Lonie under attack

Lonie Glieberman. (SUN/Mark Webster)

Lonie Glieberman. (SUN/Mark Webster)

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 10:48 AM ET

Lonie Glieberman can't win.

He gets ripped in the media for signing players.

He gets ripped for not signing players.

I can't understand why people make an issue of the Renegades signing players to four- or five-year contracts. Unless the deal is guaranteed (as defensive star Kyries Hebert's is for the first two years), the team is not beholden to a player.

A team can release a healthy player at any time.

There is only up-side for the team in getting players to sign long-term deals. If they perform and are worth their salary, the team can keep 'em.

If not, they get a big cup of see ya later.

The issue in the CFL is not the Renegades giving one of their best defensive players a contract that is guaranteed for two years.

The issue is a team like Edmonton possibly having the highest payroll in CFL history and the league's inability to do anything about it.

HEAR AND THERE: That Sean Avery. Class act. The Kings' forward flipped the bird while walking with Hollywood hottie Elisha Cuthbert in T.O. (captured by a photog from a Toronto paper). What was the deal with that hat? He was wearing one of those big fur Russian numbers -- and it wasn't even really cold. He wears a big hat like that, but no gloves? For the protection of children around him, he should wear mitts ... Ran into referee Dan Van Massenhoven and his wife, Chris, in Florida at the Senators game on Monday. Doctors took fatty tissue from his abdomen to replace shattered bone in his forehead and inserted five titanium plates in his head after he got hammered by a puck on Nov. 23. Eight officials have put on visors since his accident, he said.

LOST IN TRANSLATION: "This is the strangest team I've ever been around," said New Jersey Devils coach Larry Robinson. Translation: "These losers are going to cost me my job -- again."

THE BUZZ: Vince Carter donated money to his old high school in Florida. Now they're going to put up a statue of the former-sometimes-Raptors star outside the gym. I say only if it depicts him in civvies sitting on the bench or writhing on the ground holding his calf ... The offensive co-ordinator's job in Hamilton is apparently there for Joe Paopao if he wants it. Talk is the Ticats might also see an additional bonus to having Paopao: Attracting Renegades free agents George Hudson and Josh Ranek ... The Rolling Stones are going to play at halftime of the Super Bowl. Remember when they were the devil incarnate to Middle America? Now, compared to Janet Jackson's breast, they're the safe choice.

REVELATIONS: The NHL's Western Conference has always been viewed as having the more open, flowing game, but so far this year, it's also the toughest. Western teams hold down 11 of the top 12 spots when it comes to fighting majors this season through Thursday. Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles lead with 18 so far this season ... The only Eastern team in the top dozen: The Senators with 16, good for sixth spot. The Tampa Bay Lightning is last (or first, depending on how you feel about fighting) with just two fighting majors this season ... Not that you need another reason to visit Saskatchewan, but Dakota Dunes in Saskatoon, a Graham Cooke-designed course, has been named Canada's best new track by Golf Digest.

SPECULATIONS: Blaine McAllister, the veteran PGA Tour campaigner who missed getting his card at Q-School, figures there's no greater drama than guys grinding for their future. How about this: Danny Ellis holed a 40-foot chip shot for eagle on the last hole to make the number and earn his card. He's been to the Q-School final seven times ... My favourite Chad Johnson post-touchdown party was when he went over and proposed to a Colts cheerleader. He was going to save that one for Carolina, but ...

JUST WONDERING: Now that Shaquille O'Neal is officially a reserve police officer in Miami (he has a gun and badge), can he arrest himself for crimes against music? ... If Matt Millen fires another Detroit Lions coach this year, does that make the next guy the interim interim coach?

LET ME SAY THIS ABOUT THAT: It doesn't make sense for the NHL to give the Nashville Predators a 1-0 lead to start their full-game makeup with the Detroit Red Wings for the Jiri Fischer postponement. Either pick the game up where it left off at 1-0 or start a fresh game. Giving the Preds a 1-0 lead for a fresh game makes no sense ... Reason No. 546 why Bob Clarke drives some Flyers fans nuts: "We like our goaltending. We're not interested at all in (Panthers netminder) Roberto Luongo)."

NAPKIN NOTES: Something I have trouble understanding: How four 50-cent pieces can cost $100 plus taxes (even if they are engraved with the images of Montreal Canadiens greats) ... Here's to Julio Franco signing a two-year deal with the New York Mets. He'll be 49 at the end of that deal. That certainly makes some of us feel young ... er ...

$0.02: When you really get down to it, the 2006 World Cup doesn't really have a Group of Death. It has a couple of "Group of Prolonged Stay in the Hospital," but no real Group of Death.

CYBERSPACED (the way e-mails should be): nhlplayer@ow/mygroin.ca

chris.stevenson@ott.sunpub.com


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