signed non-import defensive back Tamon George and non-import offensive lineman Nick Hutchins to contracts. Both players were selected by the Riders in this year’s CFL Canadian Draft. Financial details of the signings were not released.

George (6’0 – 180 lbs) was chosen by the Riders in the second round (9th overall) in this year’s draft. The Regina native played the last three seasons with the University of Regina Rams. In 2008 he started all eight games at cornerback where he recorded 18.5 tackles and broke up two passes. He was also selected as one of the three Rams’ to play in the 2008 East West Bowl.

Hutchins (6’2 – 315 lbs) was chosen by the Riders in the third round (17th overall) in this year’s draft. The Regina product has played the last four seasons with the University of Regina Rams. In 2008, he was named a Canada West All-Star and was a key part of the Rams’ offence which led the conference in passing yards (1809) and touchdown passes (10).

With the addition of George and Hutchins, the Green and White’s roster now includes 12 Saskatchewan born players.

Monday, May 25, 2009

This And That

Curtis Hunt is now officially the new head coach of the Regina Pats. It was good to see him at yesterday's newser, but I do have to admit I am disappointed he is back.
I am disappointed because I was hoping he would succeed in Ottawa. When he left almost a year ago, I congratulated him on the opportunity and said I would relish the opportunity to speak to him on the sports show about how life is going in Ottawa. Needless to say, I didn't get that chance and he didn't get much of a chance in Ottawa either. If someone deserves to have success at the NHL level, it was Curtis Hunt. He may still get that chance, but it won't be immediately.
GM Brent Parker (who surprisingly mentioned this blogger in his opening remarks--surely Mr. Parker has better things to do than read this blog but thanks Brent) said had Curtis not left one year ago, there would not be a press conference today. He is absolutely right. Will the Pats succeed under Hunt? I think they can. With Eberle and Teubert and Weal, you have a good start. Will they be good enough to beat a Brandon Wheat Kings team that will host the Memorial Cup next year. I doubt it unless Brayden Schenn, Scott Glennie and Keith Aulie are all in the NHL, but Regina hockey fans should be happy with what has happened today. I know Hunt has his critics and I know Brent has his critics as well. Lets see what happens.
I was hoping a series in Baltimore against the last place Orioles would put an end to Toronto's six game losing streak. Nope!! Make it seven as the Toronto bats continue to be silent as they lose 4-1. They have gone from first to third in the A-L East quicker than a Vernon Wells at-bat (that turns out to be a popout to 2nd)with men on base. The weaknesses of this team have started to be exposed. They need pitching to help Roy Halladay and they need it soon. Perhaps what is more disgusting is the fact the Cubs are one game under 500 and five out of the lead in the NL Central. WTF???
Patrick Roy has been offered the coach and GM job in Colorado. I can't help but wonder if Patrick is waiting to see if he gets the same offer in Montreal. One has to believe Bob Gainey must fall on the sword for what happened this year. St. Patrick as coach and GM of the Habs would be very, very interesting---especially if the losses outnumbered the victories.
I'm really enjoying the Nuggets-Lakers series. I'm also enjoying seeing Kobe Bryant do nothing but whine, bitch and complain when he doesn't get a call and then pout. There's no doubt he is one of the best basketball players on the planet, but there is also no doubt that he is one of the biggest sucks on the planet as well. SHUT UP AND PLAY!!!! Oh and you might want to remember when you are down by double digits in the final quarter that there are four other team-mates on the floor. Take another shot ball-hog!!! I really do despise Bryant and enjoy it when he fails. If Denver should beat the Lakers in this series or if L-A should lose to Orlando or Cleveland, Bryant will take a tremendous amount of heat again. He got jealous of Shaq and forced him out of town and now he can't win without the big man. AWWWWWWWW!!!!!
WWE ring announcer Lillian Garcia needs to take a course in Canadian geography 101. In introducing Divas champ Maryse last nite on RAW, she said she was from Montreal, Ontario CANADA. Yeah OK...thanks Lil!!! Good old J-R was quick to pounce on the mistake saying Maryse is indeed from Montreal, Quebec. Montreal, Ontario....CMON!!!!
That's all I got for today. Stay thirsty my friends!!!

Making It Official

From a copy and paste from the Riders to one from the Pats.

The Regina Pats are proud to have Curtis Hunt return as the head coach of the blue and white. Hunt left the team on July 11th of 2008 to become the assistant coach of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators. He took over the reins of AHL’s Binghamton Senators half-way through the season and led them to a 16-14-2-1 record, just barely missing the playoffs.

Curtis Hunt originally joined the Pats in 2004 and ranks second in both games coached (270) and wins (125). In four seasons as bench boss of the Pats, his teams have compiled a winning percentage of .510 (125-120-25). In 2007-08, Hunt led the Pats to their first Division title in 10 years, with a record of 44-22-4-2.
The North Battleford, Saskatchewan native has experienced success on the International stage as well as the WHL. In August of 2005, Curtis captured Gold as Canada’s assistant coach for the Under-18 Junior World Cup played in Slovakia & the Czech Republic, that team also included former Pats captain Logan Pyett. Hunt was also the assistant coach with Canada’s World Junior Team at the 2007 and 2008 IIHF World Junior Championships, winning gold in Leksand, Sweden in 2007 and Pardubice, Czech Republic in 2008.
“We are thrilled to have Curtis return to Regina to once again be the Head Coach of the Pats. Curtis meets every one of the criteria that we were looking for in our new bench boss and I am looking forward to building on the tremendous relationship he and I shared in his first term with the Pats.” commented Regina Pats General Manager Brent Parker. “There is a different set of circumstances that have led us to this point, but the fact of the matter is had Curtis not left to become and Assistant in Ottawa we would not have been looking for a coach at this time last year. He has a proven track record of having teams that work hard and play with the structure that is needed for success. He was the right man for the job before he left and he is the right man for the job now to get us back on the track to success as an organization”

“This is a very exciting day for me and family and I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue my journey with the Pats.” says Head Coach Curtis Hunt, “I return re-energized, re-focused and committed to putting us where we belong…as the premier junior hockey team in Canada.”

