Top News

Olympic gold still stirs greatest memory

But that’s not all: Slauenwhite agrees better effort needed at Games; will Crosby walk away?; Dunlap’s approach refreshing compared to hockey’s sourpusses

Nobody asked me, but …

 

See where NHL.com is chronicling the league’s greatest moments, which got me to thinking: what would constitute Newfoundland sports’ greatest moments? In no particular order, here’s one observer’s list: 1. Team Gushue’s Olympic gold medal 2. Daniel Cleary winning the Stanley Cup 3. Alex Faulkner breaking into the NHL 4. Canada qualifies for 1986 World Cup of soccer with win in St. John’s 5. Gushue’s Brier win in St. John’s (and the way it was won, on the last shot in the last end). Luckily, I was on hand to witness all but one of them … The greatest disappointment in Newfoundland sports? No question the 2003 NBA exhibition game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors at Mile One Centre, the game that never was. At one end of the court warming up was LeBron James, about to make his pro debut. At the other was Vince Carter, who was at the top of his game and one of the NBA’s elite. And then the match was cancelled, because of condensation buildup on the floor. Heartbreaking … Nice to see the St. John’s Edge wearing St. Bon’s colours … And speaking of the Edge, St. John’s coach Jeff Dunlap is an ace. Too bad, as colleague Brendan McCarthy suggests, the team won’t be able to keep him beyond this season … If Carl English couldn’t make the NBA, it’s safe to say there will never, ever be a Newfoundlander playing in the National Basketball Association … Is there anyone betting against Brad Gushue winning the Olympic Trials next month? Gushue, Mark Nichols, Brett Gallant and Geoff Walker aren’t just the best curlers in the world right now, they’re far ahead of everyone else … MUN volleyball coach John Slauenwhite has only been here a few years, but he says there’s no excuse for Newfoundland to be consistently bringing up the rear at Canada Games. It’s at a point now where we can’t beat P.E.I. Slauenwhite cites New Brunswick, which won bronze in women’s volleyball at the Winnipeg Games last summer. “I believe we can be right there with Nova Scotia in terms of medals,” he said. “I grew up in a small town in Nova Scotia, and I worked in a small town in northern Alberta and I know small towns can do great things. It’s about taking no for an answer.” But Slauenwhite said turning things around will take time. “We need to look at a few (Canada Games) cycles beyond the next one.” …

Sidney Crosby’s contract extension, signed in 2012, will carry through until 2025, paying him just over $100 million. A lot of that is front-loaded, meaning he pocketed $12 million in each of the first three years, $10.9 million last year and this season, and $10 million next season. Then it goes down to $9 million, $9.6 million and $9 million, and wrapping up with $3 million each for three years beginning in 2022-23. Crosby has a barrel of money, and he’s done it all on the ice, with three Cups, two Olympic gold medals, a world championship gold medal, World Cup of Hockey gold medal, two MVP awards, two playoff MVP awards and two scoring championships. But he’s had his melon mashed a few times. There’s no way Crosby will play out that contract. He’ll walk away first … In what other province, other than Newfoundland and Labrador, does the defending provincial hockey champion get kicked out of its league and is not offered a game anywhere else? Regardless of who is right, and who’s wrong, the optics surrounding the Conception Bay CeeBees’ ouster from the Avalon East senior circuit, and the subsequent mass resignation of the executive and disbanding of the league, are dreadful. Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador, by the way, has to take some ownership here as well as hockey’s governing body. This happened on their watch, that the puck, as it were, was dropped … Jeff Dunlap, the aforementioned St. John’s basketball coach, has personality, which will be refreshing around the Mile One dressing room. The dour looks, glum faces and otherwise irascible personalities of previous hockey management types— not all certainly, but most, especially those in the Winnipeg and Montreal organizations — were hard to stomach after a while … Imagine, Mike Penny still manages to keep a job as a Toronto scout, a man who was wholly dependant on Pat Quinn for employment … Are you telling me every NHLer doesn’t have the Vegas road game circled on his calendar? … St. John’s is going after the 2019 Ford world men’s curling championship. Imagine if Gushue and Co. won the 2019 Brier, and represented Canada at the worlds at Mile One Centre? It would be the most successful world men’s championship in the history of international curling … I’m still stuck in the late 70s, so if I’m getting an NHL jersey, it’s a red No. 19 Robinson Canadiens sweater, or a blue Leafs’ No. 21 Salming or a white Sabres’ No. 11 Perreault. Now, if I could only stop working up a sweat tying my skates …

Robin Short is The Telegram’s Sports Editor. He can be reached by email rshort@thetelegram.com Follow him on Twitter @TelyRobinShort

Recent Stories