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Thursday, February 22, 2018

SCRUFFY'S THIS N' THAT

Welcome to Friday.  Here are the usual weekly thoughts running through my muddled mind. As always, they come in no particular order:

--Stop the world! Canada isn't bringing home a medal in women's curling from the Pyongchang Olympics as Rachel Homan missed the playoffs and Kevin Koe will not win gold on the men's side. 

How could this happen? Why is this happening? Call a summit!! TSN golf/curling analyst Bob Weeks has suggested the Olympic qualifying format is flawed and needs to be looked at.  This just in!  NOTHING is wrong with the sport and in fact, it may just be something that Canadian hockey fans had to get used to a few years ago.  The world is catching up to us and perhaps we are to blame for that as a nation.

Canada used to own the World Juniors.  A gold medal at the tournament was about as traditional as having turkey dinner on Christmas Day.  The rest of the world started to catch up and those wins weren't as easy.  Those wins still come, but many countries are right there and to win it all, you truly have to be the best.  The same can be said in curling.  If Homan had gone 4-6 at the Worlds, there wouldn't this be much concern.  The Olympics is the grandest stage of all and on that stage Homan crumbled. It was going to happen to a Canadian rink sooner or later.  Is the fact that many Canadians like Al Hackner and Glenn Howard coaching teams play a part in this? Well yes, but if they are asked to share their knowledge, we can't as a country say no. It's also that way in hockey. As other nations improve, it is good for the sport as a whole.  Women's hockey needs other countries to get into the Canada-US echelon to stop the two nations from continuously playing one another for Olympic or World gold. Some year it will happen and when it does, the cries will come from far and wide in our country if it happens to us.

Homan's losing isn't going to turn people in this country away from curling, and neither is Koe's.  In fact with mixed doubles  getting so much popularity, I can only see more perhaps taking up the sport.  Many people have seen what mixed doubles is all about and they like it.  Look for more curling clubs to start mixed doubles leagues as this discipline is just beginning to experience growth. In the next 5-10 years, I expect you will be hearing a lot about mixed double.

In closing, there is nothing wrong with curling in our country----except for maybe the draw process at the Scotties and Brier--so just leave it alone when it comes to this level.   All is good!

--Derek Dennis was let go by the Riders.  He signed with Calgary shortly after.  Kyries Hebert was released by the Alouettes and signed with Ottawa shortly after.  Darian Durant wasn't out of work long after being released by the Als for refusing a pay cut and got snapped up by Winnipeg. Henoc Muamba was released by the Riders and remains unsigned.  ????  Is there something there we don't know about?  Has the Muamba camp drawn a line in the sand saying pay us this or forget about it? Remember, the fact Henoc was let go is because he had no desire to take a pay cut.   The price tag for Muamba is a little too high it would seem across the league.   Toronto even decided to keep Bear Woods instead of trying to lure the Canadian to man the middle.  Methinks, the Muamba camp may want to re-think their stance.

--Colby Rasmus has a job and Jose Bautista doesn't.  I don't expect the latter to change anytime soon if at all.  It would seem as if no one wants Jose.  That was the case last year until Toronto took sympathy with him and brought him back. How did that turn out? It would appear now as if the Jays are going to lose Josh Donaldson.  Will anyone be shocked if he is traded before July 15? It wouldn't surprise me one bit if he is dealt before opening day. I've said it once and I will say it again.  Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins have killed the Toronto Blue Jays.  The decision not to keep Alex Anthopoulos was definitely the wrong move to make.   It was 2015 and 16 where the team got to the ALCS before losing. That seems oh so long ago doesn't it Jays fans.  For some of you, it was a good year and a half right?

--Good for Red Deer for getting the WHL Bantam Draft and Awards for the next three years supplanting Calgary as the long time host.  Was there a bid process for this? Regina would be a great spot to have these two events.  I guess you can't have everything!

--In the last seven days, the Moose Jaw Warriors have lost twice to Regina and once to Swift Current.  If they should lose Saturday night in Moose Jaw to the Pats will that collar start getting a little tight? What a battle that should be! 

--Scott Moir wearing the Canadian toque, drinking beer (and a lot of it) while chirping at the refs during the Canada-US gold medal women's hockey game just reeked of Canadiana and I loved it.

