Thursday, September 30, 2010

{allcanada} Doc shows the Force of Suzuki 

Sturla Gunnarsson's Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie is both a marvellous biography of a Canadian icon and an entertaining and enlightening documentary about biodiversity.

Every child in Canada -- and the world -- should be given the opportunity to see it. Then they can bug their stodgy or ignorant or reluctant parents into changing their family's wasteful ways and help to save Planet Earth from further degradation and perhaps even total destruction. Environmentalism begins at home.

But Gunnarsson, like the world-renowned environmentalist and scientist he profiles, realizes that you cannot just say stuff like that -- you have to show it. Force of Nature shows it as beautifully and as forcefully as possible in any single documentary film. It is broader in scope, less alarmist and better balanced and orchestrated than David Guggenheim and Al Gore's influential doc, An Inconvenient Truth. With this balance, Force of Nature is much less likely to be a target of ridicule from nay-sayers -- as An Inconvenient Truth has become for some of its sloppy reportage, which sidetracked people from the validity of its message about climate change.

Force of Nature is also full of inconvenient truths about the deteriorating health of Mother Nature and mankind's responsibility in those processes. But the spirit and tone of the new film is less about panic and more about hope. And a lot more personal.

Gunnarsson's gift is that he recognizes that giving the public a human portrait Suzuki puts the big picture stuff into better focus for the audience. This duality produces an almost giddy feeling, mixed with melancholy for what we recognize as true about the environmental message here.

So the film chronicles Suzuki's life, starting from what was initially a happy Canadian childhood after his birth to Japanese-Canadian parents in Vancouver in 1936. Then came the tortured period when, with his family, he was forced into one of Canada's shameful internment camps during the Second World War. The chronicle continues through the post-war banishment to Ontario, through his education and development as both a scientist and as a broadcaster, through his emergence as an activist, and up to his current twilight years as a doting grandfather and celebrity environmentalist.

Gunnarsson also gives Suzuki, who is an eloquent speaker, a platform to re-explain his whole earth message. One in which he explains in detail how maintaining the integrity of the planet's biodiversity is the key to survival for humans -- and all living things.

The film intercuts the personal episodes with excerpts from a public lecture that Suzuki delivered in the fall of 2009 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. That sounds easy to do, but it is not. Gunnarsson and his filmmaking team do a splendid job of maintaining a flow. Spend too long on the personal and the lecture would falter. Spend too much time just letting Suzuki talk and the personal picture would fade. Force of Nature does it just right, keeping both sagas alive.

In the end, in our ongoing education from childhood to maturity, it is useful to remember that we all must listen to our elders. The 74-year-old David Suzuki is significant among them.

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By the time the Peterborough Petes woke up from their 20-minute nap, their game against the Belleville Bulls was practically over.

Andy Bathgate, Richard Panik and Brett Mackie each scored two goals and as the Bulls used a dominant first period to win for the first time this Ontario Hockey League season, dumping the Petes 7-5 Thursday.

Bathgate had a pair of power play goals, Panik scored on another power play and a penalty shot, while Mackie had two even-strength markers for Belleville (1-1-0).

Michael Curtis had the other Belleville goal before leaving the game with an injury.

First-round draft pick Brendan Gaunce was outstanding for the Bulls, earning four assists with some slick passes. Adam Payerl added three assists and Austen Brassard and Stephen Silas a pair of helpers each.

Elsewhere in the OHL it was: Brampton 9 Barrie 3; Sault Ste. Marie 5 Windsor 1; Saginaw 4 Sudbury 1; and Niagara 5 Erie 4.

At Peterborough, Ont., Lino Martschini led the Petes (0-3-0) with a goal and two assists. Matt Puempel and Austin Watson rounded out the scoring for Peterborough.

The Bulls dominated from the opening faceoff, outshooting the Petes 12-3 in the first period on the way to a 4-0 lead. The game was much more even for the final 40 minutes with Peterborough outscoring the visitors 5-3 and outshooting them 26-20.

Belleville was 3-for-7 on the power play while the Petes were 1-for-7.

Battalion 9 Colts 3

At Barrie, Ont., Craig Moore, Sean Jones and Domenic Alberga each scored twice as Brampton hammered the Colts.


