Aaron Judge should be number one

MLB steroid scandals continue to overshadow raw talent

On Sept. 28, New York Yankees hitter Aaron Judge made history by hitting his 61st home run of the season against the Toronto Blue Jays, passing Babe Ruth and tying Roger Maris on the list of home runs per season in Major League Baseball (MLB). Judge is now ranking first in the American League for that record and fourth overall in MLB history.

The amazing achievement by the 2017 rookie of the year has been widely celebrated by MLB and fans of the game, and rightfully so, as 61-year-old records don’t get beaten every day. However, his new record brings back a dark past in baseball history that unfortunately eclipses Judge’s natural and exceptional athleticism.

Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, and Barry Bonds are the only three players to have hit more home runs in a single season than Judge (66, 70, and 73 respectively). What do they all have in common? According to MLB reports, all of them are intimately tied to the baseball steroid scandal era.

Steroids were laughably common in MLB before 2002, when the first instance of drug testing became mandatory for players over spring training. A thorough investigation of the usage of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) among MLB players, known as the Mitchell report concretized the issue when over a hundred players were exposed for their cheating, including Bonds. The sport took a massive blow and people who were once childhood heroes retreated into the darkness. As a sport, baseball was seen almost as fake as the WWE.

Fortunately, today it’s picking back up, but traces of the steroid era linger in the record books.

Even if it is certain that all three aforementioned players tested positive for steroids, their names still figure ahead of Judge’s and Maris’s in record lists, and no asterisks could compensate for the horrific act of cheating. It might be a strong word but it is justifiable and accurate, even if many athletes used steroids at the time.

Now, for clarification, the use of steroids by Sosa, McGwire and Bonds hasn’t given them the hand-eye coordination needed to hit a ball going over 90 mph, but it did give them more strength, a necessity if you ever want to hit over 60 home runs. Therefore, it did impact their performance.

Sports should be about raw and natural human prowess. Using PEDs should never be tolerated, and keeping the records of Bonds, Sosa, and McGwire justifies and downplays the gravity of using PEDs as professional athletes. At least they’re nowhere near the baseball Hall of Fame, so we can find some solace in that.

However, the issue remains that it takes away from the true heroes, the ones who don’t need the crutch of steroids to beat records. Standing at 6’7” and weighing 282 lbs, Judge’s body is made to hit consecutive home runs. He has also never been associated with any PEDs and it’s utterly sad that we have to give him credit for that.

It’s his name that should be at the top of the single-season home run record. The best sport to be represented by athletes like him and his name should stick around, and not in fourth place. I wish him a 62nd home run, and I wish him the Triple Crown. Now, excuse me while I go knock on wood.

Author’s note: Aaron Judge remarkably hit his 62nd home run on Oct. 4, officially passing Roger Maris and setting the new American League single-season home run record.


Colour Commentary: Carey Price returns

A new chapter for the Montreal Canadiens began on Friday night.

Carey Price returned to the Bell Centre on Friday night, where he would be given a heart-warming welcome from the crowd. This would be the NHL’s highest paid goaltender’s first game since Montreal’s 1-0 defeat to the Tampa Bay Lightning on July 7 in the 2021 Stanley Cup Finals. The Canadiens have had a rough season without their star goalie and have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. 

The Canadiens’ netminder allowed two goals against 19 shots in his return versus the New York Islanders. The Habs would go on to lose 3-0, after Islanders forward Brock Nelson scored an empty-net goal late in the third period. 

For the game, Nelson would get a goal and an assist, with two shots on goal. The Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin also had an impressive performance, shutting out the Canadiens and making 44 saves. 

Despite the loss, the Canadiens and Price have come a long way. Price has had many hurdles since his last game in July. He had knee surgery on July 23 and has struggled during his recovery. He also entered the NHL’s player assistance program on Oct. 7 before the start of the 2021-22 season.

