NFL draft gives starving sports fans a morsel

But many questions remain about restarting professional sports, including how all those enormous salaries will be paid

NFL draft gives starving sports fans a morselWith virtually no sports competition in North America in this COVID-19-blighted spring, the National Football League draft this week has taken on epic proportions. The fact that the teams and the players they select starting on Thursday may not even play in 2020 is irrelevant. We finally have a sporting event on TV that you…

How to satisfy sports fans’ burning desire for games

How to satisfy sports fans’ burning desire for gamesDesperate times call for desperate measures. Or, as they say in pro sports, desperate times call for divisional realignment. With the COVID-19 pandemic having applied the brakes to (virtually) everything sporting since early March, fans are going stir crazy. So, with hints that U.S. President Donald Trump might do a limited reopening of economic activity…

Play ball! The COVID-19 sports conundrum

You can see the appeal for Trump to use sports to help restore normalcy as he heads for the November presidential election

Play ball! The COVID-19 sports conundrumOn the list of important issues in this troubled time, American President Donald Trump conducting a conference call with the commissioners of 11 sports leagues isn’t high on the priority list. But on Saturday, Trump convened a chat with the people leading these professional leagues – all of whom (except World Wrestling Entertainment, some horse…

Sports is the canary in the COVID-19 coal mine

So when will sports be resumed and how can they play a role in transitioning to normalcy again?

Sports is the canary in the COVID-19 coal mineCanada hasn’t been a trailblazer in much of the response to COVID-19. The federal government has been a day late and a quarantine short on some crucial issues. But in becoming the first major Western nation to completely withdraw from the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Canada has made a bold step. Now, an avalanche…

David Ayres story is why we love sports

The emergency NHL goalie did what every sports fan wishes they could do every time they watch the best of the best play

David Ayres story is why we love sportsI can’t get enough of the highly improbable David Ayres story. A 42-year-old kidney transplant recipient – and until recently a Zamboni driver for a minor league hockey team – who hadn’t played in a hockey game, at any level, for five years, enters a National Hockey League game in the second period, stops eight…

Dissecting Canada’s NHL underachievers

We could see as many as five Canadians teams in the playoffs – but more likely we’ll see two or three at this pace

Dissecting Canada’s NHL underachieversFor fans of Canada’s seven embattled National Hockey League teams, the man from Zamboni is a suitable talisman of their frustration. As most everyone now knows, a 42-year-old Zamboni driver – a kidney-transplant Zamboni driver – stepped in for the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night in Toronto to defeat the listless Leafs 6-3. When both…

Corporate raiders are at the gates of pro sports

The future of franchise-based leagues and pro tours may hang in the balance as big-money investors look to strip out superstars

Corporate raiders are at the gates of pro sportsIn business they’re called corporate raiders. People who buy up a publicly traded stock whose assets are thought to be undervalued. They then strip out the valuable assets and sell them at a large profit, leaving the shell of a company behind. The world of sports has been largely immune to raider capitalism so far.…

The future of pro sports? Just look at the NBA

But the NHL, the league that never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity, will sit back and let others get the gravy

The future of pro sports? Just look at the NBAIf there were a handicapping contest on who has the best handle on the future between the major sports leagues in North America, there’s little doubt the title would go to the National Basketball Association under its dynamic commissioner Adam Silver. When it comes to innovation, it’s “Hi-ho Silver away.” Silver, who replaced David Stern…

The truth behind Mike Babcock’s firing

Petulant, indifferent young stars are in charge, thanks to their huge contracts. Coaches pay the price

The truth behind Mike Babcock’s firingOn his voyage from coaching sage to the most ignorant coach to ever stand behind a National Hockey League bench, Mike Babcock learned a few important things. Principally, he learned that a coach’s job security is governed by winning. If you don’t win, you will be replaced. No news there. But he also understood that…

How to fill the void left by Don Cherry

How to fill the void left by Don CherryThe man voted the seventh-most famous Canadian has finally talked himself out of his job as hockey analyst/cranky old guy to the nation. To the utter confusion of people outside Canada, the removal of a TV figure has convulsed the nation. After 38 years, he is no more. Confession: I did an entire chapter on…
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