hockey, Uncategorized

NHL ROUND TWO-QUARTER FINALS

ROUND TWO -QUARTER FINALS

Gary Norris Gray- BASN Newsroom-Staff Reporter

All of the weak shooters and sloppy goaltenders have vacated the playoffs. Now it becomes a game of skill and grace. It now becomes a race for the Cup.

The Montreal Canadiens might be rethinking that monster trade a year ago sending the talented P.K. Subban to Nashville for the older, taller, defenseman Shea Weber. Many Canadian fans may never forgive the Montreal brain trust after the Habs lost to the New York Rangers in six games. The regenerated Nashville Predators moved on to the second round for the first time in their short history with P.K. Subban as their defensive leader. Montreal learned a lesson you can’t teach, it’s called heart. The Montreal Canadiens might have the best goalie on the planet (Carey Price) but P.K. Subban is the best defenseman in the National Hockey League.

The Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, San Jose Sharks, and Montreal Canadiens all went down hard and unexpected in the first round.

The Boston Bruins made too many mental errors early with delay of game penalties and the Ottawa Senators capitalized on those mistakes to take the series.

The Chicago Blackhawks were simply outscored 13-3 in four games. Despite this loss in Blackhawk land fans should be happy with their rebuilding program, as it points out the probable success.

On the west coast, this could be the end of the Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, and Patrick Marleau era in San Jose as the Sharks made another early exit, this time as the young upstart Edmonton Oilers took them out. The Sharks might have problems in net as goalie Martin Jones was not impressive letting in 3 easy goals during this series. The new players of the Edmonton Oilers and the new Toronto Maple Leafs are the wave of the future.

WEST

Nashville vs. St. Louis

Edmonton vs. Anaheim

EAST

Ottawa vs. New York

Pittsburgh vs. Washington

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS VS. WASHINGTON CAPITOLS

The National Hockey League blew this one. The number one team in the east will be playing the number two, instead of by conference. This matchup could happen again. It is not fair for the teams (Washington-Pittsburgh) that have worked hard all season to win their division and get these high seeds to face each other in the second round. The playoff system was cute to watch the first four years with close rivalries, but it is time to go back to the old 1 through 8 seeding in conference, not division.

That being stated the Washington Capitols should shake off the President’s Trophy Curse (Best record) and defeat the injury-rattled Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Penguins should be called the MASH unit of the NHL with Matt Murray, Chad Ruhwedel, Chris Kunitz, Carl Hagelin, and Kris Letang all on the injured reserve list.

The Penguins continue to use Marc-Andre Fleury in net when everybody knows that Matt Murray is the future net-minder. Murray might be back in this series if Fleury flounders in goal.

Goal Brother Defenseman Trevor Daley had a good series against the Columbus Blue Jackets, initiating Pittsburgh rushes for scoring chances. Pens need Kris Letang in this series to help Pittsburgh defense, out for the playoffs.

The Washington Capitols might have finally found a way to win. The rested Braden Holtby in the Capitols net could be the key to victory for the men in red. Backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer really helped Washington during that mid-season run.

Kevin Shattenkirk stopped the speed of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the last series; can he do it again against Pittsburgh?

Washington is number one this year in defense; they will need it against Pittsburgh. The two headed monster in net will have to stop Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin AGAIN.

The Capitol firepower will have to come from Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and T.J. Oshie. Justin Williams earned stardom with three critical goals in the Toronto series.

The Capitols are 1-7 vs. Pittsburgh so the odds are in favor of number 8-Ovechkin and crew in our nation’s capitol.

Washington finally enters the conference final with upset victory over Pittsburgh. Caps find a way.

WASHINGTON CAPITOLS IN SIX

NEW YORK RANGERS VS. OTTAWA SENATORS

The Original Six of Hockey are down to one, the orphan child, the New York Rangers who will play the upstart Ottawa Senators. This will be a knockdown drag-out defensive struggle with two great goalies; Mr. Craig Anderson for the Sens and the self anointed King Henrik Lundqvist for the Blueshirts. If you like low-scoring games, this is the series to watch.

For those who don’t know, I call Craig Anderson “Mr. Anderson,” in reference to the 1990 movie “The Matrix.” The way he defends and moves in the net reminds me of Keanu Reeves mysterious character.

The Senators block teams at the blue line, disrupting the offensive flow, as the Boston Bruins found that out the hard way. The New York Rangers have to watch out for Ottawa’s LONG strong stretch-passing late in games, zipping the puck into the offensive zone creating scoring chances before the defensemen can react. The Bruins never found the answer and lost. The Rangers could be looking at the same fate if they don’t find a way to stop this.

The Senators are the New Jersey Devils twin. Ottawa employs the 1-2-1 zone just like New Jersey in their glory days. The League outlawed the left wing lock defense so this is the next best thing.  The lock is a defensive strategy is very much like New Jersey’s neutral zone trap.

This is when the puck changes possession the left winger slides back with his two defensemen into their zone pushing the offense into the left side boards squeezing the team into a box or into a given area. This tactic also ended the odd man rush to the goalie.  The Detroit Red Wings and New Jersey Devils were masters at this, and were defensive teams of the year. When the Devils played the Wings for the Cup in 1995 (strike shorten season) the league decided to change the rules because scoring had dropped 35 per cent. The 1-2-1 is now the modern version of the Left Wing Lock.

The Ottawa Senators might be scrambling to find offense and defense with the foot injury (hairline fracture) to defenseman Captain Erik Karlsson. This hurts Ottawa because he is the heart of the team.

The Ranger right wingers are on fire.  Mats Zuccarello and Jesper Fast are playing well and center Rick Nash finally showed up to defeat the Montreal Canadiens.

My heart is with the Senators but my mind is with the Rangers.

NEW YORK RANGERS IN SIX       

EDMONTON OILERS VS.  ANAHEIM DUCKS

The Edmonton Oilers are in good hands with young center rookie Connor McDavid with Mila Lucic on his left and Jordan Eberle on his right; it’s a speed skating scoring machine.. McDavid is one of the fastest skaters I’ve seen in a while.  Toronto’s Auston Matthews is another player as the new wave continues to change the landscape of the NHL

Goalie Cam Talbot played well against San Jose but this writer is not impressed with his play in the net and he could be the Oilers weakest link. The Anaheim Ducks will exploit this weakness because they will pressure the Edmonton defense. The two-headed Duck monster in the nets with Josh Gibson and Jonathan Bernier could stop the young Oilers.

The Ducks are powerful up the middle with centers Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler. The player to watch in this series would be right winger Patrick Eaves.

This series will come down to experience for the Anaheim Ducks vs.  The young Oilers, this will be the first time in ten years for Edmonton in the playoffs.

Watch the Conner McDavid-Ryan Kesler matchup in this series.

ANAHEIM DUCKS IN SIX

  1. LOUIS BLUES VS. NASHVILLE PREDATORS

The St. Louis Blues are kind of the new kids on the block and are the first expansion team to make it to the Finals, four years in a row in the early 1970’s. Nashville is really the new version. The Blues played in the old Checker Dome but could not beat any of the Original Six. The past seven years they had to deal with another one of the Original Six, the Chicago Blackhawks. Some hockey fans are calling the Blues snake- bitten but this year they defeated the Minnesota Wild in the first round in a spirited series. They are just happy not to meet the red, black, and white of Chicago-AGAIN.

