Rogers Sportsnet Lands Jeff Marek

The ink isn’t dry, yet. However, I am told that a deal between the former co-host of the Bill Watters show and Hockey Night in Canada employee Jeff Marek and Rogers Sportsnet is ‘Stephen Brunt Done’. You know, i’s haven’t been dotted, t’s haven’t been crossed, but a deal in principal is in place.

No, I am told, Marek will NOT be replacing Andrew Krystal. The deal is about television and digital properties. Marek’s acceptance will lead to the implosion that I’ve been told that is coming to Rogers Sportsnet.

This will be seen as a major loss to the fine folks at TSN who were in the running until this weekend. It is believed that Marek would have replaced the Dan Patrick show on TSN radio amongst other duties.

It says here that a crowded hockey department over at TSN probably swayed Marek’s decision to head to Sportsnet where change is in the air.

Look for a deal to be formally announced this week.

The best CEO’s in the world hire the best people around them and allow those people to do their jobs. When Brian Burke arrived in Toronto he hired what he thought were the best people to work with him.

I can’t say I have ever been invited to visit the troops over-seas, but I will guess that when the invite comes it’s not exactly an open invitation or negotiable. They ask, and you go.

This is the year 2011. I have friends and family over in the middle east. I can tell you from personal experience that the fine folks at RIM who built the BBM network did a fine job as I have never had trouble reaching those far and wide at a moment’s instance. We do have cell phones, email and text messages available to us too. I would also guess that if communication was the least bit a concern they do have satellite phones over there too.

Given all of those reasons and I am sure plenty more that are escaping me this am, I had absolutely no issue with Brian Burke being with our troops this weekend. The Leafs, you may remember didn’t make the playoffs. They’ve had a few days to prepare for July 1st. I would think they had their lists and maximum dollars they were willing to spend on each player they wanted. To me personally, it’s a non issue. Having said that, I can see where some would find it disturbing that Burke wasn’t here on the free agency frenzy day.

Couple of things I don’t understand. Was Burke’s absence a story worth writing about? Yes, I can see that. Did it deserve front cover status? Absolutely not. Was Steve Simmons story on Burke a tad over the top? Yes, I thought it was. Is Steve Simmons one of the best writers in the city? Yes he is. I’m sorry, and you know I love twitter, but the one drawback of the social media platform is the immature name calling that always goes on when people disagree with an opinion. I don’t subscribe to Simmons’s opinion on Burke, that doesn’t make him an idiot or half the things that people called him on twitter. His column every Sunday is one of the highlights of my Sunday reading habits.

I am off on a 2-week road trip with the family. Stopping in Ottawa, Boston, NYC, Philly, Baltimore and Washington DC. I will update as I can. LT will carry the lineup duties.

Happy belated Canada day to all. Happy July 4th to those south of the border.


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