Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Good Choice By Hockey Canada
You won't see this cowboy complaining one bit about who Hockey Canada has pegged to be the head coach of the national junior team. I am told that Medicine Hat Tigers bench boss Willie Desjardins (pictured) is said to be the guy with an official announcement coming very soon. With all apologies to Don Hay of the Vancouver Giants, I think Desjardins is the best coach in the WHL today. He led the Tigers out of the doldrums to make them one of the top junior teams in Canada as they went to two Memorial Cups in 2004 and 2007. He has also molded players like Cam Barker, Jay Bouwmeester, Kris Russell, Clarke McArthur and Darren Helm who are all enjoying NHL careers today. You can add the name Tyler Ennis to that list very soon. While I liked our chances to achieve the "Saskatchewan sixpack" before, I love them now thanks to this. I do find it interesting though that Desjardins' two assistants come from the Ontario Hockey League meaning no coach from the Quebec league will be involved.
My good friend Pete Paczko has come up with an interesting little nugget. Pete hosts SportZone on Access Channel 7(its a show you really should watch if you don't already....especially when his normal co-host can't make it and he goes to the bullpen to find a damn sexy and knowledgable replacement) and he found this out Tuesday night. I take this item from his blog....
Regina-based NHL defenceman Jamie Heward is contemplating ending his playing career, and launching a coaching career. Heward, who is coming off an injury-shortened 18th season in professional hockey, was candid about his career plans on tonight's taping of the SportZone program on Access 7. The program will air Wednesday night at 6 p.m. and Thursday at 3 p.m.In the interview, Heward revealed he plans to meet with Regina Pats G.M. Brent Parker to talk about the team's vacant coaching positions. If those talks prove fruitful, the most likely scenario would have Heward taking on the role of assistant coach under Curtis Hunt, who would return to the Pats after a one-year term with the Ottawa Senators organization. Hunt is seen as the front-runner to replace Dale Derkatch, who was fired after one season at the helm. Assistant Coach Terry Perkins was also let go, in the wake of a disappointing season for the Pats.Heward hasn't completely resigned himself to ending his playing career, but admits any discussions about the coaching opportunity with the Pats will factor into his decision-making process. The 38-year old Regina native started the 2008/09 NHL season with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He was sidelined with a severe concussion on January 1st, after an on-ice collision with Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin. While recovering from the concussion, his rights were dealt to the Toronto Maple Leafs at the NHL trade deadline in March.
Good work Pete!! By the way, I would be that guy who periodically gets called in to co-host.
The NHL has to love the fact that three of the four second round series are going to Game 7's as Boston and Anaheim both do what they had to to force a one game winner take all showdown. The Bruins have seemingly gotten their game back on track after dominating Carolina for the second straight game winning 4-2. Don't count out the Canes though. Just ask New Jersey!!! I'm sure my good buddy Rob Swallow---a Boston fan --will be sweating it out over the next couple of days hoping his B's can move on. By the way, Rob was the best damn producer a guy could ask for when I was at Newstalk. When he left, it all started going downhill as far as capable replacements go. As for the Ducks, they beat Detroit 2-1. The end of that game saw Pavel Datsyuk and Scott Niedermayer dropping the gloves. Datsyuk and Niedermayer???!! All the buzz of course is for tonight's Game 7 between the Caps and Penguins. Sid, Evgeni and Alex take the spotlight together on the ice one final time this year and if the first six games are any indication, expect another dandy. I hope for the league's sake this series has given them everything they wanted and then some. Its too bad only one game was on NBC and its too bad games weren't on ESPN but what can you do. It will be interesting to see the US numbers when they come out.
I had to laugh today watching Pardon the Interruption as Tony Kornheiser mocked the fact that Canada will go without the Cup again after Vancouver's defeat on Monday night. I then heard that the NHL loves this because they know they have four American teams left and can generate excitement in those markets and Canadians won't shy away from the game they love. Has anyone seen the excitement already created??? You have three of the original six teams still involved and you could have a guarantee of one of those original six teams in the final if we see a Detroit-Chicago final. You don't need to tell people in Chicago what the game is all about and the same with Detroit. I still don't know if people outside of the hardcore Ducks fan care about hockey especially when the Dodgers and Lakers are still playing. Pittsburgh and Washington love their hockey and so does Carolina. As for Canadians not shying away from the game they love even though a Canadian team is not involved, just look at the rosters and realize the Cup will spend a lot of time in Canada again this summer.
Speaking of Pardon the Interruption, I really do love that show, but I'm becoming more and more addicted to Around the Horn. That show talks hockey just about every day and that is a good thing is it not??? I'd love to see TSN take a page from Around the Horn and do something like that with Canadian broadcasters and writers. It would be gold!!! I like The Reporters but they could change it a little and if they wanted to put a show like this in place of Off the Record, I wouldn't mind either.
The play of the Jays hasn't really turned on Toronto baseball fans, but I had the feeling that might change Tuesday night and it did---at least for this night. Over 45-thousand people packed into Skydome to watch Roy Halladay and the Jays battle A-J Burnett and the Yankees as Toronto starts playing their American League East rivals. Halladay is god-like in Toronto for good reason while Burnett is not popular and really never was in Toronto for various reasons. In the end, those that went or who didn't watch the Stanley Cup playoffs to watch this one on Sportsnet had to like what they saw. Halladay was on the top of his game as he usually is. Add that to the fact guys like Adam Lind, Aaron Hill and Travis Snider who have helped the team have the best record in the American League all chipped in in a 5-1 win. A sweep over the Yankees might get people talking about baseball again.....even during the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The CFL's biggest mouthpiece and maybe the sharpest dresser in the league is staying with the Stampeders. Nik Lewis signing a contract extension with the Grey Cup champs. He had a career high 87 receptions and 10 TD's in 08. Rider fans know Lewis talks a big game, but they also know and respect the fact that he backs it up as well.
The provincial government has come out with a website that will help everyone when it comes to the cleanliness of your favourite restaurant. You can find it by going to http://www.health.gov.sk.ca/restaurant-inspections. I went and took a look at the some of the favourite places where Tracey and I like to go. Most of them passed but one in particular made me feel a little queasy. I don't know if we'll be ordering from this place anytime soon which is too bad because I love their product!!!
CTV Regina had a feature on the Evergreen Golf Course at Nipawin last night. For my money, that is the best golf course in Saskatchewan. It looks like the course is in great shape. I highly recommend plunking some coin down and playing 18 there if you get the chance. It is a great layout!
At one point in the early stages of this blog, I thought about having a douchebag of the day or the week but I went against it. If I were to have that, the honor for this week would fall on Ernest Provetti of Orlando, Florida. Ernest and his 12 year old son were at Game 4 of the NBA playoff series between Boston and the hometown Magic on Monday night. Ernie must have some $$$$ because he had courtside seats and you know those babies aren't selling for cheap. Anyhoo, Boston's Glen Davis makes a game winning shot as the buzzer sounds and as he celebrates, he puts his hand into the small of Provetti's 12 year old son's back. It was not a malicious shove...it was one of those bumps you might get when walking through the mall at Christmas time. Ernie has to make a big deal of this as he e-mails the NBA office demanding an apology from Davis who he says acted like an animal and had no regard for his son's safety. Davis did apologize but I don't know why. Why was this kid so close to the court when the game was on?? Isn't he supposed to be sitting behind the bench??? Was he seriously hurt??? Someone is just looking for attention and unfortunately for Mr. Provetti its not the attention he wanted. Everyone is just crucifying this clown and for good reason as far as I'm concerned. I'm guessing the kid has to be very embarassed at the behaviour of his dad as well.