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And now with another player in hospital, another shamed, the circus goes on. The clowns, it seems, are everywhere.THIS AND THAT The great progress Phil Kessel has made as a player will be further indicated by his place on Team USA come the Olympics in Sochi. In Vancouver, even playing for his own coach Ron Wilson, he was just another guy with the American team. The more important the moment, the less he played. Four years later, I figure Kessel on a first or second line, maybe with Maple Leafs teammate James van Riemsdyk on his wing. He is the leading scorer among American players in the NHL . An NHL front office executive on the John Scott hit on Loui Eriksson: “It made me sick to my stomach.” About the Emery assault: “Same feeling.” . Eriksson missed his fifth straight game since the Scott hit, which is two more games than he has missed over the past five seasons. How impressive a player is the normally underrated Eriksson? In the five years prior to this one, he has scored 307 points. Kessel has 313 points over the same time period . The Buffalo Sabres have hired Randy Cunneyworth as a pro scout. Translation: They have hired the coach who will replace Ron Rolston, once he’s inevitably let go. HEAR AND THERE John Farrell followed his heart, took his dream job, won a World Series. What a great story. But part of the story is he backstabbed his employers, showed a lack of integrity, and fudged the truth . It’s looking as though the Blue Jays won’t be making an offer to pitching disappointment Josh Johnson, even one on the cheap. They’re going to look elsewhere for a starting pitcher next season . Championships aside, what a sports town Boston is. Home for Bobby Orr, Ted Williams, Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Tom Brady, Carl Yastrzemski, Bob Cousy, all of them legends. And the greatest athlete in Toronto history is, who, Donovan Bailey, Ben Johnson or Roberto Alomar? You choose . The greatest Canadian athletes of the past 50 years, Orr, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Steve Nash have at least one thing in common: None of them live in Canada. Three of them, not including the very private Lemieux, have books about them out this season. They’ll sell books here, just won’t live here . David Ortiz’s nickname in the Red Sox clubhouse isn’t Big Papi, it’s Cooperstown. Which begs the question: Does Ortiz, a member of the PED club, get lumped in with Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and friends. Ortiz is lovable, but is he that lovable?
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SCENE AND HEARDHad this one backwards through the early season: When John Tortorella went to Vancouver and Alain Vigneault went to New York, I figured disaster for the Canucks and big improvements for the Rangers. It has been opposite so far. The Canucks players seem to love Tortorella. For now . Worth noting: Tyler Seguin has more points than anyone on his former team, the Boston Bruins . The Metropolitan Division: Weak name, weak division. As badly as the wholesale 49ers jerseys Rangers and Devils have played, they were only one point out of the playoffs as of Saturday afternoon . Strange business, the book industry. They don’t quite get the publicity game. I can understand why Ricky Ray never made it as an NFL starting quarterback. But when you watch Ray, and you see the bevy of really ordinary NFL backup quarterbacks, you wonder how it was he didn’t last as second or third stringer . When Cameron Wake, the ex BC Lion, ended the Thursday night game with an overtime safety against the Cincinnati Bengals, it was just the third time in NFL history that a game ended with a walk off safety. AND ANOTHER THING Among the many d