puck classics

Colder this week in Toronto, but mostly it’s wet. A mist of rain, or a rain of mist, one of those, on the way down to Toronto library headquarters today on two pressing investigations:

1. The debate over mandatory visors started up again almost immediately during the Toronto-Philadelphia game on Monday night after Mikhail Grabovski’s stick snicked Chris Pronger’s eye. Sifting the yays and the nays in today’s Globe and Mail, James Mirtle talks to Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke. He thinks defencemen should have to wear shields, no question. All the players, though? “I’d want to hear the GMs on the larger topic,” he says, “but I think I would support Homer.” Continue reading

mirror, hammer

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Skating is sex, says Adam Gopnik, though I’m not going to tell you why — you’ll have catch the last of his Massey Lectures on Wednesday in Toronto. If not, they’re also bound up, the lectures, between handsome covers in Winter: Five Windows On The Season (Anansi). The pertinent chapter is called Recreational Winter, though really, let’s be honest, it’s a hockey chapter. A peculiar hybrid he calls it, the game, and a city sport. Also, a mirror and a hammer. And, yes, the greatest of all the sports, too. Continue reading

reading earl mcrae

With the death of Ottawa Sun columnist Earl McRae at 69 on Saturday, this week’s required reading is going to have to be Requiem For Reggie (Chimo). I have to say I haven’t seen anything of McRae’s more recent than that 1977 collection of his sportswriting, but I’ll be happy to exalt his memory based on re-reading his 1970 profile of NHL goal judge Eddie Mepham alone. In his spry introduction, Trent Frayne measures McRae’s acuity as a writer by how many of his subjects — including Derek Sanderson, Reggie Fleming, and Phil Esposito — were so startled by his perception in what he’d written about them, they refused to talk to him ever again. Continue reading