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Thursday, February 22, 2018


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 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!