Tag Archives: Gord Stellick

Time For A Change In The Morning

I am going to go out on a limb here folks. It is time Nelson Millman to make a change to his morning show over at the Fan 590. I don’t want to call for someone to lose (not loose) their job, but the morning show is just stale. Why do I bring this up today, well, Don Landry was out ill today and Damien filled in for Landry. It was the best morning show they have had in ages. Let me be clear, I don’t know Don Landry from Adam. To quote Pat Burns, “I wouldn’t know him if I hit him with my car.” I don’t dislike him personally, nor the work he does. However, if ever there was a guy suited for a mid day slot it would be him. He can be funny, he likes to do more shtick then substance and I am sure he has a ton of loyal followers. He just isn’t a sports guy. This is a time slot the Fan has all to their own and to be honest most mornings I punt to 550 or god forbid music. If I am not getting sports at 590, there is no reason to listen. Nelson needs to find a replacement for Landry during that show and move Landry to an hour where his talents will be more appreciated. I can’t see the ratings for this show getting any better then they are right now. The show has peaked and I predict will decline until a change is made.

Damien was fantastic this am with Gord. They have amazing chemistry and man, they spent time actually talking about what their sports guests earlier in the am had to say. Damien was saying how he thought wht Burke was doing with Pogge was the right move, that it was part of a plan. He said he disagreed with Scotty’s take from earlier in the am which was great in that I didn’t get to hear all of it. There was a lot less hijinx then there usually is and a bigger focus on sports. Again, for some reason I think Damien’s column has suffered greatly as a result of the other things he does. He is better in his blog and is better then that on the radio. Watching him faceoff against Simmons on Sunday’s is pretty interesting too. In his column he rarely says why leaf fans should be happy that Cliff is gone. It sounds like a personal vendetta, and more so every time he says it isn’t. This morning he actually put some meat on the bones saying that if Cliff were still in charge we would have seen more deals like the one Cliff made for Lee Stempniak, trading away 2 guys who at the very least should have been given a shot with the Marlies to work our their careers. Damien guaranteed that Cliff was going to do everything in his power to get the team to the playoffs this season and deals like that were evidence of such. Now, I have no clue whether that is true or not. Damien also wrote that Doug Gilmour was paying for his players to be at the ACC this Saturday and we have since learned otherwise. At least it makes for interesting radio. It is certainly better then another bit of Ken Dryden in the house of commons! Good on Damien for mixing it up a bit, making it interesting etc.

I would like to see the Fan 590 think outside the box a bit more. In many major cities I have lived in the morning show and the drive home show feature a radio guy and a print guy as permanent hosts. The radio guy is always there (except for vacations) and the print guy is sometimes a little late, sometimes on the road or sometimes absent. They have good chemistry and create a good product. Now Brunt is a part timer on the Fan, not full time with McCown. While I love Brunt’s work, I think he comes across as being to cerebral for radio in this town. He is certainly better then some of the other guys though. I would love for the Fan to find a way to get Damien or someone like him in there with Stellick. Maclean would be a better fit to be honest. One of the problems I think is that we don’t have a huge bullpen of talent (at least known) in this market. It’s not like there are 5-10 guys on other shows who you say, man they would be awesome on the Fan. With the exception of Brady on 640 (and I think he would be terrific with Stellick, but can’t see that happening anytime soon), I really can’t think of anyone. Now Brady came from Detroit and there are probably a lot of folks in the industry looking for work in other markets. I think Nelson really should make a change, move Landry to the mid-day and bring in someone else to work with Stellick. This morning was a tease.


The Morning Wasn’t Better

You know I need a life when I am listening to the morning show on the Fan, and all I can think is, what would Mike S say? Did anyone catch Kypreos on the fan this am? Man was that segment BRUTAL…. I am not surprised it isn’t on the website. I am telling you, this wicked winter is taking its toll on everyone..

Kypreos made one good point. Toskala has been the disappointment of the season. He was the one guy who should have been strong and Burke is probably questioning what to do with him big time. I think Nick got caught up in his packing for Montreal when he said the one good thing about Toskala is that he is locked up with a long term contract (and no, there wasn’t any sarcasm)

Landry’s big contribution to the segment was an impression of big Nick- that was ok, certainly not funny.

