Tag Archives: Ken Dryden

What I learned

  • Local MPs performance don’t matter much : NDP’s Vegas candidate won, their English speaking candidate in a 98% francophone riding won, Ken Dryden and Lawrence Cannon lost.
  • Never bring down a minority government when you are behind.  Ignatieff thought it was because Canadians weren’t paying attention to him, in truth, we just didn’t like him that much.
  • Party platforms don’t matter.  I asked a lot of people who were out door knocking if people at the door had read the party platform and the answer was “not one”.  The NDP offer up $70 billion in new spending and they still get 100 seats.  The
  • You have to think that in Saskatchewan the big losers are the Saskatchewan Liberals.  The vote totals were appalling and I doubt and of the campaigns will even break even.  For Ryan Bater and the Saskatchewan Liberal Party, you have to wonder if they will be looking at the same kind of vote numbers in the next provincial election.  There isn’t a lot to build on and nothing that would attract high profile candidates to run for them provincially.
  • Along the same lines, I feel awfully bad for Darren Hill.  He ran a good campaign, is a good city councilor but even liberals in Saskatoon aren’t voting Liberal anymore.
  • Warren Kinsella says that the Liberal dysfunction goes beyond Ignatieff.
  • The city/province needs to put a ban on lawn and campaign signs on public property.  Boulevards, ditches, and parks don’t vote.  Keep the signs out of the Meewasin Valley and out of the highway ditches.  Lawn signs are supposed to be a measure of support and I am pretty sure that the ditches on Highway 16 is non partisan.
  • I would have more respect for those calling for electoral reform if they didn’t just do it when Harper won.  I didn’t hear anyone calling for it when Jean Chretien won a majority with 37% of the vote.  Of course I say this with apologies to James Bow who has been calling for electoral reform consistently for years.
  • You should be able to opt out of the campaign if you wanted to.  Nine robocalls on the Sunday from the Conservatives (that being said, I think because I kept hanging up, they kept calling).  We probably had 15 calls from the Conservative call centre’s in Manitoba and Nova Scotia during the campaign.  That is getting obscene and is bordering on harassment.  Every live phone call that I got, I asked to be taken off their database and I was either hung up on (Manitoba) or told politely that they could not do that (Nova Scotia).  Frustrating.  As I have said before, letting the politicians design privacy laws is like letting foxes install a security system inside a hen house.

Ken Dryden on Hockey Violence

In today’s Globe and Mail

I wonder what will make people say that about us 50 years from now. What are the big things we might be getting really wrong? Chemicals in our foods? Genetic modifications gone wrong? Climate change?

In sports, I think, the haunting question will be about head injuries. It wasn’t until 1943 in the National Football League that helmets became mandatory; in the National Hockey League, not until 36 years after that, in 1979. The first goalie mask wasn’t worn in the NHL until 1959.

And in a whole childhood and adolescence of playing goalie, I didn’t wear a mask until 1965, when I had to wear one on my college team. How could I have been so stupid?

A football wide receiver, 220 pounds, cuts across the middle of the field at 35 kilometres an hour; a linebacker, 240 pounds, cuts the other way at 20 km/hour. The wide receiver focuses on the ball; the linebacker focuses on the wide receiver, knowing that a good hit now won’t just break up the pass but will break down the focus and will of that wide receiver for each succeeding pass in the game.

Two hockey players, almost as big as the football players, but going even faster, colliding with each other and with the boards, glass and ice exaggerating the force of every hit.

Boxers, snapping jabs and hooks at each other’s head, round after round. (But no hitting below the belt; that’s not fair.) Ultimate Fighting: Fist, foot, elbow, knee, bone against bone – get your opponent down, get him defenceless and pound away.

In addition, there are the countless mini-collisions that never make the “Highlights of the Night.” They make players feel a little dizzy, but then seconds later, almost every time, they feel fine. So they must be fine.

As he points out in detail, they really aren’t.

