Sanity gets benched during free-agent frenzy

GARY LOEWEN

, Last Updated: 7:46 AM ET

The dictionary definition of frenzy: Violent mental derangement.

Well, that pretty much sums up today's planned activities in the NHL.

Today used to be called Dominion Day, and then Canada Day, but now it's Free Agent Frenzy Day -- brought to you by the NHL head office in New York.

Shouldn't we take it as a bit of an insult that Gary Bettman and Bros. schedule the start of their Christmas-style gift-giving season on our national holiday?

I mean, the beer store is closed today, why should free-agent shopping be open?

Imagine the American commish and cohorts trying to pull this off on July 4th.

Frenzy or fraud?

Do a Google search of "free-agent frenzy" and "NHL" and you'll come up with 37,900 matches.

We're as guilty as anybody for headlining the overused FAF term. One year ago, it was used to refer to the Maple Leafs signing Niklas Hagman and Jeff Finger.

Anyone else almost forget that Finger still is on this Leafs team?

Other free agents signed on FAF Day 2008: Alex Auld, Brian Campbell, Kyle Wellwood, Wade Redden, Darcy Tucker and Andrew Raycroft.

"Violent mental derangement" indeed.

Hit No. 3

First, we had the NHL awards show in Vegas. Instead of glitz and glamour, we got dull and dim-witted.

Then we had the NHL draft. No blockbuster trades, no Brian Burke tirades.

Now we get NHL free agency. Are you really going to fritter away five hours parked in front of your computer or TV?

I'm guessing it will be more exciting to check out one of the fireworks shows that have been cancelled by the city strike.

Ex-Jays news

The Arizona Diamondbacks realize now how much they miss Orlando Hudson's defence and leadership.

Hudson had four errors through 76 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers, while the Diamondbacks had 71 errors entering last night, the most in the major leagues.

The Jays were at the other end of the spectrum with just 28. That's if you don't count those made by general manager J.P. Ricciardi.

Another ex-Jay, Eric Hinske, has been acquired in a trade by the New York Yankees.

Geez, maybe the Yanks aren't that good after all.

Wimbo ovation

British tennis fans almost are like Leafs Nation -- desperate to have a Brit win it all at Wimbledon.

Not since Virginia Wade in 1977 -- and Fred Perry in 1936 -- has there been a British champion at Wimbo.

Since then, it has all been strawberries and creamed.

But with Andy Murray making it to the quarters, fans are pumped -- so pumped, in fact, they gave the retractable roof a standing ovation when it closed successfully.

GARY.LOEWEN@SUNMEDIA.CA


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