Sunday Toronto Sports Media News

Ho hum, another season gone. Man did it go fast. Not much drama either. Now the fun begins. If only there was going to be as much turnover in sports media as there appears to be in the TML!

Here’s a round up of what I am reading, hearing and seeing on this cold, but sunny Fall, I mean Spring day:

Quote of the day comes from Adrian Dater, the awesome Colorado Avalanche beat writer and blogger:

“The whispers are starting in earnest, that former Avs winger Eric Lacroix could be the next GM of the Avalanche. Other than having no previous experience at the job at the NHL level, I can’t think of anything that should disqualify him for the job. Hey, why not? When your dad is still the team president, and you’ve spent the last year as a scout with the Phoenix Coyotes, watching every Avs game at the Pepsi Center as part of the job, and spent the previous couple of years in the front office of a minor-league team in Phoenix, why shouldn’t that get you a job running an NHL team?”

Gotta love walking into a new gig with those paid to critique you already taking jabs (and appropriately so). I love that Strachan has this as a done deal on what has become the Satellite Hot Stove. Is anyone else out there pissed that our hard earned tax dollars can’t do any better then the collective morons they put on what used to be the best segment of hockey talk every week? Who the hell is running that show?? Talk about a need for a mandatory review!

You can read Dater’s piece(not peace) here.

Funny how much of a homer Larry Brooks has become. His column used to be a good read. Lately it has become tired, boring and so predictable. Get a load of this crap:

“Speaking of making sense, there is nothing more absurd in sports than the NHL’s revenue-sharing system, under which the Maple Leafs, the league’s wealthiest and most profitable franchise, get a rebate check worth between $4-4.5 million because the rest of the teams’ combined payrolls created an excess of escrow money. The Maple Leafs did not come close to spending at the $56.7M cap, coming in at an approximate $49M. They invested, what, maybe 40 percent of their hockey-related revenue on payroll, yet they will get a refund because other teams invested up to 65 percent of their income on players? That would be tantamount to the Yankees getting revenue-share money from MLB because the Royals, Pirates, Marlins and Rockies went on a spending spree.”

Know this sports fans, if Glen Sather had done the same thing, Brooks’s lips would return to Sather’s ass to lay a big smackeroo right where his lips usually are. I say it a million times, bash the buds where they deserve it (there is lots of ammunition). How funny that the guy who was the police of the hockey writers has become a total shill for the home team. Dare I say Howard Berger has become more objective then this jackass. Seriously, I wonder if Brooks’ bedroom is adorned with photo’s of Sean Avery, Glen Sather and Bob Goodenow. Oh wait, I forgot, his favorite Ranger player of all time Bobby Holik, whom he lobbied for 975 straight columns for the Rangers to acquire. Dominic Hasek, that big hulking goalie once beat the pulp out of a hockey writer (the horror). I would love to see Brooks in a elevator or dark alley with Brian Burke!

You can read the rest of Brooks dribble here, including this gem, which you can discuss amongst yourselves” Oh, like Brian Burke wasn’t going to have Ron Wilson coaching the 2010 US Olympic Team?”

This is bad i know, but I can’t resist. What do you call soon to be new Maple Leaf goalie (I hope) The Monster prior to his first NHL appearance?

The Green Monster!

Proof is in the pudding:

” And he has a warning for those who plan to be on hand: Don’t feel too secure. “I keep hearing and reading about the 17 players we have under contract for next season,” Burke said the other day. “Well, those 17 had better not get too comfortable. “I’m not afraid to buy guys out. And I won’t hesitate to send guys to the minors if they have a poor camp. “I will do whatever it takes to do make this team better.”

I am not saying he won’t do it. I am just saying talking is one thing. Doing quite another. I hope the talk gets backed up, I really do.

Making a list and checking it twice:
“We plan to be quite aggressive in free agency,” he said. Burke can’t speculate on potential targets. So we’ll do it for him.Don’t be surprised if he makes a hard pitch for the Sedin twins, Daniel and Henrik. It was Burke, then the GM of the Vancouver Canucks, who wheeled and dealed himself into position to pick the highly skilled brothers at the 1999 entry draft. To this point, there is no certainty that the twins will re-sign with the Canucks.Florida Panthers defenceman Jay Bouwmeester also is likely to be coveted by the Leafs. There have been suggestions that Bouwmeester, a Prairie boy at heart, might favour the Alberta-based teams, however. Sens tough guy Chris Neil and Calgary Flames forward Mike Cammalleri are among the other possibilities. All the while, Burke understands the salary cap will likely drop in future seasons. A recent report suggested Burke would not go over $6 million US for any player.”

