Today is a crummy day. Viktor Tikhonov, Murray Oliver and Pat Quinn all died within 24 hours of each other this weekend. Oliver and Quinn were best friends. Both grew up in Hamilton and played their junior hockey at the old Hamilton Forum, a.k.a. the Barton Street Barn. Oliver died of a heart attack early Sunday morning. Quinn passed later in the evening. Of all the stories I heard about Pat Quinn, the one he told me about the Bobby Orr hit was the greatest.
There are certain traditions I love about hockey. I love the announcement of the 3 Stars at game's end. And, at the conclusion of a playoff round, the handshakes between the two teams. But now there's the more recent "tradition" of the winning home team gathering at centre ice at the end of the game and "saluting" the fans by waving their sticks. This act must be eliminated, and the Toronto Maple Leafs decided last night to be the first one's to "kill" this absurd behaviour.
Despite the protestations of many Bluejays fans, this was a welcome move. Signing a catcher, and a very good one at that, was a higher priority for the Bluejays than we thought. Let's face it, they haven't had a good one for a long time. Now they have a former Gold Glover who will help the young pitching staff to reach it's potential.
One of the great discussions in sport centers around the Hall of Fame, and who is worthy of induction. In hockey, there's been an ongoing argument ever since Bob Pulford was elected, despite mediocre numbers and 4 Stanley Cups. Thanks to our friend "Down Goes Brown", Daniel Alfredsson is now the man under the microscope. Is he a true Hall of Famer?