With the management and coaching staff seeming to be complete for the Toronto Maple Leafs, now may be the best time to break it all down. So here goes, the recent hiring of Lou Lamoriello may have come as a shock to many Leafs fans, but all the recent hirings have proven that the Leafs are committed to the future of the franchise.
Let’s start with Lamoriello. His greatest contribution to the rebuild may not be a big trade or hiring, but instead with what he can do with Kyle Dubas. Lamoriello already said that he sees great potential in Dubas, stating at a press conference that if Dubas does not become a general manager it will be “his fault.”
The plan appears to be to have the 72 year-old general manager mentor Dubas. This is proven by the fact that president Brendan Shanahan basically admitted it at the press conference when he said the hiring was a chance for Lamoriello to mentor the entire staff. There is no beating around the bush, he was hired because Shanahan doesn’t think Dubas is ready and wants to give him a chance to learn from a veteran.
Now, lets move to Mike Babcock. He was hired by the Leafs to change the culture of the team. But an unexpected bonus could be that newly hired Marlies head coach Sheldon Keefe will have a chance to observe and learn from him. Keefe has ties with Kyle Dubas, as Keefe was Dubas’ coach in Sault St. Marie. So as Dubas is learning what it takes to be an NHL G.M., Keefe has a chance to figure out how to become as successful as Mike Babcock. Dubas said in a recent TSN interview that the two coaches working and learning from each other is “vital” to the team. The two will have to work together as Keefe will have to get the Leafs prospects ready to be able to play for Babcock’s Leafs.
With Babcock helping Keefe, Leafs prospects will benefit as well, instilling in them a winning attitude and as Babcock would say a “safe environment.”
What the end result of the recent hirings remains to be seen, but at least for now the future of the buds appears to be brighter. Leafs management finally seems to be heading in the right direction with this rebuild.
Have a great long weekend everyone!
With the Pan Am games in full swing, this is a perfect time for all Canadians, as it creates a bit of a distraction from everything.
For a few weeks, the noise disappears and is replaced by true patriotic pride. There is no way to escape the coverage as every restaurant or other business you go to either has it on the television or the radio, or is talking about the games. Bosses have the games on in their office, other people are following the news about Canadian athletes on-line.
Similar to the Pan Am games coverage, I remember the 2014 Sochi Olympics fondly. Many of the events I caught right in my college classroom. There was even a time I went in during our time off ready to get some work done, and in the end I also saw many of the medal events and ended up talking with many people about it. I liked this because in a way it bonds us as a people together and some of the stress or pressure tends to dissipate. These kinds of events bring sports fans and non-sports fans together in support.
The faces behind the medals are also revealed through the coverage, as we empathize with the pressure that the, over 700 Canadian athletes are competing under, and we act as an almost second family for our athletes. Seeing people who have not yet been exposed to the spotlight winning medals is probably the most heartwarming experience. To see their expressions, their smiles, after months of dedication is incredible. I can tell they will cherish that medal and moment forever. It reminds me that there are some incredible people right in our own neighbourhoods.
It also reminds me how great we as Canadians are, as we always tend to take care of our own. The fact that the majority of posts on my Twitter news feed was news about Canadian athletes performing magnificent feats proves that point.
It is also a fantastic feeling to see our country leading the medal standings, as Canada was at the time I was writing this. It may be the fact that I am a sports fan, but being able to check the results and see where we are at on an international scale always tends to excite me. It’s just more stats to have fun with.
People also get to see others doing amazing things that some of us would not really be able to do. I was watching some of the gymnastic events, such as parallel bars and the rings, this past weekend and was astounded at what some people can do. It is almost a large scale talent show for the masses, but with people competing in select events.
Now, I know that these games are more for geared towards preparing athletes for the Olympics. But, regardless of that fact, it is still a special time for all Canadians. For those who have gone or are going to any of those games, you will have a good story to tell when people ask, where were you when the Pan Am games came to Toronto? It may be a once in a lifetime opportunity.
As a journalist, I can’t wait to hear stories from the many people involved in the games from volunteers to athletes after they return.
Enjoy the summer coverage everyone and Go Canada Go! Lets keep dominating the medal standings.
After going through yet another graduation on Friday, my sister’s high school graduation, I have come to the realization that commencement speeches from people in power such as principals or college presidents have lost their effectiveness.
First off, they always seem to feature the same clichés. As many people who have listened to them before will know, there is always the mention that your next step lies outside the school walls, but that you must brave the cruel “real world”. I’ve heard this many times in multiple graduation speeches, and as a person who lives in the “real world” I have seen some cruelty. But I believe we all have a support base that helps us get through everything. This reminder is also pretty useless because by the time that the people reach the stage in their lives, they have already been entrenched in the “real world” and do not need to be reminded that they will have to earn everything they want.
Cliché number two is that they always seem to feature some form of bad puns. I’ve heard them used throughout many speeches, the ones that make you groan. I believe this is the lazy man or woman’s way of engaging the audience. Sure they will always get you a laugh, but the majority of the time it is more of a pity laugh. I am one person who believes that if you are truly a humorous person, the jokes will come naturally. You do not need to plan them.
The speeches are also always beating the kids over the heads with the fact that their education or program has given them ‘the skills they need to succeed in their future career’. Uh, thanks for that reminder, but would I be in school or the program if I thought otherwise? The school or institution does not need to give itself credit, because people should already know what they have taken out of it. Schools seem to always feel the need to mention themselves when it is truly unnecessary.
What may actually be worse than those previous points is that I have a suspicion that many of these speeches are recycled from previous years. If you use the same speech for the class of 2014 and the class of 2015, what message are you really sending? That this group of individuals is no more special than the ones that came before it?
For ceremonies that seem to drag on for 3 hours or more, these types of speeches have become a bit of a bore. For graduating students, they have to wait and sit in gowns that tend to get a bit warm. For parents or other family members, they are usually packed in and are just waiting to see their graduate take the stage.
I am not saying that these speeches should end, but that people addressing the crowd need to get more creative with these speeches. If you are going to joke, make sure it is a spur of the moment thing and not you reading it off a piece of paper. Add some energy, make it interesting. I think that the people making these speeches should do some research on past graduation speeches and remove all of the parts that have been overused in the past from their speech.
The focus, I believe, should be put on raw emotion when addressing a graduating class, not reserved sentiment.
This is because if you want to send the right message to a class moving up the ladder of life, then you better make sure the speech is not dry.
For those who have graduated from any level of schooling, I say congratulations and good luck. And if I can be forgiven for using one grad speech cliché to wrap this up, it’s “the best is yet to come.”
Is a reporter for The Standard Newspaper, so if you see him, feel free to say hello. You can follow Dan on Twitter at @dancearnsy