Top Ten Tuesday: WHL Deadline, What A Rush And A Blush In Finland?

Happy New Year and welcome to 2016 here at Toon-Town Sportsnet!
It’s a busy time of year as the January 10th hockey deadline for making moves is fast approaching. However, the Saskatoon Blades did get a jump on the action yesterday.

Also a first chance to take a look at Canada’s performance at the World Juniors, AND Saskatoon’s newest professional franchise came roaring out of the gates on the weekend.

That and more here on today’s Top Ten list, in no particular order.

10 – To buy or not to buy that is the question? With next Sunday’s trade deadline fast approaching that is the question on a number of WHL fan’s minds. The Saskatoon Blades answered that question quite clearly with a pair of deals yesterday involving a pair of second round draft picks, this despite being four points out of a play-off spot. With that being said the Toronto Blue Jays were out of the post-season standings when they made a couple of flashy deals that propelled them into the play-offs.

9 – Protecting you from yourself. I know that it is an annual point that I make at this time of year but the WHL has to do something with the bantam draft and the dealing of draft picks. First the bantam draft has to for the involvement of fans be moved to a midget draft. One of the most popular commodities to deal on deadline day is draft picks. And forfeiting a season and moving your top players to look to the future cannot see a return two years down the road. That’s what happens when a first round or any other draft pick is acquired. The return on that move needs to be made more immediate than waiting two or in some cases three years for that pick to become a full-time roster player.

8 – Protecting you from yourself part 2. So how do you do immediate returns for trades? Firstly, the WHL is not or will not change the age of the bantam draft. So, why not ban draft pick trading? If a team is trading they have to move a player that they have already selected? In part it removes some of the mystery of trading for an unknown and secondly it should put that player in the line-up next season. Additionally, for teams in a rebuild it should speed it up by a year at least.

7 – More Junior Hockey and No Golden Moments. Yes for the first time in nearly two decades Canada failed to qualify for the semi-finals at the World Junior Hockey Championship. Analysts will point to the fact that Canada had 8 players eligible to return to next year’s tournament which by Canadian standards is very high. However, I can’t help but notice a lot of individuals seemed to be on this team. From some selfish penalties to selecting a goaltender who was suspended for a bone-head move in the CHL I can’t help but wonder if the chemistry was off.

6 – Team Canada not the biggest loser. The big loser in the whole ordeal appears to be TSN. The sports network hangs its’ hat and advertising revenue on the World Juniors. With Canada bowing out interesting in the tournament seems to have faded substantially. That affects eyes on the television and in turn revenue for future events.

5 – Have the Juniors lost their luster? That’s a question that I have posed around the water cooler and the answer seems to be yes. What used to be a showcase for junior players and the future of the NHL has quickly become a made-for-tv event and cash cow for Hockey Canada. You’ll notice that I didn’t say the IIHF! Look at the sponsor boards in Finland during this year’s tournament. They are all in English and all are Hockey Canada sponsors. Additionally the sensationalism of the tournament seems to be a bit much at times.

4 – Losing the shine 2. Also it may be time to overhaul the tournament in favor of quality over quantity. Watching teams get blasted and playing not to be demoted from group A doesn’t seem to make sense. I would rather see a double-round-robin tournament than watching kids get pasted by 7 or 8 goals.

3 – Oh what a Rush! Well full marks to the Saskatchewan Rush on their first win of the NLL season on Saturday night in Calgary. Saskatchewan looks like a veteran, poised and exciting team. Too bad the TSN 3 announcers couldn’t stop calling them the Edmonton Rush.

2 – Rushing to your seat? I was one of many that tuned in to see the Rush and learn the game of lacrosse on Saturday night. With that being said I would submit that the game was the best possible scenario for the team as they prepare for their home opener on January 15. Not only did the Rush show-off the excitement of the game but they came up with the most important marketing tool of all W-I-N.

1 –Money where your mouth is? So with all of that being said about the Rush will sports fans shell out their cash to see the Rush. That could be the million dollar question for this “Event” town.