Friday, August 14, 2015


The Saskatchewan Roughriders are so bad, they have the CFL’s top offense through seven weeks and still haven’t won a single game.  This, despite, their head coach turfing the defensive coordinator at the end of last season because he wanted a better unit and also wanted to run it himself.  It’s a mighty big plate of crow that will need to be consumed at the end of the year.

I’ve watched a lot of junior hockey players come through Yorkton in my fifteen years of living in this city, but two of my favorites have to be Dustin and Chad Nehring.  Dustin, to me, never was fully credited with how great a Junior ‘A’ defenseman he really was.  In his 20-year-old season, he missed about fifteen games and Yorkton’s record was around .500 when he didn’t play.  When he did play, they seldom lost.  They won a championship, actually.  To this day, I consider him the best shot blocker the Terriers have had since 2000.  He was also tough as nails and contributed better than a point per game as a defenseman.  You don’t see many of those types.  And, if I had my pick of any 20-year-old defenseman that the Terriers have had, I’d start my team with him in a heartbeat and that’s with all due respect to the Norrish twins, Devon McMullen, and Perry Faul.  Dustin was that good.  Chad is one of the most focused kids I’ve ever seen.  I remember sitting down with him in his final year here and he was very determined to pursue an NCAA scholarship and was keen on learning what more he could do in order to make it happen.  Well, he not only made it happen but he’s carved out a nice pro career to boot and will try out next month with the New York Rangers.  Chad’s 28-years-old.  NHL tryouts don’t get handed out for fun to 28-year-olds.  He’s not a kid anymore, but I still look at him as one and I couldn’t be more in his corner as he pursues his childhood dream.  Chad, by the way, has been a great mentor for younger guys like Davis Vandane and Turner Ottenbreit.  Davis will tryout with Chad’s pro team from last year (Hartford Wolfpack), while Turner returns to the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds.  I can’t help but wonder if Chad had that same mentor when he was 18 if he wouldn’t already be in the NHL.  I wish him all the best.  Dustin, as many know, runs a very successful construction business in Yorkton and is a steady contributor to the local economy, especially through the football ventures at Century Field.  I’m proud of both of those guys.

The NHLPA has filed a grievance over the Los Angeles Kings’ handling of the Mike Richards situation.  Richards was stopped at the border and is being investigated on possible drug offenses, but absolutely no charges have been laid and it’s been a few months since the incident occurred.  The Kings, who were looking for an out of his undeserved large contract, used a loophole in the collective bargaining agreement to terminate the contract because of the off-ice incident.  They have hid behind the fact they are a team that demands high morals of its players.  Well, if that was true, defenseman Slava Voynov would have been sent packing long ago.  Voynov was charged over a year ago with assaulting his wife.  Actual charges.  The league (not team) suspended him and then the Kings proclaimed it would be best to wait out the legal process before making a decision.  Voynov pled guilty to some of the charges and Los Angeles now says that since he’s done his time, he deserves a second chance. 

Here’s the problem with ‘let the legal system play out’ defense with teams and players.  Ray Rice was never found guilty of anything.  Legally, didn’t commit a domestic assault.  Yet, we all saw the video.  He’s not guilty, yet he sits without a team willing to give him a second chance.

The federal election campaign, so far, hasn’t focused on any issue.  Instead, it’s on Justin Trudeau’s sex appeal and Thomas Mulcair’s ability to be a jovial soul.  The NDP are trying hard.  They’ve changed Thomas’ name to Tom.  I’ve gone one step further and will refer to him as Tommy.  They also have him laughing and smiling more in public.  I guess that makes people vote for you and you don’t even have to talk about your platform.  Trudeau was seen, over the weekend, patting a pregnant woman’s tummy.  How sweet. You can bet if Stephen Harper did that, he’d be branded a creep.  That, my friends, is what we call a double standard.

Speaking of double standards, pretend a male television announcer is conducting a report from a lively music festival and an attractive, scantily clad, woman runs up to him and kisses him on the cheek while on live television.  What would our reaction be?  Most of us would laugh and tell jokes about it and say ‘how lucky’ that reporter is.  Well, this very thing happened to a female reporter as an attractive male did what I just described.  The reporter filed an RCMP complaint and the majority of the general public was outraged.  The man has since apologized and it looks like cooler heads will prevail. 

Nice people this week:  Sherry Popov, Karlie Shewchuk, Amber Merriman, Brenda Kulpa, and Jill Datema.

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