Curtis Hunt’s Regina Pats Coaching Record:
Regina Pats
Head Coach
Regina Pats
Head Coach
Regina Pats
Head Coach
Regina Pats
Head Coach
Career Regina Pats Totals: 270 125 120 8 17 0.510
Career WHL Totals (MJ/Reg): 414 202 164 23 25 0.549
*Record adjusted for Hunt’s two stints with World Juniors

As a player, Hunt was drafted in the ninth round, 172nd overall, by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1985 NHL entry draft. In nine professional seasons, the defenceman recorded 31 goals and 142 assists for 173 points in 527 career games between the IHL and the AHL.
The next order of business for Brent Parker and Curtis Hunt is the search for an assistant coach. The two will be in discussions over the next couple of weeks to find an assistant bench boss. More information will be released as the search goes forward.

Retiring a Rider

From the desk of the lovely Sheri Trapp and your Saskatchewan Roughriders!!!!

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today they have signed veteran offensive lineman Andrew Greene who immediately announced his retirement.
Greene was a member of the Riders in 1997 and from 1999 until the conclusion of the 2006 CFL season. During his time with the Green and White, he was named a CFL All-Star four times and won the CFL’s Most Outstanding Lineman award in 2003.
“When a player such as Andrew wants to end a long successful career in Green and White, we gladly do our part to help. It’s our way of showing appreciation for all the years of dedication and hard work he put into this organization,” said President/CEO Jim Hopson. “When players want to retire as a Rider, it really is a true testament to what a great football environment exists here in the Province of Saskatchewan.”
Greene, who makes Regina his permanent home, felt it was only appropriate to retire as a Roughrider.
“The best years of my career were spent with the Riders,” stated Greene. “That’s where I played the longest and it has become my home. The fans are great people and I was welcomed by the city and province in every way possible.”
After his time with the Green and White, the offensive lineman played with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2007 before wrapping up his playing days with the Toronto Argonauts for part of the 2008 CFL season.
“Andrew is a true professional and always did what was asked of him,” stated Rider Offensive Line Coach Bob Wylie, who coached Greene in Winnipeg. “He is a tough guy that played the game the way it was meant to be played – sometimes not pretty but always effective. It was a pleasure to coach him.”
Greene now works full-time as the sponsorship and event coordinator for SaskSport and is heavily involved in the provincial KidSport program.

Do I Really Have To Do This??

Rod Pedersen is taking some abuse today for the fact that he didn't break the Curtis Hunt story. Some wanting to know why he didn't have it first, and others wanting to know if he knew about it, why didn't he report it??

Rod and I are very good friends. I have known him since he first came to town. We have had many, many discussions about what was going on at his workplace and what was happening at my old place and what does and what doesn't get said. Not only are we good friends, but we also have a great amount of respect for each other and the jobs we do (or in my case did). In fact, he has been one of my "sources" in the past when it comes to stories surrounding the Pats and Riders. Have I followed up on everything he has told me. Of course not, but I have kept the information tucked away. If you look back a few days at this blog, I told you that Curtis was coming and that a presser might have been held Friday. I've known about him coming back since I was told last Wednesday by someone who is loosely connected to Curtis(not Rod by the way).

When you have a daily interaction with the teams that he has being the play-by-play man, you get inside that inner circle. You are privy to information that perhaps shouldn't get out there. If Rod went on and reported every little piece of information that he learns from the Rider office or the Pats office, he wouldn't be trusted by the organizations and the relationship would be significantly damaged. I have had stories that I have waited for someone else to break for the same reasons. I knew about the Danny Barrett to the University of Buffalo story five days before it was announced. Because I would not jeopardize the relationship of the person who gave me the story I sat on it until what I thought would be the day of the announcement. Someone at TSN beat me to it by putting it up the day before. Was I pissed off. Yes I was and those that were in the CJME newsroom that day can attest to that as one four letter word was yelled after another. However in the end, I was not going to release the story because I knew I might not get another one from the person in question. I've also been given false leads on stories. How idiotic would I or Rod or Lee Jones or Rob Vanstone look if we said something without doing our due diligence on it.

