Monday, February 28, 2011

Kerrzy’s Notebook: D-Day Special

Ahhhh, the NHL Trade Deadline.

Once a year you grace us with your presence, teasing us with the prospect of blockbuster deals and momentum shifting swaps all in the name of gearing up for the playoffs/next season (depending on how things have gone up to this point, of course).

It’s been kind of a funny lead up to the “big day” this time around with a number of fairly significant moves since early February, but you just never know what will happen! The aim of this feature will be to try and stay updated on the latest trades up to (and beyond) that 1pm deadline and provide a bit of my own insight into each move!

Let’s get right to it (despite several alarms set, I couldn’t actually get up before 10am this year)!

Deadline Deals:

Penner to the Kings

The Edmonton Oilers have finally pulled the trigger on that big deal that everyone thought they’d be making today: Dustin Penner is off to the LA Kings, with a first round draft pick, prospect Colten Teubert (who was a teammate of Jordan Eberle in Regina) and a conditional pick in 2012.

Penner has long been rumored to be on the way out if the right package was offered, and this is one heck of a deal for the Oil! They will have a high pick already in the first round this year and this gives them a shot at another pretty good prospect. It's also another former Oiler in Los Angeles!

The big thing the Oilers should be looking at is adding defenseman, but then again, they’ve got all summer to do so.

A little more on Penner: He came into the Oilers organization under fire from the paying customers for the money he was making and the length of his contract (neither of which was dictated by him), he ended up taking a lot of heat from the fans and the media in the first couple of years and I think he was often misunderstood, but in the end he has become a pretty solid player. He’s got room to grow for sure, but I think we’ve seen in the past two years especially that he is making strides in that direction. With the right linemates, he is a deadly offensive weapon and when he uses that frame of his to his advantage, he’s an even better player. Before the Oilers, a younger Penner was a good fit in Anaheim and I see him having success with the Kings.

Sound The Horn!

Alright – so the deadline has come and gone with not that many trades in comparison to years past. By the 1pm deadline, we saw eight trades involving 18 players. As always, we could still see a ton of trades come through that logjam at the NHL office…but then again there shouldn’t be much of a logjam, should there?

Here are the late trades so far: The Leafs have dealt John Mitchell to the NY Rangers in a minor league deal (he only played 23 games this season with the big club). Going the other way is a seventh round pick.

The Vancouver Canucks have acquired Christopher Higgins from the Florida Panthers, in exchange for Evan Oberg and a third round pick. In my opinion, the Canucks have made a good habit of taking players like Higgins and turning them into solid two-way guys. The team also picked up gritty forward Max Lapierre from the Anaheim Ducks (and formerly the Montreal Canadiens). I think that move can potentially give them some of the grit that could help them down the stretch. They also get a fellow by the name of MacGregor Sharp, while going the other way there is forward Joel Perrault and a third round pick.

Fredrik Modin is the newest member of the Calgary Flames with a seventh round pick going the other way. The Flyers have acquired Tom Sestito from the Jackets for forwards Greg Moore and Michael Chaput.

After some pre-deadline speculation that Jason Arnott would waive his no trade clause if the right team came knocking, he is heading to the Washington Capitals! Arnott is a proven leader, he’s a big body and I think he’ll be a solid fit on the ice and in the dressing room for that club. In return, the Devils get David Steckel who should be able to add some grit to the bottom lines of that New Jersey team down the stretch. They also get a second round pick.

In another minor deal, the Habs picked up goalie Drew MacIntyre from the Atlanta Thrashers for defenseman Brett Festerling. The Minnesota Wild sent goalie Anton Khudobin to the Boston Bruins for defenseman Jeff Penner and forward Mikko Lehtonen.

Last Hour Flurry

I don’t think we’ll be breaking any records this year, but here we go with a couple of quick trades as we inch towards the deadline: The Caroina Hurricanes are sending forward Sergei Samsonov to the Florida Panthers for defenseman Bryan Allen and Brad Winchester is joining the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a third round pick.

I like Samsonov – he’s a steady scorer who can add a spark here and there, while Brad Winchester is a big body that sounds like he’ll be a good fit with a big, gritty Ducks team.

Hawks add to Blue Line

Currently in a dogfight for the final playoff spot in the western conference, the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks have added some depth to the blue line, acquiring Chris Campoli from the Ottawa Senators for a second round draft pick and forward Ryan Potulny.

The Hawks have been worn a bit thin at that position, so this is obviously a move to patch things up and really make that push to get into the postseason. They obviously don’t want to be a team that wins the Cup one year and watches the playoffs the next, and in Campoli they get a fairly solid and steady blue liner who is good for a few points (averages about 18 per season, has 14 so far this year) and doesn’t take many penalties.

Potulny had 15 goals and 32 points for the Oilers last season, but is a minor league guy this year…that said, he’s going to Ottawa which means he could easily play out the rest of the season with the big club. So far the Sens have traded away four forwards, all for picks.

Oilers & Avs in Minor Deal

The Edmonton Oilers started what could be a an interesting day with a minor league deal, sending defenseman Shawn Belle to the Colorado Avalanche for defenseman Kevin Montgomery.

The 23-year-old Montgomery is in his second season with the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters (19 points in 51 games this season). Belle is 26 and is in his sixth AHL season, putting up 20 points in 39 games so far. I thought Belle looked pretty good when he was up with the big club – he’s a fantastic skater, but obviously the team decided that he wasn’t developing at a quick enough clip for them.

Yotes & Jackets Swap

Finally! We’ve got a trade! They aren’t coming as fast and furious as they sometimes do, but here we go: The Columbus Blue Jackets have traded Rostislav Klesla and AHLer Dane Byers to the Phoenix Coyotes for Scottie Upshall and Sami Lepisto.

In this deal, the Jackets add some scoring punch to a lineup that might be lacking a little bit as you go down that roster, while the Coyotes add a blue liner who is a plus-10 on the season but hasn’t played since January 22nd with a knee injury. He must be close to being healthy, otherwise I doubt they’d make this trade.

Upshall has 16 goals and 27 points this year, quickly closing in on the career highs that he set last season (18 goals, 32 points). The biggest thing for him is that he’s shooting the puck more, and with Columbus sitting four points out of the playoffs they’ll be hoping that trend continues!

Lost in the shuffle here though is the big question: What will Biz Nasty do without his Twitter pals?

Panthers Wheel and Deal

As I mentioned above, I chose not to get up at 6am this year and I was rewarded with a slow start to the trades – only two to report by 10am, both involving the Florida Panthers.

The Panthers sent defenseman Dennis Wideman to the Washington Capitals for Jake Hauswirth and a third rounder at this year’s draft. They also picked up Patrick Rissmiller and Niclas Bergfors from Atlanta, sending Radek Dvorak and a fifth rounder the other way.

The Panthers currently sit eight points under the playoff cut line, with the Thrashers four points up on them. Will either of these teams make the playoffs? It’s possible, but I’ve got a feeling that one or both of them will be watching from the sidelines.

Waiver Pickups

The Thrashers were busy on the wire side of things early on as well, plucking former Oiler Rob Schremp off of the market. The Ottawa Senators picked up goalie Curtis McElhinney, a few days after he was traded from Anaheim to Tampa Bay. As well, defenseman Brett Carson goes from Carolina to his hometown of Calgary.

The Lead Up:

Before we got right down to the wire this year a number of teams decided to jump the gun and get things going early. That included guys like Tomas Kaberle, Bryan McCabe and Eric Brewer being welcomed to new homes, along with forwards like Mike Fisher, Kris Versteeg, James Neal and Alex Kovalev.

