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  1. July 1: Canucks sign free agents Tyler Myers, Jordie Benn, and Oscar Fantenberg
  2. Heard a little about this last week... thought I’d share this.. my apologies if it’s posted elsewhere..
  3. Finally as a non-western Canadian type, I may understand a bit better why some in BC continually criticize Alberta's oil industry yet those in Alberta call those people hypocrites. Hypocrisy knows no bounds in climate change circles CHRIS NELSON, FOR THE CALGARY HERALD Updated: July 4, 2019 Port Metro Vancouver is the largest coal shipper in North America. Columnist Chris Nelson ponders whether India could charge the B.C. city for its environmental impact. POSTMEDIA SHAREADJUSTCOMMENTPRINT Wonder if I can pick up a fat finder’s fee from some on-the-ball environmental law firm based in Mumbai, looking to pull in a cool billion bucks from the deep pockets of Vancouver city council? One per cent seems fair. Because that same B.C. outfit just voted to go after various oil companies — mostly based in Alberta, of course — for a hefty share of expected costs due to predicted climate change. They reckon a billion dollars would be reasonable compensation for future damages. So they can’t complain when cities across India return that favour and request similar big payouts, considering Vancouver is North America’s largest coal exporting port and the latest lucrative market for that environmentally nasty black stuff is — yep, you guessed it — India. Is it any wonder the saintly David Suzuki feels so at home in B.C., with his handful of fancy homes? That province ranks first, second and third in the hypocrisy Olympics, combining an endless bleating about the dangers of oil pipelines with a grubby cash grab from exporting coal. Because Vancouver didn’t get atop the exporting coal heap simply by flogging the megatonnes mined in B.C. and Alberta. Oh no, that wasn’t enough for them. Instead, they’re merrily, if somewhat sheepishly, importing massive amounts of this major carbon-emitting fuel from the United States. It seems mines in landlocked Montana and Wyoming have similar issues to Alberta in getting their product to overseas markets: they need co-operation from the two neighbouring states that have coastlines. But the environmental lobby in Oregon and Washington has blocked that route to potential Asian riches, thereby providing a golden opportunity for the Port of Vancouver to step in and offer a suitable export solution, one to be rewarded with sizable moolah. The nerve of these folk is absolutely stunning. It would make Justin Trudeau’s eyes water if they weren’t already in a state of perpetual liquidity. Vancouver was already exporting 36 million tonnes of coal a year — both the metallurgic and thermal kind — with China the major market. But they’ve landed India as well because the Aussies, once a major supplier, have reliability supply issues. So while we are intent on destroying our own energy industry in a move that won’t matter a jot to the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, we’ll simultaneously provide the coking coal allowing India to double its current steel production to 300 million tonnes by 2030. Imagine the extra global emissions arising from that. Oh, and how does this coal get to India? Is some Lotusland version of Star Trek’s Scotty beaming it there? Nope, it will go by big tanker ship — strange, as an increase in that type of vessel when carrying oil is deemed a destructive noise threat to the region’s orcas. Heck, I knew orcas were smart critters but never imagined they could see through tanker hulls so to reassure their collective pods there’s no need to worry about any racket from that one over there. No, kiddy killer whales, that ship’s only carrying coal. Anyhow the good people of India have every right to clean air and a stable climate as us lot so it seems only fair Vancouver shell out big time for sending dirty coal — both the Yanks’ and ours — enabling the subcontinent’s future CO2 emissions to explode. And India’s a big country with many cities. Maybe I’ll retire in style on all those future legal finders’ fees. Heck, with the proceeds, I could buy four luxury homes next door to David Suzuki’s various abodes. Nah, I prefer the clean smell of an 1,100-square-foot Calgary bungalow and the knowledge our household’s carbon footprint is tiny. Actions rather than words — wasn’t there once a popular saying along those lines? Maybe it never made it across the Rockies.
