Hunt is on to land 67's world juniors

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 12:09 PM ET

Jeff Hunt is a guy who likes a challenge. The 67's owner is going to have one wrestling the Montreal Canadiens for the 2009 world junior hockey championships.

Not that the Habs and Montreal are slam dunks to host the world's premier junior hockey event.

An NHL team celebrating its centennial seems like hardly enough reason to award it such an event.

And never mind the city of Montreal hasn't supported junior hockey for 35 years (just check out all the teams scattered around the "Q" that used to call Montreal or vicinity home).

Montreal fans are among the most knowledgeable and passionate NHL fans there are.

But given the lack of support for junior hockey there over the years, I don't think it's unfair to characterize Montreal as a Canadiens town and not a hockey town.

That's an important distinction when it comes to awarding an event like the world junior tournament.

Now, we all know money talks and the other stuff walks, but it won't look good on the Habs or Hockey Canada if there are a bunch of games played in Montreal in front of a lot of empty seats.

That all said, the Habs and the good folks at Molson have a lot of history and tradition going for them.

Can they translate that into support for a non-Canadiens event?

That's the big question Hockey Canada will have to answer.

HEAR AND THERE: Pierre McGuire's popular segments on the Team 1200 will end Oct. 31, according to two industry sources. McGuire, who couldn't be reached for comment last night, has apparently been told by TSN, his main employer, to drop one of his three freelance jobs with NBC, OLN or radio ... Seventeen Minnesota Vikings players are alleged to have taken part in sex parties on board two cruise ships on Lake Minnetonka. The lake is going to be renamed Minnebonka.

THE BUZZ: It's a tradition in Minny that a new player organize a "rookie party." He apparently understood "nookie party."... Six goalies have gone down with groin injuries in the first week of the NHL season, two of them in Atlanta. Everybody thought this would be a rough year on goalies, but not this rough ... Shawn "Pugger" Williams and the 67's have parted company.

REVELATIONS: The Bell Canadian Open is apparently going to be on the revamped PGA Tour schedule with a new date, probably the week after the British Open. Talk is at least three events will be vapourized in the re-jigging of the schedule which will conclude with a NASCAR-like fall "Chase"... Hey, did you hear they're going to remake The Love Boat series? The Vikings are going to star, under the command of Captain Schtupping.

SPECULATIONS: The Habs are going to announce the three new numbers they will retire today. The leading candidates: 12, 19 and 23. Two more worthy of consideration before the centennial: 33 and 29.

JUST WONDERING: Does Maple Leafs centre Jason Allison go to the bench and put on his ball hockey boots before the shootout? ... I heard enough talk about "strike-three mechanics" this week. Isn't that ump-speak for: "I blew it"?

LET ME SAY THIS ABOUT THAT: The cruise involving the Vikings ended after just 40 minutes when the crew got ticked with what was happening, turned the boats around and returned to port. In the Vikings playbook, that's a naked reverse ... It was supposed to be a three-hour cruise (everybody repeat) a three-hour cruise.

PARTING SHOT: In the Vikings' remake of The Love Boat, they welcome aboard a different cast of characters each week. First up, the 1995 Dallas Cowboys.

CYBERSPACED (the way e-mails should be): seanavery@shaddup.com

chris.stevenson@ott.sunpub.com


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