SIMMONS SUNDAY: In Canada, world juniors still reign supreme & More Trending News


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The energy of the world junior hockey match, even after the Hockey Canada scandal and the continuing financial challenges attributable to COVID, is that it evokes a lot vitality and emotion and connection that, ultimately, the winners cry and the losers cry, and two weeks of play grows right into a lifetime of recollections.

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How massive are the world juniors in Canada, still, after all of the difficulties?

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Big sufficient to have an viewers for the ultimate sport on Thursday night time that was virtually 25 instances bigger than those that have been watching the Maple Leafs play in opposition to Seattle at the exact same time.

Big sufficient to have a televised viewers bigger than any of Canada’s latest video games within the World Cup of soccer.

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An common junior hockey sport on tv would usually draw about one-tenth the viewers of a mean Leafs, Canucks, or Canadiens sport. The world junior closing, which noticed Canada beat Czechia in time beyond regulation, had 1.2-million viewers greater than final 12 months’s slap-happy Academy Awards. And it had 1.4 million greater than November’s Grey Cup, with an viewers on the rise.

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The comparability that doesn’t make sense in any method is between the world juniors and the World Cup of soccer.

The world junior is a match for youths. Played by youngsters on the rise. Played by Connor Bedard and the following group of NHL stars.

The World Cup of soccer is the world’s largest match and the world’s hottest sport. Just not our world, essentially. More Canadians watched Canada play within the World Cup than watched the ultimate between Argentina and France. And extra watched Team Canada in Halifax than absolutely anything else.

Hockey still reigns supreme in Canada and Team Canada hockey much more in order scandals are ready to be untangled however viewers can’t appear to look away.


An NHL group severely investigated the opportunity of making a proposal for William Nylander a 12 months in the past. But they backed away from the thought after they thought he didn’t play with sufficient ardour or curiosity. That group is now kicking itself for its indecision … I don’t know anybody, even essentially the most ardent Boston fan, who believed the Bruins can be 30-4-4 after 38 video games. Wasn’t this 12 months imagined to be the final gasp for the Bruins? … Jim Montgomery is operating away with the coach of the 12 months award within the NHL, simply because the Bruins are operating away within the standings. But consideration needs to be given to Rick Bowness in Winnipeg, Lindy Ruff in New Jersey, Bruce Cassidy in Vegas, Pete DeBoer in Dallas and Dave Hakstol in Seattle for the work they’ve been doing. And if there’s such a factor as coach of the last decade, why not Rod Brind’Amour in Carolina, whose Hurricanes play quite a bit like Rod Brind’Amour each single season … How lengthy earlier than the Maple Leafs take a severe have a look at Joseph Woll in aim? As Matt Murray and Ilya Samsonov wrestle in tandem after nice begins to the season, Woll has develop into the outstanding goalie for the AHL Marlies, bypassing Erik Kallgren within the course of. He was 7-0 heading into Saturday’s sport with a .926 save share and a goals-against common of two.29. Woll isn’t any child at 24 years of age … Perception and actuality aren’t all the time the identical factor. Jack Hughes is having a sensational season with 46 factors for the Devils. Sidney Crosby is having one other nice season with 45 factors in Pittsburgh. Nylander is having a breakout season with 45 factors. And Auston Matthews, with 45 factors to this point, is having a so-so season when in comparison with his Hart Trophy marketing campaign of final 12 months … Morgan Rielly is engaged to determine skating star Tessa Virtue. That’s a mixture of good and nicer.