Greyhounds 5 Spitfires 1

At Windsor, Ont., Justin Thomas scored two goals and Bryce O'Hagan made 32 saves as Sault Ste. Marie defeated the Spitfires.


Spirit 4 Wolves 1

At Saginaw, Mich., Mavrick Parks made 29 saves as the Spirit beat Sudbury their home opener.


IceDogs 5 Otters 4

At St. Catharines, Ont., Steven Shipley scored the game winner as Niagara scored four power-play goals en route to a win over Erie.

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{allcanada} Bautista homers twice as Jays whip Twins 

MINNEAPOLIS -- Jose Bautista hit home runs No. 53 and 54, including a grand slam, and the Toronto Blue Jays went deep six times in a 13-2 victory over the stumbling Minnesota Twins on Thursday night.

Edwin Encarnacion hit two homers and Jose Molina and Travis Snider added long balls for the big-swinging Blue Jays, who have hit 253 homers this season, the fourth-highest total in baseball history.

Bautista's second homer went to right field, his first this season that didn't go to either left or left-centre.

"I never get tired of seeing them," Jays manager Cito Gaston said.

Francisco Liriano (14-10) gave up five runs and six hits, including three of those homers, with six strikeouts in 5 1-3 innings in his final start before the playoffs. The left-hander is scheduled to start Game 1 of the ALDS on Wednesday at Target Field.

The AL Central champions have lost six of their last seven games and missed a chance to tie the Rays and Yankees for the best record in the American League.

"It's a different atmosphere when you get to the playoffs, but it's not fun (right now)," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "That's not the way you want to go into it, pitching like this and getting beat around."

Bautista entered the night on an 0-for-20 skid, but had three hits and five RBIs. His mammoth grand slam landed in the third deck in left field some 428 feet from home plate and he added the solo homer to right in the ninth.

Bautista, whose previous career high for homers was 16, has nine multi-homer games this year. He is the first player to hit 54 homers in a season since Alex Rodriguez in 2007.

Casey Janssen (5-2) pitched 1 1-3 innings of scoreless relief for the win.

It appears that no matter who is on the mound, or where that mound is, the Blue Jays still hit home runs.

Liriano led the league in fewest homers allowed -- with a minimum of 150 innings pitched -- allowing only six long balls all season before giving up three in less than six innings on Thursday.

And according to, Target Field had allowed just 1.35 homers per game when the day began, third-fewest in the league behind Oakland's McAfee Coliseum (1.33) and Seattle's cavernous Safeco Field (1.22).

"Balls have been flying out of any stadium for us all year long," Bautista said.

Encarnacion got things started with a two-run homer to the opposite field in right and then gave Toronto a 3-0 lead with a 419-foot blast into the trees behind the centre field fence in the fifth. It was just the sixth home run to clear the centre field fence at Target Field this season.

Molina followed with a solo shot that just cleared the left field fence for Toronto's 250th homer of the season. Only the 1996 Baltimore Orioles (257), the 2005 Texas Rangers (260) and the 1997 Seattle Mariners (264) have hit more in one year.

Liriano, who left his previous start after three innings because of illness, has given up 15 earned runs in his last 19 1-3 innings, not an encouraging sign as the Twins get ready for the playoffs.

The entire pitching staff has been in a funk ever since they clinched the AL Central title on Sept. 21. The Twins have allowed at least 10 runs in five of their last seven games.

Joe Mauer went 0 for 4 as the designated hitter, returning from an 11-day absence because of an injured left knee that required a cortisone shot.

NOTES: Twins slugger Justin Morneau of New Westminster, B.C., who has not played since sustaining a concussion on July 7, took early batting practice. He ruled himself out for the ALDS but said he hoped to be ready if the team advances to the ALCS. ... It was Bautista's fourth career grand slam and second this season. ... Encarnacion had his sixth career multi-homer game and second of the year. ... Twins SS J.J. Hardy, who has been bothered by a sore left knee and migraine headaches, played for just the second time in the last nine games. He went 0 for 4. ... Gardenhire said RHP Jon Rauch will not pitch this weekend because of a knee injury. Rauch had fluid drained and received a cortisone shot earlier Thursday.

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{allcanada} London, Ont., MMA fighters share bond 

Mark (The Machine) Hominick, Chris (The Polish Hammer) Horodecki and Sam (Hands of Stone) Stout are the three amigos of Canadian MMA.

