Star-studded stupidity

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:43 AM ET

LONDON -- The Ottawa 67's didn't get much in the way of respect at this Memorial Cup. The running joke was while other teams got a police motorcycle escort to the rink, the 67's got a boy scout on a skateboard.

They were slighted again yesterday. 67's goaltender Danny Battochio, who churned out a series of spectacular saves while facing 193 shots in four games, was passed over when it came to naming the tournament award winners yesterday.

Adam Dennis of the London Knights was named the tournament's all-star goaltender. He didn't even play in all of the Knights' games. Adam Sandler could have been in nets for the Knights and they would have won -- they were that powerful and deep on the blue line and up front.

Battochio made more spectacular saves than the rest of the goaltenders in the tournament combined. He deserved that all-star award.

KILLER DEBATE: It is an interesting debate. Who did the better job this year? The Ottawa 67's coach or the general manager? Brian Kilrea, the GM, had his hand forced to trade unhappy players Peter Tsimikalis and Kyle Wharton.

Despite being in a position of weakness, he made deals that wound up bringing in key players for their playoff run, Chris Hulit and Brad Staubitz, the first pick in next year's CHL European draft and David Jarram, a big defenceman who could help down the road.

Kilrea, himself, hit the road to scout the players involved.

Kilrea, the coach, took a team that could politely be described as maddeningly inconsistent in the regular season and brought it to within two wins of the franchise's third Memorial Cup title.

At 70 years of age, Kilrea takes things year by year now, but it was comforting for 67's fans to hear him say after Saturday's loss he intends to come back next season, as long as his health holds up.

Kilrea had some health issues, which he kept quiet, during the 67's post-season. Kilrea, the GM, will hand Kilrea, the coach, another strong, young team next year.

HEAR AND THERE: You have to like a Memorial Cup championship game that starts with OHL MVP Corey Perry, a notorious diver, getting slugged in the kisser. The Oceanic fans had signs ("8.5, 10.0...") to grade Perry's theatrics yesterday.

REVELATIONS: Ran into former Renegades owner Randy Gillies out on the town Saturday night. He said he thinks Renegades quarterback Kerry Joseph is going to have a monster year and would like nothing better than to see the Renegades make the playoffs for the sake of coach Joe Paopao, whom he respects a lot ... Give the Knights credit. Just as impressive as their offensive output this season has been their ability to play defence when needed. They didn't give the Oceanic much yesterday. They rendered Sidney Crosby pretty much invisible.

SPECULATIONS: "The Shovel Guy" comes out and makes a circuit of the rink here during TV timeouts, collecting up the snow along the boards. He's become a cult hero. He walked into a bar Saturday night without a shovel, but did have an entourage. Yesterday, after the Knights had won, he was walking around with an extension cord over his shoulder, carrying folding chairs. "Back to work, boys," he said. Hey, it was fun while it lasted.

JUST WONDERING: Why the Knights' Kevin Bolland got a misconduct in the first period? It wasn't for a stream of expletives, but for a squirt of water. He doused Rimouski's Eric Neilson from the London bench after Neilson socked Perry ... The Knights' Danny Syvret didn't show Crosby, a Team Canada teammate, any mercy, giving him a vicious crosscheck high on the back in front of the London net.

LET ME SAY THIS ABOUT THAT: The John Labatt Centre is a great facility. Every rink should have something like the Talbot Restaurant, which overlooks the ice surface from one end of the rink. You never know who you're going to see there during Memorial Cup week. Here come Brendan Shanahan and Rick Nash, stopping in for some pre-game nosh ... 67's owner Jeff Hunt wasn't impressed with the Knights preventing Ottawa trainer Brian Patafie from fixing Staubitz' skate Thursday night. "It takes a lot of work to make a scandal out of a rivet gun," said Hunt. "But the Hunters managed to do it."

NAPKIN NOTES: Not everybody played nice during Memorial Cup week (and we're not just talking about the Knights' mind games off the ice). The buzz is a couple of current NHLers had a little tiff at a nightspot which attracted the attention of several other patrons. One witness said it was a Tie.

PARTING SHOT: Imagine 10 people in a telephone booth and you have an idea of what the Knights' dressing room was like after their win ... London fans started chanting "Diver!" when Crosby was elbowed by Knight Marc Methot in the first period. After watching the Knights all year long, they should know one when they see one.


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