It’s A Top Ten Tuesday That Puts Water On A Heat Rumour

Here we go with another round-up of my top 10 thoughts from the week that was in the world of sports. Also it’s a chance to shutdown a Heat rumour!

10 – Start with football and it was great to be back out on the field on the weekend with the Saskatoon Hilltops holding their spring camp. The Rookie MVP was Quarterback Kevin Chopek from Medicine Hat. The kid has talent both physically and mentally not to mention the intangible of leadership. You could see the glimmer in his eyes when he spoke to the media after being named the camps MVP. It will be interesting to see if he picks Saskatoon as his destination for junior football as he is being courted by no fewer than three other teams.

9 – I have had the opportunity to work with some great people over the course of my career. One thing that sets the good ones apart from the greats is emotion. Seeing the emotion displayed by Toppers Head Coach Tom Sargent when he had to inform the players of not making the Hilltops Main Camp roster was something that not a lot of people get to see. If you look back at last season’s behind the scenes look at the Saskatoon Blades, “The Inside Edge,” and the emotion that then General Manager Lorne Molleken showed was clearly evident. These gentlemen are highly respected for what they do on the field of play but perhaps more importantly thy are revered by the players who they treat like their own children.

8 – More from the Toppers and the cat was let out of the bag heading into spring camp. Yours truly will be calling the play for the majority of Hilltops games this season. For the last 11 years I have been next up on the depth chart when Les Lazaruk has had to miss a game due to scheduling conflicts with the Blades. I am thrilled to take on the role and hope that I can live up to the high standard of play-call that Les has set.

7 – Also at the camp, I had a chance to chat with Hilltop Alumnus Graig Newman. Firstly, Newman is an outstanding person off the field. Secondly, I wish him all the best in Winnipeg with the Blue Bombers this season. Newman has taken a leap of faith trying to live his dream of playing defence in the CFL. After toiling on the Riders special teams the last two seasons Newman believes he can play ‘D’ and I applaud his conviction in taking a more lucrative contract with the Peg in order to earn his spot. Again I wish him all the best.

6 – Speaking of Winnipeg and hopefully those in charge of designing the new stadium in Regina will take note of what not to do from Investors Group Field in the Manitoba Capital. From opening a year late to horrible parking, bad media facilities and cost over-runs the facility has had a number of black eyes. The latest is a $450,000 bill to fix damage from this spring’s run-off. Ykies!

5 – More football and it was great to see Darian Durant and Geroy Simon at last week’s Dog’s Breakfast. The two were given their just due from the 1800 in attendance and it was nice to see, especially considering the amount of crap that Darian has to take from the fan base through the course of the year. Two questions came from the event; firstly, will Durant be given some slack from the fans now that he has delivered a Grey Cup.

4 – The second Darian Durant question comes from his new contract that puts him among the top paid players in the league. If you were compiling the TSN Top 50 CFL players, that they are currently working on where would you put Darian? Maybe more importantly where would you rank him among the other quarterbacks? I would still rank Ricky Ray the top tosser in the league but Durant has to be in the mix for number two with Travis Lulay.

3 – Speaking of ranking players if you had to pick the top goaltender in the NHL who would you go with? I think it is becoming harder and harder to not pick LA’s Johnathan Quick.

2 – More ranking, and the sports marketing award for our country should go to the Toronto Raptors. You have to tip your cap to their We The North Campaign that caputured the imagination and attention of the city of Toronto and somewhat the country. Yes timing is everything and with the NHL play-offs continuing south of the border with only on Canadian team the sports fan was ripe for the picking. However, the excitement with Jurasic Park and the hype with the media that they created brought a number of new fans to their product.

1 – Lastly time to dump water on the rumours of the AHL coming to Saskatoon. When the Calgary Flames and the City of Abbotsford discontinued their working relationship there were some rumbles that the Flames would move their top affiliate to Toon Town. The biggest obstacle it would seem was a non-compete clause that was present in previous leases between the Saskatoon Blades and Credit Union Centre. That clause allowed the Blades to protect themselves from any hockey competition that wanted to move into the attractive 19-thousand seat facility. The question that came into play was whether or not the Blades new owners had that same provision in the contract that they extended with the building shortly after taking over the team. In the end it has become a moot point as the Flames have announced that the team will now move to Glens Falls, N.Y. That move ends the debate but perhaps more importantly may prove to Saskatoon hockey fans that a professional team coming to the Bridge City is a long ways off as one would have to think that if the Flames wanted their affiliate here they would have the resources to make it happen. SO until Saskatoon can prove that they are a hockey town and support the Blades with butts in the seats at Credit Union Centre the next level of hockey will not call the Bridge City home.

One Response to It’s A Top Ten Tuesday That Puts Water On A Heat Rumour

  1. Brion Prentice says:

    CUC with all the seats and every seat sold on the floor is only north of 15,000 not 19,000…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *