Saturday, May 26, 2012
So the rumours proved to be true as we learned yesterday that Rick Dudley has exercised the “out” in his contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs and joined rival Montreal as an assistant to recently hired general manager Marc Bergevin.
Bergevin has an agreement with the Maple Leafs that Dudley will not work in any capacity for the Canadiens as it pertains to the June 22 draft in Pittsburgh.
So no one in the Canadiens organization will ask Dudley his opinion on players they are considering drafting? Ya right!
He may be more knowledgeable on this year's crop of junior players than anyone in Montreal and he will just sit out the draft? Then why didn't he start with Montreal on June 23rd? His urgency to leave shows some disloyalty to his current employer and some questionable integrity. All the knowledge he accumulated during the season while being paid by the Leafs walks out the door 3 weeks before the knowledge is to be applied. Now I'm being a little overly dramatic because the Leafs scouting staff have already had endless draft meetings and they have their list of who they plan on picking. But Dudley knows this as well.
In rounds 1 and 2 of this year's draft Montreal picks just two spots ahead of Toronto. The Leafs don't have picks in rounds 3 and 4. Montreal doesn't have a pick in round 5. Then in round 6 Montreal picks two spots ahead of the two consecutive picks that Toronto has. But those two critical picks in the first two rounds really annoy me.
Brian Burke has his massive ego which tells him to operate his own way and not like other franchises. He hires people and lets them opt out of contracts as any time. He decides he isn't going to rebuild through the draft yet no one can explain what his plan is. He decides during certain periods in the season he just won't make trades. He decides he isn't going to hand out certain contracts despite they may be the norm for big stars.
Brian Burke may be a sharp hockey mind but his judgment is often obscured by his massive ego. I just wonder if he can really build a winner. Time is running out for you Burkie.
Well I've been a mediocre 7-7 in my predictions so far and the final appears to be a no brainer - still anything can happen. As I used to tell my hockey teams when I coached, if they knew who was going to win the game they wouldn't bother playing it.
It has been a bizarre post-season brought to you by NHL parity and boring defensive hockey. New Jersey who was the 6th seed in the East will have home ice advantage because Los Angeles was the 8th seed in the West.
The Kings enter the final very well rested, maybe too well rested. They have played just 14 games and lost just 2. Not too many banged up bodies. Meanwhile the Devils have played 18 games. Although the Kings may be rusty when the series opens up on Wednesday, they will likely be stronger as the series progresses.
Neither team has much in the way of weaknesses the way they are playing. In net the Kings have a small advantage with Jonathan Quick over future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur. Brodeur has the occasional bad game but does not play like he's 40. On defense the two team are pretty evenly matched. But the Kings look just a little stronger up front. Ilya Kovakchuk has been the star for the Devils and leads all scorers in the playoffs, partly because he is played more games than the Kings scorers. The Devils also have the under-rated Zach Parise, Travis Zajac and Adam Henrique. But the Kings can easily match that with Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Justin Williams and Dustin Penner. But the Kings have the luxury of using two offensive players, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter on a shut down line. Their job will be to keep Kovalchuk off the scoreboard. I think the edge is clearly with the Kings.
Kings in 6.
Swedish police have released a picture of a heavyset attempted burglar who ended up wedged in a fence as he tried to make his getaway.
Stockholm police said that a homeowner called the emergency number early on Tuesday to report that a man who had attempted to break into his house was stuck in a fence outside of his home.
Police took a photo of the suspect, who was not injured, before prying him free and placing him under arrest.
The picture was posted to the department’s official Twitter page, which has about 4,500 followers.
Friday, May 25, 2012
A forensic scientist testified Friday that two cotton balls and a syringe needle allegedly saved after a steroids injection tested positive for Roger Clemens' DNA, a key moment as the government tries to prove the former pitcher used performance-enhancing drugs.
Alan Keel told jurors that the DNA on both cotton ball matches were "unique to one person who has ever lived on the planet'' - Clemens. He said that one of the cotton balls had a random match possibility of one in 15.4 trillion for Clemens' DNA, and the other had one in 173 trillion, when comparing to the population of white people in the U.S.
