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Komisarek Accused of Punching Woman in Nightclub

January 22nd, 2011 (03:20 pm)

Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Mike Komisarek is on thin ice, after he allegedly punched a woman in the face at an L.A. nightclub earlier this month.  This news was reported by TMZ

The Los Angeles Police Department said that Komisarek was named in a police report filed by a woman who claims the whole thing went down after Komisarek decided to lift her up in the air at a Hollywood nightclub.  The woman claimed that she demanded Komisarek put her down -- but when he refused, she slapped him in the face. The woman claims Komisarek immediately set her down ... and then punched her in the face, causing her to bleed. 

The woman claims Komisarek left the club and then she went to the police.  There was no comment from Komisarek or the Maple Leafs on this matter. 

We'll wait and see what happens and if charges will be laid over the next few weeks.


Who should go after J.S Giguere?

January 22nd, 2011 (12:49 am)

As we approach the NHL trade deadline in a few weeks, it is a time when Stanley Cup contenders should look at adding a playoff proven NHL goaltender to their roster. Current Maple Leafs goalie J.S Giguere makes 7 million per year, with this being the last year of his contract. Whichever team takes him will have to pay a prorated amount of 1.3 million.....pretty good for a rental player. Assuming that he is healthy, then I think that 2 teams should strongly consider him......San Jose and Washington.

San Jose only has Antero Nittymaki, who is playoff raw. Gigi knows the Western Conference from his days with the Ducks. He can win a series by himself when he is on fire. Washington would also benefit from Gigi, for playoff depth. Varlamov is young and if I am Washington, I would be nervous having my season rest on Neuvirth as a backup. 

Now that Nabokov is off the market, after being claimed by the Islanders today, it's one less option available for teams to choose from, making Giguere an even more valuable commodity.  Other than Giguere, the only other goalie that might be let go and can help a contender is Martin Brodeur.  It makes sense for the Devils to let him go, because he is 39 years old and the Devils are rebuilding.  It's not the same Brodeur from the past, but he just might have some gas left in the tank.

These two teams should take a chance on Gigi. It won't cost more than a 3rd rounder because of the high salary and the fact that he contract ends this year.  It's low risk, potentially high return. 

The Jets will be grounded this weekend against the Steelers

January 22nd, 2011 (12:16 am)

No matter what happens this weekend, the NY Jets have made a name for themselves as a tough team, that can raise their game to great levels. They took out Peyton Manning, they neutralized Tom Brady, but they can't beat Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh. Analysts will remind you that the Jets beat Pittsburgh this year. However, if you remember that game, Pittsburgh outplayed the Jets and if the Jets didn't get a 97 yard kickoff return, they would have lost that game to the Steelers. Plus, the Steelers never had Polamalu and Heath Miller for that game.

The other reason that I think that Steelers will win is because it will be impossible for the Jets to reach the joy of beating the Patriots. There will be a letdown. I have seen this happen in the past with other sports. I honestly don't think that Jets would have beaten a healthy Tom Brady, who had surgery this week.

Reality will hit the Jets this weekend, because Pittsburgh is better on both sides of the ball.

Will Vince Carter make it to the NBA Hall of Fame?

January 20th, 2011 (12:17 pm)

Vince Carter left Orlando a month ago, sent by the Magic to Phoenix in a blockbuster deal.  But his basketball legacy is still undecided at this point!

Carter, now 34 and in his 13th NBA season, surpassed 20,000 career points with 29 in a win over the Knicks Monday to become only the 37th player in NBA history to reach this plateau. The 6-foot-6 guard had 20,020 points going into a yesterday's games.

I thought when Vince Carter joined the Toronto Raptors, that he would be an electric player who would help sell basketball in Canada.  He definitely was electric, by winning the NBA Rookie of the Year Award, an All Star Slam Dunk Contest and most importantly, helping the team win a first round playoff series against the Knicks in 2000-01.  He lasted about six years on the Raptors, before demanding a trade that sent him to the New Jersey Nets.  Carter had a stellar international achievement by helping the US earn a gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics.  Finally, he has been selected by the fans to 8 All Star games throughout his career. 

