Bulls & Bears: Bowman's Blackhawks make a power move

 

Tom Mayenknecht hosts The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and TSN Radio, where he regularly rates and debates the Bulls Bears of sports business. He reviews the major winners and losers of the past week every Saturday.

 
 
 
 
Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.
 

Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.

Photograph by: Vancouver Sun graphics, .

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BULLS OF THE WEEK

No matter what happens at the trade deadline on Monday, this has been another bullish week in the modern history of the Chicago Blackhawks. The reigning Stanley Cup champions — and winners of three of the past six NHL titles — have enjoyed being among the elite teams during this regular season, yet again. They are as close as we’ll ever get to a dynasty in this salary cap era of the NHL. And that’s what makes Stan Bowman our Bull of the Week in the business of sport. Not content to simply ride into the post-season on what appears to be a top Western Conference seeding, Bowman pressed the button on a Thursday trade that returns forward Andrew Ladd to the Blackhawks. The move doesn’t guarantee that Chicago will win another Cup, but the message it sends is unmistakable to hockey fans in Chicago, not to mention every other team in the NHL. It’s the kind of move that has made the Blackhawks the most powerful hockey brand in the U.S., taking over the mantle held by the Detroit Red Wings for the past generation. And talking about the Red Wings, the younger Bowman is quickly becoming to general managers what his Hockey Hall of Fame father, Scotty, was to NHL coaches in the 1970s and 1980s, including how he stood apart in winning Stanley Cups for Montreal, Pittsburgh and Detroit. It sure seems that Scotty knew what he was doing when he named his son after the trophy emblematic of NHL supremacy. Honourable mention this week goes to Sylvester Stallone. Win or lose at Sunday night’s Academy Awards, he is already one of the big winners in the sports industry. After reprising his role as Rocky Balboa in the 2015 boxing movie Creed, he is the lone representative of the sports movie genre at the Oscars and the sentimental favourite to win for best supporting actor. Across seven instalments of the Rocky franchise, he has made his iconic character relevant over the span of 40 years. That’s no small feat, especially considering the only franchises that have driven more box office revenues over time are Star Wars and James Bond.

BEARS OF THE WEEK

No one should have any bat-flipping issue with Jose Bautista thinking he deserves a big contract payoff for a Major League Baseball career that has carved out superstar status for the slugging Toronto Blue Jays outfielder. He’s not off base in suggesting he has been a relative bargain for the Jays these past five years. He’s also on target in believing he’s worth a significant raise in what could be the final contract of his career. That’s not the issue. What’s made Bautista a bearish commodity is that he has raised all this in public, using the media to effectively put Toronto’s Rogers telecom ownership in a corner. It’s true you get what you negotiate, not what you deserve, but in helping to leak a number of $150 million over five years, Bautista is the poster boy for how not to engage with your bosses on compensation demands.

Listen to The Sport Market on TSN 1040 AM Saturdays,7 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Bulls & Bears airs at 9 a.m., followed by Weekend Extra with Sun Sports at 9:30 a.m.

Follow Tom Mayenknecht at: Twitter.com/thesportmarket

 
 
 
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Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.
 

Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.

Photograph by: Vancouver Sun graphics, .

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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