Friday, February 25, 2011
One day after Hockey Night in Canada extended his contract long past his due date, Don Cherry was on TV guaranteeing a franchise for Winnipeg and saying that ex-Calgary Flames GM Darryl Sutter got a raw deal. . . . Sheesh. HNIC pays for that kind of inside information? . . . Hats off to the Kamloops Sports Hall of Fame’s selection committee for choosing the venerable, honourable and personable Kaye Kaminishi to be part of the class of 2011. Kaminishi’s story is nothing short of remarkable and should never be forgotten. . . . In almost 40 years in this business, I don’t know that I’ve met a more memorable person than Kaminishi. . . . Al Cameron, who used to sit in this chair, is in Charlottetown covering the Scotties Tournament of Hearts for the Calgary Herald. On Thursday afternoon, he sent along this tweet: “Appalling crowd here today; should’ve introduced fans to players instead of other way around to save time.” . . . TSN’s viewing audience for Jennifer Jones versus Cathy Overton-Clapham on Wednesday night averaged 647,000, the third-highest number for a round-robin game in Scotties history. . . . The peak number was 1.1 million. . . . Meow! . . . Most viewers left disappointed that no punches were thrown. . . .
One of the neat things about the NHL alumni game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Flames that took place in Calgary a week ago was that former NHL/WHL referee Mick McGeough worked the game while his son, Luke, was one of the linesmen. . . . Two other ex-WHLers, referee Rob Schick and linesman Lyle Seitz, worked with the McGeoughs. . . . Allan Maki of The Globe and Mail was at the NHL’s outdoor game in Calgary on Sunday. “The league,” he wrote, “is open to playing host to more than two a season, perhaps as many as five, maybe even playing host to them overseas in Europe. In other words, if outdoor hockey is something of a golden goose, the NHL is going to get every last egg out of it. Then cook and eat the bird. . . . Watching the Flames in their eyesore vintage uniforms, seeing the puck bounce around like a tennis ball Sunday, settling for so-so hockey at this stage in the regular season, if this was the last game the NHL ever held outdoors, it wouldn’t be a bad thing.” . . . I kind of liked the lead for a column by Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette earlier in the week: “If God had meant hockey to be played outdoors, he wouldn’t have invented refrigeration.” . . .
The NHL’s Edmonton Oilers put defenceman Sheldon Souray on re-entry waivers late last week. Souray, who has played all season with the AHL’s Hershey Bears, wasn’t claimed. But under some goofy NHL rule that is in the CBA, he had to fly from Hershey to Edmonton and back again. . . . Seriously. . . . OK, Sun Life, you can dump that commercial any time. Thank you. . . . The Daytona 500, which opened the NASCAR season on Sunday, is the reason we watch sports. One day after turning 20 and making just his second NASCAR start, Trevor Bayne became the youngest winner of stock car’s Great American Race. And the look on his face at race’s end was priceless. . . . I mean, the kid shaves once a week and he didn’t know the way to Victory Lane. . . . Is that great stuff, or what? . . .
Dr. Charles Tator, a highly respected neurosurgeon, had this to say this week about concussed NHL star Sidney Crosby: “I hope he gets back . . . but he may never be the same.” No one in our country knows more about hockey concussions than Dr. Tator, and those words should send a chill down the spine of anyone associated with the game. . . . Hockey administrators, and that includes coaches, have to get headshots out of the game. It’s that simple. . . . When Darryl Dawkins showed up for the NBA dunk contest wearing a rather loud green suit, TNT analyst Charles Barkley offered: “Hey, Mama, I found out what happened to your curtains.” . . . Are you old enough to remember when Dawkins was known as Chocolate Thunder? . . . Ahh, for the days of great nicknames. Today, he’d be Dawks. . . . Is it just me or is it looking more and more like the young Edmonton Oilers are going to grow up with Devan Dubnyk as their No. 1 goaltender? . . .
The Last Boy, written by Jane Leavy and subtitled Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood, is an amazing look at the life and career of the late New York Yankees slugger. If you were a child of the ’60s and a fan of the M&M boys, this is an engrossing, enthralling and devastating read. . . . Coming next month: Branch Rickey, written by Jimmy Breslin, and no one, but no one, writes like Breslin. . . . Goaltender Cole Cheveldave, whose WHL rights belong to the Kamloops Blazers, is the AJHL’s rookie of the year. Cheveldave, a 17-year-old from Calgary, plays for the Drumheller Dragons. He also is a finalist as MVP and top goaltender. . . . Last season, Josh Thorimbert, whose rights also belong to the Blazers, was the SJHL’s rookie of the year with the Kindersley Klippers. Thorimbert, 18, now is at Colorado College. . . .
With all the trades that have been happening in the NHL of late, you know that the talking heads who are set to dominate the boob tube on Monday are in a cold sweat. . . . It could be that one of the biggest names in play will be centre Brayden Schenn, who happens to play for the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades and whose NHL rights belong to the Los Angeles Kings. . . . Schenn, who is from ’Toontown, has put up 39 points in 16 games with the Blades, playing on a line with Jake Trask and Curtis Hamilton. Trask, also from Saskatoon, was acquired from Kamloops for a sixth-round draft pick. He had two points in nine games and was a healthy scratch for his last two games here. He has 53 points in 52 games with the Blades. . . .
Abe Vigoda turned 90 on Thursday. . . . Back in the day, he played the character named Fish on the great sitcom Barney Miller. I used to wonder why they never wrote in a scene in which Fish was playing Go Fish with Dietrich. . . . Phil Mushnick, in the New York Post: “Sherry Ross, (New Jersey) Devils’ radio analyst on WFAN, always is prepared, always has something interesting to add — and about both teams. And she does so calmly and clearly, no shtick.” . . . It’s worth noting, too, that she doesn’t waste your time whining about the officiating, either.
Gregg Drinnan is sports editor of The Daily News. Email him at email@example.com, follow him attwitter.com/gdrinnan, or visit his blogat gdrinnan.blogspot.com.Keeping Score appears Saturdays.