They own their own gym in London, Ont., and train together in Las Vegas before fights under coach Shawn Tompkins, who doubles as Stout's brother-in-law.

It makes for a tight band of cage-fighting brothers.

Hominick (18-8) and Horodecki (14-2) campaign in the WEC, where they have separate fights on Thursday night's WEC 51 card in Broomfield, Colo.

Hominick takes on featherweight Leonard (Bad Boy) Garcia while Horodecki faces lightweight Ed (9mm) Ratcliff. Stout (14-4-1) fights in the UFC, with a bout against England's Paul Taylor set for next month at UFC 121 in Anaheim, Calif.

Back home they are co-owners of the Adrenaline Training Center, but they refine their fight strategy in Sin City where Tompkins teaches the pros at the giant Tapout Training Center.

"The facility's awesome but what it comes down to really is the people in it," said the 26-year-old Stout.

All three have other specialty coaches but Tompkins is their overall MMA coach -- and landlord when they train in Vegas. They stay at Tompkins' home where each gets their own room.

"He knows what we're going through with our diet and our sleep and everything like that," said the 28-year-old Hominick. "So it's really nice that we're taken care of by him and (wife) Emily."

Tompkins said he knew that they would be putting up out-of-town fighters, so "we made sure we picked the right house that we could do that and still be able to be somewhat sane."

In their upstairs quarters, the fighters relax together after the demands of training.

"Everyone's in that same mindset," said Hominick. "You're not at home and your friends are saying 'Hey we should go out for dinner, we should go out for a drink or something like that."'

The three have known Tompkins for almost a decade.

Horodecki, 23, was involved in martial arts when he met Tompkins.

"Shawn came in and taught a seminar at the karate school I was training at and I got hooked," he said. "I knew he was for real, I knew he was serious. A couple of weeks later he started teaching a few classes out of the gym and I've been with him ever since. That first day I met Sam and Mark.

"Ten years later look where we are now. . . . We're all still here, it's a strong core."

Tompkins provides direction away from the cage, reminding his fighters when in Vegas that "there's other streets other than the Strip and the Strip can always kind of lead them the wrong direction."

The bond is easy to see when any of the three fight. Tompkins yells out the instructions and the fighter immediately responds.

"We've been with him for so long, so many years and he's just got you trained where he knows you better than you know you, believe it or not," Horodecki said.

"It just works, we click and it is like clockwork. It's like playing a video game."

Said Stout: "That just comes with 10 years of working together. I've been training with him so long I can pick his voice out of even a really large arena."

Tompkins says the bond is strengthened by the time they spend together in training -- "When it's camp time, we're together almost 100 per cent of the day. We get that partnership."

In the main event at the 1STBANK Center on Thursday, Brazilian star Jose (Junior) Aldo defends his featherweight title against Manny (The Anvil) Gamburyan.

Aldo (17-1) has not lost in almost five years and is coming off a dominant win over former champion Urijah (The California Kid) Faber in April.

Hominick and Horodecki, like most, are picking the champ. The Venetian bookmaker in Las Vegas has the Brazilian a 7-1 favourite.

"It's an intriguing match but I don't think Manny brings all the things that Jose does," Hominick said. "He (Aldo) is so well-rounded and he's so dangerous, but one thing Manny does bring is he's not afraid of Aldo."

Said Horodecki: "Aldo, he's proved he's one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in MMA right now. He's looking really good -- standup, on the ground. I think this is a really tough fight for Manny. I think Aldo's going to be too fast for him. I can't see Aldo not winning this fight."

The co-main event features a bad blood rematch between lightweights Jamie Varner and Donald (Cowboy) Cerrone. Cerrone was forced to apologize in the leadup to the fight for saying in an interview he hoped Varner "is the first death in MMA."

Varner won a split decision when they first met in January 2009 in a fight that went to the judges early after Varner was unable to continue after taking an accidental illegal knee to the head.

The two were nose-to-nose during their staredown and Wednesday's weigh-ins, yapping at each other though smiling. Cerrone weighed in at 155.5 while Varner was 156. Varner said that because of the incentive each has to beat the other up, it's the fans who will benefit.

"No matter who wins, you win," Varner told the crowd.

The card also marks the WEC debut of Chinese lightweight Tiequan (The Mongolian Wolf) Zhang, who takes on Pablo Garza.

