The Ottawa Journal from Ottawa,  · Page 21Click to view larger version
December 27, 1979

The Ottawa Journal from Ottawa, · Page 21

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The Ottawa Journal i
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Ottawa, Canada
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Thursday, December 27, 1979
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Page 21
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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 27, 1979 A circus act at the Garden NEW YORK For the next act in the hockey circus at Madison Square Garden this season, the Soviet Central Army, perhaps the world's best team, will skate on to the ice tonight near where most of Boston Bruins and some Rangers fans brawled after last Sunday night's game. Swift skills Coincidentially, there is a connection between the Soviets asthetic arrival and the Bruins ugly departure. The link is the swift skills of European hockey players. Put the Soviet Central Army team in the National Hockey League and it probably would win the Stanley Cup, to the chagrin of NHL chauvinists. And the European imports, notably Ulf Nilsson and Anders Hedberg of the Rangers, should be considered ornaments for the NHL but too many NHL players, and maybe even too many NHL referees, sneer at the imports as a threat to what they consider to be Canada's game, their game. But hockey is no longer only Canada's game. It also is Europe's game now. Most important, hockey is a better game in Europe than it is in the NHL. Not for muggers As the Soviets have proven, hockey should be a game for artists, not muggers. Their national team stunned the NHL all-stars in the Challenge Cup series at the Garden last February; their Olympic team has won the gold medal in five of the last six Winter Games; their Central Army Team has won the Soviet title 22 times, including each of the last four years. Instead of acknowledging the Europen style and accepting the imports, NHL machos prefer to continue testing their toughness. Moments after Sunday night's game ended, Ulf Nilsson was gliding toward the Rangers bench when he was tripped from behind by Al Secord, a 205-pound Bruins defen-seman. The incident triggered the dispute between the Rangers and the Bruins that eventually exploded into the brawl between the Bruins and the spectators, four of whom were arrested on disorderly conduct charges. Following the melee, the Garden needed city police to disperse 200 spectators who threatened to overturn the Bruins bus. His justification Al Secord justified tripping the 165-pound Nilsson because, he said, the Swedish centre had blind-sided him early in the third period, as if the Bruins defenceman had never been blind-sided before. John Wen-sink, another Bruin, later called Ulf Nilsson "a little wimp," but the NHL, even the Bruins, would be better with more little wimps like him. Ulf Nilsson is the Rangers' leading scorer with 37 points (nine goals, 28 assists). Anders Hedberg, the Rangers' other Swedish import, is next with 35 points (19 goals, 16 assists). The two Swedes are considered among the NHL's most polished players. So are two other Swedes Borje Salming, the all-star defenceman for Toronto Maple Leafs, and Stefan Persson, the Islanders smooth defenceman. If the NHL were smart, it would try to insure the arrival of more European imports and the improve- f. 9 i " - . Mnnprenn 2 ment of its product by providing the Europeans with a fair shake from its Canadian players and referees. In-" stead, it appears that NHL president . John Ziegler is condoning a macho philosophy that not only will deter other Europeans from signing with NHL teams but also will influence some NHL players to go to Europe as Jacques Lemaire did this yea Lemaire left the Stanley Cup champion Montreal Canadiens and joined a team in Switzerland. "They sold hockey on its toughness," Lemaire said not long ago of NHL club owners. "Come see the toughest sport in the world, all that stuff. They put themselves in an ugly corner because you have crowds that come to see fights and brutality. If I were a fan, that wouldn't be the reason I'd go to see hockey but those are the people who are buying the tickets." Grace of Lafleur Not all the people, of course. Many ticket buyers enjoy the grace and elegance of hockey Guy Lafleur of the Canadiens swooping all over the