Turtle’s Top Ten is a six part podcast put together for the stir crazy quarantiners during the COVID-19 outbreak and this weeks episode top ten list is: VIDEO GAMES!
Turtle’s Top Ten is a six part podcast put together for the stir crazy quarantiners during the COVID-19 outbreak and this weeks episode top ten list is: TV SHOWS!
Turtle’s Top Ten is a six part podcast put together for the stir crazy quarantiners during the COVID-19 outbreak and this weeks episode top ten list is: Music Albums!
Turtle’s Top Ten is a six part podcast put together for the stir crazy quarantiners during the COVID-19 outbreak and this weeks episode top ten list is: MOVIES!
In episode -7, the final episode for this Evolution 107.9 version of #TurtleTalks, we talk a little about the current state of all 7 Canadian NHL franchises, we talk about UFC 247 and Jon Jones defending his light heavyweight title against Dominick Reyes, we talk about the reboot of the XFL and we speak to Vancouver Canucks assistant coach, Mr. Nolan Baumgartner.
In episode Kobe, we dedicate an entire episode to the life and legacy of Kobe Bean Bryant. We discuss his career, personal life, charity work, global impact and we speak to the big dog with the big chain, NBA and Kobe memorabilia collector, uncle Drew Thompson-Owen.
In episode -6, we talk about Canadian Christine Sinclair scoring herself into the history books and becoming the GOAT of women’s soccer, we talk Toronto Raptors winning steak and season expectations and preview the SuperBowl down in Miami by speaking to the ugliest man this side of the Bowen River, my big brother, Shayne Reynolds.
In episode -5, we talk a little bit about the passing of Kobe Bryant, recap the NHL All Star Game and skills comp, and speak to head coach and general manager of the Coquitlam Express of the BCHL, Jason Fortier.
In episode -4, we recap the AFC and NFC championship weekend in the NFL, talk about the NBA All Star Game, talk about Larry Walker making it into the MLB hall of fame, talk whats next for Conor McGregor and speak to the voice of the Vancouver Canadians and host of Rob Fai Nation Radio, Mr. Rob Fai.
In episode -3, we recap the week that was for all the Canadian teams headed into the 2020 NHL All Star Game, we talk about the All Star Game format and what can be improved and speak to BCHL commissioner Chris Hebb.
In episode -2, we recap the week that was in the NFL for the week of Jan 12, talk MLB signal stealing scandal, preview the return of Conor McGregor to the UFC and speak to Dave Sheldon, director of lacrosse operations and communications for the Vancouver Warriors of the NLL.
In episode -1, we recap the week that was in the NHL for the week of January 12 and we speak to Brett Reusch, head coach of the Richmond Sockeyes of the PJHL.
The Vancouver Warriors started their second season as a franchise in the NLL (National Lacrosse League) on Friday but weren’t able to get the win as they fell 12- 7 to the Calgary Roughnecks.
But the exciting and high paced action wasn’t the only thing drawing fans to Rogers Arena on Friday. In addition to one free beer to every fan, the Warriors fanbase also got to rub elbows with social media and podcast royalty when new team ambassador Paul Bissonnette aka “BizNasty2Point0” met fans to share some brews and to drop the opening ceremonial faceoff.
“Biz” is a widely known for his participation on the “Spittin’ Chiclets” podcast which generates over 5 million downloads per episode and he has over 1.1 million twitter followers. The former NHL player is much better known as a media personality rather than any exploits he had during his playing days. Bissonnette engaged the team over social media after saying he could walk onto any NLL team roster and earned himself a professional tryout earlier this month before being cut and subsequently being named the teams ambassador.
Dave Sheldon, who is the Warriors director of communication and lacrosse ops said that an opportunity to associate your brand with such a huge influencer is hugely beneficial for the new team. “We’re trying to tap into a market that perhaps we didn’t last year by having “Biz” come out and share on his own social media platforms which include over 100,000 twitter followers in the Lower Mainland alone.”
The Warriors are looking to bounce back and make a playoff run this season after finishing 5-13 in their inaugural season last year and missing the postseason. A number of theme nights including “country night”, “beach party night” and “west coast – best coast” are what Sheldon hopes will attract a younger generation of fans to Rogers Arena to check out the exciting, fast paced lacrosse action.
