Summer thoughts from around the sports world:
CANUCKS DO WELL
The Vancouver Canucks management team has received some positive reviews for their work during NHL Free Agency period and rightfully so.
The blueline has been a major issue for President Jim Rutherford and General Manager Patrik Allvin since their arrival in Vancouver and they addressed that concern in an economically responsible way on July 1st.
The marquee signing was defenceman Carson Soucy, who left the Seattle Kraken to sign a three-year deal with the Canucks worth $9.75 million. The hockey club also lured defenceman Ian Cole away from Tampa Bay with a one-year $3 million dollar deal and the Canucks signed forward Teddy Blueger to a one-year contract worth $1.9 million to provide some depth up front.
The Canucks management team didn’t panic and didn’t overpay for any of these players.
Instead, they took advantage of a flat market as some agents were looking for one-year deals for their role players in an attempt to hopefully cash in next off-season when the salary cap is expected to get a significant bump.
Next up for Rutherford and Allvin?
Signing Elias Pettersson to a long-term contract.
The Swedish star is in the final year of a three-year $22 million dollar deal and will be looking for both term and a bump in compensation.
CRUSHING WAY TO LOSE FOR ELKS
It was probably one of the more bizarre finishes you’ll see in a CFL game, but then again, it was a bizarre game between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Edmonton Elks on Thursday night.
Riders quarterback Trevor Harris hit Mitchell Picton with a four-yard pass with 1:06 left in the fourth quarter with the ensuing point-after to tie the game at 11-11.
What happened next still has people in Edmonton shaking their heads and playing the blame game.
Brett Lauther’s kickoff sailed over the head of Elks returner C.J. Sims, who nonchalantly strolled back to the end zone, then picked up the ball and took a knee assuming it would be a touchback as in the American game.
One small problem.
He gave up a single – and gave the Riders a 12-11 lead which allowed them to win the game.
There are those who will point the finger at the Elks coaching staff for not having coached up Sims on the rule and it’s a valid point. Regardless whether he knew the rule or not, it should have been communicated to Sims prior to the kickoff not to let the ball go over his head and not to give up a single.
But as far as blaming the coaches for Sims not knowing the rule, I’m sorry but you’re a professional football player. Know the rules of the game you play and how it impacts you. Two pre-season games and five regular season games in and you still don’t know what’s going on?
Give me a break.
It was a devastating loss for the Elks – who are off to their first 0-5 start since 1965 but as someone who saw the franchise win five consecutive Grey Cups, I’m not feeling too sorry for them.
You ever wonder why some sports that you were crazy about growing up just don’t move the needle for you anymore?
There are a couple for me.
I remember being a huge INDY car fan growing up. Watching the Indy 500 was always must-watch TV and when the CART Series made Vancouver a stop in 1990, it took that following to another level.
Vancouver lost the race in 2004, and subsequently lost me as a fan when CART split off into two separate factions.
The Honda Indy Toronto takes place on July 16 and it doesn’t even register with me.
The same holds true with Wimbledon.
I used to be glued to the television set growing up and watching Dick Enberg call the action from the All-England Club. I couldn’t get enough of the likes of John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg and Boris Becker. The women featuring the likes of Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf were equally as entertaining.
I now have little or no interest in tennis unless a Canadian is making a run.
I just find it strange that we can have such passion for certain things in our lives and then, well, nothing.
PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES
Speaking of passion, hats off to Bobby Dubeau.
The Delta, B.C. native is in the midst of attending CFL games in all nine stadiums in 18 days in an effort to set a Guinness World Record for watching games in every CFL stadium in the shortest time possible.
Dubeau was in Regina for the game between the Elks and the Riders on Thursday and will be in attendance in Hamilton on Friday when the Tiger-Cats host the Ottawa REDBLACKS. Then he wraps up the trip by coming home to watch the Lions and the Montreal Alouettes at B.C. Place.
So where did the inspiration come from?
“Last year, I was trying to get out to Nova Scotia and I was stuck in Montreal because of a hurricane in Cape Breton. I went to an Alouettes game while I was there, and then the next day I had to stay a little longer than I thought and I had family in Ottawa and headed over there and went to a REDBLACKS game. I was sitting there thinking it would be sure cool to see all nine teams one day, and the schedule makers made it so I could see all nine teams within 15 days this year,” Dubeau told 650 CKOM Radio in Regina.
We will find out how he feels at the end of his journey when he joins us as our halftime guest during Sunday’s broadcast of the Lions-Als game on AM 730.
Veteran B.C. sports personality Bob “the Moj” Marjanovich writes twice weekly for Black Press Media. And check out his weekly podcast every Monday at Today in B.C. or your local Black Press Media website.