TSN 990; The Voices of Reason

As most hockey and sports fans are aware, the city of Montreal is in danger of losing its only English language sports radio station.

A fact which treds on the road of prohibition of the language and civil liberties in this town.

Mitch Melnick – a man who has fought and created a station that not only gives a voice to English sports fans in this province, it allows him and his colleagues to provide educated and street – smart views that only anglophone Montrealers could provide to the listeners.

The French stations such as RDS, maintain a monopoly on hockey and although they provide great coverage of the beloved Canadiens de Montreal, their views stem  from the legacy of the Rocket, Beliveau and Lafleur. The French culture‘s views on the team.

Within this scope of talent, there lies the Blakes, the Harveys and the Robinsons. The English legacy which countered the French etoiles so elegantly.The Pollocks, the Bowmans – the Irvins.

Add the long and predominantly English heroes which passed and blocked their way to stardom with the Alouettes, the 99.9 percent of all the adored Montreal ExposTSN 990 is the link to the past.

A time when sports transcended the language barrier. Eras when the coach of the Habs had to win and not worry about ordering Sheppard’s Pie in French.

Melnick et al provide a more balanced, just way of gazing at the pastures of sports in this city.

French broadcasters and some of the French – Canadian fans have driven the Habs into a rusty garage filled with soiled rags of the past jaded with mis-informed views of the team’s successes and history.

Who should be removed from the airwaves?


A Coyote in Sheep’s Clothing?

Division- wise, they completed the season third place in the Western Conference. Point- wise, they finished sixth overall amongst eight teams. Heart- wise, the Phoenix Coyotes may be number one for hockey fans around the globe …

Why is that?

For starters, no one save the players in Phoenix, their fans and the press that follow them – really took the team seriously.

The reason?

The only media attention the squad gathered for the past three seasons was negative due to the ‘ vagabond ‘ label tagged on their hockey sweaters. A Gypsy- esque existence created by the bankruptcy of their former owner and the subsequent ‘sideshow’ that ensued.

Blackberry creator and CEO, Jim Balsillie on May 6 – 2009, issued the following statement just days after the Coyotes’ chief executor officer Jerry Moyles filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

I am excited to move closer to bringing an NHL franchise to what I believe is one of the best unserved hockey markets in the world — southern Ontario. A market with devoted hockey fans, a rich hockey history, a growing and diversified economy and a population of more than seven million people.

Balsillie was rich and in the eyes of hockey fans who believe the game belongs in Canada – was just that; Canadian …

The President of RIM ( Research in Motion ) gave the Coyotes along with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, 212.5 million reasons why the team should be located in Ontario, Canada. Mr. Bettman balked at the ‘ Bal – sillie’- ness of the offer and amid conspiracies, the pair fought back and forth over the sale of the team.

Meanwhile, the fans and the team skated on thin ice…

Loneliness brings Togetherness

You used to be so amused
At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used.
Go to him now, he calls you, you can’t refuse.
When you ain’t got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose
You’re invisible now, you’ve got no secrets to conceal.

~ Bob Dylan

While the arrogant Balsillie and the equally pretentious Bettman dueled with their piercing egos, all the attention remained away from the ice surface.

Everyone from Bob Mackenzie at team TSN to Osama Bin Laden at team Al-Qaeda – paid no attention to the quality of the on ice construction with team Coyote. How could a team, that was being run ‘part time’ by the NHL head office, be run efficiently when the NHL itself was run so inefficiently at times – full time?

The Coyotes were deemed dead through the visors of many. Left howling at the side of route 33. The road that leads to Phoenix is not numbered 66 and nobody – especially the Coyotes’ fans; expected to get their ‘ kicks’!

Then something happened.

It’s as if Coyotes’ captain Shane Doan sat down under the ‘cone of silence’ with Maxwell Smart. Together, Doan and agent 86 plotted a plan to dispel the ‘CHAOS’ that became a puck around the team’s neck. A vulcanized weight bringing everyone associated with the team down to a level lower than the real Devil of New Jersey could fathom.

Phoenix rose from the ashes. The burgundy bird took flight as Bettman continued his plight to sell the team to an Arazonian millionaire. ( Balsillie’s offers, it turns out – as silly as Bettman thought).

Belief 101

It began in 2010 with a playoff birth and a love affair with a rag- tag bunch of outcasts and third line skaters. The entire city – taking the team home in their hearts each night. A temporary house for each player to dry their sweaters and ‘air out’ their skates.

After the team bowed out in the first round, somehow it made the Coyotes more lovable. Merchandise at an all- time high. Ticket sales great! More importantly – the team was better as they took to the ice for the start of the 2011-12 season.

Don Maloney, the G.M. and Dave Tippett – the coach, prepared the ‘ yotes’ to play and disregard the rumors of re – location and sale. Even the fans – partly for growing attached and partly for wanting to watch a team for what maybe their final season in Phoenix; showed up every game.

As a howl echoes through the arena with each Phoenix goal, there is a sense throughout the Coyotes’ den something special is happening. After-all, ‘ a homeless man cannot hit rock bottom when he is living on a rock’. There is one way to go for Shane Doan’s team and that direction is toward London, England. The birthplace of the 16th Earl of Derby. Otherwise known as Lord Stanley of Preston

The creator of the Stanley Cup’s relatives have never seen a coyote and they are not sheep- ish to say so …

Day by day, watching you disappear
Wishing that you were still here beside me
On my own, swimming against the tide
There’s nobody on my side but your memory
Then you’ll rise right before my eyes

~ Annihilator

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