The daily sports news cycle is crazier than ever. Don't have the stamina to keep up to speed? Around The Bases is your daily morning destination to stay in the know on the biggest stories in both local and professional sports. We’ll start at first base with an intriguing story or event, and bring you home with a must-read story in the North Peace sports scene.
First Base - Blackhawks fire Joel Quenneville
The Chicago Blackhawks started quite the controversy yesterday when they fired head coach Joel Quenneville. Quenneville, of course, has won three Stanley Cups with the team and led the team during it's transition from laughing stock to perennial top-of-the-standings juggernaut. That is, until the Blackhawks missed the playoffs last year; then, chaos ensued. However, the team is just 6-6-3, and while it is outside of playoff range, is playing better than it did last year. Also, this is all on general manager Stan Bowman. He continued to trade away the team's good players and eventually, he stopped getting away with them, most noticeable after Bowman traded Artemi Panarin for Brandon Saad. Also, Chicago was without its starting goaltender Corey Crawford for most of the season.
Second Base - Canadian R.J. Barrett helps Duke blow out Kentucky
This story probably wasn't on a lot of people in the North's radar, but it should be. Last night, the NCAA Basketball season started, and Duke, the number four ranked team, beat number two Kentucky in a blowout, 118-84. College teams don't score 118 points, like, ever. The average is usually between 60-70 a game. Leading the way was Canadian R.J. Barrett with 33 points, and the highly-touted Zion Williamson with 28. Both these players should be near the top of the NBA draft board next year. However, what makes this more impressive is that this was their first ever college games, and the season just started. I can only imagine how Duke will improve and the narrative that will follow these players. I'm not a Duke fan, but I'm all in for Barrett and Williamson.
Third Base - Rishav Sharma plays for Canada in Japan
Risha Sharma, the Northern Lights College student and badminton player, has had quite the whirlwind year. He won gold for Canada in Colorado last September, won three titles in Prince George this year, and was a coach for the Zone 8 team at the 2018 B.C. Winter Games. Most recently, he was in Japan with Badminton Canada for an international tournament, a test run at the site where the 2020 Olympics will be held. He matched up against the world number two player in para-badminton, and didn't win a medal, but it was a great learning experience for Sharma. Coming up, he's hoping to play for Canada at tournaments in Ottawa and Dubai in April, 2019.
Home Base - Duchene, Senators players, apologize for Uber video
This is one of the craziest and dumbest Ottawa Senators stories in a while, and that's saying something. A video surfaced of seven Senators players, including Matt Duchene, making fun of assistant coach Martin Raymond and his coaching tactics while riding in an Uber in Arizona. The players didn't know they were being filmed. Yesterday, Duchene addressed the issue for the first time and apologized to Raymond. First, the focus should be on the fact that these guys were filmed without their consent, and it's not a good look for Uber. Uber executives have since pulled the video and apologized for its existence. Second, I don't think this was really that bad? I have a hard time this doesn't happen in teammate hangouts all over the league, they just happened to get caught by being spied on, basically. Also, they didn't say anything that bad, they didn't attack Raymond's character, and pointed out how bad the team's special teams are. Now, you can definitely create a culture where players and coaches don't talk bad about each other, and that's something to work towards. But these are the Ottawa Senators we're talking about. This past year has been a massive disaster, and of all the things the players could be filmed talking about, this was probably the best case scenario.
Around the Bases runs Monday through Friday. If you have a news tip or story to share, email Dillon Giancola at firstname.lastname@example.org.