Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump this week sparked outrage – OK, more outrage than usual – when he suggested that the U.S. ban all Muslims from entering the country, including Muslim Americans that are, like, vacationing overseas.

“What I’m doing is I’m calling very simply for a shutdown of Muslims entering the United States — and here’s a key — until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” he reiterated this week.

Nazem Kadri, the Toronto Maple Leafs center and a practicing Muslim, has figured out what’s going on with Trump … and he thinks the real estate magnate is delusional.

Sean FitzGerald of the Toronto Star caught up with Kadri about Trump’s comments, and Kadri said:

“I think he’s hurting his own campaign, to be honest,” Kadri said. “I mean, I think he’s pretty delusional. But his opinion’s his opinion.”

“It’s unfortunate that this is what it’s come to,” Kadri said. “But I mean, that being said, I’m lucky to live in a country like Canada, where people of political stature don’t say those kinds of things to make people feel out of place.”

(Kudos, by the way, to Sean FitzGerald for wading into political waters in a hockey locker room, and specifically asking about a Republican candidate in a sport whose athletes generally lean right. At least fiscally.)

All of this just underscores how important diversity is in hockey, and particularly in the NHL.

Kadri was born to Lebanese parents in Ontario. Growing up, he didn’t have any Muslim or Middle Eastern role models in the NHL, and understands the role he plays in being one. Now you have Kadri, and you have Nail Yakupov (a Muslim, though not devout), and you have at least some representation.

Which is important, as Naveed Bahadur, a social worker who helps run a ball hockey league in Toronto, told Al Jazeera when that network did a story on Kadri in 2014:

“Unlike other communities, they don’t realize sport is important for children’s development. It keeps their brains active, develops teamwork  and these things are very important.”

All it takes is one player that makes a kid feel included to get that kid involved. Especially when that player also isn’t afraid to stand up for that heritage against  a demagogue like Donald Trump.


It appears the owners of the Montreal Canadiens are at least feeling out the NBA in regards to a potential basketball tenant one day joining the hockey club in the city’s Bell Centre.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver met with Canadiens vice president Kevin Gilmore in New York in January, according to Rejean Tremblay of Le Journal de Montreal (article in French). Silver reportedly told them that no team is currently available.

Beyond Seattle and perhaps even Las Vegas, there are not a ton of sizable U.S. markets left in search of an NBA franchise. Montreal is Canada’s second-largest city and the ninth-largest in North America.

The Grizzlies moved from Vancouver to Memphis in 2001 due in part to a lack of corporate support, leaving Canada with only one NBA team, the Toronto Raptors.

Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby is expected to make his preseason debut Monday against the Minnesota Wild.

 Crosby, who traveled home to Nova Scotia, Canada to be with his family after the passing of his grandmother, is set to rejoin the team Sunday after missing Saturday’s preseason game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

“I talked to Sid (Saturday), obviously these situations are really difficult for individuals,” head coach Mike Johnston said, via “And as an organization, you’re always going to side on the player making sure his family is taken care of. But I talked to Sid a few minutes ago and the funeral arrangements are being made. He’s expecting to be here (Sunday) sometime and then play on Monday.”

Crosby will appear in his first game after missing the start of training camp due to an unspecified injury.


by Dan Kinvig – Abbotsford News

Acrimony between Legends Football League Canada management and players in Calgary and Saskatoon has resulted in the complete cancellation of the 2013 season.

The four-team league, formerly known as Lingerie Football League Canada, announced last week that half of its scheduled games would be cancelled and the season-opening date pushed back by three weeks in order “to insure a better product on the field with greater preparation.”

A Metro Calgary newspaper report later indicated that there had been a mass exodus of players from the Calgary Fillies, a new expansion squad, amid complaints of league disorganization and safety concerns.

Then earlier this week, according to the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, the Saskatoon Sirens voted not to suit up in 2013 after their schedule was trimmed from four to just two games, prompting the league to dissolve the season entirely.

The move was described as “devastating” by B.C. Angels linebacker/receiver Kate Marshall, one of five returning veterans from last year’s squad which won the inaugural LFL Canada championship. The Angels play out of the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre (AESC).

The Angels, according to Marshall, were organized and prepared for the 2013 season – they had a roster of 17 committed players, and had been holding two to three practices per week in Vancouver and White Rock for the past four-plus months.

“Our team was definitely ready to go,” she said. “It’s a pretty big disappointment for us, because of the time commitment and everything we’d put into this season and launching the season in Canada.

“We were just starting to get into major promotion mode and selling tickets and everything.”

Complaints out of Calgary about player safety – the Fillies reportedly only received shoulder pads and helmets two weeks before their first scheduled game – weren’t shared by the Angels, Marshall said.

“Obviously with a contact sport, there’s a concern with player safety,” she noted. “But at the same time, we were pretty prepared in that aspect – we’d done a bit of hitting and contact with our pads and helmets to get up to speed. But my understanding is that a lot of the other teams hadn’t gotten there (practicing in pads) yet.”

As for the claims of LFL disorganization, Kevin Snell, who coached the Angels last season and has been mentoring the new coaching staff, noted that there’s not typically a lot of communication between the league and the coaches until just before the season starts.

“(LFL founder) Mitch (Mortaza) is running a U.S. league and an Australian league,” he said. “To be a coach in this league, you have to be a self-starter. They kind of give it to you and let you run with it, which is awesome – nobody likes to be micromanaged.”

Snell said that the Angels players are “crushed” and “devastated” that the season has been kiboshed.

“It’s unfortunate, because it’s about the girls,” he said.

Mortaza told the StarPhoenix that the LFL – which tends to generate controversy to begin with due to the players’ skimpy attire – plans to return to Canada in 2014 with six teams and an expanded schedule.

The B.C. Angels had two home games scheduled at the AESC, and ticket purchasers will be issued refunds.