- Joel “Turtle” Gaudet
The month of November 2019 will easily be remembered as one of the craziest, most game changing and revolutionary times in modern hockey history.
It all started off on the November 9th edition of “Coach’s Corner” on CBC in which Don Cherry made remarks he was later fired for. After his firing, many videos emerged on social media showing both sides of Mr. Cherry’s personality. One side showing a tough as nails old timer whom doesn’t like European hockey players or believe women should be doing interviews and another lighter side showing his support and work with veterans, sick children, minor and junior hockey and family.
This would end up being the spark that would end up lighting the preverbal powder keg.
Then on November 20th, Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock was fired. Not because of any allegations made against him, but because his team had underperformed up to that point in the season and GM Kyle Dubas and Leafs President Brendan Shanahan decided to let him go and replace him with AHL (American Hockey League) affiliate Toronto Marlies head coach Sheldon Keefe.
Here’s where it starts to get sticky…
Sheldon Keefe is a former NHL player himself and is closely tied to one of his former junior coaches, agent and mentor, David Frost. Frost, now retired, was charged with sexual abuse of three female teens alleged to have happened between 1995-2001, while he was a coach on the same team Keefe played for. Frost was found not guilty as crown prosecutors said they had a hard time finding witnesses to come forward and testify against Frost.
After his firing, Leafs forward Mitch Marner corroborated a story from his rookie season about his former head coach Mike Babcock making him write a list of players on the team in order of hardest working to least hardest working. Babcock then took that list and showed it to the bottom players including former Leaf Nazem Kadri whom was none too pleased. Babcock later apologized to the players but the damage was done.
This got the national conversation within hockey circles to start to open up about abuse and racism within the game.
On November 25th, former NHL player Akim Aliu made an allegation on twitter that Bill Peters, his former head coach during his time in the AHL and current head coach of the Calgary Flames of the NHL, used a racial slur towards his choice of music in the team’s locker room.
What followed was an independent investigation by the Flames organization, an apology issued by Peters concerning the incident and ultimately, Peters resigning as head coach of the Flames.
Remember that powder keg we were talking about earlier? Well this is the point where it all went up in a big ball of flames. (Pun intended). But this isn’t where this story stops. This, it seems, is just the beginning.
Within the next few days after Aliu’s tweet and the allegations against Peters and Babcock spread, many others came forward, mostly former players, and spoke out against a number of coaches and people in positions of power accusing them of being not only abusive, but also racist and downright nasty.
Former NHL player Jiri Tlusty then came forward and said he witnessed Peters kick another player, Michal Jordan, in the back during his time as an assistant coach in Carolina among other allegations of physical abuse. When these incidents happened, it was dealt with at the time by then Hurricanes GM Ron Francis. Francis has been named GM for the brand new expansion Seattle NHL franchise and the fallout from his dealing with the incident may come back to bite him in Seattle.
Daniel Carcillo spent over 10 years in the NHL and has since earned a reputation as an outspoken advocate for player safety especially concerning head injuries, concussions, CTE and addiction issues. Carcillo had a tumultuous career filled with controversy and substance abuse. Carcillo recently tweeted that he experienced physical, mental and even sexual abuse along with underage drinking during a hazing ritual during his days spent playing for the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL (Western Hockey League) under head coach Brent Sutter. He then went on to allege that during his playing time in Los Angeles for the Kings, he witnessed then head coach Darryl Sutter (Brent’s brother) kick someone in the back on the bench, berate Matt Greene in front of the team because he had a concussion and told a female stewardess on a flight to “f*ck off” after he denied the team a dinner after a loss.
Physical, mental and sexual abuse is nothing new within the game of hockey. Graham James was convicted and served many years in jail for sexually abusing former NHL’ers Sheldon Kennedy and Theoren Fluery among others during his time as a head coach in the WHL.
And the abuse doesn’t escape the lower mainland either. Former Vancouver Canuck Brent Sopel said during an interview with the hockey podcast “spittin’ chiclets” last year that then Canucks head coach Marc Crawford hurled a multitude of verbal attacks at him in addition to physical attacks including kicking, choking and pulling of jerseys. Another former NHL player Patrick O’Sullivan also tweeted saying he experienced abuse at the hands of Crawford, although he didn’t explicitly use his name.