Do I agree with everything Rod does. No!! Does he know that? Yes!!! Have we sat down over a couple of cold ones and discussed things. HELL YEAH!!! In the end, he respects what I have to say and vice versa. I have said this before while working as a member of the opposition and I will say it again. There is no better place in Canada for sports media than this town. The L-P Sports Department is the best damn sports department in Canada as far as I'm concerned led by Vanstone. That alone should tell you how good Murray McCormick, Ian Hamilton, Greg Harder and Tim Switzer are. (Sorry RV--I had to take that shot!!). Don't forget Darrell Davis either who was by far and away the best football beat reporter out there. If they get a scoop or an exclusive, good for them. Its because they put the work into the story and sometimes they may put the story out there even though the rest of us know about it. The TV sports reporters in this town are all outstanding individuals. Lee Jones, Derek Meyers and Chris Hodges have TSN written all over them and hopefully one day they will move on to a bigger, more high profile job. Warren Woods is the old dog amongst the group but if the day ever comes that Vic Rauter gives up his curling gig, I would not hesitate to have Woodsy replace him.
Do I agree with everything they do...again NO and they would say the same thing about me, but there is a common respect out there because everyone knows they are working alongside a great group of people who all understand and help one another when need be. I would have no problem in sharing information or material with any of the above, because I know if I needed something from one of them I would get it.

I don't know sometimes what some people are expecting us to give them at times. I would always laugh when someone would phone me asking me why I didn't mention this or that. My response would be "I didn't know about it" and they would be flabbergasted thinking we should have our thumb on the pulse of every sporting event happening in Regina.

Hey, if some people aren't going to send out releases, how are we supposed to know about it. Was it last summer that the Canadian Little League championships were in Regina or the summer of 2007. I'm a big baseball fan as you know and I would have loved to give that event some publicity, but I didn't even know it was happening until I saw a story in the LP. No one bothered to send me any skeds, no way to get game scores, no nothing. The people that put it on obviously didn't feel CJME could help them so they sent no info. It happens in news as well. I can't tell you how many times we would find out about a news conference after it had taken place. No release means no chance to schedule someone to give the event the publicity you are looking for.

I've rambled on enough on this topic, but it does grind my gears when people start heaping abuse on someone without realizing the whole story. Sometimes I think there are many that need a course in Reporting 101.

If you are going to give Pedersen heat today and abuse him on something, give him heat on the fact that he openly admits to listening to Lady Gaga!!! Lady Gaga??? Did you not have the onions to say you are listening to Miley Cyrus too RP??? :)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Busy Sunday

The big news is the return of Curtis Hunt. CTV Regina breaking the story(thanks for the info Chris) that Hunt is returning to Regina to re-assume head coaching duties with the Regina Pats. Since word came out that Dale Derkatch's replacement could be Hunt, there has been positive feedback and negative feedback along with a lot of "it doesn't matter who the new guy is, Brent is still the problem". As I look at the Pats roster tonight, there are quite a few players that were here when he left. Those players were on a team that won the Eastern Division before losing to Swift Current in round 1. I'm guessing he has the respect of those players(not that Dale didn't) and he can make this team much better than the one that ended last season. If another NHL opportunity comes, the wheel continues to spin and I don't think that is good for the franchise, but as someone who knows the game a lot better than me told me. Players get their shot in the NHL through the WHL so why shouldn't coaches. Curtis wasn't the first one to leave and he won't be the last. It will be interesting to see what moves are made over the next couple of months.

(picture courtesy Canadian Press)

The Windsor Spitfires went into the Memorial Cup as the favourite and they win the title. After losing their first two games, Windsor beat the other three teams in succession to capture the trophy for the first time. The final score was 4-1. Kelowna goalie Mark Guggenberger may feel as if he's the lowest man on the totem pole today after his performance in the final. Guggenberger did not make a save in the final game as the first three shots he faced were shots he shovelled out of the net. Kelowna made it 3-1, but they couldn't close the deficit to one. If they had, we will never know if they could have evened it, but I had this feeling they could have. I love the Memorial Cup. I always have. However, I think the Rockets were victimized this year. They didn't play a game after Tuesday meaning they had a lot of time to sit back while Windsor just kept going. Kelowna did not look like the team that started off the tournament and I think the time off hurt them. I have said this for the past couple of years, but I would like to see more teams get in.
I would like to see the finalists in each league join the host team and a wild card entry. That entry would be a team that didn't make the final that was a CHL top 10 team. For instance this year, you would have Kelowna and Calgary from the WHL, Brampton and Windsor from the Ontario League and Drummondville and Shawnigan from the Quebec League. Add to that host Rimouski and lets just say the Vancouver Giants. You could have two divisions of four which would lead to semi-finals ( 1st place-division 1 vs 2nd place-division 2 in one game with 1st place-division 2 vs 2nd place-division 1) in the other. You would see more of the top players, the top teams and there wouldn't be such a long break. You would have to have two games a day but would that be a bad thing. I'm guessing Sportsnet wouldn't complain.
Speaking of Sportsnet, I was glad to hear they have signed a new five year deal with the CHL. It means my good friends Peter Loubardias and Sam Cosentino(junior hockey's version of Bob and Harry!!!! Sorry guys!)will be able to keep doing what they love for at least another five years. I know Peter is happier than a pig in you know what doing the Flames games for Sportsnet, but you get him around junior hockey and he is in his element. You won't find two better gentlemen than Pete and Sam and you won't find a better team either. I know you guys read this so congrats to both of you. Sam, did Kelly ever give you that picture of Peter. If he had, I know it would have made its way onto the air today!!!!! It would have been I say!!!!
While I would have liked to have seen the WHL rep win, I didn't have a problem with Windsor winning it especially at the end when they remembered their fallen captain. You may remember Mickey Renaud collapsed and died in his home during the 2007-2008 season. If you look at the picture, you will see Renaud's jersey is right there near the Cup. There are a couple of pics where the jersey drapes the Cup. Nice touch!!! From what Peter and Sam say, the Spitfires should be back to defend their title in Brandon next year as they don't lose many guys.
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville is not a happy camper....

