“How are the Stanley Cup champions and finalists going to unwind in such a short time?”
The tentatively scheduled opening of NHL training camps for the 2020-21 season will not come soon enough for all the losers, especially the seven that couldn’t even qualify for the play-ins.
By the time those teams return to the rink on Nov. 17, their off-seasons will have been more than eight months long.
But what’s the reward for the champs and the finalists they beat in a best-of-seven that could extend until Oct. 2? Their “break” will be a little more than seven weeks. How are they going to unwind in such a short time?
By selling their boats they use to enjoy when they had a summer?
Playoffs through August and September, the entry draft on Oct. 6, free agency starting Oct. 9, the 2020-21 campaign beginning Dec. 1 … it’s such a strange and weird schedule of events for the NHL. Hope that it happens, that positive coronavirus results don’t force them to scrap the whole damn thing now. That would be very sad. Especially after we’ve come this far.
STOPS AND STARTS
The Blue Jays will have a couple of INTRA-SQUAD games televised on Sportsnet next Tuesday and Wednesday. Lame, right? Actually, it’s too bad they didn’t show last night’s intra-squad as well. It would have been more appealing than yet another mid-non-classic from years gone by … By the way, Bo Bichette’s second-deck shot to left field off Matt Shoemaker sure looked good on Twitter … There’s a long explanation on how the came about the final figure, but was it really necessary for the Jays to give first round pick Austin Martin a signing bonus of $7,000,825? Would he have said no to $7 mil? … Martin should be a good one, but can he crush balls like Emma Humplik, an 18-year old catcher from Texas who was the Orange County Softball Player of the Year? Just watch her take BP on Twitter.
CONNECTING THE DOTS
Big day for Canadians at the Workday Charity Open in Dublin, Ohio, with Adam Hadwin firing a 6-under and one shot behind the leader, while Nick Taylor is at 5-under and two back. Think I’m gonna put Bodog buck or two on Taylor. Just a hunch … Tiger Woods has announced he will be competing next week at The Memorial, a tournament he has won five times. Golf is always more exciting to watch when Tiger is playing, but every tournament going forward is extra special, as he’s chasing his 83rd victory on the Tour in an attempt to break a tie with Sam Snead for the all-time wins lead. Who doesn’t want to see him do it? … The rebranding of Ottawa’s local NHL team (OLNHLT) and the re-introduction of the 2D logo is apparently coming. It’s also necessary, given the past few years, but when is change going to happen where it is needed most? … Almost 50 years after those great commercials declared Lite Beer from Miller was “all you ever wanted in a beer, and less” and that it “tastes great, less filling”, it now seems the stuff has become more popular than ever. Anyone else notice it’s almost impossible to find on either side of the Ontario-Quebec border? Not Miller Genuine Draft, Coors Light or other Molson products, just the king, just the best, just Miller Lite. In a summer heat wave. During vacation time. Can 2020 get any worse?
ON THIS DATE
Exactly 91 years ago at hospital in Kitchener, the world said hello to a baby named Murray Irwin “Moe” Norman who would merely turn into one of the great golf ball strikers of our time. Known as “Pipeline Moe” for his accuracy, Norman was once told by his caddie that he could reach a green with a driver and nine-iron. So he teed off with his nine and hit the green with his driver. Lee Trevino once said of him: “When you talk about Moe Norman, you are talking about a legend.” Unique and very entertaining, Norman died at the age of 75 in a Kitchener hospital with congestive heart failure … Exactly 63 years ago, the Detroit Red Wings reacquired goalie Terry Sawchuk for Johnny Bucyk in the biggest 1-for-1 trade of all-time. Both were first ballot Hall of Famers and, in the centennial celebration of the league, both were named to the “100 Greatest NHL Players” list … Happy 10th anniversary to former Nashville Predator Mike Fisher and country superstar Carrie Underwood, and happy 72nd birthday to the great Glenn (Chico) Resch.
The Intercounty Baseball League’s 101-season run has been interrupted by the pandemic, and the cancellation of the 2020 campaign has me feeling bad for Jack Dominico, who has owned and operated the Toronto Maple Leafs for the past 51 years. “This hurts like hell,” Jack told the Toronto Sun’s Steve Buffery. “I’m upset like you can’t believe. This is craziness.” Jack gave me my first regular newspaper job — paying me $25 per game story published in the Toronto Sun. It was a rather awkward arrangement that would never fly now, but he knew my family and he was doing a nice thing for a North Bay guy. So what’s going to keep Jack busy with no ball at Dominico Field at Christie Pits? “I feel like the Maytag guy,” he said. “You know how they do nothing all day.” … Al Brennan, my father and the best man the world has ever known, would have turned 90 on Thursday. I’m going to take a week or so off to celebrate his birthday.
Catch ya later.