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Hard-hitting former Maple Leaf Brian Glennie dies at 73 – Toronto Sun

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Long before the Tragically Hip sang about the legend of rock hard Maple Leafs defenceman Bill Barilko, there was Brian Glennie’s hip checks.

“A lot of guys used to come through centre in those days with their head down,” said Mike Pelyk, who was Glennie’s  defence partner on the 1967 Memorial Cup champion Toronto Marlboros and, later, the parent Leafs. “They’d run into this 195-pound guy with both feet planted.”

It was a physical style that made Glennie one of the most popular Leafs of the 1970s. But it took a toll on his body and held him to less than 600 regular season games before he retired after the 1978-79 season.

Glennie died on Friday morning in Ottawa at age 73 after various health problems in his later years. The Leafs Alumni Association said he was surrounded by his family. A celebration of his life will be held later this spring.

Glennie was feared around the NHL for his open-ice hip and body checks, some forwards shying away from coming down his side of the ice. A Toronto-born peewee standout who was coached by future NHL mastermind Roger Neilson, Glennie captained the mighty Marlies of Canada’s centennial year.

“He was definitely an asset, a stay-at-home guy, a defenceman’s defenceman,” said teammate Ian Turnbull on the phone from his home in Torrance, Calif. “Today (with the all speed in the NHL) they might have called him ‘Brian Turnstile,’ but he was very valuable for us then, a good team guy and all that stuff.”

Before joining the Leafs Glennie was on the last pre-professional Canadian Olympic team in the 1968 Games, an experience the management group of Team Canada ’72 remembered when assembling their Summit Series squad. Glennie was added when Boston defenceman Dallas Smith turned down the invite, and though not used in a game against the Soviets, he played in the exhibitions versus Sweden and Czechoslovakia and stayed when a few disgruntled idled stars decided to go home halfway through the series. Glennie called the series the highlight of his career.

“At every hockey banquet I go to, I thank Dallas for saying no,” Glennie told author Joe Pelletier. “It made me a better hockey player.”

With the Leafs under Red Kelly and later Neilson, No. 24 was a force with his perfectly timed hits and strong mucker ethic that allowed partners such as Borje Salming, Jim McKenny and sometimes Turnbull to go on the attack.

Glennie described himself as “a stand-up guy who would take the guy out” and whom The Hockey News once ranked sixth on its list of the NHL’s best all-time body checkers. Glennie also made the cut of the top 100 players in franchise history when a large panel of players, coaches, managers and media voted in the Leafs’ centennial of 2017. Glennie played 554 career Leafs games, 26th in franchise history.

He played during the turbulent Harold Ballard era, but seemed to get along with the boss. He was on the wrong end of a vicious body-slamming incident by future teammate Dan Maloney in a Leafs-Red Wings game in 1975. Maloney was charged with assault, but later acquitted.

Glennie was a Leaf up until a 1978 trade to the L.A. Kings. He had some business ventures in Toronto, such as an early sports bar called Wheels, a renovated gas station that briefly competed with Turnbull’s nearby wine bar, Grapes. He did some public speaking, but mostly kept out of the public eye other than a few team ceremonies.

In 2017, he attended the 50-year reunion for the 1967 Marlies.

“Some people told me he wouldn’t come, but not only did he make it, he wanted to help with all the work,” said reunion organizer and Canadian hockey video historian Paul Patskou.

“He got around with a walker, but his brother assisted him coming to a private box at a Leafs game and on the ice at Ricoh Coliseum. He certainly looked very happy that day.”

[embedded content]

GLENNIE’S HUNGRY MAN AD A CLASSIC

“When Brian gets hungry — he goes wild!”

So began one of the most famous old TV commercials involving the Maple Leafs from 1978, as Lanny McDonald delivered the line and watched in mock awe as Glennie tore the door off his fridge to paw at his Swanson Hungry Man TV dinner.

After some banter about their big appetites and shots of them eating, the moustachioed McDonald and Glennie declare the meals nourishing enough to turn a wild man “into a pussycat,” the two ending the bit with highly contrived chuckling.

“All the guys first saw that and laughed their asses off,” said teammate Ian Turnbull. “The acting was so bad, it was good, a very effective commercial, a classic.”

Hockey video historian Paul Patskou ranks it as one of the most memorable from a team whose players have pitched cars, soup, breakfast cereal, sleep aids and just about everything else. Today’s Leafs still do commercials, but nothing rivalling the late Glennie, or when Eddie Shack would take on a green garbage bag with boxing gloves to test its strength or push cheap pop with his “nose for value.”

“The acting is bad in the Swanson ad, but the Leafs were so popular then, it didn’t matter,” said Patskou.

lhornby@postmedia.com

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Thousands of tickets still available for world junior hockey tournament in Edmonton – CBC Sports

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Odd summer timing and an ongoing sexual assault scandal at Hockey Canada could be the reason thousands of tickets to the world junior championship are still available on the eve of the tournament, says an Edmonton professor.