This is only the beginning of a new chapter, only time will tell what’s in store for the Canadiens’ star goaltender.  


Graphic by Madeline Schmidt


Montreal says goodbye to memorable faces at NHL trade deadline

The Canadiens are doing everything right in the second half of the regular season, besides winning hockey games.

The new and improved Montreal Canadiens won’t make any noise this season, but are clearly trending upwards under interim Head Coach Martin St. Louis. In his short tenure thus far, he’s empowered the team’s youth and energized the franchise in a meaningful way despite the playoffs being completely out of the realm of possibility. 

Jeff Gorton and Kent Hughes, the team’s executive vice president of hockey operations and general manager respectively, have also done their part in beginning a hopeful chapter since joining the Habs. Here are my thoughts on their first trade deadline with the Montreal Canadiens. 

The Florida Panthers acquire defenseman Ben Chiarot

Montreal received a first-round pick in 2023, a fourth-round pick in 2022, and a forward prospect in Tyler Smilanic. Considering how poorly Chiarot played for most of the regular season, it was shocking to see the Canadiens get three future assets back for the 30-year-old defenseman. 

The Panthers were already among the best teams in the league, but were looking to improve and bolster up their defence ahead of the playoffs. It goes without saying Florida paid a hefty price for Chiarot, but shows how much they value his game, which tends to shine the brightest in the postseason when physicality becomes of increasing importance. 

The Colorado Avalanche acquire forward Artturi Lehkonen 

In return, Montreal got defensive prospect Justin Barron and a second-round pick in 2024. While the team has struggled all season, Lehkonen has been having the best individual season of his young career (29 total points in 58 games played). Beyond the stats, the 26-year-old forward plays with a high motor on a nightly basis, and can be a quality depth player on a contending team.  

For the Habs, it made sense to move on from their hero from Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Conference Finals against the Golden Knights. Colorado had to offer up a promising prospect in Barron, who should fit Montreal’s contending timeline better. But the Avalanche are a much better team today with Lehkonen, even if he is due for a raise after the season. 

The Edmonton Oilers acquire defenseman Brett Kulak 

The Canadiens got back 26-year-old defenseman William Lagesson, a 2022 conditional second-round pick, and a seventh-round pick in 2024. This deal involves a couple of depth players and consequently made fewer headlines, but the Habs came away with a couple more future assets. 

On paper, Kulak is an upgrade for the Oilers but he’ll need to regain his confidence and perform better to make this worth it for Edmonton. When he’s right, Kulak is a puck-moving, defensively sound player but moving a second-round pick for a marginal upgrade is a steep price to pay.


Graphic by Madeline Schmidt


The Winter Olympics leave much to be desired

Beijing Olympic viewership was the worst the Winter Games have ever posted

For most of my life, the Winter Olympic Games took priority in my habitual consumption of sports, no matter where they were being held or what event I was watching. As I got older, I gradually became less obsessed as my schedule swelled and my responsibilities grew, but I still found ways to temporarily set aside personal matters when the Winter Games rolled around. 

My steadily developing indifference for the global competition peaked with the conclusion of this year’s Beijing Games on Sunday, which I kept myself up-to-date with, moreso to fulfill my obligation as an informed and aspiring sports journalist than for any other reason. As a sports enthusiast however, I never bought into this year’s Games.

The truth is, there was way more at stake than sports. A diplomatic boycott from Canada, the U.S., and other nations ahead of the Beijing Games made the product tough to swallow from the onset, and put the athletes from these countries in a burdensome dilemma. Ultimately, the athletes should be put in a position to solely focus on the crafts that they’ve dedicated their lives to. Instead, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) awarded the Games to an authoritarian nation, prioritizing the thickness of their wallets and showing no regard for anyone else. 

Across the board, TV ratings are steadily dropping as the television landscape is altered and impacted by the evolution of streaming services, but ratings for the Beijing Games in Canada were historically underwhelming, and the controversial decision to proceed with the Games with a half-measure boycott surely played a role. 

