Saturday, June 30, 2012
One thing I've noticed about Brian Burke since he landed in Toronto - he rarely admits a making an error. He much better at providing elaborate excuses or revising history.
But there is no hiding the fact that signing Colby Armstrong two years ago as a free agent was a mistake. The contract back then looked questionable - 3 years at $3 million per season. He wasn't signed to score goals, only scoring above 15 goals once, instead he was supposed to be an agitator. There was talk when he signed that he would fit in nicely on the second line. That was a bit of a stretch.
Armstrong just couldn't stay healthy and when he was healthy he was totally ineffective. Eventually he was frequently a healthy scratch. He was brought in to provide leadership and was made alternate captain along with Mike Komisarek. But you aren't going to provide much leadership from the pressbox. Two character players who just didn't fit in.
So instead the Leafs will buy out Armstrong which reduces his cap hit from $3 million to just $1 million. Perhaps that will open up a roster spot and dollars for an agitator that can make the lineup.
According to authorities help was called after the man, dressed as Elmo, was ejected from the Zoo for pestering tourists and spewing obscenities and then continuing to do so in the park—leading him to be taken for observation
Friday, June 29, 2012
Before the start of the season cantankerous owner, Harold Ballard passed away which left the franchise in disarray. Even before his death, there had been battles between his children, Bill Ballard, Harold Ballard Jr., and Mary Elizabeth Flynn, and his longtime companion, Yolanda Ballard (though she and Harold never married, she had her name legally changed; she claimed to have been with Ballard for eight years at the time of his death).
In 1989, Bill Ballard was convicted of assaulting Yolanda and fined $500. Yolanda was not invited to Ballard's funeral, nor to the reading of his will. She fought with Ballard's family and partners over Ballard's estate following his death. In his will, Ballard had left Yolanda $50,000 a year for the rest of her life, but she considered this inadequate and sued for $192,600 and later $381,000 a year. The court awarded her $91,000.
According to Ballard's lawyer, his estate was worth less than $50 million. Most of the money was left to a charitable foundation. Ballard left his personal belongings to his children and grandchildren. Ballard's three children had all previously received shares in Maple Leaf Gardens that they sold for more than $15 million each.
The executors of Ballard's will were Steve Stavro, Don Giffin and Don Crump. In 1991, Stavro paid off a $20 million loan that had been made to Ballard in 1980 by Molson. In return, he was given an option to buy Maple Leaf Gardens shares from Ballard's estate. Molson also agreed to sell its stake in Maple Leaf Gardens Ltd. to Stavro. That deal closed in 1994, and shortly after Stavro bought Ballard's shares from the estate for $34 a share or $75 million. The purchase was the subject of a securities commission review and a lawsuit from Ballard's son Bill, but the deal stood and Stavro and his partners in MLG Ventures became the new owner of the Leafs and Maple Leaf Gardens.
The operation of the team during the 1990-91 season remained in the hands of Floyd Smith who was fired at the end of the season. He became the 6th GM fired in the 24 years since the Leafs last won the Stanley Cup. The team began the season with Doug Carpenter as coach but the Leafs had such a horrible start that he was fired after 11 games with a record of 1-9-1. He was succeeded by his assistant Tom Watts who became the 14th Head Coach in the 24 years of Stanley Cup drought.
The new Leaf offensive leader was Vince Damphouse who scored 26 goals and 73 points that season. Only one other player scored over 20 goals (Daniel Marois) and no one else even has 40 points. Gary Leeman who in the previous season has scored 51 goals and 95 points played only 52 games in 1990-91 and his offensive numbers dropped to only 17 goals and 29 assists. He would only score another 30 goals in the rest of his NHL season as his career burnt out quickly.
A frazzled flight attendant freaked out at passengers who were furious about a five-hour flight delay at LaGuardia.
American Eagle attendant Jose Serrano got so agitated at one point that the six-year veteran dared terrified passengers get off the plane if they “had the balls” to do it, witnesses said.
