Welcome to Friday. Here are the usual weekly thoughts running through my muddled mind. As always, they come in no particular order.
--The CKHS should be the place to be tonight if you are not heading to Evraz Place to check out what is happening at the Brier. The U of R Cougars women's basketball team takes on the U of S to determine what team will win Canada West. It's a battle of two of the top five teams in Canada and it could very well be a showdown of what we will see March 11 when the USports Canadian final is held at the CKHS. Can Regina pack the gym for this game? It would be great to see. Cougars Head Coach Dave Taylor says his team has walked into a very tough environment for this game the last two years when it was played in Saskatoon. One would expect nothing less from the Huskies and their faithful. If they can do it there, we can do it here. Head Coach Dave Taylor says there is a band playing right behind them and the entire football team is yelling from behind their bench. We can do that! Hey Rams, hey Thunder, come out and enjoy some basketball!!! Hey Regina, come out and enjoy some basketball tonight! Hey Moose Jaw, come to Regina and enjoy some basketball. The same goes for you Weyburn, Balgonie, Lumsden and Southey. Let's make this place a zoo tonight!! In fact, let's make it a zoo tonight and let's keep it that way for the USports Canadian Championship which goes at the CKHS next week. Keep it diplomatic and professional though!
Photo: Gloria Evans (620 CKRM)
--Canada's 2nd biggest sporting festival begins tonight. The Tim Hortons Brier and the famed Brier Patch rivals Grey Cup week in every sense. People from across the country that love the game converge to make new relationships, renew old ones, spend a lot of time at the Brier Patch and enjoy the curling. The next week will be a lot of fun at the Brandt Centre. Whether you are a curling fan or not, it will be the place to be. Hope to see many of you down there as the week goes along. As for who wins, I am guessing we see a Brad hoist the trophy---that being Gushue or Jacobs. I also think Saskatchewan's Steve Laycock will do quite well as the home rink and will make the championship pool or the top 8. If they were to somehow make the final and win it, it would be quite a moment at the Brandt Centre.
--The CFL free agent waters have gotten awfully quiet. As it gets that way, the questions for the Riders remain. Who is going to be the new left tackle if Bruce Campbell doesn't sign with the club. Is Sam Hurl the replacement for Henoc Muamba, will the team get a better song for the 4th quarter stretch than the current one (OK, it just may be me asking that one!), will a Canadian receiver be used in a trade to get that sought after LT or MLB seeing you have quite a few and if so, who is it? I also still want to know who the odd man is out at running back after the Jerome Messam signing. I just can't see Messam, Trent Richardson and Cameron Marshall all in the backfield.
--The NFL now says Dez Bryant's playoff catch in 2014 should have been ruled a catch. Yeah, that makes Cowboys fans feel better. The NFL didn't have to say anything about Golden Tate's catch against Green Bay in the endzone to give the Seahawks a last play Monday Night Football win not being a catch. Of course, we all know it was! By the way, I'm all for the idea of making a pass interference call 15 yards. The chuck and hope play has become common in the NFL. If they do it south of the border, do it up here as well.
--The eight year anniversary of "The Golden Goal" scored by Sidney Crosby to give Canada gold at the Vancouver Olympics hit this week. The debate rages on as to whether or not that was the biggest goal in Canadian hockey history. To me, its still Paul Henderson in 1972. If those two goals are numbers 1 and 2. What is number three?
--Will NHL players go back to the Olympics in 2022? NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said this week the decision to not go to Pyeongchang was the right one because the interest level wasn't as high in this year's tournament. Gee, I wonder what the reason for that might have been? Really Gary? Bettman also said this week that if and when Seattle gets into the league they should have the same type of players at their disposal for the expansion draft that Vegas had. I am sure that makes every team in the league not named Vegas Golden Knights happy.
--When is the last time an NHL player scored five goals? The Sobeys/Safeway Shoot to Win" contest on NHL games is just ridiculous. In this day, we hardly see any four goal games. Have there been any this year? At least give the entrant a realistic chance at winning the million dollars.
--Congrats to Ethan Bear for making it to the show! The member of the Ochapowace First Nation did that with a lot of friends and family in attendance. Many were shown wearing his "74" jersey. I am guessing more Ethan Bear jerseys have been sold in the past couple of days and will be sold this weekend than Ilo Pakarinen and Ryan Strome jerseys have been sold all year. The kid has a bright future in front of him. Here's hoping he sticks around for the rest of the season as the Oilers try and right the ship after a disastrous season this year.
--Eugene Melnyk is to the Ottawa Senators what Ken King is to the Calgary Flames. Both just have to go away for the good of their team. It just astounds me as to where Ottawa is this year after being so close to the Stanley Cup final. They lost Game 7 of the East final to Pittsburgh in triple overtime!!
--If the first day is any indication, it would appear as if Seattle is well on their way to getting an NHL team. That does not make this Seahawks fan, closet Mariners fan, and some day a Sonics fan again sad. A sports weekend or two will be spent in the Pacific Northwest. I really didn't think Seattle had the appetite for the NHL, but it appears as if they do and if the NHL is coming, the NBA will return as well. That is a certainty!
-- I know plenty of NHL personnel will be in Regina for the Memorial Cup. Would it be too much to ask if Wayne Gretzky will be here? This Oilers fan would obviously relish the opportunity to sit in a room and hear him speak.
--What am I missing? Some group predicted the Blue Jays would win the 2nd wild-card spot in the American League and an article on MLB.com says they are being overlooked in the AL East. ???? I really don't see this team being .500. The starting rotation isn't as solid as people say and already there is a question mark about Marcus Stroman. Russell Martin and Troy Tulowitzki aren't getting any younger. Was Justin Smoak's season a one year anomaly or can they expect another big season from him. How many games are you going to get from Devon Travis. Who leads off? How was the bullpen improved? Curtis Granderson, Randal Grichuk and Aldemys Diaz are not getting this team into the A-L East equation ahead of the Yankees and Red Sox. Cleveland will be strong, Minnesota will be strong, the Astros aren't going anywhere, Seattle and the Angels will be better. Sorry, I don't see that team winning more than 75 games this season.
--That's all I got. Have a great weekend. Hope to see ya at the Brier, Brier Patch or the University--especially the latter!