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Give Us A Break

March 8, 2007 @ 08:37

Man oh man, who is Mario Lemieux trying to kid.

Mario and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins shareholders have hit a wall in their negotiations with the city of Pittsburgh for a new rink, but using Las Vegas as leverage is almost laughable.

Does Mario really think anyone is going to take him seriously if he threatens to move a hockey team into the Nevada desert?

Holy shit, hockey is failing in Music City USA, its failing deep in the heart of Dixie and its on nobodies mind in Georgia.

What makes anybody think that parking a team in Las Vegas would lead to anything but failure?

Meanwhile Winnipeg sits there with a brand new rink and yet is being ignored I'm sure because of a directive from the NHL head office.

What am I missing? The NHL is a gate driven league yet they keep choosing markets that look like failures going in, and end up with owners wanting out.

How many times is it going to happen before somebody at the league office forgets about this pipe dream of becoming a major league sport in the States and looks north to a few Canadian markets that will give them what they need? Ticket sales.

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Funny Bill Lankhof

March 7, 2007 @ 08:24

I got a call from Mark Hebscher yesterday. He wanted to know if I had read Bill Lankhof's column in the Toronto Sun.

Hebsy knows I'm not a fan of Lankhof's and he wanted to make sure I had seen what has got to be some of Bill's worst work ever.

Through some maze of unbelievable bureaucratic horse shit at the Sun, Lankhof somehow emerged as the "funny man" of the sports section.

Problem is, he ain't funny. Never has been, and because it's not really something you learn in your 40's, he never will be.

I don't like to do this because it only serves to draw attention to his work, but I have to link you to yesterday's column so you can appreciate how unfunny this guy is.

Hebsher took exception to the Jewish baseball player story thinking the suicide squeeze joke was an awkward stretch, especially when the set-up allowed for something a little friendlier and clever like "Blomberg hit's a long fly ball.. it's going.. it's going.. it's off the wailing wall!"

Me, I take exception to it all but I particularly despise the Ricky Williams joke, unless of course it's directed at ten year olds.

If you've taken the time to read the fine work of "Funny Bill Lankhof" you'll notice the best joke in the column was the one that was credited to someone else and that just about says it all.

Newspaper unions must be a powerful thing because I for the life of me can't understand why this crap is allowed to continue.

I could go down there tomorrow and do a better job but believe me, that's not saying much.

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My Spin On Janssen

March 5, 2007 @ 08:41

Since Fridays night's game in Jersey I've received several e-mails from Leaf fans wondering what I thought of the Cam Janssen hit on Tomas Kaberle.

In particular was I upset with the Leafs reaction or lack there of.

That's a tough one. The Leafs reaction was uneventful you have to wonder if anybody really saw it or knew what happened before the slime ball Janssen left the ice.

It was well behind the play and down in a corner so it's possible before anybody on the ice got their bearings, Janssen had slithered back to the bench.

Some might argue that if Darcy Tucker could come running out of the dressing room and begin screaming at Janssen, then surely another Leaf could have reacted. But Tucker obviously had the benefit of the instant replay in the dressing room and that's why he reacted the way he did.

Before we condemn the other Leafs I think we should remember that Janssen get back onto the ice for the rest of the game, so anything short of attacking the guy on the bench wasn't possible.

As for the three game suspension, it's not long enough but typical of the NHL.

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Devils

March 3, 2007 @ 09:15

In the end it was nice to see the Leafs beat the Devils last night, because the New Jersey franchise has to be one of the most disgusting in the NHL.

Give them credit for their general success and a couple of Stanley Cups along the way but year in and year out this franchise is everything the NHL doesn't want to be.

They're a team that wins games by playing a boring brand of hockey in a dank arena in front of a sea of empty seats.

They don't help move the game forward, in fact if anything they've pushed it backwards this season by reverting to the old "trap" style of play and winning with it. It won't belong before other teams follow the lead and we'll be right back to where we started.

Lou Lamoriello will go into the Hockey Hall of Fame one day and he'll deserve it based on his statistical success, but for those who are close to the game and those who have a passion for the game his legacy won't be so impressive.

Lamoriello has a team in one of the most populated areas of the world but he could never turn those people into anything but fair weather fans because he could never offer up anything with excitement. Innovation to Lamoriello is the trap.

Once the novelty of winning wore off Jersey fans had no reason to go to games. Their team would probably win, but it would be one boring ride waiting for it to happen.


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Leafs Survive McCabe In Jersey

March 3, 2007 @ 00:01

One of the first hockey rules you learn as a kid is to "not dump the puck of the middle."

