Saturday, November 5, 2011





How giddy are they in Toronto with the Maple Leafs off to a 9-3-1 start? Well, head coach Ron Wilson, normally outsnarked only by New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella, says Dion Phaneuf is the best defenceman in the NHL and that it isn’t even close. . . . And the Stanley Cup parade will begin in front of the ACC on Sunday, after the Leafs dispose of the defending-champion Boston Bruins tonight. . . . Right? . . . Steve Simmons, in the Toronto Sun: “When (New England Patriots tight end) Rob Gronkowski got caught posing for a photo with porn star BiBi Jones on his bye week, I could hear the words of Jack Gotta, the old CFL coach saying: ‘Why don’t they just hunt and fish, like we did?’ ” . . . The Kamloops Trap and Skeet Club raised about $1,500 for cancer research at its Shoot for the Cure, a week ago today. During the winter, the club holds practice shoots on Sundays, so if you’re interested check it out. . . .

The happiest guy in town these days just might be Tom McInulty Sr., who just happens to be a huge fan of the St. Louis Cardinals. I’m hearing he may even apply to be their next manager now that Tony La Russa has retired. . . . A few weeks ago, a sporting fan walked into the MGM Grand in Las Vegas when the Cards were five games out with 15 to play, notes Len Berman of ThatsSports.com. The gent put down $250 “on the Cardinals making the World Series at 500-to-1. He won $125,000. He also wagered $250 on them winning the World Series at 999-to-1. Total haul: $375,000. So far, his identity is unknown.” . . . I don’t think it was Tom Sr., although, come to think of it, I haven’t heard from him in a while. . . . After hearing that Moammar Gadhafi was to be buried at an isolated location, Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel wondered: “Where is that — Tropicana Field?” . . .

Don’t forget the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association has its national cross-country championships set for McArthur Island on Nov. 12. The women’s race begins at 12:30 p.m., with the men starting an hour later. . . . Had you been in Sunrise, Fla., on Monday, you could have purchased a ticket for the NHL game between the Panthers and Winnipeg Jets for as little as US$4. The cheapest ticket for a game between the same two teams in Winnipeg on Thursday will set you back $119. . . . There were four linebackers named to the BCFC all-star team, and not one of them was named Drew Makortoff. You are free to wonder why. Makortoff, the Kamloops Broncos’ best player, led the BCFC in tackles, but, for some reason, that wasn’t deemed all-star worthy. . . .

Remember when it was all about being a left-handed pitcher? Forget that. You want your son to be a kicker. The Oakland Raiders signed kicker Dave Rayner two weeks ago on a one-game emergency basis. They paid him US$40,294. He handled the game-opening kickoff and was never seen again as the Raiders lost 28-0 to the Kansas City Chiefs. . . . Ian Hamilton, in the Regina Leader-Post: “The NFL fined Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu $10,000 for using a cell phone from the team’s sideline — even though Polamalu was calling his wife to tell her he was OK after a hard hit. The NFL has made some bad decisions over the years, but that one’s head and shoulders above the rest.” . . .

Perry Pearn, the assistant coach fired last week by the Montreal Canadiens, had signed a contract extension shortly before the axe fell. . . . Pearn and Kamloops Blazers head coach Guy Charron are good friends. . . . After Habs GM Pierre Gauthier fired Pearn, Jack Todd wrote in the Montreal Gazette: “There’s a word for what Gauthier did to Perry Pearn. It was shabby. The firing had nothing to do with building a fire under this team and everything to do with throwing some fresh meat to the wolves to throw them off the scent of Gauthier himself.” . . . Congrats to Tom McManus, one of the good guys in sports in our city, and the TRU WolfPack women’s soccer team on winning the PacWest championship on Sunday. It’s one thing to win a championship, but when you do it by beating the home team on the road, well, the taste is that much sweeter. . . .

Ralph Krueger, the Edmonton Oilers’ associate coach under Tom Renney, is living in a place owned by former Kamloops Blazers forward Hnat Domenichelli, who is playing in Lugano, Switzerland. “You want to talk about weird, small worlds,” Krueger, a former Swiss national team head coach, told the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson. “Hnat played for me at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver and when Hnat saw I’d signed in Edmonton in August of that year, he just happened to be playing an exhibition game against my son Justin, who was playing for Bern. He told Justin, ‘Have your dad contact me. I’ve got an apartment I can rent him.’ ” . . . The Detroit Red Wings have lost six in a row. You don’t suppose the hockey gods are punishing them for having Todd Bertuzzi on their roster, do you? . . .

I can only imagine how shocked and dismayed you were when you heard that Kim Kardashian had filed for divorce. As someone tweeted: “In the future everyone will have their 15 minutes of marriage with Kim Kardashian.” . . . Will last Monday be remembered for Kardashian and Kris Humphries visiting Splitsville, or for La Russa’s retirement? . . . La Russa was a major league manager since 1979; the other two lasted 72 days. . . . After an ugly incident in a Lingerie Football League game, Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times wrote: “Tamar Fennell of the Cleveland Crush traded punches in the middle of a play with Julie Rolfe of the Tampa Bay Breeze. Referees, ever PR-conscious, threatened to throw a penalty flag if they didn’t break it up within five minutes.”

Gregg Drinnan is sports editor of The Daily News. Email him at gdrinnan@kamloopsnews.ca, follow him at twitter.com/gdrinnan, or visit his blog at gdrinnan.blogspot.com. Keeping Score appears Saturdays.

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