Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Russians are here, really

One has to hand it to the powers-that-be in junior hockey.

They're stuck with a pretty good little Canadian conundrom -- a Canada-Russia series that no one could care about, one that a shoulder-separating shrug from Buena Vista to Vancouver Island. Even guys on the junior hockey beat such as Regan Bartel at Regan's Rant and Guy Flaming at Coming Down The Pipe! are fed up with the ADT Canada-Russia charade. The Russians brought one NHL-drafted player with them to North America. It does not exactly scream excitement.

The fourth game of the series was Monday in St. Catharines, and for the life of me, I can't remember any details about the game, other than that the Ontario Hockey League all-stars won. The score might not have even made the agate page of the Ottawa Sun, that's how little it matters. (And it's Canada playing Russia.)

The fifth game is tonight in Swift Current, Sask., but honestly, do you know anyone who is going to opt to tune in over the Red Wings-Canadiens game on TSN, or the Raptors' home game on The Score?

The mass interest and the TV audience will be there one month today when the World Junior Hockey Championship begins in Ottawa, but that's not the point.It is true that all news is local with junior hockey, but talk about letting an opportunity slide past for both the leagues and Sportsnet, which telecasts the series. It could be a lot better -- Flaming has suggested a Canada vs. PlanetUSA format, similar to the AHL's All-Star Game -- if someone bothered to do a little brainstorming.

Mixed Feelings About A-D-T Challenge (Regan's Rant

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