Walking the walk

Kevin Adshade
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I like the idea of having walk-ons for any sports team - scour the rocks and see if a hidden gem can be found. It rarely happens, but it does happen.
The Pictou County Weeks Major Midgets are taking to the ice next week for their spring evaluation camp, and unlike in the past year or two, when the camp was by invitation only, any midget-aged player can attend the evaluation camp.
That's the way it always should be.
It is possible there'll be a few players showing up at the camp who talent-wise have no business being there, but at least they'll be given an opportunity to show what they have.
It's a principle thing, really.
And besides, Major Midget coach Dave MacIntyre might find a player or two who for whatever reason, has been overlooked (or ignored) at the lower levels. No spot on the team is secure, and you get the feeling that returning players should take nothing for granted.

* Non-sports item: Watched the JUNO awards this year, probably for the first time since the late 80s. Apparently, Feist is all the rage (I honestly couldn't understand one word she was singing, but that's OK, because I didn't really care).
Mainly, I wanted to see Triumph receive their Hall of Fame award. Rik Emmett, the frontman of the triumvirate known as the Rock 'n Roll Machine, is a monster guitarist.
You know Nickleback, the band led by that guy who got caught racing his Lamborghini while drunk and then tried to get off on a technicality?
My boys in Triumph could blow them right off the stage - yesterday, tomorrow and today. No probs.

Some random thoughts about the NHL playoffs, which begin tonight.
* I think Pittsburgh will beat Ottawa, but if the Senators can get through the first round, can get Daniel Alfreddson back, get other injured players healthy and get solid goaltending (probably too many 'ifs' there), they might be a very difficult opponent in Round 2.
* The Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins start their first-round playoff series on Thursday. This would have been a lot more interesting if the Bruins still played in the old, cramped Boston Garden instead of the cookie-cutter corporate-named rink they play in now.
The Canadiens have slapped Boston around all season, but to use a tiresome cliche, the playoffs are a whole new bag of potatoes.
* San Jose and Washington are two of the hottest teams entering the playoffs. Washington, led by the electrifying Alex Ovechkin, should be able to handle Philly.
‰ Just a hunch, but non-Montreal fans east of Manitoba might get on the Flames' bandwagon if they make some playoff noise.
Non-Montreal fans east of Manitoba either a.) hate the Canadiens; b.) can't stand the Senators and don't like Ottawa because there are too many politicians there; c.) feel more of a kinship with Calgarians because of that Toronto-Montreal-Ottawa thing; or d.) all of the above.
Plus, Jarome Iginla is not only an awesome hockey player, you can't help but like the guy.
This is going to be one of those, "I know a guy who knows a guy" tales, but I know a guy who has dealt with Iginla a fair amount, and he says Iginla is simply a genuinely nice, down-to-earth person. One of the good people.
Almost as good, he fights when needed, can score 'ya 50 goals and is a money player.

Kevin Adshade is sports editor with The News

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