Giving This Weeks Top 10 Thoughts A Fighting Chance… For More Than Two Seconds

Here we go with a collection of thoughts on this Tuesday morning…

10 – We start with the Calgary/Canucks brawl back on Saturday night. The question surrounding the five-on scrap 2 seconds into the game is who is to blame? While it is impossible to know the Flames’ Bob Hartley’s intent in sending out a couple of heavyweights you do have to remember that it takes two to tangle.

9 – Having said that why was tough-guy Kevin Westgarth slotted in to take just his third face-off of the season to start the game. In my mind that shows clear intent towards a multiple fight situation as a pair of other players had already squared off.

8 – Back to the face-off and don’t you think that the referee’s missed an obvious instigating penalty? If you watch the replay Kevin Bieksa comes in to take the draw to take the heat off of a raw rookie starting his first NHL game. Westgarth clearly engages Bieksa long before the Canucks d-man ever engages in the altercation.

7 – One thing that is for sure is that John Tortorella should never have gone into the Flames room. Even if he forgot the cameras were set up there, good luck CBC getting that access at Rogers Arena again, the move was bush league and I think that he would be the first to tell you that.

6 – One last thought on the brawl and the “purists” will continue to argue that there is nothing in the rules against a brawl to start a game. With that being the case what is to stop a team from doing this again? If you look at it Vancouver lost their #2 and #3 defenceman, if I am a coach I would take my chances at supplemental discipline if it gave me the same competitive advantage.

5 – Staying with the NHL and Edmonton Oiler Owner Daryl Katz should maybe re-think his letters to the fans. Katz is a proponent of the old boys club in Edmonton and is asking fans to stay the course in their rebuild. The problem is that Katz isn’t listening to other analysts who believe the Oilers are a lot further away than he thinks and with the team’s performance on the ice it’s hard to discredit that. It’s his team and his business and he has the right to do as he sees fit. His customers though are growing restless and with a new area with a great deal of public funding or his customers money, getting set to be built he may want to back off stirring the pot and perhaps allow those statements to come from his hockey people who promised bold moves.

4 – Closer to home and what is up with the Prince Albert Raiders? General Manager Bruno Campese I am sure is up at night trying to figure out his team. The group he has assembled should be top of the division, however a three game losing streak including a 7-nothing spanking at the hands of Swift Current Sunday has many scratching their heads. To me the team has to figure out an identity. The Raiders made a number of moves at the trade deadline and while players were away at international competitions. For the first time since those tournaments the team is together and now needs a chance to gel. However, currently sitting outside of a play-off spot isn’t where they need to be.

3 – To football now and the Canadian Football League announced their coach of the year candidates yesterday (a mere 2 months after the season but I digress). Many in these parts seem to think that Corey Chamblin is a shoe-in for the award. I would agree with that assessment but I may be playing the devils advocate here but there is a great case that could be made for Ken Austin. After opening the season 1-and-4 Hamilton’s revamped roster ended the season 10-and-8 securing a home play-off date not to mention knocking off the defending Grey Cup champions in the Eastern Final. Let’s face it Austin transformed the Ti-Cats in one season and appears to have the team on the right track for the future.

2 – More football and you don’t hear this very often but is the CFL one up on the NFL when it comes to instant replay? A fumble clearly secured by the 49ers Sunday afternoon could not be reviewed. However, in the CFL’s goal to get it right the call would have been over turned. The call in the end didn’t affect the outcome but it sure could have.

1 – Lastly, the province, City of Saskatoon and Memorial Cup organizers confirmed that the event came up short of the $3.5-million profit guarantee that they made to the Canadian Hockey League in order to secure the 2013 Memorial Cup. The economics of the event are a debate for another day. However, how would you like to be the in the organizational shoes of Moose Jaw, Brandon, Regina, Lethbridge, Swift Current, Medicine Hat, Prince Albert, Kootenay, etc.? I’m not sure how they can reach the new standard in guaranteed profit for the tournament due to their building size. Does that mean that the almighty dollar is more important than spreading the event around? If so does that mean a rotation between Saskatoon, Red Deer, Kelowna, Vancouver, and Victoria is the future of the event in the Western Hockey League? Don’t scoff that may be the case.


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