The spotlight will shine firmly on the Brandt Centre and on Pats GM Brent Parker today. It is WHL trade deadline day. Will Parker pull a deal involving Jordan Eberle and/or Colten Teubert before the deadline is over. Parker wanted his team to make a run for it by getting Carter Ashton, Craig Orfino, Cass Mappin and Mitch Spooner, but the hockey team has not responded. They did get a shootout win over Medicine Hat last night, but they begin the day nine points out of the final playoff spot. With Eberle and Teubert, that is a tough mountain to climb and if they do get there, will it just mean another first round exit at the hands of a much stronger Calgary Hitmen or Brandon Wheat Kings.
There is no doubt Parker (Brent and Russ) are not very popular amongst the Regina hockey community because of what this team has or hasn't done over the last few years. Many people are at the end of their rope. I'm guessing Russ didn't like being booed on Friday when introduced before the celebrations to honor Jordan and Colten.
I am on record as saying I liked the trade Parker made with Lethbridge to get Carter Ashton. I thought it would it get this team going. It hasn't. This team is better than it looks, but there is a lot of dead weight in that dressing room. I don't think some of that dead weight will be dealt today because other teams have no interest. I would like to watch Eberle finish his junior career in Regina, and yes, I am being selfish when I make that comment. However, considering the fact this hockey team continues to spin its wheels, it might behoove Parker and the organization to make a deal----and a damn good one to make their team better. When I say a damn good one, I mean deals that are significantly better than the Brad Stuart trade to Calgary and the Josh Harding trade to Brandon.
Watching TSN's the Reporters this morning, Michael Farber put his thumbs down to trades in junior hockey. ???? He says its tough enough for young men to leave their families and set up shop in another place to follow his dream of playing hockey. He adds its even tougher when you are a good player playing for a bad team knowing you will likely get traded as have guys like Jake Allen, Alex Pietrangelo, Patrice Cormier and perhaps Eberle and Teubert because its another upheaval in their young lives. Farber even suggested this is why players should consider taking the NCAA route because they know they will never get traded. What a load of crap! If these players are in the WHL, its because they have a dream to get to the NHL. They know that they have to sacrifice a tremendous amount to get to that pot at the end of the rainbow. What does Farber want? The Warriors to only have players on their team from the Moose Jaw area, the Hitmen to have a Calgary only lineup, Prince George to stock a roster made up of players from northern B.C.? C'mon!
So much for rookie jitters! Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez looked like a polished veteran. He was mistake free as New York beat the Bengals 24-14 to move on in the NFL playoffs. Joining them in round 2 is the Dallas Cowboys. They were dominant in beating Philly on the last week of the regular season and they were more dominant in crushing the Eagles 34-14 yesterday. I can't stand the guy, but Tony Romo looks like the 2nd coming of Troy Aikman. The three pronged rushing attack of Felix Jones, Tashard Choice and Marian Barber is creating headaches for opposition defences. The Cowboys look good and dare I say it, they will give the Vikings everything they can handle and then some next weekend at the Metrodome. What a game that should be next Sunday afternoon. As for this Sunday afternoon, I see the Patriots having enough to beat what should be a pesky Baltimore team and even though I think the Packers are a better team than the Cardinals, Arizona is at home and they started getting things together last year by winning a playoff game no one they would when they beat Atlanta. Thus, I take Arizona in a high scoring affair.
I'm sure baseball fans have seen the Ken Burns documentary "Baseball". The nine segment film is going into extra innings. Burns says the 10th inning will focus on things like the players strike, the dynasty that is the Yankees, baseball post 9/11 and the emergence of players from Latin America and Asia.....and yes, there will be some talk about performance enhancers as well.