I listened to an interesting piece on CBC radio while driving home from work yesterday, about Ligue Nord-Americaine De Hockey (LNAH), a Quebec semi-pro league featuring teams from Trois-Rivieres, Sorel, Thetford Mines, Jonquiere, Riviere-Du-Loup, Saint-Georges, and new this season, Cornwall, from across the border in Ontario.
It’s similar in some ways to serious senior hockey, where players have day jobs and make their way to games after a hard day’s work. LNAHers are paid in the neighborhood of $300 a game, and fans at the rink can enjoy four dollar beer, two buck french fries, and 3.2 fights a game.
Aside from the fights, the calibre of hockey seems high. The league is packed with ex-juniors, ex-pros from various leagues around the continent, and even some old Habs like Stephane Richer, who toiled for Sorel during the 2004-05 season, Marc-Andre Bergeron with Trois-Rivieres in 2004-05, and Donald Brashear, who continues to dish out knuckle sandwiches with Rivieres-Du-Loup.
Maybe it’s just me, but I say Brashear should just put his skates in the closet and move on to something else. He’d probably make a fine nightclub doorman or mafia enforcer. A video of his most-recent thuggery can be seen in the video below.
Here’s the LNAH standings as of today, January 16.
And here’s Brashear doing what he does best, being a goon. This is his shot on Jonquiere’s Gaby Roch that now has Donald suspended. (video via Raph 2117)
From the CP wires, Jan. 11, 2013.
MONTREAL – Former NHL tough guy Donald Brashear was suspended six games by the minor-pro Ligue Nord-Americaine de Hockey on Monday for a nasty attack from behind during a game last week.
Video of the incident showed Brashear punching opponent Gaby Roch in the back of the head from behind, touching off a bench-clearing brawl between his Riviere-du-Loup 3L and the visiting Jonquiere Marquis.
The league, which translates as North American Hockey League but is not related to a circuit of that name based in the United States, is known for highlighting fights.
Brashear, 41, joined the league after his NHL career ended in 2010.
He had 85 goals in 1,025 career games for Montreal, Vancouver, Philadelphia, Washington and the New York Rangers. His 2,634 penalty minutes ranks 15th all-time.
CBC’s The Irrelevant Show describes nicely the total amount, er, experience of going to an NHL game. This could come in handy for those who’ve never been and would like to know what to expect. This is a radio show, so sit back, put your feet up, and light a stogie. Just click here
Whenever I read a story from CBC’s Elliotte Freidman or Bob McKenzie at TSN or any of the other hockey guys telling us about the lockout and how it’s going, I always notice a bunch of comments that basically say the same thing; Who cares. I’ve moved on. Yawn.
So I’m hesitant to talk about it because lots of people don’t care.
Okay, I’ll be honest. It’s a great excuse to stay away because frankly, most of the time I don’t know what they’re talking about. Don’t forget, I was the guy who used to get 10 out of a 100 on my math exams. If I managed 40 out of 100, I felt like Einstein. These words – “fixed targets, make-whole provisions” and the rest is all Greek to me. The only words I know are “He shoots, he scores, Gomez misses the net, Marchand goes for the knees, and Bugsy McSwain takes a dump at centre ice.”
It does seem like the two sides are getting closer though, and it’s possible that hockey will be back in December. If they can figure out that “make-whole” thingy.
Danno has written an excellent letter to the CRTC voicing his concerns regarding Don Cherry and his rants about PK Subban, which ultimately could lead to the young player getting unnecessarily hurt. Danno sent his letter to me and I’m passing it along to you.
I say good for Danno.
Dennis, I’m tired of Don Cherry and how he’s encouraging everyone to hurt PK Subban. So I went and complained to the CRTC about it.
Go here if you wish to make an official complaint about Don Cherry to the CRTC, like I did.
Below is the letter I sent to them outlining my complaint:
Dear Sir or Madam,
During recent broadcasts of Coaches Corner which airs during Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts on the CBC television network, TV personality Mr. Donald S. Cherry has been repeatedly suggesting that Montreal Canadiens defenseman PK Subban will suffer some physical retaliation as a result of his style of play.
He has shown replays of violent acts and attempts against PK Subban as well as videos by other players including Philadelphia Flyers Captain Mike Richards making threatenning remarks against PK Subban.
Mr. Cherry is constantly and openly encouraging, inciting and justifying violent forms of aggression to be taken against PK Subban.
His main justification for the above is that PK Subban is a player who is new to the NHL and therefor should be showing “respect” by not playing with such a flamboyant style.
This is totally unacceptable.
I am shocked and outraged that this hateful vendetta against an innocent individual is allowed to be broadcast on our public airwaves by the CBC, our public television network.
I would respectfully ask the CRTC to intervene on my behalf and on behalf of all Canadians who expect our public broadcaster to uphold our values and standards which include keeping our airwaves free of content which would encourage hatred and/or violence against an innocent individual.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter.
Complaints can also be sent to the CBC’s Ombudsman:
The dust (rain) has settled on the opening day of the Vancouver Olympic Games, and several things jumped out as I watched it late at night with the help of a remote control.
There was the tragic death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili earlier in the day at Whistler, and what struck me, as I’m sure it did many others, was why were there steel beams so close to the track. The Georgian was out of control, flew through the air, and crashed into one of those steel beams that in my eye should’ve been placed back about ten feet. But I’m not a luge track architect so what do I know?
