This is going to be an interesting 10 weeks folks as the Islanders media continues the age old mantra “The Toronto Hockey Media…..” and the Toronto Sports Media continues to poke away… Steve Simmons led the way, others have chipped in too. Tonight however it is Jeff Blair over at the Globe and Mail who hits the homerun. His article is priceless, GOLD Jerry GOLD:
“Nobody’s grown up wanting to play for the New York Islanders since the early 1980s, so it’s hilarious listening to people who think it’s a big deal that John Tavares hasn’t just come out and said he has no interest in helping clean up the mess left over from Mike Milbury’s reign of error. Burke has more financial ammunition than anybody in hockey. He can take on onerous contracts from the Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning in return for manipulating the draft to get Tavares, and stick as many guys as he wants down in the American Hockey League to make it work.”
You know the retort here, “at least we won a cup since 1967……” I was told by an NBA executive upon learning of the state of the game at the recent board of director’s meetings that there are owners in both the NHL and the NBA who are in DEEP, DEEP shit. As in hemorrhaging red ink, look for teams to have to cut payrolls this summer big time. Burke has the one thing others want, money. Does that mean other teams will make stupid deal? No. Does it mean they may be forced to deal away assets they would rather keep…you bet….
“Equally hilarious is the notion that the Islanders need Tavares or they will lose face, that somehow he will spearhead a hockey revival on Long Island and get an arena built. Please. Tavares is a hockey player. He isn’t exactly LeBron James when it comes to drawing power south of the border. He’s about as well known as Victor Hedman. But the real question is this: Why on earth would he want to play hockey on a team that is at best the No. 3 team in the area, behind the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils? Tavares wouldn’t even be as popular as Sean Avery. He’ll be a nobody in Long Island, playing on a nowhere team. If he wants to maximize his earning potential and land endorsements, he can do it only in Toronto.”
I don’t know much about JT, but I am not sure about his desire to be well known. His handlers on the other hand have a vested interest in him being VERY popular. One has to wonder who drives the Tavares bus, John’s parents or his agent? Any actions or words he makes will say a lot about that over the course of the spring.
“At any rate, kudos to Burke for making the Leafs’ off-season worth writing and talking about. Doug MacLean, the former Columbus Blue Jackets GM who co-hosts a Toronto radio show with Jack Armstrong, attempted to take Burke to task last week and essentially suggested the Leafs GM was dreaming. It was a good on-air confrontation, although Burke was joyously dismissive of MacLean. Burke, after all, still has a job as a GM, and MacLean lost points for calling the Leafs GM “Burkie.” What is it with these guys in their 40s and 50s and their juvenile insistence on frat-boy nicknames when they talk to each other on the air? Tough to take their journalism seriously, no? Would Peter Mansbridge call Stephen Harper “Harps”? Would Harper call Mansbridge “Mannie”? Personally, I blame “Coley” Campbell.
WOW- Hey Jeff, how do you like the Raptors play by play guys “E” and “Jonesy”…Is there anything more pathetic then that. In fairness to Maclean, he isn’t the only on air talent who does this, Stellick, Landry, Watters and yes even Mccown are all guilty of this pathetic pastime. They all sound like such idiots when they call someone by their nickname. Oh, and how freaking original is any nickname when all you do is add the long E to the end of their last name???
This is great stuff. I can’t wait to see the Isles media retort to this. It’s going to be an exciting couple of weeks for sure.
Read Blair’s piece here