ice, Mike Bossy of the Islanders shooting as quickly as a gun-slinger's draw, Ulf Nilsson and Anders Hedberg skating and passing. Inside, each in his own way is tough, each has to be tough. But too many other players and too many spectators mistake style for meekness, just as they mistake violence for toughness. Violence bred When a sport thrives on violence, as the NHL has, it also breeds violence. When the Rangers and the Bruins were disputing Al Secord's post-game incident with Ulf Nilsson last Sunday night, many Garden spectators had gathered to hoot the Bruins' exit. When one suddenly leaned over and punched Stan Jonathan, the Bruins left wing waved his stick at the crowd. Suddenly another spectator snatched the stick and began swinging it, prompting the Bruins to climb into the stands. Last week the Garden had to ban homemade banners at Rangers games after an obscene insult of the rival Islanders embarrassed Sonny Werblin, the Garden impresario. But nothing has been done to discourage the vulgar chants of many spectators. Perhaps the Garden should start revoking the tickets of some season subscribers or start evicting chronic troublemakers. Buying a ticket does not give anyone the right to spoil the game for the decent spectators or the right to ignite a melee with the opposing team. Whatever happens on the ice should be policed by the referee and the NHL itself. But as ugly as that Garden scene was Sunday night, perhaps a lesson to be learned is that even the spectators realize that the NHL does not know how to police itself. IMPORTANT SPECIAL $ INSPECTION PRICE 515 INDUSTRIAL AVE. 7314000 0pK 7:30 tfn. 12:30 i.m. CfoMd Jm. 1 1 1 t BUI1P TRUCK OPERATORS Commencing January 1 st, 1 930, the dump vehicle Inspection program will require all dump trucks and tractors pulling dump trailers, registered for a gross vehicle weight over 5,500 kilograms (12,125 lbs.) to display an inspection sticker. Presently only those vehicles with a gross weight over 8,200 kilograms (18,078 lbs.) are included in the program. 3g)50 ' Labour for inspection and written report only. Offer expires Jan. 20, 1980. cMutheson 1S1 Sfrucks Btd. NIGHT SERVICE 737-3500 NIGHT PARTS 731-9101$ JOURNAL PHOTO OTTAWA JOURNAL I. i w . ...)'! ' i 'mmmmmmwmmmmmmmimmmm II Ml Ottawa 67s graduate Bobby Smith was chosen as the National Hockey League's rookie of the year. Canadiens coach tells Lupien to shape up MONTREAL (CP) Defenceman Gilles Lupien of Montreal Canadiens isn't among those filled with good cheer in this festive season. The 25-year-old Lupien, who expressed a desire to be traded from the National Hockey League club earlier this year, may have hastened his departure after a heated discussion with coach Claude Ruel during the Canadiens' practice Monday. Told to improve Lupien poured out his feelings after Ruel took him aside at one point in the practice and said that he was not pleased with Lupien's attitude and that he would have to do better if he wanted to earn a full-time spot on the roster. "I told him to leave the ice and to come to my office after practice," Ruel said following Lupien's outburst in front of the other players. "He has some problems and I wanted to discuss them with him with Irving Grundman (managing director of the team) there as well." Lupien showered quickly and did not appear for the meeting and Ruel indicated he will take the next few days to ponder the situation. "I have 21 players here and I'd like to play them all," Ruel said, "but the rule book prevents me from choosing more than 17." "It's one of the most difficult things for a coach to tell a guy who's worked hard and is ready that he's not playing that night." Lupien feels that he has earned the right to play regularly or at least be told the reason why he cannot. He was one of the team's most effective -rearguards during the Canadiens' disastrous road trip to Edmonton and Winnipeg in mid-December, but has played only one shift in the last two games. Lupien isn't the only player who has come under the watchful eye of Ruel since he replaced Bernie Geof-frion behind the Canadiens' bench Dec. 12. Forward Rick Chartraw has been ordered by Ruel to shed 10 pounds and return to last year's playing weight of 210 pounds. At Monday's practice, Chartraw was within three pounds of reaching that mark. "I fixed an objective for a precise date and he'd better respect it," Ruel said. "The day of