During the lockout a couple of years ago, I watched a lot of hockey on ESPN Classic.  The game in the 70s and even 80s was incredibly different and it wasn’t just the mullets.  Even hard hitting physical teams like the Philadelphia Flyers or Boston Bruins played a far less physical than even finesse teams today do.  The amount of violent hits just were not there.  There were ugly incidents but the game was not nearly as physical as it is today.  Part of it was the equipment.  The equipment of the 70s was cloth with just a little plastic on you knee pads.  Today’s players are using a lot of plastic and composite materials that make players not only feel invincible when they hit someone else but magnify the power and intensity of those hits on someone else.  Add the fact that the average player is both faster, bigger, and heavier, you have a recipe for disaster, especially when you consider that the head is still the least protected parts of their body.

One thing that Dryden didn’t get at is this ridiculous idea that is spouted by Bettman is that the players have to govern this themselves.  As shown in the NFL, players won’t clamp down on illegal hits, it has to come from the league.  It has to hurt players in fines and in games lost (which hurts the team as well).  This isn’t about the Zdeno Chara/Max Pacioretty hit (which I didn’t see as dirty) but it’s about a crazy about of players losing not only their careers but being able to function as human beings after they retire.  As comments by Tie Domi about the death of Bob Probert show, players won’t even protect themselves from that fate so they need someone to step in and do it.  The question is will the NHL do it before the Canadian or U.S. government steps in and does it for them?

Christmas Gift Guide: Gift Ideas for the Sports Fan | 2010 Edition

Hockey Night in Canada Retro Puck & Stick Rug :: While Gary Bettman doesn’t respect the traditions of the NHL, that doesn’t mean that you can’t. Check out this retro Hockey Night in Canada welcome rug which would look great every Saturday night as you host your friends and family for the Hockey Night in Canada double header. Now if we could only find a way to automatically mute the television whenever Kelly Hrudey comes on.

$39.99 (Can) from CBC Shop

NFL Training Camp for the Wii | Compared to other fitness gaming releases on the Wii, EA Sports Active NFL Training Camp is in a whole other league. Unlike those other games that concentrate on general fitness concepts, EA Sports Active NFL Training Camp focuses on the agility, aerobic, stamina and strength training exercises that NFL players routinely are put through during their pre-season training camps. Developed in collaboration with NFL strength and conditioning coaches, users will experience the thrill of competition while challenging themselves, as well as friends and family in these authentic NFL football drills which are performed in the likeness of user’s favorite NFL players.

Saskatchewan Roughriders Shares | As a Roughrider shareholder, fans will get the opportunity to vote on team leadership, contribute to the team’s long-term viability, and help create a football dynasty owned and operated by its fans. In addition Rider shareholders receive a number of other benefits including discounts on merchandise, preferred seating upgrades, first rights to priority parking and access to special Shareholder events.  Sadly you don’t get a say on the head coach, what kind of defence they run or who is the starting quarterback.

Each shareholder will receive a personalized and numbered share certificate, an owners card, as well as a window decal and bracelet. The limited edition 100th anniversary Series II Rider Share is available for a cost of $250 per share, with an option to have the certificate fully framed for $499.

To own a piece of the pride and become a Rider shareholder, fans can call 1-888-4-RIDERS (474-3377) or visit the Rider Ticket Office at Mosaic Stadium.

Sportscraft Pubmaster Dart Board :: The official size 18-inch dartboard has traditional colors with steel tensile steel spider and high visibility numbers. You can throw either steel or soft tip darts at the bullseye!

Plus with no one really knowing when or if the economy is going to come back, having bunch of friends over for a night of darts is a lot cheaper than a night at the pub or doing much else now that I think of it.  The great thing about darts (and bowling) is that you don’t have to be good at it to have a good time playing it.

If you want to up the anty a bit and hide the dart board from view, check out this dart board cabinet.  This pine cabinet comes with everything you need to start playing. It includes a high quality, self healing dart board, 6 steel tip darts, dry-erase scoreboard, out chart, marker and mounting supplies. It would look great at the cabin.

Wendy gave me this customizable Denver Broncos watch for our 13th anniversary. You can change the watch hands, color of strap, and engrave the back (something like Fire Josh McDaniels might be appropriate).  While this one is sold out right now, you can get a variety of other NFL team watches from NFL Shop ranging from $25.