In all, there were 26 trades happening before today, which involved over 50 players, and about 20 draft picks or prospects.

When the Ottawa Senators dealt Fisher it looked like it would be the start of the garage sale outside of Scotiabank Place, and it sort of was, but it’ll be interesting to see where they stop. Since that deal, the Sens have also sent goalie Brian Elliot to Colorado for fellow netminder Craig Anderson and they also shipped Alex Kovalev to the Penguins for a late draft pick. Will they send Jason Spezza packing? Tough to say…I can tell you though that Chris Phillips is going nowhere though – he signed a three-year deal with Ottawa on Sunday night worth a reported $9.25-million.

Speaking of defenseman, how many years have we heard about the possibility of Tomas Kaberle being traded? Feels like at least three or four, doesn’t it? Well, it finally happened! I wonder if it was a little strange for Kaberle to have it actually happen this time after so much speculation over the years! That sets up quite a solid 1-2 pairing in Boston and makes them just that much more dangerous down the stretch!

On Sunday night the Blues sent forward Brad Boyes to Buffalo for a second rounder in 2011. That’s a decent pickup for the Sabres as Boyes is a guy who has had success as a goal scorer…just not lately. Buffalo is just on the cusp, while the Blues are slowly losing ground in the western playoff race.

There were also a couple of other interesting moves: Toronto’s Beauchemin back to Anaheim for Joffrey Lupul; Kris Versteeg leaving the Leafs for the Flyers; James Neal and Matt Niskanen of the Stars to Pittsburgh for Alex Goligoski and many more!

Best Pickup so far: It has to be the Blues going out and getting Chris Stewart from the Avalanche in a four player, two draft pick deal on February 19th. In six games with St. Louis, Stewart has six goals and seven points!

Final Thoughts:

I suppose the question now becomes who has done enough to give themselves that extra push into the postseason and who hasn’t – which of the fringe teams do you think will end up playing beyond 82 games?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kerrzy & Migs Friday WorkOut!

Happy Friday!

While I’m sure many of you welcome the end of the week with open arms for the obvious reasons, I’ve got another reason for you to smile – another edition of the Kerrzy & Migs Friday WorkOut! If you haven’t been following our fitness revolution, here’s the deal:

Kerrzy’s Notebook and Forca Freemotion Body have joined forces to bring you a core-crunching workout video every week to help you get healthy and happy! Last week, we took you through the Four Corners…this week, we’re going Tubing!


All you’ll really need for this week’s routine is a track and some tubing (which your local gym probably has) – this workout is split up into five sections, with a lap in between each one. Here’s how it works:

1) Tubing Row; Staggered Press (20 reps each)
2) Standing Russian Twists (20 per side)
3) Resistance Squats; Crunches (20 reps each)
4) Tree Huggers; Lunges (20 reps each)
5) Wood Chops (20 per side)

In all, you’ll be doing three rounds of this circuit (if you dare!). When you’re all done, leave us a comment and let us know how you did! You can also get in touch with us at FWOEdmonton@gmail.com.

Want more? Click the links below to go through some of our previous WorkOuts:


See you next Friday!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Kerrzy’s Notebook: What’s Wrong With Ovie?

Alex Ovechkin was the hero for the Washington Capitals on Monday night in a 1-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, but while it seems like a familiar tale, the storylines in that rivalry are much different these days…

For one, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby wasn’t in the lineup for the 20th straight game as he battles back from a concussion. Then, there are the “struggles” of his Washington counterpart, a superstar who is looking very human this season.

The game winning goal on Monday was Ovechkin’s 24th of the year, putting him on pace for just over 30 goals and 80-some points by seasons end. Pretty decent, right? Not when you consider the fact that Ovie has averaged almost 54 goals and 106 points per season over his first five years in the league!

So what’s wrong with The Great Eight?

“There are nights where he looks like himself, and just as many nights where he doesn't factor.”

Dave Nichols with the Capitals News Network says a number of things come into play when talking about Ovechkin’s “sub-par” numbers this year: a possible wrist injury, a predictable attack, a struggling power play or even the lingering sting of a fruitless 2009-10 season, for example.

“My personal theory is that with all the disappointment from last season - the early playoff exit, the suspensions, the failure of the Russian team at the Olympics - he's changed his game, whether he's doing it consciously or subconsciously,” explains Nichols. “He just isn't playing with the same flair and excitement from years past.”

“The team's struggles this season have really frustrated him because all he wants to do is bring the Stanley Cup to Washington.”

A lot of those struggles so far have come with the extra man – the NHL’s best power play last season has dropped all the way down to 20th place and is on pace for 30-some fewer goals this year.

“It's astounding to me that the same players that hit at better than 25 percent last season with the extra man are at just 17 percent this season. The Caps are essentially a goal per game off of last year's pace, and almost all of it is off the power play.”

A nagging wrist problem could have something to do with Ovechkin’s numbers this season too, says Nichols. The 25-year-old took a cortisone shot about a month ago, but it’s tough to say just how much it’s affecting his game. Despite being way off most of his usual stats, he still leads the league in shots as he has in each of his five other NHL seasons.

So he’s still getting the puck to the net, but could it be that other players have just figured out how to limit the number of quality chances he gets out on the ice?

“Teams have figured out that if the defense stands him up at the blue line he'll try to cut to the center of the ice, essentially skating into the double team, as opposed to trying to out skate the defender down the boards.”

“He still leads the league in shots on goal, they just aren't going in.”

Does that sound like the Alex Ovechkin you’ve come to know? We’re talking about a guy who put up a whopping 529 points in his first 396 NHL games before this season! He scored a career-best 65 goals in 2007-08, registered his fourth 50-goal season last year, and here he is hoping to break 30?

Maybe Ovechkin is having an off year, but maybe what we’re seeing is a shift in his mentality towards the game. Despite all the good things he’s done so far in his career, the Caps haven’t been able to make it past the second round of the playoffs during his tenure! Perhaps what we’re seeing now is a player more focused on leading his team through good and bad in the hopes that it makes them stronger come the postseason.

“There’s not a person in that room that doesn’t have the utmost respect for Ovechkin,” says Nichols. “He’s the leader of this team in every way.”

So, how does this one end?

There are 21 games remaining on the regular season schedule for Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals as they gear up for another shot at Lord Stanley’s mug. That’s enough time to climb into home ice advantage or right out of the playoff picture, and it’s also enough time for Ovechkin to finish strong offensively. The bottom line is, this story is far from over just yet!

What do you think: Has Ovie lost a step, is he just having an off year or is he becoming a more complete player? Let me know!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Kerrzy’s Notebook: 15 Minutes of Fame

Happy Monday!

It’s time for another (slightly grainy) edition of your favorite weekly sports video blog, 15 Minutes of Fame!

This week, Geoff Driscoll of Any Sport Any Time and I are talking NHL trades (those that have happened and those that may happen), the ongoing labor negotiations in the NFL (and whether or not we think there will be a lockout) and much more!


See something that you think should be a GABBY? Give us a shout! You can get a hold of us on Twitter @15MinutesYEG, you can find us on Facebook or shoot us an email at 15MinutesYEG@gmail.com!

For last week's episode, click here. Thanks for watching!

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Hoop & The Harm: Notes from the Hardcourt

Do This Dunk

It’s All-Star weekend in the NBA, which to me means just one thing: The Dunk Contest!