doing whatever you want is over." "I have a team to lead and I have to get it in the same physical condition it was in last year. "Everyone has to be ready physically," he added. "They have to put their heart into their work with the same desire they used to have." "This way, I'm convinced, we'll win a lot more games than we lose." PAGE 17 79 produced excellent crop of rookies By Mark Friedman NEW YORK He induced an entire nation to focus its attention on a small school called Indiana State and he showed everyone what hard work and intelligence can do for a man on a basketball court. Then Larry Bird went out, signed a record-breaking contract with Boston and turned the lowly Celtics into winners again. At $3.2 million, he was certainly a bargain. Big dividends Basketball seemed to have a monopoly on the best new faces in sports in 1979. Bird, Earvln Johnson of Los Angeles and Bill Cartwright of New York all signed for big bucks and immediately began paying dividends. Baseball, however, had one of its least productive years with rookies. Toronto's Alfredo Griffin and Minnesota's John Castino were co-winners of the American League rookie of the year award and Rick Sutcliffe of Los Angeles was the National League's rookie of the year. Other pitchers New York's Ron Davis, California's Mark Clear and Ross Baum-garten of Chicago White Sox also were among the best new pitchers to emerge. Scot Thompson of Chicago Cubs and Pat Putnam and Bill Sample of Texas also were impressive as newcomers. Kirk Gibson of Detroit didn't get to play a great deal in 1979 but the Tigers expect great things from the former two-sport Ail-American from Michigan Statae. The National Football .League sports some fine new faces, with St. Louis's rookie running back Ottis Anderson topping the list Anderson has quickly established himself as one of the game's finest players, breaking Earl Campbell's year-old rookie rushing record. Other promising young NFL stars included quarterback Phil Simms of New York Giants, wide receiver Jerry Butler and linebacker Jim Haslett, both of Buffalo, and kickers Tony Franklin of Philadelphia and Matt Bahr of Pittsburgh. Ottawa graduate Young Bobby Smith, a graduate of Ottawa 67s, gave hockey fans something to cheer about in Minnesota, scoring 30 goals and 74 points to earn the Calder Trophy as the Na-tiona Hockey League's rookie of the year. The North Stars, despite an ankle injury this season to Smith, are well on their way to respectability-Rick Mears, a relative unknown in 1978, blossomed as the top CART driver in 1979, proving the point emphatically with a victory at the Indy 500. Howdy Holmes finished seventh at Indy and was named USAC rookie of the year and Dale Earnhardt grabbed the NASCAR rookie of the year award by finishing in the top five 11 times. In boxing, ex-marine Mike Weaver nearly wrested the heavyweight title from Larry Holmes in June, then dismantled highly regarded Scott Ledoux last month to place himself among the top contenders for the heavyweight crown. After turning pro last spring, 20-year-old Kathy Jordan reached the round of 16 at both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, bowing to eventual champion Tracy Austin at Flushing Meadow in a third-set tiebreaker. For her efforts this year, Jordan was named rookie of the year on the pro tennis circuit. Ivan Lendl of Czechoslovakia was the male rookie of the year, shooting up in the rankings from 360th to No. 22. On the golf tour, John Fought' and Beth Daniel were honored as the game's best new players. Fought was the U.S. amateur champ in 1977 and scored back-to-back tour victories in September, the first rookie to do so since 1975. Daniel, a two-time U.S. amateur champion, registered her initial LPGA triumph in the Patty Berg Classic. Halifax not site of fight NEW YORK (AP) Former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks will meet Alfredo Evangelista of Spain Saturday, Jan. 12, in Atlantic City, it was announced yesterday by promoter Don King. The fight, marking Spinks' return to the ring after seven months, will be held at Resorts International Hotel. It had originally been reported from Madrid Dec. 23 that the two fighters would meet in Halifax. Over hurdles and down the hill LAKE PLACID, N.Y. "I'm 36 years old," Willie Davenport said, "and I earn $25,000 a year. When I'm 40 I'm going to be a millionaire." Willie Davenport is an