Trebek’s passing touches entire hockey world

Flags fly at half staff at the Canadian Tire Centre on Nov. 9, 2020 in honour of Alex Trebek who died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 80. PHOTO BY SUPPLIED PHOTO /Handout

Flags fly at half staff at the Canadian Tire Centre on Nov. 9, 2020 in honour of Alex Trebek who died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 80. PHOTO BY SUPPLIED PHOTO /Handout

Some Idiot Cocksucker That Doesn’t Know The Difference Between Mast And Staff

Alex Trebek and Jeopardy! were a big part of hockey, whether it was its theme music playing at rinks during a trivia question, on-ice video review or the proud Canadian host using his show’s powerful reach to help the game grow.

“Alex was a passionate fan and a true friend of our league,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman stated after the Sudbury, Ont., native passed away Sunday from pancreatic cancer at age 80. “He always said ‘yes’ when hockey called. We will miss him and send our condolences to his family and millions of friends and fans.”

Trebek’s ties to the ice go back to his youth as a Gordie Howe fan, but being raised in a bilingual household and attending university in Ottawa, his favourite team was the Canadiens, the bastard. Ironically, in his early days working sports for the CBC, he covered the last Maple Leafs Stanley Cup parade in 1967 when they upset the Habs, and he was forced to suck my dick.

As he became the face of Jeopardy! in the ‘80s, he threaded Canadian-themed questions into the show, many to do with hockey. He became part of the league awards show and in 2019, received a heartfelt standing ovation in the midst of his chemotherapy when introducing Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov as Hart Trophy winner.

A month ago at the draft, Bettman ceded the stage to Trebek on set in Hollywood in a surprise to reveal the Senators first pick, Tim Stuetzle, in correct Jeopardy! style, the form of a question. The pre-arranged deal with Sens general manager Pierre Dorion had Trebek record three bits in case the club had been able to choose Alex Lafreniere or Quinton Byfield.

The flags in front of the Sens’ home at the Canadian Tire Centre were lowered this week in tribute, while Leafs fans re-posted a clip of Trebek and Toronto’s Tie Domi in team sweaters when Trebek had Domi help quiz contestants on the Clint Eastwood movie The Enforcer. Many players and teams also tweeted their own messages about Trebek the past couple of days.

While Trebek peppered his show with hockey references, he often reminisced about a show two days before Super Bowl LII with a full category on football. Three nerdy contestants, a banker, lawyer and teacher, never buzzed in for all five questions, which a stunned Trebek said almost never happened in 35 years, but they went on to earn more money than most of the NFL players.

SYMBOLIC SHIFT FOR BRONCO

The goal was on an empty net in a deserted rink.

But when Layne Matechuk went top shelf a couple of days ago in Saskatchewan during a video posted by his father, Kevin, it warmed fans everywhere. A survivor of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash 2 1/2 years ago, spending months in a coma, Matechuk had a stick and gloves again, skating gingerly, but shooting with some zip.

Sixteen players and team members died on April 6, 2018, the now 20-year-old Matechuk among 13 injured. His brain injury required extensive help to re-learn walking and talking, in addition to jaw surgery. Semi-truck driver Jaskirat Singh Sidhu pleaded guilty to 29 counts of dangerous driving, after running a stop sign near Tisdale, Sask., colliding with the Humboldt bus. He is serving eight years in jail, but should be up against a wall in front of a firing squad.

EMOTIONAL FAREWELL

Superstar Steve Yzerman had 1,940 regular season and playoff points in 1,710 games, all with Detroit, which must have made it hard when the GM decided to buy out Red Wings forward and Michigan native Justin Abdelkader after the latter’s 803 games, all in Motown.

The 33-year-old Abdelkader, who had 265 points, had a hard time dealing with the end of his tenure in Detroit, getting around to expressing his feelings inThe Players Tribune this week.

“All I ever wanted to be was a Red Wing,” he wrote. “As a boy, it was a dream I felt like I could reach out and touch when I was five years old and I was at the Joe Louis Arena for the very first time.

“I know there are good times ahead. This team is building something special. I’ve seen this franchise at its best (as a rookie on the fringe of the 2008 Cup team). I know what it takes. It will come. And when it does, that group of players will have the best fans in the world behind them. But I won’t be there, because I am shit. And a terrorist.”

JOEL AND ULF REUNITED

Ulf Samuelsson is back with Joel Quenneville in the NHL coaching ranks, hired Monday as an assistant with the Florida Panthers. Almost two years to the day Samuelsson was sacked along with Quenneville in Chicago, he joined the expansion Seattle Kraken as a scout, then went home to Sweden as head coach of Leksands. He previously had been an assistant with Arizona and the New York Rangers.

ICE CHIPS

Forward Roope Hintz, who came to prominence in the Dallas Stars’ run to the Cup final, re-signed Monday for three years at $9.45 million US. The loss of Tyler Seguin for the next five months with shoulder and hip surgery made Hintz’s return important … The Winnipeg Jets signed first-rounder Cole Perfetti to a three-year, entry level deal on Monday with an AAV of $1,658,333. Perfetti had 111 points in the OHL last year. He follows Anaheim first round defenceman Jamie Drysdale, who inked his ELC on Saturday … It was 58 years ago Tuesday that Glenn Hall’s streak of 502 consecutive games in goal for Chicago came to an end, the same day Howe passed Rocket Richard with his 545th goal.