However, is the 20,000 points plateau enough for induction? 34 of the 36 players ahead of him with 20,000 + points, are currently Hall of Famers or will be inevitably (i.e Kobe Bryant, Shaq, Pierce etc).  Honestly, Mitch Richmond and Tom Chambers are on that 20,000 + list and they are not even close to being Hall of Famers.  I think when you examine a career of any player, you have to look at individual and team accomplishments, but specifically, accomplishments that set apart the "great" from the "good".   When you do that, Carter should not be inducted.  He has never won an NBA title, he has never won an NBA scoring title, and ultimately, I don't think that he was ever the difference maker that put a team over the top.  He will always be remembered as the guy that always cried down the court when he didn't get a foul called his way and for letting his team down by attending his graduation on the day that the Raptors played Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semi-final against the 76ers.   You can't perform in a game when you have been on a plane all day and Vince should have known that or cared.  It has always been about Vince, and only Vince.  That's why his teams have never achieved the ultimate heights with him on the team. 

I think when all is said and done, Vince Carter will be known as the "best player not in the basketball hall of fame".

How an NFL work stoppage would impact you?

January 19th, 2011 (01:15 pm)

For the longest time, we have been hearing in the US and Canadian sports media about a potential NFL work stoppage.  Most articles will discuss the topics of why a work stoppage is likely to happen?  Who is at fault?  and what all the key players want in a new collective bargaining agreement.  My blog today will focus on how an NFL work stoppage will impact you.

On the surface, the two countries that will be immediately be impacted by this would be the United States and Canada.  Right now, the North American ecomomy is still in recovery mode, since the US housing meltdown occurred in 2008.  Think about the economic impact of how many people will be unemployed during the work stoppage and the impact on both economies.  This will definitely not help the recovery.  Whenever you go to an NFL game.....restaurants, food vendors, concession stand operators, merchandisers, parking attendants, stadium maintenance staff, police, security.....you name it, all depend on those games to happen in order to earn an income.  What will be the effect of shutting down a season?   The NFL Players Association estimates an average of about $160 million in local spending and 3,000 jobs would be lost in each league city if the full 2011 season were wiped out.  Now, if the league has 32 teams, then the total national spending lost would be 5.12 billion dollars, with the loss of 96,000 jobs.  The NFL owners will say that this figure is ridiculously to high, but when they are building stadiums they usually say that a stadium will bring in between $20 - $40 million in spending per home game.   Therefore, I actually believe the Players Association.   If you live near the Canadian border and attend Buffalo Bills games, you can only imagine the ecomonic impact of this work stoppage on a city like Buffalo, NY.  That city has been in ecomonic turmoil since the mid 1970's.  This would just be the final nail in the coffin for NFL football in Western New York.

Now, if you are a Canadian reading this blog, you are probably thinking that you will be immune to the effects of these job losses.  Think again.  The United States is still Canada's largest trading partner, accounting for approximately 80% of total trade.  If Americans can't buy as much of our goods and services, then our manufacturers and service providers will be hurt by this.  Finally, you will be impacted by the fact that football betting will not be available by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLGC).  The reason that the NFL is so popular in North America, is because of the gambling bets that are made for each and every game.  In Ontario, the OLGC uses those gambling proceeds to fund social programs across the provinces, such as hospitals.

I know, you are probably wondering, if they can't bet on football, they will bet on other sports.  They might do that, but football is more for the average fan.  No other sport in North America, not even hockey, reaches the sports betting heights such as football.   I also know that you are probably thinking, who cares, it will mean that more money will stay in people's pockets and we will have less problem gamblers in the future.  That might happen, if you have a job left because folks in the US are not buying your good or services. 

The point I am trying to make here is that even if you hate professional football or don't understand it all, an NFL work stoppage will have a negative impact on you.  The major bright spot will be that folks just might take that Sunday and spend it with their loved ones, or call a friend they haven't spoken to in a long time, or start a hobby that they always wanted to, but never had time.  If these things happen, then maybe some good might come out of it. 

The greatest sports city in the world

January 19th, 2011 (01:06 am)

If you want to gamble...it's obvious that you have to go to Las Vegas.  If you want a warm, fun family vacation, you go to Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida.  If you want to experience a passion for sports that is not seen anywhere in North America, then you have to visit the Big Apple....New York City.  When I first arrived in New York City in 1998, standing in the middle of Times Square at night, I soon started to realize that it was the city where everything happens....especially great sporting events.  If you love sports, then you have to visit New York City in your lifetime. 

