Three stooges

Bru­ins, Leafs man­age­ment re­places Ed­mon­ton at top of dumb list

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - 9-ball Base­ball Har­ness rac­ing Fred Mac­Don­ald’s col­umn ap­pears ev­ery Satur­day in The Guardian. Mac­Don­ald can be reached at fid­dlers­facts@hot­mail.com.

Cam Neely, who ap­proves all the Bos­ton Bru­ins hockey de­ci­sions, has joined Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTav­ish of Ed­mon­ton and Bren­dan Shana­han of Toronto as the mod­ern day NHL ver­sion of Larry, Curly and Moe.

Lowe and MacTav­ish al­most ru­ined the Oil­ers fran­chise un­til re­cently be­ing re­placed by exBru­ins GM Peter Chiarelli. Bos­ton’s Neely ap­pears to be fol­low­ing the Lowe-MacTav­ish game plan. A week ago, new gen­eral man­ager Don Sweeney, with Neely’s ap­proval, shipped po­ten­tial Nor­ris Tro­phy-type de­fence­man Dougie Hamil­ton to Cal­gary in a move that has en­raged Bru­ins fans ev­ery­where.

It is the sec­ond stupid trade by Neely who two years ago ap­proved top NHL scorer Tyler Seguin to Dal­las for a pack­age of three third lin­ers.

Ear­lier this week, Leafs boss Shana­han un­loaded tal­ented Phil Kes­sel to the Pittsburgh Pen­guins for young play­ers and draft picks. This is the same Shana­han who re­placed head coach Randy Car­lyle mid­way through last sea­son, telling folks the team should be do­ing bet­ter.

Shana­han’s re­place­ment: Peter Horrow-chek.

Like him or not, Kes­sel is a proven goal-scorer with great speed, just the kind of winger the world’s great­est play­maker Sid­ney Crosby would dream of hav­ing. The Pen­guins were in dire need of a top-six for­ward to play with Crosby, who hasn’t had the great­est of line­mates in re­cent years.

The trade is just what the un­der-achiev­ing Pen­guins need and don’t be sur­prised if Kes­sel scores 40 or 50 with Crosby. In my opin­ion, Kes­sel was the most gifted player on the Leafs ros­ter and a tal­ent Toronto should have re­tained es­pe­cially with his up­side and un­der a new proven coach.

The Leafs are count­ing heav­ily on head coach Mike Bab­cock, one of many top coaches in the league, but he will fully un­der­stand be­fore the end of the 2015- 16 what Yogi Berra said when asked by a re­porter, “What makes great coaches,” to which Berra replied, “Great play­ers.”

Con­grat­u­la­tions to our own Kevin McGee, of the Aerospace & De­fence As­so­ci­a­tion of Prince Ed­ward Is­land, who won the na­tional men’s 9-ball cham­pi­onship last week at Saint John, N.B. I be­lieve this is a first for P.E.I., which has al­ways sent play­ers to the snooker­bil­liards cham­pi­onships.

Char­lot­te­town Is­lan­ders sec­ond base­man Dil­lon Doucette leads the New Brunswick Se­nior Base­ball League in hit­ting with a .423 av­er­age, in­clud­ing a league-lead­ing five home runs. Sean Cor­co­ran .390, Dy­lan McKenna .380 and Mor­gan Ma­cLean .333 are also among the lead­ers.

The Is­lan­ders play a dou­ble­header to­day in Saint John, N.B., be­gin­ning at 2 p.m. and are at home Tues­day against Monc­ton.

Live har­ness rac­ing con­tin­ues tonight at 6 p.m. at the city track with a great 12-dash card.

The fea­ture $2,550 pace has the likes of D G’s Camme, Big Surf, All Tu­rain, Si Se­malu and For­tune Play­boy, the best pac­ers in the Mar­itimes. There’s also the $2,250 open mares with favourite Dirt Track Momma from the Moase Sta­ble and an $1,850 top-class trot.

Dan McIsaac’s Bring On the Beach, a brother to Some­beach­some­where, was third by a length in 1:53:3 in a $14,000 con­di­tioned race Mon­day at Mo­hawk and on the same card, McIsaac’s trot­ter Catch the Dream up­set the $34,000 open trot.

At Po­cono tonight, Don MacRae and the Al­lard Sta­ble­sowned Big Boy Dreams is in the $75,000 Franklin con­so­la­tion. State Trea­surer goes for $500,000 in the Franklin fi­nal from Post 4 while Wak­iza­shi Hanover goes for $500,000 in the Hempt fi­nal but has drawn out­side his four main ri­vals.

At North­field, Ohio, last night Mark Mac­Don­ald drove Obri­gado in the $170,000 Cleve­land Trot­ting Clas­sic. Syd­ney, N.S., na­tive’s Bomber Garabb and Chris Berkvens were over Thurs­day evening for the Red Shores at the Char­lot­te­town Driv­ing Park qual­i­fiers. Bomber’s son Joey is one of the best judges in the re­gion.

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