Saturday, May 14, 2011
Barry Trotz, the head coach of the Nashville Predators, was in Detroit for a playoff game when, yes, someone tossed an octopus onto the ice. “I remember one time in Detroit,” Trotz told Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal, “Jordin Tootoo grabbed one off the ice and brought it over to our bench and threw it in the garbage can. The whole place went nuts. Toots said later, ‘You know what I should have done? I should have taken a big bite out of it.’ ” . . . Does this week’s goings-on shoot down the theory that the price of gas at the pumps is tied into the price of a barrel of crude? . . . A horse named Pants on Fire finished ninth in the Kentucky Derby. “If I’m not mistaken,” wrote Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel, “this is the Jim Tressel-owned horse out of Buckeye Stables.” . . .
Larry Brooks, in the New York Post: “So the name this time, the coach several sources have told Slap Shots that Lou Lamoriello intends to hire this summer, is Ken Hitchcock. And that makes perfect sense because the Devils general manager, who in the previous six summers since the lockout hired Larry Robinson, Claude Julien, Brent Sutter, Jacques Lemaire and John MacLean, has to go for the safe pick this time, has to go for a coach who will grab every one of his players’ attention and command every one of his players’ respect the moment he walks in the room the first day of training camp.” . . . Hockey Canada had hoped to announce the host city for the 2013 IIHF World Women’s Championship before April 30. That didn’t happen. Now a Hockey Canada insider informs that “we’re hoping to announce the host city . . . by the end of the month.” . . . That month would be May. . . .
Ron Judd, in the Seattle Times: “Billboards popping up all around the Northwest of late are proclaiming May 21 to be ‘Judgment Day.’ Make sure your lawn is mowed.” . . . One more from Judd: “Ace detective Donald Trump, R-Inspector Gadget, is emboldened after claiming credit for re-establishing the already established birthplace of President Obama. The Donald now says he will pressure U.S. officials into releasing documents eliminating any shred of doubt that it was the Japanese Navy that attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941.” . . . With L.A. Lakers head coach Phil Jackson apparently headed to retirement, Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle sounds a bit skeptical. As Carlisle told ESPN.com: “I don’t know how long you can go to Montana and meditate and smoke peyote or whatever he does there. He’s going to get bored.” . . .
The Vancouver Whitecaps Women FC will meet the Colorado Rush in a W-League game in Chilliwack on May 27, 7 p.m., with proceeds going to the Canadian Cancer Society and the B.C. Cancer Foundation. . . . Defenceman Derek Henderson of Langley, who played for the Kamloops Storm in 2007-08, has decided to attend Simon Fraser University and play hockey there in the fall. He split this season between the BCHL’s Prince George Spruce Kings and the AJHL’s Grande Prairie Storm. . . . Dwight Perry, in the Seattle Times: “And you thought Parker Brothers charged an arm and a leg just to put a hotel on Boardwalk? The Mariners are paying $12 million for two Milton Bradley home runs this season.” . . . Reggie Hayes of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, after the Mariners released Bradley: “In the last week, Bradley was suspended for bumping an umpire, ejected for arguing a third strike and booed by Mariners fans for lack of effort. That’s known as the triple play of boorishness.” . . .
Outfielder Tyson Gillies of Kamloops has yet to play an inning this season because of leg/hamstring problems that cut short his 2010 season. He was back in Lincoln, Neb., visiting with a specialist this week in hopes of getting back on the field with the Class AA Reading Phillies. . . . Mike Drago of the Reading Eagle writes that Gillies “could be back on the field by the end of the month. . . . Phillies assistant GM Chuck LaMar said that Gillies adopted a new strengthening program for his legs and hamstrings, and that it has been effective to date.” . . . Do you think that Detroit Red Wings management will ever realize that the hockey gods are punishing them because Todd Bertuzzi is on their roster? . . .
Forward God’s Gift Achiuwa will attend St. John’s University and play for the men’s basketball team, the Red Storm. As David Thomas of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram wrote: “Achiuwa is the first athlete I’ve heard of named God’s Gift, although I know of many others who think they are.” . . . Steve Simmons, in the Toronto Sun: “Drafted in the first round of the OHL draft by the Erie Otters — Stephen Harper. It was a majority decision by the Otters scouting staff. ‘Second majority for Harper in a week,’ said GM Sherry Bassin.” . . .
“The idiot owners, the incompetent coaches, the inept players are dragging the game into the mud,” said a former NHL superstar. “They’re destroying it with their senseless violence. The game is no pleasure anymore. It’s an ordeal.” . . . Who said that? Actually, it was Bobby Hull and it was 35 years ago. . . . It isn’t often that you hear Kamloops mentioned on B.B. King’s Bluesville, which is at 70 on your XM Radio dial. But that was the case earlier this week when host Pat St. James was playing Ain’t My Time to Sing the Blues by Kamloops’ own Sabrina Weeks and Swing Cat Bounce. It’s a cut off the album Tales from Lenny’s Diner. Yes, it’s terrific. And, yes, St. John loved it. . . . Ian Hamilton, in the Regina Leader-Post: “Thanks largely to the play of goalie Antti Niemi, the NHL’s San Jose Sharks took out the Detroit Red Wings to win a Western Conference semifinal in seven games. Ultimately, Antti made the Wings cry ‘Uncle!’ ”
Gregg Drinnan is sports editor of The Daily News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him at twitter.com/gdrinnan, or visit his blog at gdrinnan.blogspot.com. Keeping Score appears Saturdays.