How could you not! What I don't love is the shootout. I don't care if they play all night. When a medal or championship is on the line, you don't settle it by a skills competition.  Would I be like this had Canada won? Yup! It is sad that a game like that had to end on something as stupid as a shootout.  It isn't going away much to the chagrin of those who hate it like me, but here's hoping the IIHF smartens up when it comes to deciding medals by shootout.  If we ever see the day where the NHL does this in a Stanley Cup game, I'm outta here. 

Take nothing away from the USA for winning, but it cheapens the accomplishment.  As for Canadian player Jocelyn Laracque not really wanting her silver medal, I understand that and she sent out a statement Thursday night apologizing for her actions.  This was entirely different than the Swedish junior player at the end of the World Juniors, Larocque accepted her medal and did not throw it away.  She may not want it now, but once reality sets in she will.  As my good friend Craig Slater says, "A Silver Medal is just a reminder that you lost the championship game and you don't win silver, you lose it.". You also at some point will understand what you did just to get to that spot.  Never ever be ashamed of getting a silver medal.

--Are the Senators really going to trade Erik Karlsson?  That would send such a message about the disconnect that has happened there.  They were a Chris Kunitz overtime goal from being in the Stanley Cup last year.  That house has imploded.  They are a bigger disappointment than the Oilers as far as I'm concerned.

--Randy's Road Trip wraps up in Halifax Friday morning. I find it interesting that the get-together will be streamed on CFL.ca. They didn't do that for any other stop.  Is an announcement of some sort coming? Is a conditional franchise going to be awarded? Is a stadium going to be announced?  You have to think something is up.  I guess we'll find out.

--The Cougar ladies basketball team tries to advance to the conference final tonight with a win over Calgary.  Game 1 was some kind of ugly, but it was playoff basketball. I wouldn't expect anything different in Game 2 and maybe 3 on Saturday.  Have you seen the Cougars play this year? If not, head down to the CKHS and check it out.  Everything starts at 7.

That's all I got.  Have a great weekend!

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

AA left the Jays because he didn't get Shapiro's position.

AA dealt the current crap hand of cards to the Jays by not drafting position players to be able to replace the aging talent he acquired by trading almost all the pitching prospects he drafted. He left a gap in talent between the major leagues and what Shapiro/Atkins have in A and AA ball.

It takes 4-5 years to replenish a minor league system that will feed your major league team. Shapiro/Atkins are only 2 years in.

PS GO CUBS!

Anonymous said...

It would have been cheap if the Canadian women would have won in a shootout, the Americans carried the play for most of the game and all of the overtime and were clearly the better team and deserved gold.

Anonymous said...

The senators got hot and were playing over their head last spring, these are the real senators. They have to trade karlsson they can't put a competitive team together paying 1 guy what karlsson is going to ask for.

Anonymous said...

You can stop talking about Halifax until there's a story about shovels in the ground starting on a STADIUM!! until then it's FAKE NEWS... ENOUGH.

Anonymous said...

Pretty smug taking pleasure in the jays misfortune hey Blair... at least it didn't take a 108 years for the jays to win one.

Anonymous said...

I suspect much like the Riders we're going to get the proposal and conditional franchise based on the success of the proposal. Excited to see the design if so.

Anonymous said...


Interesting thought on Muamba. Can't say you're wrong on that. Could it mean he ends up wearing green again at a reduced salary? I wouldn't mind that one bit.

Anonymous said...


Karlsson to Tampa is the report. Stevie Y certainly has the assets to send Ottawa's way.

John Knight said...

You are correct about the Blue Jays. They should never have hired the two perennial losers (Shapiro and Atkins). They have destroyed the Jays by being cheap and as a result we are back to being a losing team before the season starts. Bring back Alex Anthopoulos and try right the ship

Anonymous said...

Can't stay complacent in sports or anything. Once you reach the top others will be there working to take you down. There are great curlers around the world and Canada got caught knapping. We sent our best and lost. Our best just have to find a way to get better. As for women's hockey, the team needs more speed that was very obvious. If it wasn't for their goaltender that game was over by the end of the 2nd period. Canada's women's team didn't blow teams out 12-0 like they used to, so other countries are catching up like Finland and Sweden. USA has already surpassed us. Time to get back to work.

Anonymous said...

Anthopoulous gutted the jays. He went all in then ran away. The jays are in good shape with Guerrero jr and Bichette in their system. Donaldson at 31 wants a 7 year deal. He is on the wrong side of 30 , let someone else give him that money.

CM said...