I’m the same way when it comes to any All-Star weekend; in hockey I like the Skills Competition best, I’m a fan of baseball’s Home Run Derby and when it comes to the NBA, count me in for the Dunks!

After winning the title in each of the last two years, Boston’s Nate Robinson has decided to sit this one out. Instead, it’ll be Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan (who lost a tight decision last year), Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka, Washington’s JaVale McGee and Blake Griffin of the LA Clippers.

I’m sure it gets tough to think of new things to do in these competitions, because it seems like just about everything has been done at some point. That’s why ESPN is doing its part to help Blake Griffin come up with something original, though keeping it secret won’t be easy given that they were asking for ideas on YouTube:


I wouldn’t completely count out a guy like DeMar DeRozan in this contest, especially since he came quite close to beating Robinson at last year’s event. In order to beat out the other three guys though, he’ll likely have to do something game changing like another Raptor did back in 2000:


Speaking of dunks: a couple of blogs ago I threw in some NBA bloopers, one of which was a missed dunk attempt. Well, I’ve got another one of those for you…except this one is miles worse than the Andre Iguodala miss!


All jokes aside, I’m picking Blake Griffin to come out on top this weekend, especially since it’ll be a tough few days for him as he is grieving the loss of a friend from back home.

More Melo-drama

It appears the Carmelo Anthony saga may come to a head this weekend and, in a surprise twist, the NJ Nets could be back in the fold!

A little while ago a multi-team deal involving the Nets and the Denver Nuggets that would have ultimately sent Anthony to New Jersey fell through when the player remained a little bit too non-committal about the whole thing. The Nuggets had apparently given Anthony permission to speak with Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov (and minority owner Jay-Z) about signing an extension with them, which is what the entire deal hinged on, but it didn’t seem like he wanted to meet.

After Prokhorov announced that the deal was off, Anthony was quoted as saying that he would have met with them if the Nuggets had asked him to go.

It looked like a bit of gamesmanship from both ends of the situation and ESPN reports that All-Star weekend may end up being the venue that decides Melo’s future, at least as it pertains to the Nets. Marc Stein and Chris Broussard say Prokhorov denies it, but other sources say the two sides will meet in the next day or so.

Anthony has publicly stated that he wants to play for the NY Knicks, but the Nets will argue that their move to Brooklyn in the next few years is an even better option. Speaking of better options, the Nets can offer the Nuggets a much better deal than the Knicks can, so if they have to lose him they would much rather lose him to Prokhorov and the Nets.

Had enough of this story yet? Don’t worry, the trade deadline is next Thursday and if Carmelo Anthony hasn’t been dealt by then, the saga becomes a lot less interesting!

Other stuff…

Magic/Bird sounds like a basketball transformer, but it’s actually an upcoming Broadway play!

The Detroit Pistons say they plan to retire Dennis Rodman’s colorful hair and piercings

Poor JJ Redick – this week he had his ankles broken in hilarious fashion for the second time in February!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Kerrzy & Migs Friday WorkOut!

Another week has come and gone, but that just means it’s time for another Kerrzy & Migs Friday WorkOut!

Each week for the past two months I’ve been enlisting the services of Miguel from Forca Freemotion Body to throw together a solid core-crunching workout to help you get happy and healthy as we inch closer to the summer! Last week we took you through a Twelve Step Program – this week, we’re hitting the Four Corners!


For this week’s workout, all you’ll need is a track with four corners and a power wheel (ab wheel) if you can get a hold of one. You’ll be doing an exercise at each station, with a run at 70% intensity between each one.

Here are the stations:

1) 20 Staggered Push-Ups (10 each side)
2) 20 Tuck Jumps
3) 20 Power Wheel Rollouts
4) 20 Wide Mountain Climbers

In all, you’ll be doing four rounds…if you can handle it!

Leave us a comment and let us know how you did! You can also get in touch with us at FWOEdmonton@gmail.com.

Want more? Click the links below to go through some of our previous WorkOuts:


See you next Friday!

Kerrzy's Notebook: Snow Battle!

In the City of Champions, dealing with snow is just a part of life.

For well over half the year, it clogs up the side streets, it makes people drive like rookies and you’re required by law to keep it off your sidewalks, which is a total hassle. Sure, it’s great for the traditional recreational purposes that we’ve come up with as a society to make it seem not so bad, but it’s not good for much else, is it?

Oh, but it is! Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring you Yukigassen.

“It’s a Japanese word for Snow Battle,” says Dave Hennessey with OOMPH! Events. “Essentially, it’s a competitive snowball fight!”

Yes, you read that correctly. Someone has created a socially acceptable venue wherein grown men and women can throw snowballs at each other, and if they’re good enough, be named the Canadian Snow Battle champion!

Fort Edmonton Park is the venue for Yukigassen Edmonton which runs from March 4-6th and will be our country’s first ever national championship tournament (and just the second event ever held in Canada).

I know, I know, it’s a lot to take in right now. I won’t even mention the fact that they’ve got a machine they use to manufacture dozens of perfect snowballs all at once (until later on). At this point though, you’re probably asking yourself “what genius came up with such a brilliant idea for a sport?” Don’t worry, I asked that question too!

“It started over 20 years ago in a small mountain town in Japan,” explains Hennessey. “They were trying to think of a way to attract more tourists in the winter season. The Japanese ran it internally for probably ten years or so and what happened was, a student group from Finland stumbled upon it. [They] talked to the local guys, they absolutely loved the sport, so they took it home and set it up in Finland.”

“From there, it poured across Europe [and] randomly got to Australia somehow.”

Hennessey says the sport is so popular in Japan that lots of baseball players have switched up their priorities and left that game behind to train year-round in Yukigassen! That’s a scary thought, isn’t it? Imagine having the next Daisuke Matsuzaka getting ready to wallop you with a 90 mph fast(snow)ball!

Photobucket

Alright, now that you’re past the initial shock of learning that you can legally whip snowballs at other people (as long as they signed up as well!), let me tell you how the game actually works: It’s two teams of seven on either side of a 10x40 meter course, which is made entirely of snow. Barricades made of the white stuff are strategically placed throughout the course and there is a flag at each end. Picture a paintball course, but add snow and take away the guns.

To eliminate the other team, you either hit them with snowballs or get down to the other end and capture that flag!

Pretty cool, eh? Now to the snowball maker:

“Basically, it’s a big egg carton – so picture half of a cup on the bottom and then half a cup on top,” says Hennessey as I look back on a misspent youth. “You put two big dumps of warm snow in, it’s got to be very warm and moist snow for it to work, you bring the top of the egg carton down on it and pack it all in. In about a minute, you’ve got 45 perfectly rounded snowballs.”

Before you say it, I’ve got some advice for you: instead of wondering where this fine piece of technology was back when you were a little kid, rejoice in the knowledge that such a thing exists now! Speaking of a misspent youth, Hennessey says don’t worry about practicing – if you’ve lived in a cold climate for most of your life, you’re more than ready.

“We’ve been training for it since we were all four years old – the moment you could first start putting a snowball together is when you first started training for Yukigassen! As long as you can run around and throw a snowball, you’re ready to play!”

To get involved, round up eight friends and head to SnowBattle.ca – men, women, boys and girls are all welcome to sign up and battle for the title of “Canadian World Champion!”

Registration closes on Monday, February 21st.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kerrzy’s Notebook: Champions League Choke!

The round of 16 got underway in UEFA Champions League action this week, but not without some controversy right off the hop!

Over here at Kerrzy’s Notebook, we love controversy, so lets give a round of applause to AC Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso who will likely face some swift punishment for his actions in a 1-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspurs at the San Siro on Tuesday.

