Neate Sager

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Neate Sager is a blogger for Yahoo! Sports.

  • Kelly McCrimmon turns down Leafs, stays on with WHL's Brandon Wheat Kings

    The Wheat Kings won the WHL regular-season title under McCrimmon this season (WHL.ca)The Wheat Kings won the WHL regular-season title under McCrimmon this season (WHL.ca)

    It is a good rule of thumb to move up for the right opportunity, not just any opportunity. Apparently, Brandon Wheat Kings coach, general manager and owner Kelly McCrimmon is operating on the principle that if he's cut out to work in the NHL, then an other chance will come along in due time.

    There has been weeks of speculation that McCrimmon would be the Toronto Maple Leafs' latest hire out of major junior hockey. However, on Monday, TSN's Darren Dreger reported that the 54-year-old McCrimmon is staying with the Wheat Kings, who are pegged as the early favourite to win the WHL next season, when the Memorial Cup will be held two provinces away in Red Deer. The Wheat Kings confirmed it.


    From the team's release:

    The WHL’s Executive of the Year in 2014-15, McCrimmon had discussed a management position with the National Hockey League’s Toronto Maple Leafs.
    “I have made the decision to remain with the Wheat Kings,” says McCrimmon. “I was honoured to have been considered for a position with
    Read More »from Kelly McCrimmon turns down Leafs, stays on with WHL's Brandon Wheat Kings
  • NHL draft tracker: Anthony Cirelli, Oshawa Generals

    Cirelli scored both Generals goals in the Memorial Cup final on May 31 (Aaron Bell, OHL Images)Cirelli scored both Generals goals in the Memorial Cup final on May 31 (Aaron Bell, OHL Images)

    No team was higher than the Oshawa Generals after Anthony Cirelli scored the Memorial Cup-winning overtime goal three weeks ago. With the NHL draft a few days, away, though, the gritty speedstar who made the Gens as an undrafted player is staying grounded.

    At this writing, the 6-foot, 165-pound two-way forward is undecided on whether he'll jet off to Sunrise, Fla., to be in person if his name is called. It's in keeping with how Cirelli, who didn't move up to AAA minor hockey until he was 15, takes nothing for granted.

    "Even coming into this year I never thought anything like this would happen," says Cirelli, who is ranked 67th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting. "It's starting to kick in a little bit that I might hear my name called. I'm really excited for it and anxious for it to come. But right now I'm just focused on the work I have to do for next season.

    "I might just stay at home with family and watch it on TV."

    Cirelli played his way on to a powerful Generals

    Read More »from NHL draft tracker: Anthony Cirelli, Oshawa Generals
  • Chatham, Ont., likely to set OHL dreams aside

     OHL player Connor Chatham (Aaron Bell, OHL Images) OHL player Connor Chatham (Aaron Bell, OHL Images)

    There is a little epilogue to the tale of sadness whereby two Ontario Hockey League teams tore up stakes at the end of the season. As you might remember, Chatham, Ont., was bandied about as a possible destination for a team. 

    Now it appears that door is closing. City administrators in the southwest Ontario community, showing a grasp for the obvious, have recommended against building an OHL-size arena project


    From Jake Kislinsky (@jake_kislinsky):

    Staff will give a presentation regarding Chatham-Kent’s arena status [Monday night]. Among the recommendations is to not consider financing a large-scale arena project.
    A 5,500-seat facility could cost upwards of $67-million, costing taxpayers an average of $3-million per year for the next 20 years. In order to break even, CK would also have to attract around 80 events to the facility every year. With larger venues like Caesars Windsor and Budweiser Gardens in London, administration doesn’t believe this is a sustainable option. (Blackburn
    Read More »from Chatham, Ont., likely to set OHL dreams aside
  • Ehlers might have to flip wings to fit with Jets: the coast-to-coast

    Nikolaj Ehlers  after being drafted in June 2014 (The Associated Press)Nikolaj Ehlers  after being drafted in June 2014 (The Associated Press)

    Combing all corners of the country and the blogosphere for your junior hockey headlines ...

