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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mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
February 5, 2011 7:54 am

forgive me for critiquing a post from 5:06AM but i think the expression is either “off the cuff” or “on the cusp”, not “off the cusp”.

when The Purge happened at the FAN Kollins went on record as saying that they felt like certain shows weren’t doing as well in the book as they would like. As such, i feel that any decision to remove AK will depend on his numbers. Whatever they are now, it seems reasonable that his share will shrink once TSN RADIO hits the air, since there will then be competition for sports listeners where there currently is none. so, if it’s a numbers only decision, then he has to go.

i don’t listen to AK, but i didn’t listen to the previous morning show either so my opinion is not worth as much those who are making a conscious decision to turn away. he belongs on a talk station, if anywhere. the shock jock “say anything to get a rise” style is just not my cup of tea.

i think TSM is right: AK is doomed to fail in the role he was assigned, and the real blame for that lies with Kollins. the Brady and Blair moves have worked out well, but the AK move (and shifting PTS in order to run replays from 6-7) have not. i don’t believe the FAN is particularly well positioned to fend off TSN when they launch in April.

February 5, 2011 9:21 am

I hope this is all true. I’d love a new, more relaxed FAN morning show. I agree wholeheartedly with TSM’s opinion on AK. He seems like a smart guy, but not entirely suited towards a morning sports show. I listened to Don and Gord religiously. They were nothing thrilling, but it was good, easy going sports talk in the morning. AK just gets me wound up; and I suspect many like me who’ve tuned out just don’t want that BS in the morning. A sports station should be sports, and AK just isn’t a sports guy.

Chris A.
Chris A.
February 5, 2011 11:30 am

The Simmons tweet suggesting the demise of AK evoked a feeling in me that must have been akin to how the Germans felt when the first rumours emerged regarding the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. Alas, I may be re-united with my beloved fan590. I have been unable to listen to the station I used to play all day, every day since they switched to this sports illiterate idiot.

February 5, 2011 12:04 pm

Krystal is horrible. I listend to Don and Gord every morning. They were a great pair. Light hearted and somewhat goofy at times. It was informative and entertaining and they both knew their stuff. Krystal is one of these people that tries too hard to be controversial. He’s antagonistic towards guests on the show and I found myself actually feeling bad for the guests calling in because of his boorish behaviour. Kind of like if you invited friends over and your drunk uncle acted like an idiot. I gave him a chance for the first few weeks and now never tune into the Fan on my drive to work.

February 5, 2011 12:38 pm

Greg Brady co-hosted the morning show last week for a few days with Krystal and although he said it was because Dan Dunleavy was away, I found that to be an odd excuse. Plus, when Brady mentioned to Doug MacLean that he was only co-hosting the morning show for a few days and would be coming back to his normal slot, MacLean mentioned something to the effect of “that’s not what I heard.” Gotta love people who have no mouth filter. I suspect they were just testing to see how Krystal and Brady worked together as a team. The FAN seems to have a track record of pairing people up because it sounded like a good idea at the time so maybe that’s what happening.

Sam In Scarbrough
Sam In Scarbrough
February 5, 2011 12:49 pm

It would be good If Fan/590 morning host was gone.I was an avid listener In the past and I would welcome the opportunity to tune in again.

Stephen from Waterloo
Stephen from Waterloo
February 5, 2011 1:10 pm

Aging myself, but I miss the old days of Jim Hunt writing for The Star and co-hosting with McCowan. Also, I long for the days of ?, the old guy who lived in Florida on the week-ends and co-hosted the morning show. Damn, I can’t remember his name. He died a couple of years ago. Anybody?

The little I have listened to AK and the morning show of late seems to indicate that there is less rhetoric and an added emphasis on the co-host. MAYBE there is hope, though mostly I just look forward to the TSN radio offering.

February 5, 2011 1:36 pm

I think you’re right TSM. At the very least they should have paired Krystal with a real sports guy. I also think they should have let Krystal do more non sports topics. That’s clearly his comfort zone. Forcing a non sports guy to do 3+ hours of sports analysis everyday is asking for a lot.

February 5, 2011 1:39 pm

Krtystals debut reminds me a bit of when Derringer started on The Fan. He bombed at first and really struggled with sports knowledge.

The show didn’t work until they brought Marsden in. I think that was probably the only really successful morning show The Fan has had.

February 5, 2011 4:31 pm

Kollins’ cost cutting will haunt Rogers and the Fan. They cheaped out on Richards and look where they are now. They will get what they deserve: an inferior audience for an inferior product. Keith Pelley needs to fix this mess.

Steve (in Hamilton)
Steve (in Hamilton)
February 5, 2011 9:39 pm

Love the blog, but respectfully disagree, TSM. I think the morning host is terrible at his job. In the past few months I have heard him make such abrasive and insensitive remarks to and about others that I honestly don’t feel much sympathy for him. You reap what you sow, especially in terms of goodwill.

February 6, 2011 8:33 am

Having experienced Simmons short-lived show on The Fan many years ago, I’d say a 500 foot restraining order between him and a microphone or the word ‘radio’ would be fair.

February 6, 2011 3:54 pm

Mentioning TSN radio, TSM, any word yet on anyone outside of Richards who will be on the station yet? Heck, where are the studios even going to be?

Jessie Brockmann
Jessie Brockmann
February 7, 2011 11:18 am

Can’t wait for TSN radio; the Fan morning show is a joke.

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