ESPN Soccernet reports that Spurs assistant manager Joe Jordan was giving it to Gattuso from the sidelines during the second half when the player lost the plot and struck him in the facial region. I say “facial region” because I’ve seen it reported that Gattuso “grabbed him by the throat,” you could almost call it a punch, but in reality it was an open-handed face push (if such a term exists). Obviously the trash talk got to him because the two locked horns again after the game, which resulted in a minor head butt being delivered by the Italian.

This next part of the story makes me laugh: Gattuso says Jordan was “breaking [his] balls” (not busting them) in the second half, saying “we were both speaking Scottish, given that I played in his country in Glasgow (for Rangers).”

I should have known they were speaking Scottish during that heated exchange – the conversation ended with a “Glesga Kiss” after all!


“I lost my head,” Gattuso told reporters afterwards. “I did something I shouldn’t have done…I made a mistake doing what I did to an older person, and that’s it.”

Whether or not UEFA decides to hand out any extra punishment, Gattuso will miss the return match at White Hart Lane because of the yellow card he picked up on Tuesday. Let’s be honest though, he’s lucky if he gets off that easy!

You can’t just walk up and strike a member of an opposing team’s coaching staff, regardless of what your excuse for doing so is. It’s bad enough when players attack each other, but what Gattuso did just crosses the line in my mind.

Even if Joe Jordan egged him on during the incident (which he totally did), you have to be able to keep your cool. The whole point of trash talk is to get the other team off its game and when guys are reacting like that, you know you’ve done your job!

What do you think: Should UEFA slap on another game or two to Gattuso’s suspension, or leave it alone?

What a start to the round of 16!

Kerrzy’s Notebook: One Win Away…

If everything goes to plan at the end of April, a lot of fight fans will finally get their wish…

Georges St. Pierre will defend his welterweight crown against Jake Shields in front of a record crowd at UFC 129 on April 30th. Should he win, organization president Dana White has promised a tilt between GSP and middleweight champ Anderson Silva – a "dream fight" that would go a long way in determining the outright best pound-for-pound fighter in MMA.

Silva is coming off a solid victory over fellow Brazilian Vitor Belfort and if St. Pierre can get past Shields, both fighters will have basically cleaned out their divisions. For this fight to happen though, GSP will have to give up his title and move up to 185-pounds (from 170), a challenge in itself.

So the question is: When the fight is over, whose arm will be raised?

While I think it’ll be St. Pierre, the experts I talked to all see things differently! Kid Nate from SB Nation’s Bloody Elbow seems to speak for everyone I spoke to when he says that “Silva has to be favored because of the size and reach advantage, but GSP has a shot due to his brilliant wrestling.”

Dave Stanford, the executive editor of MMACanada.net, thinks the weight differential will be too much for GSP to overcome. With St. Pierre walking around at about 185 pounds to Silva’s 210-220, Stanford says we could be looking at a weight advantage of over twenty pounds here!

“The ‘x factor’ would be how GSP is able to handle the size difference with Silva, as he could end up being tossed around the cage by a much larger man.”

MMA Crypt's Misfit takes it a step further by suggesting that the Canadian deserves the fight, but should probably get a few others under his belt at 185-pounds before he gets into the octagon with Silva.
“I would make Silva my third fight at 185, this way he could maybe add five legit pounds between each fight. Silva is a huge middleweight and GSP will be a small [one], so as much legit size as he can add will only help.”

If we do eventually get to see this fight, it’ll be one of the most bruising chess matches we’ll likely ever witness. For me it’s tough to think of a fighter who trains as well as St. Pierre does to find and target the weaknesses of his opponents. In Silva, we’ve got a guy who is probably the best and most dangerous striker the sport has ever seen.

“Silva is a master of all facets of the stand-up game who has the uncanny ability to finish a fight at any moment from any position,” says Stanford, a point the Brazilian proved two fights ago against Chael Sonnen. “Silva would need to pay particular attention to improving his takedown defense [though], so as to not end up on his back the way he did against Sonnen.”

GSP is widely regarded as one of the game’s best wrestlers and takedown artists, but what he seems to lack is the ability to end fights, says Kid Nate.

[St. Pierre] is good on his feet, but his bread and butter is putting guys on their back and beating them up on the ground. Silva's take down defense is questionable and GSP's ability to finish elite fighters has [also] been questioned.”

“Another plus for Silva is his amazing chin; he doesn't get hurt and GSP doesn't hurt a lot of fighters,” adds Misfit. “GSP beats them up but doesn't hurt them a whole lot.”

As a Canadian kid pulling for his country’s top fighter, I had to ask these guys how St. Pierre should prepare for “The Spider” – you know, just in case he happens to stumble upon this article sometime!

Kid Nate says figuring out a game plan will be tough for both guys because of the unique abilities that each one possesses.

“GSP should train with the very best lanky left-handed strikers he can find and Silva needs to train his ground game in anticipation of being taken down. [Something to watch for] is whether or not age is slowing Silva down. He’s 35 and his style is based on speed. Historically those kind of fighters get old overnight (think Roy Jones Jr. in boxing).”

If St. Pierre is to win this one, MMA Canada’s Stanford says it’ll all come down to getting comfortable at that new weight and then going back to what got him to this point in his career.

“GSP should worry about packing on a significant amount of muscle were he to fight Silva, and his focus should be on closing the distance so as to be able to get past Silva’s reach in order to take him down and ground and pound his way to victory.”

“He is one of the smartest game fighters when it comes to executing his strategy in a fight.”

Adding muscle is always a tough thing to do though, which is why MMA Crypt’s Misfit is strong in his belief that this fight shouldn’t happen right away.

“The reason I would do it over three camps is so [St. Pierre] can get used to carrying the weight in stages,” he says. “If I were Silva, I wouldn't worry about GSP's striking cause I don't feel he can hurt him, but I would spend a lot of time with wrestlers on top of me.”

So my stable of MMA experts seems to give this one to Anderson Silva – he’s big, strong and precise when he decides that he want to inflict some damage. Despite that, I still think people are underestimating what St. Pierre can do. Yes, he’s had trouble finishing fighters, but did you see Josh Koscheck’s face after a few rounds with Rush? That fight was a great example of St. Pierre switching up his style and beating a guy at his own game.

With added muscle comes added strength, and when you combine that with the strategy and the game plan that his camp will be formulating, I think you’ll see a bigger threat than most anticipate. That said, Silva found a way to win against Chael Sonnen two fights ago and he booted Vitor Belfort’s head into next year in his last fight. The guy is a proven winner and luck has little to do with his results.

This potential fight has the potential to be one of those classic moments in sports where a true champion is crowned - just the thought of watching these two soldiers go to battle makes me wish the fight was tomorrow, but alas, we’re not there yet.

Since opinions are like eyebrows, I’d like to know what you think: If he tops Jake Shields, will Georges St. Pierre be able to beat Anderson Silva in a middleweight bout? Why or why not?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Kerrzy’s Notebook: Around the Rinks

In & Out

Just when it looked like Peter Forsberg was ready to make an impact with the struggling Colorado Avalanche, a familiar problem crept up on him.

After skating with the team for a while, Forsberg felt comfortable enough on the ice to sign a one-year deal with the Avs last week. He jumped through the necessary hoops to get back on the ice after a couple of years – and a couple of failed comebacks – away from the NHL and finally made his re-debut against Columbus on Friday.

