Monday, June 27, 2011

Rafa got a great big bag (and other Monday morning musings)

It was a public relations bonus for the Canadiens that when it came their turn to pick in Friday's first round of the NHL draft, the best available player also happened to have a French name. The downside is that Nathan Beaulieu is French in name only, and doesn't speak the language. However, as the son of a franco-Ontarian father, there will be enormous media pressure on Beaulieu to learn French, to the point where his language development is almost as important as his hockey development, and he'd be well-served if he were traded from St. John to a Quebec-based team so he can immerse himself for the remainder of his junior career. You know and I know it shouldn't matter, but Beaulieu can spare himself a lot of unnecessary grief by gaining a working knowledge of French by the time he's ready to play for the Canadiens...If you'd have told me before last season that former Canadiens forward Alex Tanguay had a 5 year, 17.5 million dollar contract in his future, I'd have backed out of the room slowly while avoiding eye contact. But kudos to Tanguay, who represented cheap labor for Calgary coming off a career-low 10 goals for Tampa Bay, gave the Flames his best production in five seasons, and was in turn rewarded with financial security that he could dream about less than a year ago...If Red Bull's Sebastien Vettel was rattled by the last lap mistake that cost him the Canadian Grand Prix, he was well over it by the time he got to Valencia, Spain, where pole position, fastest lap of the race and the checkered flag in the European Grand Prix re-established Vettel as the most dominant force in Formula One since Michael Schumacher routinely ran away with the championship for Ferrari...When I play tennis, the most I ever need to show up with is a racket, a can of balls and a water bottle. So why is it that Rafael Nadal, who gets everything supplied by tournaments and sponsors, shows up for his matches lugging a bag big enough to carry a full set of goalie equipment? I'm not sure I even want to know who or what is inside that thing.

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