1) Voters for the Calder trophy, awarded to the NHL’s outstanding rookie, have a bit of a dilemma. Chicago’s Artemi Panarin led all rookies in goals, assists and points with 30, 47 and 77 respectively. However, if Connor McDavid maintained his scoring pace over as many games as Panarin played, his record would be 28 goals, 57 assists, and 85 points. Even though he meets the league’s definition thereof, the fact that Panarin has played over 250 games in the KHL makes it hard to consider him a rookie. Throw in that he plays on the same line as the league scoring champion, Patrick Kane, on a very strong team, while McDavid plays with a pathetic lineup, and if I was voting I would have no difficulty choosing McDavid over Panarin. Doubters should ask themselves this simple question: Would you trade McDavid even up for Panarin? Case closed.
2) Wouldn’t it make a lot more sense for cyclists to ride on the left side of the road rather than on the right? If they were on the left, riders would be facing traffic on their side, and clearly able to see it, rather than having it approach unseen from behind as it does on the right. The argument that right turns would require cyclists to cross two lanes of traffic if they were on the left is not compelling; they have to cross two lanes to make a left turn now.
3) One day, when our older son, Matthew, was about four years old, I had gone over to the CBC television studio in Toronto to tape a segment that was to be shown on the evening news. I arrived home from work just as the piece was being shown on TV. Matthew was sitting on the floor in the family room watching it. He looked at me, looked back at the TV, repeated that a couple of times, and then asked, “Dad, how do you do that?”
4) Last week, while commenting on the death of Merle Haggard, I listed my five favourite country singers, of which Merle was, of course, one. Some people have commented on the fact that there were no female country singers on my list. Although it’s true that the majority of my favourite country singers are male, I do like a lot of female country singers as well. My five favourites are Patsy Cline, Alison Krauss, Crystal Gayle, Connie Smith and, of course, Anne Murray. Speaking of Anne, I’m reminded that a number of times during my tenure as her business manager her detractors pointed out to me that she didn’t write songs. My response was always, “Neither did Frank Sinatra.”
5) Toronto Blue Jays owner, Rogers Communications, has sat idly by while the team’s new president, former Cleveland Indians president, Mark Shapiro, has engineered the departure of another Canadian senior Jays executive, BC-born Stephen Brooks, and replaced him with still another former Cleveland executive, Andrew Miller. The four top Jays executives are now all former Cleveland folks: president Shapiro, GM Ross Atkins, former Indians manager Eric Wedge, who is a special assistant of some kind to Shapiro (watch out John Gibbons), and Brooks’ replacement, Andrew Miller. Did the new dirt in the infield at Rogers Center come from the south shore of Lake Erie as well? As one wag put it this week, having all those former Cleveland Indian baseball executives with the Jays is one thing, but having the team play like the Indians is something else altogether.
6) I readily admit that the game of bridge is in many ways superior to the game of hearts. But, given a particular set of rules, I would prefer to play hearts. Those rules are: four players (although five is tolerable); no passing of cards; the person to the left of the dealer leads and can lead any card of any suit; a heart and the queen of spades can be discarded whether or not hearts have been broken; and, players getting control can opt to reduce their score by twenty-six rather than have the others increase their scores. I urge those of you who are traditional hearts players to give it a try for at least four or five hands. You might well like it.