I know I am in the minority here. 2 thumbs down on the Sedins. Thumbs up on Neil and Jay Bo (but he aint going to sign here). If he gets the twins, I will be happy to eat crow should I be wrong, but I am not a big fan of dumping a boat load of cash on either or both of these guys.

Tie Who?

File this one under whatever happened to.. I ran into Tie Domi at SportingLife on Yonge street yesterday. The former bud and fan favorite used to be a huge drawer of crowds wherever he would go. There he was with huge Sean Avery sunglasses on, (may as well have been a neon sign saying LOOK AT ME), without anyone caring. He even took off the shades at one point, glances around the packed store (50% of shoes draws a crowd!) and again no one looked back, let alone ask for an autograph. Better yet, when I told Mrs. TSM that Tie Domi was in the story, 2 guys overheard me and said in unisen “WHO CARES”….ouch!

All Class:

I took the family over to the North Toronto Arena yesterday to see if Mike Toth was hanging out eating hot dogs. No really, my nephew’s team was playing in the Atom AA Ontario Tourney that was being held at the local arena. Red Kelly’s grandson was playing as well and he was sitting in the row behind us. My Father in law, the world’s biggest sports fan, as long as the sports are in Detroit, couldn’t help himself but chatting up with the 8 (yes 8) time Stanley Cup winner. Kelly, was the proud wearer of one of Mike Illitch’s new Stanley Cup rings that the current red wing over gave to players who won cups with the wings but never received rings for their efforts. While one game was being played on the North Toronto ice surface, another appeared to be played on Kelly’s ring too! Kudos to Kelly and his wife who chatted up my father in law for the better part of 10 minutes. Mrs. Kelly was STUNNED when my father in law knew her name…classic. The best part, and I can’t make this up was after the game, Kelly walked over to us and congratulated us on my newphew winning the game MVP award for his team. It doesn’t get any classier then that!

On A Sad Note:

I write this with a heavy heart today folks. In only a few short hours I will go put on my Sunday’s best and pay tribute to a great man. My great uncle passed away the other night at the young age of 85. The only reason that I share this here (not hear) is that there is little question in my mind that my love for sports and hockey can be traced back to him. As a younger man he somehow found himself in the constant company of the Stanley Cup winning Toronto Maple Leafs on a personal level. While I was too young to remember it, as a young boy he would take me and my brothers and cousins in to the buds dressing room to meet all the guys. He lived, at one point the dream many of us would have killed for. He used to travel with the team on the road. Those of the players who are still around, he still called friends today. Playing golf and cards with them on many a Saturday and Sunday afternoons. While he often fell asleep watching the games, I am not sure he ever missed a leaf, raptor or jays game if it were televised. Every time I talked to him, I was fortunate enough to hear the tales of his trips to see games in all of the major sports in eras where the athletes were true heroes. I was lucky enough to have dinner with him the night before he died. He sat at the table and told me how he used to take his son to New York to see the likes of Jim Brown and OJ Simpson run the ball (“can you believe they would rush for over 200 yards a game alone in snow?”). Each time I saw him a new story was told, different then anyone I have ever heard before. Each time, me like a 6 year old boy soaking in each and every one in as if I where actually there with him. A bombastic man he was, I am not sure a greater sports fan ever lived. An early riser, in the office at 4:30, 5am, he used to call it a night pretty early. 2 years ago he called in a favor to one of his buddies and scored us a pair of Jays tickets, first row above the Yankees dugout. It was the game that went the distance when Vernon Wells hit a walk off home run. The game ended late that night. Way passed his bed time. He sat there with me that night telling a million stories while he took in the game. We stayed till the end that night and I tell you no one screamed louder when Wells hit the ball out that night. Last season he was unable to go to the game, but of course secured the same pair for the same game and gave them to me. The next morning I called to thank him again for the tickets and of course he had watched on tv. As I left dinner the other night, totally unaware that it would be the last time I would ever see him alive, he said to me, “don’t worry, I will get those tickets this year…we’re going again.” Always the best of intentions, always wanting and willing to share the experience. Why with me directly, I do not know. I am such the better person for them, and I will remember him always. I think this year, when the Yanks come to town I will take little TSM in his honor.

Have a good Sunday…

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