In the end, Canada earned four gold medals and totalled 26 for the Games despite the unfortunate circumstances and ongoing COVID-19 complications. The women’s hockey team, led by Marie-Philip Poulin, claiming another gold medal over the U.S. and Charles Hamelin earning his fourth gold medal (sixth total) in the men’s 5000m short track speed skating relay were the biggest draws and highlights for most Canadians, including myself. 

Considering how difficult it is to qualify for the Olympics, and how infrequently the Games occur, it’s a shame for the competitors above all else. An athletes’ athletic prime window is short, and the four year hiatus between Olympics makes it laborious to contend for medals in multiple Games. The athletes still got to perform this year, but they didn’t get the attention and recognition that they deserved. 

Ongoing North American sports leagues probably didn’t help the Winter Olympics and its viewership. The Super Bowl in the NFL, the NBA’s All-Star weekend and it’s memorable 75th anniversary celebration, and the NHL pulling out of Olympic men’s hockey gave sports fans plenty of alternative viewing options.

While one could argue that there is an overall downturn in Olympic viewership, TV ratings for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea were nearly double that of the Games in Beijing. Audiences aren’t necessarily tired of the Olympics, but they are conscious of how its location aligns with what the Olympics should stand for.

Graphic by Madeline Schmidt


Brian Flores’ uphill battle against the NFL shows flaws in the league’s hiring process

On Feb. 1, the former Miami Dolphins head coach filed a class-action lawsuit against the NFL and all 32 teams

It’s not unusual for drama to surface in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. For some reason, the extra week of hiatus (ignoring the Pro Bowl, because I honestly don’t know a single person who cares) tends to stir the kettle of NFL headlines.

A little over a week ago, Brian Flores’ NFL lawsuit became this year’s pre-Super Bowl noise that dominated sports media. Among the many allegations outlined in his 58-page filing, the former Dolphins head coach spoke out about his personal experience with racial discrimination in the league’s hiring process. The story was a topic of discussion on mainstream news platforms and late-night talk shows in the days following the allegations. I won’t go into the details here but there’s no shortage of information available, and Flores has since spoken about the lawsuit in an interview on ESPN’s “Get Up.”

Super Bowl LVI will be a wildly entertaining and eventful distraction, as the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams battle for a once-in-a-lifetime chance at immortality. But once the limelights dim, I hope developments in Flores’ situation continue to nab the attention of sports fans.

Objectively, Flores is qualified to coach an NFL franchise. He put in the groundwork as a scout and assistant coach in New England, winning four Super Bowl rings with the Patriots. In his two-year tenure as head coach of the Dolphins, the 40-year-old helped produce consecutive winning seasons. Nonetheless, he was inexplicably fired shortly after the 2021-22 regular season, a decision that shocked most people in the sports world. 

There is an esteemed list of premier head coaches in the NFL, including the likes of Bill Belichick, Mike Tomlin, and Andy Reid to name a few. Flores doesn’t have the pedigree to be on that echelon yet, but purely from a football perspective, he is a coaching talent that should be highly sought by most NFL teams, in theory.

At the time of this writing, there are two Black head coaches across 32 teams (one before the Houston Texans announced the hiring of Lovie Smith on Feb. 7). When you consider the fact that 70 per cent of the players in the NFL are Black, something obviously doesn’t add up. 

By speaking out, it’s likely Flores has jeopardized his career as an NFL head coach by choosing this path against the league. But no matter the legal outcome, the attention he has drawn will hopefully set up an infrastructure that allows minority coaches an equal opportunity at success.


Graphic by Madeline Schmidt


The Concordian’s top moments of the year in sports

Our staff members revisit the most captivating moments of the year in sports

Maggie Morris – Managing Editor

In 2021, I did something I never thought I’d do: I cheered for the Habs. As a lifelong Sens fan, I’m used to facing adversity, but the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs tested me in a way I had never experienced before. Ultimately, when the Canadiens were matched up with the Leafs in the first round, it made the decision significantly easier. The Leafs suck. 