Stellick asked Kypreos a great question which Nick did everything but answer. The question was, looking at Michael Ryder from the Bruins last night, who had a rough go of it in Montreal last year, makes you think that Ron Wilson and Brian Burke are scouring other rosters looking for guys who are having a tough time with a current coach/team thinking that they can turn a guy around, who, Nick would be a good example of those types of guys for Leaf fans to look out for? Wow, what a great question right? One that a guy like Kypreos should be able to answer. He didn’t come anywhere near answering it. All he did was restate the fact that the Michael Ryder had a rough time in Montreal last year and that being reunited with Claude Julien has been very good for him. Thanks for coming out Nick.

Then he was asked if Grabovsky needs to play a little bigger (in fairness this was Landry’s question) in that he appears to get pushed off the puck pretty easily. Good question that I have heard a few times. Again instead of answering it, Nick explained that Grabovsky hasn’t earned his ice time, that he should be relegated to 4th line duty until he has earned 1st or 2nd line status let alone time on the power play. I think that is a very far sighted answer to a near sighted problem, but it is IRRELEVANT. Kypreos would make an awesome politician. His answers are all about his agenda, and not in any way related to the question(at least this morning)

Then, the topic became the all star game. Stellick said to Kypreos, you (Nick) blame Bettman for everything, now the all star game is coming, revenues from the game are split between the league and the players and the marquee players are choosing not to go (not those who are injured). Kypreos, again ignored the question and went on to rip the event. He said it should go back to the way it used to be and not have fans vote. When he was asked about players not going, he said they shouldn’t go. When Stellick said that he admired a guy for being honest (and I don’t remember who the player was) in saying, I am not going because I don’t want to go as opposed to lying and saying I am “injured” Big Nick ripped Stellick for admiring a guy for being honest. Big Nick then contradicted himself about 4 different ways about what the game should be before essentially saying the game is a total joke and not worth watching, let alone attending. When the guys reminded him that he was going for Sportsnet he said “Oh yeah riveting TV”…Now, if I am David Akande and I am paying for Nick to go to Montreal, I haul his ass back and say, you know what, stay home. Kypreos wants players to just say, I am not going and not give a reason. He should do the same thing. If you have to go, just say nothing to denigrate the product. I just can’t imagine his bosses are overly enamored with him telling people to not bother watching their coverage. Can you imagine if you are the head of marketing for one of Sportsnet’s clients (all-star or otherwise) and you heard this guy telling people not to bother watching? If it were me, I would call Akande and say, pull my ads, your guy says your coverage of the event isn’t worth watching….

The fan had a huge night last night. I hope it can continue later. After this am, I am not hopeful.

By the way, did anyone catch Rick Dudley in between the 2nd and 3rd periods on 640’s broadcast of the game? Great interview (bias). It was so good that the fan had him again on their after hours show (where he is a frequent guest). I am a huge Dudley fan. I am not sure there is anyone better out there who can speak about the game, those in it and how to spot and evaluate talent.

Toronto Sports Radio- A Review

A happy Sunday evening to all. I had a great time on the radio today. Murray and his crew were terrific. Little TSM and I enjoyed ourselves and I would love to do it again. Murray has promised me a copy of the segment and I will put it up as soon as I get it. For those of you who were kind enough to both listen and email me privately thanks for kind words, they are greatly appreciated.

