Aylward: An uplifting University Cup

Mike Aylward sends along some post-University Cup thoughts.
  • Congratulations to the Saint Mary's Huskies for winning their first ever CIS men's hockey championship! It was a great game and they are deserving winners. Also congrats to Alberta for again showing they are a class act.

  • Watching Huskies coach Trevor Stienburg during his post-game interview on Rogers Sportsnet brought tears to my eyes ... I admit it. It was a very heartwarming moment and I am very happy for him.

  • Mike Danton getting a national championship is also a story to cheer about and also reflects very well on coach Stienburg, his team, and Saint Mary's.

  • I am often critical of the national media on either its lack of coverage of CIS sports or its poor coverage when they do show up. So now, credit where credit is due. Last year at the 2009 men's hockey nationals in Thunder Bay, I was vocal critic of Sportsnet's coverage.

    I doubt anything I said affected this year's coverage, but am happy to say that I think this year they did a hell of a great job. Bringing in Rob Faulds for play by play this year was a fantastic choice. He was enthusiastic about the CIS game and it showed. Full marks to colour man Sam Cosentino for upping his game from last year as well. He still mentioned the players' major junior connections a lot. This year, he put brought relevance to these mentions and he didn't concentrate on them. He also knew the players' CIS stats, who were the award winners in the conferences.

    It was major sea change from last year's coverage. And the graphics this year had the players' CIS stats, good live interviews and features, great effort overall.

  • Again, excellent job Sportsnet (except for the tape delay thing; never, never, never tape delay a live championship game please!).

    Also kudos to Sportsnet for allowing their TV feed to be carried Streaming Sports Network Canada at last year's and this year's championships, unlike another Canadian sports network which shall remain nameless. In fact, if not for the videocast; I could not have watched tonight's final game live.

  • As mentioned before; live international videocasting of all championship games needs to be mandatory for the CIS when it draws up its broadcasting contracts. Also, no tape delays of TV games in that contract.

  • Now that Sportsnet has done the men's hockey for two years; I am wondering what will happen in 2011 in Fredericton when UNB hosts? Will the CIS and the hosts bring in another network? Will they stick with Sportsnet?

    My vote is they stick with Sportsnet and bring back Faulds and Cosentino and build up a relationship for this sport with Sportsnet and try to get some consistency going; i.e. how TSN did it with the world junior hockey championship and how CBS did with the NCAA basketball tournament.

    Maybe this is an approach the CIS should look at. Build relationships with the various networks for various sports instead of an overall grouped package.

  • Again, congrats to Saint Mary's for winning the University Cup, to Trevor Stienburg and Mike Danton for making us all feel good, and to Sportsnet for really stepping it up this year.
Next PostNewer Post Previous PostOlder Post Home


  1. Neate...what was your objections with Sportsnet coverage last year?

  2. I would have to disagree on the quality of the coverage, I think this years coverage was actually worse then last years. Between the forced short interviews in between periods. The commentators very limited lack of hockey knowledge (they seemed amazed when a team did a rotation) the constant butt kissing of Alberta and the over emphasizing of Mike Danton and not SMU's other great players (rancourt, Fergus..etc) The commentators kept on saying game tied 1-1 in the third..even though SMU was leading 2-1. SMU deserved to win and very happy for Steinburg..but really Mike Danton is not the feel good story of the year!! It's not like he was unfairly persecuted and deserved to win. All of his problems have been by his doing, there are 100 more deserving players in the CIS who have contributed more, and faced hardships (not caused by themselves) that they have overcome.

    Long story short

    Thumbs up- Steinburg & SMU winning

    Thumbs sideways- Sportsnet coverage

    Thumbs down- The glorification of Mike Danton

  3. Disagree on the matter of the "glorification" of Danton. I thought it was a tremendous story, win or lose, and the fact that Stienburg called bringing Danton in "one of the best things Saint Mary's has ever done and I've ever done" -- minutes after winning a national championship -- only underlines that.
    It was a great human story more than a hockey story, and if you saw the Kypreos piece, this is a kid who has turned it around 180 degrees in four months, from considering suicide to becoming an A student and part of a national championship hockey team.

  4. @2:13 ... one objection a lot of CIS diehards had was Sportsnet using graphics that had players' 4- to 5-year-old old major junior stats. That was the main one. It's been mentioned previously.

    Sportsnet did a good job in general this time around, and collaborating with SSN gets them bonus points.

