By Marty York

Deals paying off

Last-minute deals on the NHL’s trade-deadline day last February certainly have mattered this year.Consider:The Pittsburgh Penguins obtained both Marian Hossa and 6-foot-7 defenceman Hal Gill, major post-season contributors.Brad Richards has shone since being acquired by the Dallas Stars and is...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008, 4:48 AM

End of road looms for NHL longshots

As they entered the second round of the NHL playoffs against much higher-rated opponents, they were understandably classified by oddsmakers as the longest of the longshots in the Stanley Cup race. By now, both the Philadelphia Flyers and the Dallas Stars were supposed to be dearly departed.Yet here...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008, 3:12 AM

Athlete affairs all too common

So Roger Clemens was a pitcher who could play the field, eh?Country singer Mindy McCready? The ex-wife of professional golfer John Daly?Well, ho-hum. Might have been a better story if Clemens didn’t engage in extramarital affairs because, truth is, that would have made him stand out in professional...

Friday, May 2, 2008, 3:44 AM

Hated Flyers look good

Underdogs appeal to the masses. It’s human nature. You root for David, not Goliath.Unless, of course, the underdogs are the Philadelphia Flyers. In their case, you boo David and you cheer for Goliath. You can’t help it. And Derian Hatcher, one of the Flyers’ behemoths, gets it.“People,” Hatcher...

Thursday, May 1, 2008, 7:21 AM

Canada needs Habs alive

The Montreal Canadiens and their rookie netminder Carey Price need to shape up and shake off their doldrums quickly because, well, because this entire country needs them.Seriously.Face facts. Canada is depressed, and not only because of its living costs. The condition of the nation’s sporting...

Wednesday, April 30, 2008, 5:24 AM

Raps fit in city of losers

Despite what their biased play-by-play announcer had predicted, the Raptors did not defeat the Orlando Magic in six games but instead lost their playoff series in five.For the most part, they were outrebounded, outhustled, outplayed and, yes, outsmarted by the Magic, and last night’s 102-92 loss...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008, 4:49 AM

MLB Report : April 24, 2008

J.P. Ricciardi has been caught lying several times during his years as the Blue Jays’ general manager, and so I’ll come right out and suggest that he was being less than truthful again last weekend.Ricciardi insisted Frank Thomas’ contractual situation did not affect his decision to release the 39-...

Friday, April 25, 2008, 5:19 AM

Wings still odds-on favourites

The Detroit Red Wings have changed goaltenders but they haven’t changed the minds of the oddsmakers.As they enter the second round of the NHL’s playoffs tonight, with Chris Osgood their starting netminder rather than Dominik Hasek, the Wings remain ranked as the team most likely to garner the...

Thursday, April 24, 2008, 3:45 AM

Early woes slay Raps again

The Raptors were better last night.Considerably better.But there still were too many turnovers. They still played some shaky defence at times. And, oh yes, they turned in yet another absolutely horrible first quarter.All of which contributed to their 104-103 loss to the Magic in a highly...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 5:01 AM

Kovalev delivers clutch performance for Habs

Saturday night, with a minus-three, he was Alex in Blunderland.Last night, however, the story was quite different for Alexei Kovalev. The Montreal Canadiens’ top player performed brilliantly, ensuring a happy ending to the first playoff chapter of what may yet turn out to be a fairy-tale season for...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008, 4:42 AM

‘We’re streets ahead of where we were last year’

You’re familiar, of course, with the concept of home-field advantages in sports.Well, the chaps who run Toronto FC feel that, when they play at BMO Field — as they will tomorrow for the first time in the 2008 regular season — they transcend mere home-field advantages. They believe they have a home-...

Friday, April 18, 2008, 2:56 AM

MLB Report : April 17, 2008

The year was 1975. The average salaryfor major-league players was $27,600 US. Meal money was $19 a day. No playereven heard of steroids, let alone used them. There were no free agents.Baseball stories in sports sections concerned runs, hits and errors, notmatters of high finance.Ah, but the...

Friday, April 18, 2008, 12:29 AM