Monthly Archives: March 2012

Goodbye: GM Gauthier gone, who should replace him

It came to as an absolute shock to no one that Montreal Canadiens general manager was fired today.

Arnold C photo, via Wikimedia Commons

Should Scotty Bowman come back to Montreal to be the new general manager? I say yes.

While Gauthier did make a couple of good moves (signing Erik Cole, the Hal Gill trade), he made way more mistakes than any GM should be. I’m not going to get into them all here, because I already wrote about them weeks ago.

So now the focus shifts onto who the next general manager is. There’s a lot of speculation out there, ranging from the inexperienced like Pierre McGuire and Julien Brisebois to the even more inexperienced like Patrick Roy.

Of those three, I like Pierre McGuire. But I think the Habs need to get an NHL-experienced general manager (as well as an NHL-experienced coach).

The way I see it, there’s a few criteria the new GM needs: experience, respect, bilingual, ability to recognize great young players, willing to make big moves, etc.

So looking at that, if I were in charge of the Montreal Canadiens, there’s only one name I would go after.

Scotty Bowman.

How cool would that be? First off, it’d be the ultimate comeback, something that you normally only see in a WWE storyline. For those who don’t know, Bowman left the Habs back in 1979 when he was passed over for the general manager’s job. It would be nice to see him come back for another shot at glory with Les Glorieux.

He’s got the experience. He was the general manager of the Buffalo Sabres in the early 1980s. And I also believe he was general manager of the Detroit Red Wings for a period, but I’m not 100% sure on that. He’s currently the Senior Advisor of Hockey Operations with the Chicago Blackhawks. He’s won a total of 12 Stanley Cups.

He’s definitely got the respect. There’s probably not a more respected person in the NHL.

I’m not sure if he’s bilingual, but he was born and raised in Quebec, not to mention the eight seasons he coached the Habs, so I’m guessing he is.

He’s been in the NHL in some capacity since the 1960s. You don’t last that long without knowing how to recognize a good prospect or two.

As for big deals, when he was GM of the Sabres, he broke up one of the best lines in hockey, by dealing Rene Robert to Colorado, and Danny Gare to Detroit. He also dealt Rick Martin to Los Angeles for a first round pick that turned out to be Tom Barrasso.

Would Bowman want to come back to Montreal? I don’t know. I just think that the Habs ownership should do everything they can to get him. If anyone could lead the Habs back to the promise land of a Stanley Cup, it’s Scotty Bowman.


Filed under Uncategorized

Who thought putting Hitler in a TV ad was a good idea?

One of these days, I’m going to start awarding a stupid person/group of the week prize on this blog.

Apparently, a company in Turkey has decided to use Adolph Hitler in their commercial for a men’s hair shampoo.

People have sent in complaints about the commercial.

According to this Yahoo story:

The commercial is for a Turkish product called Biomen, and uses video  footage of Hitler with a voiceover. “If you are not wearing a woman’s  dress, you should not use her shampoo either,” Hitler appears to say in  the ad. “Here it is, a real mens’ shampoo, Biomen.” The commercial has been running in Turkey for about a week.

Not sure whatever convinced Biomen to think this was a good idea. How does one sit in an advertising meeting with all those executives, and the best anyone can come up with is to use Hitler in a commercial? Didn’t anyone question this? Didn’t one person raise their hand and say “Um, do we really want our brand associated with a guy who killed six million Jewish people and was responsible for the Holocaust?”

My guess is no. The Yahoo article mentions the company may have thought it was good shock value. But I just don’t get it. It’s not funny. It’s not going to do good things for your business. It probably won’t make you any money. And it’s probably going to turn a lot of people off your product.

Several groups have already come out against the commercial.

Just today, Biomen announced they will take the ad off the air. But here’s the thing: the company’s owner is defending the ad.

From the Jerusalem Post:

The company’s owner, Hulusi Dereci, said he stood behind the commercial but pulled it off the air due to the backlash it received.

He nonetheless continued defending the ad in an interview with Turkish daily  Hurriyet printed Wednesday, saying that if it had featured the father of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk instead of Hitler, “people would react as if we were mocking him. When it is Hitler, they say we are promoting [him].”

The guy just doesn’t get it.

Here’s the video. What do you think?

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The biggest loser on the Biggest Loser

I have a lot of guilty pleasures when it comes to reality television.

Conda doesn't seem to understand that she should feel honoured to be on The Biggest Loser.

