DG's Quick Hits- October 4, 2002

Is Ron MacLean worth $450,000?

Domi: Lay off the Eagle

On the radar screen: Jeff Farkas, Pierre Lacroix, the Buffalo Sabres, the All-Star Game and moreIS RON MACLEAN WORTH $450,000?

What a week it has been for Ron MacLean, the host of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s “Hockey Night In Canada”. On Monday, the CBC and MacLean broke off negotiations on a new contract and announced that he was leaving, only for the host and Red Deer, Alta. native to return yesterday with a new, $450,000 a year contract. While everyone- including me- is glad to see it over, this is not as good a news as I’d hoped.

As a Canadian taxpayer- the people who fund the CBC crown corporation- I don’t feel the HNIC host deserves $450,000 a year, no matter how talented he is. Simply put, he was viewed as an “everyday” man, someone who did a regular job like journalism and could easily relate to other “everyday”, normal people like you and me. Still, there’s no way an “everyday” man should be earning $450K a year when people like you and me can only get that much money in half a lifetime. Maybe $100,000 because of his status, but not $450K. Still his salary is not as exorbiant as Don Cherry’s $700,000 yearly stipend, as all he does is controversially rant for ten minutes and collects enough money to satisfy a lifetime. If there was anyone who is definitely overpaid, it’s Cherry.

DOMI: LAY OFF THE EAGLE

Tie Domi announced yesterday that if Toronto Maple Leafs truly love their team, they’d support Eddie “The Eagle” Belfour and stop booing him. Domi said that it’s difficult to come in and replace a guy like Curtis Joseph and said they should judge Belfour seperately from Joseph and not boo him because he’s not playing up to par.

Now it’s truly obvious this guy’s taken too many pucks to the head. Belfour has so far done nothing this off-season to prove he’s Joseph’s replacement- which is what he’s effectively doing- and the Leaf fans have every right to boo his pants off. Simply put, they expected a world-class goalie and they’re not getting one, and, considering the Leafs’ defence isn’t good enough to make up for Belfour’s blunders all the time, Belfour should truly step it up. It’s nice that Domi is sticking up for his teammate, but I think Eddie should get the message and play better. Leaf fans don’t pay $100 a ticket to see him re-enacting a sieve.

ON THE RADAR SCREEN

Gone to the minors: Jeff Farkas. This was supposed to be the guy that replaced Andrew Cassels. Didn’t seem to work out now did it? The Vancouver Canucks have a lot of work to do…The Dupe Machine: Colorado Avalanche General Manager Pierre Lacroix trading Chris Drury to the Calgary Flames for Derek Morris. Now, Drury’s an excellent player and could be a future superstar, but his play slipped significantly last season (almost twenty points) while Morris continued his progression towards superstardom. While this trade will probably work out- Drury’s numbers are sure to skyrocket besides Jarome Iginla- I’m sure the Flames could have done better for Morris…Here’s the only punishments the referees will be getting from the National Hockey League for not upholding the new obstruction standard: a fat royalty cheque from Don Cherry…NHL games were apparently 2:33 (that’s hours and minutes) last year and should be shorter by ten minutes. Wow. What a difference. The real difference will only come if that dream I have where NHL referees actually call the game by the book actually takes place…The Buffalo Sabres have more bids, but no sales. Somehow, Gary Betteman wants this process to take as long as it possibly can and keep Buffalo not competitive. Who says the league doesn’t conspire against Buffalo?…Speaking of dreams, the NHL actually changed the All-Star Game format to East vs. West. Really. Somehow, Betteman has decided he has a brain…Now taking votes for the NHL Stanley Cup Final you don’t want to see, following Toronto Star baseball columnist Richard Griffin’s lead with the World Series. My vote? The Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers.