What a glorious Monday. The Yankees are down 0-2, the Dolphins are tied for 1st in the AFC East, there is lots of hockey to watch and if you live in Oklahoma your hockey team will be getting better very soon.
- Taylor Hall will head to OKC tomorrow for a two-week conditioning stint. He will practice with the team for a few weeks before returning to Edmonton to see his doctor. If all goes well he will be cleared and is hoping to play Friday November 2nd v. the Houston Aeros.
- Sam Gagner signed with EC KAC of Austria’s EBEL making him the fifth Oiler along with Ladislav Smid, Ales Hemsky, Lennart Petrell and Corey Potter, who will be playing overseas. Gagner told me he leaves Wednesday, but he likely won’t play this weekend because he’ll need a few days to get all the paperwork approved.
"I wanted to wait a bit to see if we’d get a deal signed with the NHL," he said. "Once you get to this point of the year you want to be playing, and I’m told this league is tough to produce in. Our team just signed Tyler Myers and they have a few former NHL guys so it will be a good test. I wanted to be playing so when we get a deal signed I will be game ready," Gagner told me over the phone this morning.
- The OKC Barons are 1-1 after splitting games v. the Lake Erie Monsters over the weekend. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle went pointless, while Justin Schultz scored his first professional goal. The AHL is much more competitive than people think. They will score soon enough, but no one should expect it to be easy.
- Another crazy weekend in the NFL. The Packers make it clear they are still legit. The Texans struggled in man-to-man, the Giants schooled the 49ers, again, the Colts run-defence was so bad that Shonn Greene racked up 161 yards, the Eagles choked, again, RG3 is the most exciting player in the league and the Dolphins are tied for first in the AFC East. I Love it.
- I respect Tom Brady as a player. He’s an incredible QB, however, I love watching the Patriots lose. I’ll admit it was entertaining watching Richard Sherman, a cocky 2nd-year cornerback for the Seahawks, mouthing off about Brady after the Seahawks 24-23 victory. Read here. Of course it is easy for Sherman to beak off, because he doesn’t have to worry about Brady embarrassing him on the field for at least three more years. I like it when players get fired up.
- Robinson Cano owns a playoff record that no batter wants: 26 consecutive ABs without a hit. The Yankees have scored in only 1 of 21 innings v. the Tigers. All four of their runs in game one came in the 9th. Their offence stinks and they face Justin Verlander in game three. The Yankees have trailed 0-2 in a series eight times, and they are a respectable 4-4 in those eight series, but unless they pull a Pedro Cerrano and ask Jobu to take the fear from their bats they don’t have a prayer against the Tigers.
- It isn’t technically a sport, but free falling from 128,100 feet (28 miles) is bat @*&% crazy. I went sky diving this summer from 10,000 feet and it was a blast, but you couldn’t pay me to do what Felix Baumgartner did yesterday. Slow clap.
- The Eskimos have won two straight and likely need only one more win to secure a playoff berth in the east division, but I don’t think their recent success will help them long-term. Read here.
- The NHL and NHLPA will meet tomorrow in Toronto. I know that in 2004 they went three months without meeting, but for the past few weeks they’ve met and made ZERO progress. It would be nice to get a mediator who would instruct both sides to come up with a new proposal. Until either side sees a new proposal there will be no progress. With every passing day the NHL is becoming less relevant in the USA, and in hockey-mad Canada the fans are becoming more annoyed by the day. Most of us will watch the NHL when it returns, but will you watch it as much? If there is a 20% dip your spending habits, tickets, merchandise, and your viewing habits the league will feel it. If this lockout lasts a full season, I sense many fan’s sporting passion will be spread out, and not focused solely on the NHL.