Each week, The Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports. This week they discuss the NFL Draft, Travis Snider's demotion, Patrick Chan's victory, and the future of the Dallas Stars.
Dave Naylor, TSN: My thumb is down to Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller, who celebrated being selected second overall by Denver on Thursday by giving commissioner Roger Goodell a full hug and embrace - kind of like he was his long-lost son. This would be the same Von Miller whose name is on the lawsuit accusing the NFL and Goodell of illegally staging the lockout. And that would be the lockout that may or may not be on, depending when you check your watch. Miller didn't have to snub Goodell on stage at the draft. But the hug and embrace was the wrong image to send both to fellow players - who can't like those kinds of optics - and to fans, who are as confused and frustrated as ever.
Steve Simmons, Sun Media: My thumb is down to the Toronto Blue Jays for sending mixed messages with the demotion of Travis Snider to Triple-A Las Vegas. Not that the supposed hot shot Snider was doing anything impressive in the first month of the season. He wasn't. It's that the Jays promised that this season would be all about development and they said that Snider would be given every opportunity to play every day at the major league level and be allowed work out his mistakes and develop on his own time frame. Now they've gone and contradicated themselves by sending Snider down and insisting it's all about right now. If that's the case and it's all about now, what's Edwin Encarnacion doing playing third base? Anyone?
Dave Feschuk, Toronto Star: My thumb is up to Patrick Chan for his victory at the world championship of figure skating. It was a little more than a year ago that Chan stubbornly refused to include a quad jump in his program at the Vancouver Olympics. He figured his mix of artistry and technical proficiency could get him on the podium without the risk of the quad. He was wrong. He saw the light. And there he was in Moscow this week, ripping off spectacular quad after spectacular quad to claim gold. He's still an artist. His mastery of the quad also confirms he is a great athlete. In fact, his gold medal puts him alongside Milos Raonic as an early co-favourite for Canada's athlete of the year.
Dave Hodge, TSN: My thumb is down to the other NHL team with an uncertain future, and that would be the Dallas Stars. They're not moving, as far as we know, but we don't know who will be their owner next season, and until we know that, we don't know who will be their coach and we don't know if Brad Richards will continue to be their leading scorer. Vancouver businessman Tom Gaglardi is in line to buy the team in a bankruptcy proceeding, but he's unlikely to do that in time to allow the Stars to court Kirk Muller as their coach and to attempt to sign Richards before he becomes a free agent on July 1. The Stars were one win away from the playoffs this season - they're a long way from knowing what next season will bring.