All posts by Dennis Kane

The Sad Story of Roy Spencer And His Son Brian

Imagine how proud Roy Spencer must have been. Imagine the thoughts that swirled through his head. The phone call had finally come, and when he would see the game, there would be no words to describe it.

Roy’s boy Brian was about to play, on national television, for the fabled Toronto Maple Leafs in his first NHL game.

Brian Spencer had been no angel growing up, not by a long shot. The boy was quick-tempered, and quicker to fight, but everyone in Fort St. James, a dark, blue-collar town in northern British Columbia, knew he was a chip off the old block. After all, old man Roy was known in those parts as a fiery, hard-living, no-nonsense type of fellow, and his family, for all intents and purposes, was a tough family in a tough town.

Brian had a twin brother and the two played for hours each day during the cold winter nights on the backyard rink Roy had built behind the simple log cabin they lived in. Roy would often go out with the boys and slowly teach them the finer points of the game, especially how to play with an aggressive edge, because, as Roy would explain, this way would lead to the pros the fastest. Forget about being the next Dave Keon or Jean Beliveau. Forget about smoothness, concentrate on toughness.

Those hours in the backyard paid off, because in 1969, the Toronto Maple Leafs chose young Brian and he was sent to the Tulsa Oilers, a farm team of the Leafs, for grooming. Brian played hard, and in 1970, with the Leafs facing Chicago in the playoffs, the call came. Brian Spencer was being brought up to play for the big team.

When Brian learned he was going to Toronto, he quickly made his own call. It was to his dad Roy back home who, by that time, was dying from kidney disease. He was playing, he told his dad, and his game was to be aired on Hockey Night in Canada from coast to coast!

Bad kidneys or not, it must have been one of the best days of Roy’s life. For a proud hockey dad, something like this just doesn’t get any better.

In the end, it couldn’t have gotten any worse.

The CBC knew nothing about Roy and Brian Spencer and the big debut in the Leafs uniform, and for whatever reason decided to air the Vancouver-Oakland game instead. It was a decision that led to tragedy.

Roy, once he realized what was happening, rose from his chair in front of the television, got into his car with his rifle, and drove 85 miles to the nearest television station, in Prince George.

At the station, Roy demanded they show the Leafs game, a demand that was refused, and the RCMP were called. Roy found himself in a shoot-out with the police, and the proud dad, who only wanted to see his boy playing in his first NHL game, was quickly shot and killed.

In Toronto, young Brian was wearing the famous blue and white uniform of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and between periods, he was interviewed on Hockey Night in Canada. It was the biggest night of his life, and he was sure his dad was watching and smiling, with chest pumped with pride.

What Brian didn’t know was at the same time he was being interviewed, his dad was being shot to death. He learned after the game.

Brian Spencer’s career lasted 10 years, with stops after Toronto in Long Island, Buffalo and Pittsburgh. In 1987, Spinner, as he was known, while living a drifter’s life in Florida, was charged with kidnapping and murder but was acquitted for lack of evidence. Three months later, while he was beginning to get his life back in order, he was murdered by a young hoodlum trying to rob him.

Tour Gets Cut Short As Gaston Loses His Mind

So it’s come to this, and frankly, I’m not surprised. Gaston has always said there’d be a day of reckoning. He’s so full of it.

 Gaston is blaming me for the untimely and grizzly decapitation of LaBois. He says it was me, and only me, who cut off his uncle’s head with a chainsaw.

 Hey Gaston! Ever think about stand-up comedy?

 I was nowhere near LaBois at the unfortunate time. I was, uh, at the mall, yeah the mall, that’s it.

 If you go back a few pages to where there’s a photo of Gaston making a spectacle of himself by flinging himself upon his dead uncle, who, by the way, used to talk behind Gaston’s back, you will see that the deed was committed by someone with a chainsaw, and I don’t even own a chainsaw. My neighbour does, but I don’t.

 Hah!