  4. Gerald Butts - are you happy? Corbella: Krause questions why Trudeau changed charity laws for activists LICIA CORBELLA Updated: July 4, 2019 Vivian Krause speaks to media following a lunch hour event at a Chamber of Commerce event at the Palliser Hotel in Calgary on Wednesday.JIM WELLS / POSTMEDIA SHAREADJUSTCOMMENTPRINT Why did Prime Minister Justin Trudeau order his revenue minister to stop the Canada Revenue Agency from auditing politically active charities? Was it to protect his best friend and former principal secretary, Gerald Butts? Those are just two of the many questions asked by Vivian Krause during a sold out Calgary Chamber of Commerce luncheon Wednesday at the Fairmont Palliser Hotel and during a scrum with reporters afterwards. Krause, the Vancouver-based researcher who has single-handedly exposed the foreign-funded campaign to “land-lock Alberta crude” — which Alberta Premier Jason Kenney vows to hold a public inquiry into — pointed out that her popular blog and Twitter account are called Fair Questions,because she doesn’t claim to have all of the answers. Toward the end of her more than one-hour discussion — complete with numerous slides showing the paper trail behind $600 million of American money from U.S. foundations to Canadian environmental groups to “demarket” Canadian oil and gas — Krause turned her attention to how questions surrounding CRA audits of political charities in Canada “go right to the office of our prime minister.” “When the current government came to office, the prime minister characterized these audits as ‘political harassment’ in his mandate letter to the national revenue minister, and the finalization of the political activity audits was suspended (by the CRA),” she told the attentive crowd of 170 chamber members and their guests. Vivian Krause speaks during the lunch hour at a Chamber of Commerce event at the Palliser Hotel. JIM WELLS/ POSTMEDIA Krause testified before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance about changes made by the Trudeau government to the income tax act with regard to charities. The main changes to the legislation are the removal of restrictions on the extent to which charities are allowed to engage in political activity — something that was not historically allowed except by registered political parties. Suspiciously, seven days after she testified, the CRA eliminated the online access to more than one million tax returns, says Krause. “Every single tax return for every single registered charity for 14 years. All that historical data, gone,” she said, saying that only the five most recent years remain online. A spokesperson for the CRA, reached past business hours in Ottawa on Wednesday, was unable to find out why those documents were removed from public view but is attempting to obtain that information. “This fall we’ve got an election coming up and a lot of this goes right to the prime minister’s office,” said Krause. “The fact that he suspended all the political activity audits for four years, then changed the law retroactively and then finalized the audits, I think it’s something we need to talk about but it’s going to be very difficult unless those tax returns are restored.” Krause called on chambers of commerce groups across the country to write letters to the CRA and to politicians to put the data back online. “In practice, what this means is that some of the charities that would have had their status revoked will be off the hook because the law was changed retroactively,” she told the Commons committee. Krause said one of the findings the CRA reported was “‘serious noncompliance’ unrelated to political activity, including an ‘undue benefit’. This was done as part of the campaign to land-lock our crude. “From the way these audits were handled, some charities and individuals may have benefited. Some of these charities and individuals have very close involvement with the Office of the Prime Minister and his former principal secretary. Therefore, I believe the handling of these audits raises serious questions that merit answers,” she told the committee. Krause also points out that the same U.S. foundations that have spent hundreds of millions of dollars successfully blocking Canadian energy pipelines to tidewater also funded groups that helped Trudeau win the 2015 election. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference about the government’s decision on the Trans Mountain Expansion Project in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, June 18, 2019. CHRIS WATTIE / REUTERS Krause showed slides that prove that foreign money “moved the needle” in the 2015 federal election campaign, with groups claiming credit for defeating 26 Conservative incumbents. These foreign funded groups, such as OPEN and Leadnow, pumped millions of dollars into Canada’s federal election, a dangerous loophole in Canadian law that the Trudeau government refuses — perhaps not surprisingly — to close. Leadnow admitted that it received foreign funding before the 2015 election but claims that money was not used in its Vote Together campaign to defeat the Harper Conservative government. “They didn’t do this because of how we treat refugees or immigrants, or First Nations people or anyone else,” Krause told the crowd. “This was done as part of the campaign to land-lock our crude. To defeat the one political party (the Conservatives) that was committed to breaking the American monopoly that’s keeping our country over a barrel,” she said. Krause then showed a slide with a massive tangle of red lines representing pipelines and dots representing tankers on our coasts, which wasn’t lost on the oil-friendly group to reflect on the recent passing of Bill C-48, the tanker ban, and Bill C-69, which has been dubbed the “no more pipelines” law. “The only ones against which there is a multimillion-dollar, decade-long campaign are the pipelines that would take your oil to overseas markets. No campaign against Texas,” she states. “Why us?” she asks. “Why not Texas?” Fair questions. We need some answers. Perhaps Butts can help.
  5. June 2: Summer Summit with the Sedins on same evening as Botchford Tribute Event
  6. As we all know, Matt Murray considers Brock Boeser incredibly "lucky". However, perhaps it is Matt that finally got lucky? Only other question, was Brock invited along with the two dogs? He could go all the way...... Murray's big dogs serve as groomsmen as he elopes with fiancee Penguins goalie married in small ceremony attended by furry friends by Dan O'Leary @DanOLeary25 / Staff Writer Matt Murray didn't exactly have a Best Man at his wedding, he opted for Man's Best Friend. The Pittsburgh Penguins goalie eloped with fiancee Christina last week, flanked by their two Newfoundland dogs, Beckham and Leo. The groomsmen, well groomsdogs, wore leafy green necklaces as the two-time Stanley Cup champion and his bride were married in a small ceremony with a forest backdrop. The Murrays shared a few photos and a video of the ceremony on Instagram. Beckham and Leo are not only quite large, literally, but they are also big on social media. Their Instagram account has over 14,000 followers.
