The Greats: Gretzky/Howe Edition Of Dave’s Dis N’ Dat:

PHOTO COURTESY: John Fraser (Gordie Howe and his boys: Mark, Marty, Murray)

Well it is a Greats day in Saskatoon. Hockey royalty has descended in the Bridge City for the Kinsmen Sports Celebrity Dinner. Gordie Howe, the guest of honour, arrived in Saskatoon just after 9 last night with his boys in toe. Howe’s final public appearance will be one for the ages and you can tell the magnitude of the event. Wayne Gretzky arrived in town for the celebration last night as well and he brought both of his sons to show his respect for Howe. Other greats in town include; Marty McSorely, Brett Hull, Bobby Hull, Kelly Chase and many others. What a night!

In other random thoughts from the week that was; You have to feel for Blain Lake native Kevin Cheveldayoff. Chevy is in a bind as his star player was MIA in Vancouver earlier this week and the trade speculation for Evander Kane is sky high. Even if Cheveldayoff had wanted to deal Kane he is definitely in a position of weakness now and possible returns are dramatically diminished.

More hockey and a yahoo blogger is crowning Regina as being the franchise with the best opportunity to end this province’s WHL Championship drought. It won’t be for a while though according to him. There is no doubt that the Pats plan is to surround 16 year old Phenom Sam Steele with as much talent as they can moving forward. However, there are a lot of things that can and will change as he matures throughout his junior career.

To football and the most asked question of me this week was regarding Ben Heenan and why he would bolt Saskatchewan for a lucrative NFL opportunity. Yes money is one reason, however, as I have often said hockey players grow up dreaming of playing in the NHL not the AHL and despite my love for the Canadian Football League I still can admit that CFL is to the NFL as the minors are to the show.

More football and the Saskatchewan Roughriders are down a coach! Receivers Coach Jason Tucker signed on with Tennessee yesterday to begin his NFL coaching career. I’m not even sure that Tucker’s plane had taken off before some were trying to replace him on Corey Chamblin’s coaching staff. I don’t think the Riders need to look very far for his replacement, though. Jason Clermont is in the Queen City, future Hall of Famer Geroy Simon is still on the payroll but what about Dan Farthing I think he would be an excellent addition especially considering he is the current strength and conditioning coach.

Staying on the gridiron, the Atlanta Falcons have been caught filtering crowd noise into their building during home games. Wonder if the BC Lions were concerned about that news?

Even more football and the Hamilton Tiger Cats have re-signed receiver Brandon Banks. You will remember that it was Banks who had a melt-down at Grey Cup when his late punt return touchdown was called back by penalty. His subsequent pout caused him to miss the Tabbies final three offensive plays. That would have made me think long and hard about bringing him back but his talent is unquestionable and like they say you can’t teach speed.

To the links and Tiger Woods is hurt again following the worst outing of his professional career. His dead last finish at the Waste Management Open exposed his game. So what has happened to Tiger? You may recall a decade ago when some of the top players in the world said that Tiger’s body would never be able to keep up with his ferocious swing. I think that there is something to be said for that and Woods’ injuries. To me the bigger factor is the psychology behind his fall. There is no doubt that Tiger’s mental game has faltered but I would say that it is the rest of the field that now has the belief that they can beat Tiger. That belief is huge as no longer are leaders looking over their shoulder to see what Tiger is doing but also they may feel that they don’t need to take as many chances to stay ahead of him anymore.

Lastly, I will be hitting the pebbled ice so to speak in Melville this weekend. The Sasktel Men’s Tankard is in full swing with defending champion Steven Laycock already in tonight’s A-Final. I wouldn’t say that Laycock is a lock to be playing in Sunday’s afternoon final but his foursome are playing great and the experience that he has gained this season has been invaluable.

That’s it for today…

Enjoy the weekend!