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Archive for the ‘Hockey’ Category

Hockey actually does equal Canada

In Canada, Hockey, The CBC on December 23, 2012 at 15:20

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Hockey actually does equal Canada

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Obama Message to NHL Owners & Players Dec 13

PM Harper says NHL lockout ‘dangerous’ for league . PM: #NHLhasn’t been able to sell ‘product’ to clients: TVA.

 Retweeted by HockeyNightInCanada

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Hockey Night in Canada sans the #CBC

In Business, Canada, Customer Service, Have to Laugh, Hockey, Sports, The CBC, YouTube on May 29, 2012 at 16:24

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“Rogers Media is broadly hinting for the first time Tuesday that it would be keen to win the television rights that the CBC has held for six decades.

Broadcasters pay the National Hockey League for these lucrative rights, whose costs have been rising substantially.

In 2007, when HNIC’s rights were last on the auction block — the price the CBC paid was not revealed, but media reports suggested it ranged from $90 million to $100 million for the six-year contract, up $20 million from the previous deal.” via CBC

Loose our 2nd national anthem to TSN then loose the only reason to watch hockey in Canada to Sportsnet.  Thank goodness I’ve got CBCRadio3 (no pun)

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When a Leaf says it’s sorry.

In Business, Customer Service, Hockey, Me Myself & I, Toronto on April 10, 2012 at 11:26

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I’m not sure this is enough…but I’m listening.  The Ten Commandments of Customer Service

Know who is boss. You are in business to service customer needs, and you can only do that if you know what it
is your customers want. When you truly listen to your customers, they let you know what they want and how you
can provide good service. Never forget that the customer pays our salary and makes your job possible.

Be a good listener. Take the time to identify customer needs by asking questions and concentrating on what the
customer is really saying. Listen to their words, tone of voice, body language, and most importantly, how they
feel. Beware of making assumptions – thinking you intuitively know what the customer wants. Do you know what
three things are most important to your customer? Effective listening and undivided attention are particularly
important on the show floor where there is a great danger of preoccupation – looking around to see to whom else
we could be selling to.

Identify and anticipate needs. Customers don’t buy products or services. They buy good feelings and solutions to
problems. Most customer needs are emotional rather than logical. The more you know your customers, the better
you become at anticipating their needs. Communicate regularly so that you are aware of problems or upcoming
needs.

Make customers feel important and appreciated. Treat them as individuals. Always use their name and find ways
to compliment them, but be sincere. People value sincerity. It creates good feeling and trust. Think about ways to
generate good feelings about doing business with you. Customers are very sensitive and know whether or not you
really care about them. Thank them every time you get a chance. On the show floor be sure that your body
language conveys sincerity. Your words and actions should be congruent.

Help customers understand your systems. Your organization may have the world’s best systems for getting things
done, but if customers don’t understand them, they can get confused, impatient and angry. Take time to explain
how your systems work and how they simplify transactions. Be careful that your systems don’t reduce the human
element of your organization.

Appreciate the power of “Yes”. Always look for ways to help your customers. When they have a request (as long
as it is reasonable) tell them that you can do it. Figure out how afterwards. Look for ways to make doing business
with you easy. Always do what you say you are going to do.

Know how to apologize. When something goes wrong, apologize. It’s easy and customers like it. The customer
may not always be right, but the customer must always win. Deal with problems immediately and let customers
know what you have done. Make it simple for customers to complain. Value their complaints. As much as we
dislike it, it gives us an opportunity to improve. Even if customers are having a bad day, go out of your way to
make them feel comfortable.

Give more than expected. Since the future of all companies lies in keeping customers happy, think of ways to
elevate yourself above the competition. Consider the following:
◦    What can you give customers that they cannot get elsewhere?
◦    What can you do to follow-up and thank people even when they don’t buy?
◦    What can you give customers that is totally unexpected?

Get regular feedback. Encourage and welcome suggestions about how you could improve. There are several ways
in which you can find out what customers think and feel about your services.
◦    Listen carefully to what they say.
◦    Check back regularly to see how things are going.
◦    Provide a method that invites constructive criticism, comments and suggestions.

Treat employees well. Employees are your internal customers and need a regular dose of appreciation. Thank them
and find ways to let them know how important they are. Treat your employees with respect and chances are they
will have a higher regard for customers. Appreciation stems from the top. Treating customers and employees well
is equally important.

