Two teams from U.S. cities bordering Ontario are favoured to meet in this season’s Stanley Cup championship series.
Oddsmakers have established the Buffalo Sabres as $1.20 favourites to defeat the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern final while they’re listing the Detroit Red Wings as $1.17 favourites to defeat the Anaheim Ducks in the Western showdown.
Advice: Take the underdogs in both series.
• Pay cuts have become commonplace in the CFL as clubs scramble to adjust to the new salary cap, but the players’ association is quietly complaining to new commissioner Mark Cohon, who isn’t sympathizing. This could get messy … Cohon, incidentally, played football at Upper Canada College in Toronto but has never attended a Grey Cup game. In fact, he’s never even been to Hamilton for a Tiger-Cats game … Cohon’s father, George, founded McDonald’s Canada and the commish, it turns out, makes a point of visiting one of the fast-food joints once a week … The B.C. Lions have hired ex-CFL quarterback and ex-NFL offensive co-ordinator John Hufnagel as a guest coach for training camp. It’s possible he could even join the Lions full-time if he can’t find new work in the NFL. Lions personnel chief Bob O’Billovich, when he ran the Argonauts, once tried to hire Hufnagel as Toronto’s head coach, but the latter chose to stay in the NFL … The Alouettes came close last week to drafting the son of club president Larry Smith. Brad Smith, a wide receiver out of Queen’s University, was chosen by the Toronto Argonauts before Montreal could pick him, and the senior Smith was relieved. The Als, after all, already have Smith’s son-in-law, Damon Duval, as their kicker “and that’s hard enough for me,” Larry said. “The scrutiny would have been too tough if we added Brad.”
• Tidbits regarding ex-Blue Jays: Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox is closing in on the Major League record for most ejections, entering last night only three behind the legendary John McGraw, who was tossed from 131 games. “Bobby should get at least a plaque or a certificate for this,” cracked former Braves starting pitcher Greg Maddux… Slugger Carlos Delgado is struggling with the New York Mets and has been dropped to the No. 5 spot in their batting order … Shea Hillenbrand also is struggling and the Los Angeles Angels are thinking of replacing him at designated hitter with Robb Quinlan… Former knuckleballer Tom Candiotti is in the Hall of Fame — as a bowler. The International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame recently inducted him. The radio analyst for the Arizona Diamondbacks these days, Candiotti is a life-long bowler.