Quenneville with a nice little rant after his team was decimated 6-1 by the Wings in Game 4 of the West final putting Detroit within a game of going back to the Cup final. Looks like a rematch of last year boys and girls. Detroit winning this one without Pavel Datsyuk AND Nick Lidstrom. That makes the five goal margin of victory much more impressive.
Helio Castroneves wins the Indy 500. Brent Musberger with the line of the day. Musberger said "He(Castroneves) has gone from escaping the clutches of the IRS to sitting on top of the IRL(Indy Racing League). For those that don't know, Castroneves was recently acquitted on charges of tax evasion."
The Orlando Magic continue to make David Stern's life miserable. The NBA commish will never admit it, but he wants to see a Cleveland vs Lakers--I mean a Lebron vs Kobe final. Orlando is now up 2-1 in the East final after a win over James' Cavaliers and if it weren't for Lebron's miracle at the end of Game 2, they would be up 3-zip.
I know quite a few people who injured themselves this weekend while performing some kind of athletic feat. Many of these people are the same age as me. Like I have told them all, its time to start checking your birth certificate before doing these things. Stretch all you want but you are still in your mid 40's---you can't argue with time!!!
The NFL Network's "NFL Replay" on Sunday is a godsend for people like me.
Will Saskatchewan TV viewers get to see the "MLB Network" anytime soon. I want to see what its like. Then again, I'm not crazy about seeing former Sportsnet anchor Hazel Mae who is one of the talking heads on the "MLB network". Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against female anchors....I like Martine Gaillard and I have no problem with Jennifer Hedger, but I am not and was never a fan of Ms. Mae. May she never, ever take the spot of Charissa Thompson on "Best Damn Sports Show Period".
Could former Giants quarterback and CBS football analyst Phil Simms ever be confused with Pats head scout Todd Ripplinger???? Yeah, Simms probably has a better golf game. (Sorry Ripper!!). Seriously though, the two could have been separated at birth. Watching the Denver-Lakers game the other night, for a second I thought I saw a resemblance between LA's Lamar Odom and Rider QB Darian Durant, but after further review, I say no!
The Pope has gotten onto Facebook??!! Can you imagine opening your e-mail and seeing a message "The Pope would like to be your friend on Facebook". What happens if you ignore the request?? Can you see the Pope doing those favourite 5 lists that are on there now?? Here is the Pope's five favourite Italian soccer players?? Here is five places the Pope has never been where he wishes to go. CMON!!!!!
I have never been to Atlanta, but if I go, I am NOT eating at this place.

May your Monday be a good one! Before I forget, a happy birthday to my favourite girl. My wife Tracey turns------maybe I should just leave her age off of this. Its probably better that way. My first round draft pick has turned out to be a definite hall of famer!!!!!

He's Baa-acckkk!!!

Curtis Hunt is re-joining the Regina Pats. For more information, check out the comment listed on the story below about Windsor winning the Memorial Cup.

Spitfires Win MC

The Windsor Spitfires have won the Memorial Cup beating the WHL champs from Kelowna. This tournament needs to fine-tune itself even though I love it. Details to follow!!
PS: The Spitfires didn't break the Cup!!!!

You Don't Mess With Machida

I said Lyoto Machida was one tough S-O-B and he proved it inside the octagon. Rashad Evans may still be wondering just exactly what hit him. Machida dominated right from the start in the main event of UFC 98 and put Evans out of his misery when he hit him with a lethal left hook with a minute to go in Round 2. The highlight of the night might have been the absolute joy going through Tim Hague when he won his UFC debut beating Pat Berry in the first round. The Edmonton native--who is 6 foot 4 265 pounds--was smiling from ear-to-ear when all was said and done and told Joe Rogan after it was time to go for some beers. How Canadian is that?? By the way, Hague is a former kindergarten teacher. Can you imagine a kindergarten teacher being 6 foot 4 and 265 pounds. I bet his class was well behaved. Maybe he could come help coach my 5year old's learn to play softball team. I'm guessing some of the kids (mine too) would be a little more attentive.
Sid and company are going back to the Stanley Cup finals. The Penguins beat the Hurricanes 6-2 in Game 3 of the East Conference final to take a 3-0 lead. I can't even begin to tell you how much Carolina has disappointed me in this series. Its been like boys playing against men. Its bad enough giving up one goal in the last minute of a period, but two???? Detroit tries to go up 3-1 on Chicago this afternoon.
Windsor and Kelowna meet in the Memorial Cup final. Kelowna hasn't played since Tuesday. That's stupid!!I would still like to see more teams in this event than just the league champs and the host. I'd like to see the finalists from all three leagues get in with the host and have more than one game a day. It will never happen, but I would like it to.
So let me get this straight. The Weather Network and Environment Canada had been calling for rain on Sunday--actually starting late Saturday night for the past three days. (about 15 mm in total) and yet now that rain won't come until tonight and then it will just be 5 mm. Is it that tough to give people an accurate forecast?? Apparently it is. I would like to send Lyoto Machida to the EC offices to smarten some people up.
Has the bloom fallen off the rose in Toronto. The Jays have lost 5 straight. Despite this, they are still in first.
The Lakers and Nuggets went right to the wire again last night before Los Angeles won to take a 2-1 lead. I am really getting into the conference finals as they have all been nailbiters right to the end. The NBA has to be loving this. Right now, its better than the NHL playoffs. I actually taped the 2nd half of last nite's game and watched it upon returning from UFC. Taping an NBA game???!!
NBC doesn't pay the NHL so the NHL thanks them by doing this. Here's the latest embarrassment: the league announced Friday that unless both the Eastern and Western conference final series ended in sweeps--meaning by Tuesday night, when the Pittsburgh Penguins would play their Game 4 in Raleigh, N. C. -- the Stanley Cup final would not begin until June 5.