The Nashville Predators are part of the last NHL expansion package in 1998 with the Florida Panthers, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, the relocation of the Minnesota North Stars to Dallas to become the Stars, and the Quebec Nordiques to Colorado to become the Avalanche. The next season two more teams would move before the league finally settled down, the old Winnipeg Jets moved to Arizona to become the Phoenix Coyotes and the Hartford Whalers moved to North Carolina to become the Carolina Hurricanes.

The St. Louis Blues and the St. Louis Cardinals are the only two professional teams in town and they do not have to share the Gateway City fan base with the old St. Louis Rams. The Blues have the second best goalie in the mid-west Jake Allen, but Allen has to share the spotlight with Chicago’s Cory Crawford.

The first line for St. Louis is the key for victory. Right winger David Perron, Center Paul Stastny, and left winger Alexander Steen must produce. Right winger Goal Brother Ryan Reaves and center Patrik Berglund are the players to watch in this series.

Reaves is the de-facto enforcer because of his size and many teams respect his play on the ice.

For Nashville this will be their first trip to the second round. Goal Brother defenseman P.K. Subban has changed the culture for the Predators. Subban gives the line in front of him the confidence and drive to make aggressive moves. If that line makes a mistake they know that P.K. will cover up for that mistake.

Left winger Filip Forsberg reminds me of another Forsberg, Peter who played with the Colorado Avalanche many moons ago. Filip carries the same swagger on the ice as Peter.

The Preds power line would be Right winger James Neal, Center Mike Fisher, and Left winger Kevin Fiala. Success are in defensemen Ryan Ellis and Yannick Weber hands. This team can shut-down any team with that strong defense.

Goaltender Pekka Rinne has become hot at the right time and could guide Nashville to the Western Conference Finals. A hot goaltender can carry a team to the Stanley Cup Finals; so far Rinne has been standing on his head the past month. For those who do not know what standing on his head means, it means the goalie is stopping every puck he sees.

NASHVILLE PREDATORS IN SIX    

Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network, Disabled Community Activist. Email at garyngray@blackathlete.com

Garynorrisgray@Wordpress.com

©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod

 

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ALL LIVES MATTER ????

ALL LIVES MATTER?????

Gary Norris Gray-BASN-Newsroom Staff Reporter

These are the following nine reason African Americans are still slaves in the United States, yet some people say ALL LIVES MATTER. If that were true, everybody would be working to change the criminal justice system. This justice system only reinforces institutional racism: propping up white supremacy.

Black people are imprisoned in exceptionally high numbers.

 People should be asking how 12.5 percent of America’s population can be 54 percent of America’s prison population. That is 2.3 million BLACK people.

The numbers exploded during President Richard Nixon’s War on Drugs but what the American media will never tell you, is how those drugs came into America.

NOW THINK REALLY HARD. How many African Americans owned a boat or a plane in 1970’s?

Black people are more likely to be arrested for nonviolent offenses.

Question, how many white individuals get arrested for Jay-walking, DWB, Driving While Black, selling loose cigarettes on the streets, or walking in the middle of the street? Black people are 3.2% more likely to be arrested for possession of marijuana than their white peers, even though blacks and whites use the drug at similar rates.

The wheel of justice turns very fast for Blacks but slowly for whites when it comes to penalties for crack cocaine vs. powder cocaine. African Americans receive a five year sentence for crack cocaine while suburban Caucasians get five months or less for powder cocaine. This is the American justice system.   

New Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions appears to be seeking a return to higher incarceration rates. Will this really MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN?

Black people are more likely to be sentenced to death for crimes against white people.

White citizens who kill Black people receive lesser sentences at trial (life in prison) than when African Americans take a white life (death row).

The death penalty was reinstated in 1976: 80% of people who have been executed have been put to death for crimes against white people. Again, the news media will never inform the American public about this fact.  Blacks and whites are likely to be murder victims at roughly equal rates.

Black people are less likely to be judged by a jury of their peers in criminal trials.

All- white-juries are commonplace in the American court system, but it is rarely seen an all-Black-jury at a criminal trial. Is this equality under the law for African Americans? The law states you shall be judged by your peers. African Americans never get this opportunity. Government studies have found that racism is common in jury selection.

Black children are more likely to be disciplined in school than their white peers.

African American children are sometimes physically assaulted and are assessed harsher punishment by school authorities when that child breaks any rule.

Black children are suspended and expelled from school twice as much as their white counterparts for the same offense.

This begins the school-to-prison pipeline which starts at preschool. The path to incarceration begins.

YET ALL LIVES MATTER

Each day, 500,000 people fill America’s jails awaiting trial because they are too poor to afford bail.

 Americans technically are innocent until proven guilty, but if you are poor that can be a problem, because they are sent to jail until their trial date because they do not have the funds for bail. The Vera Institute found that 50% of people awaiting trial couldn’t afford bail of $2,500 or less.

Even Black men who do not have criminal records are less likely to be hired for jobs than white men who’ve been convicted of felonies.

Discrimination runs rampant in the job market. NBC News reported in 2015 that if the applicant had an African sounding name he/she did not get a second interview but white individuals with European names received phone calls after the first interview. This was also true with apartment hunting in major cities.

Key findings include:

  • Both Black and Hispanic men were less likely to receive a positive response from employers—including a call back or email for an interview or a job offer—compared with white men.
  • Men with criminal records were more likely than women with criminal records to receive a negative response from employers.
  • White men with a criminal record had more positive responses than Black men with no criminal record.

Black Disabled Americans are literally the last hired and the first fired.

The Disabled Revolution of the 1970s favored most white disabled community and left African American disabled folk behind. Many leaders of the movement stated that they modeled their revolution after the Civil Rights Movement, but they forgot one thing: BLACK PEOPLE. America’s Black disabled had to play the game of catching up in the 1980s. African American disabled women fared much better then disabled Black males.

Mental health assistance is not as available in the African American communities as it is in the white communities.

The recent murder on Easter Sunday of 75-year-old Mr. Robert Godwin in Cleveland by a distraught African American, Steve Stevens and who later suicide in Erie, Pennsylvania just magnifies this problem of mental health in the Black communities.

PART II

REMEMBER ALL LIVES MATTER

In World War I and World War II, African-Americans were sent overseas to defend our nation. They all went there, abled and willing to fight against fascism.

These young men were fighting for freedom in a foreign land and when they came home to America they did not have that same freedom. Under the Red, White, and Blue these veterans returned to be second class citizens AGAIN…

Shannon Sharp explains why Colin Kaepernick is protesting, kneeling for the National Anthem.

Mr. Sharp makes it clear why Kaepernick is taking that knee.

Mr. Sharp states, Some Americans insist that Black Lives Don’t Matter but All Lives Do…Now think about these Black men who go to Germany to fight for people who they have nothing in common with and gain their freedom, only to return home and sit in the back of the bus for 15 more years. DOES THIS MATTER?

Black men are being killed, beat up, shot, and arrested for noncompliance, when white criminals who stab, kill, and rape get tased, pepper sprayed, and handcuffed. In other words they live to tell the story. DOES THIS MATTER?

Another young white male travels miles and miles then walks into a church in South Carolina and joins their prayer group. He stands up and shots nine members to death, premeditated. The arresting officers take this young man to Burger King because he is hungry…BLACK LIVES DON’T MATTER…

Noncompliance to a Black man is a death sentence.

