Sunday Sports Roundup

Back from Detroit. Fuuny, I didn’t get much of a feeling for how gung ho Red Wing mania is there this time. I spent almost the entire weekend in downtown Detroit and didn’t see anything Red Wing related at all. I actually heard a radio ad today for Red Wing playoff tickets..  If you ever go to Detroit, by the way, there is a great new hotel downtown.  Westin has redone the old Book Cadilac Hotel and I can tell you, the rates are very reasonable and the hotel AMAZING.  So if you want to go see the Wings, Lions or Tigers…check it out.

In any event… here is a review of the things I am seeing tonight:

Pierre LeBrun on the Hot Stove last night offered up his opinion that the Isles may be souring on John Tavares, and starting to think about not wanting JT as this years prize for finishing dead last.

“In the last couple of weeks there have been rumblings coming out of Long Island … and suddenly it’s not a sure bet, according to these rumbling, that Garth Snow will take John Tavares as we’ve been led to believe all along, I’m told the Lightning would immediately go to Toronto’s table and say ‘Alright, Brian, we’re open for business. We want Kaberle and Luke Schenn.”

Now, LeBrun did say, that in talking to a Leaf source he was nearly laughed off the phone, and this is only one person’s opinion. Let’s just say again, it is going to be very interesting leading up to the draft.

We here in the Great White North are fortunate enough to see all the Caps v Pens action. In the USA- not so much. At least not everywhere:

“According to sources, the NHL made approximately $3 million last year out of its profit-sharing arrangement with NBC. That’s $3 million, total, or $100,000 per team. Not even Phoenix needs that, not when the NHL’s signature series is all but shut out by the NBC, not when there’s no ESPN to showcase it. Do Bettman and the NBC people mean to say that there was no way a potential Game 5 of Ovechkin-Crosby — it’s only LeBron against Kobe, Magic against Bird, Tiger against Phil, Arnie against Jack, Brady against Manning — onto the network in prime time next Saturday night in place of all those “Law and Orders” that run ’round the clock? Does Bettman recognize what’s being lost here by not having the ESPN brand behind this dream matchup that will, in fact, be imaginary to scads of potential viewers. Here it is, Ovechkin vs. Crosby, the Caps vs. the Penguins, and it’s being played in the dark.”

Larry Brooks is 100 right on this one. Bettman Inc. has based his entire regime on 2 issues. Cost certainty and growth in the USA. Growth in the USA will never, never come with a television deal like the current one in place. With the economy in the shitter, I don’t see how the owners are willing to live with this television deal.

You know how much I love me them Sedins. I have said it repeatedly, and I know I may be alone, but I don’t want them on the Buds. Kevin Paul Dupont lists about 7.5 million reasons why I don’t:

“Their deal in Vancouver paid each of the Sedins $3.75 million this season. They easily will average upward of $6 million each on their next contract, and given that they won’t turn 29 until September, they might persuade someone to cough up, say, $90 million over six years, averaging out to $7.5 million per Sedin. A cap hit of $15 million is high, but as Detroit showed with deals for Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen, a couple of “soft” years can be tacked on to the back end, possibly lowering the cap figure for each to slightly below $6.5 million. All of a sudden, someone has themselves a latter-day version of Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson (young readers, please consult “Total Hockey,” 1978 Rangers).”

God, please tell me Burke isn’t going to blow the cap on these 2 guys….

Steve Simmons had a couple of beauties in today’s Sun. The first is a rarity. The Leafs getting defended in the local media.:

“But the sequence of events needs to be re-examined: 1) The Leafs waived Wellwood in June of last year; 2) Vancouver claimed him and signed him in early July; 3) The Canucks placed Wellwood on waivers in mid-October and sent him to Manitoba; 4) Every team in the NHL passed on Wellwood, even though he was earning less than $1 million US per season; 5) After recalling Wellwood, the Canucks scratched him from a number of games this season, even though he was not injured. To recap: The Leafs didn’t want him. The Canucks didn’t believe in him. The rest of the National Hockey League wasn’t interested. Goes to show that sometimes everybody can be wrong, at least over the short term. The Canucks were willing to spend $20 million on Mats Sundin and wound up with a more effective player for a fraction of that cost.”

I just love the morons who try to shit on the Leafs for cutting Wellwood. Just because a guy shows some promise elsewhere doesn’t mean that the team that gave him up was wrong for doing so. Making such a claim is more pathetic then giving up the player in question, by a long shot.

“I’m starting to hate myself because I’m starting to like some of the things J.P. Ricciardi has done. Nobody drafted before Aaron Hill is better than him. Marco Scutaro is tearing it up. Ricky Romero, before going on the disabled list, looked legit. It doesn’t exactly make up for the contracts given to Frank Thomas, Vernon Wells and Eric Hinske but what looked to be the end for J.P. is starting to finally look like a beginning”

These Jays are interesting. They lose a series to Kansas City and lots of folks, my included think and say, here we go, the beginning of the end. Yet then the O’s come to town and the Jays take the broom to them. It says here that the Jays should go get an arm and reward the guys for the amazing start. Be prepared for those lean days ahead…

Good Sunday night- talk on Monday.


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