SUN Hockey Pool

Arrogant Heatley perfect fit for Oilers

JOHN SHORT, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:05 AM ET

For a couple of decades, it has been obvious that the lunatics are running the asylum in every major sport: hockey, baseball, football, you name it.

But we can't be sure who the lunatics are.

The problem with blaming all those arrogant players and their money-hungry agents is that general managers and owners get off with too little understanding of how idiotic they have been.

Let's look at the Dany Heatley situation: talented player; ego at least as big as his megabuck contract; history of blaming coaches (or somebody else) when anything goes wrong.

Now let's look at the mess the Oilers are in: recent absence from playoffs; numerous contracts so fat that players can't be traded; big surplus of signed players who'll never be major factors at the NHL level; history of ugly public disputes (Ryan Smyth, Mike Comrie) with athletes now playing elsewhere.

Seems to me that Heatley and the Oilers would be a perfect fit.

No matter how disruptive he may be, he can't do much more damage to this organization.

Lumsden's bad luck

Too bad about Jesse Lumsden.

The Eskimos' running back is not the first athlete in history to be constantly conquered by the injury bug, but it's always a shame when the truly talented ones are unable to show their ability.

Danny Maciocia, Rick Lelacheur and other Eskimo bosses involved in the decision to sign the son of a former first-class CFL fullback realized it was a calculated risk.

If Lumsden could at last stay healthy, the march to a Grey Cup berth looked much simpler -- not guaranteed, of course, but a reasonable hope for Richie Hall in his first season as a CFL head coach.

Now that Lumsden is back in his familiar spot on the injured list, many of the old questions return:

Do the Eskimos have to go back to a never-run offence?

What other areas -- offence or defence -- are bound to suffer as the import ratio changes?

The good news is that questions create excitement.

Last week's season-opening win over the Blue Bombers could have used a lot more of it.

Sad but true

So many great stories surround the Brick super novice hockey tournament that it's somewhat unpleasant to write this one.

One of the exciting 10-year-olds was asked after a loss earlier in the competition why he didn't pass the puck more often.

"If you had given the puck to one of your linemates, you could have had three or four assists and your team would have won the game."

The explanation was incredibly sad: "My dad says that if I haven't got the puck, I'm not displaying my talents."

And, of course, if a 10-year-old fails to display his talents, the non-existent hordes of NHL scouts sitting in the stands will fail to record the youngster's name for future reference.

This misguided parent is not the first to put his own dream's on a child's shoulders and will not be the first who can't understand if the youngster finds something else to do in a year so.

But I hope the dad reads this and thinks about it.

If he can read.

And if he can think.

JCSHORT@SHAW.CA


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