Mr. Sharp continues: If I don’t tell you my Religion, If I don’t tell you my political affiliation, If I don’t tell you my mom’s name, The one thing that I’ve been for 48 years is Black and that’s what America sees.

Americans don’t see my religion, they don’t see my orientation, they don’t grasp my political affiliation, but they see the Black skin.

This is what upsets many African Americans: the double standard that permeates the country.

In 2008 President Barack Obama tried to invite the United States into a bi-racial community, a multi-racial family.  It did not happen and President Donald J. Trump is currently pushing in the opposite direction, creating a clear racial division among Americans. The forces of white supremacy would not let President Obama succeed.

Slavery is still here under a new name, and new political, social, and economic face. This country lacks a moral compass when it comes to the issue of race.

This is a sad commentary on the United States of America.

Special Thanks to Jamilah King-Sr. Editor of MicDaily

The Justice Center-The Council of State Governments

Arizona State University

Shannon Sharp

Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network, Disabled Community Activist. Email at garyngray@blackathlete.com

Garynorrisgray@Wordpress.com

©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod

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THE AMERICAN TEAMS-NHL PLAYOFFS

THE AMERICAN TEAMS-NHL PLAYOFFS

Part II

Gary Norris Gray-BASN-Newsroom Staff Reporter

Could it be that we are witnessing the changing of the guard with all of the new teams entering the playoffs? The old guard Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins, winners of the last two Stanley Cups are defending their turf.  The pre-playoff favorites are the Penguins in the East and the Blackhawks in the West.

The New Kids on the Block; The Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Nashville Predators, and Columbus Blue Jackets will have plenty to say about this in the first round. There will be eight Goal Brothers (Black Players) on the ice this year and all eight will make an impact on this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs.

This is what the playoffs would look like under the old system. Many NHL old-timers do not like the new playoff system because teams will not play each other within their conferences. If the Washington Capitols and Pittsburgh Penguins win their first round series they will meet in the second round. This is not good for hockey having the number one and two seeds meeting in the second round.

Eastern Conference

  1. Washington vs. 8. Toronto
  2. Montreal vs. 7. Boston
  3. Pittsburgh vs. 6.Ottawa
  4. Columbus vs. 5. New York Rangers

Western Conference

  1. Chicago vs. 8. Nashville
  2. Anaheim vs. 7. Calgary
  3. Minnesota vs. 6. San Jose
  4. Edmonton vs. 5. St. Louis

THE 2017 PLAYOFFS -THE AMERICAN TEAMS

Minnesota Wild vs. St Louis Blues

The Blues are just happy they are not facing the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round. The Hawks have put them out each year.

Everybody dismisses the Wild and Blues because they are both unknown. They do not pay attention to these teams because they are not in the glamour cities or glamour states.

Long time St. Louis Head coach Ken Hitchcock was relieved of his duties on Feb. 1, of this year and the Blues were blowing in the wind until Mike Yeo took control. Hitchcock’s firing was moved up four months after the Blues hit rock bottom

Goal Brother Ryan Reaves was drafted by St. Louis in 2005 in the 5th round. The big 6′ 1″ right winger has to get more time on the ice. This year he only missed one game that shows his durability.  

Goalie Jake Allen could be the downfall of the St. Louis Blues, he has not played well the last two months. Forwards Ryan Reaves and right winger Vladimir Tarasenko could be the key to Blues victory.

For Minnesota, Devan Dubnyk has to carry this team in net. He is still the unknown goalie and the Blues will find this out the next week.

The Wild are a collection of ex-eastern players and young stars. Ex-New Jersey Devil Zach Praise, Ex-New York Ranger Eric Staal, and Mikael Granlund have to carry the Wild offense. Goal Brother Chris Stewart will hit the ice again playing against his former team. Stewart will add pop to the Minnesota left side with 13 goals and 6 assist.

The St. Louis Blues have to stop center Mikko Koivu and left winger Nino Niederreiter or they will be heading home again.

Both teams use the same offensive systems so they will be looking in the mirror at themselves on the ice.

Take your pick.

SAINT LOUIS BLUES IN SEVEN

Nashville Predators vs. Chicago Blackhawks

The Nashville Predators are not the same team as last year. They have the firebrand head coach Peter Laviolette who could fly off the handle at any time. The Blackhawks are counting on that.

The Preds have added a fiery sparkplug, Goal Brother P.K. Subban from the Montreal Canadiens. The Preds offense can bury teams in the first period. Subban changed the culture in Tennessee from “we should win” to “we will win.” 

Subban elevated the Preds this year to a real playoff contender.

Forward Viktor Arvidsson, center Ryan Johansen, and young left winger Filip Forsberg have confidences with Subban on the team; then you cannot forget the veterans Mike Fisher and James Neal who have been there before and will teach the young ones what to expect. The second line of right winger Craig Smith, Austin Watson, and Kevin Fiala could be the difference in this series.

Goaltender Pekka Rinne has had an up-and-down season and at 34 years old the clock is beginning to tick. Nashville’s defense has to help Rinne if he goes into playoff slump. Defensemen Mattias Ekholm, Ellis and Roman Josi are up for the job this year. Watch the blocked shots.

This will be the Nashville Predators third try to win a series.

The Western Conference Hockey royalty, The Chicago Blackhawks, are back again one year older. The Chicago Blackhawks got the number one seed in the west-AGAIN. This could be their fourth Stanley Cup in seven years if they get passed the determined Nashville Predators.

The Hawks plug in five rookies, and re-signed Goal Brother Johnny Oduya from the Dallas Stars who is a model stay-at- home defenseman. Oduya could teach the younger defensemen the tricks of the trade.

Chicago kept their core of forwards Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Marian Hossa with defensemen Duncan Keith, and Brent Seabrook. These guys are just a step slower than last year and this could be their last run at the Cup. Jordun Tooto adds bounce to the right side of the Hawk offence.

The Blackhawk’s weakest  point is goaltender Corey Crawford as teams are beginning to figure him out, shooting high to his glove side. As a former goalie, I find this very noticeable. The Hawks might install Scott Darling in net in games 3 and 4 to give Crawford rest on road playoff games.

The Chicago Blackhawks have the experience and could overwhelm the Nashville Predators; but this is where P.K. Subban and the Nashville determination could be the difference.

NASHVILLE IN SEVEN- the upset of 2017 playoffs

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

The Pittsburgh Penguins are called The Eastern Conference Team of Royalty. They have the longest playoff streak with 11 years. This team has not played well the past two weeks so it will be interesting to watch how the Penguins start this opening series. Injuries have been a major issue of why Pittsburgh has slipped the past two weeks. Center Evgeni Malkin will return to the team after recent injuries.  Left wingers Carl Hagelin, Chris Kunitz, and defenseman Zach Werenski are all expected to play in this opening series; again, the injury bug has hit them all.

Former Dallas Star and Chicago Blackhawk, Goal Brother, defenseman, Trevor Daley returns to the playoffs with the Penguins. Daley is the picture of consistency around the net and should help either Murray or Fleury around the net.

Veteran goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury will be handing over the goal tending duties to young Matt Murray this year as we are witnessing the transition of power in the Penguin net.

The old horses will carry this team to the conference finals if they can get past their trips to the doctor’s office. Veterans right winger Phil Kessel, centers Sidney Crosby, and Bryan Rust, defensemen Trevor Daley and Kris Letang will protect Murray or Fleury around the net.

