Posted in Canada, hockey, news, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Put Up Or Shut Up: William Nylander


What are the Toronto Maple Leafs going to do with William Nylander?  Sign him by 5pm today, December 1st, 2018, let that time pass and force him to sit out the entire NHL season, or trade him?

The saga might end today, or maybe it doesn’t.

The team certainly could use him, but then again, Kasperi Kapanen has been great in Willie’s spot.

The Leafs could let him sit out the entire season to teach him a lesson?  He’s an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so he belongs to the Leafs and just has to agree to the dollars and length of a contract and play, but he wants a lot of money and the Leafs don’t want to pay him a lot.

That’s a problem.

Maybe the Leafs make him sit out.

People keep saying that Willie needs to take the most money he can get because hockey careers are short and he should maximize his earnings and while we might think that’s greedy, and not best for the team, maybe losing the million or so he would have earned this season, plus the $4-5 million that he would have earned had he signed could be money he’ll never get back, especially if he can’t recapture his touch, or produce at a level he thinks he can while playing for the Hurricanes or Coyotes after the Leafs ship him out of town.

Personally, I think he’s got to sit, or go.  I think that he’s producing at his rate because he’s skilled but also so is the team, and while he might think he’s comparable to Dreiseitl in Edmonton at $8 million per year, if you were to remove Leon and place him on, say, Arizona, does he produce on his own at the rate he is now?  We know that to be a resounding no.

So what happens to Willie after 5pm today if he doesn’t sign, you ask?

Well, he’s only 22-years-old, and has only played in 2 NHL seasons so he falls way short of the 27-year-old / 7-season threshold needed to become an unrestricted free agent (meaning he could then sign with any team).

As for next season… He would still be a restricted free agent (RFA), meaning he would be in exactly the same spot he is in this year, but he would have missed an entire season and not been paid at all.

How about arbitration?  Maybe an arbitrator could solve this?  Again, no.  Willie hasn’t met the NHL requirements of playing 4-seasons, so he is ineligible.

Ouch.

He can be traded at any time, but he can’t then sign a contract until July 1st, 2019 because he’s ineligible to play this season if him and his daddy decide that money takes precedence over everything.

The Leafs are hoping that faced with these options Willie will take their offer.  Willie, I’m sure is being told that the Leafs need him (they do and they don’t) and that they’ll cave as the deadline approaches.

If the Leafs cave, what does that say to Marner and Matthew’s agents?

As a fan of the team, I’m positive that there are players on the team who would like to see him moved.  No player is bigger than a team – see Las Vegas last season – and his actions at the end of the day may be his right, but they’re selfish.

Sure, the team could trade him at a moment’s notice, blah, blah, blah, but that’s the price you pay for making it to the NHL.  You get a ton of money if you’re good.  But somehow, if suddenly you suck, the players don’t seem to be offering it back to the team, do they?

Today is put up or shut up time for Willie, but I really feel the damage has been done.

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Posted in Canada, news, Sports, Toronto

Toronto Raptors Trade DeMar DeRozan to San Antonio Spurs for Kawhi Leonard! WOW.


News just broke that the Toronto Raptors have traded DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a protected 1st round pick (top 20) to the San Antonio Spurs for the Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green.

DeRozan is the Raptors’ all-time leader in points score (13,296), games played (675), field goals made (4,716) and attempted (10,532) as well as free throws made (3,359) and attempted (4,277). He ranks 3rd all-time in assists (2,078) and 2nd all-time in steals (655).

Most importantly, DeRozan twice passed on opportunities to be a free agent in order to stay in Toronto, play in Canada, and embrace all that it means to be Canadian.

Leonard, on the other hand, the former 15th overall draft pick, after falling out in San Antonio, throughout the 2017-18 campaign is not happy about being traded to Toronto (Canada).  Leonard has been dealing with a quad injury that kept him from playing in all but nine games, and his unusual recovery time was compounded by his physical separation from the team because he chose to do his rehab in New York instead of in Texas.

DeRozan is upset about this deal, because apparently the team met with him in Las Vegas during summer league and was told he would not be traded.

This morning, DeMar posted this on his Instagram account: “Be told one thing & the outcome another. Ain’t no loyalty in this game. Sell you out for a quick bit of nothing … Soon you’ll understand … Don’t disturb.”