The chiefs of the native bands were late getting to their seats at BC Place and so while the festivities began to unfold, only Stephen Harper, wife Laureen, Governor-General Michaelle Jean, and few others had taken their places; some were in the process of removing their coats and shuffling about, and most of the seats in the box remained empty. To me it looked amateurish and unorganized. How come the chiefs and others were late?
One of the four hydraulic structures failed to rise as Wayne Gretzky, Rick Nash and the others waited impatiently and appeared slightly embarrassed while holding their torches. We all waited impatiently and were slightly embarrassed. How come the hydraulics didn’t work? And reading CBC comments later on, someone mentioned that now the jokes about Canada “not being able to get it up’ have started.
British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell, who was also late getting to his seat, looked like he’d had a couple of extra glasses of wine as he swayed back and forth and waved his flag in his front of Laureen Harper’s face. I think he just wanted to be noticed. He’s like that.
“Oh, Canada” was sung extremely slow and jazzed up by Montrealer Nikki Yanofsky, and judging by comments on CBC, pretty well everyone is in agreement that they hated it. I wasn’t crazy about it either. Why do people want to tamper with anthems?
Wayne Gretzky got into the back of a police pickup truck and rode through downtown Vancouver in the rain to light the final stage. Imagine if the truck didn’t start?
It took Montreal more than two periods to get it even a little bit together against Detroit, mainly because most of the time, especially in the first period, the only Habs players who saw the ice were the penalty killers.
All thanks to Georges Laraque for taking a high-sticking call and then a dangerous tripping/kneeing call to earn him six minutes in the penalty box which begat penaties to Paul Mara, Travis Moen and Ryan O’Byrne shortly after which begat two goals by Detroit, and the Habs fell into a big, black hole that took them forever to crawl out of.
I hold George directly responsible, (and I’d hope he’d agree) for the Habs going down 2-0 after one. And a knee-on-knee that could end another player’s career, which Georges is guilty of, is unacceptable also.
And why did Laraque stick his knee out? Because he spends most of his time standing still and was caught flat-footed. Big Georges is not exactly what you would call a “free-wheeler.” It must make good players in university and the minors wonder why Georges is there making the big bucks and they’re not.
The third period, however, almost made things worthwhile, with Mike Cammalleri, with help from Andrei Kostityn, at least making a game of it by tieing the score at two. The Canadiens had their chances and could have won it, but it was too little too late. They were also outshot by the Wings 34-18 and Carey Price was, for the most part, solid once again.
It’s just too bad Georges was dressed on this night. The result could’ve been different. They were going good in the beginning.
They lost in the shootout but they got a point. And they earned it because they climbed back in it after just one player, their own, had taken them out of it.
Guy Carbonneau worked with Greg Millen and Bob Cole up in the CBC broadcasting booth. Carbo sounded somewhat nervous and didn’t have anything earth-shattering to say, but this can be expected from a rookie. He also needs to put more excitement in his voice. But maybe the Habs don’t excite him anymore.
Due to the Canadiens-Sabres game not being televised, I made an executive decision. Instead of listening on the radio, I watched the Leafs-Detroit game, as a sort of scouting mission. You see, I’m not only an almost-owner and almost-stickboy and almost the guy who makes the players’ wives comfortable, but I’m also an almost-scout. I wanted and needed to get a feel for the Leafs, who the Habs open up against Oct. 1st.
I didn’t see much. Grabovski has put on weight. One of the players walked in to the rink wearing a fedora. Fans were quiet. Komisarek slammed a few guys but not much else, which is what he did in Montreal, although listening to the pre-game patter from the CBC boys, you’d think he was the saviour and a nice blend of Bobby Orr and Doug Harvey. I’m now absolutely convinced these guys paid no attention whatsoever to the Habs last year. Because if they did, why would they speak in such glowing terms about this bum?
From time to time I put aside my scouting duties to check in at the Bell Centre, and I noticed Ryan O’Byrne had a fight, Buffalo led 2-0 in the first and scored a short-handed goal. Short-handed goals are unacceptable. I also noticed that Carey Price is in goal and I’m slightly concerned. This is a guy who needs a big night and it’s not starting out that way.
I then saw on replay that O’Byrne destroyed the guy after the guy hurt Tom Pyatt. See Komisarek? That’s how you fight.
And why can’t the Habs, at some point in time, when all the stars are aligned, not allow any goals in a game? Shutouts are unheard of with this team. When was the last time they had a shutout, 1993? (Just looked it up. It appears both Price and Halak had one shutout each last year although that could be a misprint.)
Back in Toronto, Komisarek just thumped a guy near the net. I thought the announcers were going to have an orgasm. He also threw the puck up the middle which of course was intercepted, and took a bad penalty. Get used to it, Leafs fans, you’ll be seeing a lot of bad passes and bad penalties.
2-2 in Montreal. This is much better.
3-2 Montreal. Much, much better. Price came through in fine fashion. From the stats, it looked like a rough game, a good game, a game that should’ve been televised. Imagine, Leafs coast to coast on CBC, and the Habs nothing. But no wonder - Mike Komisarek and Jonas Gustavsson are the best players who ever lived. And there’s talk now that Gustavsson (The Monster) is better than Terry Sawchuk and Turk Broda combined and will soon be inducted into the Hall of Fame, even though he’s only played three periods in the NHL.
I couldn’t be sure but was that JIm Hughson and Craig Simpson kissing The Monster’s ring in the corridor after the game?
Habs finish pre-season with four wins, two losses and one shootout loss, for nine points. That’s pretty good but of course it doesn’t compare with the magnificent, brilliant and overwhelming display of hockey shown by the Leafs who now have ten points. That’s why CBC shows the Leafs. They’re just too darn good not to.