Team Canada's women's soccer team gave it their all but to no avail, as they fell to jolly old England (2-1) in the quarter finals at this year's FIFA World Cup being played right here in Leaf Nation. After losing to the USA in the last Olympics, much was expected from our ladies, especially playing in front of their many rabid loyal fans. But the team seemed to be under too much pressure and played like it; too tense, uncertain, and certainly not aggressive enough. In the semi finals, it will be Japan vs the British while Germany takes on the Americans. Look for a Japan - USA final.
To absolutely no one's surprise, Connor McDavid went first overall to Edmonton (even they aren't that stupid) at the annual NHL Draft, with Jack Eichel, naturally, going to Buffalo. This gives the Sabres a slew of talented young prospects that in a couple of years just might actually pull them out of the basement, along with the Oilers. As expected, there were a few trades made by the GMs, none bigger than what the Bruins gave away when they dealt not only their best power forward, Milan Lucic, but also their rising superstar defenseman, Dougie Hamilton. I want to hear how Gopher, Kyle and Gerring are going to spin this one because they gave away a lot of talent for draft choices that may never materialize
It was great to see Florida's Aaron Ekblad, a "D" man, win the Calder Trophy for top rookie over the Flame's Johnny "Hockey" (Gaudreau) and ex-Wheat King Mark Stone, who just signed a new three-year $10.5 million deal with the Senators. Also fantastic was the Habs goalie Carey Price winning four awards, namely the Hart (MVP), Vezina (top goalie), Jennings (best GAA), and the Lindsay, emblematic as the most outstanding player, and the most meaningful as it is voted by the players themselves.
One more NHL story line - league expansion. IF the league expands in two years (they will because the expansion fee is $500 mil), there are only four cities in the running: Las Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City and another team in Southern Ontario, maybe London or even another one in hockeymad Toronto. Vegas will be automatic while the other one should be in Nordique land, but may end up in Seattle as the Western Conference has only 14 teams while the East has 16, so geography could very well play a role.
Trivia time…name the last two teams that joined the NHL (easy one) and the year they joined (tough one)? For the first time in many, many moons, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers actually beat the Saskatchewan Green Machine right in their own back yard. Drew Willy wasn't sensational and the "D" allowed way too many yards, but the only thing that matters is putting up a "W", and that's just what they did.
WADA (World Anti- Doping Agency) has discontinued its relationship with the CFL and for good reason. The league's punishment for players being caught cheating (with performance enhancing drugs) is so lax and insufficient (they're put on a list and have to attend a guidance session, but there is NO suspension), that WADA is washing their hands of this ridiculous situation. Shame on the CFL for allowing this to happen and, until they put some "teeth" into their drug policy, they'll continue to be the laughing stock of the sporting world. Trivia answer, the Minnesota Wild and the Colorado Avalanche in 2000.
Until next time...