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Thursday, 11 August 2011

List of best free live sports streaming sites

Hey everyone, people have been asking me what are the best free sports steaming websites out there, so I decided to make a list of my five favorite ones. 

I hope this helps you all out as I too have frustration with certain games not being televised.


None of these sites require membership or credit card information.
Of course people should still support their local providers to keep the business going. But for those instances where you can’t, I hope this helps.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

World Cup can be a reality for Canada if...

Image  from the 1986 World Cup

I know I talk a lot about hockey, but I am a true sports man. To prove it I’d like to discuss another sport I adore and a subject in which I’m passionate about and that’s soccer, Canadian soccer to be precise. 

It’s been 23 long years since the Canadian men’s soccer team graced an international World Cup pitch. 1986, that was the year we were knocked out first round in embarrassing fashion in Mexico.
Since then we haven’t even gotten a sniff, of the largest international sporting tournament.

Now some might argue that the reason for why we are so horrible at this sport lies in our population. Great soccer powers such as Brazil and Mexico have huge populations, but that argument doesn’t hold water, Jamaica Honduras or Costa Rica have way less population and somehow they all seem to find ways to qualify. Another argument is that we’re a winter country, well that may be true but so are Russia, Switzerland, and Sweden, and we even have more population then Sweden. The last argument is that Canada is a hockey first country, all our focus as a nation is in hockey. Again not true, we may be a hockey first nation in spirit, but in practice we’re actually a soccer first nation, that’s right Canadians play more soccer than any other sport. So why can’t we compete?!

It really doesn’t make much sense, we love soccer, we have enough population, and we’re even a fairly wealthy nation, so why can’t we find a way to translate that to soccer success.

There are a number of reasons; coaching for starters. Canadian soccer coaching is abysmal. One of our failings as a soccer nation is our arrogance.
We always have to have home grown Canadian coaches. Why? Other countries use foreign coaches, Portugal had a Brazilian coach, England had an Italian coach, and Greece has a Portuguese coach. If we do use a foreign coach he has to have some affiliation with Canada, why? It’s time we bring in a coaching staff from a soccer powerhouse that can teach our players properly; otherwise it will continue to be the blind leading the blind.

Secondly, open the purse and spend some money. We’re a great hockey nation because we train with the best from the ground up. Do the same for soccer. We need to spend money to properly train our youth with qualified coaches and good facilities.

But one of the biggest problems is that even when we produce a great player there is a great chance that he could play for another team like Hargraves did when he decided to play for England. We need more competitive soccer leagues in Canada so that our young players will decide to stay playing soccer. A lot of the time a player may quit soccer even if he has talent because of the overseas competition. While the growth of Canadian teams in MLS is helping, it would be better to have a Canadian first league that can compete with the big boys.

Now why should Canada waste so much money on soccer? Well there are a lot of potential benefits for having a competitive soccer team. Having a pro soccer league, we can add employment opportunities, business and fun to small towns in Canada. A good soccer team would increase our reputation in a global stage and the most important one for me is, Canadian pride and moral for being good at something that matters not just to us like hockey, but to the whole world. 



Friday, 22 July 2011

Maple Leafs rumor rebutle...

Earlier this week a trade rumor that would see Ryan Malone come to Toronto was summarily shut down due to the fact that the Maple Leafs after signing Luke Schenn wouldn't have enough money under the salary cap. Another reason for why this rumor was disregarded, was that it is believed that the Leafs would have no room for him in their current roster.