For hockey fans all over the world, nothing beats a Rangers game at Madison Square Garden (also known as MSG) during the middle of the week.   Rangers fans are a passionate, rowdy bunch that really get into the game, unlike the suits at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.  I have seen 7 Rangers games live at MSG (most of them were when the Leafs were visiting), and each time I learned about some of the awesome  and fun fan traditions still going on since the 1970's.  One of the best ones is the fact that the crowd constantly yells "Potvin Sucks, Potvin Sucks, Potvin Sucks" throughout every game.  At first when I heard this, I thought they were chanting against Felix Potvin.  However, Felix Potvin was no longer a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1998, so I wondered why they were jeering him.   It just seemed odd and peculiar, until I asked a fan beside me about the chant.  It was directed towards Denis Potvin, the Hall of Fame defenceman from the hated cross town rivals, the New York Islanders.  Apparently, in the 1970's, Denis Potvin hurt a star player on the Rangers, and Ranger fans never forgave him for it.  No matter who the Rangers play, even in 2011, the chant goes on and on.  It was even more hilarious watching Denis Potvin hear the chants about him, while he was a colour commentator for the Florida Panthers.   It is so fun to hear 15,000 people in unison chanting like this.

I also had the privilege of watching a game from the old Yankee Stadium.  This was an amazing experience in itself, filled with old traditions that make the fan feel like they count and that their opinions matter.   When each Yankee player goes up to bat for the first time in every game, the right field bleacher creatures will yell his name until he acknowledges them specifically,with a tip of the hat or a wave to them.  Where in the world do you see that?   The same goes for the Yankees starting pitcher, who must also acknowledge the group.

If you are a tennis fan, nothing in the world beats attending the US Open in Flushing Meadows, New York, just before Labour Day.  I know, it sounds more prettier than it is, but it is in Queens, right beside LaGuardia Airport.  This is the closest thing to feeling like you are at an all night street party.  Night matches are the way to go, because everyone, even the athletes turn into different people.  You can laugh your head off, sing and drink, all while watching an Andy Roddick tennis match. 

Finally, there is no football atmosphere better than attending a Jets game at Giants Stadium.  If you thought it was amazing hearing 15,000 people chanting at MSG, nothing is more amazing than the New York Jets fight chant of: "J   -  E    - T   -  S.......Jets Jets Jets".  Don't get me wrong, I can't stand the New York Jets because I love the Buffalo Bills, but the rush that goes through your body when you hear 75,000 people saying this is a once in a lifetime feeling.  It is a feeling that I have never experienced in any NFL stadium. 

I know the economy is still weak and I am not telling you to go as soon as possible, but if you love sports, you have to visit New York City in your lifetime.  You won't regret it. 

RUMOUR: Chad Ochocinco leaving the Cincinnati Bengals?

January 18th, 2011 (10:50 am)

How much longer can Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis take having two of the biggest NFL bigmouths on his team.  Those two bigmouths are Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco.  Apparently, there is a rumour milling around in the NFL that Marvin Lewis is fed up with Ochocinco and his antics.  The Bengals want to release him, but the surprising team that might be interested in him is the New England Patriots.

If this rumour is true, the New England Patriots would be making a huge mistake in acquiring this guy.  Chad Ochocinco is a less talented version of Randy Moss.  He is not a team player, and he has always been about him-first, team and everyone else second.  He would be such a disruption on that team, that it would eventually hurt team chemistry altogether.  I can't see him and Brady getting along, because Ochocinco would always be whining about the fact that he is not getting the ball enough.  If the Patriots do acquire him, I think that it will be a desperation, marketing ploy, similar to what the Bills did with Owens a few years ago.   Can you imagine the relationship that will develop between Belichick (the coach who benched Wes Welker in the last playoff game for making fun of Rex Ryan) and Ochocinco?    I think that it will make the Mike Shanahan-Albert Haynesworth feud look like a love fest.  Love to hear your thoughts!

Who the Toronto Maple Leafs should trade at the deadline?

January 18th, 2011 (01:29 am)

For a team that is coasting toward a 6th straight season of not making the playoffs, the question should really be who should the Toronto Maple Leafs keep on their roster.  Let's face it NHL sports fans, the Toronto Maple Leafs are a terrible team and they need to rebuild this team the right way through the draft.  On paper, the Toronto Maple Leafs are the Toronto Marlies on "steroids".  They can't score on a regular basis, they can't kill penalties, and they have very few assets to trade.  Brian Burke knows that he screwed up in overpaying for Kessel, which has slowed the rebuilding progress in Toronto.  Brian Burke will never admit this fact, because his ego will not permit him to do so. 