“I’ve been in five tours in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said 47-year-old Army veteran Scott Custer. “I’ve been in combat and I’ve never felt anxiety like I did sitting on that plane.”
The plane pandemonium on Monday — which comes on the heels of several high-profile air-rage incidents — was set in motion when passengers on a scheduled 1:25 p.m. flight to Raleigh-Durham Airport in North Carolina were prevented from boarding until nearly 4 p.m. because of rain.
Then, as flight 4607 headed toward takeoff, the aircraft got stuck behind 20 other planes lined up on the runway.
After 40 minutes, the pilot turned the plane around to refuel — igniting the ire of passengers, who were forced to get off at the gate.
It was nearly 6 p.m. by the time the plan was fueled up and passengers were allowed to re-board.
But still, the flight wouldn’t leave.
“People were getting really amped up at this point,” said passenger Jon Wurster, drummer at the indie rock band Superchunk.
That’s when the flight attendant Serrano began confronting grumbling passengers, making them anxious, according to witnesses. Several of them told The Post they had smelled booze on his breath.
Then Serrano exploded, shouting over the intercom: “If anyone has the balls to want to get off, I’ll let you get off! Get off!” according to witnesses.Several passengers refused to take off with Serrano on board — and at least three families left the plane with their kids, sources said.
Port Authority cops were called to investigate and questioned several witnesses, including Serrano.The flight finally was canceled after 8 p.m.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Schultz, a 21-year-old 2008 draft pick of the Anaheim Ducks, became an unrestricted free agent last week when he withdrew from the University of Wisconsin and failed to reach a deal with the Ducks in the team's exclusive 30-day negotiating window.
A two-time Hobey Baker Award finalist at Wisconsin, Schultz is considered by many scouts as the best player not currently in the NHL.
Schultz is eligible for a two-year, entry-level contract, so the financial package from each team is the same. Instead, he's looking for the best roster fit, including a chance to step onto a team and play top-four defense minutes right away. And the native of West Kelowna, B.C., also reportedly would like to play for a Canadian team, preferably in the west.
Excuse me for not drooling over the propect of Schultz suiting up for the Leafs. The NHL rinks are littered with free agent signing from U.S. colleges and Europe that have not lived up to their billing. The Maple Leafs under Brian Burke have been quite active in signing these players - Tyler Bozak, Christian Hanson, Rikard Wallin, Jonas Gustavsson, Brayden Irwin, Jussi Rynnas, Mark Owuya, Ben Scrivens, and Spencer Abbott. And why not sign them since it's not like you given anything to sign them but there is a reason why these guys didn't get picked up in the Amateur Draft.
Formal negotiations over a new collective agreement between the NHL and the NHLPA that would take effect next season are set to begin tomorrow. As a start the two side agreed on next season's cap - $70.2 million. But let's be real that will not likely be the cap when a new CBA is signed - whenever that might be.
So every GM has lots of cap space to resign players and throw at free agents. But there is an element of risk involved when you don't know the impact of new contracts under an agreement that doesn't exist yet. Mind you, that was just as much the case for long-term contracts signed the last couple of years. It just becomes more obvious this summer.
Would you have anticipated the cap going up 80% over 7 years? Not me. If not for recession in 2008-09 the cap would be even higher. I guess many people consider the cap to be a failure because of its steady rise and the ongoing unprofitability of many franchises. It depends on what you expected the cap to accomplish.
There were team payrolls back in 2003 at the existing cap level so you can't tell me that the cap hasn't suppressed salaries. At the time Mats Sundin was earning $9 million per season. Today the highest paid Leaf is Dion Phaneuf at $6.5 million. What the cap has done is allowed the wealthy teams to become wealthier. Salaries are only going up by about 10% per year but if you can increase revenue at a higher rate then more profits for you.
The cap also keeps the differential between salaries of small and large market teams at a reasonable amount which helps establish more parity. You don't have the MLB problem where some teams have payrolls that are more that $100 million higher than other teams.