  7. Nice to see Marcus Pettersson get some recognition for his solid debut for the Penguins.
  8. This scientist proved climate change isn’t causing extreme weather — so politicians attacked And so, many scientists who have the facts and know the truth remain silent Hurricanes have not been proven to be more frequent or more dangerous than in the past.NOAA / AFP / Getty Images This week in Vancouver, Prime Minister Trudeau said the federal carbon tax, a key pillar in his government’s climate policy, will help protect Canadians from extreme weather. “Extreme weather events are extraordinarily expensive for Canadians, our communities and our economy,” he said, citing the recent tornadoes in Ottawa and wildfires in Western Canada. “That’s why we need to act.” While members of the media may nod along to such claims, the evidence paints a different story. Roger Pielke Jr. is a scientist at University of Colorado in Boulder who, up until a few years ago, did world-leading research on climate change and extreme weather. He found convincing evidence that climate change was not leading to higher rates of weather-related damages worldwide, once you correct for increasing population and wealth. He also helped convene major academic panels to survey the evidence and communicate the near-unanimous scientific consensus on this topic to policymakers. For his efforts, Pielke was subjected to a vicious, well-funded smear campaign backed by, among others, the Obama White House and leading Democratic congressmen, culminating in his decision in 2015 to quit the field. A year ago, Pielke told the story to an audience at the University of Minnesota. His presentation was recently circulated on Twitter. With so much misinformation nowadays about supposed climate emergencies, it’s worth reviewing carefully. Pielke’s public presentation begins with a recounting of his rise and fall in the field. As a young researcher in tropical storms and climate-related damages, he reached the pinnacle of the academic community and helped organize the so-called Hohenkammer Consensus Statement, named after the German town where 32 of the leading scientists in the field gathered in 2006 to sort out the evidence. They concluded that trends toward rising climate damages were mainly due to increased population and economic activity in the path of storms, that it was not currently possible to determine the portion of damages attributable to greenhouse gases, and that they didn’t expect that situation to change in the near future. Shortly thereafter, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its 2007 report, largely agreeing with the Hohenkammer Consensus, while cherry-picking one unpublished study (and highlighting it in the Summary for Policymakers) that suggested a link between greenhouse gases and storm-related damages. But the author of that study — who just happened to be the same IPCC lead author who injected it into the report — later admitted his claim was incorrect, and when the study was finally published, denied the connection. In 2012, the IPCC Special Report on Extreme Weather came out and echoed the Hohenkammer Consensus, concluding that once you adjust for population growth and economic changes, there is no statistical connection between climate change and measures of weather-related damages. In 2013 Pielke testified to the United States Congress and relayed the IPCC findings. Shortly thereafter, Obama’s science advisor John Holdren accused him of misleading Congress and launched a lengthy but ill-informed attack on Pielke, which prompted congressional Democrats to open an investigation into Pielke’s sources of funding (which quickly fizzled amid benign conclusions). Meanwhile heavily funded left-wing groups succeeded in getting him fired from a popular internet news platform. In 2015 Pielke quit the climate field. So where did the science end up? In the second half of his talk, Pielke reviews the science as found in the most recent (2013) IPCC Assessment Report, the 2018 U.S. National Climate Assessment, and the most up-to-date scientific data and literature. Nothing substantial has changed. Globally there’s no clear evidence of trends and patterns in extreme events such as droughts, hurricanes and floods. Some regions experience more, some less and some no trend. Limitations of data and inconsistencies in patterns prevent confident claims about global trends one way or another. There’s no trend in U.S. hurricane landfall frequency or intensity. If anything, the past 50 years has been relatively quiet. There’s no trend in hurricane-related flooding in the U.S. Nor is there evidence of an increase in floods globally. Since 1965, more parts of the U.S. have seen a decrease in flooding than have seen an increase. And from 1940 to today, flood damage as a percentage of GDP has fallen to less than 0.05 per cent per year from about 0.2 per cent. And on it goes. There’s no trend in U.S. tornado damage (in fact, 2012 to 2017 was below average). There’s no trend in global droughts. Cold snaps in the U.S. are down but, unexpectedly, so are heatwaves. The bottom line is there’s no solid connection between climate change and the major indicators of extreme weather, despite Trudeau’s claims to the contrary. The continual claim of such a link is misinformation employed for political and rhetorical purposes. Powerful people get away with it because so few people know what the numbers show. Many scientists who know better remain silent. And the few who push back against the propaganda, such as Roger Pielke Jr., find themselves on the receiving end of abuse and career-threatening attacks, even though they have all the science in their corner. Something has gotten scary and extreme, but it isn’t the weather. • Ross McKitrick is a professor of economics at the University of Guelph