He played 17:38 and was a minus-two in a 3-1 loss to the Jackets, but looked pretty good by all accounts. A night later, he was a minus-two again in a 5-3 loss to the Predators, racking up another 17:32 of ice time. As good as he might have looked though, ESPN reports he started to feel the foot that has given him so much grief slipping and sliding inside his skate – a problem that has followed him around from team to team and league to league since 2003.

“We can fly to the moon, we should be able to fix the foot,” joked the 37-year-old at his retirement news conference on Monday. If it wasn’t foot issues, it was groin problems for the one-time NHL MVP, who has only played over 70 games in a season just five times in twelve years.

It’s tough to see a great player not able to leave the game on his own terms, but Forsberg seems to have earned a sense of closure for himself with this latest go-round. He says he’s happy that he got a chance to get out there and that he’ll feel pretty good about his career when he looks back. He got out just in time too, as the Avalanche got whooped 9-1 on Monday night!

I suppose if your health is still an issue after 25 surgeries though, it’s probably time to hang ‘em up!

Long Island Fallout

It’s been a few days since that big series of brawls between the NY Islanders and the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 9-3 Isles win and people are still talking!

The NHL was swift in its punishment, handing out three suspensions worth a total of 23 games and slapping the Isles with a $100,000 fine for failing to control their players, but that wasn’t enough for some people.

Penguins co-owner Mario Lemieux was harsh in his criticism of the league, saying it “failed” in its chance “to send a clear and strong message” when it comes to the cheap shots and thuggery that took place on Long Island that night. Lemieux called the game “a travesty” and “a sideshow,” and he’s halfway right. New York’s Matt Martin was suspended for four games for sucker punching Max Talbot, which probably should have been switched with the nine-game ban for Trevor Gillies. He was in the thick of the action all night long, but was suspended for a blow to the head of Pittsburgh’s Eric Tangradi.

Now, I don’t agree with the sucker punch and I don’t agree with the headshot…but I do agree that the league might have gotten it wrong.

First of all, Pens forward Matt Cooke should have been suspended last year when he knocked out Marc Savard. He should have been suspended again or reprimanded somehow when he went knee-on-knee with Alex Ovechkin earlier this month and he should have been slapped with a stiffer sentence when he blasted Fedor Tyutin from behind a few days later. He was given a four-game ban for that one, but as a repeat offender to the degree that he is one, the league should have sent him a stronger message and certainly had the chance to do so.

I know it might seem like a silly argument to say that Lemieux can’t possibly decry the league’s disciplinary process while Matt Cooke continues to get away with most of the dirty stunts he pulls, but there is some merit to the thought.

To suspend Gillies for nine games for the hit on Tangradi when most of the other headshots we’ve seen in recent memory are either ignored (and added to the league’s anti-headshot video in the off season) or met with four-to-six game bans just isn’t right. I’m not saying it wasn’t a dirty hit, because it absolutely was. I’m only pointing out that this is another example of the league being all over the map when it comes to penalizing such hits.

Meanwhile, Islanders GM Garth Snow says he doesn’t get why the Pens weren’t also fined for what happened, and NY tough guy Zenon Konopka says Mario Lemieux is "out of touch" with the league and just lost himself a fan…

Trade Winds Blowing Leafs

One of the most fun days to be a hockey fan is fast approaching, but some teams aren’t waiting until the February 28th trade deadline to start pulling the trigger!

After picking up a could-be solid NHLer in Fabian Brunnstrom back in January, the Toronto Maple Leafs have made two fairly big moves in past week and GM Brian Burke says they’re probably not done just yet.

On Monday the Leafs dealt forward Kris Versteeg to the Philadelphia Flyers for a first and third round pick at this year’s draft. It’s a fun little twist for the Lethbridge, Alberta, native who goes from a low-end team to a contender, one that his former club beat in last year’s Stanley Cup final.

That deal follows one that sent veteran blue liner Francois Beauchemin back to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for forward Joffrey Lupul, a prospect and a conditional draft pick.

Those are two pretty interesting moves – Burke says Versteeg never really fit in with the Leafs way of playing and this move gives him some much needed ammo on draft day. The Beauchemin deal is intriguing as well – when you’re giving up the sixth-most goals per game in the league, you wouldn’t think that you’d go trading defense for a bit of offence.

I wonder who is next!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Kerrzy’s Notebook: 15 Minutes of Fame

Happy Monday!

What better a way to start off another week of work (for some of us) than to take in a fresh squeezed episode of your favorite weekly sports video blog?

This week, Geoff Driscoll of Any Sport Any Time and I tackle the latest round of suspensions (and non-suspensions) handed down by the NHL, the possibility of the LA Lakers adding Carmelo Anthony by the NBA’s trade deadline and lots more! In this week’s GABBYs: The Edmonton Rush, Ilya Kovalchuk, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Manchester Derby and hockey violence!

Check it out:


See something that you think should be a GABBY? Give us a shout! You can get a hold of us on Twitter @15MinutesYEG, you can find us on Facebook or shoot us an email at 15MinutesYEG@gmail.com!

For last week's episode, click here. Thanks for watching!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Kerrzy’s Notebook: Something in the Water?

It’s been a feisty couple of weeks in the National Hockey League, hasn’t it?

In the past ten days we’ve seen a brawl in Pittsburgh between the Islanders and the Penguins, three fights in four seconds in a Bruins/Stars game, another goalie fight in an Original Six meeting between Boston and Montreal, and of course, the return match between the Pens and the Isles.

If you thought those first three games were good, just wait until you see what went down at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Friday!

After being shutout in the game that saw Penguins backup Brent Johnson break the face of their oft-injured goalie, Rick DiPietro, the Islanders were charged up heading into the rematch! In the first period alone there were four goals, a failed penalty shot, two fights and some hints of what was to come later on.

By the end of the night there were 346 penalty minutes, fifteen fighting majors, eleven game misconducts, and ten 10-minute misconducts. Oh, and 12 goals.

Getting away from the fights for just one second here, with the Isles putting up a nine-spot on the Pens there were obviously a few things worth mentioning other than the bouts: John Tavares had a goal (with his chinstrap undone) and four points as he, Michael Grabner and Matt Moulson all became 20-goal scorers on the evening. Grabner missed on that penalty shot but recovered to score twice and collect three points, as did Moulson, giving both players 21 goals on the year.

A player by the name of Michael Haley is the ultimate segue here: He scored a beauty for his first career NHL goal and collected three fighting majors (and 39 total penalty minutes) before being tossed near the end of the game!

There were a couple of troubling moments in this one though too, like a Matt Martin sucker punch on Penguins forward Max Talbot early in the second period. As the two skated up the ice, away from the play, Martin had a quick look around and dropped his mitts before trying to clock Talbot from the side. I realize it wasn’t as damaging as another infamous sucker punch, but it could easily have been much worse:


This next series of fights was a bit troubling as well – it all began after a Trevor Gillies hit to the head of Pens forward Eric Tangradi along the boards and the action ended with Haley squaring off with Brent Johnson (and Eric Godard leaving the bench to join in)!


I’m not sure what Godard was thinking – Johnson was a willing participant and broke a face the last time he fought! Oh, and there’s the issue of rule 70.10 in the NHL handbook:

“The first player to leave the players’ or penalty bench during an altercation or for the purpose of starting an altercation from either or both teams shall be suspended automatically without pay for the next ten (10) regular League and/or Play-off games of his team.”

So it looks like Godard will sit for a while, but who else will be suspended? I think there’s a chance that Martin and Gillies could both sit as a result of their actions in this game. What do you think?