Well I'd like a chance to explain why all these debunking reports have no basis.
First off while yes if they took on Malone's salary and signed Luke Schenn they would be surpassing the salary cap ceiling. However The Leafs would have 26 players signed to contract on their main roster, someone would have to be sent down. At least 3 players for sure. Malone is making $4,500 000
a season the Leafs have only $5,100 000 in cap room with which to use to sign Luke Schenn, who will most likely sign for $3,500 000 the most. I can't see him being worth more at this point in his career.
Leaving the Leafs with $1,600 000 in cap space. Obviously not enough for Malone. Mathew Lombardi who will most likely start the season on the IR, is making $3,500 000. Colton Orr who may be done due to injury as well is making $1,000 000. Matt Lashoff is making $600 000. So you clear the space Matt Lashoff minors, Orr IR or minors, Lombardi is most likely not going to be ready to play or Nashville wouldn't have given so much for the Leafs to take him. That clears $5,100 000 for Malone.

We also know that the Leafs are loaded with injury prone player, Connolly, Lupul, Komiserek, Gustavsson. So it's not unrealistic to believe that the Leafs will need to add depth just for that reason alone.

If a deal with Tampa should occur Here's how I see opening night.

Lupul Connolly Kessel
Kulemin Grabovski MacCarther
Malone Bozak Kadri
Brown Boyce Armstrong
The Leafs could roll four strong lines. And when injuries occur, they will be able to replace the player without a hitch.

Another and final thing to consider, Burke is known for loading his team with “too many” players in a position, he likes players to compete for spots on the team.

I'm not saying the trade will occur, it's still a rumor but it can and in my opinion should occur.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The Right to enforce may bring back respect in the NHL

In my first blog I talked about how I felt hockey was in a state of emergency. How I felt that hockey needed to add more character back into the game, character being honor, respect, integrity, heart, and accountability.

While I did mention a few ways that we can fix the game, I believe that a far more in depth look needs to be taken, in order to fully do justice to the sport I love the most.

Until I feel this topic has been properly addressed, each day I will attempt to add my two cents or five on how I believe we can fix the game and bring it back to its glory days.

Up top I used words like honor, respect, and accountability, to describe what I felt was missing in today’s NHL. Here’s why.

In the past 20010/20011-season hockey headlines were completely inundated by the latest scourge to the game, concussions. Everyday I’d turn into hockey radio shows doing nothing but focusing on the latest “dirty hit” and whether the punishment was severe enough. And it didn’t seem to matter how long the suspension was or how much the fine was, the concussion issue just seemed to get worse.

You know the game is in trouble when the biggest star in the league Sidney Crosby, is taken out for the season by one such hit. No one got suspended, no one stood up for him. It was a disgrace. It meant open season on star players. In the old days accident or not, the tough guys in the league would have mauled the guy who hit Crosby. Making anyone who even hinted about hitting a star player think long and hard. You know… like my marriage…just kidding honey….love ya!

But seriously that’s what I mean by respect, honor, and accountability. Where are all the enforcers? They’re all but dead, and the game killed them.

Back in the day they used to say that all you had to do was beat Doug Gilmour in the face-off circle and Wendell Clarke or Tie Domi, would beat you up. What happened to that? Now what all the so-called tough guys do, is pick fights with each other. What good does that do? “Hey buddy you just knocked out our best player, you better keep your head up because I’m going to fight your tough guy!” Where’s the accountability there?

Time to change the culture of the game. Drop the instigator rule. Or maybe we can alter it. Instead of calling it the instigator we can call it “the right to enforce rule.” This rule would allow an immediate response to a “dirty play”. For instance if a player hit your star forward from behind, your enforcers and they should get a letter on their jersey’s to signify that’s who they are, are allowed to jump off the bench if need be, in order to exact punishment in the form of a fair challenge. No right to refusal, if the challenged player decides to turtle then he gets the 5-minute major and a game misconduct penalty. Then the league can look at the play and decide what further punishment needs to be included.

This new “Right to enforce rule” would give purpose back to the enforcer, take some pressure off the officials and the league, appease the fans and players a like. But most importantly protect the star player and bring back some honor, and respect into the game it so badly needs.

This is but one solution. I’ll be posting several more in the coming weeks.