  9. This is a glimpse of what some of our youth are capable of and what our society has enabled sadly. Part of me was shocked, frightened, and enraged after watching the clip but the other part of me felt completely desensitized because this is the way society has been headed for a long time imo....Burgess/Kubrick Clockwork Orange in reality. 13-year-old charged in Saskatoon playground assault, but other kids too young for charges Staff with a report from CTV Saskatoon's Stephanie Villella Published May 24, 2019 1:40 p.m. ET Updated 12 hours ago A 13-year-old-girl was charged Friday in connection with two recent assaults in Saskatoon, but police say that many of the other children caught on camera in the playground beating aren’t old enough for charges. The teenager, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, appeared in court to face two counts of assault. She has since been released from custody. The first incident happened on the evening of May 13, when a 10-year-old girl and a 14-year-old girl reported being assaulted by a group of young people. The second alleged assault occurred on May 20, when Bonnie Halcrow, 33, was swarmed by a group of at least four people, in an incident that was captured on video by a bystander. The video shows multiple children kicking and hitting Halcrow, who falls to the ground. “My back is still hurting. I can’t sleep on my sides, I have to sleep on my belly,” Halcrow told CTV Saskatoon on Friday, adding that she was “shocked” that a suspect was arrested. “I just couldn’t believe it. Like, I didn’t think any of them would be identified.” A second teenager allegedly involved in the playground attack faces charges but has not been arrested, police said. But most of the children seen in the video are under the age of 12, which means they are too young to be charged. “We will be looking at working with our community partners and seeing if there’s some way to address the behavior. But from a legal standpoint, we are unable to lay charges,” said police spokeswoman Kelsie Fraser. Fraser said police have been receiving calls about a group of young people “causing disturbances” in the neighbourhood for weeks. “Until recently, their behavior didn’t enter into that criminal threshold, but we have been receiving a number of calls,” she said. Saskatoon city councilor Hilary Gough said the community needs to address the incident and find ways to prevent similar ones in the future. But she also suggested that these sorts of attacks are uncommon. “This is not a huge number of youth and this isn’t something we see often and we should be working to see that we don’t see this in our community,” she said. Even if many of the alleged attackers aren’t old enough to face legal repercussions, their behavior should be addressed, Halcrow said. “They need to be put through a program that will open their eyes to what their futures, their actions and what they do will lead them to,” she said. The 13-year-old suspect has been ordered to stay away from the victims and the other children involved. She is scheduled to appear again .
  10. Winning comes at a cost. “When we’re not dealing with cap issues, we’re probably rebuilding,” Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan recently explained on Prime Time Sports. “The better you become, the less peaceful it is, the more anxiety there is, because each decision means more and so you still have problems. “They’re just better problems.” Embrace the rebuild and watch your salary cap concerns tumble to the floor. But try to win today, and you’ll sweat every penny spent. So although the NHL clubs facing the greatest cap crunches took vastly different routes to reach their summer of tough decisions and inevitable roster casualties, they all have one thing in common: they’re striving to be on the ice come May 2020. While we await an official announcement of the 2019-20 cap ceiling, we dive into the cap issues facing the seven teams believed to have the greatest challenge working with the league’s projected $83-million salary cap. Something’s gotta give. Vegas Golden Knights Projected cap space: $0 Ah, it seems like only yesterday when George McPhee was staring at every general manager’s dream: a blank Excel sheet for him to fill as he wished. Now, two summers later, as McPhee hands the keys and the headaches to his successor, Kelly McCrimmon, the Golden Knights’ books resemble those of a serious contender who made splashes at the deadline (Mark Stone) and was aggressive in free agency (Paul Stastny, Ryan Reaves). It’s McCrimmon’s first off-season in the GM seat, and he already in the red — $124,999 over the projected $83-million cap ceiling, with four empty slots on the 23-man roster still to fill. One of those positions should belong to top-line, two-way centre William Karlsson, who bet on himself by taking a one-year deal last summer and is an RFA again. Decisions must also be made on backup goalie Malcolm Subban (RFA), heart-and-soul alternate captain Deryk Engelland (UFA), plus depth forwards Brandon Pirri (UFA), Ryan Carpenter (UFA), Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (UFA), Nikita Gusev (RFA) and Tomas Nosek (RFA). Oh, baby. Right-shot defender Colin Miller ($3.875-million cap hit through 2021-22) is prime trade bait; he’s only 26, and he’s reportedly on the block. Massive relief could come in the form of moving David Clarkson’s contract ($5.25 million for one more season) to a team in need of hitting the floor (Ottawa?). Of course, such a trade would require Vegas sweetening the deal with picks and/or players. McCrimmon has an extra 2020 second-round pick and two extra 2019 third-rounders he can use as currency in a salary-dump deal. Pittsburgh Penguins Projected cap space: $3.9 million So, Phil Kessel is totally getting traded again, isn’t he? “There could be big changes, big changes,” Penguins