If you’re enjoying this latest stretch of thuggery from the likes of the Islanders and the Boston Bruins, I’ve got (potentially) great news for you: They play each other next Thursday and again in March!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Kerrzy’s Notebook: Random Friday Thoughts

“I LOVE CANADA”

Do you think UFC president Dana White ever wishes he could move his entire production up to our side of the border?

Every time the UFC comes to Canada, records are set and that’s a trend that continued this week with a couple of new ones ahead of UFC 129 in Toronto – the organization’s first Ontario-based event. If Las Vegas didn’t have the deep connection and history with the fight game that it has, I’m sure more cards would find their way up here given our country’s track record.

In less than one hour on Thursday, more than 42,000 tickets (valued anywhere from $50 to $800) were sold for the April 30th event! That’s right, the “pre-sale” for the Toronto date almost doubled Montreal’s UFC attendance record of 23,152!

Compare that to some of the “big” Vegas venues like Mandalay Bay, which only holds around 12,000! I think it’s safe to say that the UFC is in for one heck of a payday!

TSN reports White sent out a text message saying “I LOVE CANADA!” after getting word of the massive sales on Thursday. Canadians love their UFC action, but it probably didn’t hurt that Georges St. Pierre is defending his title in the main event of UFC 129!

The Canadian Press says 68,237 people were at Wrestlemania in 2002 – though it’s tough to say at this point what the capacity will be for this event.

Are you an MMA fan? What draws you to the sport and how much would you pay to see a card like this live?

Manche$ter Derby

It’s setting up to be a milestone weekend in the English Premier League…

At first glance, there’s nothing really that jumps out about this weekend’s fixtures, except for maybe the meeting between Manchester United and Manchester City. Games like that are always exciting, but this one on Saturday will have a little extra something that will make it memorable, says the Wall Street Journal.

When United and City hit the pitch this weekend, it’ll be the most expensive game (in any sport) ever played – in all, it cost about $850-million to put together the lineups of the two clubs!

The WSJ points out that when the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys played the Washington Redskins last season, there were $350-million worth of players and when the MLB’s NY Yankees played the Boston Red Sox, that number jumped to $380-million. It’s nothing compared to what these two teams paid for their players though!

Part of the issue, I suppose, is the practice of paying another team a huge amount of money for the player and then still having to pay the guy. Before even getting around to the salaries, it’s estimated that these two clubs spent over $600-million on securing the rights of players!

Speaking of high-earners in the soccer world, there was a fun story about David Beckham in the news this week.

The Huffington Post reports that Beckham pulled over during morning rush hour to help a guy whose car broke down the other day! Paul Long says he was ignored by other drivers until Becks pulled over and lent a hand.

He’s in London training with Tottenham, though he’ll be back to play for the LA Galaxy when the MLS season begins.

Comeback Shoes?

Have you seen Wayne Gretzky’s latest commercial?

It’s always nice to see The Great One back out on the ice…but I hope and pray that he doesn’t actually wear “Shape-ups” in real life!


I love the marketing behind “shape-ups,” which is basically them telling you that by wearing these goofy shoes, you’ll be working out while doing nothing at all! If only it were that easy…

For an actual workout, click here!

Other stuff…

The Phoenix Coyotes are giving away a diamond worth $5,000 on Monday for Valentines Day (and 3,000 fake ones)…

Check out this time-lapse video of crews building the rink at McMahon Stadium ahead of the upcoming Heritage Classic…

The University of Kansas is serious about making sure its student-athletes go to class…which is why they hired senior citizens to patrol the campus!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Kerrzy & Migs Friday WorkOut!

Can you believe we’re already two weeks into February?

Before you know it, it’ll be summertime and your friends will be nagging you to do fun stuff outside like head to the lake or the outdoor pool or even just hang out in the park. You want to look good for those moments right? Don’t worry, Kerrzy’s Notebook and Forca Freemotion Body have got you covered with another edition of the Kerrzy & Migs FridayWorkOut!

Last week, Miguel delivered a big HIIT that probably left you gasping for air – this week, it’s a Twelve Step Program:


This week’s workout is a tough one – it’s a 40/20 Bodyweight circuit, which means you’ll be working for 40 seconds and resting for 20 at each stage. You’ll be doing three rounds of twelve different exercises and you’ll likely have to really challenge yourself to get to the end…but it’s worth it!

Like most of our workouts, you won’t need much in the way of equipment for this one, but it helps if you have access to a TRX. It’s not a big deal if your gym doesn’t have one though; just find a machine that mimics a row when you get to that station.

Here’s what you’ll be doing:

-Reverse Lunges
-TRX Row
-Elevated Plank Hold
-Skaters
-Spiderman Push-Ups
-Open/Close Tucks
-Hip-Ups
-Tricep Dips
-Mountain Climbers
-Russian Twists
-Supermans
-Bike Abs

Once you get to the end, go back and do it two more times!

Leave us a comment and let us know how you did! You can also get in touch with us at FWOEdmonton@gmail.com.

Want more? Click the links below to go through some of our previous WorkOuts:

Big HIIT
(Not So) Short Circuit
Medicine Ballin' Out of Control
Stop & Stair
(Kettlebell) Pyramid Scheme

See you next Friday!

The Hoop & The Harm: Notes from the Hardcourt

Twenty-Six & Counting

Remember when Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert said that a “dreaded spell and bad karma” would follow LeBron James wherever he went?

That quote comes from the same “open letter to the fans” where he personally guaranteed an NBA championship before James wins one in Miami and promised that the team’s “energy, focus, capital, knowledge, and experience” would be directed towards that very goal.

Was all of that supposed to start this season?

With a 99-96 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers set an NBA record with a 25th straight loss…but the milestone week didn’t end there! A loss on Wednesday to the Detroit Pistons tied them with the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the longest losing stretch in major American pro sports history!

That sets up a heavyweight match up on Sunday between the Cavs and the Washington Wizards, who are 0-25 away from home this season. CBS Sports’ Heat Stroke says LeBron James wishes it was on national TV because “something has to give in that game.”

Which of those two streaks would you rather see continue after Sunday’s epic tilt?

Personally I’d rather see the Cavs losing streak keep going – once you get that far into it, you may as well really put your mark on the record that you’ll continue to set with each subsequent loss!

Melo-Drama

If you thought the Carmelo Anthony trade talks died with the NJ Nets pulling out of discussions a few weeks ago, you couldn’t be more wrong!

The NY Knicks are still in the hunt for Anthony’s services, but things took an interesting turn this week when a team came out of nowhere to take over the ‘Melo headlines. While there are probably upwards of 25 teams that Carmelo Anthony would not accept a trade to right now, I have a feeling that if this club were to swing a deal, he would gladly accept. After all, he says it’s about winning championships at this point in his career. So, who was it?

The LA Lakers!

ESPN reports the Lakers have had preliminary discussions with the Denver Nuggets about a deal that would send Anthony to LA, with Andrew Bynum (and maybe some others) going the other way. Then again, they’re also reporting that some other sources say there is no deal, so who knows!

If he doesn’t end up in Los Angeles or New York, there remains a possibility that Anthony stays put and once again suits up with the Nuggets next season, says the Denver Post.

Chris Dempsey reports that the player said he would “take a real hard look” at the Nuggets’ offer, which is a three year, $65-million deal, if he isn’t traded by the February 24th deadline. A key piece to getting Anthony back in blue and yellow will be the team brass showing a real plan for the future though…

Like most players, ‘Melo wants to win and he wants to win now (or soon). If they can make some moves and show that they’re committed to bringing home some hardware, they just might keep him yet!