With that review of my foray into the medium, lets switch gears and start to focus on the first media power rankings. Here is a review of the folks on the two radio stations that cover sports in the city:

On the Fan: Rick Ralph, Don Landry, Gord Stellick, Daren Millard, Nick Kypreos,Mike Brophy,Doug Farraway,Jack Armstrong, Doug MacLean, Bob McCown, Stephen Brunt, Jim Kelly, Roger Lajoie, Norm Rumack and throw in Eric Smith, Paul Jones, Paul Johnson, Sherman Hamilton and Jack Armstrong, Howard Berger, Rob Faulds, James Deacon and a myriad of regular guests(Dan Shulman, Rob Becker, Peter King, Brian Cooper, Jeff Blair, Richard Griffin, Bob Elliot, Michael Grange, Mary Ormsby, Keith Law, Iain Page, Gord Kirke, John Wells, David Shoalts, Glen Healy, Scotty Bowman, Jay Triano, Chris Schultz, Damien Cox, Elliott Friedman, Nick Kypreos, Pierre Mcguire, Adrion Smith, Eric Smith
On 640: Bill Watters, Darren Dreger, Greg Brady, Jonas Siegel, Andy Frost and their guests(Bob the Bear Cowan, Darren Dreger, Scott Morrison, BoB McKenzie, Christine Simpson,Brian Duff, Rob Higgins, Jim Ralph, Joe Bowen, Sean Baligian,
The first caveat is obvious, one is a 24 hour sports station, the other, well, it’s a talk radio station that does several hours of sports a day. The Fan is the measuring stick in this town. They have been here the longest, built an established brand and continue to create and host excellent programming. Are they perfect? Of course not. One of their biggest problems, in my opinion anyway, is that there simply is not that much to talk about 24/7. Having said that they do a damn good job filling the hours. I am not an Argo’s fan nor do i follow soccer or high school sports. I don’t bet on football either so there are times that I just have no real reason to listen. To either stations when those topics are being discussed.
I am not listening to the fan early enough to listen to Rick Ralph start the day, so I can’t comment on his show. I think he does a great job on his news updates though. Stellick and Landry, in my opinion are a big tease. They own the morning drive when it comes to sports. They are on a sports station but I feel that they do more sizzle and less steak. They don’t talk hardcore sports as much as they do hi-jinx. The odd joke or “bit” is fine. In my opinion it is just over kill. The John Gibbons, Ken Dryden, Vito from Woodbridge and the mind reader schtick are just lame now – again in my opinion. Their insiders can be great. When they talk sports they are terrific. The segments they used to do with Sam Mitchell were the best on the station. I could do without Kathryn Humphreys to be honest.

You listen to Mike Hogan and Mike Tooth, you can’t help but think these are two good guys. They love all things Canadian, junior and college athletics and of course the CFL. Unfortunately, and maybe it’s just for me, but, very little of that makes for interesting radio. Like I said, they sound like nice guys talking sports. They have some decent guests who seem to know a lot about the CFL and Canadian college football. They do get some good NFL guests as well, however I think I am the only sports fan in this city who is not enamored with Chris Schultz. From my perspective, he is way too technical and relies too much on that from his playing days. He too, seems like a nice enough guy, just not compelling enough to listen to. I find their hockey and baseball coverage lacking. They do spend at least an hour each and every week during the season on the Raptors and that is great to listen to. As I have said though, by virtue of not being an Argo/CFL guy there are at least 2 days a week where I will instantly change the channel because that is all they talk about.