Also, the Korean Zombie returns. Bantamweight Chan Sung Jung, who turned heads in an April slugfest loss to Garcia, is matched against George Roop.

The card showcases two former champions looking to get back on track.

Mike Brown, who lost his 145-pound championship to Aldo and was beaten by Gamburyan last time out, takes on featherweight Cole Province.

And Miguel Angel Torres, who lost his 135-pound title to Brian Bowles and then was beaten by Joseph Benavidez, hopes to bounces back against bantamweight Charlie Valencia.

NOTES: All fighters successfully made weight Wednesday, although one needed to drop his shorts after weighing in one-half pound heavy on the first attemp. Torres, who was accompanied by trainer Firas Zahaba of Tri-Star MMA in Montreal, was 136.5 pounds before requiring a towel to be placed in front of him for his second stand on the scale, at which point he made 136. Hominick weighed in at 145 while Garcia was 146, and both Horodecki and Ratcliff came in on the number at 155 pounds.

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[SurroundSound] Re: Hello all :)

The wealth of surround sound stuff available for download is
astounding, I can barely keep enough drive space in stock - just
bought 2 1.5 TB Seagates a coupla weeks ago, couldn't resist at $99
each. Good to see you found The Hub, it truly rocks!

On Sep 30, 9:30 pm, QTS <> wrote:
> I've been lurking around here for a while readin' posts and followin'
> links, and I figured I should introduce myself and say hi. I'm a new
> member to the Hub too, so I'll be logging in there soon. I also want
> to say a big thanks to any people who may read this that are
> responsible for any of the auditory gems I've found distributed around
> on the interwebs, all your endeavors are very appreciated.
> Dave

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{allcanada} Ryan Gosling in talks for Clooney political drama 

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Ryan Gosling is in negotiations to play a campaign operative in "Farragut North," a political drama George Clooney co-wrote and is directing.

The story follows a young, idealistic communications director who works for an inspiring, though unorthodox, presidential candidate. During the campaign, his career is done in by more seasoned politicos who thrive on poisonous partisan politics, dirty tricks and back-stabbing.

The project is based on a play by Beau Willimon, who drew upon his experiences working on Democratic presidential contender Howard Dean's campaign in 2004. It takes its name from the Washington Metro station located near many lobbyists' offices. Leonardo DiCaprio and Jake Gyllenhaal were previously linked to the project.

Clooney, producing with his Smoke House partner Grant Heslov, is independently financing the drama. Gosling is generating awards buzz with "Blue Valentine," which will open in late December. His involvement was first reported by Deadline.

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SHAWINIGAN, Que. -- Nicolas Dionne scored the winning goal and Jonathan Brunelle added two assists as the undefeated Drummondville Voltigeurs held on for a 3-2 win over the Shawinigan Cataractes in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action Thursday.

Lars Lundin and Marc-Olivier Vachon also scored for the Voltigeurs, who improved to 7-0-0. Drummondville is currently the top-ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League, which also included the Ontario Hockey League and Western Hockey League.

Marc-Antoine Goyette and Maximilien Le Sieur replied for Shawinigan (3-3-1).

Guillaume Nadeau stopped 18 shots for Drummondville, while Gabriel Girard made 33 saves for Shawinigan.

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{allcanada} Adam's 2 goals lead Sabres over Canadiens

MONTREAL (AP)—Luke Adam(notes) had two goals to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 5-3 preseason win over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.

Tim Connolly(notes), Thomas Vanek(notes) and Drew Schiestel(notes) also scored for Buffalo (3-1), and Tyler Myers(notes) had two assists. Jhonas Enroth(notes) stopped 28 shots.

Mathieu Darche(notes) and Ryan O'Byrne(notes) scored early in the second for Montreal (3-3), briefly tying it at 2. Tom Pyatt(notes) had the Canadiens' final goal midway through the third, and Alex Auld(notes) made 32 saves.

The teams combined for five goals in a span of 7:30 in the first half of the second period. Adams scored 1:41 in before Buffalo quickly blew a 2-0 lead.

Connolly put the Sabres ahead once again at 7:50 when he snapped a shot into the top right corner on a 5-on-3 to make it 3-2. Adam, who scored his first goal unassisted on a wraparound, then gave Buffalo a two-goal lead for the second time with his second tally of the period at 9:11.

