Thursday, September 21, 2006

Trash day comes early for Strachan

I was looking forward to full season of Al Strachan putting his foot in his mouth, so I could pull apart his "contributions" about the Leafs for my amusement.

He got off to a good start - only three days into camp, when Mats Sundin avoided speaking with reporters, Strachan was quick off the draw to conclude Sundin doesn't want to be the captain anymore:

"Does Sundin want to be in that role?...If Sundin is not sure he wants to be captain, this is the perfect time to step down."

Moreover, Strachan hinted that Ferguson might not want Sundin leading the team, either:

"Does Ferguson want Mats Sundin in that role?"

Based on what? As usual - nothing. Sundin might have had a dental appointment that day for all we know. And if I had seen Strachan leering at me outside the dressing room, pawing for his preciousss, I might have headed for the hills, too. And nobody knows what Ferguson thinks about the weather, never mind his thoughts on the future captaincy of the Leafs. The article reeks of crass calculation to sell newspapers.

For too long, this kind of analysis has characterized anything Strachan has writted for the Toronto Sun. If Sundin wants to quit - he will. With class, grace, and dignity, he's worn the "C" for a decade, and nobody's held a gun to his head to do it either. Who knows, maybe Sundin really is considering passing along the "C", but don't substantiate your article with unnamed dressing-room sources testifying to Sundin's inability to lead the team. "He did this, he didn't do that." It's pathetic. It's grade-school rumourmongering. Not sportswriting in Canada's biggest media market.

So it is with no surprise I read this quote today from the Globe and Mail - not only did Strachan lose his Hockey Night Gig, but The Sun has decided not to extend his contract (credit Mirtle for the link):

"Strachan has been told that his contract at the Toronto Sun will not be renewed. He will be finished on Dec. 31 and says he's planning to retire. Strachan has been a sportswriter, mostly in hockey, for 33 years. He started at the Montreal Gazette in 1973, joined The Globe and Mail in 1980 and moved to the Sun in 1994. He was also the host of a radio show in Montreal in the 1970s and was a regular on the Hockey Night in Canada Satellite Hot Stove panel until last season, when he was replaced with Pierre LeBrun of The Canadian Press."

It's sad, head-punching news, everybody. (No, not really.)

On the upside, I won't have to open the paper to archive the latest thing he said for future reference. The original purpose of Leaf Club was to catch journalists with their hand in the cookie jar, so to speak, and tracking Strachan would be a full-time job.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Belinda knocks out Domi?

Apparently, Tie Domi isn't finished scoring in Toronto after all.

CTV reports that Domi has been spotted in the company of MP Belinda Stronach:

"We've been friends for a long time," Stronach said. "He's a good tough guy."

Way to go, Tie. Belinda is few notches above the druken party girls you're accustomed to:

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