Top 10 Tuesday: Has Hockey Lost Its Appeal? Are The Riders Ready?

Lots to get to in today’s top 10 so let’s get at it! In no particular order here are my ten random thoughts from the week that was in the world of sports.

10 – The million-dollar question in the province this week is how will the Riders be this season? The general consensus is that they will be OK after taking some early lumps to start the year. With that being said the formula is simple. The Riders will rise and fall with the fortunes of Darian Durant and his grasp of the offence, health and cohesion with the receivers.

9 – One more thought from the Riders is the fans negative response to VP of Football Operations, G-M, Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator Chris Jones bringing in more players after training camp. As I mentioned on the air last week, it’s like doing a remodel of your home and then finding the furniture just don’t fit with the renovation so you go looking for a better fit. Plain and simple! No disappointment in what is or isn’t in the locker room, just looking to upgrade which is what makes organizations successful.

8 – Last one from the CFL and the only complaint from week one is the league has to do a better job of eliminating the delays when going to video review. Wally Buono attempted to challenge a play that could not be reviewed. The delay in conveying the message seemed to take forever! Get TSN to go to commercial so that hopefully the confusion can be cleared up during the break and then come back to the action. A model that seems to work for the NFL.

7 – While I am a BIG fan of Ron McLean and the work that he does as a host and television personality I have to agree with some of the detractors of him being re-named the host of Hockey Night in Canada. In making the move to sack George Strombolopolus, Rogers said that he failed to connect with the hard core hockey fan. Well, that’s the problem isn’t it? Hockey Night in Canada and the NHL are not connecting with the non-hard-core fans and growing their audience. With a number of other “sexy” options for the new generation’s dollar and attention the NHL is missing the bus.

6 – The above point may simply point to the idea that hockey has lost its’ appeal. The Globe And Mail’s John Doyle hits the nail on the head. You can see his words here.

5 – The contract buy outs/non-renewals have started in Toronto. Yesterday former public address announcer Andy Frost, revealed via twitter that after 17 years and more than 700 NHL games he was not getting a contract extension from the team. I undertand this is a salary cap era and all but let me get this straight the team finishes dead last in the league (whether they tanked or not is your prerogative) and the best choice to improve the fan experience at Air Canada Centre is by canning the in-stadium voice. The heck with winning, geesh! I wonder if Leafs fans, known for throwing jerseys on the ice, will now toss speakers?

4 – Bob Woods steps out Collin Priestner and Dean Brockman step in. Firstly, when it comes to Brockman the man knows what he is doing. He (although he is too modest to admit) single-handedly made Humboldt the envy of the SJHL and CJHL. He knows how to get the most from his players, teach and inspire which will be huge for the club moving forward.

3 – Filling the General Manager’s chair will be managing partner Collin Priestner with Steve Hildebrand being promoted to Associate General Manager. For my money’s worth this is the obvious choice as both men have been on the ground floor of the Blades latest re-build. Their patience, however, will be tested early as the club has publicly stated that it’s play-offs or bust this season. So, should the club get off to a slow start can they resist the urge to stray from the plan.

2 – First order of business for the Blades is the Import Draft and I love the statement made by the Blades new G-M Priestner. His quote that it isn’t about selecting the best player but rather the best player that will come to Saskatoon shows the flaws in the Import Draft. Here’s hoping the Blades can find a stud early in the draft.

1 – One more from the Blades and a heartfelt congratulations to Cameron Hebig who will skate with the Pittsburgh Penguins this fall. The non-drafted sniper from Toon-Town inked an amateur try-out contract with the team. His hard-work, and leadership have paid off. Not to mention the fact that he is just an all-around good person who deserves the opportunity.

That’s it for today. Enjoy the week!