But what we have learned is that if you can't enough generate revenue, if you lease or operating costs are too high or your sucks then no salary cap will help you.
And for more than a few of them this is a real concern. Some 36% said they were certain UFOs exist; 11% believed they personally had seen one and 20% said they knew someone who had seen one.
A 72-year-old man is accused of threatening his neighbour with a gun for farting outside his apartment, police said.
Daniel Collins Jr. is accused of pointing a silver revolver at his 47-year-old neighbor in the vestibule of their Cedar Lane apartment building and saying, “I’m going to put a hole in your head.” The confrontation occurred after Collins said his neighbour farted as he walked in front of Collins’ apartment, said Detective Lt. Andrew McGurr.
Collins told detectives he heard the un-neighbourly act from inside his apartment. The neighbour called police, who found a revolver under the front passenger seat of Collins’ vehicle. The gun, a .32-calibre Taurus revolver, fit the description the neighbour gave investigators, McGurr said.
Collins was charged with aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and terroristic threats. He was released on his own recognizance, McGurr said. The men had an ongoing dispute stemming from noise complaints, McGurr said.
I absolutely have no problem with charging this guy with gun offenses. You can't be pulling your gun on people when they piss you off. But the farter shouldn't be getting off. He should be charged with disturbing the peace or illegally discharging noxious fumes. If you're going to be doing that kind of stuff, keep it inside your home.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
So when the Calgary Flames expressed interest in Wideman prior to the draft, McPhee gave permission for the two sides to work out a contract. On Wednesday, when a deal was all but complete the Capitals traded Wideman’s negotiating rights to the Flames for a fifth-round draft pick in 2013 and impending free agent Jordan Henry.
Immediately after the trade, the Flames announced they signed Wideman to a five-year, $26.25-million deal.
How is Wideman worth $5.25 million a year? Each year I prepare for some crazy contracts and each year I'm still shocked. But then some idiot is paying Tim Connolly $4.75 million to sleep walk through a season of hockey. Ryan Suter is likely doing cartwheels right now in anticipation of the truck full of money that is coming his way.
Mounties are investigating a Vancouver minor hockey coach after he tripped a 13-year-old player from an opposing team during a post-game handshake at the University of British Columbia campus last weekend.
Video obtained by CTV News shows UBC Hornets coach Martin Tremblay tripping a Richmond Steel player following the tense gold medal game ending the spring season, causing two boys to tumble to the ice at Thunderbird Arena.
One of the players suffered a broken wrist and will be in a cast for two weeks, according to Steel manager Tammy Hohlweg.The coach – whose team actually beat the Steel 5-4 – was also filmed pointing his middle finger at the crowd after the trip, and one of his players is seen throwing an unidentified object over the boards.
Mounties and paramedics were called to the arena, where officers took Tremblay into custody. The coach was questioned and released without charges.
But RCMP Sgt. Paulena Gidda said investigators are still considering charges of assault or assault causing bodily harm, depending on the severity of the player’s injuries.
I can't believe this guy won't be nailed for this incident. I hope he is charged and that he doesn't just get a slap on the wrist. Kids have to be protected from assholes likes this. It's not good enough to ban him from coaching. He needs a little bit of jail time.
They Leafs just can’t do anything right. Can’t even get puck bunnies to send them naked pics. Pathetic.
Moline Police arrested three men and two women after they allegedly robbed two men at gun point.
Police say two men claim they brought the women back to their hotel room about 4 a.m. Monday, June 25, 2012. That’s when they say one of the women made a call and three masked men came into the room with a knife.
They took money, jewelry and passports. Police arrested the five people around 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 26.
These two women have killed one night stands for mankind. The psychological trauma from this attack will be felt for years to come. Every horny guy thinking about asking that hot chick he hit on at the bar to party in his hotel room will think twice. Do you take the chance or settle for another night of rub and tug all alone.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Expect to see soon the development of a handheld device noise —for umpires to objectively measure on-court grunting levels. As well there will be a new rule setting acceptable and non-acceptable noise levels based on acoustical data gathering and analysis.
