Monday, August 13, 2007

Some Guys Use DeLoreans, Others Use Phonebooths. All I Need Is A Newspaper

I found something amazing in my basement the other day. I have in my hands the Toronto Star's Sports section from April 29.


The front page, yellowed and smelly but still serviceable, had three stories, as well as pictures of a moody looking Al MacInnis sporting ugly World Championships issue Team Canada duds and Billy Ranford taking some serious goaltender interference. The lead story was boxing - Thomas Hearns beating Micheal Olajide if you care, which leads me to surmise that the primitive people of the early nineties still cared about boxing.

Also ran was a story about the Blue Jays, losers of three straight taking their latest from the White Sox 5-4 at Comiskey Park, which is probably the funniest way of spelling US Cellular Field I've ever seen. The Jays went on to record an 86-76 finish which was considered disappointing by the spoiled fans of the early nineties Jays. The Jays starter that night in April was a dude named Mike Flanagan who the Internet tells me only started five games all season and was out the door by the next one. The White Sox debuted rookie Jerry Kutzler who got the win, which must have been the highlight of his career because he only played six more games in the bigs and I can't say I don't feel glad to know that.

The bottom story was about the St. Louis Blues forcing game seven against the Chicago Blackhawks thanks to two goals by Brett Hull. The winner of game seven, Chicago, incidentally, would go on to face the eventual Stanley Cup winners, the Edmonton Oilers in something called the Norris Division finals. Call me a smart-assed ankle biter if you will, but how did the NHL get by with such useless division names? And why was Toronto grouped with the Western teams, while we're at it. Staying topical, the Hawks coach at the time was Calgary's current new flame (oh man, I totally did not intend that pun) Mike Keenan. Daaang has that guy been around. The Hawks were also relying on the unproven goaltending of some kid named Belfour, who lasted all of two and a half minutes before the Keener yanked him.

Delving inside, we find the reason for Al Mac's resigned scowl was because Team Canada had lost to those damned Czechoslovaks 3-2 at the World Hockey Championships in Bern. Canada was coached by Dave King (who is speculated elsewhere to soon make the jump to the NHL, though that would be delayed for two years) and the goaltending tandem of Kirk Mclean and Bob Essensa while the Czechoslovaks went with Dominik Hasek. The article hearkened back to simpler times in the NHL, when there actually was some difference between North America and European hockey, when the Soviets were still scary, when Alan Eagleson was still cool.

Below that is an piece on the outraged Habitants who were of course still in shock that they would not be drinking from the Cup that year. "They've become so accustomed to winning, many consider it some sort of divine right that they keep Lord Stanley's old goblet year after year." I think it's safe to say that after fourteen years without it now, Montreal is probably over it's withdrawal symptoms. But the columnist was no fool. "...Montreal is, as usual, not far removed from the Cup." I don't think I need to remind you who won the cup three years later.

Misc hockey notes: The owners of the Minnesota North Stars are planning on selling their franchise in order to obtain an expansion team in Silicon Valley and the Nordiques are looking to sign their number one overall draft pick, a spunky Swede with generous blond hair, Mats something who is showing "a large amount of talent" while with Djurgarden, recent winners of the Swedish Elite Division, beating out Hakan Loob's Farjestad.

This one has nothing to do with sports, but there is a giant ad for what is described as "The Ultimate Business Weapon". Yes, we're talking cellular phones. The Motorola cellular phone is of course the lightest and smallest model on the market at a slim and svelte 12.3 ounces and 15.8 inches and features a novel way to hang up. Simply flip the mouthpiece shut to end the call! Oh my! Ok, I'll stop.

Page Six features a small blurb about the world snooker championship, which is probably exactly one more small blurb about snooker than the Toronto Star has ran in the last decade.

And finally, file this one under "Some Things Never Change" but the back page featured several goalies complaining about the rampant goaltending interference and abuse they've had to suffer. I'm sure they'd be happy to know that 17 years later, their descendants are keeping the fight alive.


1 comment:

walkinvisible said...

that's awesome. like, truly...

...Mats something who is showing "a large amount of talent" while playing for Djurgarden alongside Hakan Loob

sorry to burst your (or the ages past columnist's) bubble but mats never played alongside my boy loob. håkan's team, farjestad BK, lost to djürgardens in the 90 elite league finals (if i'm not mistaken). either way, loob never played for the stockholm based squad.