Mother of dead soldier objects to lake being named after Jonathan Toews


When we first heard that the Province of Manitoba would name one of its many lakes after local star Jonathan Toews on July 7, it seemed harmless (and amusing) enough.

What we didn’t know was that the region has a tradition of naming lakes after fallen soldiers, a tradition that apparently was infringed upon – at least according to one distressed parent – when Toews was given the honor of having a lake named after him. The Vancouver Sun captures the disapproval of Shirley Seggie, whose son Michael was killed in Afghanistan in 2008.

Among those complaining that the honour is undeserved is the mother of a soldier killed in Afghanistan.

“While it is commendable that Jonathan Toews has accomplished so much in his short life thus far, I feel it is a travesty he has had a lake named after him,” said Shirley Seggie.

“Our son Cpl. Michael James Alexander Seggie was killed in action in 2008 . . . thus far there has been no lake named after him despite a program that is in place to name lakes after military personnel killed in action.”

The program Seggie mentions is Manitoba’s own Commemorative Names Project, a program solely dedicated to naming geographic features after fallen soldiers. As it turns out Seggie’s son will be one of the five soldiers the province will honour this November.

“Every Manitoban soldier who is killed in battle is automatically nominated for a geographic fixture,” said MacAulay. “But under a national policy there is a mandated three-year wait period before we can go about naming.”

Follow the link to read a little bit more about the minute details of the case, as it seems like it might be more of an issue of bureaucracy as it is about anything else, as Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski mentions in his story about the controversy.

There aren’t many sports writers who avoid falling into the habit of calling an athlete a “warrior” for risking an elbow to the head to score a goal or [insert other dangerous sports scenario]. It’s an understandable habit, but perhaps this is another reminder that we take sports a bit too seriously.

Luckily, Seggie’s son will receive that honor in November, so it seems like this situation won’t get too ugly.

DiMaio named Blues’ director of player personnel

via St. Louis Blues
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The St. Louis Blues named Rob DiMaio their director of player personnel on Tuesday.

He’s been with the organization for some time. He joined as a pro scout in 2008 and was the pro scouting director starting in August 2012.

He was also a scout for the Dallas Stars before landing with the Blues (one would assume his biggest connection is GM Doug Armstrong, then).

In case his nose didn’t give it away, he also enjoyed a lengthy hockey career over 19 seasons.

No doubt about it, this is a pivotal season for the Blues after multiple campaigns in which strong regular seasons dissolved into playoff disappointments. Perhaps DiMaio can make a difference in a heightened role?

Hitchcock going to more aggressive attack for Blues

Ken Hitchcock

ST. LOUIS (AP) After three straight first-round playoff exits, the St. Louis Blues have learned to temper expectations.

They have been consistently among the NHL’s best in the regular season and realize it is past time to build something for the long haul. The sting still lingers from the latest failure, against the Minnesota Wild last spring.

“We’re all disappointed, everybody can agree on that,” defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said. “It’s never easy to kind of think about your failures, but we grow every time it happens.”

Management isn’t ready to tear it all down yet.

“We play, in my opinion, one of the toughest if not the toughest division in the NHL, and we’ve finished first or second in the last four years,” forward Alexander Steen said. “So we have an extremely powerful team.”

Maybe a change in strategy will be enough: Coach Ken Hitchcock is back with a mandate for a more aggressive, even reckless, style of play from a roster that hasn’t changed appreciably.

“We’re coming hard from the back and we’re coming hard to see how close we can get to the attack,” Hitchcock said. “I think it’s where the game’s at; I think it’s where the game’s going to go.”

The 63-year-old Hitchcock is pushing forward, too, unwilling to dwell on the flameouts. Coach and players agree that would be “wasted energy.”

“My opinion is when you sit and think about the past, you do yourself no good,” Hitchcock said. “If you learn from the past, that’s when you do yourself a whole bunch of good.”

There were only two major roster casualties. Forward Troy Brouwer came from Washington in a trade for fan favorite T.J. Oshie. Defenseman Barret Jackman, the franchise career leader in games, wasn’t re-signed.

“If you were expecting 23 new faces to be on the roster this year, I don’t think that was realistic,” captain David Backes said. “We’re going to miss those guys in the room and on the ice, but there has been some changeover and I think it’s pretty significant.”

Things to watch for with the Blues:

GOALIE SHUFFLE: Just like last year, there’s no true No. 1 with Brian Elliott and Jake Allen sharing duties. The 25-year-old Allen missed a chance to seize the job last spring when he failed to raise his level in the playoffs.

TOP THREAT: Vladimir Tarasenko had a breakout season with 37 goals and was rewarded with an eight-year, $60 million contract. The 23-year-old winger is by far the Blues’ most dangerous scoring option and said he won’t let the money affect his play. “I never worry about it,” Tarasenko said. “If you play good, you play good.”

NEW FACES: Brouwer and center Kyle Brodziak add a physical element that was perhaps lacking a bit last season. Brouwer has three 20-plus goal seasons and Brodziak, acquired from Minnesota, fills a checking role. Veteran forward Scottie Upshall got a one-year, two-way deal after being coming to camp as a tryout. Rookie forward Robby Fabbri, a first-round pick last year, will get an early look. Another promising youngster, forward Ty Rattie, begins the year at Chicago of the AHL.

RECOVERY WARD: Forward Jori Lehteri bounced back quickly from ankle surgery and opens the season without restrictions. Another forward, Patrik Berglund, could miss half of the season following shoulder surgery.

TRACK RECORD: The Blues won the Central Division last season and Hitchcock, fourth on the career list with 708 regular-season wins, has consistently had the team near the top of the standings. “He is our coach, tough cookies if you don’t like it,” Backes said. “From my experience, he puts together one heck of a game plan.”