So DeRozan is unhappy.

Leonard is unhappy.

Leonard is also scheduled to enter free agency in 2019 and has no intention to commit to Toronto long-term, in fact, he said he intends on signing with the LA Lakers, which makes this a huge gamble for the Raps GM.  If Leonard re-signs, the Raptors have their 1st top-5 players in the teams history, and if he doesn’t the Raptors will have significant cap space available for a rather significant free agent pool at the end of the season.

Either way, it’s a huge trade for the team.
Posted in Canada, Community, family, urbandaddyblog

Halloween Safety Reminder from Health Canada (and from The Urban Daddy)


Halloween Safety

During the Halloween season it is important to keep your child’s safety in mind when planning costumes, decorations, treats and activities. Make sure that Halloween is a safe and happy experience for the whole family by preparing ahead of time.

Choose the right costume

      • Look for costumes and accessories such as beards, wigs, wings and tails that are labelled flame-resistant. Flowing skirts and capes, baggy sleeves and over-sized costumes can all be hazards around candles or flames.
      • Pick brightly coloured costumes that can be clearly seen by motorists. Add reflective tape to the costume to increase visibility.
      • Use make-up or face paint instead of masks – improperly fitted masks can interfere with your child’s vision or breathing. If you do choose a mask, make sure it fits properly and allows them to see and breathe easily.
      • Do not use contact lenses that change eye colour or create special effects because they can cause injury to a child’s eyes.

Avoid danger when decorating

      • To avoid injuries, let children draw a face or design on the pumpkin and then have an adult carve it.
      • Candles, jack-o-lanterns, lighters and matches are all fire hazards. Place lighted candles and jack-o-lanterns away from curtains and other flammable objects, and do not leave them unattended.  Instead of candles, consider using a small flashlight or battery candle to light your jack-o-lantern.
      • Keep candles, matches, lighters and other fire hazards in a place that children cannot reach.
      • Check indoor and outdoor decorative lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires or loose connections. Do not overload extension cords.

Stay secure while trick or treating

      • Go trick or treating with your children each year until they are old enough to go with a friend.
      • Give each child a flashlight to carry, to make them more visible to motorists and others.
      • Tell your children to stay in well-lit areas and only visit homes that have their outside lights turned on.
      • Make sure they know never to go inside homes or cars.
      • Teach your children to be careful when crossing the street. Make sure they look both ways and only cross when no cars are coming. Cross streets at the corner, and never cross between parked cars.

For more safety tips, visit: 
http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/security-securite/home-maison/halloween-eng.php

Health Canada
Communications and Public Affairs Branch
Ontario Region

 

If you’ve made it this far, The Urban Daddy’s tip is this;  Trade the candy your children get for a toy.  Give out the candy you don’t want to eat (lol) and let them keep 5-10 pieces.

The candy will be long gone, but the toy will last until they lose interest in it.

 

Works like a charm!

Posted in Life, Sports

Shake up in Leaf Land… TML Trade Caption Dion Phanuef to the Ottawa Senators in a 9-player deal


Just when I finished telling people that the Toronto Maple Leafs were going to forge forward with Captain Dion Phanuef, the team proves me wrong as they ship out Caption Dion, along with Matt Frattin, Casey Bailey, Ryan Rupert and Cody Donaghey to the Ottawa Senators for Jared Cowan, Colin Greening, Milan Michalek, Tobias Lindberg and a 2nd round pick in the 2017 NHL entry draft.

Early reports indicate that neither team will be eating salary from their departed players.

I’m a bit, okay a lot surprised that the Buds found a taker for Dion’s salary which represents a $7-million cap hit through the 2020-2021 NHL campaign.

Clearly the Leafs are serious about re-building for good (finally) and while I’m not a fan of Dion, I certainly can appreciate the difficulty of playing in Toronto and being named captain so quickly.  With Karlsson the bona-fide #1 defenseman / rover in Ottawa and Boroweicki the tough-to-play-against hit machine, Phaneuf will fit in just fine there on the 2nd line where his value and contribution will be significant.

This is a great deal for both teams, as the Leafs get rid of salary, they get a 2nd round pick, and they get younger.

The Sens get a stud who will shine in Ottawa as they serve notice to the league that they are for real!