The needle was not as conclusive, because Keel was only able to get a handful of cells. That match was one in 449.
Brian McNamee, Clemens' former strength coach, earlier testified he collected the medical waste after injecting the pitcher with steroids in 2001, and turned them over to federal authorities in 2008. Earlier government witnesses testified that steroids were found on the medical waste.
Clemens is accused of lying to Congress in 2008 when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs.
Roger Clemens is screwed basically. Sure he will spend lots of money to appeal. He's got the dough to do it. If it was just his word against McNamee's there wouldn't be much of a case. Sure his legal team will try to explain away the evidence but will that get him an acquittal. I don't think so. This is all about protecting Clemens' image and his larger than life ego. Sometimes people just need to have that fall to gain a proper perspective again.
The Los Angeles Kings have ripped through the Western Conference winning 12 out of 14 games. They are healthy and favoured to beat who ever limps out of the East. Some of their success has to include the role played by former Flyers Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. Yes they've only combined for 20 points in 14 games and carry some big salaries. But they've added to the depth of a strong team which already has some good offensive players. Instead, Carter and Richards have been assigned shut down roles and done very well. That certainly is a significant contribution when you're looking at a team effort. Would Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar have had the same success without Carter and Richards playing behind them? Richards is familiar to shutting down opposition scorers but this is a significant shift in responsibility for Carter.
Flyers fans must be wondering what would have happened had the team chosen to keep both these guys.
I'll be down there with 6,000 screaming manics.
Parents have expressed their outrage after a photo of a girl flashing her naked crotch underneath her graduation gown appeared in a high school yearbook.
The girl, who has not been identified by Lake Norman High School in North Carolina, can be seen lifting her gown in the middle of a group of girls.
The racy picture, which parents branded 'porn', was only spotted after the book was published and families had forked out $100 for a copy.
The photo was printed despite the yearbook being overseen by a faculty member, who is said to be shocked by the image and its discovery.
The district’s public information officer, Dawn Creason, told the news channel that the photo was probably an accident.
She suggested the bare genitals may just be an illusion created by the girl pushing her thighs together.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
John Davis of Elyira says he was pulled over by a Cleveland Police officer and given a ticket for littering after one of the two dollars he gave a wheelchair-bound panhandler was accidentally dropped.
Davis spotted the panhandler near the West 117th ramp off I-90, and his thoughts turned to his disabled brother. "I have a brother that's paralyzed," he told the local Fox affiliate. "My brother's in that same situation and struggles."
He stopped by the man to give him a couple of dollars, but while handing over the cash, one of the paper bills accidentally slipped and fell. Davis says the man immediately picked it up.
But a short while later Davis was ordered by a police officer to pull over, and told he was being cited for littering.
Cleveland does have a law banning drivers from giving money to panhandlers situated near highways, but Davis notes that he was explicitly ticketed for littering from a motor vehicle. He plans to challenge his $500 fine in court.
"I don't mean any disrespect toward the police department at all we need ‘em but I just wish I didn't have to pay this ticket," he said, adding that the ordeal has made him wary of helping panhandlers in the future.
A man from southern Israel divorced his wife this week because she had brought 550 cats into their home.
The husband, apparently not a cat lover, told the Rabbinical Court in Beersheba that he was unable to sleep in his bedroom because the surface of the marital bed was constantly covered with cats who refused to lie on the floor.
The man, in his divorce request, complained that the cats also blocked his access to the bathroom and did not allow him to prepare meals in the kitchen, the Hebrew daily Maariv reported Wednesday. When he sat to eat, cats jumped onto the table and stole his food.The couple attempted reconciliation at the behest of the rabbinical court. The wife, however, was unable to part from her cats… and preferred to part from her husband.
Police allege a 49-year-old Detroit woman used her 11-year-old daughter to shoplift from a store, then refused to pick her up from the police station after the girl was caught with stolen items.