The first daily battle starts at the noon hour. This is a war that is starting to get more interesting as the days go by. Every time Kypreos and Watters are on the tv together they look like they are going to kill each other. Watters the ex-agent, assistant GM, high school coach and color commentator vs. Kypreos the ex touch guy player turned analyst/insider. You can’t help but believe that they truly want to cream the other every chance they get and they go head to head on most days at the noon hour. Mallard and Brophy are there with Kypreos and a ton of quality guests. The one nice thing about this show is that it pretty unstructured. In this case it sounds like a couple of guys talking about hockey the same way we all do with our own friends. Brophy lost of respect from me this past week when he went toe to toe with Pat Quinn, tried to embarrass him and was wrong. Up the dial, you throw in Dreger and another great group of guests and you have a show that is quite good too. Dreger seems to the new(er) boy wonder on the scene. He breaks a ton of stories and where he used to have to sit in McKenzie’s shadow he has his own track record now and people look to see what he is going to have to say when a story seems to be breaking, if he wasn’t the one to break it. Kypreos is a little too pro-player and Wilbur too ignorant (I prefer bigoted but I am flexible Mike S.) and his anti-MLSE stance has just about run its course. Truth is, I try to listen to who and what each are going to be talking about on a given day and listen based on that information. If you don’t care about listening live then you can do what I tend to do and pick after the fact by listening in on the web late at night.
Doug Fairway is the Fan’s DH. I have no clue if this true, but I get the feeling that he is the go to guy at the fan. He does an admirable job filling in WHENEVER. He ihas some good opinions and I love listening to his sarcasm when he does the deadline show or other big event shows. I have never heard his 1pm show so I can’t comment on it.
The one show I really like on the Fan is Maclean who just needs to stop talking about his own wealth for a segment and Armstrong who seems to know his basketball (hell if I know) and makes a great effort to talk shop in all the other sports, including hockey. These guys work really well together, they get good guests and both bring unique perspectives to the events as they unfold each and every afternoon.
The big boys come out during the drive home show. As I wrote this past week, when McCown and Wilbur are ON their respective games, both are excellent. McCown with Burke this week was the best interview I have heard with Burke since he took the job. When Wilbur actually interviewed Collangelo and didn’t try to use jokes and innuendo to prove to his listeners how close he is to the guests as he usually does he proved to be a great interviewer. It was the first time I had heard that in him. He should go that route more often. The shows are very different if you think about it though. McCown is the host on Prime Time Sports. Kelly or Brunt (or anyone else sitting in as co-host) fill in with opinion while McCown leads the discussions and directs the show. On 640, it is almost as if Brady is driving the ship. That is not to suggest there is no deference on the air, it is clear it is Wilbur’s show (hell, look at the name). Brady is driving the show though; Brady leads the show through, calls, breaks, news traffic etc. He is the one who introduces guests. Neither format is right, but they are different. Kelly is McCown’s Ed McMahon, Brunt much less so. There is no real sense of that on 640. The guys disagree quite often and there seems to be a mutual amount of respect for the opinion of the other. To me again, it comes down to the guests. In this category McCown wins for diversity. Whom is best is based on opinion of course. Put Mckenzie on with McCown up against the combo of Dreger and Morrission on 640 and you have a pretty difficult decision. 2 nights a week McCown does round tables. I think the format used to be great. I am not overly fond of a lot of the folks who have been around the table recently. Nothing personal, but Rob Faulds, and Mary Ormsby just don’t interest me that much, and a result I seem to be flipping more often away from them as I did before. The same can be said for having Morrison and Dreger on every night. I know, this is a leaf town, and we all love to talk LEAFS, LEAFS, LEAFS…but I would like to have a little variety. As with the lunch hour, my listening depends greatly on who is going to be on the show (both hosting and guesting!) I look every night to see who was on the show I didn’t listen to and try to catch parts of what they put on the web.

There is no better interviewer in the game, in this city then Bob McCown. We all know if big news breaks in the world of sports McCown will have a take on it, and someone involved at a high level will be on PTS to talk about it. It’s hard to compete with that. When it is hockey related, especially the Leafs 640 is the place to go. Wilbur and Brady do a great job breaking down all things Maple Leafs. With Burke in town they are providing much more balanced opinions on the Leafs and despite the fact they are on each and every night, Morrison and Dreger have the league covered. I will take Jonas’s green-ness over Howie’s editorials every day. If Berger could just report on the facts he would be a good beat guy. Jonas needs to spend more time in front of the mirror and work on his own material.

After 7pm, I don’t listen that much unless I am in the car. I listen to pre, post and live games. If I have twitter on, the Fan does a phenomenal job keeping folks up to date as to what is coming up on the air. If any of the shows have interesting topics/guests I tune in. Norm Rumack (I know, I sound like a broken record)does get some interesting people on who just don’t get called upon during the normal business day. He is much easier to listen to know that he adopted a team other then the Leafs and his rah rah Syracuse is pretty funny. I will say this, I will take the personality of Andy Frost vs. Mike Wilner any day. Both guys have the worst jobs in sports media, taking post game calls. It has become more apparent that this has taken a toll on Wilner as he gets more crotchety each and every year. Frost seems to have the right demeanor for the gig and man no better a voice for radio exists in this town.
So, there you have it. A fairly comprehensive run down on sports radio here in Toronto. I am going to try to provide the weekly media power rankings. Everyone is fair game. Radio, TV, print, play-by play etc. So many of you send me clips, links and articles, I will need more of the same so keep em coming.