Men’s Team HeatGear Longsleeve T Tops by Under Armour | If the person you are shopping for actually is athletic, you may want to consider a workout shirt from Under Armour. It’s a versatile multi-sport shirt ideal for training.  It’s popular because the Under Armour Team HeatGear long-sleeve tee will keep you feeling cool and refreshed during your workouts. The shirt is made using HeatGear technology, a superior moisture-management system that moves moisture away from your body to the outer layer of the garment. To keep the shirt smelling fresh over the long term, Under Armour added anti-odor technology, which prevents the growth of odor-causing microbes. Other features include a lightweight micro-pique construction with a generous loose fit, raglan sleeves that allow for total mobility and a full range of motion while eliminating shoulder-seam abrasion points, and a UA logo on the center front chest.

Custom NFL T-Shirt | While a customized NFL jersey may set you back $200, a customizable t-shirt or sweatshirt will cost you as a little as $40 and you can actually wear it out in public.  Customize the front, back and both sleeves of your shirt in any number of ways. From players name and number to a pink breast cancer ribbon.  Anything is possible and available in men’s and women’s version.  I just can’t believe that other leagues aren’t doing this yet.

How many times in the last year have you said, “This room would be perfect with a stained glass Notre Dame plaque on the wall?”  Now for $59.99 you can bring completion to your fan cave with one. It actually would look great in a lot of family rooms, even if you happened to cheer for teams like USC or Alabama. Now of course if you cheered for anyone in the SEC, you probably would not appreciate something like stained glass but sadly they don’t make these things deep fried.

Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns | Here is the story of America s national pastime from master storyteller Ken Burns. It is an eleven DVD epic overflowing with heroes and hopefuls, scoundrels and screwballs. A saga spanning the quest for racial justice, the clash of labor and management, the immigrant experience, the transformation of popular culture, and the enduring appeal of the national pastime. And through it all, baseball remains a mirror of America.

Watching Baseball Smarter: A Professional Fan’s Guide for Beginners, Semi-experts, and Deeply Serious Geeks | “Professional fan” Hample (How to Snag Major League Baseballs), who falls squarely in the “deeply serious geek” category, has put together an invaluable resource for armchair fans. A former college shortstop, four-time attendee of Bucky Dent’s Baseball School and an obsessive baseball collector, Hample covers basics like what to watch for in pitchers, catchers, hitters, fielders and base runners; he also provides answers to such nagging questions as why spectators stretch in the seventh inning and why most ballplayers grab their crotches. He explains the difference between a change-up and a split-finger fastball, breaks down a box score and offers an extensive glossary of baseball slang that defines both a “courtesy trot” and a “dying quail.” Other sections address free agency and fair balls, umpires and uniform numbers, stadiums and superstitions. Trivia abounds, including the names of the 10 switch hitters honored in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and a record of inside-the-park homeruns. Hample hits the equivalent of a reference-book homerun with his witty, loose and readable style-taking a friendly for-a-fan-by-a-fan approach that doesn’t hide his enormous depth of knowledge. Highly recommended for baseball watchers, Hample also schools amateur players and coaches with well-illustrated examples of some complex pitching, hitting and base-running scenarios.

Instant Reply: The Green Bay Packer Diary of Jerry Kramer | In 1967, when Jerry Kramer was a thirty-one-year-old Green Bay Packers offensive lineman, in his tenth year with the team, he decided to keep a diary of the season. “Perhaps, by setting down my daily thoughts and observations,” he wrote,  “ll be able to understand precisely what it is that draws me back to professional football.  Working with the journalist Dick Schaap, Kramer recorded his day-to-day experiences as a player with perception, honesty, humor, and startling sensitivity. Little did Kramer know that the 1967 season would be one of the most remarkable in the history of pro football, culminating with the legendary championship game against Dallas now known as the Ice Bowl, in which Kramer would play a central role. Nor could he have anticipated that his diary would evolve into a book titled Instant Replay, first published in 1968, that would become a multimillion-copy bestseller and be celebrated by reviewers everywhere, including the Washington Posts Jonathan Yardley, who calls it to this day, the best inside account of pro football, indeed the best book ever written about that sport and that league.  I still remember the first time I read it. It was fantastic and is still one of my favourite books of all time.