Hey there are lots and lots of woman that throw themselves at professional athletes. To boot, Yakupov is the number one pick in the NHL draft. But then last night on Twitter he reveals he is a virgin and now he's become the Tim Tebow of hockey. Can it be true or is he just playing with these girls?
A Massachusetts man is facing a felony assault with a dangerous weapon charge after allegedly tossing a batch of “hot and oily” McDonald’s french fries at his stepdaughter during an dispute last Friday in the family car, police report.
According to cops, James Hackett, 26, got into an argument about money with his wife after the couple--and the woman’s 11-year-old daughter--picked up food at the drive-thru window of a McDonald’s in Lowell.
As the couple argued, the girl “began to interject into the argument in an attempt to get the two to stop fighting.” This allegedly upset Hackett, who “picked up the container of French fries he had just purchased, which were hot and oily, and threw it at [the girl], striking her in the face and chest area.”
While the child was not injured, “the heat of the oil could cause burning to skin and eyes,” a Lowell Police Department report notes.
Hackett was subsequently arrested after his wife called police to report the incident. When Officer Richard Cesarz collared Hackett, he informed him that “he was being charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon to wit french fry.”
Mats Sundin now has another career accomplishment with the announcement that he has been accepted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Just last season Doug Gilmour was inducted into the Hall which makes it two consecutive years that a Leafs captain go into the Hall.
There is no question Sundin belongs in the Hall. Here are his accomplishments:
- First European born player to be drafted first overall in the NHL Entry Draft. (1989)
- Named to the World All-Star Team in 1991, 1992, 1994 and 1998.
- Recipient of the Viking Award in 1993, 1994, 1997, and 2002.
- Named to the World Championships All-Star Team in 1992 and 2003.
- World Championships' Best Forward in 1992.
- Named to the Canada Cup All-Star Team in 1991.
- Named to the World Cup of Hockey All-Star Team in 1996.
- Played in the NHL All-Star Game in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 (injured) and 2004.
- Named to the NHL Second All-Star Team in 2002 and 2004.
- Named to the Olympic Tournament All-Star Team in 2002.
- Captain of the Swedish national ice hockey team in the 2006 Olympics in which Sweden acquired the gold medal.
- Achieved 500 goal plateau on October 14, 2006.
- Achieved 1,300 points on February 7, 2008 vs the Montreal Canadiens.
A man dressed as Elmo had to be taken out of Central Park in an ambulance after going on a disturbing, obscenity-filled rant in the Zoo.
According to authorities help was called after the man, dressed as Elmo, was ejected from the Zoo for pestering tourists and spewing obscenities and then continuing to do so in the park—leading him to be taken for observation. On the plus side, people on Twitter seemed to be more amused than upset?
Central Park was Amazing! Went for a Carriage ride, went to the zoo, saw a man in an Elmo Suit get arrested... #NewYork— Claire Duffin (@ClaireDuffin) June 24, 2012
More disturbing is the fact that this does not seem to be an isolated incident. A quick YouTube search finds that somebody dressed as Elmo has been causing problems in the area quite a bit this year!
Monday, June 25, 2012
According to reports, Smith stuck out his tongue as an official held his head still for the photo.
Deputies said Smith's eyes were bloodshot and glassy and his speech was slurred when they found him behind the wheel of his vehicle at an intersection in Deltona. He refused to budge when a deputy ordered him out of the vehicle. The deputy then used a stun gun on him.
Psychic brainwashed 2 women into carrying out sex acts at seances to help contact their dead relatives
A fraud psychic brainwashed women into stripping naked and performing sex acts by claiming it would improve their chances of contacting dead relatives, a court heard.
Karl Lang is said to have persuaded his victims that nudity would 'enhance their psychic powers' at his seances because 'the spirits are also naked'.
The 49-year-old also told two female clients that 'being more outrageous would please the spirits', the court heard, and that sending naked photos of themselves to him would increase their psychic abilities.