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It isn’t that the Toronto Raptors can’t shoot threes; it’s that the Raptors can’t shoot, interval. They’re twenty ninth within the NBA in capturing from 10-14 toes, twenty ninth in capturing from 15-19 toes , twenty eighth in capturing from 20-24 toes, and twenty second in capturing from 25-29 toes. It’s a make-or-miss league, former Toronto coach Dwane Casey used to say on a regular basis. And they miss method too typically … When the Raptors performed Milwaukee the opposite night time on ESPN, a lot of the in-game dialog was about Scottie Barnes. What he’s doing. What he isn’t doing. What he can’t do. The NBA stays fascinated by Barnes, even together with his wild inconsistencies in his second season … Pascal Siakam is having one of many nice particular person seasons in Raptors historical past, which is sweet, however not essentially translating to wins … Rafael Devers is 21/2 years older than Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and that quantity itself distinguishes one comparable participant’s worth from the opposite. Both are terrific big-league hitters. Devers simply signed with the Red Sox for 11 extra seasons and $331 million. Those can be beginning numbers for negotiation however will surely find yourself larger for Guerrero Jr. I’m pondering 10 years and $350 million is a fairly good guess trying on the market. And Guerrero, who hit extra dwelling runs and had extra RBIs than Devers shouldn’t be coming off an awesome season … Jason Botterill was fired as common supervisor of the Buffalo Sabres on the finish of the 2020 season, however not earlier than leaving a positive current behind in Tage Thompson, who he acquired within the deal for Ryan O’Reilly. Botterill is now Ron Francis’ assistant in Seattle … Eighty-two of the highest 100 watched tv reveals in America in 2021 have been NFL soccer video games … What a fabulous profession for hockey-loving defensive lineman J.J. Watt, whose taking part in time involves an finish on Sunday with the Arizona Cardinals after 12 years, 112 sacks and being named NFL defensive participant of the 12 months thrice.

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On Monday morning, I didn’t know Damar Hamlin’s title, and I think you didn’t both. By Monday night time, I used to be praying for his life. We all stared at our televisions for a Monday Night Football sport that ended early and was finally cancelled and thru all of the solemn discuss all we cared about was Hamlin’s well being and security. Many of us awoke Tuesday morning hoping to listen to one thing constructive. The identical on Wednesday and Thursday. The energy of sport and humanity: So many people abruptly invested within the well-being of an athlete we by no means actually knew. The Buffalo Bills defensive again stays in crucial situation as of Saturday afternoon, now respiratory with out the assistance of a tube 5 days after going into cardiac arrest after making a deal with on the sector in Cincinnati. Hamlin managed to face-time together with his teammates on Friday. And with the playoffs about to start within the NFL, the Bills, one of many favourites to win the Super Bowl, one thing they’ve by no means accomplished earlier than, could have a brand new form of inner motivation, one thing that may make an in depth group even nearer. Their love, assist, and friendship of Hamlin may assist in a roundabout way. And, with that, the continued hope that he can transfer on together with his life in a most significant method.

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Connor McDavid is phenomenal. Leon Draisaitl is terrific. Zach Hyman and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are having all-star-like seasons. So inform me, how is it that the Edmonton Oilers are this common, barely in a playoff spot nearing midway by the common season? … In 10 video games with the San Francisco 49ers, Christian McCaffrey has 10 touchdowns … John Tortorella was in all probability talking for many hockey executives when he stated he couldn’t care much less in regards to the NHL All-Star sport. Others simply aren’t as daring with their phrases as Tortorella. The solely cause there’s an all-star sport is to not entertain followers however to entertain league sponsors … There might have been a worse NHL sport performed than Chicago 2, Arizona 0 however I can’t keep in mind one … My favorite hockey-themed basketball names: Keon Ellis and Keon Clark … So how does it make sense that the Seattle Kraken lead the NHL in even-strength scoring? … I like the giddy overreaction each time Kyle Dubas or a Maple Leafs scout attends different NHL video games. That’s their job — scouting gamers. Either dwell or by video. They do it each single day. They have total departments doing it, just about each sport, each group. The Leafs will make a giant commerce or two between now and the deadline. It’s not a lot that Dubas’ contract is up however that his group is able to make a transfer. They can’t let that chance slip. The Leafs aren’t determined the way in which Alex Anthopoulos might have been when he made massive strikes in 2015 with an underperforming Blue Jays group. But the GM circumstances are considerably comparable … Don’t perceive why the Carolina Panthers appear to be searching for a head coach. Interim coach Steve Wilks has accomplished a terrific job in his quick time because the firing of Matt Rhule … The NBA commerce deadline is Feb. 9. The Raptors have a month to make a press release or start the tear-down … Happy birthday to Edwin Encarnacion (40), Ron Ellis (78), Mike Liut (67), Ron Rivera (61), Noah Dobson (23), William Karlsson (30), Garth Butcher (60), Francisco Rodriguez (41), Jeff Francis (42) and Abdullah the Butcher (82) … And, hey, no matter turned of Carlos Correa?

