The Sunday afternoon a nation stood still …
… and, then, cheered as ONE.
The Sunday afternoon a nation stood still …
… and, then, cheered as ONE.
What was once reserved exclusively for a cornucopia of US college football bowl extravaganzas has now been supplanted by the National Hockey League’s feautured regular season contest, played annually on this date, on an outdoor rink, where so many of us first learned to love the game.
Nov 22 2003, Commonwealth Stadium
Jan 01, 2008, Rich Stadium
Jan 01 2009, Wrigley Field
Jan 01 2010, Fenway Park – Live Stream
If you’re a real “player” at-heart … it doesn’t get any better than this.
Although this story first appeared last weekend, it deserves a special place [and a page of its own] in the “Site Map” of this blog.
The Leafs Abomination
“Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment has massive resources, which is a good thing. I’ve seen a real lack of foresight in the use of those resources to really gain a competitive advantage. Personnel, scouting procedures, processes, development, all those things,” Button says. “I couldn’t fathom how pennywise and pound-foolish they were. I mean, if development and recruiting are going to be key parts of your operation – and they need to be – well, I’ll tell you what, you blanket the earth. You use your resources. If you can’t spend some of your resources on player acquisition (because of the salary cap), you spend it on developing players. You make sure you’re as sharp as anything. In my time there, I thought that was severely lacking.”
Kudos galore to Dave Feschuk and Michael Grange, two of the best journalists who happen to patrol a sports beat in the Greater Toronto Area.
Mandatory reading for Maple Leafs and Raptors and TFC fans everywhere!
Burke rips into Heatley, agents
“For a player to quietly and professionally ask for a trade, that’s fair ball for me. For a player to pop off and say he wants out or leak it, in my mind you are now no longer interested in your team. If you’ve done that you’ve handicapped them, you’ve handcuffed the GM,” said Burke.
“As long as you are on that team, you owe them to maximize the asset, and once you’ve taken that step, sorry I don’t accept that.”
Burke said he would not deal a player who went public with a trade request.
“I’m not blaming Dany, this could be the agent,” said Burke. “When you have players come ask you for a trade, I tell the players, `Don’t finish that sentence, because once you ask, I’m going to move you.’ If a player says `I want out,’ you’re darn right you’re going. I’m not kissing anyone’s ass to play in my town, so to hell with you, don’t finish the sentence. My second rule is: If I hear about this, then you’re not going anywhere.”
There’s a good reason Brian Burke failed to take the Vancouver Canucks to the Stanley Cup Finals.
There’s a good reason Brian Burke ran away from the Anaheim Ducks lickady-split in the aftermath of winning just 1 Stanley Cup … built largely on the backs of players who were mostly acquired by his predecessor.
Talk like what you see above, concerning this … i.e. “Don’t finish that sentence …” and, antiquated Rules of Engagement which read like, i.e. i.e. “If I hear about this, then you’re not going anywhere.” … are the characteristics of an ‘old school’ GM who is never going to succeed in a MAJOR WAY in the modern-day world of sport which exists today.
You can WRITE that call down in STONE.
Do you see Ken Holland making statements like THAT? How about Jimmy Devellano? Or, Lou Lamoriello? Or, Jim Rutherford?
Unfortunately, the Toronto Maple Leafs will repeatedly fail to re-build their once proud franchise under the mis-guided blustery Leadership Style of Brian Burke, unable to capture multiple Stanley Cups along the way … which they most assuredly have the resources to do … even though yours truly sincere hopes that that specific call is one that comes up nothing but snake eyes in the immediate years ahead.
Making a loud to-do over NOT having ANY interest in the acquisition of a player in the situation of a Danny Heatley, who is currently employed by ANOTHER team in the NHL?
Mr. Burke needs to give his own head a good shake and get down to the nitty-gritty business of actually building the Toronto Maple Leafs.
For the first time in 38 years … now that’s a long time … Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals was won by the ROAD team.
Kudos to the Pittsburgh Penguins, 2008-2009 Stanley Cup Champions, who were 6 points out of the 8th and final playoff spot, on Feb 16, with 25 games left in the regular season, when they dismissed their head coach [Michel Therrien], hired rookie Dan Bylsma, and turned their fortunes around.