The two women, both in their twenties, were tricked after asking Lang, who claimed to be the reincarnation of Jesus, to help contact their dead relatives, a jury heard.
One of them had hoped to communicate with her father, the other wanted to contact her grandfather.
During the previous season under Stellick, the Maple Leafs finished 28-46-6, good enough for 62 points and the division-bottom finish Maple Leafs fans had become oh-so-accustomed to throughout the 1980s. But things changed when Smith assumed the post.
As the 1989-90 season progressed, the light went on for several of the Leafs’ players. Gary Leeman scored 51 goals (the second Leaf to reach 50 goals). Daniel Marois added 39, and Vincent Damphousse and Ed Olczyk (obtained in a trade for Rick Vaive) knocked in 33 and 32 respectively. Al Iafrate scored 21 from the blueline, and Tom Kurvers (yes, that Tom Kurvers) added 15 in the only season in which he looked to be worth the first-round pick that was exchanged for him. The Leafs finished 38-38-4 and made the playoffs, a remarkable turnaround from the previous season. The accomplishment was all the more astounding given that Wendel Clark played in only 38 games due to injury.
Part of the success was attributed to new coach Doug Carpenter who installed a run-and-gun type of offence that made the Gardens fans hop. The Leafs achieved a .500 record for the first time in the 1980’s and the team scored a whopping 337 goals, which was the second highest in the NHL. The Leafs had the 12th best record in the 21 team league. But unfortunately, the Leafs also allowed 358 goals against that season which was the third highest in the league. The team was undisciplined defensively and had weak goaltending, which was a recipe for disaster in the playoffs. Not surprisingly, the Leafs were eliminated in the first round in five games to the St. Louis Blues to end a decade of futility.
One of the most infamous bad trades in the history of the Leaf franchise (#1 on my list of worst Maple Leafs trades) went down on Smith's watch: a first round pick to New Jersey for Tom Kurvers. The deal was pulled off by Smith in the fall of 1989 when the Leafs were a mid-pack club. Neither the media, the fans or the club saw what was coming: in his second season as GM, the wheels completely fell off. The players selected by New Jersey with the Leafs' pick was one of the best defensemen to play in the NHL, Scott Niedermayer.
For their first 20 years, the New York Islanders were managed by Bill Torrey who was one of the best managers in the league in his time and guided the Iles to 4 Stanley Cups.
The last 20 years have been pretty much a disaster in comparison. Mike Millbury literally killed the franchise in the 10 years he managed it. That loud-mouthed bully on NBC and CBC. Over the years Made Mike traded away youngsters Todd Bertuzzi and Bryan McCabe, star scorer Zigmund Palffy, former rookie of the year Bryan Berard, and future stars Roberto Luongo and Olli Jokinen. Milbury then further surprised the hockey world when he took Rick DiPietro with the first selection in the entry draft, ahead of Dany Heatley and Marian Gaborik. He also picked up Alexei Yashin from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Bill Muckalt, Zdeno Chara and Jason Spezza, then handed Yashin a 10-year contract.
After Milbury step down as general manager to become vice president, the team hired Ted Nolan as coach and Neil Smith as GM, but Smith was fired after a little over a month and replaced him with backup goaltender Garth Snow, who retired to accept the position. After buying out Yashin's ridiculous contract, Snow handed DiPietro a 15-year contract.
But the best is yet to come. According to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, the Islanders offered every single pick they own in exchange for Columbus' first pick (2nd overall). That's Nos. 4, 34, 65, 103, 125, 155 and 185, just to move up two spots from 4th to 2nd. Insane if true. Just as crazy was Scott Howson for not accepting the deal.
A Swedish woman was partially reimbursed by Kenya Airways after she was forced to sit through a ten-hour flight to Tanzania next to a dead passenger.
Lena Pettersson, a journalist with Radio Sweden, boarded a flight in Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and immediately noticed that a man in his 30s who was seated directly across the aisle from her was seriously ill.
‘He was sweating and having seizures,’ she told Sveriges Radio. ‘Air hostesses were there all along, but the plane took off anyway.’