Schiestel made it 5-2 with another power-play goal 7:22 into the third.

Andrei Kostitsyn(notes) came close to making it a one-goal game later in the final period. Referee Eric Furlatt immediately waved off the goal, ruling that the Canadiens right wing had directed the puck into the net off his skate.

Vanek opened the scoring with a power-play goal 4:38 in. Auld stopped Myers' point shot but Vanek spun away from O'Byrne in the goalmouth to put the rebound into an open right side.

Darche cut it to 2-1 just 15 seconds after Adam's first goal with an unassisted tally off a turnover behind the Sabres' net.

O'Byrne got credit for tying it at 2 moments later. The Montreal defenseman's shot from the right side deflected off defenseman Steve Montdor's stick and past Enroth at 3:20.

Montreal plays its final preseason game Saturday night against the New York Islanders in Quebec City.

Buffalo wraps up its exhibition schedule with a pair of games against Philadelphia on Friday and Sunday.

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{allcanada} Concussion still sidelines Morneau

African American Couple 728x90 

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota slugger Justin Morneau will be watching the first round of the AL playoffs from the bench.

He is still holding out hope to have a much more active role should the Twins advance to the AL championship series.

Morneau, who has been out since July 7 because of a concussion, took early batting practice and some ground balls on Thursday evening before the start of the final series of the regular season. The native of New Westminster, B.C., ruled himself out of returning in time for the ALDS, which begins at Target Field on Wednesday, but wasn't ready to entirely give up on returning for the post-season.

"The first round is not something that's going to be possible with being out for as long as I've been out," Morneau said before the Twins hosted the Toronto Blue Jays. "But we'll have the goal of hopefully being ready by the second round. But this thing is so unpredictable, it's hard to say."

Morneau was injured while sliding into second base in Toronto nearly three months ago. He collided with Jays second baseman John McDonald's knee and left the game after feeling woozy. The aftereffects lingered well into September, but the all-star first baseman has been improving.

He was upbeat on Thursday, telling reporters he hasn't felt much of the symptoms since Sunday. If all went well, he planned to ramp up his workouts on Friday by joining the team for the full pre-game routine.

"It's been a very good few days," Morneau said. "We'll see how it goes the rest of the day. This is the first day being outside doing everything for a while. ... It's a positive, and we're hoping it just keeps going like this every day, and we'll see where we're at."

The Twins have been patient all summer with Morneau. They remain adamant that they will not rush him back, concentrating instead on his long-term health.

"I just want to see him get out here on the baseball field and doing his workouts, doing his routine and then you see what you can do from there," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I really haven't tried to envision anything with him right now other than his health."

Morneau was hitting .345 with 18 homers and 56 RBIs when he went down and still has the fourth-highest home run total on the team despite playing in only 80 games.

Somehow, the Twins have played better without him. Michael Cuddyer moved from right field to first base to fill in and the Twins went 47-23 after the all-star break to enter the final series one game behind Tampa Bay in the race for the best record in the American League.

Morneau said he's proud of how his teammates have carried on without him. His biggest frustration has come from not being able to explain to everyone exactly what he's going through.

"Head injuries aren't like a broken wrist where you walk around with a cast on," he said. "It's inside. It's pretty much how you feel. It's not something that shows up on an X-ray or anything like that. It's something that anybody who's been through it can know what it feels like, but it's hard to describe.

"You kind of sit down and watch TV, and I couldn't make it through watching two or three innings of a game. Now all of that stuff is kind of back to normal."

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[SurroundSound] Hello all :)

I've been lurking around here for a while readin' posts and followin'
links, and I figured I should introduce myself and say hi. I'm a new
member to the Hub too, so I'll be logging in there soon. I also want
to say a big thanks to any people who may read this that are
responsible for any of the auditory gems I've found distributed around
on the interwebs, all your endeavors are very appreciated.


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{allcanada} CRTC at odds with MTV Canada

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TORONTO - MTV Canada has received a slap upside the head from the country's broadcast regulator over its cable ratings sensation "Jersey Shore."

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) wants to know what The Situation, Snooki, JWoww, Pauly D, Sammi and Hungadunga, not to mention other U.S.-originated MTV shows, have to do with MTV Canada's original programming mandate to operate an all-talk format.

