Milan Lucic has played only 10 games this season and is sidelined with an injury for the second time. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
So, the two biggest stories coming out of Toronto this week have been Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke’s son, Brendan, sharing the fact that he’s gay, and the apparent firing of long-time team mascot Carlton the Bear. (Not to be too flippant, but whatever takes everyone’s mind off of the Leafs, right?)
Congratulations to Brendan for his bravery in coming out, and to all those who have supported him, from the Miami (Ohio) University hockey team, where 20-year-old Brendan serves as the student manager for the top-ranked squad in U.S. college hockey, to his father, Brian, who went on TSN to discuss the matter.
As the elder Burke said, we look forward to the day that this isn’t “a story.” That day hasn’t come yet, but this is a long-overdue step in that direction.
As for Carlton, well, the Bear insists the rumors aren’t true, that there is no way he’s headed for forced hibernation.
And the Leafs? Well, there’s this, this and this. It’s not exactly a recipe for future success, but every dog has its day.
A REVERSAL OF SCHEDULE
It was a weird week in the NHL schedule, no doubt due to U.S. Thanksgiving on Thursday. There were 10 games on Monday – compared to the usual one or two – and then just one game on Tuesday. On Wednesday, an astounding 14 games – only Columbus and Vancouver were inactive – followed by just two games on Thursday, which is usually the second-busiest day of the week (after Saturday). And then things got fast and furious with 12 games on Friday and 13 on Saturday.
In other words, 22 of the league’s 30 teams played three games in four nights…but even that couldn’t prevent the Lions from getting thumped again.
BOSTON’S MISSING MONSTER
Unfortunately for the Boston Bruins, they’re seeing this guy about as often as they’re seeing this guy.
DANY & ALES
So, Dany Heatley finally played in Edmonton, eh? Too bad Ales Hemsky didn’t.
THE PEANUT GALLERY
It’s been a long week; we just closed an Olympic preview magazine as well as a regular issue, and we could all use a laugh around here.
Without further ado, I give you some of the best (Internet-available) pictures in the game of hockey:
Brad May, back in his days with Vancouver, redefines close checking...
Hopefully, this is an optical illusion...
Remember when the only thing that prevented Manute Bol from being the NHL’s next great power forward was the fact they couldn’t find skates big enough to fit him? We do...
This is either Don Cherry or your grandmother’s garden has come to life...
One of these is Hilary and one of these is Carrie…but danged if I know the difference...
It’s not the size of the stick...
Yes, the above statement was just plain sexist and gratuitous. And so is this...
I get it: The Savior is a Goalie...
Thanks for the memories, Paul...
And, finally, nothing says hockey like a monkey on skates.
Sam McCaig is The Hockey News' senior copy editor and a contributor to THN.com. His blog appears every weekend and his column, From The Point, appears regularly.
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