The Hockey Gods smiled on the Pens last night … which is exactly what it takes to get the job done in adverse conditions against a championship-calibre opponent.
Penguins march to glory
The kids are all right. In fact, the kids on the Pittsburgh Penguins are more than all right, they’re Stanley Cup champions.
Superstar Sidney Crosby, limping on his left leg after a second-period hit and playing just one shift in the third, became the youngest captain in NHL history to hoist the Stanley Cup when the Penguins shocked the Joe Louis Arena crowd with a 2-1 win last night over the Detroit Red Wings.
At just 21, he’s two years younger than Wayne Gretzky when the Great One first lifted the Cup.
“It was a lot heavier than I thought, but it was worth it,” said Crosby, who played only 32 seconds in the third because of his injury and watched the rest from the bench. “It’s a dream come true.
“It’s everything you imagine and more. It’s all the sacrifices you’ve made, and your parents. It’s what all your coaches have done for you.
“All these people I wanted, I wanted to do it for. And the guys sitting next to you.”
June 9, 2009 … prior to Detroit’s Game Five victory, which gave them a 3-2 lead in this series … the posted wagering line on the outcome of the Stanley Cup Finals was:
Pittsburgh Penguins +131
Detroit Red Wings -141
If told on that day these teams would be playing a Game Seven, with a posted line of:
Pittsburgh Penguins +175
Detroit Red Wings -185
Would you have felt good about the opportunity to cash in on the Red Wings at -141?
Yours truly did, most definitely.
It should be another hum-dinger this evening, at The Joe, with the home team eventually celebrating their 5th NHL Championship in the last 12 years [excluding the lockout season].
The Detroit Red Wings, under the ownership of Mike Illich, and the expert direction of Jimmy Devellano and Ken Holland, have been a Prime Example of “How a Top Notch Organization Goes About Its Business, which just happens to be Winning.”
… then, perhaps, it’s high time the accused SHOULD be convicted.
Greed-driven MLSEL doesn’t deserve a single penny
Other than the sultans of Bay St., the days when it was possible for someone to take their family to a Leafs game ended about the same time the team paraded the Stanley Cup to city hall. Not that there has been a lot to see since MLSEL and the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund took control of sports in this city.
MLSEL is to sports what the Titanic was to shipping. It makes lots of money, it’s full of all the beautiful people — and it always ends up dead in the water.
That this business — and it is business more than it is a sports enterprise — needs protection money after it has pillaged the local populace is an utter abomination.
It is not MLSEL that needs protection from Baum. It’s southern Ontario hockey fans.
They have had to watch a franchise that was once a national icon degenerate into a corporate logo for selling everything from concerts to condos. The hockey? Abysmal. And, that’s being polite.
The MLSEL mess doesn’t stop with just hockey. Everything they touch makes an ash of itself. Show me a Raptors star and I’ll show you a guy who left town in a huff — mostly because he got tired of being surrounded by garbage year in, year out.
They were lucky. They got to leave. The fans just got a ticket renewal with a price increase.
What’s commonly known to as, “Going Yard.”
Kudos to you, Sir!
“But, hey, how long does it take to figure out nothing plus nothing equals MLSEL?
And that’s what they should get.” – Bill Lankhof
No major team sport has a post-season which is more physically gruelling than the NHL’s.
At the moment, the Detroit Red Wings [i.e. the defending champs] are -141 to re-capture the championship vs the Pittsburgh Penguins. At that price, and given their defensive prowess, the Red Wings are an extremely attractive proposition to win this series.
Whether it’s in the NHL, NBA, NFL, MLB or any other environment you might care to mention …
Wings can see Cleary now that Ducks are gone
Said Mike Babcock, the Detroit coach: “There are lots of teams that are home for the playoffs and they think that they are close, but they don’t know. Because until you measure your players at this time of year you don’t know if you’re close at all.”
is simply inconsequential.
Measuring your mettle ONLY happens in the Playoffs, when the Bright Lights are On and the BEST TEAMS are the last ones standing.
“Thinking” and “knowing” are two completely different things.