Toronto Radio Wars

Ok- so it’s not much of a war but there are some interesting trends to watch and the game is about to change.  What am I talking about?  The Fall radio results book just hit and the numbers aren’t really that good for anyone here in Toronto anyway….

While McCowan remains king (and with his years of experience is anyone that surprised), the interesting result is the downward trend in his numbers, McCown has dropped FOUR straight books though in 25-54 and 35-54…Are the drops dramatic?  No.  Is it a trend?  Yup.. McCown’s show on The Fan 590 dropped in total share to a 7.8 share from 8.0.  Make no mistake that 7.8 is a GIANT…  Wilbur/Brady dropped to a 2.3 share from 3.1.

Wilbur and Brady dug a little deeper into McCowan’s numbers in the older male demographic (dopes like me 35-54)their 2.6 per cent to McCown’s 6.5.

The trend at lunch is exactly the same…. The Fan’s Hockey Central (5.4) leads in 25 to 54 guys over Leafs Lunch (4.2), when the demographic is 35-54 Leafs Lunch leapfrog’s Hockey Central 5.4 to 4.6 (leafs lunch to Hockey Central)

The most telling number for me however is the drop in the Fan morning show numbers, from a respectable 5.4 to 4.6….. 4.6??????  That is what the Fan can do in the AM????  If I am over at 640 I take a long hard look at that time slot and figure there is one we can win.  The afternoon slot on the fan, the one after lunch yet before McCowan had a 4.4 (down from 4.9)  If the morning show doing all sports is only getting .2 better then the usual graveyard between 1-4 you know there is a problem….

Now the good news:

“The measurement of radio audiences will undergo a major change next year when it moves to a system of personal people meters in which respondents clip on a device that electronically records the stations they listen to.The current system requires respondents to report in a diary their listening habits. It’s considered unreliable, particularly so for the sports radio market, where male listeners are unlikely to take the time to fill out the ballot.”

This is a huge change, who the hell ever would fill out a diary when we have the technology to really meter behavior???  Don’t think this makes a difference?:

“In this measurement, the PPM system was used as well as the diary system in the Montreal market.The discrepancies were stunning.At CKAC, the French-language station, the PPM results reported three times the audience for Montreal Canadiens broadcasts than did the diaries. The Team 990 afternoon drive, which, according to the diary system, decreased in market share, made big gains in the PPM results.The PPM system also reported several Montreal stations with cumulative weekly audiences of more than one million listeners.”That’s completely unheard of,” a radio executive said. “Normally, only a couple of Toronto stations have a one million cume [cumulative audience].”

So once this new system is active we will have a better idea of what is what…..

Here is my take.  Stellick and Laudry are the only game in town.  It shows in their numbers and in the product. Once again we in the market place are getting the short end of the stick.  There is no one source for hard hitting sports coverage during the drive in hours…  Personally I think Stellick is fantastic, I think he needs a different type of co-host.  Landry has been in the morning slot for a long time and I think it shows…   Hogan follows up and no where have I seen any numbers on his show.  Again, personally, he looses me minimum 2 days a week.  The first sound of Argos or CFL and I am out.  Second his Football Friday NFL coverage is brutal, I would and do listen to ESPN Radio or Dan Patrick for my NFL fix.  To that slot is borderline unlistenable.  At lunch my first choice would be to marry Dreger with Kypreos.  I like them both.  The other 2 guys?  Not so  much..(see more on Wilbur below)… MacLean/Armstrong I happen to think is good radio.  Besides MacLean’s constant yapping about his money, they work well together and I think they both provide insight into their areas of expertise we don’t get all that often…