"After a review of your broadcast schedule, it would appear that several of your programs are not consistent with your nature of service, such as 'Jersey Shore,' 'Cribs,' 'Downtown Girls' and 'Teen Mom,"' the regulator told MTV Canada-parent CTVglobemedia in an July 27, 2010 letter that requested clarification of the channel's programming strategies.

"Jersey Shore" this summer closed in on "The Hills" as the best-ever performing reality show on cable TV north of the border.

Representatives at CTVglobemedia offered no comment Friday on the CRTC intervention, and added their response to the regulatory query will be made public before the end of the year.

CTVglobemedia wasn't the only domestic broadcaster to be shown a wagging regulatory finger for straying from their original terms of license.

Rogers Broadcasting was also called to task in a July 27 letter for its G4 cable channel apparently departing from its original mandate to air computer and Internet-related programming by featuring episodes of "Mantracker," "Which Way To" and "The Office."

And Canwest Global Communications Corp. received its own July 27 missive from the CRTC why TVTropolis, a cable channel in 2004 designated as a cable channel for "adults over 50 years of age, was airing series like "Project Runway Canada" and "Last 10 Pounds Boot Camp."

Executives at Rogers and Canwest Global were not available for comment.

The CRTC is not averse to blocking Canadian broadcasters from airing popular U.S. shows or homegrown shows outside their original licensing format. It told Alliance Alliance Communications in 2007 to remove "CSI: NY" from its History Television schedule after rejecting the broadcaster's argument that the popular cop drama was a "September 11-themed series."

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{allcanada} 2010-11 NHL predictions: Voting breakdown

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Five hockey experts at Yahoo! Sports took the plunge and offered up their best NHL predictions for the 2010-11 season, from Stanley Cup champion (prediction: Washington Capitals) to top rookie (prediction: Taylor Hall, Edmonton Oilers). Senior NHL writer Nicholas J. Cotsonika, NHL editor Sam McCaig, editor Ross McKeon and Puck Daddy bloggers Greg Wyshynski and Sean Leahy all participated in the Yahoo! survey.

Here's the voting breakdown (with the number of votes in parentheses):


Washington Capitals (3)

Los Angeles Kings (1)

Pittsburgh Penguins (1)


Eastern Conference

Washington Capitals (3)

Boston Bruins (1)

Pittsburgh Penguins (1)

Western Conference

Chicago Blackhawks (1)

Detroit Red Wings (1)

Los Angeles Kings (1)

San Jose Sharks (1)

Vancouver Cancuks (1)


Washington Capitals (3)

Boston Bruins (1)

Pittsburgh Penguins (1)


San Jose Sharks (4)

Vancouver Canucks (1)



Boston Bruins (1)

Edmonton Oilers (1)

Los Angeles Kings (1)

St. Louis Blues (1)

Toronto Maple Leafs (1)


Philadelphia Flyers (2)

Buffalo Sabres (1)

Montreal Canadiens (1)

New Jersey Devils (1)


Sidney Crosby, Pit (2)

Alex Ovechkin, Wsh (2)

Anze Kopitar, LA (1)

ART ROSS TROPHY (most points)

Alex Ovechkin, Wsh (3)

Henrik Sedin, Van (2)


Alex Ovechkin, Wsh (4)

Marian Gaborik, NYR (1)

VEZINA TROPHY (best goalie)

Ryan Miller, Buf (3)

Roberto Luongo, Van (1)

Tuukka Rask, Bos (1)

NORRIS TROPHY (best defenseman)

Drew Doughty, LA (5)

CALDER TROPHY (best rookie)

Taylor Hall, Edm (2)

Jordan Eberle, Edm (1)

Cody Hodgson, Van (1)

PK Subban, Mtl (1)

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{allcanada} Capital gains and losses in Ottawa

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In the past few seasons, the Ottawa Senators have lost Zdeno Chara, Wade Redden, Dany Heatley and now Anton Volchenkov from their roster.

The Senators either shipped these players out or they allowed to walk via free agency because of a combination of salary demands and salary cap concerns. Nevertheless, waving goodbye to these players annoyed the fan base at the time.

It also frustrated veteran defenceman Chris Phillips. He grew up in the organization with his buddy Redden. He played alongside Chara, then with Volchenkov the pair became one of the league's top shutdown pairing.

