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Hospital Movers Can Learn From Montreal Canadiens

MUHC

McGill University Health Centre

After years of construction, some scandals and much second guessing, Montreal’s Royal Victoria Hospital’s move to the new McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) super hospital site is now mere days away. I hope those who are charged with overseeing things don’t make the same mistake that the Montreal Canadiens made when they moved. Yes, I’m talking about ghosts.

I hope that any bidding on what is no doubt a very lucrative contract included a Ghost Clause outlining how the contractor plans to get the apparitions from A to B.

In 1996 the Canadiens made the move east to their new and bigger digs at what was then the Molson Centre. There was a parade down Ste. Catherine Street and hoopla like only the Habs can do hoopla. But, as evidenced by the lack of Stanley Cups since the move, it would appear they forgot to extend an invitation to the famous Forum Ghosts. Those spirits of past greatness who are alleged to have helped-out subsequent squads once in a while: a few bounces of the puck the home team’s way here, an extra Boston Bruin on the ice there. I have a hunch that the ghosts were irked about the whole move and are dragging their feet (skates?) to show their displeasure. But they will arrive eventually, with any luck this spring.

There is an important lesson to be learned here. Given the Royal Vic’s long history of providing excellent health care, and the claim by many that several spirits have, over the years, taken up residence in the hospital, those overseeing the moving job must figure out how to include the door-slamming, light-flicking specters in the transfer to the new facility. I hope that any bidding on what is no doubt a very lucrative contract included a Ghost Clause outlining how the contractor plans to get the apparitions from A to B.

RVH

Montreal’s Royal Victoria Hospital

I suspect that in an effort to avoid the traffic on Sherbrooke Street, consideration is being given to taking an overland route along Cote des Neiges, Queen Mary and then down Decarie to the new hospital. However I fear the temptation of a quick visit to one of the large cemeteries along that stretch may be too much for the Royal Vic’s ghosts to resist.

Since the move we have watched the ghostless Habs struggle in their quest for a twenty-fifth Stanley Cup. When the issue at hand is the much more important one of providing first-class health care, there is no room for error. The Royal Vic’s phantoms must be made welcome at the new super hospital.

 

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Dear Ottawa Senators Fans

Chris Beauchesne via Montreal Gazette

Chris Beauchesne via Montreal Gazette

A condensed version of this letter appears in today’s Ottawa Citizen

Ottawa_Citizen_April_15_2015

Dear Ottawa Senators Fans,

Let me begin by congratulating you on your team’s advancement to the playoffs. It was a hard fought battle right to the end, and you can certainly be proud of the way your guys turned it on down the stretch. I have a hunch that even while you were concerned about the Senators’ future, like many Montreal fans you took some joy in the pitiful season turned in by the Toronto Maple Leafs.  But now those snide small victories take a back seat to the ‘second season’.

The islands of Manhattan and Montreal are the only two places in North America where turning right on red is not allowed. Believe me, getting Montreal drivers to not go straight on red is tough enough.

While ours won’t exactly be a ‘subway series’, our cities are close enough to allow fans to make the trip to the opposition’s building. With this in mind let me provide you with some tips on how to enjoy Montreal as a fan of the visitors.

Our police are currently – and frankly they seem to always be – on the outs with the city. As an essential service, they can’t actually go on strike so they show their disgruntlement by refusing to wear the official police uniform. So those men and women you may see wearing baseball caps, bulletproof vests and camouflage pants are in fact really police, not thugs. Bear in mind that the only thing Montreal police like more than (insert doughnut joke here) is to pull over an Ontario-plated car that has just gone right on red and present the driver with a fat ticket. Can you imagine the problems should that vehicle happen to have a Senators’ flag flapping? The islands of Manhattan and Montreal are the only two places in North America where turning right on red is not allowed. Believe me, getting Montreal drivers to not go straight on red is tough enough.

Please enjoy your stay by partaking of my city’s countless bars and restaurants. But pace yourself. Keep in mind that closing time is 3:00 a.m.; they often say you can tell tourists in Montreal because they’re drunk at 7:00 p.m.  Remember you can buy beer and wine at corner stores without having to go to a special outlet as though you were having a prescription filled.