NBA’s Funniest Home Videos

Who doesn’t love a good blooper?

In basketball, like in any other sport, there are certain things that can happen to you during the course of a game that are seen as the gold standard of embarrassment. For example, if you are trying to make a play and you fall, no one will say anything…but if a player crosses you up and you fall in the process, it’ll probably make the highlight reels!

Just ask Orlando’s JJ Reddick:


Missing a wide open net is another one that’ll land you in the blooper reel, though in basketball it can get extra embarrassing in a hurry! If a hockey player has a breakaway on an empty net, the flashiest thing you’re likely to see is someone trying to pick a corner or put it top shelf. In basketball, a breakaway usually means it’s time for some kind of fancy move – it doesn’t always go as planned though, as Andre Iguodala shows us:


Other stuff…

The NBA says it will allow skin-tight uniforms for the upcoming All-Star game…That’s fine, just don’t bring back the short shorts!

The Association copies the NHL and partners up with Marvel…we all know the NBA version will end up being way cooler though!

Miami Heat guard Eddie House was fined $25k for pointing to his crotch after hitting a big basket earlier this month!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Kerrzy’s Notebook: Around the Rinks

Savard Done

Could this be the last we see of Boston Bruins playmaker Marc Savard?

The 33-year-old won't play again this season and, while he doesn’t want to entertain the thought of never playing again just yet, his career may be over at this point. After taking a heavy (legal) hit from Colorado’s Matt Hunwick in January, Savard suffered his second concussion in 10 months and he says a bunch of the post concussion symptoms came back to him.

Savard told reporters that the Hunwick hit “wasn’t a bad hit at all” and the player had actually reached out to him a couple of times since that game saying he felt terrible. First of all, good on Hunwick. It wasn’t a dirty hit by any means, but I’m sure a lot of people around the hockey world cringed when they head the sound of Savard hitting the boards and saw him drop to the ground.

This part kills me: ESPN reports that after the hit, Savard said to the Bruins athletic trainer Don DelNegro “Why?, Why again?”

I really feel for the guy…he is/was one of the most underrated players in the league, a guy who was over a point per game for five straight years before injuries and concussions took over his life. Think about the years of hard work that got him to where he was and then think about how quickly it all turned around, starting with that Matt Cooke hit. It literally took seconds to undo all the things Savard had done to become the hockey player that he was.

It’s got to be tough on a player to have a make a decision like the one he made on Monday, but I think we can all agree that it’s probably the right choice.

March of the Penguins

Speaking of concussions, Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has been out since early January with his head injury.

I say early January because it looked like the concussion probably happened on January 1st but he played his next game and took another heavy hit, which was cause for some controversy at the time. Whenever it happened, Crosby hasn’t played since and reports out of Pittsburgh say he won’t be playing any time soon.

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review (via TSN) says the 23-year-old won’t even be able to start exercising until late next week and will probably be out until at least March. If you’re counting, that would be over 20 games missed due to a concussion. The scary part (for Pens fans, anyways) is that March isn’t a sure thing and it really depends on how Crosby’s body reacts.

Obviously the Penguins are going to want to be as careful as possible with their superstar, but at the same time, they are getting pretty thin up front with Evgeni Malkin done for the year as well.

Somehow Pittsburgh is still winning without their two studs on the ice, but surely that can’t last forever…

Blame the NHLPA?

Who is leading the charge when it comes to getting headshots out of hockey?

Is it the NHL? Well, they seem to be making the rules and (sort of) enforcing them. It appears as though they are taking it seriously, but that might just be because of public pressure to do something.

So, is it the fans leading the charge? I don’t think so – at the end of the day, the league knows we’ll all be watching (and paying good money to do so) whether or not they put in a little rule that says a player can’t try to decapitate a fellow player.

So who is it? According to the NY Post's Larry Brooks, the people who would most benefit from these despicable acts leaving the ice surface are the ones pushing for weaker penalties!

That’s right – Brooks says the Players Association has “consistently argued against punishments that fit the crime of head-targeting.”

He says sources are telling him that the PA only signed off on rule 48 (the blindside hit to the head rule) on the condition that no big suspensions were handed out. You know, the type of “send a message” suspensions that would rid the game of headshots in half a season?

If what Brooks says is true, we (or at least I) have been directing our anger and confusion towards the wrong group all along!

I don’t understand though – why would the players be against stiff penalties for a vicious type of hit that really has no place in the game? We’re not talking about “standing a guy up at the blue line” type hits here. We’re talking about “wait until he’s not looking, swoop in and elbow him in the ear” type hits. Why wouldn’t players, as a whole, want that crap out of the game?

What do you think: Are you surprised to hear the allegations that there is some resistance on the PA side when it comes stiff penalties for hits like Dan Paille on Raymond Sawada? Do you find it frustrating that not only is it up to players to not make those hits, they are also allegedly influencing the decision to hand out weak punishments?

For me, the answers are “yes” and an emphatic “yes.”

Other stuff…

Photobucket

The FBI is helping out in the search for the Stanley Cup winning puck from last season…I know what you’re thinking, but Chris Pronger says he doesn’t have it!

Speaking of pucks…as the puck turns 135, NHL.com looks back on its history (frozen dog poop?)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Kerrzy’s Notebook: Star Spangled Blunder

“Oh say, can you please…by the prawns early right. What so proudly we fail, something Twilight and Glee.”

Okay, so it wasn’t that bad, but Sunday’s Super Bowl in Dallas, Texas, wasn’t all about the Green Bay Packers beating the Pittsburgh Steelers – we were also treated to another chapter of National Anthem flubs and a billion dollar stadium fail!

Lets start out with the stadium: ESPN reports that there were some “structural issues” with the temporary seating in one part of the stadium, which meant that the people who had paid $800 to sit there were unable to. Since they had nowhere else to go, those fans were given the choice of watching the game on big monitors or from the standing-area section of the stadium…

Don’t feel too bad for them though – everyone who didn’t have a seat got a refund of triple the face value of their ticket ($2,400), tickets to next year’s Super Bowl, free swag, food and drinks and they were allowed on the field after the game!

You know why the NFL was so generous though right? Next year’s Super Bowl might only happen on Madden NFL 12!

So that was the pre, pre-game drama, but it got better! As we all know, before any professional sporting event can begin in North America, we have to take a moment to sing a song about the country we live in. Unfortunately, that responsibility fell into the hands of Christina Aguilera, who maybe should have rehearsed a little bit ahead of time!


Now, I’m not saying that I could do any better (those damn high notes), but an American should know the words to the Star Spangled Banner!

You’d think that, but it seems to be one of the most mangled songs of all time, as you’ll see in the video clips below:

Jesse McCartney blows a tire in the first couple of lines while performing the US national anthem at the Pepsi 500 (made funnier by the fact that the news anchor introducing the clip makes a mistake too!)…


What should you do if you mess up during the anthem…start over? That’s what the Eli Young Band did at a KC Chiefs game (I love the crowd’s reaction when he messes up!)…


Remember Roseanne? Remember the time she tried to sing the national anthem…as obnoxiously as possible?


Here’s a good one featuring boxer/MMA fighter Butterbean before a bout in Poland. The Polish guy singing the anthem forgets the words…and Butterbean looks none too impressed!


