Â• After what has seemed like a month's delay, the Stanley Cup final begins in a handful of hours. It's a huge relief to me, if only because I'll get a break from being asked whether the Ottawa Senators are Â‘Canada's Team'.
For the last time Â– they're Canada's team as far west as Kingston and as far east as, um, Ottawa. The modern-day Sens simply haven't been around long enough to accumulate the long-term, widespread devotion the other five Canadian franchises can boast of. Once they beat Anaheim, though, they'll be on their way.
Â• Major props to Sens management for going hard after ticket scalpers. Real fans of the team have waited too long for their Cup moments to have access to those moments put out of their reach by greedy, predatory non-fans.
Â• There's no doubt Rick Tocchet made a lot of friends over the course of his hockey career, which explains why so many people have been quick to offer character references since he became embroiled in a gambling scandal.
There's also no doubt Tocchet deserves to be permanently banned from returning to the NHL after he serves a to-be-determined sentence for his role in the betting ring.
Whether or not he bet on hockey is of no consequence; the gambling issue represents such a slippery slope, every pro sport has to take the hardest of stances against the potential that their employees Â– and, by extension, the integrity of their games Â– are compromised by illegal wagers.
Â• Finally, a comment from blog reader James Harris:
I just wanted to say that your comment on Al Swearengen as an assistant to John Tortorella had me DYING this morning!
Honest to god I laughed so hard that I woke up my wife. Well worth the glare and denial of marital benefits though! Keep up the good work!
Thanks for the kind words, James. I usually specialize in depriving myself of marital-type Â“benefitsÂ” (though I'm not married), but it's nice to know my powers extend beyond just me.