I could basically tell you how I feel about that but Cam Cole of does a much better job and basically crystallizes my thoughts.

"Now, never mind that this could mean 10 days between games for the Penguins if, say, they were to sweep Carolina while Detroit took even five games to polish off the Chicago Blackhawks. The Wings, under that scenario, would go eight days between games.
It's worse than that.
After lollygagging through the first three rounds of playoffs with nonsensical extra off-days thrown in willy nilly, the NHL is prepared to play Games 1 and 2 of the Cup final on back-to-back nights, because NBC is weak in prime time on Fridays and Saturdays, and will deign to telecast both games if the NHL doesn't mind twisting itself into a pretzel to co-operate. If they play on the 5th and 6th, and go every second day from that point on, they would play Game 3 on June 8, Game 4 on the 10th, and so on, meaning a possible Game 7 on the 16th, a day later than the NHL's written-in-stone pledge to have the season end by June 15."

I have nothing wrong with back-to-back games and say the season would be over now if we had played more back-to-backs, but to do it for the finals and to start the finals on a Friday. Just another example of the stupidity Gary Bettman brings to the commissioner's throne.
The Indy 500 is today. Is open wheeled auto racing still drawing interest in the U-S. It does today with the marquis event. If it weren't for Danica Patrick, I don't know if there would be any interest in the sport. It sure wasn't that way a decade ago.
Have a good Sunday!!!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

UFC 98 Preview

I won't even try to baffle you with BS when it comes to UFC. I enjoy watching it, but my knowledge of the sport is far down the ladder compared to my knowledge of the NFL, CFL, NHL..etc. etc. I was swayed by former co-worker Cory Kolt and the man who refers to himself as "Saskatchewan's sexiest blogger" Tyler McMurchy--Tyler is a guy who is proud to say and he is likely right when he says he is the only person to have worked for both John Gormley and Lorne Calvert. You can see his blog by checking out the link to it I have on mine. I digress.

I will join Tyler and his merry band of neanderthals as he calls them at his home tonight for the pay-per-view. They are much more into this than I am, but I will give you a rundown as to what could happen inside the octagon tonight. First off, its my guess Mike Goldberg will be wearing black. I think even a novice UFC fan like myself can pick up on that. I can also assume Joe Rogan will have bags under his eyes after another night of partying on the strip that didn't see him get home until the sun came up.

When it comes to the card, it should be pretty good. The main event has light heavyweight champ Rashad Evans taking on Lyoto Machida. Machida is one tough s-o-b in what I have seen. He also likes to drink his own urine so he's a little off-center. He's 14-0 and I say he will be 15-0 at night's end after a very tough battle that will likely go all 5 rounds.

A battle of Matt's--Serra vs Hughes. This again should be a very intense affair. I will take Serra in what could be the match of the night. These two guys really don't like one another so it should be fun.

That's two of what is an 11 fight card. There is no way we will see everything tonight is there?? I doubt it. All in all, it stands for a good Saturday night in which I can only hope someone gets hit as hard as Marty Havlat did last night. If it happens, the hittee won't get a 5 minute interference penalty!!!!!

Go Canes, Go Nuggets!!!

It would appear as if my good buddy Rob Vanstone is squarely putting the blame on the Pats woes of recent seasons on the shoulders of Brent Parker. Read on!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

The "Wussification" Of Hockey Is Complete

The Chicago Blackhawks have gotten back into the Western Conference final. After blowing a 3-0 lead, the Hawks got an overtime goal from Patrick Sharp to give them a 4-3 win. It means the Wings now lead the series 2-1. However, this one will be remembered for Detroit defenceman Niklas Kronvall absolutely destroyed Chicago's Martin Havlat with a hit that knocked Havlat cold.