Now, the dependable Phillips shows up for his 13th season in Ottawa in the final year of his contract -- the two sides have begun negotiations on a new contract -- and with a new defence partner, likely youngster Erik Karlsson.

"It's a little bit of a change," Phillips said. "Before Volchenkov, I played the better part of four years with Zdeno Chara. It's a bit of a learning curve playing with a new guy who is more offensive. Erik has tremendous skill and I'm looking forward to it."

Phillips stated that although there is a degree of frustration seeing talented buddies move on, he believes Senators general manager Bryan Murray has done well to replace them with key players like Sergei Gonchar.

"It's the reality of the cap system," Phillips said. "You can't keep everybody. It's their own fault for drafting some pretty good players and making trades for some pretty good players. Look what happened with the Chicago Blackhawks after winning the Stanley Cup.

"Management has done a good job bringing in new guys and keeping some of us together and building us into a winner."

Management also avoided moving another talent in Jason Spezza this past summer. After the season was over Spezza met with Murray and remarked that fans displeasure and media criticism was getting to him. Spezza didn't request a trade, but stated that he would be open to being moved.

Murray talked to a couple of teams about Spezza. There was some interest shown by the Edmonton Oilers, but they had little to offer. Spezza also has a difficult contract to move because he has five years remaining at $5 million US a season.

After the speculation died down, Murray met with Spezza, his father, agent and Senators coach Cory Clouston for a four-hour meeting at an Ottawa restaurant. Murray told the Ottawa Sun earlier this month that he and Spezza have worked out their differences.

The Senators simply want Spezza to be more consistent from game to game and perform better in his own end. If Spezza can get on track in these areas, the Senators will be pleased to keep him for years to come.

Off-season development -- In signing with Ottawa, Gonchar remarked he wanted to experience playing for a Canadian team. So he signed a three-year, $16.5-million contract last summer and will play for the Senators in his 16th NHL season. He will be under more scrutiny in Ottawa, but if he can put up the sort of stats he did last year -- 11 goals and 50 points in an injury-shortened 62-game season -- he should be able to win over the Nation's Capital.

Key player -- The Senators traded a talented two-way forward in Antoine Vermette to get goalie Pascal Leclaire in March 2009. Leclaire enters the final year of his contract that will pay him $4.8-million and he should be determined to prove that he is a No. 1 goalie once and for all. His first season with the Senators was full of injuries and the results on the ice were poor with a 12-14-2 record, .887 save percentage and 3.20 goals against average.

Telling stat -- The Senators were stingy in their own end last season. They were fourth in the league in shots allowed per game at 28.5. Only the Stanley Cup-champion Chicago Blackhawks (25.1), New Jersey Devils (27.0) and Los Angeles Kings (27.6) were better in this category.

Prognosis -- Ottawa is an interesting team because it not only has depth and a veteran presence with Daniel Alfredsson, Phillips, Spezza, Mike Fisher, Chris Kelly, Alexei Kovalev, Jarkko Ruutu and Gonchar, but some youth too with Karlsson, Jared Cowen, Nick Folgino, Milan Michalek, Bobby Butler, Zack Smith and Peter Regin. If they receive consistent and solid goaltending the Senators will challenge for the Northeast Division title.

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VANCOUVER -- The Vancouver Canucks renewed their affiliation agreement with the Victoria Salmon Kings of the ECHL on Thursday.

"We are pleased to announce our continued relationship with the Salmon Kings, a team that shares the same commitment to winning and player development as we do," Canucks general manager Mike Gillis said in a release.

The deal is for the 2010-2011 season. The Salmon Kings have been the Canucks' affiliate for over four years.

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TORONTO -- Toronto's Pan Am Games committee is giving the City of Hamilton and its CFL team what could be their last chance to decide on where to put a new stadium.

The committee says the construction clock is ticking and it needs to move quickly to make sure the stadium is complete by the time the Games begin in 2015.

Pan Am officials say the city and the Tiger-Cats football team have until Oct. 12 to agree on where to put a new stadium.

But officials would not say what the consequences would be if the two cannot make a deal.

They did say the venue plan is not set in stone and the committee would accept a smaller stadium if necessary.

The City of Hamilton and the Tiger-Cats have been trying for months to come to a deal on where to build the stadium.

It would be taken over by the football team once the Games are over.

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