It’s Nice To Need A Sports Calendar Again

Slowly but surely sports are returning. The packed stadiums and arenas are still on hold as their is an AHS mandate declaring 100 fans max for indoor events, and 200 max for outdoor sporting events. Soon though, there will be sports on CBC, TSN and Sportsnet that feature Edmonton teams playing in real time. The smile is ear-to-ear as I outline to you a calendar of sports events in the Capital City.

 

Per NHL Public Relations on Twitter

Saturday August 1st the Edmonton Oilers and the NHL return to action. With no fans allowed in attendance and sports bars still needing to social distance, as nifty as it is to be a hub city, your best option is still to watch the game on television at home. The other two guaranteed games for your Oilers will be Monday August 3rd and Wednesday August 5th, plan accordingly.

The first Ginga Ninja race of the summer of 2020 was cancelled due to inclement weather. The Saturday July 18th event, limited to 200 fans, is sold out already so mark Saturday August 8th on your calendar to fulfil your need for speed. While Ginga Ninja is my preferred racing event at Castrol Raceway, click HERE to see what else is happening at Castrol.

Four Tuesdays of lacrosse action in Fort Saskatchewan. One already in the books, one on tap for later today, Tuesday July 14th. To read the “12 oz Sports” preview for tonight’s action, click HERE. From the outside looking in, it is a chance to watch a few top players from the 2019 edition of the Edmonton Warriors keep their lacrosse skills sharp. Greg Bourret, who lead the Warriors in points last season, leads his Riverman with 5 goals. Jordan Wheaton, who finished 5 points behind Bourret last season, leads his Rhinos with 4 goals. Fans are welcome at the Jubilee Recreation Centre with a limit of 100.

The Miners Lacrosse Club are holding a 4-on-4 lacrosse tournament beginning Tuesday July 21st. All games are scheduled to be played on Tuesdays and Thursdays with the Final on either Friday August 21st or Saturday August 22nd. The National Lacrosse League’s John Lintz and Erik Turner will team up for the Sizzlers. Richard Lachlan, Graedon Cornfield and Darren Kinnear, respectively 2019 RMLL’s 1st, 3rd and 6th leading scorers, join forces on the Muckmen. Games will be played at Servus Place in St Albert with a maximum of 100 fans in attendance.

Real Canadian Wrestling has been performing live shows at the Norwood Legion since Saturday June 20th. That is when they announced they would be doing a live show each Saturday. Their next show is Saturday July 18th after a one-week hiatus. Tickets available through Eventbrite while they last (only 100 available).

The first Edmonton Stingers game of the Canadian Elite Basketball League Summer Series is Sunday July 26th. Their first nationally televised game is Saturday August 1st.

Miners Lacrosse Club 4 on 4 Summerslam

In a summer without any official Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League (RMLL) games, we do have ourselves some lacrosse action thanks to the Miners Lacrosse Club.

The above photo explains the preliminary concept of a 4 on 4 tournament held between July 20-August 20. Through the “Miners Box Lacrosse Facebook Group“, John Lintz (Jr A Miners Coach and Sr B Miners Captain) gave us a breakdown of the original tournament concept:

Who: Senior and Junior 4 Team Division. League will pull from Miners Sr. B/Sr. C/Miners Jr. A and graduates. Any players who participated in the RMLL North division and are not part of an alternate cohort may register.
What: Two nights a week, teams will play two games per night. Schedule will be 18 games plus a semi and finals night. League will follow the 4 on 4 rules format issued by the ALA. Participants must dress at home. League standings and stats will be kept.
When: League will run July 20-August 20. Games will be twice a week. Schedule TBA – likely Mon/Wed or Tues/Thur split. Schedule will be e-mailed following registration period.
Where: Location is TBA. Will be Edmonton/St. Albert. Schedule will be e-mailed following registration.

Details for the tournament are beginning to finalize.

I reached out to Sr B Miners General Manager Jordan Cornfield to ask a few questions.

  1. Are the posted rosters a mix of Junior A and Senior B teams?
  2. Are fans allowed to attend?
  3. Please speak of naming the Trophy after Connor Anderson.

“Yes, we strongly encourage fans to come out. We remind fans that the maximum allowed is 100 and social distancing measures need to be followed. It will be amazing lacrosse with a mix of NLL, top Jr A and Sr. B players. Four stacked teams will be competing for the “Connor Anderson Memorial Trophy” presented by Slash Lacrosse. The action starts July 21. The schedule will be out soon with location details.

Connor was a Jr A Miner from 2010 to 2013 and went on to play for the senior B Warriors. Connor was a huge part of the Edmonton area lacrosse landscape and exemplified everything good about the sport of lacrosse. He was a fierce competitor, was an amazing teammate, a man who everyone wanted to be around. We felt it necessary to honour him in light of his recent tragic passing by naming the Championship trophy after him.”

Let’s shine a quick (three names only) light on the four posted rosters:

Sr B goalie Matt Hiebert will also have from last year’s squad defenseman Travis Poseluzny and forward Derek Burak. Burak averaged two points per game last season in both the regular season and playoffs.

The Sizzlers have a Colorado Mammoth flavour to them as John Lintz and Erik Turner re-unite in Alberta. Of the returning Jr A Miners, Jacob Bowen’s 20 points last season place him near the top of their respective points list.

Goaltender Brady Johnson of the Sr B Miners is joined by teammates Ryan Davis and Matthew Kristiansen. Kristiansen was the RMLL’s second leading scorer in 2019.

In Richard Lachlan, Graedon Cornfield and Darren Kinnear you have three of the top six Sr B scorers in the league from 2019.

All games are scheduled to be played on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Final will play on either Friday August 21st or Saturday August 22nd. All games will be at Servus Place in St. Albert. Stay tuned for more specific schedule updates lacrosse fans!

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”

Edmonton’s beloved Canadian Football League team is getting more news headlines in a summer without football than they would have received game coverage. The topic is their nickname. It’s been a topic of discussion for as long as I can remember which goes back to before the internet. With the internet making the world smaller while giving everyone a microphone, the debate has become more and more heated.

Here’s a fun little exercise. The beautiful baseball stadium in the heart of downtown that the Edmonton Prospects currently play in, what is it called? Depending on the reader, the first answer to that question is either Re/Max Field, Telus Field or John Ducey Park. Does the name of the baseball stadium change the fact it is a baseball stadium?

Another example, if this was a “regular year” and someone asked you how to get “Klondike Days”, would you tell them it’s just off Capilano Drive or Gretzky Drive? Both answers would be correct if you are old enough to have been driving that road before the name change. Sometimes you just call things what you are use to calling them.

What’s my point? The football team could rename itself the Northern Alberta Northerners, and droves of fans would still call them some version of the double EE that we grew up with.

If and/or when the team name changes, the tab on this website will change accordingly. As the the title states, “”a rose by any other name would smell as sweet which in this case translates to whenever football returns at the Commonwealth Stadium I will be cheering for the team hailing from Edmonton.

Both pictures used in this article are from esks.com

“CTV News contacted the 13 “premier partners” currently listed on the team’s website.” I wish CTV News would have handled this situation like Toronto Blue Jays radio announcer Jerry Howarth handled the nicknames of the baseball teams from Cleveland and Atlanta.

Howarth explained that he received a letter in 1992 from a First Nation tribe explaining why the nicknames were offensive and vowed to no longer use them. The man took a non-confrontational approach to a change he wanted to see in baseball. He stated his opinion and carried about his business. Imagine the power of a big-time media company stating they would refuse to use the nickname of a Club in support of those who wanted change.

All I can do is ask everyone to stop and smell the roses.