A Frozen Top 10 On This Tuesday Morning

Here is a smattering of thoughts on this Top 10 Tuesday:

10 – The Sochi games have now officially come and gone and while I admittedly wasn’t as invested as I have been in previous games I was disappointed with the coverage provided by the CBC. The country’s national broadcaster didn’t seem to have the commitment to covering the actual sports as they did our athletes. I know in the previous games on CTV the announcers prided themselves in getting inside the sport that they were covering. One Saskatoon broadcaster told me about the time he spent learning the sports that he was to cover. The CBC, in my opinion, lacked that insight. Heck the curling analysts seemed dazed and confused at the rules that were in play at the games.

9 – For many north of the 49th the highlight of the games will undoubtedly be the Canadian hockey teams winning gold. For me the tournament seemed to be lacking something. I’m not sure if it is because I PVR’d the games or if the lack of offense didn’t captivate me. I was extremely excited about the larger ice surface and the opportunity it presented to show off individual skill. Unfortunately that didn’t come to be.

8 – So will the NHLer’s be back in 2018? The players want to, the owners don’t. In the end I think money wins out and the NHL is done with the games. So, who goes in their place? My suggestion is moving the World Junior tournament to the Olympics every 4 years. Yes it will be a lot of pressure on the young men who compete in the tournament but you still would end up with a best on best tournament which is what the Olympics in my mind are all about.

7 – To football and Tom Higgins one of the ultimate nice guys in the sport appears to be on his way back to the sidelines. Higgins criticised for being too nice in Edmonton and Calgary will take over a team that will be searching for an identity in their first season without Anthony Calvillo at the helm. What makes the hiring more intriguing is that he was hired by the owner and not the General Manager.

6 – with that being said Montreal’s GM Jim Popp who appeared to be poised to remain in the head coach position next year has broken his silence on the move this morning. On Twitter Popp proclaimed that he was excited to work with Higgins. The question I have is how long will owner Robert Wetenhall allow the two to work together? Wetenhall is apparently upset at Popp and the interviews that he has had south of the border with NFL teams.

5 – Back to hockey and the small market teams in the Western Hockey League have to be shaking like a leaf. This is after the Ontario Hockey League voted in an amendment to allow for expanded player benefits from covering cell phone bills to off-season work-outs. Ironically, those are some of the exact benefits that the Portland Winterhawks are alleged to have provided that saw them on the receiving end of some of the worst sanctions in league history. With the new rules in the OHL, how long before the WHL and QMJHL follow suit? AND most importantly how can the small market team,s that were the foundation of the Western Hockey League, compete?

4 – More hockey and the University of Saskatchewan men’s hockey Huskies are in the same boat as the 2013 Saskatoon Blades. The Dogs were dumped in the opening round of the play-offs by UBC on the weekend and now find themselves in the position of waiting almost a month to play a game prior to hosting the national championship at Credit Union Centre. Many are asking why the Huskies proram is in a bit of a recession. Two words Rutherford Arena. The facility is long past its’ prime! Recruiting athletes to come to the University of Saskatchewan is not about finances as most players receive scholarships from their time served in the WHL. Nor is it about academic programming as most schools offer similar programming to the U of S and with challenges and cuts coming to many departments the school itself may have lost it’s luster. Ultimately, players coming from beautiful facilities around Western Canada don’t want to have to deal with the leaky dressing rooms, the rusted out ceilings, the cold temperatures, or the small arena any more. If the University wants to save the hockey program the time is now to build. You know what they say, “if you build it, they will come!”

3 – So with the Saskatchewan Huskies being a long shot to win a national championship, the question has to be which sports team can quench the hunger of Saskatoon sports fans for a championship? I have mentioned in this space before how Saskatoon is an event city as opposed to a support your local team city. With a growing population the time is now for a winner to emerge to capture the passion of the city. As I asked before which team will have the ability to do so.

2 – TO baseball and the Toronto Blue Jays have reported to spring training with little in the way of upgrades to their 2014 roster compared to the one that finished well out of the play-offs in 2013. The definition of insanity is repeating an activity or idea and expecting a different outcome. That is why I think Blue Jays fans are insane for thinking that they have a legitimate shot at ending the teams 20+ year post season drought.

1 – Lastly, thank-you for all of the well wishes and kind words from all who took a moment to check out any part of the Saskatoon Aces Winter Classic. The smiles on the kids faces made the entire project a success in my books. That success though wouldn’t have been possible without sponsors, friends that loaned their time and expertise and athletes like Graig Newman, Ben Heenan, Andre LaLonde, Byron Bitz, and Clarke Wilm who dipped into their personal time to make the event a huge success. For all of that I am truly grateful.

Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday!

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