A Tribute to the Taylorian One
Posted October 1, 2014
Don Taylor has long been an iconic figure in the world of sports broadcasting in this city. The 54-year-old Vancouver native has worked in front of the camera in the industry for nearly thirty years. He has spent his colorful career delivering laughs, wits, and boundless sports knowledge to loyal viewers in a style that could never be duplicated.
Taylor was a longtime co-host of CKVU’s nightly highlight show Sports Page from 1985-2000. After his time there, he joined on with Sportsnet Pacific, and from 2001 up until this past August he hosted the weekday evening highlight show Sportsnet Connected.
Aside from his sterling reputation as being one of the best sportscasters in the business, Taylor is renowned largely for his often obscure and always hilarious commentary; which many have come to know as “Don-isms”. Don-isms are found everywhere on his shows, like in his throws to his often “humble and gorgeous” reporters, in highlights involving players, and more times than not on the “Top shelf where Mom keeps the peanut butter”.
Now with spending more time with his family in mind, Taylor remains active as a full-time radio personality on the afternoon show B-Mac and Taylor with Barry Macdonald on TSN 1040, which he has co-hosted since 2003.
C’s Can’t Lock Up Four-Peat
Posted October 1, 2014
Vancouver Canadian’s fall short of fourth consecutive Northwest League Championship Victory.
The Canadian’s 46-30 regular season was good enough for first in the North Division and second in overall standings. The only team to top them was the Hillsboro Hops (48-28), the same team that took them down in the finals, two games to none in the best-of-three series.
Vancouver had previously won the Northwest League Championship in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Despite not being able to secure the title once again in 2014, there were many positives to take from another fine season for the C’s.
As a team, Vancouver was atop the league leaders in a number of categories: third in batting average, RBI’s, triples, hits and on base + slugging percentage (OPS), as well as second in Runs and first in Stolen Bases. Their pitching staff was third in innings pitched, second in earned run average (ERA) and first in saves.
Individually a number of Vancouver players had outstanding seasons. Tom Locastro, Chris Carlson and Franklin Barreto all hit over .300 and were 8-10 in league batting average, respectively. Barreto also led the entire Northwest League in hits, runs and doubles. Rookie Ryan McBroom led the league with 59 RBI’s and tied for the league lead with 11 HR’s. Pitcher Jairo Labourt led the entire league with 1.77 ERA and was second with 82 strikeouts. Miguel Castro also posted an impressive 6-2 record in only 10 starts, tying him for third in wins – along with 52 strikeouts in 50 IP.
Noel Arrives Early
Giants look to get back on track with Noel as new bench boss
Posted December 4, 2014
The Vancouver Giants officially named Claude Noel as their fifth coach in franchise history on Sunday.
The Giants were hoping for a fresh start with bringing in an experienced Troy Ward as their new head coach to start the season, but clearly the change wasn’t what they had hoped for.
Ward was fired last Wednesday by the team, just 23 games into his first year as a WHL coach. With the Giants record a disappointing 9-16-0-0, putting them last in the Western Conference, they decided change was needed and brought the decorated Claude Noel as Ward’s replacement.
Noel brings over 25 years of coaching experience – 15 as a head coach. He has an 80-79-18 record as an NHL head coach, recently spending time with the Winnipeg Jets from 2011-2014 before being fired mid way through last season. Noel has also coached the Columbus Blue Jackets from 2008-10, serving as an assistant and later their head coach, and has head coached the AHL’s Manitoba Moose (2010-11), and Milwaukee Admirals (2003-07). With Milwaukee, Noel made two Calder Cup appearances, winning once in 2004. That year he also won the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as AHL coach of the year.
The last time Noel coached junior hockey was in 1989-90, when he was an assistant with the OHL’s North Bay Centennials.
In his time in Winnipeg Noel was very open to the media, at times being harsh or hilarious – you can find some of his post game sound bites on YouTube. He has shown that he can be very hard on his players, albeit he’s consistently acknowledged if his players have shown a lack of effort or ability.
Now as the Claude Noel tenure beings, he takes over a now 10-18-0-0 Giants’ team that has won three of its past 12 contests. Clearly he’ll have his work cut out for him as he tries to salvage the Giants’ season.
Jean Beliveau: A Class of His Own
Posted on January 5th, 2015
The late Montreal Canadiens’ legend Jean Beliveau leaves a legacy that stretches far beyond his accomplishments in hockey.
Beliveau was first noticed by the Canadiens at age 15, when their general manager at the time, Frank Selke, got him to sign a “B-form”, meaning if he ever decided to turn pro he would have to play for the Habs. Beliveau became a star in the Quebec Senior Hockey League with the Quebec Aces, and when he didn’t show much interest in turning pro, Selke and the Habs bought the entire league. Now although not part of the NHL, the QSHL became a “minor pro league”, forcing Beliveau to join the Canadiens.
I would think Selke and company didn’t regret that investment.
Jean Beliveau would spend the next 18 seasons playing for Montreal, his last 10 as their captain. His accolades include winning 10 Stanley Cups as a player, an Art Ross Trophy (1956), two Hart Memorial Trophy’s (1956, 1964), and the inaugural Conn Smythe Trophy (1965). His #4 jersey was retired in Montreal in 1971 and he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame the following year.
After retiring in 1971, Beliveau stayed with the Canadiens as an executive; in this time the team won seven more Stanley Cups. His combined 17 Stanley Cups is a record that likely will stand the test of time.
An icon as a player, but also an icon as a humanitarian: the virtue that sets Beliveau apart from hockey players of any era.
Beliveau was a Grand Officer on the National Order of Quebec, and was made a Companion of the Order of Canada. Beliveau’s name is on Canada’s Walk of Fame and his face has been on Canadian postage stamps, among other honors. He also set up the charitable Jean Beliveau Foundation following his retirement as a player, and in the 1990’s he declined positions offered as a Senate post (twice) by Brian Mulroney, and later as Governor General of Canada by Jean Chretien.
Beliveau passed away peacefully in Quebec at age 83, on December 2, 2014. His passing came nine days after the hockey world lost Pat Quinn, who spent a lot of time in Vancouver – a player then general manager, president and coach for the Canucks at different periods, and later a part owner of the Vancouver Giants.
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