Outside the Western
Gates: Pro sports recap
By James Hayes
The following are highlights from the past week of professional
The NCAA March Madness Tournament begins, with the opening games
today. Tourney brackets, predictions and bets are rampant as usual,
as people are eager to wager on the premier United States college
basketball event. The top seeds for the tournament are the Kentucky
Wildcats, the Saint Joseph’s Hawks, the Duke Blue Devils
and the Stanford Cardinal. The 16th seed “play-in” game
took place on Tuesday, with Florida A&M defeating Lehigh. Florida
A&M will now play first-seed Kentucky in their opening game.
Hockey Canada named former St. Louis Blues’ coach Joel Quenneville
as their head coach for this year’s World Hockey Championships.
Quenneville was somewhat in limbo when he was recently being fired
by the Blues, after multiple winning seasons. This year, due largely
to injuries, the Blues are fighting for their playoff lives. The
World Hockey Championships are played during the NHL post-season,
so the team is available to NHL pros on teams who have not qualified
for the playoffs or are eliminated first-round. Last year, then
Edmonton Oilers’ Anson Carter potted the overtime winner
to give Canada the gold. Quenneville and Hockey Canada hope for
similar success this time around.
Vancouver Canucks’ forward Todd Bertuzzi has been suspended
for the rest of the regular season and the playoffs for his attack
on Steve Moore of the Colorado Avalanche. Moore suffered facial
lacerations, a concussion and two fractured vertebrae after being
punched in the head and driven into the ice by Bertuzzi. In a tear-filled
press conference last week, Bertuzzi expressed his regret and apologized
for the incident, indicating he wanted to meet with Moore in person.
NHL executives also hold a clause in the suspension, where they
can ban the Canucks’ power forward further next season, if
they see fit.
Former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Terrell Owens is finally
a Philadelphia Eagle. There had long been rumours about the Eagles
actively pursuing the mouthy Pro Bowler, but the Niners dealt Owens
to the Baltimore Ravens, without his consent, for a second-round
draft pick. After an appeal to the NFL and much complaining, Owens
got his wish, getting shipped from the Ravens to the Eagles in
a three-way trade. The deal saw Owens go to Philadelphia, defensive
end Brandon Whiting go to San Francisco and the Eagles shipping
a fifth-round pick to Baltimore. The Ravens also get back their
second-round pick they gave initially for T.O.
Speculation has it that the Montreal Expos may move to Connecticut.
A Massachusetts-based real estate developer wants to move the team
and re-name them the Connecticut Colonials. The reeling Expos are
owned by Major League Baseball, and there has been talk for a the
past couple seasons of moving the team to such locations as Portland,
Washington D.C. and even Mexico City. Last season, Montreal played
half their home games in San Juan, Puerto Rico.