 Anyway, Gaston says I should be put in prison and the key should be thrown away, but I pay no attention to him, or his picture, because I was at the mall. And I don’t own a chainsaw. And there’s no fingerprints on LeBois.

 So the tour is cut short today because of Gaston’s accusation.

And it’s too bad. There’s lots of Powell River to be seen.

Please disregard Gaston’s photo as he thinks he’s funny and my being accused of chainsaw decapitation is no laughing matter. Disregard the photo.

You can find the full tour simply by clicking “Tour of Powell River’ over in ‘categories’. Trust me, Gaston’s sort of normal in most of them.

Take A Break From The Madness And Watch Something Wild!

Jaromir Jagr’s been reported to have signed with the Russian club Avangard Omsk of the new Continental Hockey League, and the list gets smaller.

 

The Continental Hockey League will begin play in September, and consists of 24 teams, 20 of which are from the Russian Super League, plus one lower-tier Russian club, plus teams from Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Latvia. The plan is to also land teams from Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic etc down the road, and be a major rival of the NHL.

 

So  that’s where Jagr is going, if the reports are true, and anyway, I’m not sure he would’ve been a good fit in Montreal. He’s just a shell of his former self. And anyone called Yammy and not Rocket, le gros Bill, or le Demon Blond, probably doesn’t belong in a cherished Montreal Canadiens uniform anyway. These uniforms are reserved for players NOT called Yammy.

 

This free agent madness has been going on for days now, and I’m sure you’re as tired as me about all the nonsense of overspending, speculation, Mats Sundin, Marian Hossa, waiving no-trade clauses, blah, blah, blah.

 

You need a break. So just click on this gem sent to me by Mike, and allow a lttle amazement into your life. If you don’t speak french, don’t fret, the talking only lasts a few seconds. Then the real action begins. Enjoy today, enjoy a break, enjoy some pool.            dominoespool

Welcome to Montreal, Georges Laraque.

I suppose it’s time to take stock in what’s gone down so far in Montreal. Alex Tanguay is now a Hab, but Mark Streit, Michael Ryder, and Mikhail Grabovski aren’t. That became- add one, deduct three.

So it only figured that Bob Gainey wasn’t through. But there’s no Mats Sundin, no Marian Hossa, no Jaromir Jagr, no Todd Bertuzzi, and no Markus Naslund. (Although Sundin, Jagr, and Bertuzzi continue to flutter in the wind.)

Gainey did something a little unexpected. He got big Georges Laraque, possibly the NHL heavyweight champion of the world, for three years, 4.5 million.

Is this good?

I think it’s fantastic. The Habs, with all their finesse, all their speed, and all their creativity, have lacked a component that we knew they needed. Someone to beat the bejeesus out of a rival player who just took liberties with our good but small players like Koivu, the Kostitsyns, Plekanec etc.

Laraque may not be a star, but either was Dave Semenko and Marty McSorley in Edmonton, who just happened to be key members of the Oilers because they looked after Gretzky and the boys.

Some may laugh at Gainey’s newest dealing, and some may hate it. But I think Georges adds a new dimension to the team. An important dimension.

Maybe Pierre McGuire, Bob McKenzie, and all the media boys will finally stop saying the Habs are too soft and too small to go all the way.

And what’s next for Gainey? Could Bertuzzi, Jagr, or Sundin still be in the mix?

Who knows? All I know is, it just got a lot scarier to play against Montreal now.

The Tour Carries On. And Then Disaster Struck

 The continuing saga of Gaston and his magnificent tour of Powell River was going swimmingly. Here he is at the beach with his pal “Starfish”, which is the name he chose for a starfish he became buddies with. “It’s not rocket science”  Gaston explained to me.  “Starfish is a lot more lively and interesting than you.”

And you wonder why I get upset with this guy with little man syndrome.