Super -brat Sidney Crosby has a target on his back and teams have done this all year. He has hit opponents low in the undercarriage a few times this year and teams are not in love with him. Expect the Columbus Blue Jackets to do the same as other teams, blanketing or shadowing number 87.

Columbus, New Jack City goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky had his best season in net and is a candidate for the Vezina Trophy-Best Goalie of the Year. He shed pounds during last summer to play this year and he has more mobile skills in the net.

Goal Brother Seth Jones might be on his way to Stanley Cup Finals with the Jackets. His stats are the best in 5 years with 12 goals and 30 assist. Jones has to score in order for New Jack City to move on to round two.

Defenseman Jack Johnson has to rock some Penguins off the boards to disrupt the Pittsburgh offense. The Jackets have to get an early lead in each game to be physical against Pittsburgh. Columbus cannot let Pittsburgh fly by them on an offensive rush or this series could end quickly.

Pittsburgh has the experience but the Columbus Blue Jackets have the will and the coach, John Tortorella. Tortorella can lose his temper at times and he must control himself in these playoffs.

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS IN SEVEN- another big upset

Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network, Disabled Community Activist. Email at garyngray@blackathlete.com

Garynorrisgray@Wordpress.com

©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod

 

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THE CUP RETURNING TO CANADA?

CUP RETURNING TO CANADA?

PART I

Gary Norris Gray-BASN-Newsroom Staff Reporter

The National Hockey League walked into a sweet situation. Many hardened hockey fans were not happy with the playoff format and complained that no Canadian team would challenge for the Cup in 2016. Last year the NHL playoffs had something missing,.. It was a team north of the border.

The possibility of Lord Stanley’s Cup returning north of the border greatly increased this year, with five Canadian teams playing in the first round. That no Canadian team will play each other in the first round also increased their chances to raise the Cup in the great white north.

The Pittsburgh Penguins will be gunning for their 2nd straight Cup and no team has repeated since the Mario Lemieux 1991-92 Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Edmonton Oilers return to the playoffs after ten years and that is a good thing for the sport because history follows the orange crush, the expansion team that could

Under the new playoff system teams will play within their division unlike the old system of 1 through 8. This will be the fourth year under this system but I think it is time to return to the old 1-8 system. The reason that fans are unhappy is that if the Washington Capitols win and the Pittsburgh Penguins win. It would be number 1 vs. number 2 in the Eastern Conference in the second round. This is not acceptable and needs to be changed.

The experiment is over. It was fun to see the New York Rangers play the New York Islanders in the east and Chicago play St. Louis in the mid-west and last the San Jose Sharks play the Los Angeles Kings in the west but how many times do you want to see this?

Under the old system the playoffs would look like this

Eastern Conference

  1. Washington vs. 8. Toronto
  2. Montreal vs. 7. Boston
  3. Pittsburgh vs. 6.Ottawa
  4. Columbus vs. 5. New York

Western Conference

  1. Chicago vs. 8. Nashville
  2. Anaheim vs. 7. Calgary
  3. Minnesota vs. 6. San Jose
  4. Edmonton vs. 5. St. Louis

 

THE PLAYOFFS 2017

The Montreal Canadiens vs. New York Rangers

If you are a goalie fan this is the series to watch with two veteran star goaltenders, Montreal’s Carey Price and New York’s Henrik  Lundqvist a.k.a. the self proclaimed king. The King might get dethroned by the Canadiens, Lundqvist has not played well the last two months and the Rangers have not scored, that is a bad combination.  Ranger goalie Antti Raanta might be the one to save Rangers in the latter stages of this series.

Montreal’s Shea Weber and Andrei Markov could be the stone wall for the Rangers to penetrate the net, then the Blueshirts have to get past 6′ foot Carey Price standing in net to block Blueshirt goals.

The New York Rangers are leaning on Henrik Lundqvist to carry them to the Cup but his up and down season makes many wonder how far they can go with number 30.

The right side of the New York Ranger offense is loaded with Rick Nash and Mats Zuccarello who have to score early to relieve the Ranger defense. Marc Staal and Ryan McDonagh have to hold the fort in front of Lundqvist for Blueshirts to win.

CANADIENS IN SIX  

The Ottawa Senators vs. Boston Bruins

My favorite goalie Mr. Craig Anderson of the Ottawa Senators will try to fend off the high power offense of the Boston Bruins. Backup goalie Mike Condon did not let the ceiling fall down when Anderson left the team for family matters. So Ottawa could use a two-headed monster in nets for the playoffs if needed.

Forwards Erik Karlsson and ex-New York Ranger Derick Brassard will carry the Sens as far as they can with their offensive power. Right winger Bobby Ryan is also a great sniper (shooter) in the middle. The Sens went through horrid middle of the year and ended up near the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Then head coach Guy Boucher lit into them during a game and they motored into playoffs. This is a muck and grind team, they will have to be to beat the Boston Bruins.

The Boston Bruins are dealing with defensive injuries coming at the close of the regular season ex-Winnipeg Jet  Drew Stafford has put a spark in the Bruin offense but Boston will still look to David Krejci to score Bruin goals. The veteran defenseman Captain Zdeno Chara will play old school and bounce Senators off of the TD Gardens boards.

BOSTON BRUINS IN SIX  

The Washington Capitols vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

The Washington Capitols won the President’s Trophy this year for most points in season but it might not be the kiss of death for winning the Stanley Cup as the Caps have improved this year. The past eight years the winner of the trophy has made the finals only once. History will not repeat itself because the Capitols will be going to the finals since 1998. This is the best Washington team since 1998 and they have one of the best goaltenders in the league with Braden Holtby. Holtby has taken many days off this year so he has rested legs for the playoffs. This team will be difficult to beat with their balance.

Center Nicklas Backstrom and number 8 Alex Ovechkin will carry the Capitols offense and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk will help Holtby around the net.

The Washington Capitols have to forget about the past and move on with this new and improved team.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have brought fresh air to the National Hockey League with young stars and probable rookie of the year, with 40 goals, center Auston Matthews . The Leafs lack playoff experience, with forward Leo Komarov being the only one who has played in the playoffs.

The centers will carry the men in blue with sniper Nazim Kadri, and the steady hand of Brian Boyle. This will be a learning experience for the young Leafs.

WASHINGTON CAPITALS IN FIVE

The Edmonton Oilers vs. San Jose Sharks

The San Jose Sharks are in deep water. Too many Sharks are injured going into these playoffs. Joe Thornton and Logan Couture could miss this series because of their injuries and San Jose needs both of them to out skate the young Oilers. The Shark led the Pacific Division early in the year before the mid-season collapse sending them out of the playoffs. The Sharks finally got it together in mid-January to make it back into the playoffs picture.

Goalie Martin Jones has been inconsistent in the nets and it has cost San Jose many games. Home ice does not mean what it did years ago in the South Bay. Teams are not afraid to come into the Tank. The second line of Marc Vlasic, Brent Burns, Goal Brother Joel Ward, and Patrick Marleau, Thomas Hertl have to step up for the Sharks first line. Center Joe Pavelski could change the men of teal season by scoring goals. Ward has stabilized the San Jose defense and can strike at the blue line with his wicked slap shoot. Wherever Ward has played the team wins in the playoffs. This could be his last chance at Lord Stanley’s Cup at 36 years old. Number 42 stats are 10 goals and 19 assist for 2017.

