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The ’72 of 2010 March 23, 2010

Posted by huymix in Sports, Television.
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It’s sports time here on the Snuhzone. While there plenty of feel good stories about the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, I wanted to talk about what I’ve been calling the ’72 of 2010. If you were watching any of the Olympics you have to know about the gold medal game in men’s hockey between Team Canada and Team USA. This is quite possibly the biggest sports moment I have experienced because:

  • The loss to Team USA was scary. Ryan Miller was unstoppable, and Canada had to go through the Russians and 4 games to win it all. It signaled a changing of the guard between Marty Brodeur (even though in my opinion he is still the greatest goaltender in history) and Roberto Luongo. While, I didn’t like the way Brodeur got handled, ultimately it was for the best.
  • Seemingly everyone in Canada watched this game and was pulling for Canada. Unlike the NHL, a Canadian team never unifies anywhere close to as many people as this game did to unify Canadians.
  • Overtime and the overtime winner by none other than Kid Canada Sidney Crosby. About as storybook of an ending you could ever ask for, but in real life.

The whole tournament was a roller-coaster which culminated in Canadian sports history unlike anything I have seen. If the CTV Blu Ray has this game in full, I will have to get it. A big part of my memory was watching the game communally in a bar with my friends all intensely focused on the game. Everything else just cannot compare.

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Brian Burke February 9, 2010

Posted by huymix in Celebrity, Sports.
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Brian Burke is the General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs and was previously the GM of the Stanley Cup Champions Anaheim Ducks a couple of years back. While his hockey moves can be controversial, there has been much made of him since his arrival midway last season. I do not believe Brian Burke is the man to turn the Toronto Maple Leafs around and is actually bad for the organization because:

  • His previous success is way overstated. Burke has been the GM of 1 Stanley Cup team. Unfortunately, not a lot of credit can really be turned his way because many of the key players were in place before he even arrived. He did bring in some key guys as well but most of the heavy lifting (ie. smart drafting of prospects) was done already. When he did GM for Vancouver for 6 years he never reached the finals. His overconfidence can definitely turn him into a JP Riccardi where he thinks he knows what’s best going forward because of some previous success.
  • Overstating his optimism to the fans. It’s funny to think before the season began what he said considering the Leafs 29th position in the league. Seriously, the team was only different in goaltending and some 3rd and 4th liners. The main exception was Kessel who is still a major unknown since the Leafs had no Marc Savard equivalent for him.
  • Unwilling to rebuild through the draft. Leaf fans are loyal enough that they can definitely afford to have a few bad seasons with the rebuilding process in place. Building through the draft is a tried and true method of sustaining success. Some of the best teams have done it this way: Penguins, Red Wings, Blackhawks and Boston. Some teams build through the draft poorly for sure (Atlanta and Edmonton) but those are more a reflection of the management and ownership rather than the method of building through the draft. Very few teams succeed long-term by trading many draft picks away.

Brian Burke’s individual moves will be scrutinized by the Toronto media rabidly and thoroughly. Deals are always done with significant uncertainty and there is no way of removing the uncertainty, you can only manage it. If you are a Leaf fan, I wish you good luck, for a Sens fan like me, I’ll just sit back and watch the ongoing Gong show that is Brian Burke and the Toronto Maple Leafs.