The usual Friday collection of thoughts running through my muddled mind
--When Donald Fehr took over as head of the NHL Players Association, I knew the sport was in trouble. Fehr was a man who had no problem in trying to kill baseball and he did a good job of it as the sport was dead until the steroid era (Sosa, McGwire, Canseco) took over. He is basically the man that ended baseball in Montreal. He is now doing to the NHL what he has done to baseball. This man is bound and determined to try and bring the NHL to its knees and it won't happen. Sounds from New York suggest that his ego--along with that of Gary Bettman--is what is keeping us from seeing the NHL. It sounds like some players liked a proposal that the NHL put forth only to have Fehr tell them that they can get more. I can only hope that if a deal is ever struck that both Fehr and Gary Bettman are told to leave their respective offices and that we never, ever hear from both men again.
--It sounds like one of the major stumbling blocks is the length of player contracts. Would it just not be simple for Bettman to mandate to his owners that contracts can not go over a certain length?
--Why is it when Fehr and Bettman were not at the table, things were progressing and as soon as those two get involved again, the dialogue starts.
--How are you going to spend your winter without the NHL? Will you go back when the game starts up again? The answer is most likely yes because you are Canadian, but for many in the U-S, I would not and can not blame them for turning their back on the sport. If that is the case, maybe it is good news for places like Quebec City, Hamilton and yes, Saskatoon because the NHL could find its way there when it fails in places like Tampa, Miami, Carolina, Phoenix, etc. etc.
--The Jordan Eberle sweater retirement tour was a fantastic success and I think a little overwhelming for the homegrown product. In speaking with him Tuesday on the Sportscage and seeing him at the ceremony Wednesday night, I still think he was a little awestruck over the love that he was given by the community as a whole. The thing is Eberle deserves it because he is just as good in the community as he was on the ice wearing a Pats jersey. This is someone who always comes back for the Sticks on Rose tournament, has his name on a charity golf tournament bearing his name and many other things. Some out there believe it was a little hasty to bestow such an honor on Eberle. I'm not one of them. In fact, I think some more guys should have their number retired----two in particular are Josh Harding and Rick Rypien.
--Speaking of Josh Harding, you know of the battle he is now going through. Sportsnet's Christine Simpson caught up with him to talk about his fight with M-S. You can see that right here.
--A class act by a class guy this week. U of R womens basketball coach Dave Taylor e-mailed other coaches across the CIS after his team had defeated Fraser Valley Saturday night in a battle of the number 2 (FV) and 3 (Regina) teams in the country to let them know of the travel difficulties Fraser Valley had experienced in getting to Regina and that it should be considered when making their top ten votes. A lot of coaches may not have done that, but Taylor did and he should be saluted for that.
--One can only imagine what type of grief I will now endure for saying kind words about Taylor. Some of that grief will likely come from Taylor himself.
--Thumbs up to both the Regina Red Sox and Regina Thunder for picking head coaches that should keep the teams on the paths to excellence that they've been on. Jay Livingston has a lot more pressure on his shoulders than Scott McAulay seeing Livingston inherits a team going for a three-peat, but both should be successful in their coaching ventures.
--I just shake my head when I think of Michael Strahan the football player who transcended into Michael Strahan---FOX Sports football host to Michael Strahan---co-hosting with Kelly Ripa on morning television. It just doesn't look right. I'm sure if I watched the show I would think it doesn't sound right either. Thankfully, I have NFL AM to get me through the morning TV cycle along with Sportscentre.
--TSN needs to get SportsNation back into its daily lineup.
--Former "Score" personality Renee Paquette left the network a couple of months ago to join WWE. She came back onto the "Score" Monday for RAW doing voice-overs as Renee Young. You aren't fooling anyone! Change it back!
--I travelled to Wilcox with Rod Pedersen for Thursday's 'Sportscage' and as I sat in the passenger seat shooting the you know what with RP, I couldn't help but think again that the provincial government needs to twin Highway 39 from Regina to Estevan. There is just too much truck traffic on the highway and I don't need to tell you that there have been too many deaths. I don't think there is a stretch of road in this province that I am more uncomfortable on than that stretch.
--Why isn't dullard cowboy Rex Roberts on the High Impact Wrestling roster anymore? He has missed the last two cards and looks like he will miss a 3rd one week from tonight at the Victoria Club. Who am I to boo mercilessly now?
--What would you think if Ottawa called its pro soccer team "Roughriders"?
--None of my four fantasy football teams made the playoffs this year. Yes, I suck! Changes will be made over the off-season with "Somewhere Under Dwayne Bowe", "The ScruffRiders (x2) and "Regina Arctic Blast" which could truly be called Regina Arctic Last this year. SIGHHHHHHH!!!!!
--To all who are in my four fantasy football leagues reading this and about to talk smack, I have two words for you. OK 3 and the middle word is right.
--The Denver Broncos have won eight straight games. Rob Vanstone will be unsufferable over the next little while----even more unsufferable than he usually is.
--Wasn't this the year the Raptors were supposed to be competitive and in the running for a playoff spot?
--One factoid for Premier Brad Wall and other Raiders fans. The loss to Denver on Thursday gives them 109 over the past 10 years----that would give them the most losses out of any NFL team for the last decade. Detroit will tie them with a loss at Green Bay on Sunday night.
--Take your teddy bears to the Pats game Sunday as its Teddy Bear Toss game. It only begs the question as to what happens if the Pats get shut out? It happens in every CHL city and I often wonder what happens if the home team gets blanked. Are their barrels set up at the exits?
--I'll just leave you with this one as we head into the weekend. Have a good one!!!
Couldn't agree with you more on the Highway 39 statement. I've made too many trips on that stretch of road and have seen too many cars in the ditch or worse. The fact that neither Devine, Romanow, Calvert and now Wall will even consider the idea is pure idiocy in my mind.
The owners and the players could hammer something out themselves. Bettman and Fehr aren't needed. If they are told to leave, there would be hockey by Christmas.
I didn't have any credibility for Fehr before. His involvement is why this has stretched out so far already. Some of the deals proposed have looked fine to me. He must be one helluva salesman to get the players to buy into his message.
"Wasn't this the year the Raptors were supposed to be competitive and in the running for a playoff spot?"
Doesn't the Canadian Sports Networks shove this crap down our throats ever year?
Regarding the teddy bear toss remember a few years ago the Pats hadn't scored then after some bad penalties caused disgruntled fans to throw the teddy bears on the ice
Love the poster!!!
Would be nice 2 honour Harding while he still has his health.
Condescending, sarcastic Bettman has finally met his match In Donald Fehr and he doesn't like It one bit with his childish behavior, step aside Bettman your time has come and gone.
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