One of the shows recently has been the Biggest Loser.I’ve only seen the last three seasons or so, and for the most part, it’s pretty good. People go on the show to lose weight, with the one losing the highest percentage receiving $250,000. Every week, the team that loses the least amount of weight has to vote someone out.

This season is a little off though. The contestants just aren’t likeable. It feels like they believe they deserve to be there, whereas contestants in the past feel like it’s a privilege to be selected for the show. And there’s just too much fighting for the show to be liked.

There doesn’t seem to be the stories into the background of the contestants and how they got the way they are. There doesn’t seem to be the mutual support when they lose weight. There’s no togetherness, or helping each other out. There’s no inspiration. It’s all backstabbing, name-calling and immaturity. Which is fine on Survivor, but not on the Biggest Loser.

The worst of all the contestants is a girl named Conda. A single mom, she acts like a 12-year-old.

Here’s what she’s done so far:

  • She doesn’t listen to the trainers, to the point one of them kicked her out of the exercise room (she blamed him, of course) and told her not to come back until she was serious about losing weight.
  • In an episode where there were direct challenges against the opposing team, she lost a challenge to Cassandra. Conda then spent the entire episode saying that Cassandra cheated, even though she didn’t. So they had a re-match, and Conda lost again.
  • Then in that same episode, she lost the weigh-in to Cassandra.
  • In another episode, she was chosen to go home and only her weight would count for the team against one other person on the other team. And she lost that challenge.
  • When an at-home team came back, she immediately hated them and went about getting them eliminated.
  • She threw a weigh-in to get one of those at-home people eliminated.
  • When her trainer wasn’t at the gym, Conda did nothing but complain. The trainer got to see videotape of the workout, and wrote down every complaint Conda had. It was a big list.
  • She puts down people.
  • She talks behind people’s backs.
  • She rolls her eyes at people.
  • She has attacked almost every single person who has been eliminated, but tells them she actually cares for them.

Yet, Conda still acts like she the queen bee. And that’s the another annoying thing. She’s liked by other contestants on the show, so much so, I can’t see her getting voted out anytime soon.

It’s not just me. If do a Google search of “Biggest Loser Conda annoying”, you get more than 222,000 hits. If you change the word annoying to hate, you get more than 500,000 hits.

The thing is, it’s not like Conda is the person people love to hate (like Richard Hatch or Russell Hantz from Survivor). She’s just not a likeable person.

Major spoiler

Apparently, next week is a crazy episode. The Biggest Loser announces to the contestants that at least one eliminated person will be coming back to the show.

The remaining contestants don’t like it, and decide to walk off the show! Crazy.

But that goes back to my original point.

It feels like they believe they deserve to be there, instead of feeling like it’s a privilege to be there. It doesn’t feel like they want to lose weight, or that it’s secondary.

So most of them come back after a few days away, but two of them decide not to. No one knows who for sure, but I’m guessing Conda and her brother Jeremy. It makes sense on a few levels. The two who decide not to come back are probably close and make the decision together. And if they did go home, they may see all the hate there is for them on the Internet, and decide it’s not worth it to go back.

All I know is that walkout might be the only thing that saves this season.


Filed under entertainment

If you can’t pick up after your dog, then don’t own a dog

I like animals. I grew up with three cats. One of my friends and former roommates had a dog that I lived with for three years. Some good friends of mine have a rabbit. Heck, I’ve fish-sat for people.

Ron Armstrong photo, via Wikimedia Commons

I'm not showing a photo of dog poop, so enjoy this pic of a dog catching a disc instead.

So I know there are lots of responsible people out there. This post is not for you.No, this post is for those of you who really shouldn’t be in charge of an animal.

Now that the weather is nice, I take my children out for a walk every day. There’s a little pond that is looped by a pathway. I go there each day, as there are lots of wonderful things about nature I can teach my kids. Geese stop in that pond on their further north. Trees are growing that were planted by Scouts a few years back. And you can see and hear robins singing in the trees.

And all around the pond, are plastic bags filled with dog poop that has just been left there. No word of a lie, you can easily count 30 bags as you’re circling the pond. It’s an eyesore, it’s disgusting and it’s irresponsible.

The city has garbage cans that they put around the pond in the summer. So some dog owners have decided to dump their bags in those spots. So there’s a collection of dog poop bags as well.


While walking yesterday, I saw a couple pushing a baby in a stroller while also taking their dog for a walk. They picked up the poop in a plastic bag, and left in on the side of the trail.

