ICYMI, Kamloops native Don Moores is back in town as the Blazers’ president, chief operating officer and alternate governor. This signals the start of a new marketing age with the local WHL franchise. Might I suggest that Moore’s first move be to restore the city’s name to the team’s logo? . . . You may recall that former Blazers goaltender Darryl Reaugh explained the move in an Aug. 14 news release: “Editing 'Kamloops' from the main logo was done with much discourse but ultimately was felt needed in an effort to make the front of the uniform less wordy.” Dropping ‘Kamloops’ took the main logo from two words to one. . . . In 2014-15, with ‘Kamloops’ in the main logo, WHL figures have the Blazers’ average announced attendance at 3,994. Last season, that number was 3,769. . . .
An orangutan got loose at Tampa’s Busch Gardens on Friday and the park was evacuated right in the middle of Day 1 of the NHL’s free-agent feeding frenzy. Apparently, the orang went crazy trying to understand what NHL general managers were doing. . . . According to generalfanager.com, those GMs doled out 129 contracts worth US$646,724,124 on Friday. . . . Meanwhile, in the NBA, the owners are throwing cash around like it’s confetti at a wedding. The salary cap went to US$94.1 million from $70 million and a lot of average players are cashing in. . . . The Los Angeles Clippers, for example, have agreed to give Austin Rivers a three-year deal worth $35 million. His father, Doc, is the Clippers’ head coach and is believed to be pulling in a cool $10 million per season. . . . That’s a lot of NBA dough for one family. . . .
As Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe, puts it: “So many mediocre players are making so much money with NBA free agency that Kobe Bryant may un-retire.” . . . A belated greeting from Hough: “For all my Canadian friends, Happy (now belated) Canada Day. For my American friends, might be important to remember July 1 matters up north, in case you were thinking of moving if Trump wins in November.” . . . “Mark Zuckerberg is angering locals in Kauai by building a six-foot wall around the $100-million property he bought on the North Shore, thereby destroying the view for everyone else,” reports Hough. “Hmm, not sure what can be done. But maybe people taking helicopter rides on the island should fly over, take pictures and post them on Facebook?” . . .
“Congrats to Las Vegas on getting an NHL franchise,” writes Richmond, B.C., blogger TC Chong. “Single-game tickets start at $75 each, with a two-drink minimum.” . . . Chong, again: “The NHL, in conjunction with the Nevada Gaming Commission, is working on an app that will let fans bet on the games before and during play. There will be props such as next team to score, next player to score, next penalty, etc. The name of the app? FaceBookie.” . . . A couple of weeks ago, writes Brad Rock of the Deseret News, “Stephen Curry’s wife Ayesha, who has a TV cooking show, tweeted that the NBA Finals are rigged. Speaking of rigged, how does she time it so her persimmons cookies come out perfectly, right after the commercial break?” . . .
“Minutes after Steven Stamkos re-signed in Tampa, the homers in the Toronto media turned their attention to John Tavares,” notes Cam Hutchinson of the Saskatoon Express. “The Islanders star becomes a free agent in 2018. These guys just never stop beating the drum.” . . . “Johnny Manziel has been suspended by the NFL for four games for substance abuse,” reports Bill Littlejohn, our South Lake Tahoe, Calif., correspondent. “In a related story, Dolph Lundgren has been declared ineligible for Academy Award consideration.” . . . One more from Littlejohn: “There is a report that Samuel L. Jackson once beat Tiger Woods in a round of golf. Truth or Pulp Fiction?” . . .
When is the last time that a Major League Baseball team that sees itself as a playoff contender used two position players to pitch in a 1-1 game? That’s exactly what the Toronto Blue Jays did on Friday as they ran out of arms in what turned into a 2-1 19-inning loss to the visiting Cleveland Indians. . . . A tweet from Graham Kendrick, the director of media and public relations with the Portland Winterhawks: “I’ve been watching the Olympic swimming trials all week and still nobody’s been found guilty.” . . . Is there a more exciting player in the CFL these days than receiver Chris Williams of the Ottawa Redblacks? He brings back memories of Johnny (Ordinary Superstar) Rodgers and Raghib (Rocket) Ismail. . . .
Randy Turner of the Winnipeg Free Press, with a tweet: “The Edmonton Oilers are the only team that could make a deal with the Devils and still miss the playoffs.” . . . Headline at TheKicker.com: Knicks sign Benny the Bull to 5 years, $120M. . . . It's Saturday night. The New York Yankees are visiting the San Diego Padres. Yankees catcher Kevin Romine is the third out on a close play at first base. Wait! It goes to a video review that takes four minutes 20 seconds before the call is overturned. Yankees pitcher Ivan Nova then strikes out in less than a minute. Hey, MLB, there has to be a better way. . . .
The NFL’s Denver Broncos waived punter William Johnson just months after signing him. As RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com put it: “I’m guessing there wasn’t enough good Will punting.” . . . Joe Maddon, the manager of the Chicago Cubs, was heard to say his club needs to firm things up. As Currie pointed out: “I say, who doesn’t?” . . . The Swiss team at Euro 2016 had issues with its Puma-made tops tearing too easily. As Xherdan Shaqiri told the newspaper Blick: “I hope Puma does not produce condoms.” . . . With people in Cleveland rushing to see a sculpture of Cavaliers leader LeBron James that is made out of dryer lint, Brad Dickson of the Omaha World-Herald wrote: “You have over five decades to prepare, and this is what you come up with?”
(Gregg Drinnan is a former sports editor of the Regina Leader-Post and the late Kamloops Daily News. He is at email@example.com and twitter.com/gdrinnan. Keeping Score appears here on weekends, except when it doesn’t.)