None of the referees called a penalty on the play--nor should they have--as the hit was clean, but as Havlat laid on the ice being attended to it was decided Kronwall should be given a 5 minute major for interference and a game misconduct. A 5 minute major for interference?? Interference!!!! That's it, the NHL might as well put skirts on these guys and turn the game into womens hockey where this is little or no contact. Even a good, clean hit isn't allowed now. What a colossal crock of you know what! If the NHL suspends Kronwall for this, it will be an absolute embarassment.
One other thing, the old "code" just about tragic consequences for Havlat. He is lying there on the ice helpless and unable to defend himself because he has just had his lights turned out. Someone from Chicago has to go after Kronwall though and what resulted was a big scrum happening right around the prone body of Havlat. It would have been so easy to step on him with a skate or something else. Were any penalties called after the scrum. Of course not!!!
You might remember when the Hawks beat the Flames in the first round of the playoffs that I openly wondered if that might be it for Mike Keenan. I was right as the Flames told Keenan to hit the road after two seasons. The Flames struggled down the stretch mainly due to injuries and the fact Miikka Kiprusoff was worn out. GM Darryl Sutter acknowledged the Kiprusoff matter saying he can't spend that much time between the pipes, but he would not buy the injury argument saying the team didn't meet expectations. The rumour mill is already circulating that Brent Sutter will leave New Jersey to join his brother. Brent has let it be known he would like to be closer to home and may leave the Devils with a year to go on his contract. I also somehow think the NHL has seen the last of Keenan.
The Windsor Spitfires were favoured to win the Memorial Cup, but for a while it didn't look like they would get there. Windsor has joined Kelowna in the final after a 3-2 overtime win over Drummondville. After losing their first two games, the Spitfires have shown why they went into the event as the number one ranked team in Canada. I wouldn't be surprised to see them end the Rockets run Sunday.
The NBA conference finals continue to come down to the last second. Lebron James hitting a 3 pointer at the buzzer to give Cleveland a much needed 96-95 win over Orlando. A Magic win would have put them up 2-0 with the next two in Orlando. I don't think NBA commish David Stern is going to get his marquee Lebron vs Kobe final. Either the Lakers or the Cavaliers will falter in the conference finals if not both.
I talked about this a few weeks ago, but I've got to bring it up again. Why aren't CFL players featured in commercials. There is a RONA ad where football players are doing yard work. The "players" are actors. Why couldn't they be actual CFL players---one from each team. During the ad, you get a quick snippet informing you RONA is a proud sponsor of the CFL. They are a proud sponsor, but for one reason or another they don't want to market the players of this league. Is this the fault of the players association, the league, the advertisers. Who????
Sportsnet's Scott Carson has an idea for MLB Commissioner Bud Selig. In a column you can see on, Carson says Selig should ditch the current three division format in each league and go to two eight team divisions. He also advocates putting teams in Las Vegas and Portland. First off, baseball doesn't need expansion. In fact, getting rid of a couple of teams wouldn't break my heart any. Mr. Carson obviously doesn't see that like it is in the NHL, there are some baseball teams(the Florida Marlins) who simply play their games in front of virtually no one. Secondly, there is nothing wrong with the baseball divisions the way they are now. If Selig is to make changes in my opinion, it should be to maybe add some more playoff teams and ditch this ridiculous notion of the league that wins the All-Star game getting homefield advantage in the World Series. Make the league that wins the most inter-league games get homefield advantage. Carson does believe though that scheduling should be in place making each team play everyone else at least once. I advocate that, but I don't know how badly that would screw up the scheduling.
A Regina woman won 10-thousand dollars in the "Roll Up the Rim" contest. That woman was not my beloved wife. She buys enough damn coffee from the place that she should at least get a free coffee or donut from time to time but NOOOOOO!!!!! Keep trying Tracey, keep trying!!! Same goes to the mother-in-law!!!
Why is there still so much anger over the Kitwana Jones trade?? Did the Fred Perry trade last year teach you nothing!! The outrage was similar last year and Steven Jyles is still here while Perry is a Bomber. I've said it once and I'll say it again. Kitwana likely wouldn't have made this team so instead of embarassing him by outright releasing the veteran not knowing if anyone will pick him up, the team made a deal for him by getting a body. If Jones registers double digit sacks and is an all-star this year then crow all you want, but right now I can't see that happening.
Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Riders Support WJHC

Saskatchewan Roughrider President/CEO Jim Hopson announced today a partnership between the team and the Host Organizing Committee for the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship. The Host Organizing Committee has designated special sections in both the Brandt Centre in Regina and Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon as Riderville, allowing the Rider Nation to be there to cheer on Team Canada in their quest for a sixth straight Gold Medal.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for the Roughrider organization and we are very thankful and excited to become involved,” stated Hopson. “The province of Saskatchewan and its people have always proved themselves when thrust in the international spotlight and I know this year’s World Junior Hockey Championship will be a remarkable success. The magnitude of this event and the province’s support of the Roughriders make this opportunity a natural fit.”

As part of this special offer, every Rider season ticket holder, flex pack holder, Club Seating patron or share Owner who purchases a World Junior ticket package will receive a day pass to Riderville at the 2009 Grey Cup, front of the line ticket purchase for selected events at the Brandt Centre and an entry in a draw for a chance to win one of the following:

· One of 10 pairs of 2009 VIP Grey Cup Riderville passes
· Saskatchewan Roughrider autograph jersey
· Team Canada 2010 World Junior autographed jersey
· Trip for two to the 2009 Grey Cup game, three nights accommodation, return airfare for two to Calgary and two tickets to the game

