China syndrome: how long does HNIC stick with Huawei?

And are the Leafs negotiating with Auston Matthews? Are the Calgary Flames the real deal? Where does that leave the Oilers?

China syndrome: how long does HNIC stick with Huawei?Huawei did they go? That was the question on Saturday as Hockey Night In Canada hit the airwaves. The financial world has been roiling since Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested by Canadian officials in Vancouver on Dec. 1. She faces extradition to the United States, where she is accused of helping Huawei circumvent…

Stumbling Oilers now have a Hitch in their step

Tough love has long been Ken Hitchcock’s calling card in the NHL. But does it work on young men who are multimillionaires?

Stumbling Oilers now have a Hitch in their stepIf Ken Hitchcock is the answer for the Edmonton Oilers, what’s the question? Probably something like: How badly have we pissed people off? The National Hockey League team that dares to be known by first-overall picks alone finds itself spinning out of control yet again. The Oilers are dropping like a stone in the ultra-competitive…

The NHL shoves concussion conversation behind a curtain

Commissioner Gary Bettman never backed up or hinted the NHL might have had a problem related to head injuries to players

The NHL shoves concussion conversation behind a curtainIt used to be a staple of TV game shows. The grinning host on the stage. The dishevelled contestant looking dazed before him. “Do you want the $100 I’m holding in my hand … or would you like what’s behind the curtain up on stage?” Music, cheering, pandemonium. Maybe it was a new set of…

Bettman doesn’t belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame

Bettman’s biggest legacy to hockey fans is all the seasons he’s blighted by denying fans the game they love in labour stoppages

Bettman doesn’t belong in the Hockey Hall of FameOne of these people recognized at the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday is not like the others: Martin St. Louis, Martin Brodeur, Willie O’Ree, Jayna Hefford, Alexander Yakushev, Gary Bettman. Hmm, wonder who? Most hockey fans – and this is all about the fans, right? – think the institution is about what happens on…

Oh baby! Bob Cole winds down a remarkable play-by-play career

The Hockey Night in Canada legend has seen plenty – and always offered it to TV viewers with plenty of panache

Oh baby! Bob Cole winds down a remarkable play-by-play careerThe venerable Bob Cole is making his farewell tour of Canadian National Hockey League cities this fall. The longtime play-by-play voice of Hockey Night In Canada is leaving the broadcast booth after a half century of “Oh baby!” And “They’re going home, they’re going home!” When he’s finished his tour at the end of December,…

A sure bet on pro sports gambling?

The NHL is ready to enter the betting ring. It’s a sign of liberalizing laws and the search for ever more revenue

A sure bet on pro sports gambling?“Can do, can do, this guy says the horse can do.” – Guy & Dolls How forbidden was sports betting in society? Just ask Pete Rose. Even though Major League Baseball’s all-time leader in hits never bet against his own team, Rose was given a lifetime suspension for making wagers on his sport. So there must…

Skill finally winning the battle for the soul of the NHL

The Vancouver Canucks, who may have lost the 2011 Stanley Cup to the bully Boston Bruins, have set a new standard for play

Skill finally winning the battle for the soul of the NHLThe Stanley Cup Finals series of 2011 – Vancouver versus Boston – was more than just the best chance for a Canadian National Hockey League team to win the Stanley Cup since 1993. As I explain in my book Ice Storm, it was widely seen as a showdown between the traditional NHL, in the person…

Toronto’s fond farewell to John Gibbons exposes deep faults

The Blue Jays’ president and GM bear the brunt of the blame for a horrible season, not the departing manager

Toronto’s fond farewell to John Gibbons exposes deep faultsLegendary baseball manager Leo Durocher once growled, “Show me a good loser and I‘ll show you a loser.” Soon-to-be ex-Blue Jays manager John Gibbons is certainly not a loser. Trips to the post-season in 2015 and 2016 showed him at his best. But for his 10 seasons during two stints in Toronto, his record was…

How migrants in search of championships hurt pro sports

Expansion meant salary caps and luxury taxes were necessary to keep teams competitive. But the system has failed players and fans

How migrants in search of championships hurt pro sportsThe problem with giving an athlete all the money he’ll ever need is that he’s going to ask you for something you can’t guarantee – no matter how much money you have. And that’s a championship. As the Erik Karlsson drama demonstrated last week, when an athlete gets all the money he can command, he’ll…

Will fans stay loyal as the Blue Jays rebuild?

The 2015 and 2016 Jays were wildly successful but that winning culture couldn't be sustained. A new winning era will take time

Will fans stay loyal as the Blue Jays rebuild?In retail, the time-honoured phrase is “Under-promise and over-deliver.” In sports, you might amend that to: “If you promise something, you’d better deliver.” The history of sport is lined with examples of a fan base turning on a team that, just years earlier, it had worshipped. My book Ice Storm catalogues the meteoric romance between…

Is the CFL kicking off a new sports era with live on-field audio?

For as long as the lens has followed sports, broadcasters have denied fans the language, noise and strategy of the game – until now

Is the CFL kicking off a new sports era with live on-field audio?It’s the next frontier of TV sports broadcasting. Naturally, the Canadian Football League is leading the way. What? The CFL schooling all the big boys on cutting-edge audio technology? Yup. The final frontier of live broadcasting is going inside the audio of the game. Since TSN and the league gave it the go-ahead, we’ve had…

A seagoing golfer’s dream

One Ocean Expeditions’ Fiddles and Sticks tour combines iconic East Coast golf with great outdoor adventure and local culture

A seagoing golfer’s dreamWe’re smashing through the waves toward shore in our Zodiac. Heads lowered, shoulders braced against the wind, salt air stings the nostrils. The beach lies just ahead. We’re ready for any action. Golf action, in this case. We’re the shock troops of One Ocean Expeditions hitting the beach on Cape Breton Island in what can…

How soccer revitalizes nationalism

It’s difficult to detach the World Cup from patriotism, even among the most disenfranchised of citizens

How soccer revitalizes nationalismThe penetrating question of the 2018 World Cup of soccer is: Why do the large, powerful nations have short national anthems while the smaller countries have ones that go on forever? God Save the Queen (England) is over faster than you can say Bobby Charlton. But songs of Iceland and Peru seem more like six-part…

The Slaughter at Shinnecock … or why Phil Mickelson was right

The United States Open is supposed to be a tough but honest test of golf. Instead, it has become a travesty

The Slaughter at Shinnecock … or why Phil Mickelson was rightAs far as Phil Mickelson is concerned, the GA in USGA probably stands for “god awful.” In his putting protest against course conditions in round three of this year’s men’s U.S. Open (run by the United States Golf Association), Mickelson pitted his sterling reputation against the prestige of the USGA. It was a pyrrhic victory…

In defence of sports greatness, from Justify to the Warriors

Why is greatness supposed to take a back seat to parity, the bastard child of bloated sports in North America?

In defence of sports greatness, from Justify to the WarriorsWatching the super horse Justify cruise to the Triple Crown on Saturday by winning the Belmont Stakes in New York City was a sublime moment for lovers of sports. The three-year-old became just the 13th horse in the modern history of American thoroughbred racing to win the three jewels of racing’s Triple Crown. In a…
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