While other cities leave (the rafters) exposed, we prefer to cover them with Stanley Cup banners.

While attending the games at the BELL Centre many of you, particularly those with a background in engineering or architecture, will notice a significant difference in the rafters way up high in the building. While other cities leave them exposed, we prefer to cover them with Stanley Cup banners. Save your time, don’t count, there are twenty-four. (I understand a previous incarnation of your team won several Cups, but we both know that was then, and this is now …)

The Sens have sure had the Habs’ number this season, winning three out of four games. But the playoffs are a new start. Perhaps you have heard about the storied Forum Ghosts who allegedly helped out on a few occasions when the team needed it. A bounce here, an extra Bruin on the ice there. Some would have you believe the ghosts never made the trip from the Forum to the team’s new home, as evidenced by the lack of Stanley Cups. This year we lost three Montreal Canadiens greats, including Jean Beliveau and Elmer Lach. Could there now be some BELL Centre ghosts to take up the flame?

Enjoy your stay and may the Canadiens better team win.

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Why is a Shot to the Bollocks – Someone Else’s – Funny?

Soccer

Specialty networks like ESPN, NESN and TSN love highlights. With so many sports and leagues to report on, game highlights are a mainstay; touchdown after touchdown, goal after goal and of course a plethora of slam dunks. The more outstanding feats often get repeat showings and slow-motion analysis. Recently one such exemplary bit of action from the previous night that warranted multiple replays had nothing at all to do with athletic skill, and everything to do with an inadvertent hockey stick to the groin.

Over and over they showed this poor bastard just about being impaled on the blade of a Reebok composite hockey stick during a collision with an opposing player.

Over and over they showed this poor bastard just about being impaled on the blade of a Reebok composite hockey stick during a collision with an opposing player. The television commentators said it was a jab to the groin, but that’s just pretty talk, a euphemism for a shot to the nuts. He would have been better off had his groin taken the brunt of the blow, but nope, smack in the athletic cup which, at that speed, offers some, but not nearly enough protection.

What is odd about these groin related misadventures is that invariably the people watching it will laugh. Truth be told, I laughed. Is it because we feel a sense of relief that it did not happen to us? Should you be testicularly challenged for whatever reason, let me assure you there is nothing, and I mean nothing, funny about it. Yet among those not directly affected it can provoke absolute gales of laughter.

OK ... just breathe

Oh Sweet Jesus … just breathe

These calamities often occur during some sort of sports activity. Often, but not exclusively; don’t overlook the awkwardness and misery of the inadvertent swinging of an over sized purse to the pills situation at a cocktail (where else?) party. Much like its brother, the accidental elbow to the boob, this is accompanied by much embarrassment for all involved.

For those of us who grew up playing street hockey, it was almost a rite of passage. The good old slap-shot of a wet frozen tennis ball that catches you square in the choir buttons. Of course we lads were a compassionate lot, and as the first waves of pain and nausea threatened to mercifully rob you of your consciousness, shouts of “Ding Dong” echoed throughout the neighborhood. We called it ball-hockey for a reason.

My eyes watered and my nose ran, but that seemed appropriate at the time as I was sure my gonads had been lodged in one of my sinus cavities.

Sometimes it’s not in a social setting, sometimes it happens when you are on your own – and have no one to blame. When I was in my early teens I spent many a pleasant hour whipping a lacrosse ball – think SuperBall, but bigger – at the wall of a school building and catching it with a first baseman’s glove. I did this so much that I honed my skills and before long I was seeking a more challenging endeavor. Eventually I realized that if I chucked the ball at the seven or eight cement steps that led to the school’s door, it provided me with a random return; maybe up, maybe down. This kept me on my toes, sharpened my reflexes – sadly, not quite sufficiently. On one particular day I, being a bit cocky (what else), hurled the ball at those steps while running toward them only to have the ball hit in such a manner that it came screaming straight back, about waist-high, and caught me square in the cojones.

