Sidelines: This week in sports

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The Maple Leafs locked up Auston Matthews, they have John Tavares and Morgan Rielly — there are lots of great assets on their roster. Though, recently after Matthews was signed, reports surfaced quoting Mitch Marner’s agent saying the Leafs were low-balling his client in contract talks. Whether he was being lowballed or not, it seems out of line for Marner’s agent, Darren Ferris, to openly discuss if his client was being disrespected while he was dealing with having to answer the numerous questions from Toronto media about where things were with his contract talks.

Everyone should expect Marner to remain a Maple Leaf — born and raised in the GTA means something to him — and with the players who are locked in for the next 4-5 years, he’ll want to be apart of that group that chases the Stanley Cup. Should the Leafs have tried to sign both players at the same time? Yes, they probably should have — but that didn’t happen. Matthews got a good deal, and the time frame is smart for him and the Leafs. Marner should be signed as soon as his camp and Leafs management can come to terms on a deal, but his agent should maybe spare adding more drama to the issue.

The firing of Randy Carlyle was bound to happen — and maybe should have happened sooner in many people’s eyes — but it’s really the players on the Ducks who needed to step up. As much as Bob Murray has attempted to revitalize his hockey club throughout the past ten years, there just doesn’t seem to be enough for the Ducks to win another cup with their core group. Carlyle won the cup with them in just his second season in his first stint with the club. When he was fired in the 2011-12 season, Murray replaced him with Bruce Boudreau. He went on to coach the team for just over four seasons, including a trip to the western conference finals in the 2015 playoffs. When Carlyle was brought back on after Boudreau was let go, he also took the Ducks to the conference finals, but the demise of his team happened much faster the second time around.

How did Carlyle end up back with the Ducks in the first place? Well, when they let go of Boudreau, there was really no one else on the market that was of the calibre Murray needed to lead his veteran group. The question for Murray will be, who is the rightful coach to take over the reins at the end of the regular season? Joel Quenneville? Todd McLellan? Dallas Eakins? Murray certainly has a greater pool to choose from this go around.

The CBC released the first two parts to a three part story about the sex offenses against minors in Canadian youth sport over the past 20 years. The findings and the personal stories that have been shared are alarming — and shine a light on the absolute worst part of sports. Youth sports are supposed to provide an environment where kids can build positive self-esteem, develop life skills, friendships and simply have fun. More importantly, it is supposed to be a safe place. There has to be more done to protect youth athletes in their sporting environments, because there is no excuse for the tragedy and harm that has happened to all the affected athletes.

 

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