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Victory — at what value? Isn’t that the query with Trevor Bauer?

The Los Angeles Dodgers need nothing to do with Bauer and have agreed to pay him the whopping sum of $22.3 million to not pitch for them this coming season. That makes Bauer obtainable and relatively cheap for every other group after serving the longest participant suspension in Major League Baseball historical past whereas being investigated for allegations of sexual misbehaviour.

The Blue Jays entrance workplace actually is aware of Bauer about in addition to you’ll be able to know an opposing participant. Mark Shapiro was president of the Cleveland Indians after they acquired Bauer from Arizona in a three-team commerce in 2013. Ross Atkins was the farm director in Cleveland. Bauer will likely be 32 years outdated when subsequent season begins. In his previous two seasons pitching, beginning in Cincinnati and Los Angeles, he had an earned run common of two.24. He gained the National League Cy Young Award as lately as 2020. He missed all of final season and half the season earlier than that underneath suspension.

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Baseball has now cleared Bauer to return. Assuming he’s anyplace close to the extent he was previous to his suspension — which is unimaginable to know or assume — he could possibly be an upper-echelon beginning pitcher once more. Would Shapiro need to soiled his palms by signing Bauer? Would Atkins? Would possession approve?

In right this moment’s world, are second possibilities granted with out provocation? And are gamers deserving of these alternatives? These aren’t simple inquiries to take care of now or at any time and, actually, the solutions should not minimize and dried.

Undoubtedly, Bauer’s availability is being mentioned in entrance workplaces throughout Major League Baseball. He has been cleared to play. The Dodgers have designated him for task. Question is, who desires to gamble on what was after which dwell with the potential backlash that might observe? Victory — at what value?

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I used to get up early on weekends, simply to verify I didn’t miss a second of the Crazy Canucks on the World Cup ski circuit.

Long earlier than there was Netflix or something like that, this was must-see viewing in my world and I think within the world of many Canadians of a sure age.

They have been a group we adopted, the way in which we observe a world junior group now, the way in which we observe our native NHL group earlier than there was any form of social media. And they have been a forged of characters unimaginable to disregard. With Steve Podborski of Toronto and Ken Read of Calgary within the lead roles and the best-supporting actors being (Jungle) Jim Hunter, Dave Irwin, and the late Ken Murray, all that coming earlier than Todd Brooker entered the fray.

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What race was this week? What problem? From what nation? And what sort of peril will there be for anybody concerned on this group of downhill mad males of expertise and character?

Podborski would go on to win eight World Cup races and an Olympic bronze medal within the biggest downhill profession for any Canadian man in historical past. Read would win 5 instances. The authentic Crazy Canucks, so named by a Swiss journalist, can be on the rostrum 42 instances on the World Cup circuit.

I don’t know what made me consider the Crazy Canucks in latest days however I don’t pay a lot consideration to the ski circuit anymore, at the very least nowhere close to the way in which I did when Podborski and Read and their teammates have been beautiful the world. And how a lot enjoyable it was again then to trace them regularly.

The solely Canadian to win a downhill race in recent times is Cameron Alexander from Vancouver. I had to make use of google to seek out that out. It isn’t the way in which it was 4 a long time again, at the very least not for me. When the Crazy Canucks have been my favorite group, racing for my favorite nation.

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SIMMONS SUNDAY: In Canada, world juniors still reign supreme

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