 We then drove into the oldest part of Powell River, near the old paper mill, where millworkers 80 years ago mostly lived, and it’s here Gaston suggested a picture of the Patricia Theatre, which is the oldest running theatre in British Columbia. I thought, finally Gaston is being a normal tour guide.

 But then disaster struck and I don’t really know exactly how to put this in words. When we got back to the house, Gaston made a grizzly discovery. There was Wilfred LaBois, Gaston’s favourite uncle, decapitated in a terrible chainsaw accident.

Gaston took it well for awhile, then broke down and flung himself on his uncle, which the photo clearly shows. “He was a great uncle,” said Gaston quietly. “He was an important part of our family tree, and more than once, he went out on a limb for me.”

 Please note:

If you’re interested in all the journeys of Gaston in the beautiful town/city of Powell River, just click on ‘Tour of Powell River’ over in the categories section on the right side. If you’re going to move here, you might as well have a look at it before you do. And please disregard Gaston’s boorishness. He means well.

Wasting A Week Wondering About What Would Work

Such a wasted week this has been. It had been announced to us that the Habs had received exclusive permission to negotiate with Mats Sundin, and the scenarios danced through our heads. Sundin, along with Alex Tanguay, were going to catapult Montreal to the top of the heap, the leading contender for next year’s Stanley Cup. It reminded me of Frank Mahovlich coming to Montreal from Detroit in 1971, who fit like a glove in Montreal, winning a Cup his first year there, and again two years later.

 

Sundin was going to be like Mahovlich. It was going to be great. So we waited.

 

Then we waited some more. Then some more. Sundin has remained quiet, even though Montreal GM Bob Gainey has given it the old college try. And I mean, as long as he doesn’t sign anywhere else, I suppose there’s always that chance.

 

But we were still excited. After all, if Sundin didn’t agree with Montreal, then Brian Rolston would, or Brian Campbell, or Marian Hossa. Or somebody. ANYBODY?

 

It looks bad now. Others teams are now in the picture, including the dastardly Vancouver Canucks, who blew it wide open with a two-year, 20 million offer to Sundin.

 

Hossa remains quiet still, but I think he’s overpriced and overrated, although if the Habs do sign him, I’ll probably renege on this statement.

 

Hossa could still sign with Montreal, but he’s no Sundin. Sundin’s the prized catch.

 

So the week went by and we watched the news and read the papers, wondering when the big announcement, the big signing, would come in Montreal.

 

But nothing’s come. It was a week wasted. We got Alex Tanguay and lost Michael Ryder and Mark Streit. Montreal hasn’t really come out of this smelling like roses, like we thought.

 

But I think Montreal has some spending money.

 

Hey, it’s not over till it’s over.

Listing The Signings. Sundin And Hossa Still Missing In Action

Even though you can get this information in a lot of different places, I wanted to put it out just so you don’t need to go elsewhere, as boring as it may be. There also doesn’t seem to be enough space here to list them. And please excuse the lack of capital letters. I can’t fix it.

Mats Sundin and Marian Hossa are still out there, as is Jaromir Jagr, and I’m hoping Montreal still has a shot at Sundin, but it’s really hard to figure.

This is what has happened today. Including Mark Streit going to the Islanders for five years, 20.5 million, and Montreal re-signing Andre Kostitsyn. Other than, all’s quiet on the Canadiens front.

9:50PM

 

 

 

New York Rangers re-signed goaltender Steve Valiquette (undisclosed) 

8:06PM

 

 

 

New York Islanders sign defenceman Mark Streit to a five-year contract worth $20.5 million

7:59PM

 

 

 

Minnesota sign forward Craig Weller to a two-year contract worth $600,000 a season

7:44PM

 

 

 

Tampa Bay Lightning sign forward David Koci to a one-year, two-way deal worth $525,000 in the NHL, $100,000 in the minors

7:37PM

 

 

 

New York Rangers sign UFA defenceman Wade Redden to a six-year contract worth $39 million

7:18PM

 

 

 