Now if you’re thinking to yourself… “Why would anyone want to put their kids into hockey if abuse is this prevalent?” I would say to you that’s a fair question. I can’t speak for anyone else’s experiences but my own. I grew up playing organized hockey from the age of four and I still play and referee the game today. I have never personally witnessed any physical, mental or sexual abuse in any of my 29 years involved with the game. I feel as if the game and those involved with it all getting painted with a particular type of brush is disheartening to the very core of the why kids love to play the game in the first place.
Because it’s fun. If it wasn’t fun, kids wouldn’t play.
The idea that “boys will be boys” and continuing the way things have always been done in hockey culture is at the end of its life in the game of hockey. New traditions and motivational techniques will surpass the outdated and outlandish things done in the past. A new dawn is coming upon the game of hockey.
Hockey BC along with Hockey Canada, Pacific Coast Hockey Association along with minor hockey leagues all across Canada have reformed the way they choose coaches for teams which include rigorous training sessions including the “respect in sport” program which is an educational program for volunteers and coaches and provides education in the coaching certification process.
Participation in minor hockey is down and the developments in this past month certainly won’t help that. Parents shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not their kids are going to face abuse just for playing a game they love. The systems in place set by Hockey BC and Hockey Canada in terms of certification and the vetting process for coaches and volunteers is among the highest in all sports and will continue to grow the game and illuminate the great game of hockey so parents and kids can go back to just loving the game for the game. Shining a light on some of the previous dark places in the game of hockey might just be the glow that is needed to bring this relic of ancient competitive sports into the 21st century the right way and attract a whole new generation of kids to fall in love with the game just like we did.
- Joel “Turtle” Gaudet
In case you’ve been living under a rock these past few months, you know that the unions representing bus drivers, Sea-Bus drivers and Skytrain drivers have been in ongoing negotiations for a new contract with Translink for months and months now.
It all started back in March 31 earlier this year, which was the last day that Unifor union transit workers worked under a contract. They have been working without a contract since that day and have been working under the conditions of the previous contract since then, which Unifor representatives say is no longer adequate.
The main points of contention between the two sides in negotiating a new contract have been wages, benefits and working conditions. Unifor union representatives say that the wages paid to Translink employees in the lower mainland are not comparable with those of other major Canadian cities. They want to see transit operators salaries hiked in line with what Toronto transit operators are paid, and mechanics wages linked to SkyTrain maintenance workers. Transit workers also say they want improved working conditions, including guaranteed break times.
A picture recently circulated on social media shows one North Vancouver Translink operators bathroom / lunchroom condition in effort to show the conditions transit operators have to deal with on the daily.
Reports say that the microwave has since been removed from that bathroom but that also caused a backlash as Translink was accused of not wanting of their employees have microwaves or hot meals at all.
In order to get negotiations moving along, Unifor president Jerry Dias will be personally present on Tuesday’s bargaining session to help facilitate any potential deal. The union has warned that if a deal isn’t reached by Tuesday night, there will be no buses running across the region from Wednesday to Friday. TransLink says there’s about a $150-million gap between what the union is asking for and their offer. It says operators have been offered a $6,000 annual pay hike and a 40-minute guaranteed recovery time during shifts, while maintenance workers have been offered a $10,000 pay bump.
On Monday, TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond said that a three-day work stoppage would have a “devastating impact on the people of Metro Vancouver.” He said the job action would have the greatest impact on the region’s most vulnerable people, namely “the elderly, people with disabilities, people with no other options.” Desmond went on to say the work stoppage will also impact students and the 165,000 people who use buses each day to commute to work. However, Desmond says services will continue to run during three-day shutdown, including the SkyTrain, West Coast Express, some community shuttles, and West Vancouver transit, except for the 257 express bus. HandyDart will also be operating but Desmond warns it will likely be very busy. They also announced that Skytrain would operate additional routes in off-peak hours.
If you’re thinking “why doesn’t Translink just hire non-union employees to operate the transit system?” Think again, as it’s illegal for an employer to hire replacement workers under the Labour Relations Code in B.C. Under the Labour Relations Code, Labour Minister Harry Bains can order that “essential services” continue to be provided if the dispute poses a threat to the health, safety, or welfare of B.C. residents. Under the law, the Labour Relations Board or Bains can appoint a mediator to confer with the parties before any job action has taken place.