Police said two women and two children entered an Old Navy store on Coolidge at 8:10 p.m. Saturday, and one shoved baby clothes, jewelry and women's clothing into her purse. The 61-year-old woman, accompanied by a child, walked out of the store without paying for the merchandise and was arrested for retail fraud..
The 11-year-old girl, who also had a purse containing stolen merchandise, told officers her mother gave her a purse and told her to walk out the door and wait by the car. The girl's mother left the store with a boy, police said.
When police contacted the girl's mother by phone, she denied ever being at the store and refused to pick up the girl, who was eventually released to another family member.
At 10:30 p.m., the girl's mother called police and admitted she had lied about her whereabouts because she was scared, police said. But the woman also refused to go to the police department and make a statement.
Police are seeking criminal warrants charging the woman with retail fraud, child neglect and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Ballard had named himself acting general manager and also signed Borje Salming to a new contract with terms that Imlach had refused to offer. Before the end of 1981, Imlach was back running the Leafs as general manager Ballard remained as de facto general manager even when Imlach recovered. Behind the bench Joe Crozier then took over only to be succeeded by Mike Nykoluk (coach #9 since the Leafs last won the Cup) on January 10, 1981.
Despite finishing in last place with a 28-37-15 record the Maple Leafs remain 1 of 16 playoff teams. On February 16, 1980 Jiri Crha becomes the first goaltender to defect to play in the NHL after Curt Ridley was injured. He was 8-7-0 in the 1979-80 season and played well enough to convince the Toronto Maple Leafs to trade Mike Palmateer. He went 20-20-11 in 1980-81 before a disastrous playoff series against the Islanders where he allowed 11 goals in 65 minutes across 3 games. During the Preliminary Round the Leafs are crushed by the New York Islanders losing 3 straight by a combined score of 20-4.
The Toronto Marlies are one win away from a rare Calder Cup final appearance.
Ben Scrivens made 30 saves as Toronto shut out the Oklahoma City Barons 3-0 on Wednesday night.
The Marlies now have a 3-1 series lead in the American Hockey League Western Conference final.
The franchise, which started in St. Catharines, Ont., in 1982, has only reached the final once. The St. John’s Maple Leafs lost the 1992 final in seven games to the Adirondack Red Wings.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Mark Zukerman and his Facebook thing is an intrusion on your life. Okay I get how many people accept that. Then every so often he imposes changes on your digital life like Timelines. He did it before with that Cover Photo thing. His social media empire is pretty evil. So I smiled when I heard that the IPO didn't go so well. Then the
Police charged an eastern Iowa man with drunken driving after stopping him outside a Dubuque bar, where he was in a truck beside a small zebra and parrot. Officers gave him a field sobriety test and charged him with drunken driving.
The man disputes the arrest, saying he was about to let a passenger begin driving.
He says the zebra and macaw parrot are pets and like riding in the truck. Sometimes the bar lets them inside, but they had to stay outside this time because the business was serving food.
The Berkeley police chief has drawn criticism for reportedly sending police to Oakland to look for his son's stolen cellphone.
Chief Michael Meehan's teenage son said somebody stole his iPhone from a Berkeley High School locker room Jan. 11, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The chief sent regular officers and those from the drug task force to look for the stolen phone, which contained tracking software.
The search led police to a North Oakland intersection, but the phone wasn't found.
The newspaper said many officers had been "grumbling" about the search, which reportedly involved as many as 10 officers and included Meehan himself. Kusmiss said four detectives were paid overtime for the incident.
Kusmiss told the Chronicle no police report was filed but called that an "oversight" by the department.
Let's face be honest is there a greater invention than the wireless remote control? Okay maybe the flush toilet but that's about it.
So we need to all reflect on the passing of Eugene Polley, a Zenith engineer who not only invented the remote but indirectly created the coach potato. You could watch TV for hours with your feet up - unless you ran out of refreshments. I remember out first TVs didn't have remotes and it was a pain getting up to change channels. And that was an era of just 6 or so TV stations not hundreds. You pretty much had the TV lineup memorized so channel surfing wasn't what it is today.
The first ads advised buyers that "you can even shut off annoying commercials while the picture remains on the screen." No different than today. Except now we record programs on DVRs and fast forward through those annoying commercials.