no-nonsense GM Jim Rutherford announced upon his club’s embarrassingly easy playoff ouster by the New York Islanders. “Every possibility is on the table right now.” As long as Sidney Crosby can lace up skates, Pittsburgh won’t be interested in a full-blown rebuild, so the Pens will be aggressively exploring trade options to improve the supporting cast — even if that entails dealing a point-per-game ironman. The thrill is gone. Onetime league MVP Evgeni Malkin (whose contract features a full no-move clause) hasn’t been able to escape the trade rumours that have touched everyone from Kris Letang to Olli Maata and are sure to ramp up over the next month. Rutherford has already spend his second-, third- and sixth-round picks at the Vancouver draft, so his roster players are his best chips to play if he wants to shake things up. Kessel’s contract ($6.8-million cap hit through 2021-22, with $1.2 million annually retained by Toronto) would provide the most relief, and there are plenty of cap-flexible clubs that could use the offence (Carolina, New Jersey, Islanders, Buffalo). He and Letang would be much easier to move than, say, 32-year-old Patric Hornqvist — set to be overpaid at $5.3 million for four more seasons. Hornqvist had only 37 points in 2018-19. Rutherford needs to give raises to young forwards Teddy Blueger and Zach Aston-Reese, and he has one more season of Matt Murray at the bargain price of $3.75 million before the starting goalie raids the vaults. Another option here could be trading the intriguing but oft-injured Justin Schultz. The 28-year-old is entering his walk year and didn’t live up to his $5.5 million in 2018-19. Tampa Bay Lightning Projected cap space: $8.6 million Regardless of whether the Presidents’ Trophy winners had enjoyed some post-season success or not, they were headed for a shake-up. Rookie GM Julein BriseBois is set to watch three veteran defencemen walk (Anton Stralman, Dan Girardi, Braydon Coburn) and still won’t have enough money left over to sign stud two-way centre — and this summer’s most valuable restricted free agent — Brayden Point to the type of long-term, tax-free (!) contract he’s earned. Useful depth forwards Adam Erne and Cedric Paquette are also impending RFAs due for a pay bump, and it’s a thinly veiled secret that Tampa will at least explore the possibility of adding marquee UFA Erik Karlsson to its all-star squad. All of which spells cap hell. Where can the relief come? • Not matching a Point offer sheet, if those things still exist. • Buying out the final year and $5.8 million of Ryan Callahan’s contract, if the alternate captain can’t be packaged into a trade. “It doesn’t take a scientist right now to figure out I’m on the outside looking in,” Callahan told The Athletic. • Trading a middle-class twentysomething forward off the roster. Expect to see names like J.T. Miller ($5.25 million), Tyler Johnson ($5 million cap hit) and Alex Killorn ($4.45 million) pop up on your favourite rumour site. These are good players on reasonable deals, but the cap system is designed to squeeze them out. Toronto Maple Leafs Projected cap space: $8.8 million “As long as we are hopefully a Stanley Cup contender, we will have cap issues,” Shanahan said last week. “So Toronto should get used to that.” The consensus is that, one way or another, an extension with franchise winger and two-time leading scorer Mitchell Marner (RFA) will get done. But it’s coming at the expense of re-signing top-four defenceman Jake Gardiner and makes difficult GM Kyle Dubas’s ability to extend both RFAs Andreas Johnsson and Kasperi Kapanen to juicy extensions after their breakout 20-goal campaigns. We’ve already taken a deep dive into the ways Dubas can relieve his cap situation, which is being compromised by his hording of top-end forward talent and the final, buyout-proof season of Patrick Marleau’s contract. Even with the 2019-20 Leafs expected to draw on cheap, entry-level talent from Toronto’s excellent farm system and likely to trade away a familiar face or two, Dubas will have to get creative to fill in the gaps on a blue line that already needed improvement. Anaheim Ducks Projected cap space: $9.1 million The good news (I guess) is that the Ducks don’t have any young superstar RFAs they need to re-sign. The bad news is that rapidly declining Corey Perry, significantly injured Ryan Kesler, and captain Ryan Getzlaf, who’s coming off the worst season of his life, are eating up a combined $23.75 million for the next two seasons. Bonus: Full no-move clauses for everyone. Now, GM Bob Murray will see a measure of relief by moving Kesler — unlikely to play in 2019-20 as he recovers from hip resurfacing surgery — to long-term injured reserve, and there are several nice entry-level talents in the system (Sam Steel, Maxime Comtois, Max Jones, Troy Terry) who could step up and contribute. But Murray has five roster spots to fill, including a reliable backup to support all-star John Gibson in net, and his depth at the centre and defence positions — once an Anaheim hallmark — have weakened over the past two years due to age, injury and trades. Washington Capitals Projected cap space: $10.1 million The 2018 champions’ cap pain will result from a thousand tiny cuts. Brian MacLellan has just 16 contracts on the books for 2019-20 and a number of players set to either walk or get raises. Nic Dowd, Nick Jensen and Pheonix Copley were all re-signed in-season and will all see their respective cap hits rise, pushing others out. The Caps’ unrestricted free agents are Brett Connolly, who picked a fine time for a career season (22 goals, 46 points), Carl Hagelin, Devante Smith-Pelly and Brooks Orpik. Desirable RFAs Jakub Vrana and Christian Djoos should return but with larger paycheques. “We’ll have some decisions to make,” said MacLellan upon playoff elimination. “Some of it’s