Another delay in blogging. Hockey season, teaching, home life all get in the way of me indulging in my favourite relaxing pastime. So with hockey, basketball, legal matters and other things all percolating, time to release some of the angst and opine a little bit!
PATRICK KANE CASE DISMISSED
No, it was not surprising to see this occur. Incompetence, meddling, the stigma of being an alleged victim to a a high profile alleged perpetrator all conspired to bring this to a sad, but inevitable logical conclusion. When her alleged victims old lawyer starts crying tampering of evidence before all the facts are in, you know you are in for a gong show. The infamous ripped evidence bag became a hoax perpetrated by the victims mother, and that severely undermined the credibility of the case. Thankfully the victims lawyer departed the case before he could any more damage, but the DA's Office intervened and chose not to prosecute. Honestly, I have no opinion on Patrick Kane's guilt or innocence as there is simply not enough of the story being made public. However, when a DA's Office refers to the case as a "so called case" rife with "reasonable doubt" , it does not exactly encourage other potential victims of sexual assault to come forward. On a hockey note, I still do not think that the BlackHawks are thrilled to have this come across their desks, as it is not the first time Kane has come under scrutiny. Tough to find trade partners with the salary so exorbitant.
DA Statement is : HERE
No real good segue from that last item, but onto some good news. The IceDogs gained six points from three games, and a clean sweep of last weekend, besting Mississauga, Sarnia and North Bay. The team is back to .500 and has a five game home stand starting with a very good Windsor Spitfire team. I fully admit to sitting there playing arm chair GM wondering if the team was going to be blown up or whether or not a strategic trade or two would be made to recalibrate the talented teams. Sometimes the best moves are the ones you do not make, and the IceDogs are all business now.
BASKETBALL, BASKETBALL AND MORE BASKETBALL
I have written a lot about professional basketball coming into Southern Ontario. The NBA D League will have Raptors905, the NBL expanded and includes a franchise in Niagara, while the CBL has launched two teams, with plans to launch two more.
The NBL has had a banner off season, recovering from some terrible publicity at the end of last season where they crowned a champion by default, and held a sheepish team celebration. A new commissioner in David Magley, an expansion team in Niagara and a rebirth of the Halifax franchise all point to a season full of growth instead of angst. Starting the season in December may have raised an eyebrow, but teams now have more time to promote, and the league gets more distance from the end of last season which I wrote about in detail, but do not feel compelled to detail, outside of acknowledging it happened. Here's hoping for a controversy free, profitable year!
As for the CBL there has been a lot of enthusiasm and a tremendous buzz around teams from Waterloo and Hamilton, but the season is set to start in five weeks, and there is no confirmation of the other two teams, who are set to be Ottawa and Scarborough. There is lots of infrastructure work being done under the radar, but a lot remains. That said, you have to have faith in Butch Carter, a basketball coach/entrepreneur who says the right things and more importantly tapped into the right resources and hired good people. When you can hold a press conference and get tweets from mayors and other politicians, like he has in Kitchener Waterloo, then you've got something. Also, to be considered is the agreement with CHCH TV, which could be a game changer. CHCH has dipped its toe into the sports water again by striking a deal with the OUA. Great to see the independent channel step up with the big guys from Bell and Rogers.
Anyway you look at it, its a boost for basketball fans in the area. Both leagues need to differentiate themselves, and continue to create a great buzz. There's enough room in Ontario for leagues to operate independent of one and other.
SPORTS RADIO BANTER
I'm a nerd. Now, many people are probably thinking and wondering why I admit it now, when they have known for 20 years. I love consuming sports radio and listen constantly to The Fan 590 and TSN 1050 and 1150. The Fan has gone outside of the box and brought in popular guests Jon Morosi, Richard Deitsch, and Eric Francis to co host key demographic shows like Dean Blundell and Company and Prime Time Sports. The content has been rich, and the personalities have shone with their back and forth and questioning of guests. My only concern is that of the three , only Francis is Canadian. I think there is a ton of untapped , underrated Canadian talent out there who could do a sports show, and we do not need to stunt-cast U.S. based personalities. That said, having them in for a short period of time is a tremendous boost and likely revitalizes the hosts and the format. I love all three guys who have come in. They're entertaining, passionate and knowledgeable. Canadian sports talk show hosts, and wannabee hosts: The mantra has been put out there. Step up and show that we Canucks can be compelling and damn entertaining too!
Until next time