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Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., right, greets two-time Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay

Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., right, greets two-time Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay

MacLeod: Brotherly love in Philadelphia extended to Halladay Add to ...

It is yet another testament to Roy Halladay’s character that there has not been a ripple of resentment in Philadelphia after the 36-year-old chose to retire as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays rather than the Phillies.

Philadelphia is a hard-core sports city where fans and media alike have been known to spank their sporting heroes at the slightest provocation.

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But there was nothing but love flowing Halladay’s way from the city in which he spent his final four seasons after he signed a ceremonial contract with Toronto on Monday and then immediately retired so he could leave the game as a member of Blue Jays.

Since Halladay rose to prominence as perhaps the best pitcher of his era playing the bulk of his career in Toronto, “where hockey is the major passion and where each season began with little chance of making the playoffs,” the big righty was not often in the national spotlight.

Halladay’s former teammates all said that they will miss his steely-eyed presence.

Gay was shopped around

The big Rudy Gay trade to Sacramento is still sinking in and the fact that the Kings said yes to the deal is a bit surprising given that the Raptors knocked on almost everybody’s door in their quest to off-load the forward and his bloated contract.

And while Toronto basketball fans are mostly heralding the move, Gay’s arrival in Sacramento has the Kings executive, led by general manager Pete D’Alessandro, smiling

Even Bryan Colangelo, the Raptors former GM whose idea it was to bring Gay to Toronto in the first place, is speaking on the trade.

“I put a high premium on talent and character, and Rudy Gay has an abundance of both,” Colangelo told the Sacramento Bee. “Obviously, Pete (D’Alessandro) has a mandate to increase the talent level of his team as opposed to depleting it. This move is a pretty good indication of that.”

"Da Bears" honor Dikta

Despite the absence of No. 1 quarterback Jay Cutler, the Chicago Bears have vaulted back into the National Football League’s playoff picture with a 45-28 rout of the Dallas Cowboys.

And it was a fitting victory for Chicago as it came on the night that the club formally retired the No. 89 jersey of former player and coach Mike Dikta.

Dikta, clutching a tissue in his right hand, gave an emotional speech at frigid Soldier Field  during the half-time ceremony.

Igilna's return to Calgary

It will be a special night in Calgary on Tuesday with Jarome Iginla, now a Boston Bruin, marking his first return to play in the city where he toiled for so long.

The former team captain, Igilna was mobbed by a hoard of media when he arrived at the Saddledome and was left somewhat uneasy by the overwhelming reception.

The Vancouver Canucks defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 2-0 in what was a pretty special night for the home-ice regular-season debut of goaltender Eddie Lack,  who blocked 31 shots for his first NHL shutout.

The Canucks have now won five straight.

In Ottawa, things did not go according to the script that the Senators have been following of late when it comes to performing in a shootout

The Senators won for the first time in five shootout tries in beating the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4.

The Globe’s Robert MacLeod curates the best of sports on the web most weekday mornings.

 

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