money decisions. Some of it’s we need to make a couple changes. “Depending on what we decide to do, you might have to create some space and just go from there.” That is ominous news for players like Andre Burakovsky, Chandler Stephenson and Dmitrij Jaskin, who could be in for tough RFA negotiations. The Burakovsky trade murmurs could get loud again. Or MacLellan might decide to not qualify the winger (at $3.25 million), riskily letting him hit the open market at age 24. Top-four, right-shot defenceman Matt Niskanen, 32, carries a cap hit of $5.75 million for the next two seasons and would have trade value despite a mediocre year. Lurking in the background of GMBM’s immediate cap decisions are Nicklas Backstrom ($6.7-million cap hit) and Braden Holtby ($6.1 million). Both stars are entering walk years and are eligible to ink juicy extensions on July 1. Edmonton Oilers Projected cap space: $10.8 million Hockey’s most reliable finance site,, has a handy buyout calculator, and at one point last week, Milan Lucic, Andrej Sekera, Sam Gagner and Kris Russell were all crowding on the top eight most-searched buyouts by users. Such is the mess new GM Ken Holland is getting handsomely paid to mop up. Edmonton has already committed $67.3 million to 15 players (eight forwards, six defencemen and one goalie) for Holland’s first season at the helm, and the new guy ain’t rebuilding — at least not on purpose. We’d toss starting goalie (for now) Mikko Koskinen’s paperwork onto the heap of unfriendly deals here, meaning Holland must spend some of his limited funds on a goaltender who can backstop this group back to springtime relevance. The seasoned exec does have movable pieces in Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Adam Larsson, but trading an actual talent will just create another hole to fill. Which is why fans keep circling back to buyout fantasies. The silver lining in Oil Country can be found in Bakersfield, where cheap, skilled defencemen are preparing for their shot. But Holland likes to over-ripen his prospects, and Connor McDavid wants to win now. Add underwhelming prospect Jesse Puljujarvi’s uncertain future to Holland’s to-do list. The Finn’s trade value is achingly low, and he’s set to become a restricted free agent. (All figures via the indispensable
  11. Apparently, Microsoft doesn't think so and like Facebook and Justin Trudeau, they believe there is a need to make you more woke. Be Woke like Justin Trudeau Microsoft uses artificial intelligence to push what liberals think you should write Fol In this May 7, 2018, file photo Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella looks on during a video as he delivers the keynote address at Build, the company’s annual conference for software developers in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File) more By Tammy Bruce - - Wednesday, May 15, 2019 ANALYSIS/OPINION: Microsoft has decided that you need help in understanding what words to use when you write. After all, what you write and how you want to write it should take a backseat to what liberals think you should write. Fox News reported, “Microsoft is harnessing the power of artificial intelligence to boost the use of ‘inclusive language’ in Word. The feature is part of Ideas in Word, a forthcoming AI-powered online tool designed to improve users’ writing … In addition to ‘familiar fixes for spelling and grammatical errors,’ Ideas in Word will also offer ‘advice on more concise and inclusive language,’ according to Microsoft. In the blog post, [John] Roach used the example of ‘police officer,’ instead of ‘policeman.’” One has to wonder if Microsoft will only be satisfied if all of us are as woke as Justin Trudeau. The Canadian prime minister came under fire early last year when he rebuked a young woman for using that pesky term “mankind.” At the town hall, he then instructed her to use the more inclusive “peoplekind,” which is a term that does not exist. After enduring well-deserved ridicule, Mr. Trudeau said he was joking. He wasn’t, and neither is Microsoft, and that’s the problem. Controlling how people speak, and making it dangerous to use words deemed by activists as unacceptable is at the heart of the left’s effort to keep people from thinking about serious issues at all. After all, if it’s too dangerous to speak about the issues then the next natural step is to not think about the issues. Microsoft will be sending that message to everyone who uses the “Ideas” program that its style (and ergo its thoughts) are morally incorrect. Keep in mind, Word Online is managed via the cloud, which means those who use the “Ideas” option will be known, those who use it and don’t accept some changes will be known, and those who refuse to use it by opting out will be known. On social media, we’ve seen what happens to people who refuse to use what George Orwell would call Newspeak, or even dare to use forbidden phrases. A number of well-known conservatives, such as David Horowitz and the actor James Woods, have been suspended or banned from Twitter. Mr. Horowitz’s account was reinstated after he complained to the social media platform. Twitter explained that his suspension was an “accident.” Mr. Woods has refused to return to the micro-blogging site after being suspended for daring to tweet a famous quote by American essayist and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson. For at least the last generation, Americans have watched this unfolding of the demands of political correctness and speech. And we’re willing to have that public debate and conversation. If society comes to a general agreement that something is reasonable like “firefighter” or “police officer,” that’s great. But to begin a program that nudges writers into acquiescing into using the left’s social-political strategy of controlling conversation, description and