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Some body gonna Get hurt Real BAD!

In Canada, Film, Have to Laugh, Hockey, YouTube on September 13, 2011 at 13:47

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TIFF Movies you should see later …with Canadian in them!!

http://tiff.net/filmsandschedules/tiff/2011/breakaway

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The July 1st Vs July 4th sing-a-long

In Canada, Coppers, Government, Have to Laugh, Hockey, Law & Order, South of the boarder on July 12, 2010 at 19:39

Just a tad..

I’m going to file this one under “Wild and Wacky Americans”  To the author Andrew Malcolm, I usually take little samples of newspaper articles, but I just had to rip the full text.  It was to good to leave behind.  If you need me to tailor it down just leave me a post.  And now I bring you the Anthem Wars!

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The whole article is here but you can read more of Andrew Malcolm’s work at the Los Angeles Times here

Americans and Canadians go to war over anthems

Now that both the United States and Canada have celebrated their respective national summer holidays, there comes news out of Florida of a simmering dispute over their respective national anthems. With the result that both got banned.

Canada celebrated the oddly named Canada Day on July 1 with much playing of “O Canada,” the national anthem that became official in 1980. This being Canada, it has two versions, one in French and one in English. The versions actually have different lyrics, but that’s another story.

Each summer, July 1 is about the time many eager Canadian families up in North America’s attic begin laying out the planks for their backyard ice rinks.

The peaceful Canadian holiday that roughly coincides with the start of that country’s pro football season marks the hasty 1867 formation of a separate Canada by a Britain that lost its Civil War bet on the Confederacy. Then, it watched the United States buy Alaska from Russia and figured the disgruntled Yanks might try a grab for the British colony in between.

Canada Day comes just three days before the July 4 holiday that marks another one of those rowdy American moments that mixes alcohol and explosives, celebrating the Declaration of Independence and the violent ensuing and elongated break with Britain and its goofy fat king.

OK, back to Florida, which neighboring (or neighbouring) Canadians believe they have a birthright to visit anytime. Especially in winter. You can easily spot Canadians because they’re always putting “eh?” at the end of declaratory sentences to make a question seeking friendly affirmation from listeners. And Canadians are the folks making awful faces when they sip the lame stuff Americans call beer.

Americans are generally gentle with the visitors, even letting them watch the hockey playoffs on the bar TVs. And no one is yet demanding that the Obama administration get off the golf course and get busy building a fence along the world’s longest undefended border between the two countries.

In Florida’s Sarasota County, our news colleagues at Sun-Sentinel.com report that there’s an array of trailers named La Casa Mobile Home Park. Almost 10% of the people occupying the 900 trailers are Canadian, eh?

When the community has events such as dances or other affairs with music, it has become customary to close the evening by playing the “Star-Spangled Banner” and sometimes, in deference to the Canadians, “O Canada.”

However, in the interests of equal-opportunity xenophobia, it seems a number of La Casa’s American residents have now complained to authorities about playing the Canadian song on U.S. soil.

As a result, the community’s activity board has just announced a new end-of-evening music policy: No more national anthems for any country.

Instead, as a crude compromise, the musicians have now been instructed to play “God Bless America.”

Now, some might say, “Huh?” eh?

The board’s thinking is that since both the United States and the much larger Canada are part of America, as in North America, no one will be offended. They hope.

Also, they hope, by evening’s end no one will be in shape to try singing the Irving Berlin lyrics because they’d have to alter the words a little:

“God bless America, Land(s) that I (we) love,

“Stand beside her (them) and guide her (them) Through the night with a light from above”

Of course, Mexico is also generally considered part of North America. But that’s another story.

This story started right here.  You can read Tom Lyons’ full article in the Herald Tribune here

What’s next:  No flags on the Fourth?

Clint Van Tassell made a surprising announcement at his mobile home neighborhood a few days ago.
Could his timing have been worse, asks irked fellow resident Jean Liebig?
Probably not. Could there be a worse time than before the Fourth of July weekend to announce a ban on the national anthem?
If you could ever find a good reason for a ban like that ever, I mean.
“It’s crazy,” Liebig told me.
When she read Van Tassell’s words in the mobile home park’s newsletter, they seemed more appropriate for April Fools Day.

The NHL can’t wait to come to Canada…right?