The flight attendants put out a call for any passenger on board with medical experience who might be able to help, and someone eventually began performing cardiac massage on the ailing man.
However, efforts to revive the sick passenger failed, and he passed away just hours into the overnight flight bound for Dar es Salaam.
While the crew moved people seated next to the deceased man, there was nowhere for Pettersson or her friend to relocate.
When Pettersson returned from her trip, she lodged a complaint with Kenya Airways and demanded compensation.
After a couple of months of back-and-forth emails, she received $713 (roughly half her ticket price) and an apology.
Come on really. Unless he was beginning to decay and smell then how bad could it have been. I would rather sit next to a dead guy on a plane than some annoying person who insists on talking to you, keeps getting up to go to the bathroom or is constantly calling a flight attendant over to complain about something. I'm pretty sure United would consider this to be a premium priced seat.
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Now that Jerry Sandusky has been found guilty of 45 of the 48 charges against him I'm sure everyone involved would like to put the ugly incident behind them especially Penn State. The number of convictions is staggering. How could this have gone on for so long? The trial's surprising speed was a long overdue step toward retribution for those poor boys.
There are going to be legal and financial consequences for the university in particular as it appears people knew what was going on.
Joe Paterno was fired following criticism that he knowingly allowed Sandusky's abuse of children to continue. Former Penn State President Graham Spanier was also fired.
Two more Penn State officials have been held accountable — athletic director Timothy Curley and former Vice President Gary Schultz are charged with perjury and failure to report sexual abuse of Sandusky's victims.
Sandusky's victims will almost certainly file a separate civil case against the university for its failure to act in response to serious child-sex abuse allegations and the university should be required to pay for its failure to act.
A Massachusetts woman told police she drove her car into a golf club’s sand trap at about 45 mph because her GPS “told her to turn left.” Several golfers were on the Whitinsville Golf Club in Northbridge, Mass., at the time, at about 5:45 p.m. Monday, but no one was injured. Police said they believe the 46-year-old woman was drunk.
Northbridge police officer Randy Lloyd wrote in his report to the court that the woman, identified as Patricia Maione of Northbridge, “stated that her GPS had told her to turn left. She stated that this left brought her into a ‘cornfield’ and once she was in the ‘cornfield,’ she kept driving trying to get of her ‘cornfield.’
Northbridge police found Maione's Buick in the sand trap with its rear wheels off the ground and its front end damaged. It had dropped eight to 10 feet from the top of the bunker, according to the police report. Maione was still in the car, police said.
When told that her car was in a golf sand trap, Lloyd wrote, “Ms. Maione stated that she did not even like golf.” Maione was arrested and charged with driving with a suspended license, drunken driving, negligent driving and driving with an open container of alcohol in the car.
A Mississippi grocery-store butcher, convicted of dismembering a man with carving knives and raping his victim’s girlfriend, requested a massive last meal before his execution late Wednesday.
Gary Carl Simmons Jr., 49, was sentenced to death for dismembering 21-year-old Jeffery Wolfe’s body with carving knives and scattering them in the bayou by his home in 1996. He was also found guilty of hog-tying Wolfe’s girlfriend and raping her.
Before his execution Wednesday evening, Simmons requested a Pizza Hut medium Super Supreme Deep Dish pizza, 10 packs of Parmesan cheese, 10 packs of ranch dressing, a family-size bag of nacho cheese Doritos, 8 ounces of jalapeno nacho cheese, 4 ounces of sliced jalapeno peppers, 2 large strawberry milkshakes, two cherry Cokes, one super-sized order of McDonald's fries with extra ketchup and mayo and two pints of strawberry ice cream, the Mississippi Department of Corrections said in a news release.
The death row inmate requested that the pizza come with a double portion of tomato sauce, mushrooms, onions, jalapeno peppers and pepperoni, and a regular helping of 3 cheeses, olives, bell peppers, tomato, garlic, and Italian sausage.
That meal could kill him...never mind.