The Habs’ playoff run made Montreal come alive in a way that it hadn’t since early 2020. While it’s always more fun to watch your own team achieve that level of success, it was still so cool to be a part of. Honourable mention to the European Football Championship, which assured me that I will never be able to break my British boyfriend’s heart the way that final did. 

Guillaume Laberge – Music Editor

As a French Canadian and a hockey fan since the age of five, it’s hard not to put the Montreal Canadiens’ unbelievable Stanley Cup finals run as my favourite sports moment of the year.  They had such an improbable Cinderella story with them coming back from a 3–1 deficit against the Toronto Maple Leafs (what a choke) and then beating powerhouses like Winnipeg and Vegas along the way. Their win in game six of the semifinals over Vegas was definitely the climax of their run, and the fact that it happened on Quebec’s national day made the story feel unreal. It’s a game we Habs fans will remember for a long time. I’ve been following the Habs closely for about 15 years now and never have I felt more joy and excitement following them over the summer. 

Liam Sharp – Sports Editor 

Having no fans in attendance during UFC fights was an experience I will never forget. Sure, all sports are ultimately better off with spectators, but being exposed to MMA without the deafening crowd noises and reactions was weirdly satisfying. Hearing the heavy breaths, the strikes landed, and coaches’ instructions in excruciating detail throughout a bout was something I’ll probably never get to witness again unless I’m fortunate enough to be octagon-side in the future (or unfortunate enough to experience another global pandemic). 

Without fans, Max Holloway’s beatdown of Calvin Kattar on Fight Island to start the year tops my list. With fans, Rose Namajunas’ flash knockout versus Weili Zhang perfectly encapsulated why this sport can be so endearing. 

Gabriel Guindi – News Editor

Other than the Canadiens making the finals, my favourite sports moment had to have been the Milwaukee Bucks winning the NBA championship. In this day and age of NBA super teams usually winning it all, I found it refreshing that a traditionally-built, smaller market team got to win the Larry O’Brien trophy. Especially for Giannis Antetokounmpo, his loyalty to the franchise by staying with the Bucks and not scampering off to a bigger market team based purely off hype, was gratifying not only for him, but for the city of Milwaukee who haven’t welcomed a professional sports title in over 50 years.

Maria Bouabdo – Assistant Sports Editor

Excluding the Habs’ playoff run, this was my favourite sports moment. Not because it’s amazing or impossible to do, but because of the exact opposite.

Brandon Duhaime is a clumsy and relatable Minnesota Wild rookie, as you can see in the clip. I think it’s pretty rare for hockey fans to watch professional athletes and relate to them on the ice. Like have you ever heard someone say “I could totally pull that off” when talking about Alex Ovechkin or Sidney Crosby? I doubt it. However, a lot of us can 100 per cent say that we have enough skills in the clumsiness department to pull off what Duhaime did. So that alone makes him a 2021 icon for me.


Graphic by Madeline Schmidt


Colour Commentary: Social media’s involvement in sport

Social media has provided fans with ways to push the envelope on some well-known athletes. To what extent is it enough?

Professional athletes are humans too and as sports fans, we tend to forget that. The physical capabilities of athletes, now more than ever, are so extreme that we class them as near superheroes. The sheer power it takes to dunk a basketball or the agility needed to stretch from post to post to save a puck make us forget that although what athletes do is near extraterrestrial, they still deal with personal issues just like the rest of us.

Social media is the purveyor of directed personal messages to public figures across the world — a facilitator for people to personally send their opinions (good or bad) at the ends of their fingertips. Professional athletes don’t receive just a modicum of messages, they receive a plethora of different opinions and critics.