Thank you Gene!
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
There is lots of baseball left to play but you have to smile when you see the AL East standings. No one is running away with it. And no one has fallen out of the race either.
The big surprise is that both the Yankees and Red Sox are not only failing to dominate, but they are actually at the bottom of the standings. That's the Yankees with the $198 million payroll and the Red Sox with the $173 million payroll. Instead it's Baltimore, Tampa and Toronto leading the pack. All three are at the low end of the pay scale with Baltimore leading the group with a payroll of $81.
It's not like the Yankees and Red Sox are terrible. All five teams in the AL East have winning records. In fact, at this moment the Orioles, Rays and Jays would all qualify for the playoffs. Things will change because 3/4 of the season is still to be played but it's exciting to see the teams so close in the standings. It's not hard to figure out why. The pitching staffs of New York and Boston are in a decline which Baltimore, Tampa and Toronto are loaded with young arms.
Residents’ suspicions were aroused when the bird, a common European bee-eater, was discovered with a metal ring around its leg stamped “Israel”.
They called the police after deciding its nostrils were unusually large and may have carried a microchip fitted by Israeli intelligence for spying.
It was taken to government experts for examination and declared safe.
The regional office of the Turkish agriculture ministry examined the colourfully plumed corpse and assured residents of the village, near the city of Gaziantep, that it was common practice to fit a ring to migratory birds in order to track their movements.
The Society for Protection of Nature in Israel later confirmed the bird's serial number as being legitimate.
An official at the ministry said it took some effort to persuade local police that the little bee-eater posed no threat to national security.
At one point a counterterrorism unit became involved in the case.
How may government experts does it take to declare a dead bird to not be a spy? I think recently a vulture in Saudi Arabia was accused of being a spy and the same for a shark that attacked swimmers on the Egyptian coast. They certainly have their neighbours spooked.
A buxom babe claimed she was fired from her job at a Manhattan lingerie distributor — for being too hot.
Two days after getting hired in April, a supervisor at the business in the Garment District told Lauren Odes the Orthodox Jewish owners were not happy with her attire.
And they said her boobs were a dangerous distraction.
“When I was first told that I was too hot and that my breasts were too large, I was shocked,” said Odes, 29. “I thought that I was dressed appropriately every day for my job as a production assistant.”
The bosses shouldn’t have been surprised.
Odes, of Manalapan, N.J., was dressed in a purple minidress with side zippers when she interviewed for the job.
“She was simply fired for being attractive and for not conforming to the religious strictures imposed by top management,” said her celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred.
A half-naked woman wearing hot pink duct tape attacked and injured three police officers in a bizarre incident on Saturday night outside a Seattle bar, police said. The outlandish drama began at about 8 p.m., when the woman began stripping off her clothes inside the bar and sticking hot pink duct tape on her upper body area, said Seattle police spokeswoman Renee Witt. The bartender ordered her to leave the bar, but she refused.
She then grabbed the bartender's arm, injuring him. After that, she attacked another female customer by clawing and scratching her face and eyes, Witt said. Police were called. As they pulled up, the woman ran outside and down the street, ducking into a nearby KFC/Taco Bell restaurant and hiding in the women's rest room. Officers found her and brought her outside, putting her in handcuffs. But as officers tried to place her inside the patrol car, she suddenly "freaked out," Witt said.
She began kicking at the legs and head of one officer. As police tried to pull her back inside the patrol car she suddenly did an over-the-head back flip and tumbled out the other side of the car. Once outside the patrol car, officers tried to get her under control. She kicked one officer in the head, causing a slight concussion. Another officer was kicked in the hand, which severed the tendon in his right pinkie finger.
The third officer was kicked in the jaw, causing swelling and slight dislocation, Witt said. All three officers and the suspect were taken to Harborview Medical Center. At the hospital, the suspect again went out of control and had to be given medication that eventually knocked her unconscious. The officers were treated and released. The suspect also was treated for minor injuries, then booked into King County Jail for investigation of assault.
