Whichever way the ball bounces, they have both earned a lot of money over the course of their professional athletic careers, but they don't even come close to the highest paid athletes of all time (outside of endorsements). Indeed, the highest-paid athlete of all time isn't of our generation, or even our century.
Let's call it what it is -- young, black hockey players are few and far between in the National Hockey League. Rising to the top of his position in his short NHL career is also fairly unique. His parents immigrated from Jamaica to Sudbury, and PK did spend some of his childhood growing up in Northwestern Ontario. A minority there too, undoubtedly. He is one of three brothers playing in the NHL. Pretty unique as well. Subban is unabashedly different, and he owns it. That's worth admiring and emulating.
The stars seem to be aligning for the Toronto Maple Leafs as they head into their 100th anniversary season. The team won the NHL lottery and will have the first draft pick on Friday. In coach Mike Babcock, GM Lou Lamoriello and President Brendan Shanahan they have arguably the most impressive (and expensive) management cadre in NHL history.
Ever since Brendan Shanahan was hired as team president, he has chanted the same mantra: The Leafs will rebuild the franchise in a slow, disciplined way, developing young talent from within, giving them time to mature in the minors, and not being distracted by any shiny penny, over-the-hill stars being dangled in front of them by other teams looking to dump big salaries.
The common belief that new arenas and sports stadiums are slam-dunk wins for their billionaire owners and millionaire players, but big fat goose eggs for the local economy... Well, that could be dead wrong. A report not only suggests the opposite, but says such projects actually boost surrounding real estate values.
Canadian-based teams aren't very good. Despite league-leading attendance and legions of diehard fans, our teams seldom compare favourably with U.S.-based teams. What can we do in the meantime to maintain fan interest in our national game? The answer to our current dilemma: a playoff battle of the also-rans.
There is a serious prospect that none of the Canadian teams will make the National Hockey League playoffs, an issue that has been the object of a fair bit of discussion in the sports media. Last week hockey moved to the very center of cultural diplomacy when standing alongside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President Barack Obama questioned Canada's hockey dominance by pointing out that the Stanley Cup was currently the propriety of Chicago, the President's home town.
If you're like many travellers visiting a city, beyond taking in the usual tourist attractions, you probably enjoy wandering off the beaten path to get a better sense of the town. Although exploring different districts and hoods can be fun, what's an even bigger blast -- and a sure way of finding out what makes the locals tick -- is to attend a major league sporting event.