Now this strike business shouldn’t be anything new to B.C. residents. A four month long labour strike in 2001 caused massive traffic interruptions, chaos and anger from the public due to the strike. The chair of TransLink at the time, then Vancouver councillor George Puil, was vilified by those who blamed him for the shutdown of bus service. Protesters dumped manure in front of his house and Puil, along with most of his fellow NPA candidates, were sent packing in the 2002 election. This strike ended with a new contract being negotiated after return to work legislation was introduced by the newly elected premier Gordon Campbell and his B.C. Liberal party back in 2001.
Many transit users across the lower mainland have already started to make plans in case the strike actually does roll out starting Wednesday. Use of ride-sharing services like gobyRIDE and LiftTango have increased, even without job action yet taking place. Evo and Car2Go will also be expanding their drop-off and pick-up boundaries. There will be designated ride sharing parking spots at park and rides outside of Skytrain stations across the lower mainland. Van City Bike has announced that if a full shutdown takes place this week, they will be offering discounted daily rentals. Lower Mainland residents who present a valid ID will have access to 24-hour rentals for just $5. TransLink will offer complementary bike valet at some SkyTrain stations between 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the days of the shutdown, while bicycles will be allowed on board the last car of each Skytrain throughout the duration of the shutdown.
Translink has said that they plan on providing a credit to users of Compass accounts for any day during the strike period which will result in them seeing a credit the next time the user goes to use the card on any transit service. Customers will be credited back the value of a day’s fare relative to the type of pass they purchased. A one zone pass, which costs $98, would be divided by 30 days to get the credit value per each day the strike is active. This value is roughly $3.27, which the customer would be automatically credited if they don’t use their card.
Upwards of 350,000 people in the lower mainland rely on buses or Sea-Buses every single day to get around. Approximately 165,000 use them to get to and from work and about 60% of those don’t own a car or have a drivers license. According to Translink’s modeling, as many as 36,000 more cars may be on the roads during any shutdown of services.
Let’s hope for all of our sakes, the two sides are able to reach a deal sooner than later and we don’t feel the squeeze that residents felt during 2001.
- Joel “Turtle” Gaudet
So if you’re any kind of sports fan like I am, or even a casual fan, chances are you probably know who Paul Bissonnette aka “BizNasty2.0” is. The former NHL player played a total of 202 games and scored a whopping 7 goals and 15 assists for a total of 22 measly points. Bissonnette spent the better part of 3 seasons bouncing between the NHL’s feeder league, the AHL (American Hockey League) and ECHL (East Coast Hockey League) before landing in the NHL for 6 seasons starting in the 2008-2009 season. He spent the final 3 seasons of his career back down in the AHL before finally hanging up the skates after the 2016-2017 season.
But if it isn’t obvious by now, he wasn’t exactly a highly regarded offensive talent during his playing career. He did however, carry a reputation for being a bit of a goon when he suited up the skates tallying a much higher total of 340 penalty minutes during his NHL career. He even bragged about carrying around a replica WWE championship wrestling belt onto the ice during warm ups before an ECHL game to signify to the other tough guys that he was the league’s heavyweight champ and would not be messed with.
But “Biz” garnered more of a celebrity status from his involvement with the “Spittin’ Chiclets” podcast than any time spent playing on ice for any hockey team. “Spittin’ Chiclets” is a podcast presented by Barstool Sports which is a hugely popular in Canada and is the number one podcast on spotify. Each episode garners over 5 MILLION downloads on average, and Bissonnette himself has over 1.1 million twitter followers of which over 100,000 live right here in the lower mainland.
And this level of social media presence is just what the marketing team for the Vancouver Warriors were looking for to draw in new fans when they saw an opportunity arise from one simple tweet from Bissonnette’s twitter account.