It's hard to believe that Brian McCabe - all five million dollars a season of him - could break such a basic rule in the closing minutes of last night's game against the New Jersey Devils.

With just over a minute to play, leading 3-2 and with Mat Stajan in the penalty box, the puck came around the boards to the right of Andrew Raycroft and McCabe blindly whacked the puck up the middle.

It was intercepted just inside the Leaf blue line and within seconds Sergei Brylin tied the game.

It was a totally unacceptable play by a veteran defenseman in the closing minutes of a game that meant so much to his teams playoff chances, and only serves to highlight what a horrible waste of money this guy was.

Lucky for McCabe the Leafs won in a shootout. It will take some of the heat off.

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Watters

March 2, 2007 @ 08:51

Without a doubt the most refreshing, most compelling radio personality in Toronto right now is actually not really a radio guy.

Bill Watters works on the radio but his roots are in big people stuff like management and finance and negotiation.

But since he's become a regular on Leafs Lunch with Jeff Marek on am 640, his constant and cutting attacks on upper Maple Leaf management have not only been compelling, they've been hilarious.

As a former executive with the Leafs Watters was on the inside and knows the real story, and his willingness to throw it onto the table and back it up with facts makes Leafs lunch a must listen for a Leaf fan.

And I can feel it escalating. Earlier in the season Watters would simply pass his opinion in a controlled manner with a consistent tone.

Over the past couple of weeks the volume has been turned up and the passion has increased, Watters has a big problem with Larry Tanenbaum and Richard Peddie and he's letting Toronto know it in an informative, intelligent and extremely amusing way.

Category: Radio | Sports

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Boo Long Boo Loud

March 1, 2007 @ 08:04

It actually took longer than I thought it would. The hockey fans at the Air Canada Centre have decided Brian McCabe is the next marked man, the next player to be singled out for shitty play, and the next player who will probably ask to be traded.

McCabe got booed every time he touched the puck during Tuesday night's horrid game against Buffalo and he deserved it, in fact he deserved it long before Tuesday.

McCabe isn't nearly as good as Leaf management and his contract say he is and even though Leaf fans may be suckers, they aren't stupid. They know a bad defenseman when they see one.

Brian McCabe has become the latest Aki Berg and Larry Murphy, but he carries a little more baggage because he carries a much bigger contract than Berg and Murphy did.

Some might argue that Toronto fans always have to have a whipping boy and it just isn't fair, but to that I say bullshit. After you've been sucked into paying exorbitant prices for tickets and then have the insult of an atrocious game thrown into your face, you have the right to do anything.

Who knows maybe one day Leaf fans will wake up and rather than boo they'll stay home.


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ARGH! or Andrew Raycroft's Glove Hand

February 28, 2007 @ 08:03

I'm not about to blame Andrew Raycroft solely for the past couple of Leaf games, but I really don't understand managements unwavering commitment to this guy.

Why wouldn't Jean Sebastian Aubin have started against the Sabres last night? Raycroft had a soft night in Montreal allowing five goals on 15 shots, and then Aubin shuts them out the rest of the way. Why not let J.S. have an actual start against Buffalo?

This has to be a personality thing between Aubin and Paul Maurice.

There was talk yesterday of the Leafs trying to acquire Curtis Joseph before the trade deadline and that's just ridiculous. At this point there would be very little too choose between Aubin and Joseph yet the Leafs were apparently willing to trade some future for Cujo. It just doesn't make sense.

In the end, its Leaf fans who are suffering. Andrew Raycroft is not the answer to their present or their future. He can make some spectacular saves, but you simply can't trust the guy over the long haul. ARGH!


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Third Time Is The Sweetest

February 28, 2007 @ 08:02

I don't know what to think about the Yanic Perrault thing. The Leafs have gotten rid of him twice before and they could have signed him as a free agent this summer with no compensation but chose not to.

But yesterday they give up a young defenceman in Brendan Bell and a second round draft choice.

I sit here in Brampton, in my underwear in front of my computer thinking that on some level I'm smarter than the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

That can't be.. can it?

Meanwhile, after last nights stinker against Buffalo I recieved the link to this website started by a Leaf fan.

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Dougie G.

February 27, 2007 @ 08:30

With the trading deadline arriving today I thought of something.

Rather than make a trade why don't the Leafs just bring back Dougie G. for the playoff run.

He may be over 40 and have a bad back and wonky knees, and he may have been off skates for two or three years, but come on, he's Dougie G. He can do anything.

And Wendel would look good on the wing.

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