Sorry for the interruption buddies, but, I would like to wish all you mother Canuckers out there a Happy Canada Day!
Please rise for Canada’s official national anthem.
Here’s a quick history lesson of how Canada came about:
After numerous drunken conferences–our Fathers of Confederation loved to get hammered so much that Sir John A MacDonald became Canada’s first Prime Minister after winning a ‘Last Man Standing’ beer drinking contest– the Fathers of Confederation declared on March 29th, 1867, that the British North America Act, which was to be enforced on July 1st, 1867, would see Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick form an autonomous dominion named Canada. To commemorate the occasion, they got blackout drunk and played Ice Shinty, which later became known as Ice Hockey. (Note: The last sentence is mostly false).
In one of the greatest decisions ever, the NHL now has their free agency begin on Canada Day. At least for me, Free Agency on July 1st signifies the beginning of the new season. It’s a different month than the Stanley Cup finals and unlike the NHL draft (which is in June), free agency is where you essentially solidify your team for the season and in most cases, hilariously cripples your team for years because you over-paid for some schmuck who only has a good year when they’re playing for a new contract.
Now that Steven Stamkos re-signed with Tampa, to the surprise of nobody outside of delusional Maple Leafs fans, the most coveted free agent is Milan Lucic. Due to his physicality, Lucic is a worn down 28 year old player who wants a 6 year contract and a boat load of money. The Ice Eskimos, Ice Maple Lions and Ice Rams are the three teams pursuing him the most. If you’re a fan of one of those teams, pray to the hockey gods that your team doesn’t sign him. This just has terrible free agent signing written all over it in 3 years time.
So stay tuned and laugh at your team’s rivals as they ruin their salary cap when they sign Frans Nielsen for 7 years at 60 million dollars. Or drink your pain away when your team inexplicably signs Kyle Okposo to a 6 year, 65 million dollar contract, which does not include Johnathan Tavares.
At Noon PST, we have a Euro 2016 Quarter-finals match between:
Belgium, a nation Canada liberated on February 4th, 1945
Wales, a country we like so much, we have a trophy named ‘The Prince of Wales’ (or just Wales) trophy that we give to the NHL Eastern Conference Champions
We have a matchup between the best player of the tournament (Wales’ Gareth Bale) taking on the team playing the best soccer.
Wales have a system where they play five defenders and allow Gareth Bale to switch from forward to midfield as he pleases. So far, it has worked as Wales has a good mix of attacking and defending midfielders. The problem with Wales is that their captain and top defender, Ashley Williams, is hurt and may not play. Even if he does play, the fact he will not be 100% and his mark is Romelu Lukaku is really bad news for the Welsh.
For the first time ever in a major tournament, Belgium looks like a team worthy of the verbal fellating the media has given them over the past few years. If they can continue their amazing play of last game against Hungary, Wales is going to lose. It is worth nothing that Belgium is weak on defense and one of their defenders, Thomas Vermaelen, is suspended for this game due to yellow card accumulation. I have no idea who is replacing Vermaelen, but, I do know they aren’t very good and Bale is probably salivating at all the ways he can exploit the new centre-back.
Based on how they played last game, Belgium is probably going to win this match 2-1. If Belgium decides to foolishly change their tactics and go with three D, which is a possibility, I think Wales will take it 2-1, as Gareth Bale will have lots of room on the counter-attack.
Either way, lets hope it’s a good game and we don’t run out of booze, eh?