The Warriors are just about to start their second season as a franchise in the NLL (National Lacrosse League) and the team plays out of Rogers Arena downtown Vancouver. Their first season didn’t go exactly to plan. The team’s record finished at 5 wins, 13 losses after their inaugural season. The Warriors moved from playing home games at the Langley Event Centre to Rogers Arena and renamed the team from the Stealth to the Warriors after an ownership change and acquisition from by the Aquilini led Canucks Sports & Entertainment. If you’re from Vancouver, the name Francesco Aquilini probably sounds familiar. He is the primary owner of the Aquilini group which is the parent subsidiary of Canucks Sports & Entertainment which owns the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks, AHL’s Utica Comets, Overwatch League’s Vancouver Titans as well as Rogers Arena itself.
The team’s social media and marketing team did a great job marketing to fans in their first season but after the season, they felt what they needed was to draw more than just the hardcore lacrosse fans that they would attract anyways. What the marketing team for the Warriors was looking for, was to attract a younger generation of fans that perhaps haven’t seen or experienced the atmosphere of a live lacrosse game, especially those whom live downtown. They needed something to garner the attention of the mainstream or even casual sports fan residing in Vancouver. The team came up with the idea of offering a free beer for every of age fan entering Rogers Arena which is a terrific idea to get butts in seats but what they REALLY needed was someone with a big existing social media presence who could draw out the crowds and get people excited about the fastest game on two feet. What they needed was their own “West Coast – Best Coast” version of Drake to attract the mainstream to this great atmosphere and family friendly game down at Rogers Arena.
What they needed it turned out… was “Biz-Nasty”
The Warriors social media team hopped on the opportunity to chirp one of the best sh*t-talking, knuckle chuckin, rough and tumble tooth spittin warriors the NHL had to offer. They set their sights on “BizNasty2Point0” on twitter and started engaging in a friendly twitter banter with the “Spittin’ Chiclets” host.
This reply from the Warriors twitter account started a back and forth between the team and the former NHL player and hit podcast host. The exchange ended up with “Biz” being offered a PTO (Professional Tryout). Fast forward a few short days and Paul Bissonnette arrives in Vancouver, as promised, to start his PTO.
Bissonnette checks into the venue before his first ever lacrosse practice and before he does, walks straight up to current team captain Matt Beers and looks him dead into the eyes and says…..
“I’m the captain now”
He delivers a quote from 2013 film “Captain Phillips” with utter certainty that he’s going to be the best thing in the NLL since sliced bread. But that dream is short lived soon after “Biz” takes the field. He soon learns that there “is no gliding” in lacrosse and that accepting a pass at full sprint isn’t anywhere easy as they make it seem in the highlights he’s watched on YouTube.
In a highlight film of the tryout released by the Warriors, Bissonnette is heard asking a Warriors coach for a left handed stick. The coach looks at him puzzled and replies… “There is no wrong handed stick. It’s not hockey. Lefty, Righty, they’re all the same. Don’t blame your equipment, bud.”
Soon after the practice, Bissonnette is called into the GM (General Managers) office for a meeting with Warriors GM Dan Richardson and is subsequently cut from the team. Well produced videos of all the hilarious exchanges are immediately put up on all the team’s social media accounts and have garnered hundreds of thousands of views and impressions online.
This goldmine of marketing content was thought up by a genius team of social media savvy team members whom seized an opportunity to draw attention to the team. They got all this attention online and it didn’t even cost them a dime. They released all the videos on their own social media pages and on their website (www.VancouverWarriors.com) so they didn’t need to spend on advertising the content as Bissonnette’s social media sharing and retweeting of the videos did wonders for the new brand in terms of Vancouver sports.
The team also made the media savvy move to name Bissonnette as the team’s ambassador including an event on opening night where fans can swill one of those free brew’s with “BizNasty” himself as he will be at the game on one of the upper concourses. Included with the ticket are happy hour pricing before the second quarter starts which include $3 popcorn, $4 hotdogs and $5 beers! The first 2000 fans through the doors will receive a free Vancouver Warriors touque as well!
I don’t know about you, but I know what I’m doing this Friday, November 29th…
– Joel “Turtle” Gaudet
Beyond The Sidelines hosted by Joel “Turtle” Gaudet
In 2013, Sony acquired the rights to begin developing a full length feature film featuring “Sonic The Hedgehog”. They had an adaptation in development in 2014 and hired director Jeff Fowler but decided to put the project on the back burner and in swooped Paramount Pictures to acquire the franchise in October 2017 and began development almost immediately.
