Forward Alexei Kovalev of the Ottawa Senators dropped the gloves and went with defenceman Francois Beauchemin of the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night. So what was that all about, Kovy? “I just tried to use my head to hurt him,” he said. . . . The last time Kovalev fought? It was in March 2006 when he scrapped with Toronto’s Darcy Tucker. . . . Tucker, who played on the three Kamloops Blazers’ Memorial Cup winners (1992, 1994, 1995), has announced his retirement after 14 NHL seasons. He will work at becoming a certified agent and will join Carlos Sosa, his long-time Auburn, Wash.-based agent, in forming Turning Point Sports Management. . . . How many of the quarterbacks on the B.C. Lions’ roster right now will be in Kamloops when training camp opens in June? . . . And will Wally Buono still be the CFL team’s head coach? . . .
Mike Lupica, in the New York Daily News: “I’ve changed my mind: It’s actually MORE likely that you’re going to understand Inception than the FedEx playoffs in golf. And Fringe. And throw in the sport of cricket, too.” . . . When and why, as a country, did we become this obsessed with NHL exhibition games? Surely, it can’t be healthy for us. . . . Kelly Olynyk, the South Kamloops basketballer who now is a sophomore at Gonzaga, is preparing for his stage debut. He’ll be in the cast of Romeo and Juliet when it opens Oct. 22. . . . By the way, the Zags hold Midnight Madness on Oct. 15. . . . Steve Simmons, in the Toronto Sun: “The New York Rangers missed an opportunity (when) they placed defenceman Wade Redden on waivers. They should have done the same for the retired but still working general manager, Glen Sather.” . . .
I’m thinking you’re pumped about watching the Ryder Cup on NBC-TV today. After all, the Peacock Network will have 10 hours of coverage — 5 a.m. through 3 p.m., Pacific time. Except that none of that coverage will be live. Seriously. . . . Hey, don’t shoot the messenger. . . . The good news is that Johnny Miller is there for NBC. . . . By the way, ESPN aired its coverage live yesterday, running through 10 a.m. . . . When the U.S. Ryder Cup team was making travel arrangements, three caddies, including Steve Williams, got bumped from the charter for space reasons. To which Bud Shaw of the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote: “Unfortunately for golf galleries scolded by Williams or having cameras tossed into a nearby lake by him, Williams was bumped off the flight before it left the ground.” . . .
New York Jets receiver Braylon Edwards was arrested and charged with DUI last week. The New York Post story about the arrest included this line: “Edwards tried to catch a cab, but he dropped it.” . . . Vancouver comedian Torben Rolfsen covered that arrest with this: “If it’s anything like the rest of his career, the charges will be dropped.’’ . . . Are we going to be hearing and reading about Roberto Luongo’s groin all winter? When he surrendered the ‘C’, the Province had him on both covers and five or six inside pages. It’s hard to imagine how graphic the coverage a groin injury might get. . . .
Is Elly May Clampett really 77 years of age? . . . Here’s Montana Tech football coach Bob Green, in conversation with the Montana Standard, a newspaper in Butte: “Marriage and football are the same. There’s no ugly wins and there’s no beautiful losses. In marriage, there’s no ugly bride and no beautiful ex-wives. Nobody’s going to tell you your bride is ugly or your ex-wife is beautiful.” . . . I eagerly await the Oct. 12 release of Djibouti, Elmore Leonard’s newest piece of work. You should know, too, that Leonard will celebrate his 85th birthday on Oct. 11. . . . Former Kamloops Blazers captain Jared Aulin was released from a tryout with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers this week. He was offered a tryout with the Oilers’ AHL affiliate, the Oklahoma City Barons, but seems more likely to try the European route. . . .
Jeff Schultz, in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “HBO’s Bryant Gumbel thinks the NCAA should put the (Florida) Gators on probation for all of their arrests, reasoning: ‘I’m no legal expert, not by a long shot, but I do believe that driving drunk, robbing a convenience store, and hitting your girlfriend are all worse offenses than dealing with an agent.’ I think I suddenly like Bryant Gumbel.” . . . The Atlanta Thrashers have said they will play Dustin Byfuglien as a defenceman this season. What do you think of that, Jeremy Roenick? “That might be the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in my life,” Roenick said on his weekly Sirius-XM radio show. “Dustin Byfuglien as a defenceman. I would love to play against Dustin Byfuglien as a defenceman. I would turn him inside out, left, right and centre every single time.” . . . Alberto Contador, the Tour de France winner, has tested positive and blamed it on the beef. Sheesh, why didn’t Ben Johnson think of that? . . . Gotta wonder if Contador’s dog ate his homework before or after it ate the meat? . . .
Before playing against the Toronto Argonauts in Moncton on Sunday, the Edmonton Eskimos dined out at a lobster establishment in North Rustico, P.E.I. Before they were done, Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun reports, they had demolished 148 pounds of lobster and 254 pounds of mussels. . . . The tab, by the way, was $4,477. . . . And if you think that’s a good chunk of change, what about the Dallas Cowboys? The entire team went out to dinner on rookie receiver Dez Bryant the other night and he ended up on the hook for US$54,896. Seriously. . . . You’re right. Those idiots can’t relate to the rest of us. . . .
Jim Caple, over at ESPN.com: “Nice promo from the friendly folks at BP, who gave us the oil disaster in the Gulf this year. Cubs fans recently received a scorecard with an attached BP gift card worth $5 to $10. But the Cubs had to win the game for the cards to be worth anything. Naturally, the Cubs lost 13-0, so fans left the game with a worthless card that will provide a nice addition to a landfill and also serve as a nice little reminder from BP that their team isn’t any good.” . . . That could only happen to Cubs’ fans. Right? . . . Some folks got together the other night and roasted longtime basketball coach Bobby Knight. Here’s how emcee Jay Bilas opened the proceedings: “Coach Knight has requested that none of the roasters bring up his past behavioural issues or his considerable use of profanity, so thank you everybody for coming, and good night.”
Gregg Drinnan is sports editor of The Daily News. Email him at email@example.com, follow him at twitter.com/gdrinnan, or visit his blog at gdrinnan.blogspot.com. Keeping Score appears Saturdays.