We’ve never really asked ourselves: how much is too much? How many negative messages can someone endure before it seriously takes a toll on them? Does traditional media exploit and amplify these messages athletes already see online?

For many players, they either avoid social media altogether or deal with messages head-on. Especially now more than ever, it is encouraged for athletes to express how they feel as well as their mental health status. It has gotten to the point that even notable NBA all-star Kevin Durant was caught responding to critics using multiple burner accounts on Twitter to defend himself. When media outlets like ESPN caught wind of Durant’s usage of a burner account, it became a non-stop discussion topic on all their platforms.

Lebron James has even admitted that come playoff time he shuns social media altogether. Sports media companies keep tabs on the online activity of any given athlete. If anything “newsworthy” exposes itself, they take a screenshot and share it with their millions of fans. All facets of media and fan involvement intertwine, constantly placing players under a microscope.

Locally, over the past year, both Jonathan Drouin and Carey Price admitted themselves in the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) assistance programs, creating a media stir in Montreal. Out of the countless rumours posted online, sports media amplified the message to another degree. Media companies are always on the prowl for anything that can attain clicks and shares.

The O.J. Simpson trial is when traditional media intersected into the personal life of an athlete and broadcast it for the world to see. The outcome of that trial prompted traditional media to continue pursuing drama in players’ personal lives to report on.

For an athlete, social media is a tough medium to frequent. Many people are jealous of their success, similar to tall poppy syndrome, a cultural phenomenon where fans criticize and sabotage people of notable success in order to make themselves feel better.

Social media is still too early in its development to know what the appropriate steps are to combat backlash. Athletes should have the chance to enroll in possible PR training on how to properly use social media for their own benefit. Though it may not be the ultimate solution, it’s a good place to start.


Colour Commentary: The NHL mismanagement of the Kyle Beach case

Though admitting their fault for not doing a proper investigation when the event occurred during the 2010 playoffs, the NHL should still be held accountable for their actions

It’s no surprise to anyone that a sports league’s best interest to stay viable and out of the negative spotlight is to have the most squeaky-clean record as possible. From contractual dispute allegations to concussion protocol, the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) is supposed to represent the players when a serious problem occurs. The sole purpose of creating the NHLPA was to have the player’s best interests in mind.

However, the NHL, NHLPA, and the Chicago Blackhawks’ handling of the Kyle Beach sexual assault allegations is nothing short of disappointing for not only the league, but professional sports altogether.

The sexual assault investigation that unfolded graphically depicting the events that took place in 2010 from May 23 to June 14 created a conundrum of he-said-she-said between some permanent and former Blackhawks staff.

The fact of the matter is that both the NHL and NHLPA want this issue to not attain more spotlight than it has already garnered. Ten years ago, this problem came to the attention of not only the Blackhawks front office but the NHLPA as well. Both the team and players’ association did nothing to resolve the situation at the time, failing to acknowledge the potential consequences this would have on the future of the league. Originally listed as John Doe, Beach bravely exposed his identity to place a face to the sexual abuse survivor.

No investigation was established, no aforementioned enquiries made, and no final verdict ever shared. Brad Aldrich was given the freedom to resign and pack his bags to another city, confidently handing out letters of recommendation written by seniors in the Blackhawks organization hence getting a position in the USA hockey program five months after resigning.

Upon interviewing all active parties in the 107-page report, a meeting within the organization was held to discuss the handling of the sexual allegations. Due to the Blackhawks’ chances of winning the Stanley Cup that year, the issue was tossed under the rug in the hopes that the truth would never re-emerge to the surface.

The precariousness for a 21-year-old player is baffling, especially at this level of sport. How does someone succumbing to a horrible experience committed by a member in a position of power get trumped due to the sole fact of winning a Stanley Cup?

An excerpt from the report reads: “it was decided that the group would not alert Human Resources or do anything about the incident during the playoffs so as not to disturb team chemistry.”