  5. While I'm glad Sportsnet was there to broadcast the last few games, it sure made for poor TV viewing with games being shot in the dark confines of the Fort Williams Gardens and without any close-up TV angles. It's been much better TV viewing in the past, that's for sure.

  6. Its funny how sportsnet is so quick to pick up CIS hockey but ignore CIS Basketball? Again proves my belief that sportsnet is obsessed with hockey and live in a narrow minded hockey universe, its really pathetic

  7. I don't mind Sportsnet using Major Junior numbers to educate the ignorant public on how good some of the players are in the CIS.
    Alberta has had seasons in which they have had eight players with at least one season in the WHL with 70+ points.
    I think "joe public" needs to realize that CIS players aren't all fourth -liners from their CHL teams, but rather were CHL stars.
    Ian McDonald, was third in the WHL in scoring with 92 points back in 2005-06; and Cam Fergus scored 50+ in a season in the "Q".
    Nothing wrong with using those numbers to sell the legitimacy of the product.

    Bob Stauffer
    Oilers Radio Network

  8. Thankfully I live in a country where I can express my opionion openly:

    I hold to my belief that Danton should not be glorified; a convicted criminal should not be given anything, ever. Danton is an embaressment to CIS sports. His skills aside, he is not an example I would want my children to aspire to be.

    Shame on the CIS for EVER allowing him to put on skates in this league.

  9. Just a thought; but if you express your opinion behind an "Anonymous"; is that being open?

  10. Danton wasn't given anything. He paid the price.

  11. I stand by my assertion that it was a human decision more than a hockey decision. Danton needed the structure and motivation of a chance at hockey (and school) more than Saint Mary's needed him. He's making the most of a second opportunity that some schools would not grant.
    If you believe the Sportsnet feature, he's an A or high B student; he's not associated with Frost; he's working hard to fit in on campus and with teammates. I don't think it would serve society in any way to blackball a guy for mistakes he made as an immature, brainwashed kid.

  12. Cantankerous3/31/2010 4:08 am

    Anon 1:30 PM....
    My my, aren't we full of good Christian piety?
    This young man spent seven years in an American prison'
    but apparently that's not enough for you.
    He was convicted for plotting to kill one David Frost.
    David Frost, as most who follow hockey in this country know, is hardly an innocent man.
    In fact, Frost is probably the most infamous personality to infiltrate
    the Canadian hockey community since Graham James.
    If there was any justice in this world Frost should have spent at least as much
    time behind bars as Danton.
    He is the type of predator any parent should fear their son/daughter
    would come under the influence of.
    If you are at all concerned about the welfare of your children, good sir, it is David Frost and his ilk you should fear and loathe, not Mike Danton.
    Danton was a screwed up kid who made a very desperate decision that he ultimately paid a very severe price for.
    Frost on the other hand, is a sociopath whose sordid deeds have gone mostly unpunished.
    The real shame is that someone such as he could hold such influence.

  13. David Ritchie4/03/2010 1:01 pm

    Even the most jaded has to acknowledge that the Mike Danton story is compelling, over and above the fact he is a very good hockey player playing for a national championship team. I suspect when he joined the team, it became a rallying point and kudos to the players who allowed it to happen. Considering the lousy upbringing this guy obviously had, and then the scumbucket Frost controlling his every move, the fact Danton could right himself after five years in prison and dedicate to educate himself and make a contribution, what a great story to tell a national audience. His story should be celebrated, not lambasted. Great to see the tournament's final games televised. Faulds not the most excitable guy in the world, but he was credible as the play by play guy, and Sam was fine, too. So, overall, good job and let's hope CIS athletics gets more national exposure.

  14. The problem with whole Danton situation is that you have all posted comments on here continuing to bring up the issue. St Mary's won the game but it was all about him, like it was said earlier there are hundreds of athletes who go through so many hardships and become champions.
    This guy got there because St Mary's found a loop hole is the CIS rules.

    St Mary's should be asahmed and so should the CIS!

  15. So it's great Anon. 1:30 p.m. (On March 30) can express an opinion openly, but it's a problem that Mr. Hunt, Mr. Ritchie, Cantankerous and others posted comments?

    You cannot have it both ways. We didn't belabour it, we simply responded when someone said something vitriolic and wrongheaded. We also put our names, or a handle, to it.

    And, not sorry to say it, there was no loophole. Mike Danton had not been playing hockey for a certain amount of time, he had only played 2 pro seasons after his 21st birthday, thus he was eligible.

    Thanks for reading and commenting, but judgmental narrow-mindeded attitudes do not play well on this site.

  16. Narrow-minded. Excuse me.