Sunday, May 10, 2015

Yes, computers rule world . . . Matthews saga continues . . . Babcock saga up next

Every once in a while we get reminders of how computers rule our world.
My wife and I were reminded of that, again, on Sunday afternoon.
No, it wasn’t anything serious; in fact, we were laughing about it later.
With it being Mother’s Day, and neither of us having a mother still with us, and with our son spending the day with his future in-laws, Dorothy and I went for a drive.
We took Highway 5A to Merritt and stopped at the Walmart there to stretch our legs.
Dorothy went on her way and ended up picking up a couple of items. I went my way, which included a stop at the magazine rack. I found a commemorative baseball magazine — The Game We Love — from The Sporting News. It carries an $11.99 price tag, but I decided to treat myself.
And so it was that we headed for a cash register with three items in our cart. The cashier scanned the first two. No problems.
When she scanned the magazine, it wouldn’t register. Apparently, it wasn’t in the system. She called for a CSM, but none came. So she escorted us to the courtesy desk.
The young lady there scanned the magazine. It didn’t register on her computer. It became apparent from the look on her face that she didn’t have any idea what to do. Apparently, she didn’t know how to key in something that wasn’t in the system.
Instead, she looked at us and said: “I’m sorry but I can’t sell this to you.”
Pardon me?
“I can’t sell this to you.”
We ended up leaving the other two items on the counter as we shook our heads in bewilderment and left the store, the computers having won. Again!

F Byron Ritchie (Lethbridge, 1993-97) has signed a two-year contract with MODO Örnsköldsvik (Sweden, SHL). This season, with Bern (Switzerland, NL A), he had 43 points, including 29 assists, in 50 games. He was the team’s captain and led it in assists.
For the conspiracy theorists: This tweet originated with the WHL’s Twitter account on Sunday afternoon. . . . Weren’t the Brandon Wheat Kings on the same flight? . . .


No Game Scheduled.
Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun was at the first two games of the WHL championship series, for the Ed Chynoweth Cup, in Brandon. One of the stories he filed was this piece on Wheat Kings D Ivan Provorov. There is a photo of Provorov with the story — check out the length of his stick.

Is he, or isn’t he?
The topic of whether F Auston Matthews will play in Switzerland next season was a hot topic on social media on Sunday.
For a while, it was Twitter at its worst. Matthews was expected to play in Switzerland. Then he had signed for $500,000 with a Swiss team. Then he hadn’t. But he was negotiating. . . .
In the end, it seems that nothing had changed from the previous day.
Matthews, the early favourite as the first overall selection in the NHL’s 2016 draft, may yet end up playing in Switzerland, perhaps for the Zurich Lions, or maybe for the Kloten Flyers, who are owned by the owner of the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks. Or, he could end up going to school, having apparently narrowed the field of suitors to five Division I schools.
Or, he might opt for the WHL. The Everett Silvertips hold Matthews’ WHL rights, having selected him in the third round of the 2012 bantam draft.
The good news is that his advisors — the NCAA (wink, wink) doesn’t allow potential players to employ agents — say a decision is imminent.
In a text to, Matthews wrote: "I am looking at all opportunities. Switzerland, Everett and the CHL, as well as the NCAA are all great options for me. I am speaking with my family and advisers Pat Brisson and Judd Moldaver and will probably make a decision soon."
Why is it good news that an announcement is imminent? Because once Matthews makes a decision, it will allow the hockey world to focus all of its attention on Mike Babcock’s world.
Michael Traikos of the National Post takes a look at the Matthews situation right here.
Speaking of Mike Babcock, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet has his weekly 30 Thoughts right here. The top is all about Babcock and his suitors. . . . If you haven’t heard, Babcock was in Buffalo on Sunday. Yes, he chatted with Sabres’ management. Of course, he is as likely to be the next head coach of the Lethbridge Hurricanes as the Sabres.
In the QMJHL, the Rimouski Oceanic beat the host Quebec Remparts 4-2 on Sunday in Game 3 of the championship series. F Samuel Laberge scored his first two goals of the playoffs for the winners. . . . The Remparts, having won twice in Rimouski, hold a 2-1 lead with Game 4 in Quebec City on Wednesday.
Mike O’Brien is a former colleague — we worked together at the Regina Leader-Post. Since those days, he’s done a lot, including some acting. These days, there isn’t any acting because he’s dying of cancer. Still, he’s trying to find some humour along the way. . . . His story is right here.

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