Looks like Tavares won't be pulling a Lindros

STEVE SIMMONS

, Last Updated: 9:31 AM ET

John Tavares will not pull an Eric Lindros or a John Elway in the coming National Hockey League draft.

The fool.

He will report to whichever team drafts him. He made that clear this week in an interview with Pierre LeBrun of ESPN. His agent, Pat Brisson, reiterated that viewpoint in a telephone conversation.

"Assuming John goes first in the draft, I think he will go where he is chosen," Brisson said. "Let's say it's the New York Islanders. I know (owner) Charles Wang is trying to get a new building. My feeling is, it will be his way or the highway.

"Look at Mario (Lemieux) when he went to Pittsburgh? There wasn't anything there. And it wasn't too nice when Sidney (Crosby) went there either. If you start picking where you want to go, you may not make the right decision.

As of yesterday, the bottom five lottery teams were the Islanders, Lightning, Thrashers, Avalanche and the Coyotes. You get the impression Brisson would be happy to see Tavares in Colorado, not so thrilled with Long Island, Tampa or Atlanta.

"There are always better franchises, better organizations," Brisson said. "But I don't see John avoiding anywhere. It is something we talk about regularly. He's fully committed to winning the Memorial Cup. What happens after that, we'll deal with."

Me? If I could, I would avoid Tampa, Atlanta and the Island at all costs. But it's not me. "John respects the process and the league," Brisson said.

This and that

Word around is that the two wacky owners of the Lightning, Oren Koules and Len Barrie, are no longer on speaking terms ... The Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. people flipped out last week when it was reported here that they tried to charge Team Canada ball players $12,000 for a Leafs luxury box. They say a private box holder negotiated that price with a Team Canada player and a follow-up price of $7,000. They also say they eventually offered the Team Canada players a box for $4,000. In this case, the historically offensive money grubbers at MLSEL did not offend ... The assumption around the NBA is that Chris Bosh will leave the Raptors when his contract is up. But until I hear it from Bosh himself, I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Better question is: With this team, why would he stay? ... No dummy that Bob Gainey. He fired Guy Carbonneau as the Canadiens play six of their next seven games at home, four, maybe five, of those games against teams that won't be in the playoffs ... Rest in peace to Bill Davidson, owner of the Detroit Pistons and former owner of the Lightning, a good man who was one of the quiet, influential people in pro sports, was enormously charitable, and had the rare double of winning a Stanley Cup and an NBA championship within days of each other in 2004.

Hear and there

This is no reflection of him but the first three owners of Wayne Gretzky's professional hockey career -- Nelson Skalbania, Peter Pocklington and Bruce McNall -- have all been to jail ... Sunday essay: One vote for MVP of the NBA, but three legitimate choices: Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. Name yours and why ... Ian White's amazing season on a less-than-amazing Leafs team is best demonstrated with a plus-rating on a defence in which Luke Schenn, Pavel Kubina and Tomas Kaberle all have large minuses ... Bad enough the Leafs aren't losing often enough to get a shot at Tavares, but barring a big collapse they won't get a shot at Matt Duchene or Victor Hedman either ... If the baseball season started today, the Blue Jays starting rotation would be Roy Halladay, Jesse Litsch, David Purcey, Casey Janssen and Scott Richmond. And you can't pray for rain in a domed stadium ... I hate the three-point NHL games and hate the drama it removes from terrific playoff races.

Scene and heard

Ernie Whitt didn't blow the World Baseball Classic with his pitching rotation. He blew it by not managing with more urgency. He needed to manage pitch to pitch, batter to batter, the way the Cubans do in tournament play .... Statistics lie: Joey Votto hit .556, Jason Bay hit .500 and Justin Morneau hit .444 in the WBC and Canada is out because it couldn't score against Italy ... Truth in numbers: Torry Holt had more catches than Terrell Owens in five of the past seven seasons and more yards in five of the past six years, but his release in the NFL barely gets a notice ... Question worth pondering: Without the added Rogers-Toronto riches, do the historically cheap Buffalo Bills sign T.O.? ... Name to remember: Stephen Strasburg. The kid pitcher at San Diego State has baseball scouts drooling ... Quick question: Is Ben Ondrus playing for the Leafs or coaching the Argos? ... Interesting book crossed my desk: Garden City Hockey Heroes. With wonderful old photos of Stan Mikita, Bobby Hull, Marcel Dionne and Phil Esposito chronicling in detail the hockey history of St. Catharines.

And another thing

If Ron Wilson took a minute to think this over, he'd see the qualities he admires most in hockey players --tenacity, work ethic, intensity, edge, consistent job performance -- are the very same qualities Howard Berger brings in reporting on the Leafs for FAN 590 ... Definition of waste of space and $5 million in salary: Marcus Banks of the Raptors ... How weird is this? At one point last season, Casey Printers, Kevin Glenn and Michael Bishop were starting for CFL teams. Now all three are out of work ... For the pro-fighting crowd, riddle me this: Who were the Leaf fighters on their championship teams of the 1960s? In their four Cup seasons, they were led in penalty minutes by Jim Pappin, Eddie Shack, Carl Brewer and Bob Pulford .... Sunday trivia: Martin Brodeur and Felix Potvin were selected in the same draft year. And doesn't one seem so much older than the other? ... Happy belated 90th to one of the great hockey moms, Margaret Cater, mother of former NHL GM Neil Smith ... Happy Birthday to Darcy Tucker (34), Eva Longoria (34), Judd Hirsch (74) and Sly Stone (66) ... And hey, whatever became of Gilles Gratton?


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