Michael Jackson took no chances

Michael Jackson took no chances

I sat there on the same steps just waiting it out. My eyes watered and my nose ran, but that seemed appropriate at the time as I was sure my gonads had been lodged in one of my sinus cavities. Of course eventually things returned to normal, but I still flinch when I see a lacrosse ball.

If there was anything positive about this painful lesson it’s that it happened long before iPhones with cameras and even the Internet. If not I just know I would have been dumb enough to have set my phone to record my great feat of youthful athleticism, only to capture the agony of defeat. I wonder if I would have gone viral?

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

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Boston’s Never-ending Festival of Snow

Boston_Bridge

If I turn on my TV and there are not a bunch of CNN reporters up to their arses in Boston snow I figure something is wrong.

Boston is one of my favorite places, but what ever have you done to deserve this incredibly snowy fate? If I turn on my TV and there are not a bunch of CNN reporters up to their arses in Boston snow I figure something is wrong. (Interestingly these usually include Rosa Flores and Miguel Marquez – is there an assignment editor with a sense of humor who figures the Latinos should report on blizzards?) Like Montreal, you are a winter city, but even winter cities have their limits. Meteorological reports are calling for yet another substantial dump of snow for your area later this week.

Why Boston? You won the Super Bowl in a rather dramatic and much talked about manner. Could it be some sort of Seattle curse that has been visited upon your city? Nope, no worries there as that would most likely involve vast amounts of coffee and you have already handled both a Tea Party and a tsunami of molasses.

(is there a) Seattle curse that has been visited upon your city? Nope, no worries there as that would most likely involve vast amounts of coffee and you have already handled both a Tea Party and a tsunami of molasses.

Your Bruins have lost all four regular season games to my Canadiens, but that should not bring record snow as punishment, even if I frankly believe the Bruins are playing possum (opossum?) and will rise to the task (Rask?) should the teams meet in the playoffs, a virtual rite of spring for many of us.

We can debate why this winter has been so wicked in  New England until the snow melts – well, maybe no one could be expected to do that. But more important is how to deal with the situation. I saw on television that there are numerous “snow farms” around the city. Why with all that fallen snow you would want to grow more on farms is a mystery to me. Melting the snow must be done carefully lest flooding result. Dumping it in the river is one short-term solution, but remember all that urban snow that has been collected from the streets of Boston is far from pure. Salt and god knows what chemicals that are used to keep streets passable end up in the snow. We used to blow the snow onto lawns and parks until the grass started dying from the chemicals.

Boston_HydrantHydrant_Montreal

The mayor asked citizens to lend a hand by digging out fire hydrants. The first problem many of the well-intentioned citizens encountered was finding the hydrants in the first place so they could dig them out. This is where I felt a pang of disappointment. As a snow city Boston should know that even with an average amount of snow, hydrants will soon become buried. The solution is simple: long poles attached to hydrants allow for easy sighting even during a snowstorm.

These poles can be attached during the summer and left, providing a clear view of all-important fire hydrants even after a major snowfall.

Boston_Hydrant

Of course if there are no poles, a little improvisation goes a long way. Part of me wants to point out that by the end of April the Bruins will have no need of their hockey-sticks, and they could be put to use. But another part of me believes in hockey gods, and understands that would be tempting fate!

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

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Cartoonist Pastis Moving To Montreal; Here’s A Few Tips

Montreal_Pastis

Mr. Stephan Pastis
Cartoonist, Pearls Before Swine
San Francisco (soon to be Montreal)
USA

Dear Mr. Pastis,

This past weekend your relocation plans were made public to Montrealers in Bill Brownstein’s piece in The Gazette. We Montrealers are a proud lot, so your decision to move to our great city is a pleasure to behold.

Just as your current city San Francisco is more than mere trolley cars and Rice-A-Roni, Montreal is much more than smoked meat and bagels.