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The No-Trade Clause

This is San Diego Padres pitcher Jake Peavy. He should be Chicago White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy. The two clubs agreed on a trade that would see four prospects go to the Padres for the pitcher who would improve their club. One problem!! Peavy is invoking his no-trade clause so the trade is dead.
The no-trade clause is something that in my mind kills sports. The Padres aren't going anywhere this year and they have a great chance at improving their team by making this deal with a team that feels Peavy can turn them into a pennant contender if not winner. However, Peavy isn't buying that and decides to stay with one of the worst teams in the majors or go to a team that he finds more attractive. Since when did the athlete become more powerful than the organization.
This isn't the first time a no-trade clause has been invoked and it won't be the last. I can't understand how owners can't ask the players association in the various leagues to scrap this clause from contracts thus making everyone fair game.
I'm sure the Blue Jays could have made an offer for Peavy and getting him would give the team that much needed number two starter behind Roy Halladay, but I'm sure the Jakester has no desire to play in Canada. It leaves Toronto behind the 8 ball and that's not fair. A player should not have the right to say where he will and where he won't play. It ties the hands of the organization that is trying to better themselves and I'm sure the relationship is now damaged perhaps beyond repair. Teams should have the right to be able to trade guys or do whatever without something this stupid standing in their way.
I don't think the last three games are a sign that the great start by the Jays is about to crumble, but Toronto baseball fans have to be shaking their head after seeing their team get owned by the Red Sox. Boston completing the three game sweep of Toronto with a 5-1 win. Toronto is good this year but they have a ways to go and the more experienced Red Sox brought them down to earth a little bit.
I don't think Chicago can beat Detroit four times in the next five games and I don't think Carolina can beat Pittsburgh four out of five either. Yes, you can say all the Wings and Penguins have done is hold serve by winning at home, but you have to think we are getting a rematch of last year's Cup final. Cam Ward picked a fine time to soil the linen as he played his worst game of these playoffs resulting in a 7-4 Penguins win and a 2-0 series lead. I really thought the Hurricanes could win this series, but now it doesn't look like that will happen. Nothing against Sid, but I'm hoping he's not meeting Gary Bettman at centre ice in a few weeks time if you know what I mean. There is just something about Pittsburgh that I don't like. I can't put my finger on it, but I just can't cheer for these guys. I'm not a Sid hater...I'm not the biggest Malkin fan but I just don't like Pittsburgh as a whole. Maybe it has something to do with the Steelers. I'm just not sure.
I'm hearing more and more that Curtis Hunt will be the new coach of the Pats. In fact, I've been told something has already been done and the only thing left is to have the newser to make it official. Could that happen today or do we wait until next week or the first week of June??
I don't think he meant to, but Rod Pedersen started quite the little battle on his blog yesterday. RP was talking about Dan Farthing's release from the football team and said it would be like Eric Tillman giving Andy Fantuz his release today. It started the who's better argument--Farthing or Fantuz. Take nothing away from 83, but at this point in time I would take Farthing. I think Andy is still scratching the surface as to what he can do. His third season as a pro was basically washed out due to injury. He has hopefully many years left in a Rider uniform. As for Farthing, I always wondered what type of accolades he may have been given if it wasn't for the fact he played on many bad teams. Despite having guys like Reggie Slack and Kevin Mason throwing to him, he still managed to haul in close to 400 balls. If he was playing on this team now, he would get a lot more attention than he did. I think if Andy played in Dan's era, he would have gone un-noticed as well because of the record the team was putting up. In the end, I don't think you can have this argument until Fantuz's days are done and even then this argument would end much the same way as a Gene Makowsky vs Roger Aldag argument. There really wouldn't be a winner.
The one comment I did laugh at though was someone saying Fantuz is the premiere Canadian receiver in the CFL today. As someone else told Rod in the comments section, he would put guys like Ben Cahoon and Paris Jackson ahead of Fantuz. I would maybe add Kamau Peterson to that list as well. Andy has a chance at being the best Canadian receiver in the CFL, but he's not the best one now.
By the way if the provincial government can give us numbers on top baby names each year, they should be able to tell us how many people in the province have the last name "anonymous". That anonymous family sure loves making comments.
The Windsor Spitfires have woke up. After losing their first two games at the Memorial Cup, the Spitfires have gotten their act together and are now in the semi-final after eliminating the host team with a 6-4 win. The Spitfires will meet Drummondville in that semi-final with the winner taking on Kelowna. Personally, I would like to see a Spitfires-Rockets final.
I'm not a big NBA fan but the first two games of the Denver-Lakers West final and Game 1 of the Orlando-Cleveland East final have been outstanding games.
I've said it once and I'll say it again. You will not find me on Twitter. At least not yet.
Have a great Friday!

Riders Give "State Of The Team" Address

All eight CFL teams are giving their "state of the franchise" press conferences before training camp arrives. The Riders had theirs today. The Leader-Post's Ian Hamilton (a fellow Seahawks fan meaning he is a fine, fine individual) gives you the low-down as to what was said.....

Is the Coyotes Situation Similar To That of Saskatoon's NHL Dream

The Toronto Star's Damien Cox finds some parallels between Jim Balsillie's desire to bring the Phoenix Coyotes to Southern Ontario and Bill Hunter's desire to bring the Blues to Saskatoon.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What Will It Be Like??

The NFL Network had a great program on Wednesday. In two one hour specials, they showed an NFL films presentation called "The Lost Ballparks". It looked back at the history of Baltimore's Memorial Stadium, Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Foxboro Stadium just outside of Boston and Denver's Mile High Stadium. All four facilities were replaced by newer models, but the tradition of the old park still lives with many---players and fans. The shows talked with members and fans of the various organizations discussing how great the old stadium was. A lot if the interviews were done with the rubble of the old park in the background. One Steelers fan got visibly emotional when talking about the history of Three Rivers Stadium and how he cried when the building was imploded.

It made me wonder about what the scene will be like when Mosaic Stadium plays host to its final Rider game. Its inevitable that will happen. How will the old girl be ushered out?? How big of an event will that game and what happens after be?? How will fans react?? How many tears will be shed?? Will they want to take a piece of the place with them? Make no doubt about it, it will be an emotional evening when the Riders play their last ever home game. The team could be ofer the season and the place would be packed for it. I don't think the fans would leave. As much as they have criticized the place, they won't want to leave, because they know they will never be back. Many will reminisce about great times shared watching the football team do their thing win or lose. I also wonder how the stadium would be erased from the city skyline. Would it be by explosion or would a quick implosion bring years of history crumbling down. I don't know how I or other fans would react seeing a wrecking ball bring the place down. Driving down Saskatchewan Drive and seeing the stadium in shambles would surely be emotional would it not??? Then again, an implosion wouldn't be the easiest thing either. There would have to be a massive tailgating party for that.

