NHL Draft Weekend Thoughts & Blue Jays

By TSM

Sorry ya’ll been a tad nutty getting the little ones off to camp.

Been a very interesting couple of weeks so here are some random thoughts of mine:

Going back to the radio ratings issue I’ve drawn a few conclusions. First, the powers that be at the Fan 590 have to do something with their morning show. They can either write off the current team as a failure ala Andrew Krystal or they can try to “sports” it up.

If they are going to try salvage it, and by it I mean Blundell, then they are going to have to surround him with sports people or a sports person. I didn’t catch any of it, but I hear Matthew Barnaby was a good fill in a few weeks back. Problem is, in the dead of summer, I am not sure they can afford a pure hockey voice on that show. It doesn’t sound like there is going to be a ton of hockey talk this summer and the Jays are at least hovering around the playoffs. They need a broad sports expert on that show STAT. I also am not sure they have the benefit of time to figure that out. Not a ton of options on the current roster of the Fan to put in with Dean. I wonder if they have budget to go outside the company.

If the are going to kill the show, then who do they replace it with. Call it a hunch, but they will want to be in a better position for the first of the fall book. So if they are going to make a move it will have to be relatively soon. Same issue as above on budget. Would they dare put Walker and Brady back to mornings? That would solve the morning dilemma. They can figure out the graveyard 1-4 slot on the fly.

In my opinion here is where they are at. The morning show is literally unlistenable. It’s not his old show, and it doesn’t resemble a sports show. It’s better when he isn’t there, but the offering of Rusic and Ennis is marginally improved. No one will tune in to hear that. Will they listen because it’s on? Sure. It won’t draw an audience.

Time is ticking.

Up the dial, it’s the same old story. The show is slightly better with Cauz filling in for Richards. At least it’s a sports show first. However, as with Rusic and Ennis, no one is tuning into hear Cauz and Bastl either. I’d imagine that the TSN hands are slightly tied until the Richards situation is resolved. I think ideally they too would like to have a better morning show in time for the fall, but given the current competition I don’t think anyone is exactly losing sleep over it.

I didn’t get to see the NHL draft coverage on TV in that I was at a Leaf draft party. While it was on it was hard to pay any attention. It was odd to not see the TSN personalities on the show I will say that. I did catch the later round 1 coverage on TSN radio as I drove home and it was a good banter of leaf talk.

Clearly the TSN radio crew was amped up for a weekend of Maple Leaf trades as their disappointment was quite odd on Saturday afternoon (yet predictable given the banter on Friday afternoon). The group on the air went way over the top in my mind. On Friday afternoon the chatter had started that the Leafs in fact had already abandoned the rebuild plan and that Mike Babcock was a guy who wanted to win now. This sentiment got louder post draft on Saturday as the guys were all but saying the Leafs had rethought their strategy. I don’t know if this was an attempt to get people’s emotions up/build an audience or they really believe that but anyone who says the fans don’t have the patience should look at the media first! It’s not just the TSN radio guys either, Gord Stellick seems equally as antsy too! It’s not July and some media types are beyond antsy.

Season 1 of Rogers NHL is now complete. Keith Pelley, the master architect has fled the scene and I am told work is well underway to determine what season two will look like. The most intriguing question right now is who replaces Pelley. I am told there are three candidates. The first, an internal candidate is Pelley’s number one aide Scott Moore. Apparently the focus is on one of the two other candidates right now. What does that mean for LAP(life after Pelley)??? Great question. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are changes both in front of and behind the camera.

Couple of takeaways from my perspective. Rogers has misused two assets in Stephen Brunt and Damien Cox. Coincidence that both are writers???? In Brunt, Rogers has the best sports writer in the country. Why he is not being used more or better is disappointing as a fan. Love him or hate him, Rogers also has Cox. Again, for unknown reasons they don’t appear to be getting a ton of value out of Damien either. Damien in my mind is still producing his best work for the Star.

I’d put a looney on Jeff Marek playing a larger role next season.

Interesting, the Leafs make a salary cap deal with Columbus and get torched (shocking) by Larry Brooks. When the Flyers/Coyotes make one, the day before Pronger may get announced into the HOF and all it gets is a joke from Brooks.

He may have blocked me on Twitter but is there a better radio guest in this market then Dirk Hayhurst? How he doesn’t have an official gig somewhere in town is beyond me. Zaun vs. Hayhurst? I take Dirk (and that’s not a knock on the baseball version of Don Cherry).

Do you think that given the size of the market, Blue Jays fans are best served by our broadcast teams? Discuss amongst yourselves.

I caught a glimpse of the TSN Reporters yesterday morning. Farber, Naylor, Simmons and Arthur. Have you ever seen 4 guys looking more uncomfortable in suits? Someone send in a Ftorek sweater! I am no soccer fan, but I thought they were a little harsh on the Canadian women’s team that lost. I believe it was Farber who said “they will regret this for the rest of their lives”.

Lastly, the Pan Am games are about to kick off. The message to Torontonians everywhere appears to be “stay home” Everything sign I see tells me to avoid rush hour traffic. Easier said then done if you work isn’t it??? Given the stay away campaign, how is it that the Mayor is upset that people aren’t endorsing this event??????

Happy Monday!

TSM

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