Anyone moving to a new city, let alone a new country, can use a few pointers to help fit in. Just as your current city San Francisco is more than mere trolley cars and Rice-A-Roni, Montreal is much more than smoked meat and bagels. With making your transition as smooth as possible in mind, I thought I’d put together a handful of tips (fingertips?) that may give you a leg up.

Right off the bat we have the matter of how to correctly pronounce the name of your new home in English. Although spelled Mon-treal, we English-speaking locals say Mun-treal. Think of MissourA, CincinnatA and BalMORE and you get an idea of the kind of twists folks put on their city’s name. Those saying they live in Mohn-tree-all are easily singled out as newcomers or lying visitors!

We are a bilingual city (shhhh … don’t say that too loudly, true though it is, it irks some people that we are not, in fact, solely French).

We are a bilingual city (shhhh … don’t say that too loudly, true though it is, it irks some people that we are not, in fact, solely French). You will, I imagine, want to immerse yourself in that warm linguistic pond. Take a French class by all means. But don’t be surprised if you rarely get a chance to use it. You see with so many fluently bilingual people, folks tend to switch to your language when you make an effort to speak in theirs. But making that effort is the key! By the way, you are no longer English, nor English-speaking, you are an Anglophone. English people come from England, Quebec residents who speak English are called Anglophones, or Blokes, or worse.

Our police officers and firefighters are in an almost perpetual state of conflict with the City Brass. However, having been deemed essential services, they cannot go on strike. To express their crankiness, they festoon their vehicles with stickers and wear camouflage pants. Pink if available. Evidently the logic is that by making themselves look like arseholes, they’ll make the city look likewise. I hope they don’t up the ante and turn to self-mutilation in an attempt to show up the city.

We have added a bit of local flavoring to the actual Grand Prix race with the introduction of bicycles. Naturally being Montreal cyclists they go in the opposite direction to the race cars and swear at the drivers who complain – were there sidewalks on an F1 circuit you know they’d be on them too.

The unofficial start of summer in Montreal is the annual visit of the circus known as Formula One. It’s loud and crowded, but this event pumps millions of dollars into our economy. We have added a bit of local flavoring to the actual Grand Prix race with the introduction of bicycles. Naturally being Montreal cyclists they go in the opposite direction to the race cars and swear at the drivers who complain – were there sidewalks on an F1 circuit you know they’d be on them too.

While the rest of the country (or ROC – Rest Of Canada – as you will come to know it) sits around on July 1st celebrating the nation’s birthday, many in Montreal move house – traditionally leases end on June 30th. Both festivities involve the consumption of beer and groups of people hanging off vehicles as they make their way down the street. Speaking of beer, don’t forget our higher alcohol levels, the cause of the downfall of more than one US tourist I can assure you.

When you go to a restaurant or bar, and it comes time to leave don’t ask for the check. Checks, or cheques, are for cashing, they provide you with money. What you want is your bill. Bills are for paying. And very importantly, you will notice at the bottom of your bill an amount referred to as TPS. This is not a misprint for tip, but a tax; we like tax here. Tips are expected, but are rarely included in the bill. Friends of mine in the service industry tell me there are two types of American tippers: those who don’t, and those who go overboard. Here’s hoping you’re the latter!

While you will find worshipers of every deity under the sun – and a few under the moon – in Montreal, there really is only one religion: hockey.

Finally there is the question of religion. While the world is in the grips of umpteen wars and terrorist situations fueled by religious fanatics, we long ago solved the problem. While you will find worshipers of every deity under the sun – and a few under the moon – in Montreal, there really is only one religion: hockey.

Welcome to Montreal!

 

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Montreal Canadiens Coach Snubs Rookie Reporter

Christopher Curtis Photo: Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette

Christopher Curtis Photo: Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette

We no longer live in a world where fedora-wearing reporters, pencils and pads in hand, try to get a few words out of a coach in his office after a game. Teams have elaborate media rooms set up with lights, cameras and branding and advertising galore. This age of instant information just makes stubborn or ranting coaches look silly.

