July 25 2012 01:07PM
Fake names or not, fans who post on sites like this are real people with real lives. While that can get lost sometimes amid the goofy handles, that simple fact came back into focus for me today reading Tinfoil Tuque's item about his daughter and his participation in Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer.
It takes courage to relate very personal and often painful stories – when it comes to cancer, unfortunately almost all of us have at least one -- to a group of people you've never met, and I applaud his willingness to do so and his choice to help raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Society Sept. 22.
As anybody who knows him would expect, Jason Gregor of TEAM 1260 chimed in on Tinfoil Tuque's item, saying he might enter a team in the event. Is there a media person, any person, in Edmonton who does more in the name of charity than Gregor? No.
Tinfoil Tuque beat me to the punch today with his story, and that's fine, but I'll also be playing in the all-day event Sept. 22. Lyle Best, likely best-known by hockey fans for his participation with the Edmonton Copper Jackets and as fine a citizen as you'll find in this town, has asked me to play on his team and I've taken him up on that.
While it's been 25 years or so since I've played road hockey, I'm willing to shuffle around the rink all day if Best and his Cancer Crushers team are willing to have me. I'll be playing in memory of my mom, Joan Mary Stewart, taken by cancer when she was just 48, and my brother-in-law Arman Agustin, who passed away last July at the age of 50.
If you'd like to contribute to the cause, the link to my Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer page is here. If you'd like to enter a team of your own, you can do that here. TinFoil Tuque, Brownlee or Gregor, the name doesn't matter. The cause does. Do what you can.
AT RANDOM . . .
. . . It's terrific to see former Oiler Steve Staios land a hockey job, even if it is with the Toronto Maple Leafs, after hanging up his skates as a player. As honest a player as you’d ever meet, Staios always gave you what he had during his NHL career. He'll do the same in his new job. Should have been a guy Steve Tambellini put a call into.
. . . Zach Parise gets $98 million over 13 years from the Minnesota Wild while Alex Semin, who has performed at an equal, if not higher, level offensively through seven NHL seasons, sits and awaits an offer as an UFA. Parise has 194-216-410 and .82 PPG in 502 games. Semin has 197-211-408 and .87 PPG in 469 games. There is more to assessing NHL talent than a spreadsheet, and Semin is Exhibit A when it comes to that.
. . . The clock is ticking on 630 CHED as the radio rights holder of Oilers broadcasts. CHED has two more years left on its deal, but if Bell Media's acquisition of Astral Media is okayed by the CRTC and partner TSN moves into the city as a radio entity, there'll be a battle for rights. In any case, if Bell gets the green light, there's going to be changes on both ends of the radio dial by the time the puck drops on the 2014-15 season.
. . . When Tambellini acquired Ryan Whitney from Anaheim for popular Lubomir Visnovsky, I applauded the deal because the Oilers were getting a younger defenseman for less money. I went as far as to say Whitney would outscore Visnovsky during their current contracts. With Whitney missing big chunks of time since with foot and ankle problems, that isn’t going to happen. That said, Whitney is 29 and Visnovsky is 36 and facing the prospect of playing with the New York Islanders in his declining years. If the Oilers can re-sign Whitney at a decent dollar, which seems likely, and IF he bounces back from his medical woes, it'll wash out as a good deal. It's one I’d make again.
Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.