• In exactly two years time, the 2010 Olympic Games will open at B.C. Place for all the world to see. While there are still plenty of hurdles to overcome before that time, VANOC is on pace to complete the venues in record time which should give our athletes a significant advantage in their quest to “Own the Podium”. There will forever be critics of such an endeavor, but the closer we get to 2010, the more converts there appear to be. If you want to see for yourself, just keep an eye on how many people sign up to volunteer for the games beginning today. Most Vancouverites want to have some sort of involvement in hosting the world in two years, and many will be surfing to www.vancouver2010.com in order to get an opportunity to do so in an official capacity.
• To play or not to play? That is the question following the frightening incident that saw Richard Zednik’s neck get slashed with the blade of a skate on Sunday night. Successful surgery has Zednik in stable condition after losing a substantial volume of blood on the ice as the result of an inadvertent slash to the throat by the blade of Florida teammate Olli Jokinen. After the game, various players and coaches on both the Panthers and the Sabres made it clear that they didn’t think the game should have continued following the grotesque scene that unfolded on the ice. It should be noted that the players and fans were informed that Zednik had been stabilized before the game resumed, but it’s an issue that the NHL and other sports need to address. It’s easy for us as fans to sit on our couches and say, “Well, the show must go on” because it always has before. Horrific injuries have occurred in hockey, football, baseball, etc. yet the contests continue in each of the respective sports. But how often have you heard players say, “at the professional level, 90 per cent of the game is mental”? If that mental state is compromised as the result of such an incident, are the rest of the players put at risk when they resume playing? It’s an issue that the NHL and the NHLPA need to discuss in order to establish parameters that could result in the postponement of a game.
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• The Canucks annual Dice & Ice event takes place tonight at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Vancouver with all proceeds going to Canuck Place and B.C. Children’s Hospital. No matter what this team does on the ice this year, this franchise deserves a ton of credit for the amount of work it does in the community. Players are told upon signing in Vancouver that charitable contributions are not optional, which tells you something about the character of the people representing this city at the NHL level.
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