SUN Hockey Pool

NHL may be back ... someday

TED WYMAN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 12:15 PM ET

We can safely say that our downtown hockey arena is good enough to house an NHL team.

No less of authorities than Wayne Gretzky, Cliff Fletcher, Shane Doan and Jeremy Roenick said so last week.

Those four hockey luminaries also like the odds of Winnipeg someday getting a team to replace the dear, departed Jets.

The key word is someday.

It is simply too soon to say if and when NHL hockey will ever return to River City, although there is clearly consumer interest to go along with a more-than-adequate facility and new and improved economics in the league.

The stumbling blocks that remain are massive.

- No one knows for sure that fans in this city will cough up $75 a ticket, 41 times a year in order to sustain a team. We have our doubts.

- No one knows who is going to show us the money and put up $175 million to buy a team and move it here. If they're out there, they are awfully silent.

- And no one knows if or when a team that actually wants to move -- that would rule out the Pittsburgh Penguins -- is going to become available.

Yeah, like Wayne and the boys said last weekend, it could happen someday.

Let's just hope the MTS Centre isn't antiquated by the time it does.

LOOKING FOR A LEADER: Isn't it about time Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Kevin Glenn puts the team on his shoulders and leads it to a victory or two? In the CFL, a quarterback has to win a few games on his own and be a leader all the time. We're not sure Glenn is capable of either ... Disgraced hits king Pete Rose is going to make a quick buck by signing and selling baseballs which say "I'm sorry I bet on baseball." The baseballs, of course, will quickly turn up on EBay, where the other side will be signed by the original purchaser, with the inscription: "I'm sorry I bought this load of bull." ... Former Montreal Canadiens and Winnipeg Jets great Serge Savard has lost his driver's licence for a year and was fined nearly $1,100 for crashing into two parked cars while driving impaired. No word on the rumour Savard was performing spinaramas when the accident occurred.

FLIGHT OF THE FALCONS: The Winnipeg Falcons, who won a gold medal in hockey at the summer Olympics in Belgium in 1920, will be featured prominently on CBC's fine new production Hockey, A People's History tomorrow. Episode Three: Empires on Ice, airs at 8 p.m., tomorrow, followed by Episode Four: The People's Game. Both episodes will be repeated on CBC Newsworld Monday at 9 p.m. ... As if TSN didn't already have enough talking heads, now they've got a talking cementhead. No close-ups of that Tie Domi melon please, or we'll all have to get bigger screens ... The Ryder Cup is a wonderful, albeit ridiculously over-hyped event, and it's apparently the biggest sporting spectacle ever to hit Ireland. It's just too bad the course where it's being played doesn't have a better name than the K Club? It doesn't suggest undulating greens and lush fairways as much as it conjures images of a convenience store or a place to buy cheap clothes ... Tiger Woods' little blowup over Irish publications suggesting his wife's picture could be found on porn sites may just have backfired. "Elin Nordegren" went from No. 94 to No. 1 in the Yahoo online rankings of popular search terms this week. Searches looking for "information" about Mrs. Woods increased 924% since Tiger's tirade. No word on what the searchers found, but rest assured Tiger's next mission will be to shut down the Internet.

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QUICK HITS: Let's start off with Dan Daly of the Washington Times, on reports that a record 14-pound, 13-ounce, 23-inch baby was born recently at William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich, Conn: "The biggest baby in history, though, is still John McEnroe at 5-foot-11, 165." ... Jerry Greene of the Orlando Sentinel, on the Green Bay Packers signing receiver Koren Robinson, who has a history of operating a motor vehicle while impaired: "Does that mean the Cheeseheads will be the first NFL team to start a Donald Driver and a Drunken Driver?" ... Comedy writer Alex Kaseberg on the Los Angeles Dodgers blowing a 7-0 lead and losing to the woeful Chicago Cubs: "That's like losing Employee of the Month to Kevin Federline." ... Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times on Rick DiPietro's contract with the New York Islanders: "Fifteen years in the NHL? That's an ice age" ... Toronto comedian Frenchie McFarlane on diva Trish Stratus retiring from WWE and announcing her plan to settle down and marry her childhood sweetheart: "I bet she makes him a perfect wife. Hey, she's got the faking thing down pat." ... From Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle: "No, I'm not stabbing Janet Leigh in the shower. That's just my Maria Sharapova ring tone." ... From Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post: "Lions wide receiver Roy Williams guaranteed a victory against the Bears last Sunday. Having whiffed on that one, he now guarantees that gas will drop to a dime a gallon, Wisconsin will bring back prohibition and Nicole Richie will be spotted somewhere gorging herself on a french fry." ... Also from Armstrong: "So what happens first, O.J. finding the real killer or House committee chairman George Mitchell getting the goods on some ballplayer doing steroids? What's that? Yeah, I'm takin' O.J., too." ... From Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel: "Mike Tyson now has a job shadowboxing for tourists at a Vegas hotel. Tyson has become such a tomato can, I'll take his shadow by TKO in the third." ... Also from Bianchi: "It's no wonder Tony Stewart didn't make NASCAR's Chase for the Championship. I haven't seen a guy swerve so much in his car since J.J. Redick last got behind the wheel." ... From Greg Cote of the Miami Herald: "I just looked up 'the novelty is wearing thin' in the dictionary, and saw a picture of Michelle Wie missing another cut in a men's golf tournament." ... Another from Jerry Greene: "Washington Nationals outfielder Alfonso Soriano has joined the 40-40 Club. Now he can expect the same love given to the three previous members -- Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez." ... Another from Dwight Perry: "Cowboys receiver Terrell Owens could be out two to four weeks after surgeons inserted a plate and three screws into his broken hand Monday. Which certainly did nothing to dispel the rampant speculation that T.O. might have a screw loose." ... Finally, Michael Strahan of the New York Giants on why Philadelphia is the worst place for a visiting NFL team to play: "Kids, parents, grandparents -- everyone's giving you the finger."


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