Way to teach responsibility to your kid. In that moment, you showed him it’s okay to break the law, litter and not be responsible for your own pet. Good job parents.

Even if the garbage can is there, you’re not supposed to dump dog poop there. You’re supposed to bring it home and flush it down the toilet. If you don’t want to do that, throw it in your garbage can at home. You have a baby. You must change his diaper and throw it away. Trust me, I don’t think adding the dog poop will any way make your at-home garbage can smellier.

So here’s the deal. If you can’t be a responsible pet owner, don’t own a pet. If you already have one, give it away to someone who will actually care for it. Like say, a child. Because a kid would probably be a better pet owner than you would.

And please, don’t ever think about getting a pet again. Because you’re proving that you just can’t handle it.

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Filed under Environment

Why Patrick should not be the new coach of the Habs

Rick Dikeman photo, via Wikimedia Commons

Patrick Roy should not be the next head coach of the Canadiens.

Rumours are once again surfacing that Patrick Roy will be the new head coach of the Montreal Canadiens.I touched upon this before, but it bears repeating: Montreal needs an experienced head coach, not a rookie.

I like Patrick as much as the next guy. Maybe more. He was my favourite player of all time. I ranked him second of the top 100 Habs of all time, ahead of Jean Beliveau, Guy Lafleur, Doug Harvey, Howie Morenz and everyone else not named Maurice Richard.

But the Habs don’t have a lot of great experience with rookie head coaches. Many of them became great coaches, just not with the Habs. They learned on the job, and when they were able to use the experience from Montreal to be successful elsewhere.

Here are the last eight head coaches of the Habs, and how they did, based on their regular season winning percentage, playoff winning percentage and what the furthest the team went in the playoffs:

  • Randy Cunneyworth: Winning percentage of .439, No playoff record
  • Jacques Martin: Winning percentage of .554, playoff winning percentage of .462, final four in playoffs
  • Guy Carbonneau: Winning percentage of .589, playoff winning percentage of .417, second round in playoffs
  • Claude Julien: Winning percentage of .531, playoff winning percentage of .364, second round in playoffs
  • Michel Therrien: Winning percentage of .500, playoff winning percentage of .500, second round in playoffs
  • Alain Vigneault: Winning percentage of .483, playoff winning percentage of .400, second round in playoffs
  • Mario Tremblay: Winning percentage of .525, playoff winning percentage of .273, first round of playoffs
  • Jacques Demers: Winning percentage of .548, playoff winning percentage of .704, one Stanley Cup

What does the records show? Out of the eight coaches, only two had previous head coaching experience. Those two coaches made it the furthest in the playoffs. Those two coaches finished in the top three of regular season and playoff winning percentage.

Simply put, NHL coaching experience counts. Do we really want to bring in another inexperienced head coach that will struggle come playoff time? Do we really need another hothead like Mario Tremblay was?

Coaching in the NHL is tougher than coaching junior, or the AHL. Look at the coaches who replaced fired coaches this year. Guys like Dale Hunter, Randy Cunneyworth and Kirk Muller are struggling. Guys like Ken Hitchcock are thriving. Experience counts.

The difference between coaching junior and the NHL is huge. In juniors, you can yell at kids, bench them, berate them or whatever, and it’s going to work. They want to make it to the NHL. Plus, they’re kids. They’re apt to feel more disappointed when they let down a coach.

In the NHL, guys are making millions of dollars. Yelling at them won’t necessarily get the same reaction. And it’s hard to bench guys making $5 million a year. The same tricks won’t necessarily work.

And it would be especially hard on a rookie coach in the pressure cooker of Montreal.

I understand the legacy aspect. I get how people want a link to the past. But Tremblay proved that doesn’t always work.

The Habs best chance to be successful is through a coach who has been there before, not through a rookie coach.


Filed under Sports blogs I like

History shows Habs need higher draft pick

As I wrote last week, Montreal needs to stop getting points.

Dan4th photo, via Wikimedia Commons

Who would you rather have on your team: Alexander Ovechkin or Al Montoya?

Now, some may think there’s a pride factor, and the Habs should continue to win.

But I think the best thing for this team is to get a high draft pick.

And when I say high, I mean top three.

Two weeks ago, they were in that third spot. Now, they’re fifth. And only two points between them and four other teams ahead of them.

So in the next week, they could end up with the ninth overall pick. That’s not good.