Finally, who can forget that poor woman who was supposed to sing the anthems before a Canada/USA hockey game a few years ago – she started, forgot the words, went to get her sheet of paper and slipped on the ice when she came back out…


Bonus anthem story: Yahoo's Puck Daddy brings us a tale of national anthem redemption – an 8-year-old girl had the sound cut out on her as she was singing at an AHL game last month and the crowd finished the song for her. Well, it turns out she got a second chance and nailed it!

Got any other national anthem fails? Have you ever been tasked with singing the song? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Kerrzy’s Notebook: 15 Minutes of Fame

Happy Monday!

Here at “15 Minutes of Fame,” your favorite sports video blog, we try our best to brighten up the start of your workweek by acting like a couple of sports-loving goofs in front of a camera for half a half an hour…and this week is no different!

On this edition of the show, we’re talking about some lineup changes for the Edmonton Oilers, Anderson Silva’s big win at UFC 126 and the latest NHL comeback. In the GABBYs: A big week for hockey fights (and a dirty hit), a possible dream fight in the UFC, KHL slap shots (and Russian injuries) and strange name changes!


See something that you think should be a GABBY? Give us a shout! You can get a hold of us on Twitter @15MinutesYEG, you can find us on Facebook or shoot us an email at 15MinutesYEG@gmail.com!

For last week's episode, click here. Thanks for watching!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Kerrzy’s Notebook: Random Friday Thoughts

What’s in a Name?

It’s been four days since Fernando Torres made headlines in the soccer world by moving from Liverpool to Chelsea on a record breaking transfer, and while he gets ready to face his old club on Sunday, one Liverpool fan is mourning his team’s loss more than any other…

His name? Fernando Torres McCormark.

This Is Scunthorpe says the man, formerly known as Shaun McCormark, changed his name in December to honor his favorite team’s best player. Now he is left with a tough decision: does he stick with his club and get his name changed to something else, or does he follow Torres and become a Chelsea supporter?

“I am considering what to do. I’ve not yet decided whether [or not] to change my name,” he tells TIS, who say it cost him £13.39 to swap his name. “He is the best thing that has ever happened to Liverpool FC. I also chose the name because I never liked the name Shaun and it never felt right.”

I wonder if any Edmontonians named their kid Wayne in the mid-1980’s only to be doubly heartbroken on August 9th, 1988…

UFC Dream Fight?

It looks like we’ll never get to see Floyd Mayweather Jr. get into the ring with Manny Pacquiao, but there’s another “dream fight” that could be in the works!

UFC president Dana White got fans talking this week when he hinted at a possible fight between Middleweight champion Anderson Silva and Welterweight champ George St. Pierre. The Canadian is just coming off another title defense and will put his belt on the line in April once again, while Silva faces Vitor Belfort on Saturday at UFC 126.

White says if both guys win their next fights, he’d like to make it happen, saying “I think it’s time.”

If you’re familiar at all with these two, you’ll know that they have both dominated their weight classes for some time now and that this is a fight that has been talked/dreamed about for ages.

St. Pierre would probably go up in weight for the fight and TSN says the Montrealer has stated that he would stay at 185-pounds rather than have his weight go up and down. It makes sense that he'd eventually move into another weight class after basically running the table on the welterweight division of the UFC.

White says GSP/Silva could even happen before the end of the year! Wouldn’t that be unreal?

Sabres to the ‘Peg

Sorry Winnipeg, cruel joke.

Buffalo Sabres majority owner Tom Golisano has reportedly agreed to sell his stake in the team to Pennsylvania businessman Terry Pegula – a $189-million deal that includes a clause that says the team cannot be moved.

Some reports say Golisano turned down a lot more money to secure a deal that would keep the team in Buffalo, which should make hockey fans in that city happy!

Before he gets out of the ownership game though, I think the NHL should ask for his help. He decided he wanted to sell, he found a buyer and he completed the transaction. The NHL has been trying to sell the Phoenix Coyotes for how long now?

The latest on that situation has Commissioner Gary Bettman saying “time is getting short” when asked about the potential sale of the team to Matt Hulsizer. I wonder if the Coyotes will ever have an owner?

Cam You Believe That?!

The Carolina Hurricanes lost 3-0 to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night, but it could have been more!

Did you see the save that Cam Ward made on Toronto’s Tim Brent?


Why was he an All-Star again?

Kerrzy’s Notebook: Boston Beatdown/Another Headshot

If you missed the first 1:20 of Boston’s 6-3 win over the Dallas Stars on Thursday night, you pretty much missed it all!

It almost seemed like the Bruins and Stars had been tipped off that there would be some kind of power outage at the two minute mark, so they should try to get as much game in as possible early on. The first four seconds of the game featured three stoppages and three fights, and it was 2-0 Boston by the 80-second mark. Have you ever seen anything so crazy?

If that wasn’t enough drama for one game, there was another fight at the 3:51 mark and there is likely a suspension on the way for something that happened during the second period…Lets start out with the first 1:20 though:

Right off the opening faceoff, it was Gregory Campbell against Steve Ott at centre ice. With those two in the box, they dropped the puck again but this time Shawn Thornton dropped the mitts with Krys Barch for another solid tilt. After two fights in two seconds, would we finally see some hockey? Nope! Off the next faceoff, Adam McQuaid and Brian Sutherby went at it (this one was a beauty). The action didn’t end there though - Milan Lucic scored 35 seconds in and Patrice Bergeron made it 2-0 at the 80 second mark. I feel bad for the people who were late to this game!


This next incident is just unfortunate – Boston’s Daniel Paille was tossed from the game for a hit on Stars winger Raymond Sawada that most definitely falls into the “blindside hit to the head” category.

Sawada, playing in his first game of the season and the eleventh of his career, was chasing down a loose puck just inside the Bruins zone when Paille came across the ice and hammered him. It looks like a cover version of most of the hits seen in that video the league sent out at the start of the season about headshots. No matter what angle you see it from, the principal point of contact is the head of an unsuspecting player.


Stuff like this just makes me sick.

You know what the worst part is? Paille shares a locker room with guys like Patrice Bergeron and Marc Savard, two players who have missed serious time because of blows to the head, and he still goes out and makes a hit like that. Paille was there to see what Matt Cooke did to Savard back in March of 2010, the effects of which are still lingering and may play a role in ending his 2010/11 season, maybe even his career.

Paille must have seen how that blindside hit to the head affected his teammate, how hard it was for him to claw his way back into the lineup (too early, as it were) and then how he had to fight to get healthy again when post-concussion symptoms hit. Just recently, he saw his comrade find the sidelines again when he took another shot to the head from Colorado’s Matt Hunwick (though it was nothing compared to the Cooke hit).

I don’t want to be too hard on the guy, but what was he thinking?

Turn on the TV or fire up the internet anytime concussions are “trending” in the hockey world and you’ll hear plenty of critics ready to question whether or not the league is doing enough to get rid of headshots. The GMs will be discussing that very topic in their next round of meetings. Maybe they’ll form a committee or a sub-committee and perhaps someone will write a report and fill it with various recommendations. The NHL can do all of that and more, but until players show each other enough respect to not make that useless hit, it’s a lost cause.

Before anyone accuses me of pushing for the “wussification” of hockey, let me just say that by no means is that the case. Nothing gets me more charged up than a big hit or a great fight. When I see teammates sticking up for one another on the ice it makes me think back to the camaraderie of any team I’ve ever played on. When a fighter lowers the boom in a tilt at centre ice, I’m on my feet with the rest of the crowd. That’s not what this is about.

If you can tell me what’s “tough” about popping a guy in the head when he isn’t looking, I’ll shut up.