Here's Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, summing up recent happenings in the NHL: "The NHL's free agent market didn't offer a whole lot of value this summer. Old guys, players coming back from injuries, former standouts coming off of poor seasons . . . it was a motley crew on balance. And yet the owners spent like crazy again, proving that curbing salary inflation is an impossible task. Every NHL lockout yields the same results: temporary economic relief followed by profligate spending. Players prosper. Agents prosper. Fans have to dig deeper into their wallets. The Architect of Doom, Gary Bettman, starts planning ahead to his next work stoppage." . . .
After Andy Murray won the men's singles title at Wimbledon on Sunday, Paul Hayward of the Daily Telegraph in London wrote: "The most painful wait in sport is over." . . . Hmm, he may want to try telling that to followers of the Chicago Cubs. . . . It's official. The NHL has jumped the shark. The Heritage Classic in an indoor facility in Vancouver? Come on. It has to be played in cold weather and toques. . . .
Here's former New York Jets QB Erik Ainge, explaining to New York's Metro why starting QB Mark Sanchez has a propensity for getting into trouble off the field: "He's dumb about it. He's stupid while being stupid. You have to be smart while being stupid, and he's dumb while being dumb." . . . Uhh, OK. . . . I'll start paying attention to the Hockey Hall of Fame when Paul Henderson is a member. . . . He scored the winning goal in the last three games of the most memorable series in history. That should be enough. . . . Pat Burns should be in there, too, and so should Eric Lindros and Clare Drake. In fact, it's crazy when you realize that Drake wasn't inducted years ago. . . .
"As ideas go," writes Bob Molinaro of the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot, "Tulsa putting in a bid to host the (Olympic) Summer Games is as far-fetched as Paula Deen cooking for a convention of African-American vegans." . . . "Is it just me - or is Mike Gillis turning into Mike Milbury West?" wonders Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette. "The GM keeps his Vancouver Canucks tied in knots for 18 months while he tries (and fails) to deal Roberto Luongo, then he turns around and trades Cory Schneider instead. This is a guy with a plan?" . . . Headline at TheOnion.com: David Stern Blocks Kevin Durant Engagement To WNBA's Monica Wright. . . .
"Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and Kristin Cavallari had a June wedding in Nashville, then took off for a honeymoon in Italy," notes RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com. "In short, it was the ole hitch and go." . . . One more from Currie: "According to Merriam-Webster, having one wife is monogamy. According to Tiger Woods, it's monotony." . . . Currie again: "An update from the Calgary flood: the Saddledome was in sorry shape, but rebuilding has begun. Same goes for the Flames." . . .
Under the terms of a deal signed with the Colorado Avalanche last week, centre Colin Smith, who played the past four seasons with the WHL's Kamloops Blazers, will be paid US$620,000, $620,000 and $645,000 should he play in the NHL the next three seasons. His AHL salary would be $60,000, $65,000 and $70,000. He also got a $210,000 signing bonus, payable in three annual installments. . . . Now that he is signed, you would have to think Smith will start the season with the AHL's Lake Erie Monsters. . . . "Disney is expected to lose upwards of $150 million on its box office bomb The Lone Ranger," claims Richmond blogger T.C. Chong. "Good thing Disney has deep pockets or it might have to see a real Loan Arranger to fund its next movie." . . .
Here's Mike Bianchi, in the Orlando Sentinel: "Kyle Petty says he doesn't think Danica Patrick will 'ever be a race-car driver.' Hey, if anybody should know what it takes not to be a race car driver, it's Kyle Petty, who went his last 13 years on the Sprint Cup circuit without a victory. This guy is an expert on not being a race-car driver." . . . So, you're wondering how St. Louis Rams rookie wide receiver Tavon Austin made out on Twitter. Well, as he told a camp for high schoolers: "Three strippers followed me, I (followed) them back. Next thing I know I'm in the GM's office. Now I'm off Twitter." . . .
"The Wimbledon men's semi-final match between Djokovic and del Potro was about 4 hour 45 minutes long," notes Janice Hough at leftcoastsportsbabe.com. "What did they think this was, a Red Sox-Yankees game?" . . . "New York Giants LB Dan Connor was arrested Sunday when TSA agents found a 4-inch switchblade knife in his carry-on bag," writes Hough. "And the NFL is thinking 'At least it wasn't a gun.' " . . . "Long-time Ottawa Senators winger Daniel Alfredsson signed a free-agent contract with the Detroit Red Wings last week," scribbled Ian Hamilton of the Regina Leader-Post. "With the ongoing controversy on Parliament Hill, it's a safe bet that Alfredsson wasn't the Senator people wanted to see leaving town."
(Gregg Drinnan is sports editor of The Daily News. He is at email@example.com, gdrinnan.blogspot.ca and twitter.com/gdrinnan. Keeping Score appears Saturdays, except when it doesn't.)
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