A fortnight to go
No big deal, though, because there’s not a lot going on and likely won’t be.
That means we have to be a tad creative in this little space which means I have to think which means my head will hurt which means I need lots of time to come up with lists and the like.
This exercise isn’t getting any easier with age.
So, two weeks, eh?
|RENE JOHNSTON/TORONTO STAR|
|This stuff is still 2 weeks away.|
Can everyone hang on that long?
I guess there’s no option, is there?
But who do we see when we get to media day in a couple of weeks here and then to Ottawa the day after?
I’m guessing, and hoping, it’s just the 15 guys who have the contracts and roster spots.
The fillers, or camp fodder as they’ve been referred to often, aren’t really necessary and I haven’t heard a suggestion that they’ll bring in a body or two just to fill out the workouts.
Why would they?
Last year, with just 13 guys under contract, they physically needed bodies to get three groups of five for scrimmages with some rest; this year, they don’t.
Just sticking with 15 will allow the coaches to teach to the guys they’ll have all season; there are still enough warm bodies to play five-on-five with a group resting.
Besides, it’s rather awkward, I’d presume, to be “the other guy” who doesn’t have a deal and who’s only in camp as a favour to him, or his agent.
After getting a question on the matter, I checked and am now hearing there’ll be a handful of pre-season games on TV.
Likely – and I don’t have this confirmed – the four games at the Air Canada Centre and the one in London.
That’d make the most sense, low cost, no worries about having to go to Minneapolis, Hartford or Sioux Falls.
If they do the five games, I think that’d probably be the most broadcasts of pre-season games ever.
So, you ever watch Dragon Boat racing?
Super Wife’s team – the mighty Catch 22s – wrapped up their season Sunday morning and the races we saw were quite impressive.
I did have to cover it one time (as part of some ‘guest reporter’ weekend where us beat grunts were seconded to news ever now and then) but that was a long time ago and I forgot how cool it was.
Anyway, it’s a digression but what the heck, it’s digression season and if you can see it some time next summer, go see it.
Do it? Well, I’ll leave that to the more fit among you.
Here’s one I wish I could see: Greece-France tomorrow from Poland.
I know I could probably find it on a three-inch computer screen somewhere but real TV would be quite nice.
Yes, it’s EuroBasket and I can’t imagine it’d get great ratings over here but I also think it’s better than whatever Greatest Games of Last Year tripe that Raptors TV shows every hour.
And, thankfully, we’ll be spare an endless – mindless? -- loop of Michael Jordan games now. If I click through one more of his outings against Cleveland at the Richfield Coliseum, I may barf.
No, Hedo didn’t get seriously hurt over in Poland. I understand there was some kerfuffle about an ankle injury but it’s nothing major or serious at all, I’m told.
Let’s do one from the mail since I want to revisit this issue ‘cause I didn’t get to on the weekend:
Q: Hi Doug. Just a little logistical question for you -- but how do the folks at the Air Canada Centre (and other arenas around the world) put up and take down the ice rinks so quickly?
I have seen video of them assembling the basketball court, and that makes sense to me -- just a lot of work. But basketball shares space with ice hockey, and it seems amazing to me that they can ice up a new rink so quickly. Or do they leave the ice there all winter, and just put the hardwood on top of the ice?
Any details you could share about this would be greatly appreciated.
(Apologies if your Air Canada Centre expertise does not extend to the pucks side of things... Just was hoping you might know).
Like the blog and all the time you put into it. Much appreciated.
James R, Barcelona
A: Hey, love your city, can’t wait to get back.
Anyway, the ice never leaves, as a matter of fact. A layer of insulation – maybe an inch thick? – goes down right on top of it and then the hardwood gets laid over. It’s quite the process.
But, speaking of the Air Canada Centre and the new look, I have to admit they’ve done a heckuva job.
The west side is really cool, I like the pedestrian plaza and the HD TV screen that’s there. I probably won’t ever stand out there and watch a game but I bet lots of you will, if the teams ever get good.
I know from walking through the joint that there used to be lots of congestion by that Gate 1 entrance (we sneak in a sidedoor and get to avoid it) but the new atrium area should alleviate that some.
I will say this about Maple Leaf Sports: They gave kept the building up far better than some organizations do.
The place in Boston, whatever it’s called now, looks like a hundred years old; same with Minneapolis and Philly’s really showing signs of age.
The ACC? Well, it still works and looks good. There are still serious issues about back-of-house space but that’s more logistical for people like us and has no impact on what spectator see and experience.