In Business, Canada, Hockey, Me Myself & I, South of the boarder, Sports on July 9, 2010 at 09:04

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Does the NHL need to come back to Canada?  Probably yes, but the likelihood of that happening is completely up in the air.  The Globe and Mail and TSN had a great series giving readers the ins and outs of “if”, “why” and “when” a new Canadian team will make it’s home here in Canada.  For me Winnipeg and Quebec City are no brainers.  Hamilton and another team in Toronto, not so much.  Though London or K/W  would be awesome.

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You can read David Naylor’s full six part series in The Globe and Mail here

Why not Canada?

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Winnipeg: The city’s economy showed resiliency during the recession and the population is growing at roughly three times the rate as when the Jets left for Phoenix in 1996. Local businessman Mark Chipman and his Toronto-based partner David Thomson aim to bring a team into the downtown MTS Centre, which would be the NHL’s smallest building with 15,015 seats and 50 luxury boxes. Given that revenue generated by the building wouldn’t match that of the top buildings in the league, there’s limited upside and the franchise could conceivably have trouble attracting free agents. Is the league really interested in returning to the ’Peg? Bettman has recently indicated that the priority of the league may be to take care of markets where teams existed previously. “The market size to me hasn’t been a concern,” Bettman says. “I know there are plenty of hockey fans there.”

You can read David Naylor’s full article in The Globe and Mail here ~ Also you can read the full Report Card here

Quebec City: In 1995, Aubut sold the Nordiques to Denver investors after the Quebec government refused to authorize a bailout. The economy has diversified over the past 15 years and Quebec’s unemployment rate ranks among the lowest in North America. The NHL’s decision to return would hinge on the success of a campaign for a new publicly funded $400-million arena, championed by the mayor. How passionate is the business community? Suites for the nonexistent building have already sold out. Media giant Quebecor, led by CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau, wants to own the franchise.

You can read David Naylor’s full article in The Globe and Mail here ~ Also you can read the full Report Card here

Hamilton: The market is far bigger than the city itself; more than three million people live within an 80-kilometre drive of Copps Coliseum. But the arena needs major upgrades, and various estimates of costs range between $50-million and $200-million. Despite acknowledging in federal court in Phoenix that revenues generated by a Hamilton franchise would be among the league’s highest, the NHL claims not to have studied the feasibility of putting a franchise in the city. Says Bettman: “If you were to have a second team in Southern Ontario … maybe it belongs in London, maybe it belongs in Waterloo. Who knows? The notion that ‘well, there’s an old building that happens to be there [so] let’s go,’ I don’t think that’s the way you put your franchises on the ground.”

You can read David Naylor’s full article in The Globe and Mail here ~ Also you can read the full Report Card here

Toronto: Research demonstrates a massive appetite among sports fans for a second NHL team in Toronto, roughly double the interest in attracting an NFL team. The corporate support would be all but guaranteed, as Toronto is the location of more than 900 head offices. There is land available for a new arena at the Woodbine racetrack and the former Downsview Airport. But a second team would have an impact on the overall entertainment industry, in which Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment is heavily engaged. Do the Leafs have a veto? MLSE disagrees with the NHL about its right of territorial control over a market of more than five million people. But even if a deal could be made to compensate MLSE, the cost of an expansion or relocation fee, plus a new arena, could be prohibitive. Meantime, in spite of many rumours, no company or individual has stepped forward to begin the process of establishing a franchise.

You can read David Naylor’s full article in The Globe and Mail here ~ Also you can read the full Report Card Here

Finally some words of wisdom from good old Gary

Rogers is EVERYWHERE!

In Business, Customer Service, Hockey, Media, Sports, Vancouver on July 7, 2010 at 20:32

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Canadian telecommunications giant Rogers already has it toes dipped into Cable, Home and Mobile Phones, Internet and Television and of course naming rights to Sport Facilities like the Rogers Centre, home to the Blue Jays, owned by Rogers!  Ontario and the GTA in general is home turf for Rogers but a smooth move on the west coast makes the Rogers name sake buzz with the new Rogers Arena home to the Vancouver Canuks.  Now for the Vancouver faithful, let’s hope the Rogers’ curse doesn’t hit your team the way it has for Blue Jays and Argos here in Toronto.

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You can read Bard Ziemer’s full article in The Vancouver Sun here

Rogers Arena new name for former General Motors Place

After 15 years, General Motors Place is no more. The building is now called Rogers Arena after the Toronto-based national telecommunications giant struck a 10-year deal with the National Hockey League team.