definition should be rejected as the beginning of a direct assault on the freedom to write and think as we please. If we are to learn from the behavior of the social media platforms, there will inevitably be a point where if you don’t write in the politically correct way, or accept all of “Ideas” recommendation to “help” you with more “inclusive” language, perhaps you could be banned from using the product at all. Consider, out of so-called convenience, if a sizeable majority allow artificial intelligence to control what is written (and ultimately what we say), as directed by information cultivated by political partisans. That alone would isolate individuals who do not conform, inviting inevitable accusations of being racists, sexists and homophobes. Being assigned one of those scarlet labels gets you removed from social media platforms. But leftists have also implemented campaigns to pressure banks into refusing to do business with people who are accused of thought crime, resulting in among things the canceling of checking and credit card accounts. Don’t forget we were told by Facebook that it was an “algorithm” that determined what their now-defunct Newsfeed would show to Facebook’s 2 billion users. That wasn’t true. As we ultimately learned, it was actually humans making decisions about what websites would be promoted, which would be banned and which stories would be highlighted. As individual lives and businesses become completely reliant on technology and more and more information moves through the cloud, we all can become hostage to the hyper-political partisanship of the technology sector. We’ve already seen our reliance on these products to run our lives and operate our businesses be used as a cudgel to punish us for not conforming to the liberal worldview. Make no mistake: The announcement by Microsoft that their “Ideas” program will automatically “correct” what you write to conform to approved political speech is the promotion of correct speech as well as it is the silencing of those who do not agree.
  12. Well, good to see this strong and growing support for such a fine democracy and great to see all that oil coming across oceans into Canadian waters. Awesome for all! If there was only a way to get Canadian oil to Canadians - like something taking energy to the east or, say, increasing the capacity of an existing safe line to the BC coast. If only..... Canada's oil imports from Saudi Arabia on the rise since 2014, trade figures show Total volume of Canadian imports from kingdom has increased by 66 per cent over past 5 years Chris Arsenault · CBC News · Posted: Apr 28, 2019 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: April 28 Canadian oil imports from Saudi Arabia were worth $3.5 billion last year, up more than $1 billion from 2017.(John Moore/The Associated Press) Canada's oil imports from Saudi Arabia have been rising steadily for the past five years, according to Statistics Canada trade data reviewed by CBC News, and a festering diplomatic spat with the kingdom appears not to have had any significant impact on Canada's appetite for Riyadh's crude. The total volume of Canadian imports from Saudi Arabia has increased by 66 per cent since 2014, with imports rising every year during that period. Last year, Canadian companies spent $3.54 billion importing 6.4 million cubic metres of Saudi oil, up from 5.9 million cubic metres worth $2.5 billion in 2017, before the dispute started in August 2018. In January 2019, for example, oil imports from the kingdom were 606,000 cubic metres, up from 559,000 cubic metres a year earlier. And although monthly imports gyrate significantly — a normal trend in the oil business, according to analysts — the long-term trend is unmistakable. "Over five years, imports from Saudi have increased," said David Hughes, a former research manager with the Geological Survey of Canada and president of Global Sustainability Research, a consultancy in Calgary. In January 2019, Saudi oil accounted for roughly 10 per cent of Canadian consumption, up from about eight per cent in 2017, he said. Saudi Arabia is the second-largest source of foreign oil for Canada, after the U.S. 'Not a diplomatic question' Observers are divided on what rising imports from Saudi Arabia should mean for Canadian policy. Human rights groups say Canada should not be propping up the Saudi regime by purchasing its oil, following the recent executions of 37 people, the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a bloody war in neighbouring Yemen and a host of other abuses. When the diplomatic dispute between Canada and Saudi Arabia started last August, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said oil exports from the kingdom would not be impacted. (Ronald Zak/The Associated Press) Energy industry officials say rising imports strengthen the case for building pipelines from Alberta to Eastern Canada, where most Saudi Arabian imports are currently sold. Environmental groups say more pipelines won't actually cut dependency on Saudi Arabia as Western Canadian oil can't be easily processed in eastern refineries, and investing in green energy is the best way to reduce dependency on autocratic, oil-rich states. Other analysts say the imports aren't related to politics at all, and are based simply on privately owned Canadian refiners wanting the right kind of oil at the cheapest price. Saudi retaliation against Canada during feud detailed in government memo "Oil is the most freely traded commodity in the world," said Jim Krane, an energy expert at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy in Texas. "For a Canadian refiner, it's an economic or a chemical question, not a diplomatic question.