Silence is deafening

PAUL FRIESEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:35 AM ET

Another week goes by, and still nothing but silence from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers board of directors.

After postponing a meeting scheduled for this past Thursday, it appears the board is no closer to clarifying the status of club president/CEO Lyle Bauer and head coach Mike Kelly.

"If there's uncertainty out there, we do want to get it cleared up -- and we want to get it cleared up shortly," board chairman Ken Hildahl said yesterday.

The board has asked Bauer for a full report on the 2009 season, which didn't live up to expecations on, or off, the field.

While Bauer and Kelly remain under contract (their estimated salaries a combined $550,000), a backlash against the coach from fans and corporate sponsors has raised the possibility the board will demand change.

The team is in a holding pattern until the board announces who will, and who won't, return for 2010, and under what conditions.

"We're reviewing everything," Hildahl said. "I don't want to create speculation."

Trouble is, there's already all kinds of speculation out there.

"This one will not drag on beyond year-end," Hildahl vowed. "I want to get this resolved before Christmas."

We will certainly hold you to that, Mr. Chairman.

PSSSST: Wanna buy an Avco Cup?

Now you can.

The estate of former Winnipeg Jets boss John Ferguson is putting some of his memorabilia up for auction, including a miniature version of the Avco World Trophy won by the Jets in the 1978-79 WHA season.

Also up for grabs are two of Fergie's old Stanley Cup replica trophies from his playing days with the Habs.

Here's the weird thing: as of late yesterday, the Avco Trophy had three bids ($1,331 the highest), while the Stanley (starting at $3,000) didn't have any.

"That's amazing," former Jets goalie Joe Daley, who operates Joe Daley's Sports Cards and Collectibles, said. "I thought the Stanley Cup one would draw a lot of interest. And it may, yet."

Daley says there's still interest in old Jets stuff, mainly from Winnipeggers.

"When things are somewhat limited and scarce, people will pay for that stuff. We were one of the most successful franchises in the history of the WHA. So people will always desire that type of thing."

Probably once a week somebody will walk into Daley's store on St. James and buy Jets memorabilia, although he says it used to happen more often.

Among the auction items from Fergie's old collection are a Winnipeg Jets gold ring (not a championship ring) and a collection of Jets photos and memorabilia.

The bidding -- at www.classicauctions.net -- closes on Tuesday.

ROCK OUT: Not too many curling events get us excited, but the Olympic trials, or whatever corporate name they've hung on it, is definitely an exception.

And we'll be even more excited if local boy Jason Gunnlaugson makes some noise in Edmonton, beginning tomorrow.

This 25-year-old's rink, stacked up against the Stoughtons, Martins, Howards and Ferbeys of the world, redefines the word "underdog."

The thing is, they're too young and crazy to know better.

They didn't get here without having some ability, too.

So here's hoping the kids are in the mix at the trials.

I wouldn't even mind seeing them win it all, even though that would go against the conventional thinking of wanting to send our best, veteran team to Vancouver.

Hey, it worked for a then-unknown Brad Gushue four years ago, when he won gold in Turin.

When you consider Mike Harris come out of nowhere to win the '98 trials, it seems to me this event is geared for the upset.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Contact Paul at paul.friesen@sunmedia.ca or 632-2788.


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