Reimer has faith in Tebow



Toronto Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer is a deeply religious young man, so he finds it hard to understand why some people have made light of Tim Tebow’s beliefs.

Tebow, who revived the Denver Broncos’ NFL season when he took over as the team’s No. 1 quarterback, has been criticized by some and satirized by others for his religious beliefs.

“It’s hard to figure why people react the way they do,” Reimer told blogger Howard Berger. “I guess some are offended by the way (Tebow) speaks about religion so frequently; they think he goes overboard. Some people just don’t agree with a show of faith . . . it’s kind of like politics: mention it and you’ve got yourself an argument.

“But, I think (Toronto Argonauts vice-chairman Mike) Pinball Clemons touched on it most accurately when he said that people often lash out against things they don’t understand. And that’s what I feel is happening to Tebow.”

Reimer added: “Faith is an extremely personal matter. When you’re a devout Christian, it becomes a very big part of life and there’s an inherent wish that everyone would believe in what you do. Some choose to openly express that feeling because it gives them extreme joy to show how thankful they are for the blessings they receive. People shouldn’t be blaming Tim Tebow for their discomfort or anger over his way of doing that. It isn’t a fault.”

Smid passed on CHL

Edmonton Oilers defenceman Ladislav Smid played in three IIHF world junior hockey championships for the Czech Republic, but never played major junior in North America.

“I was playing in the elite league at home and felt I would get more experience playing there . . . plus the money was good,” said Smid.

How good?

“I was making $4,000 to $5,000 a month,” he said.

Players don’t make that in three years of major junior.

“I made $31.47 a week when I played junior in Quebec,” said Smid’s Oilers teammate Eric Belanger. “That didn’t even pay for gas for the car.”

Smid saw other Czech counterparts like Ales Hemsky and David Krejci coming over to play in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, but he stayed behind. No Canadian Hockey League team had his rights.

“You had to opt in for the import draft (to get selected by a club in the Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League or QMJHL), but I didn’t see the point. Looking back, maybe I would have enjoyed it.”

Dineen feels Cunneyworth’s pain

Florida Panthers coach Kevin Dineen has remained close friends with Montreal Canadiens coach Randy Cunneyworth since they played together with the Ottawa Senators in the late 1990s.

He says he feels for the new Canadiens coach in regard to what he’s currently going through in Montreal — inside and outside the hockey arena.

He couldn’t help but joke that he’s experiencing something similar, coaching in Fort Lauderdale.

“I’ve taken up Spanish lessons and I think that’s important in the South Florida market, to be able to converse in all things,” he said. “And that’s teasing. I’m a Quebec-born guy. I can always say those sorts of things. People take such pride in the Montreal Canadiens that I think it’s, to me, not a negative.

“You have such passion for the game, you can’t see that as a negative.”

Havlat can’t stay healthy

If Martin Havlat didn’t have bad luck. . . .

The San Jose Sharks winger simply can’t seem to stay heathy. On Thursday, the team announced that Havlat has undergone surgery to repair a partially torn tendon in his left hamstring and will be out of the lineup for up to two months.

Havlat was injured when he was going over the boards on a shift change and his skate got caught.

The was a bit of good news, however. Had Havlat’s tendon been torn entirely, he would have missed the remainder of the season.

Laviolette angers Ott

Dallas Stars agitator Steve Ott is known for getting under the skin of opponents.

On Wednesday, he got under the skin of Philadelphia Flyers coach Peter Laviolette.

Laviolette gave Ott a shove as the players were heading to their dressing rooms after the first period of Wednesday’s game in Dallas.

The Stars were filing down the tunnel to their locker-room when Laviolette tried to slip past them. When Ott blocked Laviolette’s way, the shove ensued.

Ott wasn’t thrilled.

“It’s disrespect of our building. Just let our team off. It’s not that big of a deal,” Ott told ESPNDallas/FortWorth. “He obviously thought he has a higher power than everybody else and a little bit more arrogance than most coaches in the NHL. That’s probably the first time I’ve seen that. I would never do that against Philadelphia if I was in their building. Just show a little respect, that’s all.”

He said it:

“Who is more crazy? Me, or defencemen? Who is more weird?” — Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov on the latest episode of HBO’s 24/7, discussing why being a well-padded goaltender is better than being a defenceman who block shots.

Ice chip:

Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu, who always takes part in shootouts against the Edmonton Oilers, is skating hard but missed his fourth straight game Thursday night with an undisclosed leg injury. He has been put on injured reserve and Minnesota called up farmhand Jeff Taafe to take Koivu’s spot in the lineup against the Oilers.

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