I’ve written a
couple of Quick Takes some time ago about Todd Bertuzzi (then of the Vancouver
Canucks) and the sucker punch to Steve Moore (Colorado Avalanche) that ended
Moore’s career on March 8, 2004. As I’ve stated before, it was criminal assault
that was actually ordered by his coaching staff as retaliation for an earlier
incident. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman suspended Bertuzzi after the incident,
and then reinstated him in 2005, the latter being a ridiculous decision in light
of the circumstances. Moore has been unable to play hockey since as a result of
the serious injuries sustained in that assault. Bertuzzi has played in the NHL
On July 7, the Calgary Flames signed Todd Bertuzzi. George Kesteven, a Calgary resident, advised me that Flames’ fans are not at all happy about having this classless thug. They shouldn’t be. (Now they have both Bertuzzi and Mike Keenan. I had enough of Keenan when he coached the St. Louis Blues.) As far as I’m concerned, Bertuzzi should not be on the ice; he should be under it.
Three of the four major leagues
(MLB, the NBA and the NHL), have at least one team in Canada. Thus, although it
is not a U.S. city, Toronto is notable because it has MLB, NBA, and NHL teams,
plus a professional football team, the Argonauts. The Argonauts play in the
Canadian Football League, which is currently an all-Canadian circuit, although
the CFL had U. S. teams from 1993-1995.
The possibility of an NFL team in Toronto, which is larger than many NFL cities, has been discussed, but since early-1997, an agreement between the NFL and CFL has precluded either league from placing a team within the borders of the other nation. However, the NFL has approved the plan of the Buffalo Bills to play one regular season game a year in Toronto starting in 2008 as the Bills' profits depend on a considerable Southern Ontario fan base.
There are a further two Canadian cities which formerly had two major league teams plus a CFL franchise:
Montreal had the Expos MLB team, which moved to DC. It still hosts the CFL Alouettes and the NHL Canadiens. Montreal formerly hosted a second NHL team, the defunct Maroons.
Vancouver had the Grizzlies NBA team, which moved to Memphis. It still hosts the CFL’s B. C. Lions and the NHL Canucks.
The Hockey Hall of Fame is in Toronto. I’ve been there. It is outstanding. Every hockey fan should tour it.
We have four major sports in the U.S. I’m not as much a baseball, football or basketball fan as I was years ago because too many pro players in those sports feel they’re bigger than the sport and their teams. Yes, I’m still a fan, but not like I was. The only throwback to the old days is hockey. Hockey players epitomize the meaning of “team sports” and play it like they did years ago, “for love of the game.” For love of the game is how all pro sports were once upon a time, but that was a long time ago.
Story of the Week
FUNNY HOCKEY QUOTES
Terry Crisp, ex-coach of Tampa
Bay, following a 10-0 loss to Calgary: "The only difference between this and
Custer's last stand was Custer didn't have to look at the tape afterwards".
Bob Plager: “Hockey players wear numbers because you can’t always identify the body with dental records.”
Scotty Bowman: “High sticking, tripping, slashing, spearing, charging, hooking, fighting, unsportsmanlike conduct, interference, roughing……everything else is just figure skating.”
Hall of Fame goalie Jacques Plante: "How would you like a job where every time you make a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?"
Brett Hull: "I'm not dumb enough to be a goalie."
Gordie Howe: "American professional athletes are bilingual; they speak English and profanity."
Steve Rushin: "By the age of 18, the average American has witnessed 200,000 acts of violence on television, most of them occurring during Game 1 of the NHL playoff series."
Jimmy Cannon: "A puck is a hard rubber disc that hockey players strike when they can't hit one another."
Pierre Page: "A player must be able to skate, have hockey sense, be able to shoot, but not necessarily be able to score."
Gus Kyle: "Street hockey is great for kids. It's energetic, competitive, and skilful. And best of all, it keeps them off the street."
Brad Park: "We get nose jobs all the time in the NHL, and we don't even have to go to the hospital."
Stu Grimson, Chicago Blackhawks left wing, explaining why he keeps a color photo of himself above his locker: "That's so when I forget how to spell my name, I can still find my (expletive) clothes."
Teemu Selanne, on the importance of the All-Star game: "Winning is always fun, but the car is more important."
Jeremy Roenick, on the status of his team: "The only difference between the Coyotes and ‘Days of Our Lives’ is that nobody has been shot on our team yet."
Phil Esposito, on his daughter Carrie getting engaged to Alexander Selivanov: "I tried to talk my daughter out of going with a hockey player, but he’s a good kid. He asked me if he could marry Carrie before he asked her. I said: "You want to what?” I thought he was just going to ask for more ice time.
Steve Smith: "Part of the learning curve in Edmonton is learning to hate Calgary."
Glenn Healy, on playing in the minors: "I was three-quarters down the list of guys I would be facing in my first game when I realized I was looking at our own roster.
Roger Newton, Nassau Coliseum general manager, joked when a sewage line backed up and leaked into the Islanders dressing room: "Actually we’re trying to get it to flood both locker rooms, just to be fair."
Bobby Hull: "I was a multi-millionaire from playing hockey. Then I got divorced, and now I’m a millionaire."
Steven Tyler, Aerosmith's lead singer, after admiring the Stanley Cup: "This is the only thing that has seen more parties than us."
Al Michaels, describing Americans' knowledge of hockey prior to the "Miracle on Ice": "People didn't know the difference between a blue line and a clothes line."
Herb Brooks, 1980 US Olympic hockey coach: "You're playing worse every day and right now you're playing like the middle of next week."
The Houston Aeros website promoting fighting on the ice: "We know how much fans enjoy a good brawl, so we are going to guarantee a fight. If there is not a single five-minute fighting major given to a player, every fan in attendance will receive a free ticket to the following home game."
Last Week’s Trivia
The first pro football player to catch 100 passes in a single season was Lionel Taylor of the Denver Broncos. He caught 100 passes in 1961.
Trivia Question of the Week
Thanks to Dennis Cler for this one. What’s the most hits a team can get in one inning without scoring a run? Details please. See next week’s Sports Junkie for the answer.