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, 19 July 2011

A Sports-Man's Hockey Rant

Hi. Let me first preface this blog by saying that I love hockey. I grew up in the nineteen-eighties watching Dave Semenko pummel the face of any man woman or child, who dared look upon Wayne Gretzky in a disparaging manner. Unfortunately for my heart, I also grew up a Toronto Maple Leafs fan; I know… I know…. You don’t have to rub it in…. What’s worse is that I went to almost every home game. I didn’t just watch hockey though, I breathed it, played it, read books about it. You know like a regular Canadian boy.

I’m writing all this, because I want you nice readers to understand what a fan of hockey I am. So when I say that I’m deeply concerned about the game, that’s because I feel the NHL game, has lost something, and for me… that something is character.

Before I continue let me explain what I mean by character. Words the dictionary uses to describe character: personality, moral fiber, make-up and my favorite, spirit.

Something is missing in today’s NHL, and for me that’s character. And I’m not picking on anything in particular. But just look at the NHL headlines in the last decade. NHL lockout! Year lost due to greedy owners and players. Bertuzzi hit on Moor. Players misbehaving. Goalie pads too large, equipment being used as weapons, hits from behind, concussions ruining star careers. Shootouts! Russians are staying in the KHL. Owners and GM’s are overspending again, and the list goes on.

So how can we fix this you say? Well I do understand that the NHL is a business, and that, yes a lot of the issues have to do with greed, players owners and media alike. For these reasons a lot of the issues plaguing the NHL may never change, it may in fact get worse.
But here is what I’d love to see return to the game that might help.

From the owner’s side: Stop spending ridiculous amounts of money. Owners and GM’s get carried away, they just locked out the players for a full season because of a salary cap, and now because of poor management and nonsensical egomaniacal competition, they may do it again. Plus we need to stop confusing the poor referees. It’s obvious that players have no fear of financial repercussions. They’re in the heat of the moment when they act. Anyone who’s played hockey knows how adrenalin sometimes affects ones better judgment. In order to prevent concussions and other injuries the answer lies with the equipment and arenas themselves. Use softer equipment, instead of those hard plastic weapons they wear. Make the ice surface bigger; players are too big now, not enough space on the ice anymore. Loosen the boards so that they aren’t hitting concrete walls for crying out loud. I liked lively boards, it added character to they game.
Yes all this costs money, but in the long term a healthy NHL will generate even more profit.

From the players: Try to remember what it meant like to be a rookie. Play with love of the game. What happened to the Messier’s the Gilmour’s the Yzerman’s, where are all the heart driven leaders who sacrificed body and soul for the team? Stick up for one another; if anyone hit Gretzky like the hit on Crosbey, that guy would have been in a coma. Come on guys grow up! It’s not just about dangles and autographs, it’s about honor, pride and determination. You had to have it just to make it to the NHL, but somewhere along the lines it seems to have worn off.

The media: Grow up! I get it you need to sell papers and airtime. But creating controversy for the sake of sales and then not taking ownership of the crud you created is just gutless. The Bertuzzi hit was a great example of how the media over hypes something, like the Moore hit on Naslund. The media hyped the next meeting as world war three, throwing fuel to the fire. They generated sound bites by asking ridiculously leading questions aimed at angering the parties involved. Then what happened? Well someone got badly hurt. Am I defending the hit? No. But the media took none of the blame and right away painted themselves a brand new villain and sold papers. Good job! There needs to be some ethics, morality, character in the media. Behave like gentleman not scavengers.

Last but not least the fan: We as fans need to be smarter. Smarter with the money we spend, smarter with the articles we choose to read, and smarter about the players we emulate. But most importantly we need to take back the game we helped create. If there were no fans, there wouldn’t be any NHL. 

I’m not picking on the NHL, I can write novels about the problems with professional sports in general. But this article is only about hockey. I will still watch it, and still cheer for the Leafs, probably from a distance until I start seeing some real change with the team. But I will hope for a time where I can feel the same way now about the game, the way I did like when I was just a boy.