The Drive home…. McCowan taking calls is classic. He plays the roll so well and the people who call in now it.  As I have said before his guests are great.  I love Dan Shulman, I like Rod Becker (or is it Rod), I haven’t heard a better NFL guest then Peter King.  Despite his recent disappearance act there is still only 1 Bob McKenzie.  I prefer bob Elliott to almost any other sports writer in town and of late I have new found respect for both Jeff Blair and Richard Griffin.  As much as I used to like Stephen Brunt he almost has become too brainey for me and I won’t even discuss Jim Kelly.  I have a bias for when Kirke is on and can’t believe he puts Rose D on the air. Deacon is ok, but certainly isn’t that opinionated.  In summary I find of late anyway that his show has become overly predictable.  the ongoing affinity for Boots Delbiaggio is beyond boring.  However, McCowan gets amazing segments out of the owner of the Habs and guys like Bill Daily.  The age lag is surprising to me in that McCowan’s strength is the business aspect of sports which I thought would be much more appealing to the 35-54 crowd then the numbers suggest.

Up the Dial at 640, Brady is a huge and I mean HUGE improvement over all of Wilbur’s previous co-hosts.  When Bill Hayes hosts, I am on music, my cell phone or 680 (assuming McCowan is talking to Bert Randolph Sugar of course).  Dreger and Morrison are amazing.  I do wonder if it is a bit of overkill with these guys though.  I sense they are trying to spread their wings a little bit, fantasy football, hockey etc and I think that is a good play for them.  Where I still think they hurt is that Wilbur’s obvious bias goes way overboard.  It is so blatant that it makes him unlistenable at times.  Perhaps now that Burke is in control the anti ownership stuff will be toned down a notch.  Hi son is also gone from the Argos so perhaps the anti rogers/bills things will dissipate as well.  Look, next to MacLean there is no one on the air constantly on the air with more to say then he does.  He was an agent and assistant GM a high school coach and a color commentator.  He knows his stuff.  His anecdotes should be phenomenal.  He obviously watches a lot and talks a lot of hockey.  If he only spent more of his time on that he would be so much better.  I think in time this show will get better as it becomes more general and less leaf bashing.  I happen to really like their business guy Lou Schizas.  Their version of Happy Howie Jonas Segal isn’t that good, but he isn’t that bad.  He sounds like he is 12 and is a tad bit intimidated by Willis but perhaps he will grow into the role.  I think they really need to find a raptor insider and if I were them I would hire Scott Ferguson yesterday to be their baseball guy.  He owned the pre and post game blue jays shows of yesteryear and they haven’t been the same since he signed off….

Ok enough rambling about sports radio…..

Thanks to Bill Houston over at the Globe for providing these numbers so the one person who cares about them can re-report them. You can read the rest of his take here

Courtnall For Kordic Redeux- And Milbury on the ball

Good article in the Sun today about the Russ Courtnall for John Kordic trade…:

“People were obsessed about Kordic – Courtnall,” Stellick says. “It was definitely my Bob Uecker moment, the one boner they still talk about.”

Indeed Gord. Hate to break it to you, but it seems to be the one thing that will be written on your tombstone!

“Get a deadline, whether it’s Nov. 15 or whatever,” Milbury urged. “It’s an insult to the (players) who have to work eight months.”

Mike Milbury on the former captain of the Maple Leafs who uses to wear #13…. Can’t say I disagree

NHLPA on Campbell, McCabe and, ummm Sundin?

Editors note, Kypreos was on the fan this am and he cited a an article in the Sun today which provides:

” Whatever the case, a source close to McCabe said last night the veteran defenceman would not change addresses for at least another couple of weeks.

“(Bryan) isn’t going anywhere until Sept. 1, at the earliest,” the source said. “That’s the date (he) gets his $2-million US signing bonus from Toronto.

“Why would a team deal for (him) before that and be on the hook for that extra money? They’ll just wait until (he) gets paid, then see what happens.”

And there you have it folks, the reason why this is on hold. As stated previously, everyone is too positive this will happen, but not for another 2-3 weeks. Any suitors are waiting for the Leafs to pay McCabe this bonus and then he will be dealt. The proverbial other shoe may have just dropped.


