April 25, 2012
Luongo to Leafs? Gimme a break
By Steve Buffery, QMI AGENCY
Everybody’s talking about how the Maple Leafs should go out and get Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo. Besides the fact he’s 33 years old and has 10 more years in his deal, there is a reason why he is expendable in Vancouver ... because he’s 33 years old and has 10 years left on his contract.
The Leafs aren’t going to make a run at the Stanley Cup anytime soon. So why not stick with the youngsters and see if James Reimer or any of the Marlies’ goaltenders — Ben Scrivens, Mark Owuya and Jussi Rynnas — are the real deal? All three Marlies goalies played well this season. Scrivens was lights out. You sign Luongo, you don’t give any of the young goalies in your system a real chance to prove themselves over the long run — unless you use Luongo as an expensive backup, which would be a complete waste of time and money.
It says here that Leafs GM Brian Burke would be correct not to give up any assets for Luongo.
WHO ARE THOSE GUYS?
The kudos keep pouring in for Raptors’ 2011 draft pick Jonas Valanciunas. The Lietuvos Rytas standout was recently named the winner of the Eurocup Rising Star award. And that’s exciting, until you realize that the last three winners of the Eurocup Rising Star award were Donatas Motiejunas, Víctor Claver and Milan Macvan. Exactly.
NUTS TO WORLD PEACE
I hope the sensitive types in the sports media world react to Metta World Peace’s vicious elbow to the head of James Harden in the same manner they’ve addressed the violence in the NHL playoffs, i.e. the guys who have breathlessly suggested that the “NHL has lost control.”
Peace’s (irony) elbow to Harden’s head was overtly dangerous. Harden was diagnosed with a concussion and has yet to be cleared to play, but the injury could have been much worse.
Hey, the last time I checked, they weren’t wearing elbow pads or helmets in the NBA. And the Association gives Peace seven games? If that’s not a joke, I don’t know what is. If I’m Harden and the Oklahoma City Thunder I seriously consider pursuing another course of action, at the very least appealing the suspension.
There have been suggestions that Peace received only seven games because he plays for the all-powerful L.A. Lakers. There may be something to that.
WHILE I’M AT IT
* Memo to Rogers Communications. Yu Darvish? You blew it!!!
* Edmonton Oilers’ Jordan Eberle, Brian Campbell of the Florida Panthers and Matt Moulson of the New York Islanders are finalists for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy. Question. Do NHL players really want to win the Lady Byng Trophy? Just wondering.
* Can’t say I’m pulling for the Ottawa Senators, but an Ottawa series win over the first-place New York Rangers would be good if only to put an end to John Totorella’s hard-done-by act.
GRUNWALD ONE OF THE GOOD GUYS
Who says nice guys finish last? Former Raptors GM Glen Grunwald, the man responsible for bringing Jeremy Lin. Tyson Chandler and other key pieces to the New York Knicks this season, was promoted to executive VP and GM in The Big Apple on Tuesday after serving on an interim basis with the Knicks since July. Grunwald, one of the true gentlemen in professional sport, is married to former Toronto Sun columnist Heather Bird, who is now a lawyer in New York City (currently on the defence team in a big mob trial). Grunwald still has a piece of the HoopDome complex in Toronto and the couple and their young family spend a lot of time at their cottage northwest of T.O. in the summer.
WEENIE OF THE WEEK
New York Rangers’ goalie Henrik Lundqvist for suggesting after Game 6 in Ottawa on Monday (a 3-2 New York win) that the officials allowed Ottawa’s second goal (a kick) because “Someone wants them back in the game, obviously.” The suggestion being that the NHL wanted the Sens to win. Really? You don’t think it’s the NHL’s dream of dreams to have the Rangers go deep in the playoffs? The Rangers won the game. Leave well enough alone.