    WHL

    Ben Kuzma has a should-read on the background of Prince George Cougars centre Jansen Harkins, who is a potential first-round choice. (Vancouver Province)

    Portland coach Jamie Kompon, on how the team that drafts Paul Bittner will have to play a long game: "If they expect him to be in the NHL two years, that’s a little bit unrealistic. Paul has some growing and developing to do." (Grand Forks Herald)

    Kamloops Blazers forward Deven Sideroff's strong play at the recent world under-18 championship got the Vancouver Canucks attention. (Vancouver Province)

    Listing competing scouting services' draft rankings counts as hustle in the dead-tree medium these days. (Toronto Sun)

    Where does Victoria Royals grad Austin Carroll fit in the grand scheme for the Calgary Flames? (Matchsticks and Gasoline)

    OHL

    USA Today believes Connor McDavid hails from "New Market, Ontario." Isn't the team has the No. 3

    Read More »from Ehlers might have to flip wings to fit with Jets: the coast-to-coast
  • Generals Jones-ing for another Windsor airlift? the coast-to-coast

    Bradley Latour (left) was traded to Windsor on Friday (Terry Wilson, OHL Images)Bradley Latour (left) was traded to Windsor on Friday (Terry Wilson, OHL Images)

    Combing all corners of the country and the blogosphere for your junior hockey headlines ...

    WHL

    Can you imagine if Jake Virtanen has to return to the Calgary Hitmen this coming season after the playoff run he had in the AHL with the Utica Comets? (Hockey's Future)

    The league really, really doesn't want to move the Kootenay Ice, but there is a lot of hankering for another team in British Columbia's lower mainland. (Metro Vancouver)

    Why there's a sneaking suspicion Seattle Thunderbirds' Mathew Barzal will be a top-10 pick in the draft one week from Friday. (NHL.com)

    Portand and Tri-City each have multiple players headed to Team USA's summer evaluation camp. One difference between the U.S. camp and Canada's is the Americans make cuts at camp, but of course, that's the easiest part of any coach's job. (Oregon Live, Tri-City Herald)

    OHL

    Another day in the Oshawa diaspora: overage left wing Bradley Latour has been moved to the Windsor Spitfires. (OHL)

    Read More »from Generals Jones-ing for another Windsor airlift? the coast-to-coast
  • Toronto Blue Jays Danny Valencia, left, gets tagged out in a run down by New York Mets third baseman Ruben Tejada, right, during second inning baseball action in Toronto on Wednesday, June 17, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan DenetteToronto Blue Jays Danny Valencia, left, gets tagged out in a run down by New York Mets third baseman Ruben Tejada, right, during second inning baseball action in Toronto on Wednesday, June 17, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

    Baseball broadcaster Ron Darling attended Yale University, but evidently wasn't a geography major.

    It's been bad week to 10 days for U.S. broadcasters and identifying Canadian geography. First FOX Sports One used a skyline shot of Vancouver to identify Moncton during the FIFA Women's World Cup last week. Then, on Wednesday, Darling called Toronto's CN Tower "the Sky Needle" during the opening of the New York telecast of a Mets-Blue Jays game at the Rogers Centre.

    The geographical gopher ball: "You’ve got the Rogers Centre, you’ve got the Sky Needle, you’ve got beautiful Lake Ontario, and the Mets and Blue Jays coming up after this commercial."

    Well, at least Darling had the right Great Lake, so there is that. During the Jays' first World Series run in 1992, one U.S. network stated Toronto was on Lake Erie.

    In fairness to Darling, whose 13-season Major League Baseball playing career included a three-start whistle stop with the 1991 Montreal Expos, Toronto is not a regular stop for the

    Read More »from Ex-Expo Ron Darling calls CN Tower the 'Sky Needle' during Mets-Blue Jays telecast (VIDEO)
  • Olympic swimmer Barbara Jardin, a Type 1 diabetic, on a crowdfunded comeback

    Jardin, 23, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in September 2014 (Scott Grant, Swimming Canada)Jardin, 23, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in September 2014 (Scott Grant, Swimming Canada)

    Barbara Jardin went through a denial stage before being checked out for diabetes, which the Olympic swimmer was diagnosed with in September 2014.

    That sheds light, in part, on why the 23-year-old is sharing her story of having Type 1 diabetes whilst fundraising for a comeback that she hopes will lead her to the 2016 Rio Olympics. When she first noticed the common warning signs of diabetes — constant thirst, dehydration, oversleeping — in early 2014. Jardin believed that was a result of being overextended by balancing training with studies at the University of Montreal. Late last summer, after a confusing span where she had "trouble finishing my races" at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships and was unable to make the Canadian national team, she finally sought medical confirmation.