The Edmonton Oilers created the new energy in the western conference. This team may have built a team for the future with many young players. Goal Brother Darnell Nurse should keep the Oiler defense in line, with young gun center Connor McDavid and left winger veteran Milan Lucic should keep the Oilers in the playoffs on the offensive side. The Oilers finally got into the playoffs for the first time in seven years. The only question would be the man in net; goaltender Cam Talbot is an unknown, both nations will see him for the first time.

Nurse’s big body will protect Cam Talbot and can score if needed with 11 points the highest in three years.

This team is so talented but they just don’t get it done. They lack leadership on the ice. Joe Thronton should have been the enforcer but he has not shown up.

Sorry, Bay Area, but too many injuries to start this series…..

EDMONTON OILERS IN SEVEN    

The Anaheim Ducks vs. Calgary Flames

Those freaking Ducks will not go away. You can’t kill them. Early in the season the Anaheim Ducks were in last place in the Pacific Division. General Manager Bob Murray found a new coach to fire the Ducks up in the middle of the season and it worked, the Anaheim Ducks won the Pacific Division the last month of the year. Goalie John Gibson has stabilized the Duck defense and has put confidence in the Anaheim defense.

The Ducks have retooled on the fly and kept moving; veterans Center Ryan Getzlaf and Patrick Eaves will carry this team with the new bloods. Ryan Kesler and Antoine Vermette are Anaheim snipers and should keep the offense rolling.

The Calgary Flames have made the province of Alberta remember the old days of the 80’s and 90’s with both Edmonton and Calgary in the playoffs at the same time AGAIN. The Flames are leaning on rookie Matthew Tkachuk and veteran Johnny Gaudreau to make the Flames dangerous on the left side. I love T.J. Brodie because he is my kind of defenseman, playing hard and feisty.

CALGARY FLAMES IN SEVEN    

Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network, Disabled Community Activist. Email at garyngray@blackathlete.com

Garynorrisgray@Wordpress.com

©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod

 

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GOAL BROTHERS ON ICE

Goal Brothers on Ice-2017

Gary Norris Gray-BASN-Staff Reporter

As the National Hockey Leagues doors are opening up to Black players, have to keep making their point and continue the notion that they too belong on the ice and can play the game. We scan the rink preparing for the playoffs with these new faces on the ice and acknowledge the challenges they face.

This year’s Black players are making strong influences in the National Hockey League with speed and power. They are also having a strong presence and influence on their own teams. We at BASN salute the Goal Brothers on ice.

#88 Jarome Iginla-Los Angeles. Kings- The Black God-Father on Ice.

Jarome Arthur-Leigh Adekunie Tig Junior Elvis Iginla is his birth name. Jarome was born in Edmonton Alberta, Canada. He was the first 18 year old that played for the providence rival Calgary Flames in 1996.

He was named the 18th captain in 2003 and has often been mistaken for the first Black captain in the NHL. Your’s truly learned that lesion too. That honor belongs to number 33 Dirk Graham of the Chicago Blackhawks .

Iginla is the 7th player to score 30 goals in 11 consecutive seasons but he still cannot get respect because he has not raised Lord Stanley’s Cup in victory.

The Los Angeles Kings tried to get the Black Godfather of hockey to the playoffs but the future looks dim with Los Angeles 12 points away from a wild card spot with 12 games left.

#23  J.T.Brown-Tampa Bay Lighting. Mr. Brown is one of the brightest African Americans in the National Hockey League. He was born in Burnsville, Minnesota. He made his Stanley Cup appearance against the dominate Chicago Blackhawks in 2014.  On June 24, 2016, the Lightning announced the re-signing of Brown to two-year contract extension. Brown played in 78 regular season games during the past season, recording eight goals and 22 points. Brown was tied for third on the team with a plus-16 rating. He set career bests in games played, goals, points, plus/minus and penalty minutes last season. He also appeared in nine Stanley Cup Playoff games, recording two assists and two penalty minutes. Brown has skated in 198 career NHL games, all with the Lightning over four seasons, registering 15 goals and 51 points. He also has skated in 37 playoff games, recording a goal and six points.

J.T. Brown is giving back to the sport he loves — and encouraging more minorities to join him on the ice — via a unique hockey mentoring program in Tampa. He is becoming the Willie O’Ree of the 2000 era.

#33 Dustin Byfuglien-Winnipeg Jets– Mr. Byfuglien is my favorite player and another African American on the ice. Dustin is the best defenseman in the NHL. Buff is also one of the biggest defensemen that ever played the game and he uses his size to block offensive players and their shots on net. Dustin won the Stanley Cup with the 2010 Chicago Blackhawk team over the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Hawks won the Cup on Philadelphia ice and the crowd was cordial until Dustin Byfuglien held the cup, skating around the rink. Boos and catcalls could be heard throughout Wachovia Arena, but that’s South Philly.

Teams forget that Buff has scoring power and can put the bisket in the basket. Byfuglien was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2003. Originally a defenseman at the start of the 2007–08 season, he was moved to a right wing position to give the team a larger body near the net. The experiment that proved successful. Buff should have stayed there but the Atlanta Thrashers moved him back to the defensive position. Too bad nobody is noticing.

This year in Winnipeg he has scored 12 goals and 35 assist. The League has conveniently tucked him away in Mid-west CANADA so Americans never get to see him play.

# 10 Anthony Duclair-Arizona Coyotes- Duclair was drafted by the New York Rangers in 2013. The Rangers never gave him a chance. He scored 5 points in the 2014 pre-season and was shipped to the Arizona Coyotes. Duclair has blossomed in the desert scoring 23 goals and 32 assist.

#66 Joshua Ho-Sang- New York Islanders- Ho-Sang sparked a minor controversy amongst hockey purists when he chose to wear sweater number #66 for the Islanders. Ho-Sang stated he chose the number to pay homage to Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Hockey fans in Pittsburgh still do not like it. He was the second player, after Calgary Flames defenseman T. J. Brodie to wear the number after Lemieux in a regular season game. The League wants to retire number #66 just as the league retired Wayne Gretzky’s number #99. Until the league retires number 66. Anybody can still wear the number, so let the kid wear it and leave him alone.

This is the fastest man on the ice I’ve ever seen. Ho Sang is very aggressive in the offensive zone, pressuring other team’s defense and disrupting their flow. Number 66 should have been with the parent team months ago but the NHL continues to play the color game. As a Goal Brother he had to prove once again that he belonged. Ho-Sang scored three goals in one week with the Islanders when he was called up three weeks ago, pushing the Islanders toward the 2017 playoffs.  Can’t wait to see this player get his wings and fly in the NHL.

# 3 Seth Jones-Columbus Blue Jackets- The son of basketball star Popeye Jones. The African American invasion can be seen in full force in 2017. Jones should have been the number one draft pick in 2013 but ended up being the fourth overall pick at 19 years old. Seth is dedicated to the game and proves it on the ice with his play.

Jones was shocked when the Nashville Predators traded him to the struggling Columbus Blue Jackets in the middle of the season last year 2015-16. He is up to 39 points, 124 shots, 101 blocked shots and a plus-15 rating for the campaign while averaging over 23 minutes of ice time per game. Jones is never going to pile on the PIM or hits. He’s also worth a look in daily contests when Columbus faces an inferior opponent.

Jones knows how to win because he has been on four IIHF medal winning American teams in Russia, Czech Republic, and Germany. Now he is transferring this knowledge to the Bluejackets in the NHL.

