(NOT SO) DEEP THOUGHTS
Some thoughts following a long weekend celebrating the land of Peter Puck, Captain Canuck and ketchup chips ….
The most-famous athletes born on Canada’s birthday? Hockey players Rod Gilbert, Jarome Iginla and Steve Shutt, soccer star Ruud van Nistelrooy and Carl Lewis.
Yes, Carl Lewis. The sprinter every Canadian alive in the 1980s and early 1990s hated.
God truly does have a sense of humour.
THAT WAS FAST
One-time Hamilton Bulldog Jarret Stoll (2002-03) married sideline reporter and “Dancing With The Stars” co-host Erin Andrews the other day. It immediately became his second-biggest claim to fame.
No. 1 on the list? Stoll, 35, still holds the American Hockey League record for fastest goal scored from the start of a period. On May 22, 2003 in a playoff game against Binghamton, the puck was dropped to start the third period and he found the net four seconds later.
OK, maybe his marriage is bigger.
BIG, BIG MONEY
Reports say Edmonton Oilers’ star Connor McDavid, 20, will sign a new contract paying him $13,250,000 a year for the next eight years. That’s $17.2 million in Canadian. In case you’re wondering, that works out to $209,878 per game. Based on last year’s average ice time per night, he’ll be making roughly $8,600 each shift he takes.
Or roughly the average Canadian’s salary in one period.
NAMES JOURNALISTS FEAR
The five players from last weekend’s NHL draft that writers hope never score the winning goal on deadline because their names are guaranteed to require a spelling correction the next day. 1. Andrei Altybarmakyan (Chicago) 2. Eetu Makiniemi (Carolina) 3. D’Artagnan Joly (Calgary) 4. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (Buffalo) 5. Jake Leschtshyn (Vegas)
STILL DON’T GET IT
The Montreal Canadiens have announced that Sylvain Lefebvre will remain coach of the farm team — formerly the Hamilton Bulldogs — when it moves from St. John’s to Laval in the fall. Uh, OK. The 49-year-old hasn’t exactly rocked the free world behind the bench. In five seasons, he has a 164-168-48 record, missed the playoffs in four of those (and won a lone post-season game in the other). Worse, he hasn’t flooded the big club with young players developed under his tutelage. In fact, the only player on the Habs roster who could reasonably be linked to the Lefebvre era is Brendan Gallagher, and he played just 36 games in Hamilton suggesting he arrived almost ready.
So, yeah, of course he should stay on.
Attendance at the Toronto Argonauts opener against Hamilton was an absolutely brutal 13,583. Meanwhile, the Saskatchewan Roughriders are moving into a new stadium and have a waiting list for season tickets. So based on the economic laws of supply and demand, Toronto tickets should be vastly cheaper than Saskatchewan tickets, right? Not so much. A 55-yard-line seat at an Argos game is $100. The same seat at new Mosaic Stadium is only $15 higher for a premium game. Meanwhile, a season ticket in that same spot is $900 in Toronto and only $60 more in Regina.
END OF TWO ERAS
Dave Semenko passed away last week after a brief battle with cancer. In addition to being Wayne Gretzky’s longtime bodyguard with the Edmonton Oilers, he was also the last player to score a goal in the World Hockey Association.
It was May 20, 1979. Semenko — or Disco Dave as the announcer called him — tapped in a Ron Chipperfield pass with 12 seconds remaining in the final game of the 1979 Avco Cup final. It cut the margin to 7-3 in favour of the Winnipeg Jets who won the game and the championship.
CARVE OUT SOME TIME
If you get a chance to see the 30-for-30 three-part documentary on the Boston Celtics-Los Angeles Lakers rivalry called Best of Enemies, do it. It’s terrific.
Reduced to a single quote, the intensity of that rivalry — and the piece itself — is Magic Johnson looking into the camera three-decades-plus later and saying, “If there’s one thing I hate in life, it’s the Boston Celtics.”
He isn’t smiling.
EVEN A BLIND SQUIRREL …
“When the NHL draft is held next June in Chicago, the first Hamilton Bulldog to hear his name called will be Mackenzie Entwistle.” — This space, Sept. 28, 2016.
The 18-year-old was the first of four Hamilton Bulldogs selected last weekend despite being behind teammate Matthew Strome on almost all the experts’ mock drafts. Genius is a strong word … but if you insist. (Winking)
American sprinter — and birthday boy — Carl Lewis humbly waves the American flag after humbly winning another race.
Hamilton Bulldogs’ (and Detroit Red Wings draft pick) Reilly Webb, left, and Zack Morris (MarkPaul Gosselaar) of Saved By The Bell fame.