On paper, the Leafs should have had a very strong defence this year and for the second straight year, a $30 million dollar defence corps got them the last ranked penalty killing unit.  I don't know how that is even possible, but with the Leafs, anything is possible.  It will be impossible to trade Beauchemin or Komisarek, because their skills just died as soon as they arrived in Toronto.  Combined, they make $10 million per year, and they are 4th and 5th defenceman respectively on any other team.  You can't trade Phaneuf because he is 23 years old and you just gave up a lot of players to Calgary in order to get him.  In fairness, he has been injured and he needs steady work to be effective.  Kaberle is a one way player, that you could probably get a 2nd rounder for, but he hasn't waived his no trade in previous years, so why would he now.  Life is comfortable for Kaberle, as he gets to play golf all summer and do nothing.  Their best defenceman has been Luke Schenn, so why get rid of him.  He has a great future ahead of him and he is only 21 years old. 

Therefore, if you can't trade the defencemen, you then need to look at the goalies.  The Leafs have 3 goalies:  one that has been injured all year, another with a permanent heart condition (the Monster) and James Reimer, currently in the minors.  Who would take on Gigueres $7 million contract, which would have about $2 million left at the deadline, for a guy that may be on the injured list.  What can you really get for Gustavsson as well?  Reimer makes less than anyone in the NHL, so why would you get rid of him. 

The only logical thing to do at this point, is to trade a front line player.  The problem here is that the Toronto Maple Leafs need a Top 6 forward, and are clearly lacking any depth in the centre position.   Mikhail Grabovski should not be traded because he is a centre that can score 20 + goals.  He might not be a first line player, but at $2.9 million next season, he is low risk, high value.  The same goes for Nikolai Kulemin.  The player that the Leafs need to get rid of at the trade deadline is Clarke McArthur.  This guy is trending towards a 60-65 point season on the Maple Leafs.  His previous career high was 35 points in 2009-10 with Buffalo/Atlanta.  McArthur will want $3 million/ yr, for the next 3 years.  This is way to much for a guy that I don't believe can replicate this performance next year.  He is getting a lot of power play time and he is playing on a first line.  Even on terrible team like the Leafs, someone has to score, especially if that someone is in their contract year, and they play on ever power play.  McArthur believes that he is comparable to Colby Armstrong, who makes $3 million / yr.  While Armstrong might not score as often as McArthur, he can change the dynamic of a game by being a true super pest to get an opponent of their game.  Mc Arthur is not worth the money he is seeking.  What the Leafs should do is trade him at the deadline, then make a pitch to sign him in the free agency period.  I strongly believe that the Leafs can get a 2nd rounder and maybe a 3rd rounder for McArthur.  Trading McArthur makes sense for this organization.  This is like the Dominic Moore situation of a few years ago in 2008, where Moore realized that he was not a $2 million dollar player that he thought he was.  He went to Florida for a one year contract @ $1.1 million.  It's deja vue all over again this season.   

Proposed New NFL Playoff System Change

January 17th, 2011 (10:13 am)

The biggest travesty in this NFL postseason is the fact that the Seattle made it to the playoffs with a 7-9 record.  It is ridiculous that a team that lost more games than it won was allowed to participate in the postseason.  To make matters even more embarrassing, they were granted a home wild card game.  Meanwhile, the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers both earn 10-6 records in the same conference as Seattle, and they don't make the playoffs.  There are 2 proposals that the NFL should consider.  1) To be an outright division winner, you need to have an 8-8 or better record.  If that losing division winner wants to participate in the playoffs, they need to face the next best team that didn't make the playoffs.  If they win, they can get their #3 seed.....at least they have proven that they can play with the elite. 2) A second proposal that I have is....if the NFL ever encounters a situation like that, make them the #6 seed.  Don't reward them with any home playoff dates, because they never even managed to win half of their games in the regular season.  Seattle would have had no chance in New Orleans and that is where that game should have been played.  A 12th man makes a difference in any playoff game, and it gave life to a weak franchise in Seattle.  I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject!

Who is the best NFL quarterback of all time?

January 16th, 2011 (09:43 pm)

Poll #1668698 Who is the best NFL quarterback of all time?

Who is the best NFL quarterback of all time?

Joe Montana
Peyton Manning
Tom Brady
Johnny Unitas
John Elway
Terry Bradshaw
Dan Marino
Jim Kelly
Brett Favre
Roger Staubach
Fran Tarkenton
Warren Moon
Kenny Stabler
Phil Simms
Joe Theismann

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