Burke puts Fighting Irish into rebuilding the Leafs

GARY LOEWEN

, Last Updated: 2:49 AM ET

The Maple Leafs have signed the son of a Hanson Brother, winning a bidding war against the Charlestown Chiefs.

Christian Hanson, son of Dave, is a 23-year-old 6-foot-4 free-agent centre from the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

It seems fitting he is scheduled to make his NHL debut against the original Broad Street Bullies, the Philadelphia Flyers, tomorrow.

Hanson marks the latest step in general manager Brian Burke's attempt to transform the Leafs from slipshod to Slap Shot.

TASER TAG

Professional leagues such as the NHL say they can police themselves when it comes to violence in the arena.

Now it is time for the spectators to police themselves, too.

With unruly soccer "fans" getting Tasered by police in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday, and complaints lately from fans anticipating disorderly drunks ruining the opening-day Blue Jays experience at the Rogers Centre, it is time for us regular fans to get mad as heck.

We need to start entrusting upstanding citizens with keeping the peace.

It will be the job of the ushers to appoint a responsible individual -- call him an enforcer -- to be in charge of each section, the way airline attendants pick a person to man the door on the emergency exit row.

When that inevitable rowdy fan, bedecked with the predictable bandanna and too much beer, stands up to holler and draw attention to himself, hence blocking the fans' view, the "Section Enforcer" quickly Tasers the lout.

Problem solved.

NOT RICH IN PITCHING

The Blue Jays are getting set to return from Florida for their American League season opener on Monday, but times are lean for a desperate club riddled by injury.

As it looks, they will have a No. 1 starter, Roy Halladay, in the rotation followed by four No. 5s.

So, J.P. Ricciardi, you have Ricky Romero ... who's next, Ricky Ricardo?

SHAQ 'N' BACK

Shaquille O'Neal has some advice for his rookie Phoenix Suns teammate Robin Lopez.

Next time an opponent gives you trouble, put him on his butt.

"Don't let anybody oopsy-doopsy lay up on you and be laughing at you,"

O'Neal said to the 7-foot, 250-pound Lopez, reports the Arizona Republic.

"Have you ever seen me get dunked on? No, because I put (expletive) on their backs. Period.

"All the great big men told me that ... That's what I'm trying to teach (Lopez), instead of just being out there like a loose tree blowing in the wind. Do something."

Of course, there is a size difference between the two Suns centres.

If Lopez is a loose tree, O'Neal is a loose building.

HALL NEEDS WOMEN

The Hockey Hall of Fame may be getting ready to admit its first female player.

Starting next year, the Hall will consider male and female candidates separately -- a maximum of four men and two women to be inducted each year.

So, does the annual Lady Byng winner get consideration on both sides?

GARY.LOEWEN@SUNMEDIA.CA


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