All posts by Dennis Kane

Jean Beliveau Is The Best. And Why Did The Memorial Cup Fall Apart?

You have to wonder why the Memorial Cup broke in half the other day. When captain Chris Buton of the Spokane Chiefs was about to hand it over to a teammate, it just broke in half.

This isn’t right. The Memorial Cup.  Cripes.

Who’s the trophy maker? And who’s the guy that was handling it before the presentation? Didn’t he notice it felt kind of loose and unstable?

It’s unacceptable. A major trophy like that breaking for no reason at all. Did somebody remove the screws? And even though the original is safe and sound in the Hockey Hall of Fame, is it too much to ask that the working one doesn’t fall apart.

What happened?

 

Now this about Jean Beliveau.

A letter to the Editor of the Ottawa Citizen from Thomas Charbonneau of Arnprior, Ontario.

 

   “Jean Beliveau is truly a class act. The Citizen’s Valentine’s Day story about his marriage to his lovely spouse Elise was timely and enjoyable to read.

   It also reinforces what I know to be a love affair between Beliveau, children he has touched, and in general the rest of us who are Canadian and Canadien. One doesn’t have to be a hockey fan to appreciate his generosity and to understand how he feels about his role as a person and ambassador of the sport he loves so much.

   I recall that during the summer of 1968, Beliveau came to Victoria, BC as a spokesman for the Ford Motor Company of Canada. It was a warm Saturday afternoon and there was a large gathering of people at a popular car dealership to see him. The majority were children of all ages and they all wanted to shake his hand and get an autograph. I was there as a police officer assisting with crowd control and I was within a few feet of Mr. Beliveau.

As the event wore on, time became a factor for what I surmised was a busy schedule, and the publicist accompaning Beliveau was prompting him to cut short the visit and leave. I recall vividly Beliveau saying “these kids came to see me and get an autograph…when they have received what they came for, we’ll leave.”

Amen. I thought at the time that his generosity, his care to ensure those children were not short-changed and his genuine affection towards them has stayed with me ever since. There have been times when I recalled witnessing his patience and sincerity when I have been under the pressures of day-to-day life.”

Thomas Charbonneau

Game 2. Is It Going To Get Worse For The Pittsburgh Penguins?

Am I ever all glad I’m not a Pittsburgh Penguins fan. All the anticipation, all the confidence, and all the high expectations for Sidney Crosby, Marian Hossa, and Evgeny Malkin. Now, after two games, the Detroit Red Wings have won both games, both in shutouts, outscoring Pittsburgh 7-0 in the process. How much more dismal can it get for the Pittsburgh Penguins?       

Sidney Crosby has looked absolutely ordinary.

And Evgeny Malkin especially has so far been lousy at best, and it’s a bit of a flashback to another time. It took years for the Europeans to dispel the notion that they didn’t show up in the playoffs. Players came along like Pavel Bure, Sergei Fedorov, Vladimir Konstantinov, Nicklas Lidstrom, Alex Ovechkin, and Ilya Kovalchuk who showed grit and soul in the playoffs.

Now, the Penguins and Malkin are, for some strange reason, in some sort of deep sleep. They’re boring, lacklustre, and outplayed.

Who would’ve thought? The Montreal Canadiens would’ve given the Red Wings much more a run for their money.

And regarding the Detroit Red Wings, they have seven players on their team from Sweden, and the core of these, Henrik Zetterberg, Nicklas Lidstrom, Johna Franzen, Niklas Kronwall, and Tomas Holmstrom, are playing such a serious game of playoff hockey, that they’re all making Crosby, Malkin, Hossa and company look like the Ottawa Senators.

Wow!

This Detroit team is impressive indeed. Pavel Datsyuk, from Russia, is a magician, and the video shown often the past year of him coming in on a shootout and doing this wonderfully beautiful move stands out as as smooth a goal you’ll ever see.

Such an anticipated series between two colourful teams with a load of stars. But so far, it’s been completely one-sided. Most of us thought this was going to be a sensational series. So far, it’s anything but.

Am I ever glad I’m not a Penguins fan.

Detroit Looks Too Strong For The Penguins. Plus!! How The Octopus Started!

(From last year, 2008)

I just need to say this. There’s still a few things to be ironed out in my new site, which is the one you’re looking at right now. For example, some of my stories on Google aren’t connecting. And we’ve fixed a few other little things. And if the site is a bit slow to boot up, it’s probably because there’a a lot of good stuff on it which wasn’t there before.

