May 2011

Hockey

Vancouver Canucks: Canadian team, not Canada’s team

No Canadian team has lifted Lord Stanley’s mug since the Montreal Canadiens accomplished the feat in 1993, defeating Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings. A few teams have made the Final since then — the Canucks in 1994; the Flames in 2004; the Oilers in 2006; and the Senators in 2007 — but none have succeeded. This year, the Vancouver Canucks have the opportunity to make amends for the 1994 squad that fell to…

Basketball

The Miami Heat and their Medium Three

There’s a trio of basketball players on the verge of winning a championship down in Florida this month, and although one man remains from a previous title run back in 2006, the thought of a new trophy representing the inaugural year of a new regime is just too hard for the three of them to resist. I’m talking, of course, about the Miami Heat and the Udonis Haslem-Mike Miller-James Jones triumvirate that could spell the…

Baseball

The Chicago Cubs and their history of misery

It’s the longest championship drought in professional sports – 102 years and counting – and it belongs to the Chicago Cubs. It was 1908 was the last time the Cubs won the World Series. The President of the United States was Theodore Roosevelt and the Chicago Canal that connects the Mississippi River to Lake Michigan was less than a decade old. A lot has happened in the time since. There were two World Wars, Elvis Presley…

Football

The NFL’s battle for Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a force on the American cultural, entertainment and sporting scenes. The City of Angels itself held 3,831,868 people in 2009, with the metropolitan area containing 15,250,000. Two NBA teams, one MLB team and one NHL team make their homes in the city, with another MLB and NHL team in nearby Anaheim and two MLS teams playing close by at the Home Depot Center. However, the NFL, the biggest sporting behemoth on the American…

Hockey

Winnipeg, Atlanta, and a roster on the move

Are they or aren’t they? And when? Those are the questions circulating through the minds of Winnipeggers as they await the future of the Atlanta Thrashers organization. Rumors surfaced after a May 19 article by the Globe and Mail‘s Stephen Brunt detailing what seemed to be an inevitable move. Chaos ensued through social media, as experts and fans argued over its merit. It claimed that a deal was already in place to move the Thrashers up to the 49th parallel….

Basketball

Last chance Dallas Mavericks: America’s team

Rewind to June 20, 2006. Dallas is at home, playing Miami in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. There’s about 30 seconds left and Miami is holding a slim lead. The shot clock is winding down as Dwyane Wade holds the ball and moves to his left. Dirk Nowitzki stands there, they collide and Wade is awarded two free throws. He hits both and Miami hangs on to win, 95-92. That was the last time these two teams met…

Football

Offensive innovation, the NCAA and the NFL

One of the most notable differences between the NCAA and NFL brands of football is how distinct the offensive systems are. In the college game, you have everything from the run-focused triple option used by Army, Navy and Georgia Tech to the high-tempo spread options of Auburn and Oregon to passing-focused offenses like Hawaii and Houston. Few of those systems have made it to the NFL, though, and while each NFL team has its own…

Hockey

The non-playoff team agenda

Only a small percentage of NHL executives are still involved in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Their peers are either helping players unpack their lockers after a hard-fought playoff run, or have already had a couple weeks of free time before they begin preparation for the 2011-12 season. One of the only advantages of bowing out of contention for Lord Stanley’s Grail before the postseason even begins is the wealth of time you inherit while other…

Basketball

A closer look at the National Basketball League of Canada

Andre Levingston feels the time is right. Levingston is one of the founders of the National Basketball League of Canada, a new professional league set begin play this October. “There’s definitely a thirst and passion for the game of basketball in the country,” Levingston told the Canadian Press earlier this month. “We thought, if there ever was going to be a time to do it, it was now. The country needs it and wants it and we want…

Football

Julio Jones and the art of the draft day trade

Never have the competing philosophies of trying to win now versus trying to win later been more evident than during this year’s NFL draft when the Atlanta Falcons and Cleveland Browns made one of the biggest draft day trades in history; the principal of which being Cleveland’s No. 6 pick Julio Jones exchanged for a package of five Atlanta Falcons draft picks spread out over the next two years. Atlanta came into the draft after…