The deal, the financial terms of which were not disclosed, gives Rogers a significant presence in B.C. and serves notice to Vancouver-based Telus that the company is serious about growing its business in the West.

“There is no question this is reinforcing our commitment to the province, to the West, to being a national player,” Nadir Mohamed, Rogers’ president and chief executive officer, told a news conference Tuesday at the arena that now bears his company’s name.

“We have been in a competitive market for a long time,” Mohamed said. “We like to compete. Our history is being a challenger brand if you go back to the legacy of (company founder) Ted (Rogers). We took on the phone guys way back in our early days. We like competing. Frankly, we have done well in this market. We plan to grow, we plan to invest. Today is an example of building on our investment.”

The Canucks shopped the arena naming rights after General Motors decided it wanted out. GM has had the naming rights since the arena opened in 1995 and had another five years to run on its 20-year deal.

Telus, long the dominant player in the West, was approached about buying the naming rights, but spokesman Shawn Hall said the company decided against it.

You can read Bruce Dowbiggin’s full article in The Globe And Mail here

Content is King

Content is king in the new world of telecommunications. That’s why Rogers ponied up big time Tuesday to defeat its bitter rival Telus in bidding for the Vancouver Canucks’ arena, broadcast and wireless naming rights for the next decade. With new media platforms threatening to make traditional carriers obsolete or redundant in the future, companies like Rogers are aligning themselves with powerful content providers such as the Canucks to prevent being bypassed in the future delivery of programming.

Connecting with the team guarantees content for Rogers’ Sportsnet regional channels, offers a profile in Telus’ backyard on the west coast in the battle for cellphone supremacy and promises marketing opportunities within the building — which previously had General Motors as its naming sponsor. The deal announced Tuesday was for all three levels of broadcast, naming and wireless rights. If both sides are happy it could lead to more integration in the future — such as promotion of the team on Rogers cell phones.

The details of the naming rights will be of great interest in Calgary, where the Flames are looking to replace Pengrowth as its naming sponsor on the Saddledome. The lucrative Canucks/Rogers deal (sources indicate it’s a major increase over the GM deal) sets a template that others will need to match or fall behind in resources for funding their teams.

You can read Matthew Sekeres and Rebecca Lindellfull’s article in the Globe and Mail here

…Rogers becomes the first company in Canucks history to have partnered on arena naming rights, telecommunications sponsorship and broadcast rights, via Rogers Sportsnet, at one time. The Canucks said Rogers would work with them on “new and innovative” ways to connect with fans.

Rogers vice-chairman Phil Lind added that the company would bid for the team’s radio broadcast rights, currently held by CHUM-owned Team 1040 AM, if and when the time comes.

“When they become available, I suspect we will be interested,” Mr. Lind said. “Over time, we’ll be seeking to expand our footprint on our different platforms.”

Piece by piece, the General Motors Place sign was removed from the arena’s facade on Tuesday, and the Canucks said a new Rogers Arena sign will be affixed no later than 60 days before the start of the NHL season in October. Neither side would disclose the value of the deal – although one source said that it was more than $1-million annually – but when it was noted that 10 years is a short-term arrangement in the naming-rights world, Mr. Mohamed said: “Let’s put it this way: We don’t plan to end after the 10 years.”

The 18,000-seat arena officially opened in September, 1995, and has since been the venue for thousands of sporting events and concerts. It served as home court for the NBA’s Vancouver Grizzlies before the team was relocated to Memphis in 2001…

Still a Canadian in the Playoffs

In Canada, Hockey, Montreal, South of the boarder, Sports, YouTube on May 26, 2010 at 15:33

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We might have lost Montreal Monday night to Philadelphia, but Canadians still have an option when it comes to cheering for a team in the playoffs..they NBA playoffs!

Cheer for Captain Canada.

Cheer for Steve Nash!

By the way Phoenix tied the series last night against Los Angeles, beating them 115 to 106!

Play on Nash, play on.

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You can read AP’s full article here

Suns overcome 38 points from Kobe Bryant

PHOENIX—The Los Angeles Lakers were outnumbered and outplayed in the desert.

The Phoenix Suns got a decisive performance from their hustling bench to overcome Kobe Bryant’s 38-point, 10-assist performance and beat the Lakers 115-106 in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals on Tuesday night.

A series that looked like a Lakers’ breeze a week ago is all even at two apiece heading to Game 5

on Thursday night in Los Angeles.

