Sunday, July 8, 2012





Put down your morning coffee so you don't choke on some of what follows in this paragraph and the next one. . . . In April, Michael Russo, who follows the Minnesota Wild for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, sat down for a chat with Wild owner Craig Leipold. In that interview, Leipold told Russo: "We're not making money, and that's one reason we need to fix our system. We need to fix how much we're spending right now. . . . The revenue that we're generating is not the issue as much as our expenses. And (the Wild's) biggest expense by far is player salaries." . . . On Wednesday, Leipold coughed up US$196 million for defenceman Ryan Suter and forward Zach Parise. . . . You figure it out! . . .

Zach's father, J.P. Parise, played for the Minnesota North Stars in 1971-72, a season for which he was paid $29,000. . . . If you average out Zach's 13-year contract over its life, he will earn $91,932.46 per game. And, based on an average of 27 shifts per game, he will make $2,965.56 per shift. . . . Included in Zach's contract is a $25-million signing bonus. Break that down over the life of the contract and you get $23,452.16 per game. . . . But the signing bonus is payable over three years. Broken down on that basis it comes out to $101,626.02 per game over three seasons. . . . Thanks to Terry Massey for the breakdown. . . . Now back to our regularly scheduled programming for the poorer people like you and me. . . .

While we're celebrating this city's Olympians, let's not forget to tip the cap in the direction of Jessica Vliegenthart, who is a veteran with the Canadian women's wheelchair basketball team. She lives in Victoria where she is attending law school. The Paralympic Summer Games run Aug. 29 through Sept. 9 in London. . . . You may know her as Jessica Des Mazes. . . . Wouldn't it be nice if CFL officials would throw flags every time a receiver was offside? Or would that many penalties stretch game times to four hours? . . . Perhaps TSN, which has the CFL television contract, could do a feature on how many uncalled offsides there are in a game, thanks to giving receivers a running start. . . .

American hammer thrower Kibwe Johnson, who trains in Kamloops, arrived in Portugal on Thursday for a pre-Olympic camp. He tweeted that it took him 2.5 hours to get through customs. So much for special treatment for Olympians. . . . You likely are aware that Roger Clemens was found not guilty of lying to Congress about using performance-enhancing drugs. As Bob Molinaro of The Virginian-Pilot put it: "The federal jury has spoken - Roger Clemens is not guilty of perjury. But he'll always be guilty of being Roger Clemens." . . .

So how was your Canada Day weekend? It sounds like your mayor's wife had a great time at a lacrosse tournament in Calgary. "2 moms got in a fight at the lacrosse tourney & the police had 2 be called," tweeted Lianne Milobar on Monday. "How sad the moms let it get that far." . . . Obviously, Cowtown is ready for the Stampede. . . . One of these days BC Hockey will get around to announcing that Tim O'Donovan, the Kamloops Blazers' communications and media co-ordinator and de facto video coach, will be the video coach for Team Pacific at the U17 World Hockey Challenge. That tournament will be held in Drummondville and Victoriaville, Que., Dec. 28 through Jan. 4. . . .

The thoroughbred owned by Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol of the L.A. Lakers ran recently and lost by a nose. "The horse has been around the NBA long enough," scribbled Brad Dickson of the Omaha World-Herald, "that he immediately flopped to the ground and claimed he was fouled." . . . How is it that Steve Nash didn't end up with the Minnesota Heat, er, Wild? . . . "A study found 70 per cent of teens hide their online behaviour from their parents," writes Cam Hutchinson of the Saskatoon Express. "The other 30 per cent are lying." . . . Having read all of Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels, I can say I never once pictured Tom Cruise in the lead role on the big screen. In fact, I would have imagined Katie Holmes in that role before Cruise. . . .

Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News is at Wimbledon. "Best road sign, Kensington Palace section of London, this week: Humps for 300 yards," he writes. "Best window message, at a Chinese herb store in Notting Hill: Weight loss, Infertility, Back Pain." . . . After the Toronto Blue Jays signed 49-year-old southpaw Jamie Moyer, Richmond blogger T.C. Chong wrote: "Dave Stieb and Jimmy Key both asked: 'So what are we, chopped liver?' " . . . The Blue Jays, of course, released Moyer on Thursday. . . .

A few Kamloops-related hockey notes. . . . Doug Lidster, who was on the coaching staff of the Canadian women's team at the Vancouver Olympics, has signed on as an assistant coach with the Texas Stars, the AHL affiliate of the Dallas Stars. Lidster and Texas head coach Willie Desjardins both are former Medicine Hat Tigers coaches. . . . Former Blazers defenceman Tyler Sloan has signed a one-year, two-way deal with Dallas. . . . Keaton Ellerby, another former Blazers defenceman, has reupped for one year with the NHL's Florida Panthers. . . .

"Not to stir things up," writes Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle, "but seriously, why can't we have a women's decathlon in the Olympics? Hey, IOC, we'll trade you straight up for rhythmic gymnastics. Make the hoops-and-ribbons part of the Opening Ceremonies." . . . I've written it before and I'll write it again: Why do so many people purchase vehicles in which the turn signals don't work? . . . According to David Letterman of CBS-TV, the New York Knicks and Kim Kardashian have the same draft philosophy: "Take the best athlete available." . . . After supermodel Kate Upton had a wardrobe malfunction while wearing a one-piece swimsuit on an amusement park ride in Santa Monica, the Left Coast Sports Babe claimed: "Kate is reportedly now sorting through the invitations to visit amusement parks in Canada and the U.S." . . .

In case you missed it, the World Burping Federation held its first championship recently in New York City. The winning burp went on for 18.1 seconds. . . . What's next? Well, the WBF, according to its website, "has established a focus group to explore the possibility of a 'burp-talking' division." . . . Sheesh, WBF, where were you when I was a teenager? . . . "What's the difference between a CFL player and the Canadian Mint?" asks R.J. Currie of SportsDeke.com. "The Mint isn't making pennies."

(Gregg Drinnan is sports editor of The Daily News. He is at gdrinnan@kamloopsnews.ca, gdrinnan.blogspot.com and twitter.com/gdrinnan. Keeping Score appears Saturdays, except when it doesn't.)

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