Realty One

Sunday, April 21, 2019


1 - JETS GROUNDED: Winnipeg's playoff hopes ended with a 3-2 loss to St. Louis on Saturday, handing the Blues the series in 6 games. Blake Wheeler's postgame comment that they could "make a compelling argument we could have won this series in five games" shows his ignorance as to what has gone on this year.

2 - OFFENSIVE ESKIMOS: It appears as though it’s only a matter of time before the Edmonton Eskimos change their name to Empire so that they can appease a select few minority trouble-makers who claim to take offense to the name Eskimos. Hate to break it to you, but the name doesn’t exist because they are making fun of a group of people. It exists because they admire that group’s toughness. If you search hard enough, you can find offense in almost every single sports name.  How long before the Oilers have to change their name because they are promoting pollution? The solution is simple: sell the team name to a corporate sponsor and call them Edmonton Scotiabank. Fun times. We need to create a new word in the dictionary that has a meaning of ‘beyond stupid’.

3 - STARS SHINE: The Battlefords North Stars won the Canalta Cup (SJHL championship) over the weekend. I have a great amount of admiration for their coach, Bradyen Klimosko, who gets a title in his rookie season. The Humboldt native, I’m sure, would have loved to have been behind the bench of his hometown team but this couldn’t have worked out any better. This was also a rebuild year for the North Stars, so they are early odds-on favorites to repeat in 2020. Playoff MVP Joel Grzybowski is eligible to return, as are six defensemen, as well as two thirds of their most dangerous scoring line in Quintin and Elijah Loon-Stewardson.

4 - OFFICIATING TIPS: Here are a few pointers for people trying to figure out NHL refereeing in the playoffs: if it’s a blatant crosscheck or some other form of a hit that is a penalty in the first period, it’s no longer a penalty if it’s the third period and you are the trailing team.  This rule changes and is further amplified if you are on the receiving end of this as the trailing team in the final minute of the third and you have an extra attacker on the ice. Also, if the number of powerplay chances are uneven and one club has two more opportunities than the other, the team that has been shorthanded most gets a lot of leeway in the second half of the game. Again, this is amplified further if the team is behind and was victimized with a powerplay goal scored against them. Also, if you are the Pittsburgh Penguins (specifically Evgeni Malkin) you are allowed to commit an offense that is deemed suspendable by NHL Player Safety without so much as a two minute minor.

5 - SASK TRAFFIC RULES: I hear of people being pulled over for speeding all the time, but never have I ever heard of someone getting a ticket for doing 80 on a highway and impeding traffic.

Further to that, I’m sure glad 8th Street in Saskatoon is a safer place now that the radar gun was used to nab numerous offenders on a very dangerous stretch near the Circle Drive off ramp.  Such was the case on Good Friday. I know every time I’m there I fear the abundance of speeders and all the danger that is caused in that area (if you aren’t familiar with my sarcasm, this would be a good paragraph to get acquainted with it).

6 - PET PEEVE: It’s maddening to watch Major League Baseball now and all the babying that is done to starting pitchers in the name of preserving their arms. 200 innings or more is considered abuse now. Steve Carlton pitched from 1968 to 1984 and never threw fewer than 190 innings and led the league in innings pitched five times (twice eclipsing 300 innings in a season). Back then, athletes didn’t look after themselves as well as they do today. If you want to preserve arms, start teaching these guys how to pitch instead of how to throw. There’s a big difference.

7 - FURTHERMORE: Milwaukee’s Corey Knebel has thrown 223 innings over 5 years and just went under the knife for Tommy John Surgery this month.  So there goes that theory of an innings limit.

8 - CFL LABOUR: I don’t understand fans who side with owners during periods of labour strife in professional sports.  The most common answer I hear is that it’s because the players are greedy and already make a ton of money. You do realize owners make, exponentially, more than the players do or else we’d see former players buy teams for themselves after they retire.

9 - OWNERS LIE: When the NHL instituted a salary cap during their last big labour stoppage, one anonymous owner said he’d go out of business if he had to accept a $39-million cap.  Here we are with an $80-million cap and teams are making money hand over fist. At least players are honest.

