Two of Canada’s NHL squads are slumping lamentably and so, naturally, rumblings about possible shakeups are surfacing.
The Ottawa Senators, after a 16-3 start, have lost six consecutive games and sources tell us they’re dangling Joe Corvo, Antoine Vermette and Andrej Meszaros in trade talks with clubs such as the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers.
The Calgary Flames, meanwhile, have dropped four games in a row, sparking questions about Mike Keenan’s coaching status. Some Calgary players consider Keenan’s methods counterproductive and have been irked by them since training camp. Don’t be surprised, though, if the Flames try a trade or two before firing Keenan.
• In the CFL, the Blue Bombers refused to give general manager Brendan Taman permission to become GM in Hamilton, but the Tiger-Cats hope to change the minds of Winnipeg’s bosses by offering them a player or two and/or cash. If Taman doesn’t end up in Hamilton, look for B.C. Lions executive Bob O’Billovich to get the job soon … In Toronto, Michael “Pinball” Clemons is set to take over today as the Argonauts’ COO, or something like that, and will work alongside a new club president, Brad Watters, formerly the Ottawa Renegades’ chief. Defensive co-ordinator Rich Stubler will get much of what he’s demanded — including the power to make all football-related decisions for the Argos — and will succeed Clemons as coach … John Hufnagel, finally confirmed as the Calgary Stampeders’ new GM/coach, is an offensive guru and there’s hope at CFL headquarters he’ll start a trend toward a much-needed scoring increase in the league next season … There’s also talk the CFL might actually ban zone defences in a bid to open up the game.
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•In the NFL, injured quarterback Donovan McNabb is essentially done with the Philadelphia Eagles and might join the Bills next season. McNabb’s wife is from Hamilton, a stone’s throw from Buffalo … Washington coach Joe Gibbs, incidentally, knew nothing about the Redskins’ tribute to their late teammate, Sean Taylor, murdered last week in Florida. The ’Skins started their Sunday game against Buffalo minus one defensive player, a tribute approved by defensive co-ordinator Gregg Williams but never mentioned to Gibbs.
•In baseball, look for the Milwaukee Brewers to increase their Canadian content by obtaining reliever Eric Gagne … And get this: While Boston’s Jason Varitek sold his game-used underwear on EBay recently for $255 US, the cyber auction site vetoed the attempted sale of a game-used jock by Varitek’s Red Sox teammate, Mike Lowell. Even EBay, it turns out, has scruples. Sort of.
In three-plus decades as a columnist and broadcaster, Marty York has built a network of solid contacts and a renowned reputation for his hard-hitting, groundbreaking style. The tradition continues in Metro Sports.