New Jersey Devils sign UFA forward Bobby Holik to a one-year contract worth $2.5 million

6:42PM

 

 

 

Toronto Maple Leafs sign UFA forward Niklas Hagman to a four-year contract worth $12 million

6:42PM

 

 

 

New York Rangers re-sign UFA defenceman Michal Rozsival to a four-year deal worth $20 million

6:34PM

 

 

 

Vancouver Canucks sign UFA forward Darcy Hordichuk to a two-year deal

6:33PM

 

 

 

Philadelphia Flyers sign UFA forward Nate Raduns to a one-year deal

6:32PM

 

 

 

Philadelphia Flyers sign UFA forward Glen Metropolit to a two-year deal

6:24PM

 

 

 

New Jersey signs UFA forward Brian Rolston to a four year deal worth $20.25-million

6:15PM

 

 

 

New York Rangers sign UFA forward Patrick Rissmiller to an undisclosed deal

6:06PM

 

 

 

Philadelphia signs UFA defenceman Ossi Vaananen to a one year deal worth $1-million

6:01PM

 

 

 

Columbus signs UFA defenceman Mike Commodore to a 5 year deal worth $18.75-million

5:40PM

 

 

 

Chicago signs UFA defenceman Brian Campbell to an 8 year deal worth $56.8-million

5:04PM

 

 

 

Buffalo signs UFA goaltender Patrick Lalime to a 2 year deal worth $2-million

4:27PM

 

 

 

Ottawa signs UFA goaltender Alex Auld to a 2 year deal worth $2-million

4:14PM

 

 

 

Tampa Bay signs UFA goaltender Olaf Kolzig to a 1 year deal worth $1.5-million (plus bonuses).

4:02PM

 

 

 

Colorado signs UFA forward Darcy Tucker to a 2 year deal worth $4.5-million

3:49PM

 

 

 

St. Louis matches Vancouver’s offer sheet to RFA forward David Backes at 3 years, $7.5-million.

3:43PM

 

 

 

Chicago signs UFA goaltender Cristobal Huet to a 4-year, $16.875 million.

3:41PM

 

 

 

Florida signs UFA forward Cory Stillman to a 3 year deal worth $10.6-million

3:40PM

 

 

 

NY Rangers sign UFA forward Aaron Voros (undisclosed)

3:40PM

 

 

 

Pittsburgh signs UFA forward Eric Godard to a 3 year deal $2.25 million

3:38PM

 

 

 

Tampa Bay signs UFA forward Adam Hall to a 3 year deal worth $1.8-million

3:24PM

 

 

 

Toronto signs UFA goaltender Curtis Joseph to a 1 year deal worth $700,000

3:24PM

 

 

 

Toronto signs UFA defenceman Jeff Finger to a 4 year deal worth $3.5-million a season

3:09PM

 

 

 

Phoenix signs UFA forward Todd Fedoruk to a 3 year deal worth $3.175 million

3:07PM

 

 

 

Detroit signs UFA goaltender Ty Conklin to a 1 year deal worth $750,000

3:07PM

 

 

 

Montreal re-signs RFA forward Andrei Kostitsyn to a 3 year deal worth $3.25-million a season

3:03PM

 

 

 

Colorado signs UFA goaltender Andrew Raycroft to a 1 year deal worth $800,000

2:53PM

 

 

 

Washington signs UFA goaltender Jose Theodore to a 2 year deal worth $9 million

2:50PM

 

 

 

Phoenix signs UFA defenceman Kurt Sauer to a 4 year deal worth an average of $1.75-million a year

2:02PM

 

 

 

Pittsburgh Penguins re-sign UFA defenceman Mark Eaton to a 2 year deal worth $4 million

1:58PM

 

 

 

Minnesota Wild sign UFA forward Andrew Brunette to 3 year deal worth $7-million.

1:33PM

 

 

 

Vancouver signs RFA forward Kyle Wellwood to a 1 year deal worth $997,500.