That year, the Blackhawks won the Cup, though Aldrich resigned after the playoffs — knowing well what he did, the Blackhawks allowed Aldrich to parade around the city of Chicago hoisting the cup like nothing ever happened.

The question that should be seriously highlighted is why this allegation got tossed under the rug by the league? The proven negligence from the NHL resulted in Aldrich finding a new job and led him to sexually assaulting a minor hockey player. Luckily, that incident did not go unnoticed, resulting in Aldrich receiving a nine-month prison sentence, and five years’ probation.

According to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, the league takes sexual misconduct very seriously. Though they may be telling the truth, their mishandling of the situation proves otherwise as it seems that they’re trying to silence the narrative and keep things quiet in order to protect the well-being of the league.

For example, in a press conference held online by Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly, Rick Westhead, the investigative journalist who broke the scandal, only got a chance to ask questions after other reporters highlighted that issue, despite the fact that many reporters had a chance to ask follow-ups 40 minutes into the webcam press conference.

Though the NHL is adamant that this issue should never happen and that they would provide all the necessary resources possible for future players, why would they try and silence the person who would know about the situation the most? How good are the resources they’re providing?

When Beach brought the situation to the attention of former Blackhawks mental skills coach Jim Gary, Beach alleged that in the meeting Gary partially placed blame on him for the incident that had transpired. When a confidant to Beach brought it to the attention of NHLPA Executive Director Don Fehr, other than assigning a therapist, the NHLPA did not act on the matter.

An internal investigation is set to take place regarding the NHLPA’s mishandling of the Beach case. This newly sanctioned internal investigation provides no solace for Beach or the underage victim. It’s a way for the league to save face, promoting to the public as a responsible association acknowledging what they haven’t done. If the NHLPA or the league for that matter really cared, Beach‘s experience with a former video coach would have been properly received and been attended to upon acknowledgement.


Colour Commentary: Montreal Canadiens hit with reality check

Montreal Canadiens fans are rightfully upset with the team’s start to the 2021-22 season, but should they be surprised?

The Montreal Canadiens — last year’s Stanley Cup finalists — are a bottom-feeding team in the NHL through the opening stretch of the 2021-22 regular season. The storied franchise that was on the precipice of glory last spring can’t even muster two consecutive periods of quality hockey today. 

Canadiens fans are rightfully upset, but should they be surprised? More specifically, was last year’s postseason run simply a fluke, or are the Habs wildly underachieving through the first 10 games of the season? Both perspectives to the aforementioned question carry real weight.

On one end, the Canadiens limped their way into the playoffs last season, showing little to no signs of life before they went on to defeat Toronto, Winnipeg, and Las Vegas in successive playoff rounds. They went into every series as underdogs and played a low-scoring, physical defensive style that relied heavily on Carey Price’s heroics and reputation. And he delivered, despite the inconsistency he displayed through most of the regular season. 

The truth is, among the major sports, hockey has the most parity. A hockey team can essentially go from near mediocrity to greatness in the span of a few weeks, a notion that is so rarely seen in other sports like basketball, for instance. Last season’s Habs were the latest example of how unpredictable hockey can be. Ultimately, the sport’s parity is what draws many fans to it. 

Losing team captain Shea Weber, veteran two-way forward Phillip Danault, and Price to start the season for varying reasons meant losing the Canadiens’ anchors of stability, so a regular season dropoff was to be expected. As a result, this year’s offence is being manned by young, unproven talent into unknown waters. So far, Montreal’s key players — namely, Nick Suzuki and Jeff Petry —  simply haven’t shown up and met expectations. 

Despite the fact the current Canadiens roster barely resembles the veteran squad it suited up during the postseason, there is reason to believe the Habs shouldn’t be as bad as they’ve been. As things currently stand, the Canadiens find themselves situated next to the NHL’s worst teams in the standings, many of which have embraced losing in their hopes of rebuilding. 

