By Damien Cox Sports Columnist Fri., March 22, 2019 They say growing old is not for the faint of heart. For an aging hockey player, even a very wealthy one, it can also be very unkind. The Leafs’ Patrick Marleau, now 39, is a classy veteran player in his 21st season in the NHL. In the old days, pre-salary cap and pre-analytics, veteran players could age gracefully, be recognized for “intangibles” they brought to the game, things that couldn’t be quantified or challenged. As long as their goals and assists were decent and their plus-minus wasn’t embarrassing, veterans could be shielded from more intense scrutiny. Pre-1993, media and fans didn’t even know what an individual player was earning. Team executives could simply say they were “good in the room” and there wasn’t much you could say to challenge that. Well, those days are gone. There’s nowhere to hide in the NHL anymore. If you can’t … [Read more...] about Patrick Marleau’s contract will be a problem for the Maple Leafs this off-season.
By Bruce Arthur Sports Columnist Fri., March 22, 2019 If one had to guess, the hardest part of being Eugene Melnyk is probably all the enemies. There are so many people out to mischaracterize you, slander you, label you, even though you own the Ottawa Senators! Oh, the labels they employ: shortsighted, absurd, embarrassing, humiliating, intolerable, delusional, paranoid, cheap. I mean, really. Is it paranoia when everyone is out to get you? It must be a relief to get to break through the smokescreen of the mainstream media and tell the truth. Or as people in Ottawa are saying a lot these days, to tell your truth. Thank goodness Eugene got on the radio a couple times this week to fight back against the misconceptions, the media and the Toronto Maple Leafs. “You don’t do a rebuild with a short-term view, and it’s tough in sports, but you have to have a five-year outlook,” Melnyk told Ottawa radio host Bill Carroll on CFRA 580. … [Read more...] about Leaf-baiting Sens owner tops standings in bush league
By Martin Regg Cohn Ontario Politics Columnist Fri., March 22, 2019 Here’s some good news you might have missed: High school class sizes are getting bigger. And better. Possibly you’d already heard the big news that average classes will jump up to 28 students in the upper years (on average, meaning that many classes will head toward 40 to accommodate smaller specialized classes, which might also be sacrificed). Perhaps you just didn’t realize this had been officially reclassified as good news, not bad. According to Ontario’s Government for the People, when class sizes swell by more than 27 per cent, that’s just swell. And when face-to-face teaching is replaced by faceless e-learning — with one supersized online lesson made mandatory in every year of high school (unlike in other jurisdictions) — that’s progress. Article Continued Below Never mind the media’s relentless negativity that portrays the … [Read more...] about The Progressive Conservatives’ new math doesn’t add up
By John Romano Tampa Bay Times Fri., March 22, 2019 ST. PETERSBURG, FLA.—Do not be shocked. And please, do not be fooled. The money committed by the Rays to Blake Snell and Brandon Lowe — potentially as much as $99.5 million (U.S.) — is certainly significant. And, yes, it’s somewhat unusual. But it’s not a change in philosophy or direction. It’s simply smart business. And when aren’t the Rays smart? Article Continued Below There is a huge difference between chasing a free agent and locking up your own assets. Tampa Bay rarely enters the free-agent market because the cost can be grossly inflated by competing bids. On the other hand, the Rays have been selectively aggressive in tying up their own players to long-term contracts when they have leverage on their side. And that’s exactly what they’ve done the past two days. In some ways, it is what the Rays do best. They put their trust in numbers instead of … [Read more...] about Blake Snell’s deal might help Tampa Bay Rays trade him
By Vinay Menon Entertainment Columnist Fri., March 22, 2019 It might be time for Florida to change its slogan from “The Sunshine State” to “Enter at Your Own Risk” or maybe “Where the Insanity Never Sleeps.” Thanks to an internet challenge that went viral this week, Florida is again taking heat as a place where wild-eyed locals have sex with animals or assault strangers with pizza. There can be no doubt Florida, already home to such historical atrocities as a Ted Bundy murder spree and the election of Matt Gaetz, has a growing PR problem thanks to this wacky “Florida Man Challenge.” Though the internet has produced many time-wasters in recent years — Mannequin Challenge, Cinnamon Challenge, Bird Box Challenge — this one is unique in that anyone who plays ends up with the same takeaway: Florida is bonkers. Here’s how it works: You Google “Florida Man,” followed by the month and day … [Read more...] about Florida Man makes us pray for civilization in latest viral internet challenge