Each week, The Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports. This week, they discuss Randy Carlyle's concussion theory, Connor McDavid, the Rutgers University scandal and tanking for a better draft pick.
Bruce Arthur, National Post: My thumb is down to Randy Carlyle, head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, for his handling of concussions. Now, when Joffrey Lupul was apparently concussed in a game this week, Randy Carlyle's response was to say first that it's 50-50 that he's going to practice the next day, and then to call concussions a "bad word", something that shouldn't be spoken aloud. But more importantly, and I don't know if Randy Carlyle's got the vapours or if he needs leaches to help him at this point, but then he kind of expounded on his theory of concussions: that maybe because of helmets, the brain heats up and the brain swells and then you're more liable for concussions. He should probably talk to a doctor about this at some point.
Steve Simmons, Sun Media: My thumb is up to Connor McDavid the young sensation in the Ontario Hockey League, the underage exempted player who was this week named Ontario Hockey League rookie of the year. It's just a culmination of everything that's gone his way this year. He was better than a point per game player. The treatment that was started for John Tavares a long time ago has worked extremely well with McDavid who this weekend is trying out for Canada's under-18 team. It should be noted that he is two years younger than virtually every player at camp this weekend.
Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated: My thumb is down to Rutgers University and Mike Rice, the crazed basketball coach, who was fired this week. Tim Pernetti the athletic director also resigned. Rice abused his players physically and verbally. The president of the university, Robert Barchi, described it as a failure of process. No, it's a failure of people, including Barchi who failed to view the video when it first became available in November.
Dave Hodge, TSN: My thumb is up to Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche, who was asked about the importance of adding a high draft pick, specifically the number-one draft pick, for next season. In other words, Duchene was asked about tanking the rest of this season. And he said the following, "I owe it to every last person who buys a ticket and cheers for us to try my best at all times, and I owe the same to my teammates, who owe the same to me." It is the correct and the only acceptable answer. Anyone connected with any sports team who would answer the question differently by speaking of the benefits of losing should pay with his or her job. No matter how hard they were trying, the Colorado Avalanche lost in Phoenix last night, 4-0.