Agree with you on Shapiro and Atkins. Sign JD. You can always trade him and you'll get more with him even on a expensive contract than what you get at the deadline, or even worse, the 2nd round comp pick. That's zip for a top 5 player in baseball. Ed Rogers made the call to hire Shapiro, and from everything I've heard, Ed is no rocket scientist.

Anonymous said...


Why hasn't Muamba signed? Apparently Chris Jones was right again! That's gotta hurt for you Jones haters!

Good column Scruff!

Anonymous said...

I think there should be a Canadian Curling summit similar to the hockey summits of the past to find out what is wrong with our game. It is not acceptable to come home with no medals in men's and women's events. Thank God for the doubles event.

Anonymous said...

Seeing the Jays struggle makes me smile. End of story!

Anonymous said...

You don't start on a stadium until community support, financing and a business plan is in place! That is what this is all about! Updating us on the process is real news! But a minion like you would not understand that due to your intellectual incapacity to understand project management! Your fake news comment reflects your lack of sophistication.

Anonymous said...

I'm sick of hearing about Halifax too. 1982 all over again.

Anonymous said...

So Chris Jones was right in dumping him but NOT WRONG in signing him to the ridiculous contract to begin with? All Muamba did was be voted Outstanding Cdn on the Riders. Sure he was paid too much money but THAT would mean Jones is only correcting his idiocy a year later, even AFTER Muamba's nomination. As for Dennis, EVERYONE criticized the Riders for paying him the $$$ but this year Jones is the "smart" guy AGAIN for dumping him for, wait for it, earning too much money. It seems that no matter what Jones does in Riderland they see him for a genius, conveniently ignoring the obvious. Signing Lemon, then letting him go for nothing where he has done nothing but be a sack leader the past 2 years - genius, naturally. Signing 2 QB's to over $800K, one of whom (Bridge) likely won't play enough to earn his bonuses or, if he does, means Collaros will be sitting on the bench with gtd money. Wow, I can't believe how clever he is. NOT signing Campbell yet over money concerns to protect the blind side of his biggest expenditure, Collaros, is about as smart as you can get. I'm sure Campbell will extract a pretty penny from the clever Mr. Jones. Of course Muamba will come crawling back to Jones after he learns how "fair" Jones was to begin with (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). Because that's what players do because they want to play for him. Hmmm - wonder why Bowman left $20K on the table by NOT signing here? Wonder why so many ex-players from his previous teams DON'T come to Regina at free agency. Why do they stay in Edmonton & why are there 10 ex-RedBlacks running to Maas? Isn't he the volatile one? Time to change the "message" & get a reality check guys. I don't see a Muamba in your future unless you pony up some cash.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute. Chris Jones was right about what? It can't be that Jones was right about Muamba being a good MLB because he is good and Canadian to boot. He was right about Muamba being overpaid, definitely, but it was Chris Jones who was GM when that big contract was written. First he overpaid him and then he released him because he found out that he can't afford to pay him that much. Muamba is way better than any middle linebacker that the Riders now have. Can't blame Taman for this. It is time for Jones to be responsible for whoever is overpaid. Why hasn't he signed? Muamba is probably trying to find another team to pay him that same amount and most GMs are smarter than that. He was also released after most teams had already spent their money in free agency. If anything, this just supports us "Jones haters" because this prolongs the revolving door roster that Jones has. Who will be next? This year, so far, he has cut both Muamba and Dennis because he signed them to contracts that he can't afford whole staying under the cap. Brilliant. Not the way to be sustainably successful. At this point, Jones has neither a proven MLB or a left guard on his roster.

Anonymous said...


Scruffy gets the popularity of mixed curling and how it isn't going anywhere unlike the other dunce that RP has writing for him.

Andrew Wiens said...

Anonymous #2: I am just wondering what gold medal game you were watching the other day - a rerun of the women's final from Sochi? The only parts of the game where the American's 'carried the play' were on their powerplays in the first two periods and for a five minute stretch late in overtime. Take away one blown coverage on the breakaway in the third period and the Canadians easily hold on to the one goal lead and win the gold medal - and it would have been well deserved.

Anonymous said...

Jones Haters need to get a life.

Anonymous said...

Even the Rider-slanted Leader Post calls the Muamba release a head scratcher & signing Campbell a priority but, as alluded to by the reporter, it appears Jones is nickel & diming him due to being strapped by money problems from other signings. It even calls tje Hurl signing for what it is - not athletic enough for MLB. Geez even the local paper is catching on.