Last September Montreal’s The Gazette daily newspaper introduced a new member of its group of reporters on the Montreal Canadiens beat. Rookie sports reporter Christopher Curtis would join several other veteran journalists covering the fabled hockey franchise in a city where the game is often likened to a religion. This was a welcomed decision; an added new perspective on things is always a good idea.

Over the holidays Curtis wrote, and the paper published, a piece on his altercation with Canadiens Head Coach Michel Therrien. Curtis did what reporters do at news conferences, he asked a question. Therrien opted to ignore the question, so Curtis, being a journalist, asked it again. I imagine the room must have been immediately engulfed in thunder and lightening, with dervishes whirling madly about, lights flickering and other indicators of impending catastrophe. What part of my ignoring you did you not understand? seems to have been Therrien’s attitude as he and Curtis locked eyes in a staring match.

TherrienLet me say that I have never met Christopher Curtis, and my time spent with Michel Therrien amounts to one encounter with me lying on my back giving blood while the coach made the rounds of the donors at the team’s annual blood drive. He signed one of the pack of selfies he had and plunked it on my stomach. He looked as though he really didn’t want to be there, not surprisingly as I’m sure he had many things on his agenda even if it was an off-day. But being head coach of the Montreal Canadiens means doing more than just coaching, so there he was.

Too often modern-day professional sports coaches, and some at the college level as well, consider dealing with the media as an added chore. It’s time to make it abundantly clear to many of them that responding to reporters questions in a civilized manner is part of your job – regardless of whether you like the question or not.

We no longer live in a world where fedora-wearing reporters, pencils and pads in hand, try to get a few words out of a coach in his office after a game. Teams have elaborate media rooms set up with lights, cameras and branding and advertising galore. This age of instant information just makes stubborn or ranting coaches look silly.

I’m not saying a new reporter, like many other jobs, doesn’t have a few ropes to learn, and some dues to pay. But it seems to me it’s up to Curtis’ seasoned colleagues to point this out, not the coach.

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

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Adieu Jean Béliveau

Legendary Montreal Canadiens hockey great Jean Béliveau passed away late last week. Since then tributes have poured in from far and wide. Few public figures, even those much loved, are totally free of a bit of negativity murmured at their passing. Yet Béliveau seems to have accomplished precisely that.

I was downtown yesterday and made a point of taking an hour or so to join the thousands of mourners who paid their respects to the Béliveau family at Montreal’s BELL Centre. Below are some photos I took.

Upon entering the inner bowl of the BELL Centre

Upon entering the inner bowl of the BELL Centre

Floor-level

Floor-level

M. Béliveau's seat and jersey eerily illuminated.

M. Béliveau’s seat and jersey eerily illuminated.

Floor-level

Floor-level

Flags lowered outside a local high-school.

Flags lowered outside a local high-school.

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

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Hockey Legend Jean Béliveau Has Passed Away … Merci Le Gros Bill

Merci Le Gros Bill ….

 

Jean Beliveau 1931 - 2014

Jean Béliveau 1931 – 2014

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

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Montreal’s BELL Centre: Flat On My Back

BELL Centre roof from my vantage point

BELL Centre rafters from my vantage point

It was my first appearance at ice-level in Montreal’s BELL Centre, home of the illustrious Montreal Canadiens hockey team And wouldn’t you just know it, my big chance to make an impression and I ended up flat on my back.

As I lay there  a member of the medical team asked me questions: my full name, date of birth, address and whether or not I had traveled to certain countries. I assumed this was a standard concussion precaution and was pleased to have answered them all correctly.

At least from my vantage point I had a great view of the numerous banners suspended from the rafters. Twenty-four indicating Stanley Cup victories and numerous retired numbers once worn by great former players of exceptional skill. It isn’t hard to be humbled by such grandeur, especially when you are in a prone position.

Michel Therrien, the current head coach of the Habs, as they are known familiarly, made a point of coming over and asking me how I was. Once I assured him that all was fine, we shook hands and he moved on to others.

As I lay there, a member of the medical team asked me a series of questions: my full name, date of birth, address and whether or not I had traveled to certain countries. I assumed this was a standard precaution in this era of concussions, and was pleased to have answered them all correctly.

