this week: honestly, the ice don’t have much give

Advil® is the new Official Pain Reliever of the National Hockey League and the 30 Team Athletic Trainers, Pfizer announced this week. I can’t tell you whether there was an old Official Pain Reliever, before, but according to a Simmons Market Research study (says Pfizer), NHL fans are younger, more educated, more affluent, and access content through digital means more than any other sport.

“The NHL deal provides a terrific platform for driving the launch of our new, fast acting Advil® line,” said Brian Groves, U.S. Chief Marketing Officer at Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. “Advil® is built to be as fast as it is tough. We see the players and the League as embodying the fast acting Advil® promise of fast recovery from tough pain.”

The news on Wednesday, from The Globe and Mail: “Newest Supreme Court judge Marc Nadon skates through nomination hearing.”

So that was a relief.

The new NHL season had started on Tuesday. The commissioner, Gary Bettman, told Peter Mansbridge from the CBC that if fighting were a light-switch, it was broken, you couldn’t just turn it off. Or … no. He said it isn’t a light-switch, because what would be the point of a light-switch that doesn’t turn off? Or … even if electricians found a way to put a light-switch on fighting, in Bettman’s NHL, no-one would be allowed to touch it, other than to turn it on. Once it was on, it would be staying on.

The Chicago Blackhawks got their Stanley Cup rings this week. Each one weighs 93.0 grams, with diamonds and gemstones numbering 260 for a total of some 14.68 carats.

“Wow,” tweeted Toronto’s Joffrey Lupul on Tuesday, as Toronto went to Montreal. “Even the US government is shutting things down to watch Leafs/Habs on opening night. What a spectacle!”

From Canadiens’ owners Geoff Molson that same afternoon: “Ce soir, on va demander aux partisans de chanter l’hymme national … tonight, we will ask our fans to sing the national anthem …”

Toronto won. There were five fights, and no light-switches. Throwing a punch at Toronto’s Colton Orr, George Parros of the Canadiens fell and hit the ice face-first. He was knocked out. And went to hospital.

 “You never want to see a guy get hurt like that,” Orr said. “I just hope he’s all right. It happened fast. I slipped and he came on top of me. The ice isn’t going to give.”

“It was unfortunate,” said Toronto’s coach, Randy Carlyle. “Those are tough things.”

Nazem Kadri: “Honestly, the ice don’t have much give.”

“I see more players get hurt from hits, collisions, from pucks, than I do from fights,” said Josh Gorges.  “I don’t think saying because a player got hurt in a fight that now we have to talk about taking fighting away. And I bet if you ask George, he’ll be the first to agree with me on that one, too.” Continue reading

kerfuffle in the court

refs_2Prime Minister Stephen Harper confirmed the newest member of the Supreme Court of Canada yesterday, having decided that of all the former 14-year-olds never drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in 1964, Mr. Justice Marc Nadon is the best one for the job.

A kerfuffle, The Toronto Star is calling it this morning. Justice Nadon told The Huffington Post that he was sorry to have used the word “drafted.” It was a term he’d employed “very loosely.”

“I wouldn’t,” he said, “have used that word if I thought this was going to be — for me drafted meant, was really meant in a really wide sense.”

“I certainly didn’t lie.”

Lessons learned, then? Justice Nadon told The Star he’d be much more careful in his judgments. That seems important, a good start.

Continue reading

marc nadon’s hockey career: that’s not what I meant

The Huffington Post tracked down Justice Marc Nadon today to ask him about his account, yesterday, of what might have been if he’d chosen a career on ice rather than heading for the bench. As he tells Althia Raj and Ryan Maloney, here, he never meant to say that he was drafted drafted:

On Thursday, Nadon confirmed he was never officially drafted to the National Hockey League.

“I wasn’t trying to say that I was going to play for the Red Wings that year or something to that effect,” the Federal Court of Appeal Justice told The Huffington Post Canada.

Nadon said his father had told him that he would be part of the Red Wings organization, and if in a few years he became a Wayne Gretzky-type, they would have a grab on him.

“But I never became a Wayne Gretzky so it never went any further,” he said.

On Wednesday, Nadon told an Ad Hoc Commons committee reviewing his appointment that he was drafted by the NHL team as a young teen.

“During my youth, my ambition in life was to become a hockey player, which may seem surprising looking at me but those days were different. In fact, I was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings when I was 14,” he said.

“However, around the age of 16, my father read me the riot act and said that I had to decide whether I wanted to study or play hockey. I opted for studying. It now seems I made the right decision,” the justice went on to say.

Nadon told HuffPost Thursday: “I certainly didn’t lie.”

“I wouldn’t have dared say that at 14 that Red Wings were going to consider me for their hockey team the next year. I would have been an idiot to say that. That’s not what I meant,” he said.

Nadon only meant that he was going to be part of the Detroit Red Wings’ organization, he said.

“I was 14, my father was handling all this and he had told me that I would be part of the Red Wings’ organization. So I used ‘draft’ in the way that I would have used it in those days, loosely termed to say that I would be part of the organization. The exact details I never knew exactly. So it wasn’t a draft the way they are now, that you are drafted and you go and play for the Red Wings or — no, no, I was 14. So, it was employed very loosely. Not to imply that I would play for the Red Wings, that somehow I was part of the Wings’ organization and I was a decent hockey player that’s what really what it was meant to say, nothing further.”