The Windsor Spitfires will have to wait 20 more games to see newly acquired forward Zack Kassian (attempt to) play his first full game with the team, following an announcement from the Ontario Hockey League on Thursday.
Kassian got himself in trouble when he drilled Matt Kennedy of the Barrie Colts last week in a game between the two OHL heavyweights. The puck was in the air and Kennedy was looking up at the time of the impact, which left the Colts forward needing stitches on his face and staples in the back of his head.
So after sending a player and two draft picks to the Peterborough Petes for Kassian earlier this month, the Spitfires will get a total of two and a half games out of the Buffalo Sabres prospect. Is 20 games enough though?
Personally, I think a ban of that length definitely sends a strong message...but the OHL sent a stronger message a few months ago when doling out punishment for a hit that, in the minds of most, wasn't as bad as this one. When measured up against the season-long ban that Mike Liambas was handed, a 20-game suspension that'll allow Kassian to play in the postseason just doesn't seem stiff enough.
On Monday the QMJHL will announce the punishment for Patrice Cormier, whose hit on Quebec Remparts defenceman Mikael Tam was definitely worse than both Kassian and Liambas' hits.
Did you hear what happened to the Stanley Cup this week?
Mike Bolt, the lucky man charged with taking care of Lord Stanley's mug, was on his way from New Jersey to Vancouver for a charity event (why else would the Cup be in Vancouver? Burn!)...and when he arrived at his destination, he was missing some luggage.
Bolt says Air Canada staff called him over to tell him that "the package" wasn't there. How the heck do you misplace something as big and bulky as the Stanley Cup?
Well, apparently it had tags with both Vancouver and Toronto airport codes, causing the mix-up. Bolt got the Cup back later, but not in time for the event in Van City (it's an Omen, Canucks fans). This isn't the first time the "holy grail" of hockey has been misplaced...
Wings on the Move?
The Detroit News reports this might be the Red Wings last season at The Joe...which is bad news for anyone that wants to, but hasn't seen their favourite team play in that legendary barn (like me).
Wings GM Kenny Holland says he doesn't expect the team to be moving homes, but the lease with Joe Louis Arena is up after this season and they have yet to renew it. Word is, the Ilitch family has been looking at other options too, including the home of the Detroit Lions, Ford Field.
Another option is The Palace of Auburn Hills, where the Detroit Pistons of the NBA play, because the woman who owns the team and the stadium is seriously considering selling both properties. Karen Davidson inherited ownership from her late husband.
I hope they renew the lease for a couple more years at least because I need to see a couple of games at The Joe before I die! I was in Detroit for a day once and tried to go for a tour of the rink,
The Curse of the Red Sox Gaffe
If you're running for office in Massachusetts, it's probably best to avoid trying to endear yourself to voters by talking baseball.
The Wall Street Journal says that a few politicians have fallen victim to the newest curse involving the Boston Red Sox - The Curse of the Red Sox Gaffe - when talking about America's Pastime while on the campaign trail.
Martha Coakley is the latest to fall victim to this phenomenon. She lost the election for the late Edward Kennedy's Senate seat to Republican Scott Brown on Tuesday after calling the hero of Boston's 2004 World Series victory, Curt Schilling, a Yankee fan on a local radio station.
Coakley was reminding the host that Rudy Giuliani, a Yankees fan, was in town to support her opponent and when the host said that Schilling was also backing Brown, she said "Another Yankee fan..."
It's not the only time this type of thing has happened either - John Kerry was trying to earn brownie points while campaigning for the presidency in 2004 by showing his knowledge of the Bo-Sox...it's just too bad that "Manny Ortiz" isn't a real player.
I guess that would be like someone trying to get your vote up here by reminiscing about the glory days when Wayne Messier and Mark Kurri led the Oilers to all those Grey Cups. Those were the days!
Pac-Man goes on the Offensive
Remember when boxing became relevant again for a couple of months there?
When the rumours started to swirl that Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. were going to get together and duke it out, people finally started talking about boxing again. The current "pound-for-pound" master against the former holder of that crown; a guy with belts in seven weight classes against a guy with a 40-0 record. It was going to be awesome.
Then came the trouble - Mayweather's camp started saying that Pacquiao was on steroids and demanding drug tests that were more strict than that of any state athletic commission in the country. Pacquiao agreed to have his blood tested 24 days before the fight after saying no to 30 days, but then Mayweather's camp said they wanted it done 14 days before the fight. That was the issue that caused the fight to be cast aside.
On Wednesday, Pacquiao came out and said what most people have been saying for a while now: "He didn't want to fight me. I think maybe Mayweather is scared to lose."
That seems like a fair assessment.
Some people think the fight will still happen sometime in the future, but as it sits now, both guys have different fights lined up for the first half of 2010. Pacquiao on March 13th against Joshua Clottey at Dallas Cowboys Stadium; Mayweather on May 1st (or May 8th) against "Sugar" Shane Mosley at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
UFC 113 is supposed to go on May 1st in Montreal, but word of the possible Mayweather/Mosley fight could force them to switch dates to capitalize on pay-per-view revenues, rather than splitting them with Mr. Drug Test.
One more thing...
If you've ever wondered why some people are so against fan-voting for all-star games, here's a perfect example: Despite playing in just 19 of the 40-some games of the 2009/10 NBA season so far, Allen Iverson will start for the East All-Stars on February 14th at Cowboys Stadium.
Iverson is averaging 14.4 points per game and 4.4 assists and is taking the spot of someone that is probably more deserving. It reminds me of the campaign to get Vancouver Canucks defenceman Rory Fitzpatrick into the NHL all-star game a few years ago!