Prof. Dan Mason, who teaches in the faculty of kinesiology, sport, and recreation at the University of Alberta, said when Canada hosts, there are usually so many fans who want to see the home team take the ice that they are willing to buy Hockey Canada’s packaged games that include teams that are not Canadian.

“So Latvia vs. Slovakia, for example, those games will be sold out as well because in order to get the tickets to watch Canada play, you have to buy a package that includes some of the other games,” he said on Friday.

“The fact that there are still Team Canada tickets available, that tells you the demand is much lower than it usually is for this kind of event.”

WATCH l World junior tournament to go ahead amidst Hockey Canada controversy:

World junior hockey tournament to go ahead amidst Hockey Canada controversy

7 hours ago

Duration 2:07

Ticket sales for the World Junior Hockey Championships in Edmonton are below expectations as the tournament kicks of this week in the shadow of an ongoing sexual assault scandal at Hockey Canada.

The tournament runs from Aug. 9-20 at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

The initial 2022 championship in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta., was called off Dec. 29 after just four days because of rising COVID-19 cases among players and officials, which forced game forfeitures.

The 10-country tournament will be minus Russia, barred from participating by the International Ice Hockey Federation because of that country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Holiday tradition

Around 1,500 tickets are still available for purchase on Ticketmaster to the first game between Czech Republic and Slovakia on Tuesday. About 1,300 tickets are available for the next day when Canada takes on Latvia. About 1,500 seats for the final game are also available with hundreds of other tickets to watch the 11-day tournament.

This time of year, you probably already had plans to go to the lake … or do something summer-related.— Edmonton professor Dan Mason on poor ticket sales for an August world juniors

Mason said the timing of the games could be why interest is so low. The tournament typically runs over the Christmas holidays.

“Over the past 30 years or so, TSN has built the world juniors into this holiday event that people partake in,” he said.

“I watch it with my family over the [Christmas] break though so it’s kind of become part of our holiday tradition.

“This time of year, you probably already had plans to go to the lake, go to the mountains or do something summer-related. I don’t think we’re willing to give up those plans to watch hockey.”

Many people could also be waiting for a former judge on the Supreme Court of Canada to begin independently reviewing Hockey Canada’s governance amid calls for a change of leadership.

The review comes after members of the 2018 world junior team were accused of a group sexual assault after a gala event, and after Hockey Canada reached a settlement.

“I think there’s people who weren’t sure if they would go or not, and maybe deciding not to go because of that,” Mason said.

The CEO of Explore Edmonton, which promotes tourism in the Alberta capital, said in an email the marketing organization paused its promotion of the games in response to the allegations.

“As the host city for the upcoming tournament, we continue to have discussions with Hockey Canada officials about their plans to address the need for change,” said Traci Bednard.

Mason said inflation and less disposable income could be other factors working against the tournament.

“Canada may be more focused on that player development piece than trying to sort of make money off of a tournament being held in the summer,” he said.

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Nets owner Tsai backs coach, GM amid reported Durant standoff – theScore

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Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai has pledged his support of the coaching staff and front office after Kevin Durant reportedly demanded that the team trade him or fire head coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks

Tsai took to Twitter on Monday, saying, “Our front office and coaching staff have my support. We will make decisions in the best interest of the Brooklyn Nets.”

Durant’s ultimatum is apparently a result of his lack of faith in the team’s direction, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported earlier Monday. The 33-year-old is firm in his stance, Charania adds.

The former MVP requested a trade at the end of June following a disappointing season that ended in a first-round exit. Little was known at the time about his reasons for the decision.

The Nets have reportedly had discussions with nearly every team in the league in hopes of getting a historic package of players and draft picks in return for Durant. Brooklyn reportedly proposed a trade with the Toronto Raptors involving Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes and talked about a deal with the Boston Celtics that would include star Jaylen Brown.

The Raptors, Celtics, and Miami Heat are seen as the most likely trade destinations for Durant, sources told Charania.

The Nets aim to take “every last asset” from their trade partner in any deal for Durant, according to Charania.

Nash, a Hall of Fame point guard, has been at the helm of the Nets for two seasons. It is his first job in professional coaching. Meanwhile, Marks has held the position of general manager since 2016 after being an assistant for the San Antonio Spurs.

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Watch live for free: Leylah Fernandez vs. Storm Sanders at National Bank Open – Sportsnet.ca

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Update: This stream has ended.

Canadian Leylah Fernandez begins her quest for her first National Bank Open title against qualifier Storm Sanders of Australia, under the lights in Toronto.

Fernandez, still only 19, is returning to action for the first time since suffering a fracture in her foot during the quarterfinals of the French Open on May 31.

The Laval native is the top-ranked Canadian on the WTA Tour after a headline-making run to the U.S. Open final last year.

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