I guess the main thing is as we would tearfully say goodbye to a place that brought so many memories for football fans young and old in this province, we would cheerfully say hello to a new stadium. One that Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan football fans deserve. In all four cases in the NFL, while one stadium left, a bigger and better one emerged. One that has created its own memories. It will happen here too. It will be a very emotional time though for many when that final home game does offence, but I hope it happens soon. I still love Mosaic Stadium, but I yearn for the day when I can see the team play in a new modern facility. As Vanstone says, driving down George Reed Avenue and walking into Lancaster Stadium will be a tremendous experience.
Still with the Riders, I wholeheartedly applaud the Plaza of Honor committee for their 2009 inductees--especially the decision to enshrine Norm Fong as one of the all-time greats. The long-time equipment manager is someone who is synonymous with the organization. When I think of everything Normie has seen over his 34 years on the job, I just wonder if he put pen to paper just what kind of bestselling book he would have. The stories he must have. The players he has seen, the regimes he has gone through, the highs of a championship and the lows of those two win seasons. Dealing with everyone from Lancaster to Joseph.... Reed to Cates...Abendschan to Makowsky....Kosid to Davis, Normie has dealt with many players and many coaches. There is no better than the guy Ridgway affectionately refers to as "The Chinaman". He is an outstanding choice and I'm sure it will be very emotional and very humourous when he is inducted in September. Tom Burgess is the latest member of the 89 team to go into the Plaza and his induction is likely overdue. Dan Farthing is just and was just a classy individual on and off the field. I often wondered how many accolades Farthing could have received if the teams he had played on were better. When you consider the less than stellar way Dan was released by the organization this makes this selection even better. Congratulations to all three.
Once again the only hockey to look at Wednesday was the Memorial Cup. The two Quebec teams went at it with Drummondville beating host Rimouski 3-2 in overtime. Rimouski will now play Windsor in a tiebreaker with the winner meeting the Voltigeurs in the semi-final. The winner of that game plays Kelowna in the final.
I think everyone in the golf world has Phil Mickleson on their mind. "Lefty" is leaving the Tour for an indefinite time after learning his wife, Amy has breast cancer. Golf is obviously not first and foremost on the mind of Mickleson as he helps his wife take on the biggest fight of her life---one I hope she wins. Before I leave this earth, I really, really hope to hear that a cure has been found for a disease that has simply taken too many good people. I think each and every one of you that is reading this knows someone who has been affected by cancer so you know what the Micklesons are going through. Here's hoping for a happy ending!
Are the Jays and their young arms crashing to earth. The Red Sox winning the first two meetings of the year against the young Toronto team. Is it too early to say tomorrow's finale between the two teams is a must win for Cito's crew??? Just one win in five tries against the Yankees and Boston this year certainly puts a damper on what has been a great first six weeks of the season.
Someone in Edmonton has won 50 million on 6/49. I know many, many people in Edmonton. Do I know someone who has 50 million to burn today???? I can't imagine what my first reaction would be if I found out I had a winning lottery ticket worth 50 million....or 1 million for that matter. If you won one million dollars, would that be enough to call it a career. Would you ever work again???
What QB soap opera down south will be more nauseating? Michael Vick's or Brett Favre's.

The 2009 Plaza Of Honor Inductees Are

Today the Saskatchewan Roughrider Plaza of Honor Committee announced three new members will be inducted into the Plaza of Honor. This year Tom Burgess, Dan Farthing and Norm Fong will have their names forever etched into Saskatchewan Roughrider history.

Besides being Saskatchewan’s most prestigious sporting dinner, the Plaza of Honor Dinner has contributed over $5.4 million to the Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club.

The Plaza of Honor Dinner presented by SaskTel has inducted 107 individuals who have made major contributions to the proud tradition of the Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club. The cairn honouring the Plaza of Honor Inductees is situated outside the main gates on the west side of Mosaic Stadium. The Plaza of Honor cairn is sponsored by SaskTel, SASK SPORT INC. and the City of Regina.

This year’s dinner is set for Friday, September 18th at the Queensbury Centre at Evraz Place. For information on tickets or corporate tables, contact the Saskatchewan Roughrider Ticket Office at 525-1281 or 1-888-474-3377 or any committee member.

Riders Add A Trio of D-Backs

Saskatchewan Roughrider head coach Ken Miller announced today the Roughriders have signed import defensive backs Daniel Francis and Jerron Wishom, along with non-import defensive back Joel Lipinski. Financial details were not released.

Francis (5’11 – 175 lbs) signed as a free agent with the Washington Redskins following his four seasons at Louisiana State. He finished his collegiate career with 76 total tackles and 3.5 sacks and was a standout returner on special teams. Francis was selected to play in the 2007 East-West Shrine game in Houston.

Wishom (6’0 – 197 lbs) spent time with the Montreal Alouettes and in Cologne of NFL Europe last season. Wishom has been a member of the Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers and Houston Texans over the past four seasons.

Lipinski (5’10 – 195 lbs) spent last season with Saint Mary’s and was named an AUFC all-star. Prior to spending the 2007 season with the Vancouver Island Raiders, Lipinski played three seasons for the University of Regina. He was named a 2005 Canada West All-Star and a 2005 Second Team All-Canadian.