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Dion Phaneuf #3 of the Toronto Maple Leafs shoots during the warm-up before during game action against the New Jersey Devils February 2, 2010 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images) (Abelimages/2010 Getty Images)
Dion Phaneuf #3 of the Toronto Maple Leafs shoots during the warm-up before during game action against the New Jersey Devils February 2, 2010 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images) (Abelimages/2010 Getty Images)

The Look Ahead

Leafs name Phaneuf captain by default Add to ...

Forget the captain's 'C.' The Toronto Maple Leafs ought to be putting a 'D' on Dion Phaneuf's uniform for "Default" Captain.

So this is what it's come down to? This is how you take attention away from a 43-year Stanley Cup drought? A slightly altered uniform and a guy who took just two months to step into a three-year leadership vacuum?

That's what the Maple Leafs will announce Monday because - well, they really don't have much else to announce, do they?

The sense here is that Mike Komisarek was originally general manager Brian Burke and head coach Ron Wilson's captain in waiting, but that a season-ending shoulder injury and the realization he was not comfortable in his own skin effectively ended that plan.

Whispers were that dressing room citizenship was not one of Phaneuf's strengths with the Flames.

So why the rush?

Simple: Not naming a captain would say that in addition to missing the playoffs in his first two years, so too had Burke and Wilson failed in changing the dressing room culture and eradicating "blue-and-white disease."

Phaneuf is hardly out of central casting when it comes to "team spokesman" - there is no indication he has the sense of proportion needed in a captain and verbal missteps seem to beckon - but it's the safest choice Burke could make. Plus, everybody knows Burke stiffed his Flames counterpart, Darryl Sutter, in the trade, sticking him with a bunch of miscellaneous parts.

Once Phaneuf was acquired, this move was all but a coronation.

Maloney takes Globe to task

With Ice Edge Holdings ready this week to submit to Glendale City Council the details of its 50-per-cent bank-financed purchase of the Phoenix Coyotes, we can all look forward to more media commentary from Coyotes general manager Don Maloney.

Maloney ripped into The Globe and Mail in a meeting with Phoenix media, according to Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic.

Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney addresses the media during a news conference to announce the hire of new head coach Dave Tippett in Glendale, Arizona, September 24, 2009. Tippett became the 17th head coach in franchise history. REUTERS/Rick Scuteri

"Is nothing else going on in Canada, they have to focus on us?" wailed Maloney. "The Globe and Mail I thought has just been over the top in the negativity about this marketplace, almost trying to prove their point, regardless of what else is going on. I'm really disappointed."

Maloney went on: "I know Commissioner (Gary) Bettman has some detractors, but the way they portrayed him is a disgrace. It's an embarrassment to be a Canadian. That's my personal opinion, c'mon."

Note to Maloney: Enjoy Winnipeg. The summers are great.


Is it just me, or has the start of the CFL preseason reinforced how dependent the league has become on retread quarterbacks? I mean, the Toronto Argonauts pulled Ken Dorsey out of the high school coaching ranks.

That's how a team in the biggest market operates? Bringing in guys who have been out of the game?

So it's interesting that the Hamilton Tiger-Cats brought in University of Ottawa Gee-Gees quarterback Brad Sinopoli - who is a year away from draft eligibility - for a week of training camp drills.

The CFL allows teams to bring in a Canadian quarterback as a "non-counting player" and Tiger-Cats head coach Marcel Bellefeuille suggested he'd also be open to the CFL allowing each team to carry a Canadian quarterback during the season without having him count against the roster.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats head coach Marcel Bellefeuille (C) argues a call during the second half of their CFL Eastern semi-final football game against the B.C. Lions in Hamilton, November 15, 2009.
REUTERS/Mike Cassese

"I'm Canadian, and I'd be willing to do anything that would help the Canadian part of the game," said Bellefeuille.

Good for him. The knock against Canadian quarterbacks is arm strength, so bring them in, let them spend a year getting in reps, then make a judgment. Can't hurt when nobody else is interested in coming up here to play.

Morning Cuppa

Didier Drogba has practised wearing a light cast on his broken arm and Ivory Coast coach Sven-Goran Eriksson says it will be up to the 32-year-old striker whether he will play in Tuesday's match against Portugal. Ivory Coast will go a long way if Drogba is ready, although that broken arm means he'll have to learn new diving techniques … England coach Fabio Capello ought to go back to Robert Green as his 'keeper. If Joe Hart was deemed too inexperienced to start Saturday, how is he any more experienced now? And 39-year-old David James isn't known as "Calamity James" for nothing … Spurred on by the delicate ears of sportswriters, broadcasters and old people watching on TV, South Africa's World Cup organizing chief Danny Jordaan is looking for an excuse to ban vuvuzelas from South Africa's stadiums. I'd take the vuvuzela over the mind-numbing arena rock and simplistic rap garbage and dough-headed, nails on blackboard "in-game hosts" we get in our arenas and stadiums. Randomness is good. Honestly, we're so North American at times, aren't we?

Here's hoping they keep the alcohol out of the Green Room on Monday night when Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith bring the Stanley Cup to The Tonight Show in Burbank, Calif.

Kane appeared to be well in his cups during the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup parade and did nothing to remove the impression he's a boob. The Blackhawks' boozy, pillaging act this week has become tiresome.

Hit the fairways, boys.

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