100 games a season: Gare Joyce's puck blog

Just like being in the scouts' & press' lounge, without the bad coffee and day-old Timbits

Location: Toronto

I've written for ESPN The Magazine and espn.com the last five years. My work has made the "notable" list of the Best American Sports Writing seven times and won four Canadian National Magazine Awards. My most recent book is Future Greats and Heartbreaks: A Year Undercover in the Secret World of NHL Scouts. I've written three other sports books: When the Lights Went Out: How One Brawl Ended Hockey's Cold War and Changed the Game; Sidney Crosby: Taking the Game by Storm; and The Only Ticket Off the Island: Baseball in the Dominican Republic.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Blowout Special: Sending a message ("I'm stupid" or, possibly, "Kick me!")

At St Mike's last night


Oshawa blew the doors of the Majors, who can thank Michael Haley for sending a message. Here it is:

1 - TOR Haley, 0:37 - Instigator , 2 min (PP)
1 - TOR
Haley, 0:37 - Fighting , 5 min (3 PP)
1 - TOR
Haley, 0:37 - 10-Minute Misconduct , 0 min

It only looks like it took Haley half a minute to act out. Fact is, Haley didn't wait for the opening faceoff. He tried to pick a fight with Gens winger Cal Clutterbuck (what a name!) as soon as the anthem finished. Clutterbuck shooed him away but could do nothing at the first stoppage in play when Haley jumped him from behind, tackled him and started to punch him in the back of the helmet. So there you go, Gens buzz the net and by the time Haley gets out of the box the rout is on: By the time he got out of the box it was 6-2 Oshawa. It would be good if an experienced player on the St Mike's roster could have a word with him -- except that Haley is the Majors' captain.

The game was thoroughly not worth watching by then -- the Majors just had nothing and Oshawa is rolling, as good a bet as any to come outta the Eastern Conference. Tavares was good, not quite great. MacLean, discussed here before, likewise. I can see what the Del Zotto kid will bring though in next year's draft. Very sound (fresh off Ontario's win at the Canada Winter Games). Good size. Probably will show a lot more offensively as he goes.

The fine print ... Ihink I mentioned at some pt that Del Zotto's family are the big developing clan--no, dad works at IBM (don't know if family is related). Majors have Mike Pelech (son of national basketball guy Bo Pelech, late of York U, brother of Matt, who was a first-rounder of Calgary and will sign shortly). The "ch" in Pelech is pronounced "k" ... so Mike Pelech = Mike Pelyk (phonetically).