I just want to make sure you bookmark it, add to your favourites, or whatever. It’s now dennis-kane.com.

I’m praying you’ll experience no trouble. You are being automatically transferred from the old one to the new one, and hopefully that’s all going well. You just need to bookmark it, that’s all.

It’s very stressful for me. I don’t want to lose readers. dennis-kane.com

Now, to the playoffs. I know it’s early, but my take on all this is that the Detroit Red Wings have just too much ammunition for the Pittsburgh Penguins. They not only have three of the world’s best players in Nick Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, and Pavel Datsyuk, but they keep uncovering lesser lights to come forward and play like Rocket Richard. First it was Johan Franzen, then Mikael Samuelsson and Dan Cleary. Who will be next?

There’s too much fire power there. Of course Pittsburgh has Sidney Crosby, Evgeny Malkin, and Marian Hossa, and this is substantial stuff. But Detroit seems more well-rounded, more experienced, and more confident.

If I was a betting man, I’d lay down hard cash on the Detroit Red Wings. No question about it.

I wonder if Brendan Shanahan is regretting not resigning with the Wings. It could have been an excellent chance to tuck another Cup under his belt.

And speaking of Shanahan, rumour is Montreal might still be interested in him. But he’s old, slow, and he had the Habs wine and dine him before he chose the Rangers at the last second. If I was Bob Gainey, I’d be taking this personally. But business is business, I guess.

But we don’t want him, plain and simple. He didn’t show good character.

The other rumour is that Montreal is also interested in grabbing Marian Hossa for next year. This is a bit better situation than Shanahan, but would he be paid more than Saku Koivu and Alex Kovalev, for example?

We don’t want to rock the good ship Habitants. They’re on an even keel to powerhouse city, and we don’t want any big waves.

ABOUT THE OCTOPUS:

During the intermission of a 1951-52 playoff game at Detroit’s Olympia Stadium, an octopus was thrown on the ice. The fishmonger who threw it later explained that the eight tentacles of the octopus were supposed to symbolize the number of victories needed to win the Stanley Cup. It’s been a tradition ever since in Detroit.

So now you know.

Andrei Kostitsyn Will Stay, A Scary Habs Story, And A New Site That Looks Like The Old One (Almost)

Several things to talk about on this sunny west coast day. And don’t worry, It won’t take long. I know you have a lawn to cut.

(Please note – I’m on a new site now  dennis-kane.com, so please add this new address to your favourites. More about his down below. Thanks.)

Reports say that Andrei Kostitsyn has said his plans are to stay with the Montreal Canadiens and not accept any offers from certain Russian teams with fat wallets. He likes Montreal, he likes the team, and he likes playing with his brother Sergei. Andrei was a free agent and could’ve bolted on us, but isn’t going to now. He’s a star in the making, and we need him for the Quest for the Cup next year. So hip hip hooray to Andrei Kostitsyn!

We like Andrei. He’s a good Hab.

Now a shocker of a tidbit. Are you ready for this?

Sometime around 1950, the Habs were returning from Toronto by train when their car suddenly derailed while crossing a bridge over ice waters of the Ottawa River. Had the car been flung to the right instead of to the left, which threw several players from their berths, the entire team would have plunged into the river.

I didn’t know this before but have just read it in a Terry Sawchuck biography. Imagine. We could’ve lost the entire Montreal Canadiens in one fell swoop. This is all quite unnerving.

Now, the news I’ve been waiting to tell you. You might see a few changes in the look of this blog. With the help of computer whiz Robin Murray, my old site was transferred lock, stock, and barrel over to a new one (although it looks the same) and I have a new domain address. It’s dennis-kane.com.

You have been automatically switched over to the new one through the wonders of technology, and this will always happen but you might, at some point, want to remember the new address, dennis-kane.com.

I moved it to this new one so I can have more freedom. I’ve included tasteful ads, and a world map showing where people live who have gone on my site. There’s CBC daily sports news updates, a whole bunch of Habs videos you can watch, and other cool things.

This blog is very important to me and I want it to grow, and it is. It was stressful doing these changes because I basically didn’t have a clue, but Robin took on the challenge, and with great patience and know how, came through for me. He never got angry at me with all my questions and obvious stress showing all over my face and voice, and he just carried on with a smile, tweaking and suggesting, and getting it done.

I grew up with typewriters, and so Robin became more important than you can imagine. If you have any questions for this great guru, he’s at greatoutdoorstoday@gmail.com. He’s a friendly sort.