On the other hand, the Habs are in a unique and dangerous circumstance, one where they fully intend on remaining competitive but are continually failing to tally wins. This team is teetering between mediocrity and success, and considering the fact that they’ve already dug themselves into a near insurmountable hole, at some point Montreal needs to forget about last year’s Stanley Cup run and think towards the future.  


Colour Commentary: The puck drops on another NHL season

The National Hockey League’s regular season will start on Oct. 12

The 2021-22 NHL season is upon us, marking the start of another promising run at the Stanley Cup for some franchises and their fanbases, and continued suffering and anguish for others.

Here are the teams you should keep an eye out for in the exciting weeks of hockey to come, for better or worse.


Of course, I have to start things off with the local band. I just wish I had an inkling of a clue of what to expect from them.

The Montreal Canadiens are coming off their most successful postseason in over two decades, ultimately losing in the finals back in early July to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Stanley Cup champions of the last two seasons. Their regular season, however, was the epitome of inconsistency and turmoil. 

That’s easy to forget, given how well the team performed come playoff beard-oil time, but the Habs were scrapping for a playoff spot — an absurd notion considering the Canadiens started the season off incredibly hot. 

Cinderella runs like last season are few and far between, but there’s still reason to believe their chemistry last postseason wasn’t a fluke. That being said, the Habs will be relying heavily on their young guns Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki to take the reins and produce on a consistent basis. 


I don’t need to remind Maple Leafs fans about last season, right? 

Since the emergence of Mitch Marner, the acquisition of John Tavares in free agency in 2018, and the drafting of Auston Matthews in 2016, the pressure has been on for Toronto. They have an undeniably skilled core that most NHL franchises would kill for, and the results have been fairly positive in the regular season. 

But the postseason has been riddled with annual disappointments, and now is the time to translate their regular season success into postseason accolades. For the sake of my father — a long-time Leafs fan who has never seen them win it all — I’m admittedly rooting for them to return to glory. Yikes. 


On paper, the newest expansion team’s roster looks to be average at best. After all, the Seattle Kraken should be near the bottom of the league in their inaugural season. 

But remember when the Las Vegas Golden Knights made a historic run to the finals in their inaugural season under similar circumstances? Nobody had them pegged as contenders. 

Seattle has some sneaky good depth at defense and should have an invigorated fanbase that could swing the momentum of games in their favour. Las Vegas’ feat in the 2017-18 season may never happen quite the same way again, but there’s a world where Seattle finds success right away while preserving their cap space for the future. 


Colour Commentary: Canadians shine at U.S. Open

The final Grand Slam event of the year put Montreal athletes in the spotlight

The 2021 U.S. Open Tennis Championships were held in New York City, but it was the Montreal-natives that captivated the North American masses at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

The 141st edition of the fourth and final Grand Slam event of the year saw Canadian Leylah Annie Fernandez reach the women’s finals against Great Britain’s Emma Raducanu. The 19-year-old Fernandez lost in straight sets rather convincingly but would climb from 73rd in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) rankings before the tournament to 28th following her inspiring finals run. 

On the other hand, the 18-year-old Raducanu went from qualifier to champion on Saturday, winning all her matches without dropping a single set. She also became the youngest female Grand Slam champion since Maria Sharapova in 2004. 

Here’s some more historical bombshells about their meeting on Saturday; Raducanu and Fernandez’s matchup was the first major final between two teenagers since Serena Williams, 17, beat Martina Hingis, 18, at the 1999 U.S. Open. It was also the first finals in the professional era, which began in 1968, to feature two unseeded women. 

So it’s safe to say the women stole the show, but what about the men?

Montreal’s very own Felix Auger-Aliassime made an improbable and exciting run to the semifinals but lost to the eventual tournament winner on the men’s side, Russia’s Daniil Medvedev. Even so, Auger-Aliassime overcame a big hurdle in his young career by making it as far as he did.