The Game by Ken Dryden | I know I broke up with hockey last year but this was written during the golden age of hockey and the Montreal Canadiens dynasty of the 1970s.  This is a wonderful book which goes a lot deeper than so many sports autobiographies that I have read over the years.  It was named by Sports Illustrated in 2002 as one of the Top Ten in The Top 100 Best Sports Books of All Time. It was the number-one hockey book on the list. #9: “Hall of Fame goalie Ken Dryden was always different. A Cornell grad, he led Montreal to six Stanley Cups, then at 26 sat out a year to prepare for the bar exam. His book is different too: a well-crafted account of his career combined with a meditation on hockey’s special place in Canadian culture.” $15.61 at Amazon.com

Madden 11 | Madden NFL 11 is the 22nd version of EA Sports’ classic video game football franchise. Featuring cover athlete Drew Brees, Super Bowl XLIV MVP and quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, Madden NFL 11 incorporates a blend of simpler, quicker and deeper new features with time-tested classic features expected from a game in the Madden franchise. Features included in the PlayStation 3 version include Franchise mode, All-new GameFlow playcall system, dual stick control, extensive online functionality and more.  It now allows you to play games in half the time. With an all-new playcall system, spend less time in the huddle and more time on the field as you experience the drama and excitement of a full game in less than 30 minutes. While you are learning, you can actually win now. New Coaching Tips automatically pause the game at critical points to help explain each situation as it unfolds. A revamped playcall system draws player routes on the field as in-game coach’s audio provides helpful hints to better execute the play.

Available for PS3, Wii, PSP, and XBox at Amazon.com.  If who you are buying for is more of a NCAA fan, don’t forget NCAA Football 2011.

Harvard Action Arena 7-Foot Air Hockey Table | Tired of heading to the pub every time you want to play air hockey? Enter the Harvard Action Arena 7-foot air hockey table, which brings the same exciting, fast-paced gameplay directly into your home. Designed for four players instead of two, the Action Arena is well constructed, with sturdy 4-by-1/2-inch L-style legs, a cross bar for added stability, and a 6-1/2-inch PVC laminate apron with silver trim. More importantly, the table plays fast and fun thanks to the smooth, glossy white laminated play bed and 110-volt motor. Other features include automated puck return goals, an electronic scoring system, four striking paddles, and four pucks. $637.47 and available from Amazon.com

A smaller and less expensive air hockey table can be found here for $149.00. . Sports table includes 2 puck pushers and 2 pucks. Hockey puck easily glides across the playing surface due the table’s powerful 110v 2400 rpm heavy duty fan and air box. Manual scoring. Table dimensions: 32 inches high x 28 inches wide x 60 inches long. Includes assembly and game play instructions.

If you can find what you are looking for, make sure you check out one of the other Christmas Gift Guides

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Ken Dryden gets his stick up

In a new book, Ken Dryden delivers a blunt analysis of his own party’s political woes and his boss, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff

Ken Dryden"When Ignatieff was only ten years old, he didn’t only dream of being Beliveau or even Rocket Richard or Gordie Howe, as other boys did, he dreamed of being prime minister," Dryden writes. "What would a prime minister say? How would he say it?"

Once Ignatieff became leader, he "seemed remarkably comfortable," Dryden wrote. But he says this didn’t shield the former international journalist and scholar from Tory attacks that defined him as "just visiting" Canada.

"From his first boyhood imaginings, he had put himself inside the skin of prime ministers and presidents, living out their experiences with them, deciding for himself what he would have done, how he would have looked and sounded in their stead. He arrived in his new role 50 years experienced. But what were not in his boyhood fantasies, or much in his adult observings, were the tactics and manoeuvrings that make politics function," Dryden writes. "Here, he was not experienced."

Nonetheless, Dryden describes early 2010, after Harper prorogued Parliament, as a glimmer of hope for the Liberal leader. During that period, the Liberals held dozens of roundtables on ideas and policies, attended by experts and duly reported by the news media.

"This was Ignatieff at his best — listener, learner, ponderer, sense-maker, meaning-seeker, big-picture-finder. In those three weeks, his confidence growing, he seemed finally to realize: I can be good at this. It might even be fun."

The first time I read this I was a bit shocked he would say this about his current boss but after I read it again Dryden doesn’t say anything that inflammatory about Ignatieff.  Ignatieff is not a tactician like Harper which has been his weakness so far.  Tactics can be learned or can be handled by others while if you don’t have those characteristics that Dryden describes, you won’t be a good leader for the country.  The flip side is that if Ignatieff doesn’t learn tactics soon, he may never become Prime Minister.