Why You Should Keep Watching the NHL

This article has been submitted by ex-astro physicist Kevin Smith.

Indeed there is much to be excited about in the sports world, from Tiger’s dominance on the weekends and UFC bouts, to NASCAR back up and running full throttle and baseball’s spring training, it is a great time to be a sports fan. Let’s not forget about the hockey season at hand here, however, as it seems some of us are prone to do. After an exciting trade deadline and action packed season there is still much to be excited about. But despite being so close to the playoffs, the trade deadline seems to perennially herald a decline in interest in the NHL. The wane in interest may be due to the impression that there is no value left in the season; teams are simply jockeying for playoff position. The only problem with that logic is that you could miss out on a lot of great moments, and so I present my three reasons why you should keep watching hockey with as much fervour as ever.
More after the jump!

Belak Dealt, Oh No!

This article has been submitted by Kevin Smith.

This one won’t be a long rant, but it comes from the heart. I am a diehard Toronto Maple Leafs fan, always have been and always will be. I love to watch them, talk about them, discuss past glories and current controversies, and despite having little to actually cheer for the last few years, I love being a true fan of an organisation that I look up to. Why then would they take away a heart and soul kind of guy, a grit player that fans of other teams despise and call a plug, while people like myself buy Leafs TV almost exclusively to watch Wade Belak’s small show ‘Wade a Minute?’ Belak leaves to the Panther’s, who, despite the small nature of the trade, I believe will greatly benefit from his presence, for what? A fifth round draft pick when our first round picks either aren’t making it to the show or play for other teams (re: trading for over the hill power forwards).

Belak will make the Brooks Orpik’s and Steve Downie’s take notice when he’s in the line-up, which will be more frequent with coach Martin never being one to shy away from strong arming the competition when necessary – don’t think he didn’t have a strong hand in this deal. Everyone from Booth to Horton to Jokinen (if he stays, and I think he will) are going to benefit from this, so congratulations boys. On behalf of the Leafs, to Toronto fans everywhere, I am sorry we lost such a character guy for what will undoubtedly be so very little.

This article has been submitted by Kevin Smith.

What We Look For in an Athlete

This article has been submitted by one of the gracious hosts of The ODC’s car for the school year, Kevin Smith.

juneauI was inspired to write this article based on one man, former NHL 100+ point man (1992-93) Joe Juneau. Well, I suppose that isn’t entirely true, as I did immediately recall Shaquille O’Neill’s press conference after his trade to Phoenix this week, though only as a point of reference in contrast to Juneau. I watched an expose on Juneau this Friday on Sportsnet, one that detailed his unique experience coaching kids in hockey and teaching them about life, while fighting to raise the Kuujuuaq, Nunavik community in Québec’s commitment to increasing hockey standards for arenas and youth programs. To Juneau it’s about lifestyle changes, made on the part of the parents on behalf of the children. Says Juneau, “Parents should invest more money in their kids instead of buying their weekly beer case at $125,” referring to the mixed priorities in the Northern Québec community that saw the 14 rinks in disrepair and the kids occupying their time with less constructive activities.
More after the jump!

Year of the Tiger

This article has been submitted by Kevin Smith, he of the broken nose fame and not Mallrats fame.

2008 will be a record breaking year in the golf world. Tiger Woods stands on the threshold of achieving a level of immortality that has eluded such greats as Nicholson, Palmer and Snead. Golf’s illustrious Grand Slam, winning all four major tournaments in a calendar year, has never been closer to one man than it is to Tiger. It all boils down to one simple reason: Tiger just keeps getting better (and better, and better), and he knows it. I know this statement might be met with some derision but not only is Tiger the best golfer in the world today, he is the best athlete in the world today hands down. No one else dominates their sport as much as he does, with as much passion and dedication as he does, and no one can elevate their game to such a high level as consistently as he does.
More after the jump!