How important is that top three pick? Let me put it to you this way: there’s a better chance of a superstar being taken in the top three than in the sixth to eighth spot. There’s a better chance of getting a 50-goal scorer. There’s a better chance of getting someone who will make a difference to the team. There’s a better chance of getting a significant long-term impact player.

Don’t believe me? Compare the draft picks of every year since the lockout. It’s the top three picks versus picks six to eight. Tell me if there’s any group of later picks you would take over the top three in any year.

If there’s not, then you should be hoping for a top three pick.


Top three: Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Cam Barker

Picks 6-8: Al Montoya, Rostislav Olesz, Alexandre Picard


Top three: Sidney Crosby, Bobby Ryan, Jack Johnson

Picks 6-8: Gilbert Brule, Jack Skille, Devin Setoguchi


Top three: Erik Johnson, Jordan Staal, Jonathan Toews

Picks 6-8: Derick Brassard, Kyle Okposo, Peter Mueller


Top three: Patrick Kane, James van Riemsdyk, Kyle Turris

Picks 6-8: Sam Gagner, Jakub Voracek, Zach Hamill


Top three: Steven Stamkos, Drew Doughty, Zach Bogosian

Picks 6-8: Nikita Filatov, Colin Wilson, Mikkel Boedker


Top three: John Tavares, Victor Hedman, Matt Duchene

Picks 6-8: Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Nazem Kadri, Scott Glennie


Top three: Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin, Erik Gudbranson

Picks 6-8: Brett Connolly, Jeff Skinner, Aleksandr Burmistrov


Top three: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Gabriel Landeskog, Jonathan Huberdeau

Picks 6-8: Mika Zibanejad, Mark Scheifele, Sean Couturier


Filed under Sports blogs I like

Losing weight by cutting out sugar

So about a month or so ago, I decided to step on a scale.

The Body Toner photo, via Wikimedia Commons

I'm hoping to have abs like this one day.

Probably not a wise move. It was my first time on one in months, and I think I nearly broke the thing.Once I stood on my tiptoes to see over my stomach, I saw that I was a mind-boggling 230 pounds.

Wow. That’s not good. But it makes sense in a way, because of a simple reason: inactivity.

I used to play sports three or four nights a week. Sometimes more. In fact, when I first started dating my soon-to-be wife, my Sundays were filled with sports. I curled in the mornings, played ultimate Frisbee in the afternoons and ball hockey in the evenings. Then I would still play sports another three nights a week.

So I was able to burn off a lot of the bad food I ate.

But when the girls were born, I cut back on the amount of sports I played. And then, when I got Lyme disease last year, I had to cut back even more.

Now, I need to get in shape. And I decided to cut back on the amount of sugar I eat. And it will get me closer to two goals on my bucket list: get a six-pack, and get back to 180 pounds.

I know, I know. I’ve cut sugar out before, but I’m doing it a little differently this time. In the past, I would cut out sugar sweets completely. But eventually, I start to have one or two things as treat. Then it becomes more often and eventually I go back to eating sweets.

This time, I’ve decided to cut back on sugar. I won’t eat any sweets that has more than 30% of it sugar.

So pretty much, if a third of a food is sugar, I’m saying no.

Now, that may not sound like much, but there is so much food out there that more than one-third of it is sugar: chocolate bars, ice cream, candy and even cereal.

Yes, I’ve even had to cut back on a lot of my favourite cereals. I was surprised by how much sugar is in some of them. But I was even more surprised how much some “healthy” cereals are the same as “junk food” cereals.

My favourite cereal of all time? Alpha-bits. I even have an Alpha-bits T-shirt. But when I decided to cut back on sugar, I stopped eating them, and went to Honey Nut Cheerios instead.

But guess what? Honey Nut Cheerios has just about the same amount of sugar as Alpha-bits. That shocked me a lot.

Instead, I’ve been eating mostly Corn Flakes, with some Vector cereal thrown in for taste.

This goes on for many of my meals and snacks. I eat Granola Bars that aren’t as high in sugar. I eat chips instead of cookies. And so on.

I know to lose weight, you’re supposed to count calories, and saturated fats, and everything else. But that’s too complicated. I figure by cutting out a lot of these sugary foods, I’m cutting back on calories and all the other stuff.

And so far, it’s worked. I’ve lost 10 pounds in the past month.

Hopefully, once ultimate season starts, and I get to run around a lot more, it’ll help shed the pounds.


Filed under Misc.