Pressbox Hat Trick

Rants and commentaries on the latest hot topics in sport. Pressbox and hot dogs not included.

  • Pressbox Hat Trick: The Podcast EP8

    Julian McKenzie and Tristan d’Amours briefly go over March Madness brackets before talking a LOT about baseball with special guest Julien Assouline. No Vince Morello because he’s got better things to do, so he says.

  • Pressbox Hat Trick: The Podcast EP7

    Julian McKenzie, Vince Morello, Tristan d’Amours & Joshua Rosenbaum all deal with their brackets for the NCAA Final Four Tournament, talk NBA, NHL, and more!

  • #EmbraceTheTank

    • Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

    During TSN’s Tradecentre Special on March 2nd, former National Hockey League coach Ron Wilson revealed that he was told to “tank” in order to give his team a better chance at a high draft pick in the NHL draft that summer. Reactions were mixed, to say the least.

    Whether we like it or not, some of our favourite teams aren’t good enough to play in the post-season and should probably just call it a season. Teams shouldn’t be discouraged but encouraged(!) to lose games on purpose for a better chance at landing a top pick in your upcoming draft.

    I understand that it’s difficult for field players who won’t give you the best chance at winning (to the chagrin of players and fans) only because better days may be ahead – especially for the players. Athletes don’t like to lose. Is it fair to blame players for not doing enough, in order to position their team to tank? Probably not.

    But I’d rather see a team be god-awful and end the season near the bottom of the standings, than be mediocre and tease the idea of making the playoffs, only to have the door shut violently on their fingers.

    Sports fans, it hurts way less when you accept the tanking measures and don’t struggle with it. Just ask the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA who have been tanking since last off-season with a relatively no-name roster.

    I’m perfectly fine with non-playoff teams having a chance at the top draft pick. I’m not okay with those teams having an equal chance.

    Imagine a team that’s one nudge away from being a consistent playoff performer in their conference (or, because of conference parity, would likely make the playoffs if they were in another conference/division) getting the number one overall pick, while a bottom feeder who could surely use the pick languishes at a missed opportunity?

    It doesn’t help that last-place team if they’re in a market that won’t command attention from players during free agency or through trades.

    It will be cheaper for a team to invest, and easier to pin words like “rebuild” and “come-up”, on a young, budding superstar and make him a focal point of your team. NHL teams like the Buffalo Sabres, Arizona Coyotes and (hey, why not) the Toronto Maple Leafs, would love to have highly touted picks in Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel from the 2015 draft to build around.

    From then on, it’s up to the teams’ management on how to deal with their players. But it’s important that lesser teams are given opportunities to get better in order to maintain parity.

    Oh, and I see you, snarky soccer fan who argues that lesser teams who get relegated are never rewarded with a chance at getting better. Enjoy losing out on players because you can’t keep up with big spenders (that’s an argument for the salary cap).

    Soccer needs work on managing teams with their pocketbooks, but unless West Bromwich Albion finds a breakthrough in their scouting department or they stumble upon an oil sheik who’s interested in owning the club, competing against Chelsea, both Manchester clubs and so forth is futile.

    In the meantime, let the minnows of professional leagues tank on. I salute you, Philadelphia 76ers, in your quest for a top pick. As for Toronto, Buffalo, Arizona, Edmonton and the rest of the bottom feeders, good luck to you all, and be wary of this anti-tanking measure that may stop you.

  • Pressbox Hat Trick: The Podcast EP6

    Episode 6 of the Podcast is here! Julian McKenzie, Vince Morello and Tristan D’amours talk sports with special guest Erica Pishdadian!

  • Pressbox Hat Trick: The Podcast EP5

    Julian McKenzie, Vince Morello, Tristan D’amours and Joshua Rosenbaum are at it again! We preview our future articles for The Link, Canadian Interuniversity Basketball, the Montreal Impact “Miracle in the Big O”, the recent NHL trade deadline, and the Tweet Controversy surrounding the Maple Leafs.