Monday, May 21, 2012
The Marlies beat Oklahoma City again today this time by a score of 5-3. Meanwhile Matt Fratin leads all goal scorers with 8 goals including 2 today. About 7,300 showed up for the game at the Ricoh Centre which is getting closer and closer to a sell out. This team deserves to be playing in front of a full house.
With a 2-1 lead in the series and the next two games at home, the Marlies could clinch a spot in the finals on Friday. I happen to be going to the game on Friday so it would be great to see. Oklahoma City is one of the two teams that had a better regular season record than the Marlies. The other team is Norfolk who took a 3-0 series lead over St. John's tonight.
It was an incongruous sight for a baseball stadium: tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men, all dressed in black suits and white shirts, filing through the gates of Citi Field on Sunday, wearing not blue-and-orange Mets caps but tall, big-brim black hats
There was no ballgame scheduled, only a religious rally to discuss the dangers of the Internet.
More than 40,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews were expected to attend — a sellout in a season where the average attendance at a Mets game has been barely half that. The organizers had to rent Arthur Ashe Stadium nearby, which has 20,000 seats, to accommodate all the interested ticket buyers.
The organizers had allowed only men to buy tickets, in keeping with ultra-Orthodox tradition of separating the sexes. Viewing parties had been arranged in Orthodox neighborhoods of Brooklyn and New Jersey so that women could watch, too.
It seems that all those black hatters running around with Blackberries and iPhones have the Internet turned off. I guess all the girls hawking beer and ballpark dogs were given the day off.
Police rushed to a Victoria, British Columbia housing complex after a man’s struggles on the toilet were so noisy that a concerned neighbour called 911.
The woman heard moaning and yelling coming from the man’s basement suite, so officers arrived to check on his well-being, according to deputy chief John Ducker, writing on the VicPD operations blog.
After repeated knocks and announcements by the officers, the man opened the door.
“When questioned about the amount of noise he was making, the man explained that he had been essentially (in his own different words) on the toilet having his morning constitutional but he was done now,” Ducker wrote. The man promised to keep it down in the future.
The Russian national hockey team was embarrassed in Vancouver in 2010. They finished in 6th place and were crushed by Team Canada 7-3 in the quarterfinals. The last Olympic medal won was a bronze in 2002. With the 2014 Olympics in Russia, the situation was a crisis.
So the World Championship gold won this weekend was some reassurance for Russians with just 2 years to go until Sochi. Russia dominated Slovakia with a convincing 6-2 win. Russia won all 10 of its games of the tournament and scored 44 goals to lead all teams. Evgeni Malkin had 11 goals and 19 points in 10 games. The Russians are very pleased with the tournament.
So is Russia really back in contention?
Yes and no. The Russians are always a threat to win gold and 2010 was just a bad tournament as opposed to the decline for an elite hockey power. But let's also not read in too much into their win this year. The Russians ice just about their best team. Only 14 Russian NHLers played on teams that qualified for the playoffs and as teams were eliminated, the Russians added players to their roster. So when Washinton was eliminated, Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin joined the national team. In fact the only Russian players missing were Ilya Kovalchuk and Artem Anisimov. Since the European leagues are all finished their seasons, the Russians were clearly going with their best. As well, unlike Canadian players, no one turned down the offer to play.
Not even half the players on the Team Canada roster will play in Sochi in 2014. Besides Duncan Keith, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Patrick Sharp not many will be back although some players like Jeff Skinner, Jamie Benn and Jordan Eberle have earned themselves a tryout.
So you can't read in too much into World Championship results. Much more of a priority for Russia than Canada and the results reflect that.
Sunday, May 20, 2012
The IIHF says Qatar will become a full member after an audit, and Jamaica joins as an associate member.
The decisions were taken at the governing body's annual congress in Helsinki, Finland, during the world championships.
The IIHF says Qatar formed an ice hockey body in 2010 and has two rinks in Doha. The tiny desert nation runs a five-team national league.
Qatar is the third member country from the oil-rich Gulf region, following the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.
Jamaica formed its federation last year with one rink, and is the first Caribbean member of the world body.