Anonymous said...

SMH

Jones was right for paying to get talent on the Riders until he could find someone who was cheaper.

Jones and Co have found cheaper talent and is right to get rid of them now.

Anonymous said...

Teams can always find cheaper talent but the trick is finding good talent that they can afford while staying under the salary cap. Hurl is certainly much cheaper but has not done well at MLB. Just ask Winnipeg. Bond has been a good offensive guard but the criticism of him has been that he does not have the mobility or the footwork to be a left tackle. The Riders need a left tackle, not another American guard. Outbidding other teams to get an outstanding player for only one year, only to release him before the next season because of cap issues, is not good management. Good management developes players in these key positions or finds a proven talent that they can sign to a sustainable contract.

Anonymous said...

The Canadian women were falterng at the end. They didn't have much left. If the game goes into double OT, I am guessing the US wins in first 5 mins.

Anonymous said...


With Shapiro and Atkins in charge, it may take Toronto 108 years to win another one.

Anonymous said...

That's precisely the point. Doug Brown, the great Blue Bomber, said in a column last year relying on improving your team through free agency is a fool's game ss you are constantly overpaying for talent. Muamba & Dennis are clear examples of gross overpayment for needs. Jones said this year what he said last year before free agency. He likes the team & was only looking at tweaking it. Some tweaking. Despite what he says he was again very active in free agency, bringing in big names & dropping them. Sure he didn't pay much for Messam but that's not because he was a bargain. There wasn't a big market for him. Calgary didn't want him because all his stats were down. Yes he got 1000 yds but his yds/carry were the worst so he got there ne ause of the # of carries. BC, Edm & Wpg have better backs so they weren't in the bidding. Just by the fact that Jones is making so many big moves it is obvious he is not happy with his team so I don't know why Rider Nation has confidence when Jones doesn't. Hughes may be good, Messam may be good, Jovon may be good, Collaros may be good. But the 1st 3 are old for their positions & could drop off any time. Collaros hasn't been good since 2015. You're counting on all of them to have a good year. Odds are 1, probably 2, won't. Jones is rolling the dice to win now. He has to. He hasn't found enough talent on his own despite the thousands run through his camps. The pressure is on.

Anonymous said...

Geez, get over Muamba people. Jones overpaid, found out he wasn't worth that kind of money and moved on. Good decision as he was an average MLB at best making tackles eight yards behind the line of scrimmage. We will be fine with Sam Hurl.

Anonymous said...

" IN JONES WE TRUST"

Endofsubject.

JPR said...

Just an fyi Messam has had 3 x 1000 plus yards he did not choose to leave. And where is Muamba right now sitting at home. Who is anyone to say that Hurl will not be a good MLB maybe the right coach can get him there. But all the arm chair coaches know best who should be signed. How about we see what happens in training camp and then we can say Jones sucks but i dought that will happen.

Most of the peole that are complaining about Jones just cannot let things go players come they leave deal with it its called proffesional sports

Anonymous said...

If Jones is such a genius, why did he not realize when he signed Muamba and Dennis that he was grossly overpaying them and that contracts of that size would be impossible to fit into the salary cap over the long term? Is it not a little strange that a coach and GM who is touted as being a great evaluator of talent has had some very talented individuals on the Rider's roster that don't last there because they "don't fit into his system" or because he discovers that he can't afford them? It seems that he brings in way too many over thirty players, some well over thirty, that he needs to fill holes; players that other teams are finding expendable because of large salaries and declining talent. How does any of this lead to sustainable success?

Anonymous said...

Is that all you have, "in Jones we trust"? A lot of us do not trust Jones. I am not a Taman fan but how is Jones doing anything different than Taman? Overpaying certain players? That's what Taman has been criticized for doing. Having too many old players on the roster? That's what Taman was criticized for. Except the old players that Taman kept were mostly long time Ridérs that he kept out of a sense of loyalty. Jones takes on old, overpaid players from other teams. Same difference. Taman went all in to win a Grey Cup. That is what Jones appears to be trying. Taman found out that was not good for long term sustainability. Jones hasn't learned that yet. But this is a big year for Jones, his third year in a rebuild that in some major positions he has yet to develop any consistency. The way Jones goes through players smacks of desperation. At this point, there are major question marks at quarterback, middle linebacker, left tackle, boundary corner and safety, not to mention starting Canadians. You go ahead and trust Jones. Some of us are waiting for him to be more than "moderately successful".