Tag Archives: Wayne Gretzky

Sunday’s Funnies (quotes of the early day)

Here are a few of my favorite things this am:

“No kidding the Coyotes operate under an onerous lease. But that’s exactly what previous owner Steve Ellman signed on for in exchange for his land-grab in Glendale, which was exactly the wrong spot to build a new arena and everyone but everyone knew it. Ellman didn’t care. He got his land. But now the NHL is supposed to bail out the franchise? Now the NHL is supposed to pump money into an organization that, somehow, is paying head coach Wayne Gretzky more than $5.5M this year and will pay Gretzky between $7-and-8M next season?” Larry Brooks

With the players taking the hit that they are, the count should expect long and hard questions about the league finances and the propping up of teams who do just enough to qualify for large revenue sharing payments. The ethical appearances of the league this day are all wrong.

“When Garth Snow talks about expanding the Islanders’ fan base in explaining why the team is playing a preseason game in Kansas City and spending the opening week of training camp in Saskatoon, it sounds like nothing more than an insult to the suffering fan base on Long Island. What is it about going to work in a suit and tie rather than in illegal pads that has turned Snow from an insightful, candid fellow into a suspicious, uptight individual?” Larry Brooks

Nothing like good old fashioned blackmail. Anyone else remember the Kansas City Blades of the IHL? Quick, when you think of hot potential NHL markets how many list KC in your top 25? The folks in government should tell the isles to build their own damned arena…Look around people, this isn’t the time for governments to be handing out checks to the likes of Charles Wong…. Poney up Charles and build your own building your fans deserve it.

“This Ron Wilson “we won, they lost” attitude in public will last only as long as his dressing room doesn’t erupt against him. There is much to like about Wilson — and who wouldn’t want a boss that rewards hard work and accomplishment? — but lately, he’s tripping over himself in public.” Steve Simmons

I agree. This we suck thing is going to get very stale in the locker room sooner rather then later. Coaches want to be part of the us vs. them mentality along with their players. Kind of hard to establish that when you slaughter your guys in public all the time. Take shots at the media, bash your players in private, man stand up for your guys just a little bit.

“How tough is it to get a hockey scholarship at a top U.S. college? Well, consider this: The top 10 ranked teams in the NCAA have only 15 Ontario players of the 250 or so on their rosters.” Steve Simmons

It used to be parents dreamed about the NHL. Now it’s a us scholarship. Let your kids have fun and stop pressing them to be all that you weren’t!

“When Doug Gilmour’s jersey is honoured at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday night, his Kingston Frontenacs players will be in attendance. But he had nothing to do with getting them tickets. Turns out, Mike Zigomanis of the Penguins, as a goodwill gesture to his former junior team and knowing nothing of the Gilmour ceremony, bought 34 tickets for the Fronts players to watch the Pens play. Now they get to see Zigomanis play and watch their coach honoured on the same night” Steve Simmons-

Why, would Gilmour lie about this? Seriously, I don’t get it.

“Donny (Doc) Lyons, the loudest, most opinionated, most inflexible and maybe most interesting sports fan in Toronto, has lost his fight with cancer. The owner of the popular House of Chan and longtime coach will be missed by all who have sparred with him and been charmed by him. He was a one-of-a-kind character in a city of too few” Steve Simmons

The house that Chan built won’t be the same…

“Boo hoo: Overpaid millionaire NHL players have to take a 13.5% paycut in the first half of the season and some have the nerve to squawk about it. Tell that to the autoworkers in Oshawa or the half-million Americans who lost their jobs in December” Steve Simmons

You knew it was coming and it is 100% accurate. This is why the players didn’t re-open the CBA.


Gretzky: Sabres and Leafs to blame for no team in Southern Ontario

Interesting that this story hasn’t been picked up too many places, so I will bring it your attention on a muggy Saturday afternoon.

Not in the sports section, but in the first section was a pretty interesting article about another NHL team in the GTA. When the Predators where said to be in play and Jim Balsillie (RIM) was hoping to try to bring the team to Hamilton, conventional wisdom was that Bettman was the guy killing the deal. Lots of folks, where of the opinion that Bettman is very anti-Canadian (and Balsillie for that matter) and that a team won’t be coming anywhere near Toronto or Canada for that matter.

Wayne Gretzky, who is clearly an ambassador for the game despite his status as coach of the Coyotes, was in Toronto giving a speech to some business folks yesterday shed some light on the situation:

“”There is an issue with ownership in Buffalo and Toronto,”

Gretzky went a little further:

“The coach and co-owner of the Phoenix Coyotes told a Toronto business audience that, contrary to what many hockey fans believe, New York-based National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman is not against relocating a team to Hamilton or Kitchener. The two franchises that draw fans and corporate support from the region are blocking such a move, said the league’s nine-time MVP. The 47-year-old hockey executive explained that the Leafs and Sabres have territorial rights, and haven’t been afraid to use them. Mr. Gretzky added: “Gary Bettman has a warm spot in his heart for Canada.”

Personally, I think its a sham that we don’t have another team in the golden horseshoe. I think that if the New York area can have 3 and the LA area can have 2, there is no reason this market can also have 2. I do, however think that a team in Hamilton would be more detrimental to the Sabres then it would to the Leafs. I was in DC when Peter Angelos made all the arguments against the Nationals coming to Washington. He too had territorial issues and was appeased with the type of deal he got from MLB and the nationals. There are lots of creative things that the NHL and whomever would own the team could to please the Buds and the Sabres.

An interesting read to be sure, not surprising that the 2 teams are fighting, more surprising that they are winning. Should be interesting to watch down the road, but I don’t think it is going to happen any time soon unfortunately.