… They aren't buying it based on the relationship between Ottawa and Riyadh or human rights violations in Saudi Arabia." Deteriorating rights situation Saudi Arabia's embassy in Ottawa did not respond to requests for comment. While the war of words between Canada and Saudi Arabia has died down since last summer, the dispute continues. Canada has not apologized for calling for the immediate release of detained women's rights activists, as Saudi Arabia has demanded. Ottawa hasn't had an ambassador in the kingdom since Dennis Horak was expelled last year and the Saudis have not rescinded their pledge to stop buying Canadian grains or reinstated flights to Toronto. POWER & POLITICS Singh pitches payback for Saudi spat — buying our oil somewhere else High court won't hear appeal over sale of armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia "Saudi Arabia's human rights record … has, in many deeply troubling ways, deteriorated considerably in recent years," said Alex Neve, secretary general of Amnesty International Canada. "It is incumbent upon the Canadian government to ensure that business relationships do not cause or contribute to human rights violations in any country, including Saudi Arabia." Petroleum accounts for about 70 per cent of Saudi export earnings and half of its gross domestic product, according to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), meaning oil exports are the lifeblood of the kingdom's economy and its system of absolute monarchy. 'Additional pipeline capacity' A spokesperson for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) said increased imports from Saudi Arabia buttress the call for more pipelines to increase market access for Western Canadian crude. "Right now, our pipeline network is fairly extensive but it doesn't extend to the East Coast," said Mark Pinney, CAPP's manager of markets and transportation. "There are some refineries Canadian producers are not easily able to reach.... Additional pipeline capacity is the answer to a lot of things." In 1980, Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau met Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Sheik Yamani, left, at a desert camp in Madein Saleh, Saudi Arabia. (Andy Clark/The Canadian Press) While oil imports from Saudi Arabia and the U.S. have increased, total Canadian imports have been falling since 2016, he said. Imports are down overall because of the reversal of Enbridge's Line 9 pipeline, allowing more crude from Alberta's oilsands to be easily moved to refineries in Ontario and Quebec, said Pinney. He said the industry is "frustrated" over slow progress in building new pipelines that would allow domestic producers to compete to supply Eastern Canadian markets, potentially displacing future imports. Between 2015 and the end of 2018, he said, total Canadian imports fell by 13 per cent. Canada is the fourth-largest producer and fourth-largest exporter of oil in the world, according to the National Research Council, and 99 per cent of Canadian oil exports go to the U.S. It's not uncommon for countries to be both exporters and importers of crude, analysts said. UN expert demands transparency in trial of Saudi men accused in Khashoggi killing Energy transition Most Saudi oil exports to Canada go to refineries in Eastern Canada, specifically the Irving refinery in Saint John, and facilities in Quebec, said David Hughes, the consultant. That refinery is specifically geared to handling light oil from the Middle East, rather than the heavy crude from the oilsands, said Hughes. Reconfiguring it to process Alberta oil would cost around $1 billion, he estimates. Irving did not respond to interview requests. Much of the Saudi oil imported into Canada goes to the Irving oil refinery in Saint John. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press) It's unclear if the company would want to spend that money, even if Canada's pipeline network was extended to the Atlantic provinces, as the now-cancelled $15-billion Energy East Pipeline aimed. "Irving Oil in Saint John [where the formerly proposed Energy East pipeline would go] have been clear that they would not sign binding contracts to take the oilsands oil," said Tim Gray, executive director of the Toronto-based campaign group Environmental Defence. Most of the Albertan production proposed for the pipeline would have been exported, he added, urging Canadian companies to speed up the switch to renewable energy. "Oil imports can and will be offset by successful efforts to electrify our economy," Gray said. "This means that electric cars, home heat pumps and industrial processes using clean electricity can cause a rapid decrease in the need for foreign oil."
  13. April 1: sign goalie Jake Kielly, my picks for the year-end awards (Pettersson, Markstrom)
  14. “Word is that Eugene Melnyk has asked the league for help on this, and it’s not uncommon for teams to ask for help, and the league makes some certain recommendations,” Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos said during the Headline segment of Hockey Night in CanadaSaturday. “Now, the word is the league has assigned a current NHL executive to help gauge interest for this job, and one of those names that we hear that was contacted was Trevor Linden, who held that title, of course, with the Vancouver Canucks.”
  15. March 1: Elias Pettersson’s Calder Trophy chase, looking forward to Quinn Hughes’ debut
  16. Willie D strikes again. Scratches Kovalchuk for a 7th D. It’s like he builds his lineup to be controversial rather than with an actual plan in mind. He’s hands down my least favourite coach the canucks ever had. Hard to have sympathy for Kovalchuk but I actually do in this case.
  17. Just a fine for the elbow: lol -- sorry I got his name wrong in the title.
  18. February 2: back in action vs the Avalanche, full of High Hopes for the rest of the season
  19. Stand down, Canucks fans! Brock Boeser will make his much-anticipated season debut tonight vs. the Winnipeg Jets.