Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hockey writer Jim Kelley passed away today

Jim was the first major sports writer to interview me on Prime Time with Bob McCown in Canada. I still have the email from him with the interview request for refyousuck.com. He was a super nice guy and his work will be missed throughout the hockey world. May you rest in peace, Jim.

-Brian and the RefYouSuck.com crew

Jim Kelley.
Jim Kelley.


Hall of Fame hockey columnist Jim Kelley died Tuesday after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 61.

Kelley began covering the NHL in 1981 for The Buffalo News and went on to cover the Stanley Cup Finals for 23 straight years. In 2004, Kelley received the prestigious Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for honour in journalism and hockey. Later the same year he would be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Kelley was a broadcaster on all-sports radio station The Fan 590 and had been a columnist for sportsnet.ca for several years. On Tuesday he filed a column evaluating the two-year reign of Brian Burke in Toronto called 'All part of the process'

SPORTSNET.CA's Mark Spector remembers Kelley as an old school veteran with an impeccable work ethic.

"To any writer of my generation, Jim was old school. A column, sidebar and notes were considered a regular day on the beat for Jimmy at the Buffalo News - 1700 words boss? No trouble just get it all in. There, Jim became to Sabres fans what Frank Orr was in Toronto and Jim Matheson still is in Edmonton: a workhorse, who gave you a laugh every day while keeping you up on your team," said Spector.

"He was that veteran scribe who could sniff out a misdirection play from some coach or organization faster than you could say 'Hull's foot was in the crease.' He would break the story the team didn't want broken, and had a legendary dust-up with Dominik Hasek because of it. In his last year, when he realized his days were few, he shared much with me whenever I'd call or email. So eloquent, so oozing perspective.

"He filed his final column at 1:30 am on the day he passed. This, dear readers, was a sports writer's sports writer," said Spector.

"Jim displayed every attribute you would want not only in a journalist, but a person as well," said Sportsnet's Managing Editor of Hockey Patrick Grier. "He operated with a character and integrity that was to be admired, and it led him to stories lesser writers wouldn't get. He was a true pro, and I know he would take a special pride in having filed a column on the day he died," said Grier.

Kelley was known and respected for having a voice and taking a stand, even if it was the unpopular one.

In his own words, Kelley said of his writing: "I don't ask you to agree with what I write, but I would hope you read it with an open mind, think about what's being said and, hopefully, realize that there is always more than one way to see the game."

Kelley is survived by his wife Susan, daughters Erin and Megan, and three grandchildren. Funeral arrangements were pending.

read original article here

Friday, November 26, 2010

Maybe the worst NHL call of the year

Chris Pronger reacting to call after the game

It was mostly a sleepy afternoon in South Philadelphia as the Flyers slogged their way into overtime against the Calgary Flames. Until it looked like the Flyers scored the game-winner on the power play.

Except it was waved off, with officials whistling Chris Pronger for unsportsmanlike conduct after the defenseman made a gesture in front of Miikka Kiprusoff before the goal. Mike Richards’ shot – which didn’t hit Pronger – went into the net but didn’t count, and the Flyers went on to lose the game 3-2 in a shootout Friday afternoon at Wells Fargo Center.

On replays, it’s clear that Pronger waves his left hand in front of the face of the Flames goaltender. Richards and others said they thought Pronger was calling for the puck on the play, as he was stationed in front on a 4-on-3 power play. It was an enforcement of a Rule 75 interpretation put in place a couple years ago after Sean Avery stood facing Devils goalie Martin Brodeur and tried to distract him by waving his arms.

Pronger said he wasn’t given an explanation on the ice as to why he was sent to the box and the goal disallowed. It was referee Ghislain Hebert who made the call. Head referee Don VanMassenhoven declined comment to reporters afterward.

“They know they screwed up, that’s why,” Pronger said. “… I’m not gonna get into he said, she said with the refs. I’m the he.”

Whether it was Pronger’s intent to distract the Flames goaltender or just call for a shot, the call came very late – well after the incident.

“It went in the net, and it was five seconds before the puck went in the net. I wasn’t turned around at him, waving in his face,” Pronger said. “I was right here, I had my arm out, put my arm back on my stick, the puck went in the net.”

Boos rained down from the crowd as Pronger went to the penalty box and the Flyers were incensed by the call. Sergei Bobrovsky gave up goals to two of the three Flames he faced in the shootout, and the Flyers left their Black Friday matinee with just a single point to show for their efforts.

According to the players, they didn’t deserve that point to begin with.

“I didn’t think we played well enough to deserve it,” Richards said. “We didn’t skate well enough to win.”

Though the Flyers outshot Calgary 36-30, they went 0-for-5 on the power play and were outplayed for much of the afternoon.

“I think that we played a hungry hockey team [Friday afternoon in Calgary that skated hard and worked hard,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “We’re capable of playing better; I don’t know if we stole a point – I wouldn’t go as far as to say that.”

It’s a quick turnaround for the Flyers, who return to action Saturday afternoon for another 1 p.m. start, this time at the Devils.

“It would’ve been nice to get the two points,” Richards said. “A little bit frustrated, but we got a game [Saturday], so we gotta turn right around and focus on that.”

read original article here

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

FREE SHIPPING! on any t-shirt order until 11/26

Go to www.refyousuck.com and take advantage of our free shipping offer. Any quantity, anywhere! You buy the shirt and we pay the shipping! Hurry, offer expires 11/26/2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

When Zebras Take Over, the NBA Officially Has Problems