Relatively new NHLPA gran poobah Paul Kelly was on the morning show with Gord Stellick and Damien Cox. It was a pretty interesting interview. The Guy certainly is bright and doesn’t come across nearly as snively as Ted Saskin nor as big an egomaniac as Bob Goodenow. The interview can best be described as The Good, the Bad and the HUH…

The Good: On McCabe, Kelly didn’t say anything when it was suggested to him that the Leafs threatened to keep McCabe away should he not waive his NMC. To be clear, it was part of a long question that went a little something like this, Here locally fans are interested in the Bryan McCabe situation were originally the Leafs were telling Bryan he wouldn’t be welcome at training camp and now it seems like there has been some positive developments, how involved are you in the situation?

Kelly’s response was, more or less, I am not directly involved, however I am heartened by the things I hear from Cliff Fletcher and am pleased where things are headed and that is a credit to both sides and it looks like this will be resolved amicably.

Again I am more convinced that the other shoe just needs to drop on this one. All the parties seem to be saying the same thing. This is a good sign. Let me make it clear that I think McCabe isn’t the Alexander Karpotsev he appears to be. I think, however, there is no way he can perform to his ability here in Toronto. That doesn’t mean he won’t go to another team and become a top level player again. Nor does it mean that dealing him is a mistake. I truly believe that sometimes it really is in everyone’s best interest that a player move on. This is one of those cases.

Interesting to note that Kyrepos is reporting McCabe has waived his no trade clause to a limited number of teams. One is apparently the Florida Panthers as Hanky reported (e3, I believe). Florida Panthers writer George Richards is speculating it will be a package of Mike Van Ryn and a prospect coming north in exchange for McCabe. KuklasKorner has good comentary on this too here.

The Bad: Kelly was asked about his relationship with the Commish and the NHL in general as compared with Saskin who seemed to be in bed with the league and Goodenow whom no matter what the issue was, Bob was always in conflict with the league. Kelly said that he has respect for everyone. That when he was a trial lawyer he fought hard battles in the court room but always tried to respect his opponents and treat them as people. He said that he was trying to establish a relationship that was somewhere between the Saskin love in and the Goodenow scortched earth. He then said that he speaks to Bill Daily or Bettman numerous times a week and he speaks to the business guys a lot.

Where’s the bad, well, Kelly then said that he speaks to Clarence Campbell about on ice issues! So either Kelly is Cole Sear or he meant Colin Campbell. I am impressed that he even knew the name Clarence Campbell, but its not too great either that he mixed him up with Bettman’s on-ice guru either…

The huh: Ok, so the boyz were trying to be funny, but they did ask Kelly about Mats Sundin. It’s interesting that he said he isn’t directly involved in the McCabe situation (which must be pissing of Hanky to no end) but he talks about the Sundin issue as if he IS directly involved in it. While he says he doesn’t know what Sundin is going to do, he does say that he knows Sundin is working out and is in great shape (um, you trying to sell something Paul?) He continued that Sundin is skating and re-emphasized that he doesn’t know what is going to happen but that he think we will hear from Mats shortly.

One of the alleged complaints from several agents about Goodenow was that he constantly meddled in player business that wereclearly issues as between player and agent. Those agents represented the players and that specific players best interests, where Goodenow was allegedly always trying to get what was best for the union. Sometimes those two interests were not aligned. The amount of pressure Goodenow allegedly put on the agents was at times immense. One has to wonder if that is continuing in the Kelly era already.

If you listen to the interview, it is also interesting when Kelly says, when asked whether the infighting and apathy within the PA is diminishing, that he is trying to keep the players abreast on all the issues in case something creeps up in two years the players won’t be caught by surprise. Remember, this is a VERY experienced trial lawyer. The Clarence/Colin Campbell is a slip up, a mistake, making comments like a reference to issues appearing in 2 years is not anecdotal, you have to believe he says that for a very specific reason. It will be interesting to learn over time what that purpose was.

you can listen to the interview here:

Kelly on the morning show