My Top 10 Thoughts On This Tuesday Morning!

Here is a random smattering of top 10 thoughts from the week that was in sports…

10 Kahri Jones to B.C. First off congratulations to the former Saskatchewan Roughrider Quarterback coach who signed on as the B.C. Lions Offensive Coordinator, yesterday. Jones didn’t get a lot of credit for the success of Darian Durant this season BUT the Rider pivot who put up career numbers this past season in addition to leading the Green and White to a win in Grey Cup 101 will be the first to tell you about his impact. Now the big question for Rider fans is whether or not he is the first of an exodus of coaches?  

9 More football and the reactions are mixed south of the border with the news that Tony Romo’s season appears to be over for the Dallas Cowboys. Some fans of America’s team have thrown in the towel when it comes to the team’s play-off chances. Others’ are excited that back-up Kyle Orton will have a chance to come in and try to make up for Romo’s short comings. To me lost in the entire equation is the fact that Tony Romo not only led the Boys to a win at Washington to keep his team’s play-off hopes alive but he did it with a herniated disc.

8 Over to hockey and the Saskatoon Blades loss streak to was extended to 11 games last week heading into their Christmas break. I found it interesting listening to new owner Mike Priestner that he felt the team is where they thought they would be heading into the break, (10-25-1-2). He was disappointed with the tailspin the team is in at the moment. The biggest question I think that fans of the Blades can ask is how long is ownership willing to wait for a turnaround.  

7 Speaking of patience and what about the Edmonton Oiler fan who threw his jersey onto the ice after the Oilers lost their sixth in a row 6-nothing to St. Louis on Saturday night. Did he have a right to throw it? Absolutely but how much longer can the Oilers wait before admitting that their youth movement isn’t working?

6 Still with the Jersey-Gate in Edmonton and General Manager Craig McTavish took the time to review the video at the end of the game, identify the unhappy patron and call them at home to offer him the chance to drop the ceremonial at game one of the play-offs. So let me get this straight Craig; Your team is mired in a bad losing skid, and instead of watching the video to help figure out how to turn things around OR perhaps calling another GM, Scout or hockey person you feel the best way to fix your franchise is by calling a fan? I’m just saying!

5 Last one on the Oilers, and I have to agree with a couple of the network analysts who have rightly pointed out that through all of the coaches and general managers there has been one constant and that is President Kevin Lowe. There is little doubt the allegiance that owner Darryl Katz has towards the old Oiler guard. The question will be is whether or not he is willing to sever the ties as his team gets closer to moving into an arena built with a lot of public funding?

4 Staying in Alberta and down the road in Calgary and is Brian Burke the right man for the Flames’ rebuild? Truthfully he drafted well in Vancouver but couldn’t get the team over the top. In Anaheim he in large part inherited a team ready to win. Then in Toronto well it has been a mess there and despite landing Phil Kessel he missed out on a franchise changer in Tyler Seguin. I’d be a little nervous in Cowtown.

3 Overseas and credit where credit is due! Team Canada is getting set for the World Junior Hockey Championship in Sweden. To be truthful, the cruelest part of the event was when Hockey Canada would bend over for TSN and allow them to have cameras waiting outside the team hotel to “capture the emotion” of the released players. Brett Sutter and his staff did it right, brought the kids overseas to try out for the team and then released them quietly in private not in front of the cameras.

2 That in front of the cameras aspect of the tournament has somewhat tarnished my view of the event. When I had the opportunity to broadcast the event in 2010 I was extremely excited to be involved in a tournament that I have watched as long as I can remember. I do have to admit that the event lost some of its’ luster when you see how far Hockey Canada will bend over backwards for TSN. Almost to the point where it takes away some of the integrity of the tournament.

1 More hockey and how much do you like the larger ice surface in play at the World Juniors and soon to be Olympics? To be truthful with bigger faster players in the NHL and the rules that have been brought in to speed up the game the lone thing that has not been tried to protect the players and bring in more scoring is the larger ice surface. It by no means is an inexpensive fix but if the players lawsuit against the league goes through regarding concussions it may be less expensive than the owners think. Proof positive maybe the number of concussions suffered through the two events. Unless both use the WHL method of reporting injuries. (Upper body/Lower body!)

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