12:55PM

 

 

 

Boston signs UFA forward Blake Wheeler to an entry-level contract.

12:52PM

 

 

 

Tampa Bay sign UFA forward Radim Vrbata to a $9-million, three-year contract.

12:04PM

 

 

 

Anaheim re-sign forward Corey Perry to a five-year deal worth $26.625-million which will average $5.325-million a year.

11:58AM

 

 

 

Pittsburgh Penguins sign forward Pascal Dupuis to a three-year deal which will average $1.4-million per season.

11:58AM

 

 

 

Detroit Red Wings and veteran defenseman Brad Stuart have agreed to terms on a 4 year contract that averages 3.75 per year.

11:35AM

 

 

 

New Jersey re-signs forwards Jay Pandolfo (3 years, $7.5 million) David Clarkson (2 years, $1.675 million)

We Just Have To Relax, Wait, See What Happens, And Think Bad Thoughts About The Vancouver Canucks

It’s 4:33 PM on Canada Day, and aside from the Habs signing Andrei Kostitsyn to a three year deal worth 3.25  season, (but we already knew he was going to re-sign), nothing has happened to put Montreal over the top.

 

Stay tuned.

 

But aside from that, I’d like to say this to the Vancouver Canucks, who have made an offer to Mats Sundin for two years, 20 million: You are in my bad books. I was slowly begin to tolerate you, but now, you are so much in my bad books that you can’t get any further in there. I hope you sign him, you miss the playoffs, and then he retires.

 

My posting on all of this is being delayed until I find out who’s going to Montreal.

 

 HELLO, FREE AGENTS GOING TO MONTREAL!  ANYBODY HOME?  WHERE ARE YOU?  

Goldie And Kurt Were Almost In Hell. But They Got Out

It’s a shame what happened to Goldie Studlendgehawn. She caught up on her reading, she said, because there was just nothing to do while she was in Vancouver. Except maybe listen to the pitter-patter of raindrops on her roof.  It must have been horrible.

 

Goldie Studlendgehawn, who shortened her name to Hawn and became what she became, told Jay Leno on the Tonight Show a few years back that her and love-of-her-life Kurt Russell lived off and on in Vancouver because their son Wyatt Russell was honing his craft as a goaltender in the Junior ranks there.

 

But they were bored. They had to whittle their days away in their rented three million dollar, 7000 square foot, five bedroom, eleven fireplace igloo in some backwater part of “The City That Fun Forgot.”

 

Nothing to do in Vancouver? There’s more than 2000 restaurants and almost as many bars. And what about the traffic jams? Surely, Vancouver’s traffic jams are almost as good as Los Angeles’.

 

There must be lots to do in Los Angeles. Marvel at gangs as they fight over drug territory. Spend hours looking for the sun through the smog. Enjoy lovely beaches provided you don’t get shot at on the freeway on the way there.

 

And it’s fun to think if young Wyatt would have gotten traded to the the Powell River Kings. After all, the young fellow was stopping pucks for the Coquitlam Express, a junior stepping stone, just like, gulp, the Kings.

 

It’s something Kurt and Goldie probably didn’t want to think about. Although if it had happened, they may have thought about disowning their young Jacques Plante.

 

But the glamorous couple might have liked Powell River. They could’ve joined the Moose or Legion, made new friends, played darts, and quickly forgot about the nightmare they went through in Vancouver. They could’ve dined on those wicked fish and chips at the bowling alley, eaten prawns, lawn bowled, and danced the night away at the raunchy Westview Hotel.

 

It would’ve been great if Wyatt had been traded to the Powell River Kings. It would’ve been so much fun to hear a couple of Hollywood stars screaming at the top of their lungs all up and down the Sunshine Coast.

 

And Goldie Studlendgehawn could’ve sat in Powell River and watched reruns of herself on the Tonight Show, as rain pitter-pattered on her new Powell River roof.