Question: Who will the next captain of the TML be?

Posted in Life, Parenting, Sports

My Son Was Traded This Morning!


I know hockey and I love hockey.  I’ve never played ice hockey but I have coached ice hockey – 6 years while in my early 20’s because my sports physiotherapist needed someone to open and close the bench doors.  I had always thought it was because he didn’t like the 6am and 7am games!

I learned to skate while teaching the kids how to play the game, and how to be winners on and off the ice.

In those 6 years we won one championship and made it to the finals 5 times because we never had the best players in the league, nor the top select players, but we made these kids buy into the team concept which meant all the players, no matter how good, bad or new to the game, were a key part.

Hockey is, after all, a team sport!

My wife found it unusual that with my love and passion I hold for hockey, I never pushed my kids into the sport.  I tried, trust me, but they didn’t like it.  They hated staking, they didn’t like watching the Leafs and they had no desire to shoot around a ball in the basement.

Then something changed…

The school my kids attended arranged for skating lessons during the day, and my middle child, Stewie’s class was full of top ranked hockey players, kids who could skate, shoot, pass and play the sport better than other kids their age and Stewie always felt awkward skating around his classmates.  He’s a tall kid for his age and watching him stand on skates reminded me of a newborn giraffe trying to stand for the first time.

I was there, on the ice with him at his school’s skate day when his classmates skated over to him and instead of making fun of him, helped him stand, brought him the on-ice support and were giving him tips to be a better skater.  I could see in his eyes that he was very appreciative of their support and he was determined to skate without support.

From that day came lessons after lessons, plus a learn-to-play hockey program and finally this season a debut in house league hockey.  He’s a much better skater than 2 years ago, and his hockey sense is quite high for someone who refuses to watch the sport.  He continues to get better and better each game, practice and lesson and he knows he has a long way to go.

He also knew that on his 0-7 team there was a very good chance that he was going to be traded.  Not only were a lot of the kids on the team together from previous years, but he understood that to get new players, better players, you would have to give up your “lower-skilled” players (his words) and not the “worst” players.

Then came the news!

He was traded.

From a 0-7 team to a 7-0 team.

He’s not all that pleased about it either.  You see, he is worried that his new teammates will not know that he’s just learning the sport, but they will see a very tall kid who tries very hard but is not the fastest, not yet able to deke players out, or who can raise the puck.

He’s worried that they will think he sucks and that the best players left the team because of him.

UGH.

So I have reached out to the convenors, trying to get the new coaches contact information so I can let them know that they are getting a kid who wants to learn the game and who will do whatever he can to be better and make the team better.  It’s been 2 days and no one has reached out, oh, except his old coaches who have asked for his jersey and socks back.

So what would I do in this situation?!?

I would do what is right for the children!  I would have a really long look at the coaches who have volunteered to coach these teams to make sure they are looking after the kids best interests and not their own.  I see teams playing poorly in hopes that their team won’t be broken up by trades and wonder aloud who does this help?!?  Does that coach get an award for stocking his team while other teams struggle, or worse, what message does that send to the kids when they see a coach trying to lose in order to protect the core of the team…

I would rather the league NOT make the trades, but instead work with the coaches to teach the children to play as a team.

Sure, little Johnny can only score 3 goals, then any goals he scores after that do not count, but does it benefit the kids on either side if Johnny still dekes the entire team, then stands by the side of the net waiting for a teammate to skate to the net so that Johnny can pass to him or shoot the puck in off of him?

Does it benefit the kids that the league will not post the score when it exceeds a 5-goal differential?  Nope, the kids know the real score so they might as well post it, but would it hurt the other coach to take his better offensive players and teach them defense, or passing instead.  By doing that, his team learns proper positioning and the defensive team can also learn proper positioning.  That would be a win-win situation!

Instead, we let the coaches run wild, we make the better kids feel special and we make the lower kids feel useless all in the name of hockey instead of using this special position of leadership to teach the kids to be good teammates, and to help their team win without rubbing it into the faces of their opponents.

I’ve applied to be a part of the convenor team because of how strongly I feel about the opportunity to teach kids to be better kids and win, lose or draw.

I guess I know who will be coaching next season…

No trades please!  We’ll be fine.