On April 30, 2019, Paramount pictures released a trailer online for the much anticipated “Sonic The Hedgehog” full length motion picture. What happened in the short time afterward may just have truly changed the game forever. And no, I’m not talking about the Sega franchise video game. I’m talking about the WHOLE DAMN GAME.
The vast majority of fans that chimed in on the internet following the release of the first trailer in late April, didn’t have a whole lot good to say about the look and design of everyone’s favourite hedgehog. The YouTube trailer garnered tens of millions of views and hundreds of thousands of “dislikes”. Many commented that he looked awkward with terrible human like teeth and long lanky legs that just didn’t look or feel anything like what they were hoping for or were accustomed to seeing from Sonic adaptations in the past. Whether it be the original video game series on Sega Genesis, the comic book series that followed or the many other video games that have been released with Sonic as the main character since, no version of Sonic had looked quite as awkward and off as this one.
The eruption of criticism online had the big wigs at paramount pictures fearing that this might go down in a blue ball of flames, so director Jeff Fowler tweeted just days later that “Sonic” would be redesigned. Paramount then hastily pushed back the original November 8, 2019 release date to February 14, 2020 and in doing so, waited until early November to release an all new, completely overhauled and redesigned Sonic featured in a new movie trailer.
Since the newly redesigned Sonic has appeared in the most recently released movie trailer, fans have completely changed their tune it seems on the look of the no longer ill fated hedgehog. An outpouring of relief and props has been coming in since for the blue quilled wonder. Many fans chiming in and saying that the new look Sonic and more comedic feel in the trailer was exactly what they were looking for when a redesign was first announced.
Now don’t get it twisted… This is the first and perhaps only time in modern history where the outpouring of outrage concerning a movie trailer actually caused the delay and redesign of a major motion picture. We are truly experiencing history in this moment.
Let’s just hope that the actual film holds up to the lofty expectations of an entire generation of kids growing up playing the franchise and loving its delightful blue hero so we don’t see another Sonic apocalypse (Sonicopalypse?) online after it’s actually does hit theatres on February 14, 2020.
– Joel “Turtle” Gaudet
As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, Don Cherry was let go from his job as host of “Coaches Corner” with Rogers Sportsnet after having hosted the popular program for more than three decades. Before that, Cherry earned the moniker “Grapes” before hosting a short lived hockey talk show named “The Grapevine”.
Cherry was fired two days after making comments concerning immigrants not wearing poppies. He used divisive language like “you people that come here” clearly referring to immigrants in describing those not wearing poppies. He then pitched the segment to a beautiful pre-recorded video of him paying respects in France at a military graveyard.
Unfortunately for “Grapes”, the language he used in describing those not wearing poppies had the media and truly the entire country itself, talking about the merits of both his dismissal and about the issue itself. Now this isn’t the first time Cherry has drawn the ire of listeners of his weekly rants. He has said such controversial statements like “women shouldn’t be doing post-game interviews”, “only French guys and Europeans wear visors” and that “Canada should be entering the Iraq war” so his latest comments weren’t a huge surprise to those whom have followed Cherry during his entire career.
I think most would be surprised that Cherry has not yet been voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto and this latest incident will certainly throw his legacy into question.
I have spoken to quite a few people about this issue and everyone seems to have a differing opinion but one sentiment that was constant was that if Cherry had left out the language concerning immigrants and those who come to our country, he probably would have been fine. I feel most Canadians and immigrants who come to Canada support wearing a poppy and honouring the fallen that paid the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our way of life and our freedom.
It’s too bad that one last dumb remark from “Uncle Don” singling out immigrants will live on as the straw that broke the camels back and will no doubt, impact his legacy and how he is viewed moving forward after contributing so much to the game he loves. Most Canadians have grown up watching “grapes” offer up his latest opinions on the ever growing game of hockey and it’s too bad his segment lasted perhaps one week too long and this is how he will go out in a cloud of controversy instead of admiration for the contributions he made to the game over decades and decades as a commentator, broadcaster, coach, player and legend.
Rumours of Fabricland stocks plummeting after Cherry being fired have not been verified.
– Joel “Turtle” Gaudet