If the women’s final was refreshing and exhilarating, the men’s final was predictable simply by comparison: world number one Novak Djokovic against the number two ranked Medvedev. 

But the competitive stakes couldn’t have been higher. 

Djokovic was chasing something that hadn’t been done in over 50 years; a calendar Grand Slam. The Serbian tennis icon won the first three majors of the year coming into the tournament, while Medvedev was looking to cement his place in history by winning his first Grand Slam. 

Medvedev won, an outcome that wasn’t entirely out of the question given his status as number two in the world. What was shocking to most spectators was how dominant he looked against Djokovic in his victory by straight sets. Medvedev dictated the finals with his serve and never seemed phased despite the pressure of the moment. 

Over the past few years, Canadian tennis players have shown an ever-increasing ability to perform well on the biggest stages in the sport, displaying not only the consistency it takes to succeed but also the skill needed to be the best. 

The 2021 U.S. Open was another feather to Canada’s impressive tennis resume, and I’m excited to see how the athletes and the nation’s fanbase develop from here.


Colour Commentary: Takeaways from the Draymond and KD interview

Dissecting the Bleacher Report interview between Draymond Green and Kevin Durant

In mid-August, Draymond Green, the eccentric power forward for the Golden State Warriors, participated in an interview with NBA superstar and former Warriors teammate Kevin Durant, who has since taken his talents to the Brooklyn Nets. The interview has amassed over three million views and has been the subject of many debates among fans since its release. 

The fact of the matter is, people love to see athletes banter among themselves because it reveals a side of the players that’s difficult to capture in a professional setting, especially with journalists they have no real personal affiliations with. 

In the 24-minute conversation that premiered on Bleacher Report’s YouTube channel with Durant, Green was the journalist-player hybrid and, for the most part, excelled as an interviewer. 

Even the best sports journalists couldn’t do what Green was able to in this interview. He does an excellent job of breaking down Durant’s walls by keeping things conversational while clearly articulating and thinking through his questions. Even Durant couldn’t help but acknowledge how excited he was for the discussion in a clip that was inserted in the final seconds of the video. 

The interview was also successful because it involved two influential people in the league with a lot of history who are extremely intriguing to basketball fans for dissimilar reasons.

Green’s confident demeanor and outgoing personality had an enormous impact on the Golden State Warriors and their championship success on the hardwood over the last decade. Off the court, Green’s exposure with the media has led many NBA fans to believe he would also prosper in sports broadcasting when he ultimately decides to retire from playing professionally. 

Durant, on the other hand, is an enigma to the media and basketball fans alike: someone who has lived and breathed basketball since he could walk, dominated the scoring aspect of the game like no one before him, all while seemingly never letting the crowd in on what he’s thinking. 

The interview dives deep into Durant’s past and the duo’s experiences as teammates. The segment that got the most attention by far was when they shared their perspective on their infamous altercation during a regular season game in 2018 the night many fans concluded was the game Durant unofficially decided he was leaving the Warriors in free agency. 

Green and Durant hash things out and speak on how things developed behind closed doors in the interview. Most notably, they come to the consensus that the Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and general manager Bob Myers were largely to blame for not letting the dust between the two settle naturally after the incident. 

So that settles the campfire debates about their viral confrontation once and for all, right? Many fans on social media think so, but the truth is that it’s not that simple. 

It’s easy to take what the athletes said as fact, especially considering they’re discussing an event that happened nearly three years ago. And maybe their side of the story has some elements of truth to it, but as viewers we are only getting one piece of the puzzle. 

As sports journalists, it’s our job to objectively cover stories in a way that minimizes ulterior bias, to do everything in our power to find all the puzzle pieces to a story and put them all together. Frankly, covering an altercation by only referring to one frame of reference could be misleading to the public.

People who were looking for the truth about the altercation need to recognize that this interview was just one flashy piece to a story that will take years to fully understand. It was a fulfilling piece to an intriguing puzzle, but it’s far from over.  

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