Monday Musings: Thornton's beard to the rescue, Cuban says "pick me, pick me!" And when confetti cannons attack

Joe Thornton's beard: Structural miracle or rarity in need of protection? (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Joe Thornton's beard: Structural miracle or rarity in need of protection? (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The San Jose Sharks' loss is the city of Ottawa's gain. Sure, the Sharks might have fallen short in their quest to win The Stanley Cup. With the post-season now behind them, though, it means Joe Thornton can shave that mighty beard of his and its remnants have already found a new home as the city of Ottawa will use it to fill that sinkhole that opened up not far from Parliament Hill, last week (some would say too far from Parliament Hill).

"We'll have some left over when we're done," said Ottawa mayor Jim Watson, adding that the excess has already been designated for use as insulation as renovations at 24 Sussex Drive progress. There may be a bit of a snag, however. UNESCO will vote, today, on whether to declare Thornton's beard a World Heritage Site.

John McEnroe is coaching Milos Raonic as the upcoming Wimbledon championships approach. British Tennis sent out this picture (below) of them together last week. I don't know exactly what McEnroe is saying to the young Canadian in this shot but I'll bet it's either "if we're gonna be seen in public together, you can't wear that." Or... "are you marketing a sports version of 'the mansiere'? I want in!"

Mark Cuban wants to be veep. The Dallas Mavericks' owner has gone on record as saying he would be a running mate for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. He's also said that he would vote for Hillary but not if she chooses Senator Elizabeth Warren as a candidate for VP. Then, he'd vote Trump. So, obviously, Cuban has some passionate, tightly held political beliefs that are narrowly defined by the deeply held conviction that he will back the candidate who points to him first when he raises his hand. Possible secret service code names for Cuban if he gets the nod: If it's Trump, "Waterboy." If it's Clinton, "Fratboy."

The night the lights went out in Regina: So there they are, the B.C. Lions and the Saskatchewan Roughriders, tuning up for the 2016 CFL season at Mosaic Stadium (The present one not the one under construction). There's a power outage that delays the beginning of the second half by about 80 minutes as crews scramble to find the trouble and fix it. SaskPower successfully addresses the situation and then tweets this out:

That's a new one for all of us, I'm sure. Because "Confetti Cannon Causes Power Outage" sounds less like a believable headline and more like a script overview for a bad good episode of Two Broke Girls.

THE LITTLE THINGS

Thanks a lot, Brooke Henderson. I used to point to my big accomplishment as an 18-year-old with bursting pride: Briefly holding the position of top scorer on the Galaga video game at our local arcade. So that's gone now. By the way, good luck to anyone else who still wants to be Canada's Athlete of the Year in 2016.

Seriously? Calling the LeBron James/Draymond Green thing "Nutgate"? It's long past time we just automatically added the suffix "gate" to anything & everything and then thought of it as clever. Besides, if there was actually such a thing as a nutgate, this whole episode would have been avoided.

I fear that the decision to sell free tickets to Muhammad Ali's memorial service for 50 bucks and up will do some damage to the otherwise sterling reputation of scalpers everywhere.

"What a wonderful season. Goodnight from San Jose, everyone. Enjoy your summ-- Uhh... just handed this note... our first pre-season game of the 2016-17 season is tomorrow night...."

BUT SERIOUSLY

I only once met Gordie Howe and it was just a brief encounter. However it was an incredibly memorable moment and one that stands as a testament to the greatness of his legend.

Former Detroit Red Wings hockey great Gordie Howe is seen in an undated image provided by Crown Media United States. A made-for-TV movie, "Mr. Hockey: The Gordie Howe Story," focuses on the season the Hall-of-Famer teamed up with his sons in Houston. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, HO - Crown Media United States, Andrew Eccles *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Former Detroit Red Wings hockey great Gordie Howe is seen in an undated image provided by Crown Media United States. A made-for-TV movie, "Mr. Hockey: The Gordie Howe Story," focuses on the season the Hall-of-Famer teamed up with his sons in Houston. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, HO - Crown Media United States, Andrew Eccles *MANDATORY CREDIT*

One night about 30 years ago, I was part of a hockey team, playing in a charity game at the old Dunlop Street Arena in Barrie, Ont. Howe was there that night as a guest of one of the organizers, although he did not play. Pity that as we all wanted a chance to skate the same surface as Old Elbows.

Anyway, we're in our dressing room during an intermission and the place is all piss and vinegar, filled with the ear-splitting din that all happy dressing rooms are made of. The door opens and someone says "here's Gordie, fellas...."

Immediate silence. Complete silence. And it pretty well lasted the whole time he was in the room, going from one player to the next, shaking hands, each of us listening for every word and reverentially waiting our turn. I don't recall what I said to him as we shook hands, nor do I recall what he may have said to me.

But I will always remember the night Gordie Howe walked in and commanded complete silence.

Rest in peace, Mr. Hockey. Heaven now has its franchise player.