Dr. Sport: Skulsky says CFL ‘closer’ to hiring commissioner


Nat Bailey booming: Canadians add 750 seats in time for June’s home opener

Columnist Greg Douglas, a.k.a. 'Dr. Sport.'

Columnist Greg Douglas, a.k.a. 'Dr. Sport.'

Photograph by: Vancouver Sun files, .

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SCENE & HEARD: The Canadian Football League governors left West Palm Beach, Fla., this week without being able to identify the name of a new commissioner.

“But we’re close,” says B.C. Lions president Dennis Skulsky. “The process is moving along and you can expect an announcement soon. We’ve reduced several strong candidates to a short list. That’s all I’m at liberty to say.” There is an intriguing game of corporate musical chairs being played in Toronto.

Outgoing CFL commissioner Mark Cohon is the odds-on favourite to replace Tim Leiweke, outgoing CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. Those same odds can be applied to CFL president Michael Copeland being elevated to the commissioner’s job, though Skulsky would have no part of confirming any such thought.

In a perfect world — David Braley’s world — Cohon would step into the big chair at MLSE and engineer the purchase of Braley’s Toronto Argonauts. MLSE owns the NHL Maple Leafs, NBA Raptors, Toronto FC of Major League Soccer and operates BMO Field, which would be a much more sensible home for the Argos than Rogers Centre.

Grab a chair, gentlemen, and make the music stop.

HERE ’N’ THERE: The sound of earth being moved and cement being poured is music to the ears of the Vancouver Canadians brass as expansion plans for Nat Bailey Stadium are on target for their home opener on Friday, June 26. There will be 750 seats added to the prettiest little ballpark in captivity, 550 down the left-field foul line and another 200 elevated locations above the left-field wall.

“We’ll still maintain a play area for kids in front of the new field-level seats,” says C’s general manager J.C. Fraser.

Team owners Andy Dunn and Jake Kerr, along with broadcaster Rob Fai, will soon be on their way to Florida to scout the Toronto Blue Jays’ and Houston Astros’ big-league spring training camps. The Astros are the parent team of the California League Lancaster JetHawks, the Single-A franchise purchased by Kerr & Co. last November. The Canadians, of course, remain affiliated with Toronto.

SHORT HOPS: Two former NHL Canucks — goaltender Curt Ridley (No. 35) and the late Rick Blight (No. 8) — will have their Vancouver jerseys raised to the rafters of the Portage la Prairie, Man., arena as part of the Royal Bank Cup national junior championship May 9-15. Ridley and Blight played their minor hockey in Portage la Prairie before advancing to the junior ranks in Brandon, Man.

END ZONE: For now it’s the furthest thing from their NHL playoff minds, but Henrik and Daniel Sedin recently purchased a couple of young trotting colts training in Florida for a combined price of $265,000 US. The twins have long embraced and been involved in harness racing, a passionate pursuit in their Swedish homeland. Their plan is to target some top U.S. races next summer.


Columnist Greg Douglas, a.k.a. 'Dr. Sport.'

Columnist Greg Douglas, a.k.a. 'Dr. Sport.'

Photograph by: Vancouver Sun files, .

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