Heatley, MLSEL should turn over new leaf

GARY LOEWEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:35 AM ET

Dany Heatley spent Canada D'eh determining that he doesn't want to play in Ottawa, and he doesn't want to play in Edmonton.

So why, exactly, does he get an invitation to wave the flag for Canada?

The Senators winger has been chosen to attend a camp next month for the Canadian Olympic hockey team.

Why not trade the malcontent to his native Germany instead?

No, I'm not bitter.

Merry Marians

a) Marian Hossa ($62.8 million US from the Chicago Blackhawks) wins the prize for the fattest contract ever awarded to an invisible playoff performer.

b) The New York Rangers are able to make Marian Gaborik ($28.75 million) a multimillionaire because they have lots of salary-cap space on their disabled list.

Leafs are rank

ESPN The Magazine's annual ranking of sports franchises offers good news and bad news for the Maple Leafs.

The good news: They have moved up one position from last year.

The bad news: They're still 120th out of 122 teams.

Franchises are ranked according to how much they give back to fans in exchange for their time, emotion and money.

How bad are the Leafs? Even the Detroit Lions rank higher.

And there was a further setback for Maple Leaf Short of Entertainment Ltd.:

The Raptors plunged to 105th from 44th -- with coach Jay Triano, Andrea Bargnani and Chris (RuPaul) Bosh drawing unkind words.

Meanwhile, the Blue Jays moved up to 31st from 67th, largely because they have affordable tickets and cheap hot dog nights.

The Leafs haven't had a hotdog, cheap or otherwise, since Darcy Tucker left town.

Top five teams: Los Angeles Angels, Carolina Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Steelers, Detroit Red Wings, Cleveland Cavaliers.

Bottom five: Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, Maple Leafs, New York Knicks, L.A. Clippers.

Oly rollin'

We now have fuel for the hot debate.

Hockey Canada has picked 46 players for its Olympic hockey camp, Aug. 24-27.

A 23-man roster must be named in December for the 2010 Games. But it matters not who gets picked.

They could create two 23-man teams from the 46 invitees, and build a third team from the next best 23 players. Put all three in the Olympic tournament and Canada sweeps the medals.

No need to sweat the roster, the gold medal is in the bag.

Shutter to think

Cristiano Ronaldo put the boot to a photographer's car, breaking a window, during an altercation in Lisbon.

Ronaldo said he was driving in a car with his mother when another vehicle gave chase.

"The chase so perturbed my mother that I had to stop and convince them to leave us," Ronaldo said.

When that didn't work Ronaldo resorted to practising his free kick on the car.

First we had Bend it Like Beckham ... now we have Crack it Like Cristiano.


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