Hey, all my pals in the Portland media. Yeah, I’m talking to you Paul Buker. And you Scott Sepich and Jason Vondersmith. Yes, and you Kerry Eggers, even though we’ve never met.
Don’t you folks be getting your hopes up. Heck, don’t be putting fresh batteries in the digital recorder. Forget about booking the photographers. You won't be needing a new notebook.
Because I’m told your long-awaited date with the WHL commish is going to have to wait.
A source familiar with all the goings-on has told me that “for the first time in WHL history,” at least to his knowledge, the news conference that has in past seasons preceded the WHL’s championship final “has been cancelled.”
Just when you thought we were out of the dinosaur age, along comes Canada’s daft grandpa with an attempt at taking us back to days of Tyrannosaurus Rex. Of course, I am referring to Don Cherry and his Neanderthal-like performance last night on the people’s corpse (aka CBC). . . . Now, to be clear, I didn’t see it – I haven’t watched the man in a long, long time – but I knew something had happened just because Twitter about blew up. . . . At the end of the day, I would suggest that Jeff Blair of The Globe and Mail addressed things as well as anybody, and his column is right here.
And then there was veteran sports reporter Karin Larsen (@CBCLarsen), who tweeted: “I’m embarrassed by and for Don Cherry and for CBC. Sorry.”
Larsen is right. It is sorry. Unfortunately, it isn't unexpected.
Dr. Charles Tator is a pre-eminent expert on the brain, brain injuries and the prevention of same. He also has been a lover of the Toronto Maple Leafs for a long, long time. These days, the Leafs are the NHL’s leading practitioners of the pugilistic side of hockey. So what does he think when he’s at a game and there is a fight? “You know what? My heart races,” Dr. Tator told Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post. “I worry about that brain that is being pummelled. It really is a sad event, to me, when it happens. Because virtually every day in my practice, I see people who have had brain injuries of one sort or another, and these folks suffer terribly.” . . . Fitz-Gerald’s column is right here, and be sure to read the comments. Oh, by they way, this piece also includes statistical evidence that fighting has very little to do with the outcome of games.
Columnist Kevin Cullen of the Boston Globe has an intriguing piece right here that takes a moment-by-moment look at the conclusion of the manhunt in Boston. “What you’re about to read,” he writes, “is how it all ended. The denouement. It is a story of remarkable drama, bravery, and terror, and it is based on interviews with Watertown police and fire officials, State Police and Boston police, including Dan Linskey, the superintendent in chief of the Boston Police Department.”
The QMJHL has a donnybrook one night, and the fines and suspensions are announced the following morning.
The QMJHL has a game decided by an overtime goal that was preceded by an uncalled offside and there is a news release in less than 24 hours.
If you missed it, the host Baie-Comeau Drakkar scored a 2-1 victory over the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada on Friday night, with the winning goal coming off a play that was offside, but not called, at the blueline.
Here is the statement from Gilles Courteau, the QMJHL commissioner:
“It is unfortunate that the result of a game was determined by an offside goal without the possibility of a video review. It is for that reason that as a league, we are taking the initiative to bring this addition to the Canadian Hockey League. We will therefore formulate a directive, beginning next season, allowing video review for all offside goals. The QMJHL has a very competent and passionate group of officials; because of the fast-paced nature of hockey sometimes things go unnoticed on the ice. It is for this reason that a technological aid will allow officials, during this type of situation, to make adjustments, if necessary, in order to make the right decision.”
THE COACHING GAME:
Former WHL sniper and coach Troy Mick is about to add to his job description with the BCHL’s Salmon Arm SilverBacks. Randy and Terry Williams are in the process of selling the franchise to a group headed up by Mick, who started this season as general manager and head coach before bringing in Scott Robinson to handle the coaching. . . . Under new ownership, Mick will be president, general manager and head coach. The new group won’t renew Robinson’s contract.
Rick Swan is the new general manager and head coach of the AJHL’s Bonnyville Pontiacs. Swan, who signed a three-year extension, actually was promoted, after serving as the club’s assistant GM and assistant head coach under Chad Mercier. . . . Swan had been the head coach of the midget AAA Edmonton Knights of Columbus team before joining the Pontiacs. . . . Mercier resigned from both positions earlier this month.
The WHL’s playoff situation:
Edmonton (1) vs. Calgary (3)
(Edmonton leads series, 3-2; Game 6 in Calgary today, 4 p.m. MT; all games on Shaw TV, with Dan Russell calling the play.)
Portland (1) vs. Kamloops (3)
(Portland wins series, 4-1)
Portland vs. Edmonton/Calgary winner
(Series opens May 3 and 4 in Portland)
No Games Scheduled.
CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT (21):
CHECKING-TO-THE-HEAD COUNT (6):
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