# 4 Caleb Jones- Edmonton Oilers  The little brother of Seth Jones drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the fourth round in 2015. He had a bust out year with the Western Hockey League Portland Winterhawks with 64 points and 9 goals. The NHL will be seeing him next year in the great white Northwest Territories.

#25 Darnell Nurse-Edmonton Oilers- Nurse was the first part of the rebuilding blocks for the future in Edmonton and it has finally showed up this year with a playoff position for the first time in seven years.

Nurse was drafted 7th overall in 2013 but his career was slowed by ankle surgery in 2016 that took him out of the season.  The sports gene runs deep in this family Darnell is the son of former Canadian Football League wide receiver Richard Nurse. He is also the nephew of former NFL star quarterback Donovan McNabb-Philadelphia Eagles-Washington Football Club, who is married to Darnell’s aunt, Raquel Nurse McNabb.

After years of frustration the Edmonton Oilers might be on the right track toward another Stanley Cup Champion.

#21  Kyle Okposo, #9  Evander Kane, #56  Justin BaileyBuffalo Sabers

The Buffalo Sabers may be the NHL’s best kept secret as they keep driving towards improving the product on the ice in 2017 with midseason trades.

The New York Islanders let Kyle Okposo head north while the Winnipeg Jets sent Evander Kane east and drafted Justin Bailey. There is a buzz around this team of the future if they keep this trio.

Okposo missed two weeks with rib injuries but has been a very welcome addition to the Sabers offense this season, scoring 19 goals and 43 points in 63 games, He has scored at least 40 points the fourth straight season

Kane has been on fire the last three weeks and has put fear into the eyes of the eastern conference powerhouses, New York Rangers, Washington Capitols, Montreal Canadiens, and Ottawa Senators.

Kane while the sniper, has lit the lamp 10 times in the past 14 games and has contributed three assists over that span. Kane’s ability to put pucks on net and past goalies will continue to make him an asset in Buffalo. He has passed the 25 goal mark last week and will continue to fight hard for the Sabers.

Justin Bailey, A home town guy born, the son of Buffalo Bill linebacker Carlton Bailey, and raised in Buffalo and is another African American with sports lineage,  He could not wait to be a part of this new exciting team in the northeast. Justin was drafted in 2013 and has yo-yo-ied from Buffalo to the AHL Rochester Americans the past three and half years.

He was reassigned to Rochester on February 18, only to be recalled again three days later following an injury to Ryan O’Reilly. He scored his first NHL goal on January 3, 2017 against THE KING goalie Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers. The right winger might be the needed addition to the firepower. This team could be the new scoring machine in the east and challenge the Pittsburgh Penguins  next year

#29 Johnny Oduya-Chicago Blackhawks– The Black Swede got drafted in 2001 by the Washington Capitols and was then traded a year later to the New Jersey Devils only to become the stallworth on defense for this northeast team. Oduya returns to his 2nd home solidifying the Hawk defense. He has played in the Stanley Cup playoffs and won two of them, scoring 19 goals in 8 years.

In June 2013, Oduya won his first Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks, who defeated the Boston Bruins in six games in the Finals.  In Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, Oduya assisted on the Cup winning goal scored by Dave Bolland. Oduya’s shot came from the left point and deflected off the stick of Michael Frolík. Bolland, in position in front of the Boston goal, pushed the deflected shot past Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask to give the Blackhawks their second Stanley Cup in four years.

#17 Wayne Simmonds-Philadelphia Flyers – Number 17 is the heart, body, and soul of the Philadelphia Flyers. Wayne Simmonds exemplifies what this teams stands for, The Broad Street Bullies of the 1970’s. Wayne the Train, leaves everything on the ice every night. Simmonds became a favorite among L.A. fans for his strong work ethic on and off the ice, a trait he has said was instilled in him by his parents. Coming to the City of Brotherly Love Simmonds worked even harder to please the fans in Philly.

Wayne Simmonds was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings and played well in Hollywood in 2007-2011. Hockey fans love a mucker and grinder because that means he is working hard to get the puck.

On September 22, 2011, during a preseason game in London, Ontario between the Detroit Red Wings and the Flyers, a banana was thrown onto the ice while Simmonds was making a shootout attempt. This was seen as an act of racism. The following day, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman released a statement regarding the events of the previous day. “We have millions of great fans who show tremendous respect for our players and for the game,” said Bettman in the statement, “the obviously stupid and ignorant action by one individual is in no way representative of our fans or the people of London, Ontario”. Chris Moorhouse later pleaded guilty to engaging in a prohibited activity under the Trespass Act and was fined $200 but did not need to appear in court.

#76 P.K. Subban-Nashville Predators– P.K. has found a southern home in Nashville after the Montreal Canadiens released him last year.

The Canadiens drafted him in 2nd round in 2007 and won the James Norris Trophy in 2013. He was the best player on the team and should have been named captain but because of the French Canadien pedigree Subban never had a chance

Subban then played all 82 games during 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons, in which he registered a total of 53 points, ten of which were goals. During the 2014 playoffs, he was one of Montreal’s most important assets, registering 14 points in 17 games as the Canadiens ultimately reached the Eastern Conference Finals, falling to the New York Rangers.

He is also the stallworth of the Montreal community by giving funds to various agencies but he could not win the hearts of Les Habs fans and went off to Nashville, Tenn. and a peace of mind.

On September 16, 2015, Subban announced his donation of $10 million to the Montreal Children’s Hospital.  The hospital called it “the biggest philanthropic commitment by a sports figure in Canadian history. After his donation, Subban continued his commitment as spokesman and organized the Winter Wonderland with Air Canada at the hospital before the holidays. In 2017, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross (Civil Division) in recognition of how his “generous gift stands as an example of how professional athletes can positively change lives in their communities”.

#70 Malcolm Subban-Boston Bruins- The brother of P.K. Subban is the goaltender for the black and gold Boston Bruins. Malcolm keeps being shuttled back and forth to the parent team, the Providence Bruins. He has played only a single game this year and might be heading out of the Hub City with free agency the end of the year.

The Boston Bruins sometimes put Subban in unwinable situations and the talented goalie has trouble dealing with it. He has a tough time following in his star studded brothers footsteps.

#25 Devante Smith-Pelly-New Jersey Devils– Smith Pelly moved from the West Coast- Anaheim Ducks to the East Coast-New Jersey Devils.

Drafted in 2010 by the Anaheim Ducks and has played in the Stanley Cup twice, one for the Ducks and one for the Montreal Canadiens

In the 2015–16 season, Smith-Pelly got off to a strong start with the Canadiens as they started a franchise best 9 straight wins to start the year. With a mid-season collapse in progress and despite contributing with a career best 6 goals through 46 games, he was dealt by the Canadiens to the New Jersey Devils, just a little over a year from when he was acquired on February 29, 2016, in exchange for Stefan Matteau.

Smith Pelly is now the elder for the young Jersey Devils. He has become the teacher and on ice coach.

#75 Ryan Reaves-St. Louis Blues- The invisible man come from a athletic family, his father played for the CFL Winnipeg Blue Bombers and his brother suited up for the Rough Riders of Saskatchewan.

Reaves is the NHL modern day enforcer with a quiet voice. His size speaks for him. Reaves has scored 20 goals in his NHL career.