The Suns reserves, considered an advantage entering the series but largely ineffective through three games, outscored their Lakers counterparts 54-20.

Channing Frye broke out of a horrendous shooting slump to make four three-pointers and score 14 points. Leandro Barbosa also had 14 on 6-of-8 shooting and Jared Dudley added 11 points. Goran Dragic ran the show at point and had eight points and eight assists in 18 minutes.

“The bench played fantastic,” the Suns’ Steve Nash said. “They were by far easily the difference tonight.”

Here we go again…

In Canada, Hockey, Me Myself & I, Montreal, Toronto on May 16, 2010 at 22:03

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Ok so 6-0 really sucks..but ugh I’m still with you Habs…man I fell so light headed saying that.

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You can read The Informers full article in Toronto Life here

Can Hogtown really get behind these Habs? Past the bad blood? Is this city really that desperate for some hockey glory? Can Leafs nation cover this up by saying, “We’re just supporting the Canadian-with-an-‘A’ team”? Can Torontonians just cheer for the Rexdale rookie and Montreal defenceman P.K. Subban?

Or will we show some conviction here and just ignore the Canadiens?

You can read torontomike’s full article on his blog

“If you know a young, ignorant, misguided Leafs fan who has decided to cheer on the Habs during these playoffs, please direct them here. We need to put an end to this despicable nonsense. Again, so there’s no misunderstanding: If you love the Leafs, you hate the Habs. There are no exceptions.”

Could the Jets come back to Winnipeg?

In Canada, Hockey, South of the boarder, Sports, The CBC, YouTube on May 8, 2010 at 19:10

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In 1996 the Winnipeg Jets left their home of Winnipeg, Manitoba to Glendale, Arizona to become the Phoenix Coyotes. The year previous the Quebec Nordiques moved to Colorado to become the Avalanche. This left Canada with only six teams. And left our friends south of the boarder with an overabundance of sub par and low attendance expansion teams. Oh and add insult to injury Colorado won the Cup in 1996.

So how possible is it that the NHL higher ups might allow this move, which could be the first of many, to actually happen. Bettman may not have much of a choice.

The Last Game in Winnipeg

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You can read Stephen Brunt’s full article in the Globe & Mail here

Maybe Jim Balsillie’s problem was that he didn’t think big enough. Make It Seven? Heck, how about Make It Nine?

The rather predictable events in Phoenix over the past 48 hours, coming almost exactly a year after Jerry Moyes took the Coyotes into bankruptcy with the intent of passing the franchise to Balsillie, and to Hamilton, underscore a truth obvious even to the desperate propagandists in the NHL’s head office.

There aren’t a heck of a lot of palatable options around right now for ailing NHL teams that don’t involved relocation to Canada.

Check that: there aren’t any.

Consider that Jerry Reinsdorf, who clearly has little passion for becoming involved in professional hockey, was deemed the best choice by the league and by the city fathers of Glendale to become the ‘Yotes new owner, even though massive concessions were involved, even though precious little of Reinsdorf’s own money was involved, even though there was a five-year out built into the deal.

Still, that was better than whatever the Ice Edge folks were putting on the table, to the degree that there really wasn’t much debate at all. The vote was nearly unanimous.

You can read Randy Tuner’s full article in the Winnipeg Free Press here

I’ve finally figured out what’s happening in Phoenix: It’s Winnipeg in 1995 all over again.

Deadlines involving the Coyotes come and go. Schemes to raise money to cover losses get more outlandish. Prospective owners pop up, disappear, then magically reappear again. All the while, there’s a fringe group demanding that the City of Glendale not pump more public funds into the NHL money pit.

The only difference, of course, is that nobody really cares.

They can’t, because that’s the only explanation for the absurd nature of the manic lease negotiations now said to involve Ice Edge Holdings, who re-emerged as potential owners for the team on Thursday — perhaps due to the small fact that NHL-sanctioned suitor Jerry Reinsdorf was trying to float a $165-million tax balloon that even the insanely generous city fathers couldn’t swallow.

All the NHL wants is for the city to cover the Coyotes losses — which even when modestly operated by the NHL could be between $20 million to $30 million this year. Oh, and don’t forget Ice Edge has proposed to have the Coyotes play a handful of games in a small Canadian market thousands of kilometres away.

Winnipeg Jets: For The Love Of The Game Documentary