10 - NOW OR NEVER: This will be the weakest field of eight in the second round of the NHL playoffs in recent memory.  If Toronto doesn’t win this year, just fold.

(Mike Stackhouse is a freelance reporter. Follow him on Twitter at @Stack1975)


Anonymous said...

CFL owners can do what they want where else are these guys gonna play?

Anonymous said...

You're right. Every name can be construed a certain way. Since the Rider symbol looks like the Safeway symbol, let's call them the Saskatchewan Safeways. Should all the teams be wearing green uniforms to be environmentally correct? Should the footballs be made of leather or is PETA offended? The RedBlacks should definitely change their name as should the Bombers as has been mentioned several times. With the poaching of Lions & Tigers, Hamilton & BC may be in someone's sights (PETA again???). Is it culturally sensitive to use a native name for the province? Have the Cree been consulted for stealing their language? Why stop with sports names? Isn't it about time we used some common sense & said enough is enough. The people bringing up the outrage often are not associated with the minority groups apparently "offended".

Anonymous said...

A Few Things:

1) Regarding team names I've always called into SportsCage and said use the Sonshine Esso and Gas test - walk into that gas station in the 'hood or the Jolly Roger and just go to the middle of the room and hollar: "Red Skin" or "Eskimo" - if your teeth are still in your gums then the name must be A okay. Eskimos I have no issue with. We're a long ways from a first nations symbol on a skate blade for MJ, an Arabian as the logo for he PA Raiders which by the way I had those pennants. We're also past the Cleveland red faced chief wahoo.

2) MLB Pitch Counts are just stupid and that's all there is to it. Even Nolan Ryan said each player is different and each body is different. That guy came in a power pitcher he left a power pitcher....27 years later. Now you got Pitchers looking like weight lifters and they are conditioned like that from 10 years old and on - Regina has baseball academies that cater to that crap. My son pitched we told him he's not coming out until his arm falls of - he was fine. Other kids were soft.

3) I sit on pins and needles with the Leafs - agreed it's now or never. Other than the Head Coach I see him as the biggest weakest link.

Anonymous said...

Mike is right when referring to 98% of owners in the big four. I follow the CFL quite closely. No team is making money.

The Riders have lost money operationally the last four seasons. I fully support that the salary cap, at the bottom end, needs to increase but not because teams are “making millions”. The salary cap increase will be added resulting with the adjustment of other expenses.

It’s boring as hell, but if you are interested in the real negotiations pick up the financial report from the teams. You will see a different story.

SWC said...

You want to increase the minimum salary in the CFL?
Reduce the roster by a couple of Americans.
Same for every franchise.

concience said...

SWC, other than QBs most Americans make less than fat Canadian first string players.

Anonymous said...

How does reducing the roster by a couple Americans increase the minimum salary of $54,000? Players, media and fans use the argument that the players don’t get what their worth or make peanuts. (See Rob Vanstone recent article)

Well increasing the minimum is the first step. The #1 threat of the AAF when it started was the salary - not the opportunity.

Only the highest paid players have stepped forward in support of labour strike. Would they still support if the cap went up but increased the bottom by $5,000 - $10,000 and set a max of $600,000? If the cap goes up without an increase on the minimum ONLY the top 10% of the league benefits. That’s what happened in 2014. I hope the CFL saves the CFLPA from themselves.

I support the players. All the players, not just the quarterbacks and offensive linemen.

SWC said...

Anon said, "How does reducing the roster by a couple Americans increase the minimum salary of $54,000?"

You didn't do well in math. Did you?

Anonymous said...

SWC is lost.

Regardless of Canadian or American the minimum CFL salary is set at $54,000. It’s not strictly Americans. Teams will have 10+ players each week on their roster making the league minimum. With BC’s high salaries they will likely play with over one-third of their roster each week at league minimum.

Teams will continue to pay players the league minimum no matter what the salary cap is set at. Increasing the the minimum to $60 or $65 thousand is the only sensible way to increase the $5.4M salary cap.

I may not be great at math but I excel in logic.

SWC said...

Reduce two players, keep the same cap and the minimum can go up without costing the owners anything.