#42 Joel Ward-San Jose Sharks-  Ward, has been called Mr. Consistency standing at the blue line snapping hard slap shots for goals. Can’t believe it’s been 10 years already and his first  start in Minnesota. He changed the Washington Capitol defense system where the defensemen could be part of the offence.

In the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs The Boston Bruin crowd rode Ward the whole series. In the seventh game Joel Ward shut them down with an overtime goal from the point eliminating the defending champion Boston Bruins.

Ward has improved the San Jose defense which sometimes forgets to screen out players fly by the blue line creating havoc for the Shark defense.

Our Asian brothers are also beginning to hit the ice with style and grace.

#16 Matt Dumba- Minnesota Wild- Dumba is one of the first Filipino players on the ice. The Wild selected him with the seventh overall pick in the first round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Dumba previously played junior with the Red Deer Rebels in Alberta.

He has bounced back and forth in the minors and the American Hockey League. Dumba returned to the parent club this year and is on a tear with 10 goals and 16 assist.  

#22 Devin Setoguchi- Calgary Flames  Devin is of Japanese descent and was a crowd favorite in San Jose In the 2010–11 season with the Sharks, on February 19, 2011, Setoguchi scored his first NHL Hat-trick in a 4-0 win against the Colorado Avalanche. On April 19, 2011, Setoguchi scored the game winner in overtime against the Los Angeles Kings to make the 1st round playoff series 2-1. On May 4, 2011, Setoguchi completed a hat trick in Game 3 of the Western Conference Semi-finals against the Detroit Red Wings by scoring an OT goal to give the Sharks a 3-0 lead in the series. Devin is currently playing with The Los Angeles Kings after a two year stay in The Swedish League.

#15 Andong Song- New York Islanders  Song played the Beijing International Ice Hockey League before moving to Canada at the age of ten.  The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey filled his teenage years on the ice. The Native Chinese got hooked watching the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils.

Song was drafted by the New York Islanders in the sixth round  and will be on the ice soon. Currently Song is playing for the BIG RED at Cornell University.

 

Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network, Disabled Community Activist. Email at garyngray@blackathlete.com

Garynorrisgray@Wordpress.com

©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod

 

 

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TIMES ARE CHANGING

Gary Norris Gray- BASN-Newsroom-Reporter

California Governor Jerry Brown threw down the political gauntlet at the end of 2015 stating that the Golden State would no longer permit schools to use THE REDSKIN name as a mascot or logo.The law California Racial Mascot Act was passed in October 2015 with a deadline to comply January 2017. Currently there are 500 junior high, high school, and college teams using Native American names and logos. The R-Word is still being used by 48 of these schools. That is so much better than the 5,000 teams in 1950.

California became the first state to ban the R-Word, other states across the country should now follow The Bear Republic’s lead, and pass the baton to the next generation, by demonstrating a commitment to the American ideals of inclusion and mutual respect toward other cultures.

As of January all public schools in California will be barred from using the term, “Redskin,” which many Native Americans consider a racial slur. The measure by Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville) will allow schools that use materials that contain the term, such as uniforms, to phase out their use to alleviate cost concerns. The new law will affect four California high schools in Merced, Calaveras, Tulare, and Madera counties. The four schools are Gustine High School in Merced County, Calaveras High School in Calaveras County, Chowchilla Union High School in Madera County and Tulare Union High School in Tulare County.

Two years later some progress was made but it has been slow. Some of these schools continue to drag their collective feet citing the cost of changing uniforms and signs. The alumni  cited that the name is tradition. California school officials also cited that their Native American name is historic and it honors Native Americans. This is the same bogus argument that the Cleveland Indians and Washington Football Club cite. It is very interesting that these same school districts are quick to change school names to Kennedy or Lincoln without a whimper.

American Junior High Schools, High Schools, and Colleges are more willing to give up their Native American names and logos but professional teams are steadfast and unwilling to change.

The two big monsters are the Washington Redskins and the Cleveland Indians. The Cleveland Indians will be hosting the 2017 Baseball All Star Game. The Indians have taken baby steps on the issue of their logo. Last year the team changed their road caps with the block red C but still wear Chief Wahoo on the shoulders and their home caps. IT IS NOT ENOUGH

Dan Snyder owner of the Washington Football Club has stated that HE WOULD NEVER CHANGE THE NAME – “NEVER, PUT THAT IN CAPS,”. This is the strong resistance to change by professional teams and is not present in schools

In Northern California, Vallejo High School in Vallejo changed their name and logo from Apaches to Redhawks in February 2014. There are 14 high schools in the United States with the Apache mascot, including four in California: Sanger High School, Centennial High School in Compton-Los Angeles., Arcadia High School, and Vallejo.

Napa High School in the wine country of Northern California is also battling with this issue and the school board has had many meetings. The Napa Valley School District will be meeting again on April 6th 2017. Solano Middle School in Vallejo dropped the Chieftain name soon after Assembly Bill 30 passed two years ago, addressing the REDSKIN name in public schools. The tide has turned and Governor Brown has now put legal pressure on California schools to change their names.

This should be done on a national level.

John Swett High School in Crockett 30 miles north of Oakland announced it would also stop using Indians as their mascot last year.

Native American Indian mascots and logos will be a thing of the past. Now if we could get other states to follow suit.

In the heat of this year’s political climate in Washington D.C. the Chowchilla, California school district still faces a protest against a Southern California high school whose sports teams name and mascot are called Arabs. The name stuck because of the school’s location near the California desert, so, the name seemed appropriate. In reality it has nothing to do with Middle Eastern residents. This is a prime example of the continuation of the marginalization of minorities or people of color in the United States.

The Coachella Valley High School Arabs finally came to a compromise changing the name and mascot. The Coachella Valley High School Arabs will now be known as the Mighty Arabs, after the school district’s board of trustees voted 5-0 to amend the school’s team name. They also agreed to change CVHS’ Arab mascot to look less barbaric and more distinguished. The parents, students, and facility of CVHS still did not want to relinquish the Middle Eastern image, just as the Washington Football Club and the Cleveland Indians.

The State of California is giving a teaching moment for the United States. Will America listen?

If you want to know more about the battle on Native American mascots and logos in the United States check out the award winning documentary “IN WHOSE HONOR”, a critical look at the historical practice of using Native American Indians as sports mascots. 

Also there are other web sites:- (NCRSM)The National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media (AIM) American Indian Movement, (AISTM) American Indian Sports Team Mascots and (NCAI)The National Congress of American Indians.

Special thanks to

BASN

The guardian.com

The Huffington Post.com

Sacbee.com

latimes.com

Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network, Disabled Community Activist. Email at garyngray@blackathlete.com

Garynorrisgray@Wordpress.com

©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod

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DISAPPOINTED IN UNITED STATES

 DISAPPOINTED IN UNITED STATES

Gary Norris Gray-BASN Newsroom Staff Reporter

Since the election of November 5, 2016 we have witnessed a complete change in the political and social attitude of the United States of America. The Era of Hope has given way to the Era of Fear and Rejection; The Era of Inclusion to the Era of Division.

This country is being watched around the world and most American viewers are bewildered with this country’s political knee jerk actions and reactions the last three months. They are disappointed in the way our country’s leader has conducted business. Many African-Americans are profoundly confused.

It is profound because the United States of America could be repeating the history of the 1920s and 30s. This is not beneficial to America or the world. Many are disappointed by this administration’s demonization of Latino and Arab Americans, wanting them out of the country. Last, this administration is mounting a war with the American press corps, in an obvious to control dissemination of information.

