Friday Toronto Sports Media Roundup

Happy Super Bowl weekend. Little TSM has a 6 a.m. hockey game tomorrow, so I’ll get right to it:

Fascinating revelation in today’s Toronto Sun article by Steve Simmons. It’s an article on the Super Bowl, but had the folowing tidbit in it:

“The 2002 Toronto Maple Leafs believed they had a chance to win the Stanley Cup. They led the Carolina Hurricanes 1-0 heading into Game 2.

In between games, a small group of Leaf players went out and got plastered. The Leafs lost in overtime in Game 2 (had they won that game, they would have led the series 2-0 coming home, which would almost certainly have seen them in the Stanley Cup final).

Some of the players who behaved snapped at the ones who did not behave. Some ex-Leafs believe the Leafs’ Stanley Cup opportunity in 2002 ended between Game 1 and Game 2 in Carolina.”

I wasn’t living in Toronto in 2002. I remember the series well though, and I don’t remember hearing that story. Does anyone know who the party animals were? I know who I would put my money on.

Damien Cox had a great blog article today too:

“Second, two wins, and yet not a mention about how the Leafs are going to win the Stanley Cup this spring. Or next spring. Or the spring after that.

So when the clever folks among you snort “Start planning the parade” when the Leafs come up in conversation, remember nobody in the media and only the silliest of fans are saying such a thing.

Seems people are pretty grounded about the prospects for this hockey club around here.”

It’s a great point. It’s true that most of the slagging comes from Leafs fans, however, to say that none of these comments come form media is rather disingenuous. Some of my favorite MSMers on Twitter are so because they lay it on pretty thick on Twitter. Others, whom I don’t really like are pretty quick to throw the Leafs under the proverbial bus on the radio, TV or in print. It’s not just fans or just media who do it, it’s a pretty good mix of both.

“While I understand there are those that have already decided that Tyler Seguin (eight goals, nine assists in his first 50 NHL games) and a player to be selected likely to be selected in the top 10 of this spring’s NHL draft already add up to more than Kessel, I’m still thinking it’s worth waiting to see how this turns out. Players in Toronto seem to get either over-rated or criticized to the point their value is barely recognized, but the truth on Kessel is that he is a winger with explosive speed who can do things offensively that only a small number of players in this league can do.”

Good point. Isn’t the more appropriate point that it isn’t Kessel’s fault or problem who the hell he was traded for? I know it’s tremendously over simplified, but really. I know I am in the minority here, but I like the guy. I know he hasn’t lit it up like we had hoped. He is still young and he is playing with no talent whatsoever. Let’s see how this plays out.

see the Edmonton Oilers have slipped into dead last again. Guess they’ve got their sights set on Gabriel Landeskog, likely the top pick in the June entry draft. But let’s make a date for Jan., 2014. Only then, really, will we have any real evidence on whether the Oilers are doing their rebuild correctly or whether Brian Burke has done a better job with different ideas in Toronto. Like the Kessel trade, you’re just going to have to wait and let this play out.

I think that’s a fair assessment. 2 years from now the world could and should be different. We can hate the Kessel deal all we want this coming spring, but what’s done is done. Let’s see where we are in two years.

Ok. So, early this a.m. I had two seperate emails asking me or telling me that things were going on at Sportsnet Radio the Fan 590 again. This time the rumblings were about potential changes to the morning show. As the day progressed I had several more emails, however I had yet to hear anything concrete.

Then, around 4:30 this tweet flashed across my screen:

“Confirm or deny: Is Andrew Krystal out already as morning man at Fan590? Can’t get it confirmed but lots of people are saying he’s done.”

The author of the tweet was Steve Simmons.

How interesting I thought. Followed by, oh shit, here we go again.

Of course the emails and phone calls came exactly as I thought they would. Again, while all the usual signals of change were apparent, there were no official words. There were and still are signs everywhere. Yet still nothing more.

Then the current host of the morning show on the Fan responded with his own tweets, some of which included:

“@simmonssteve lol! You wish! I’m signed for a few years! Enjoy! Talk to you about S. Bowl on Monday. My lawyer will be in touch!”

” I like Steve. But he reported an utter BS story. Honestly. pathetic.”

“exact opposite. It’s the “minors” that report rumors. Totally bogus”

“it’s pathetic Steve never emailed me or called. What kind of reporters publish gossip?”

“the opposite. My show is being expanded”

“bogus and pathetic. Honestly”

“my show is doing well, actually. I’m really having fun on it too”

And there you have it.

My take?

The lawyer comment is laughable, really.

As I said, people have been talking about this subject for weeks.

I have no idea whether it is true or not. I don’t think a guy like Steve Simmons just writes stuff like that off the cusp. Think about it. Simmons is in Dallas covering superbowl. What exactly does he have to gain by writing something like that if it isn’t true. I don’t think he would be in the position he is in today if he were one of those guys known for reporting things without having a certain degree of comfort with the veracity of it.

As for the current host. I don’t know him. I don’t listen to his show. I personally feel badly for him. I’ve said this numerous times, I don’t think he is in a position to succeed. I think he isn’t doing the show he was hired to do. He is much better suited for the 9 a.m. slot. That’s just my opinion. As for his show being expanded, well that would surprise me. I hear that the Richards show on TSN Radio is going to be on from 6-10. The Fan morning show is only on until 9. Maybe they are talking about expanding it until 10. Who knows.

My overall sense is that in the end of the day a change will be made with the morning show. No one has told me that. It’s just a gut feeling. Who is coming? Who is going? I have no idea. My overall sense is that the new powers that be at Rogers will want a pure sports show starting the morning against whatever TSN Radio is going to have. It’s nothing personal, just a hunch.

Enjoy your Saturday.



Steve Simmons article is here

Damien Cox’s article is here

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