Relieved that my ability to state my full name had confirmed that I was not concussed, I then noticed I was bleeding! As I looked to my right – I’m not crazy about the sight of blood – I could feel what I assumed was a member of the training staff adhering several pieces of tape to my left arm.  This must have been an effort to control the flow of blood. Still I kept my eyes riveted on the upper extremes of the BELL Centre, where a few hundred people now sat, as first one then another technician worked on my bleeding arm. I don’t know what happened but I can assure you I felt no pain whatsoever.

I'm on the left ...

I’m on the left … I think he grabbed my wallet

After about ten minutes of this they were satisfied that I was ready to be moved. They helped me get to my feet and someone walked me to a stretcher with an elevated head, much like a chaises lounge, where I lay for five more minutes. No longer staring straight up, I was able to take in the action at ice-level. Team mascot Youppi!, originally with the Montreal Expos, was working the crowd, so I knew things were still ongoing. I could also see several team members zigzagging, making their way about in their hallowed red Montreal Canadiens jerseys.

After five minutes a final piece of adhesive tape, holding a square of gauze in place, was applied to the bleeding point on my arm and I went for follow-up treatment.

Stitches, physio, medications? Nope. Steamed hot dogs, chips, cookies, and a soft drink were in order! As you may have guessed by now I had not been injured during some athletic activity, but was pleased to be donating blood at the annual Montreal Canadiens-evenko Blood Drive! The goal was 750 units and I heard they reached 900 units. Bravo!

 

Me DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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NHL Tie-Breaking: How About Zamboni Races?

Pre-Season NHL experiment with Zamboni racing to decide ties

Preseason NHL experiment with Zamboni racing to decide ties

If you ask me, and no one has, just leave the damned game tied. Give each team a point and go home. It worked for donkey’s years. However, if you must decide a game, if a clear winner and loser is your desire, then please decide the game by playing the game, not just one aspect of it.

The NHL General Managers are convening in Toronto for a powwow today. On the agenda is a look at how overtime is handled in today’s game. This year a couple of new ripples have been put into effect including a “dry scrape” of the ice after a 60-minute tied score. The ice-resurfacing vehicle, perhaps a Zamboni (remember that’s a brand name), scrapes the top of the ice to remove the excess snow that has accumulated during the third period. No water is applied as that would take too long to dry and the game would lose any sort of momentum. This does result in better quality ice, but involves a 2 – 3 minute wait.  The GMs will have a gander at how this is going so far, they will also consider having three-on-three hockey during the overtime instead of the current four-on-four. All in an effort to avoid deciding games with a shoot-out.

If you ask me, and no one has, just leave the damned game tied. Give each team a point and go home. It worked for donkey’s years. However, if you must decide a game, if a clear winner and loser is your desire, then please decide the game by playing the game, not just one aspect of it.

… baseball does it right: if the score is tied after regulation, they keep going until it is broken, but they do so by playing the very same rules all the way. There are three strikes and three outs in the 17th inning, just as there were in the seventh. They don’t play first-third and home; and they don’t have a home run derby to decide the outcome.

The GMs should take a look at baseball. As the grand-daddy of tie breaking, baseball does it right: if the score is tied after regulation, they keep going until it is broken, but they do so by playing the very same rules all the way. There are three strikes and three outs in the 17th inning, just as there were in the seventh. They don’t play first-third and home; and they don’t have a home run derby to decide the outcome.

The NHL and NFL have opted to decide ties by playing a bastardized version of the game: four skaters against four, too much importance to the coin toss: If regular-season games are important, what’s the rush to decide them? Is there another league renting the ice/field after you?

In my humble opinion, if we are going to decide games not by playing them but by playing a part of them, or going to a shoot-out, then let’s just take all the players off the ice thereby reducing injuries due to fatigue, and determine the winner via Zamboni Races! This will cause team travel coordinators nightmares as each team will now have to transport a vehicle with them, but the fans will love it!

IMHO

Me DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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