Remember, we are all immigrants. The only true Americans are Native American Indians. The growing attacks on free speech and the side-stepping of anti-Semitic incidents continue to grow. History is truly repeating itself and Americans are standing around watching.

IMMIGRATION

Scapegoating immigrants is nothing new in the United States. The Irish, Germans, Pols, Italians, Greeks, French, went through the same issues decades ago. Chinese immigrants felt the sting in the 1870s.

Japanese Americans felt the sting of America’s rage in 1941 when the Japanese Imperial Air Force attacked Pearl Harbor. The United States put all Japanese Americans in internment camps in 1942 in California, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, and Arizona.  These same Japanese American citizens fought in World War II in Germany only to return to internment camps. Are we about to do the same thing with Arab Americans and Latino-Hispanic Americans?

African-Americans also fought in both theaters of WWII only to return to a segregated nation. Are we slowly going back to this ugly part of history with this current administration in Washington?

Our new leader has pulled the country into an extreme right turn and a precarious position. Allies all over the world are closing their political doors to our new president. America’s allies do not know what to expect from the man that occupies 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  They don’t know if he will turn on them just as he has turned on some of his own employees in the White House.

WAR ON PEOPLE OF COLOR

This man has declared war on people of color in the United States  and Americans has allowed it to happen.  Hate crimes have increased since November 6, 2016 because these individuals (white supremacist extremists) who perpetrate such crimes have been given the green light to do so by our elected officials in Washington. This administration refuses to put the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and other white supremacy groups on the terrorist watch list when every African-American knows that they are clearly domestic terrorist.

Government employees of color have walked away from their jobs in the past 30 days rather than deal with this administration’s attitude of the good old boys club. Rumana Ahmed, a Muslim woman who wears the hijab and worked in the National Security Council in the White House in the Obama administration, left her job after eight days of work under the new administration.  She felt unwanted and not welcome. She wanted to give this administration a chance, a chance for them to experience a different view of Islam and the American Muslim community. IT DID NOT HAPPEN!!!

Apparently, The Muslim travel band and the Syrian refugee issue was the last straw for Ms. Ahmed. Many other fellow employees have also left because they could not work in the White House in good conscience with the attitude it has about people of color, A SILENT PROTEST.

She stated to Michael Anton senior advisor:-

“I told him I had to leave because it was an insult walking into this country’s most historic building every day under an administration that is working against and vilifying everything I stand for as an American and as a Muslim. I told him that the administration was attacking the basic tenets of democracy. I told him that I hoped that they and those in Congress were prepared to take responsibility for all the consequences that would attend their decisions.”

This administration really believes that diversity is a weakness and teaches the  virtues of authoritarianism and that Islam is incompatible with the modern western world. If that were really TRUE, the Islamic world would have attacked the western world decades ago.

Ms. Ahmed is a 2011 graduate of George Washington University in International Relations but this administration does not care. Ms. Ahmed stated working in the White House those eight days brought back the feelings after the 9/11 attacks. What made this worse is that people in power were fueling the fires of Islamophobia and fear.

This administration did not like her because

  1. She is a woman.
  2. She is perceived to be the enemy just as Japanese Americans in 1942.
  3. She is a person of color.
  4. She had an education and the intelligence to speak up on issues this administration did not want to hear.

This administration is on a very difficult road and the treatment of this woman is an example of the arrogance, obscurity, and stupidity the White House displays; wasting talent that could make this country stronger through diversity.

This administration has also gone after African-Americans, Latino-Hispanic Americans and Native Americans.

1st:- The Government ordered all of the protesters at Standing Rock, North Dakota off of the property or be arrested as the Corps of Army Engineers restarted the oil pipeline project.  Once again Native Americans are removed from their own land for American progress and greed. This is a human disgrace but this Administration does not care. Money is more important than human lives.

2nd:- This administration has failed to have a political, economic, or social discussion with prominent African-American leaders; leaders that have the eyes and ears of the Black community, and can inform the White House what concerns that community and how this administration and Black leaders can work together to improve the lives of African-Americans. With the Alt-Right members in the White House and at the forefront of this administration, IT WILL NOT HAPPEN.

3rd:- The military style round-up of undocumented Latino-Hispanic residents of Santa Cruz and Daly City, California could be a view of the future.

The deception by this administration on the police departments of Santa Cruz and Daly City, stating it was searching for undocumented alien criminals, in reality was a test run for The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Homeland Security agents searching for all undocumented residents. All of the individuals arrested were released three days later with the exception of one, who had an outstanding criminal warrant. So the question needs to be asked, why these government entities have to misinform (LIE) the local police forces to get their cooperation? Second, why did these federal agencies wait until after the police forces left the scene to arrest these individuals?  The answer is SANCTUARY CITIES.

My fellow Americans, in about six months after millions of undocumented Latino-Hispanic  residents leave the country, don’t complain when an orange, a grapefruit, or a pear cost three dollars each, don’t complain when your hotel bill doubles, don’t complain when the roofer states that you have to wait six months before they can repair your roof because he/she does not have enough employees to do the job, don’t complain when your lawn looks like a national park. This is the cost of this administration.

4th:- Wednesday night February 22 Adam Purinton went to a bar in Olathe, Kansas opening fire on two Indian-(New Delhi) men, killing one and injuring the other. Witnesses stated he yelled “get out of my country” before shooting the two men.

Months before this horrible event,  the diseased man’s father requested that his son leave America after the elections in November because of the fathers fear of violence against people of color. He also urged all parents of Indian students not to send their children to the United States. This is what this new administration in Washington has fostered. Nothing new but the eight years of President Barack Obama and the ascension of this present administration has doubled racial animosity and fostered fear.

FREE SPEECH

Last the attack on the Fourth Estate,the United States press corps, and this, my fellow Americans, is the most dangerous issue of them all. When this administration continues to threaten schools, cities, towns, and states withholding federal funds to these entities because of their political or social stance that is in opposition to Washington, WE HAVE A PROBLEM. When you silence Native American Senator Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts; when you silence Representative Janet Nguyen, California’s Orange Country Republican; when you silence disabled children in public schools  with new laws to restrict disabled children from participate with their non-disabled counterparts; and then allow the hate filled speeches of Breitbart News Network editor and writer Milo Yiannopoulos, we are on the road to disaster.

It is dangerous when, this administration can choose and bar who can or cannot attend the weekly White House press conference and dictates when the information can be released. That is propaganda and once again America is just standing there watching.

Barring The Guardian, The Washington Post, New York Times, CNN-Cable News Network, and BBC-British Broadcasting Corporation just magnifies this point.

That means, my fellow Americans, STATE RUN MEDIA in our future?  This administration must be taking private lessons from Comrade Vladimir Putin and his state-run paper called PRAVDA.

STYLE

The different style of governing can be contrasted with the grace, compromise, and humility of 44 that cannot be duplicated by 45. President Obama encouraged inclusion, discussions, and debates; this administration does not or will not.

During the campaign last February, Obama visited a Baltimore mosque and reminded the public that “we’re one American family, and when any part of our family starts to feel separate…It’s a challenge to our values.” His words would go unheeded by his successor.

I’m very disappointed that we, Americans, have to fight this fight all over again.

God Bless America

Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network, Disabled Community Activist. Email at garyngray@blackathlete.com

©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod

 

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