amateur athlete with candor. A former world record holder in the high hurdles, he raced over the sticks in four Olympic Games. In 1964 he got as far as the semi-finals. In 1968 he won the gold medal. In 1972 he finished fourth. In 1976 he took the bronze for third place. He is here getting ready to try out for the United States four-man bobsled team that will slide down Mount Van Hoevenberg in the Winter Olympics in February. He has never been down a bob run but along with candor he has confidence. After the record "We're going to break the world record in the Olympic trials," he said. "We're going to give them something to shoot at." If his team qualifies, Davenport will be the first black man to represent the United States In the Winter Games and the second athlete of any race to compete In both summer and "winter carnivals. The first was the late Eddie Eagan, who won the light heavyweight boxing championship in 1920 and rode on the sled that won the gold medal here in 1932. Davenport says he has two goals to open up the sport to his people and to make a lot of money. . "Can Willie Davenport, as a black man In a non-traditional J J Red y Smith sport, do it?" he said. "Can I open up this sport for blacks? Why haven't we tried? Why haven't we had a token? Is it too damn cold or something? With the publicity I could get, I could open up the sport to other people." He was chatting over a late lunch after watching two-man sleds on Mount Hoevenberg. A member of the executive board of the U.S. Olympic Committee, he came here for a tour of Olympic facilities. Personal reason "I have a second motivation that is personal," he said. "I'm executive director of the mayor's council on youth opportunity in Baton Rouge, La. The mayor said, to mention that his name is spelled D-u-m-a-s, Woody Dumas. I have a staff under me, we co-ordinate federal programs and I work my tall off. My agent and I feel that if I generate enough publicity I can get some of that easy money from endorsements and television, like Bruce Jenner, Instead of $25,000 I could make $150,000 a year. That wouldn't make him a millionaire in four years, but maybe arithmetic isn't important to bobsledders. Willie said a friend in Platts-burg, N.Y., put his team together. Bob Hickey, the driver, and Jeff Gadley, the brakeman, have ridden sleds in competition. The numbers two and three riders, Jeff Jordan and Davenport, are novices. Sliding downhill used to be a fat man's game, on the theory that the greater the weight the greater the speed. Lately the emphasis has been on athletic ability of pushers speeding the takeoff. Lot of technique "You can weight the sled if you're below a certain figure," Davenport said. "I don't know what the figure is. I don't know if our sled is American-made or Italian. It's got four runners. We've been practising pushing off in the ice arena in Plattsburg. "There's a lot of technique to it that we won't have time to pick up but I'm convinced we'll make it, I've been an athlete most of my life. The team, we are one. We've set our goals, push time and slide time and we'll meet them. I've already done more than any other human, making the Olympic team four times. This will be my fifth." To make the Games a fourth s time, Davenport had to come back from a disabling injury. "It was the semi-finals of the AAU outdoor championships in 1975," he said. "Taking off for a hurdle, I busted a tendon in my left knee. I had surgery the next day and two days later I had a blood clot in my right lung. The surgeon wasn't very optimistic. He told me I would walk with a limp and should forget about running. "That was June. By Jan-', uary I was hurdling again and that summer I won the Olympic, bronze." "Was therapy the answer?" he was asked. "It was mostly willpower," he-said. He had a question for a passing waiter: "Have you got a bear" here? I feel like eating one?" THE NEW YORK TIMES Speed skater sets record INZELL, West Germany (Reuter) Dutch speedskater Ria Visser set a record of four minutes, 39.28 seconds for the women's 3,000 metres on the In-zell track yesterday. The old time, set only a week ago, was 4:40.20. In the men's 500-metre sprint, -seven skaters finished below 40 seconds, with Lieuw de Boer of the Netherland's fastest in 38.95' seconds. The only race not won by a Dutch contestant was thej men's 3,000 metres, which went to Jukko Galakka of Finland in 4 : 19.90.