    “I kept giving myself excuses — there's this, there's that,” says Jardin, who will compete in her first overseas meet since her diagnosis when she represents Canada and the Montreal Carabins at

    Read More »from Olympic swimmer Barbara Jardin, a Type 1 diabetic, on a crowdfunded comeback
  • Oshawa makes, Toronto and Ottawa take: the coast-to-coast

    Oshawa Generals Tobias Lindberg celebrates his teammate Stephen Desrocher's game-winning goal against the Quebec Remparts during the overtime period of their Memorial Cup hockey game at the Colisee Pepsi in Quebec City, May 24, 2015. REUTERS/Mathieu BelangerOshawa Generals Tobias Lindberg celebrates his teammate Stephen Desrocher's game-winning goal against the Quebec Remparts during the overtime period of their Memorial Cup hockey game at the Colisee Pepsi in Quebec City, May 24, 2015. REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger

     

     

    Combing all corners of the country and the blogosphere for your junior hockey headlines ...

    WHL

    Todd Holt and Sheldon Kennedy plan on being present for Graham James' court appearance Friday on new sexual assault charges. (The Canadian Press)

    Todd Nelson will reportedly be installed as head coach of the Detroit Red Wings' AHL affiliate. Steve Spott, who's also a finalist for the Vancouver Giants job, was in the running for that post. (WWMT-TV)

    Tri-City defenceman Brandon Carlo has all the tools to be a NHL defenceman. (Sportsnet)

    Curtis Hunt is now general manager of the Prince Albert Raiders. No need to point out the Raiders have the longest playoff series win drought in the Dub. (Prince Albert Daily Herald)

    With Nanaimo in the news as a potential destination for a team, Scott McKenzie explains how the longtime Junior A outpost differs from Chilliwack. (Nanaimo Daily News)

    OHL

    So is there any OHL coach or general manager that the Toronto Maple Leafs have not hired? D.J. Smith is

    Read More »from Oshawa makes, Toronto and Ottawa take: the coast-to-coast
  • Why a Memorial Cup format change for 2018 shouldn't be a one-off

    Oshawa Generals captain Josh Brown kisses the Memorial Cup on May 31 (Aaron Bell, OHL Images)Oshawa Generals captain Josh Brown kisses the Memorial Cup on May 31 (Aaron Bell, OHL Images)

    The possibility of the Canadian Hockey League making a radical change to the Memorial Cup for the centenary championship is old news, of course. Nevertheless, when a change is proposed to a living legacy that is a quasi-public trust — and the Memorial Cup is that, unless all those pregame military tributes are just a pandering public relations exercise — the protocol calls for a period of consultation.

    It is good, on the whole, that the CHL, based on what was reported during the Memorial Cup is at least having a discussion about changing it up for the 2018 tournament, especially if it wants to stand out in the Toronto marketplace come that time. The tournament format, love it or loath it, is in its 40s. The original playdown format was used for roughly half-century, so a next step in evolution is arguably just around the corner.

    That being said, the notion of doing "[s]omething along the line of [U.S.] college basketball's March Madness," as the Toronto Star's Kevin McGran put it in a

    Read More »from Why a Memorial Cup format change for 2018 shouldn't be a one-off
  • Vancouver Giants' goalie Payton Lee, centre, covers the puck during first period WHL hockey action against the Calgary Hitmen in Calgary, Alberta on Saturday, Nov.29, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Larry MacDougalVancouver Giants' goalie Payton Lee, centre, covers the puck during first period WHL hockey action against the Calgary Hitmen in Calgary, Alberta on Saturday, Nov.29, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Larry MacDougal

    This is highly speculation although, then again, so is property development, where junior hockey teams have been known to be used as a convenient wedge. The past few seasons have not been the best of times for the Western Hockey League's Vancouver Giants, whose fortunes on the ice and in the stands at Pacific Coliseum have trended downward since their Memorial Cup victory in 2007 and last third-round playoff appearance in 2010. 

    As one of only two major junior teams that has the same geographical designation as a NHL club without being owned by the big-league club, the Giants have a challenge to compete for the live sports dollar. The news that a WHL-size "spectator arena" might be constructed in a convenient, public transit-accessible area of Surrey, B.C., has sparked some scuttlebutt that it might be a solution for the Giants.

    From Steve Ewen (@SteveEwen):

    Consider the news this week that Surrey is looking for parties who might be interested in creating a public/private partnership
    Read More »from Speculation WHL's Vancouver Giants might set sights on Surrey, if arena is built

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