Maple Leafs, Browns, Cubs, Canucks On List Of Sport’s Longest Active Title Droughts 

PHOTO: The Sharks and Bulldogs celebrate during their preliminary final victories. (AAP/Getty)

By Jon Healy

September 26, 2016

This year’s AFL and NRL grand finals could play host to two drought-breaking victories.

The Western Bulldogs and Cronulla Sharkswill contest the last match of the year in their respective codes on the weekend with the chance to end decades of heartache for their fans.

The Bulldogs, or Footscray Football Club, have not only gone decades without winning a flag, but have only reached one other season decider since taking out the title in 1954.

In that 1961 fixture, Footscray jumped out to an early lead, but kicked just 2.4 (16) in the second half while Hawthorn booted 67 points to hammer them by 43.

They had one shot, one opportunity, one moment, to seize everything they ever wanted … and they let it slip.

Cronulla, meanwhile, has been in the top flight rugby league competition since 1967 and never won it all, missing out in the 1973, 1978 (via a replay) and 1997 (Super League) grand finals.

So, can one or both of these teams shake the monkey off their backs and get off this list of some of sport’s most title-hungry teams?

Chicago Cubs — No World Series win since 1908

Cubs fans look on during the 2008 MLB playoffs

Long-suffering fans … The Cubs faithful look on during another loss during the 2008 playoffs.(Getty Images: Jamie Squire)

Baseball might do superstition better than any other sport, and the Curse of the Billy Goat is one of its best.

The last time the Cubs reached the World Series, in 1945, Billy Sianis tried to get into game four to watch his team go around against Detroit at Wrigley Field.

Unfortunately, Sianis had with him a goat — he was the owner of the Billy Goat Tavern — and security refused to let the animal in because you cannot bring random animals to sporting events, especially those that have a reputation for eating everything in sight.

The story goes, Sianis appealed Cubs owner PK Wrigley, who also denied the goat entry, prompting Sianis to exclaim: “The Cubs ain’t gonna win no more.” And win they have not.

But, with the Cubs currently boasting the most wins in the MLB, and the Sharks and Bulldogs heading to deciders, 2016 could be the year for a hard rain to fall on some sporting droughts.

Toronto Maple Leafs — No Stanley Cup win since 1967

Toronto Maple Leafs dejected against Buffalo

PHOTO: Toronto has not returned to the finals since its last title. (Getty Images: Bruce Bennett)

Think about Toronto as the NHL’s South Sydney Rabbitohs.

This hockey-mad city saw its Maple Leafs lift the Stanley Cup 13 times, but not once since 1967.

Once again, they have not even stumbled into the finals once in the interim.

Although, maybe that is for the best considering when the Vancouver Canucks, who have never won the title, lost their third finals in 2011 the city was almost burned to the ground.

Cleveland Browns — No title since 1964

Robert Griffin III's injury troubles sum up the luck of the Browns in the NFL

PHOTO: Robert Griffin III’s injury troubles sum up the luck of the Browns in the NFL (Getty Images: Jason Miller)

Mercifully, LeBron James and the Cavaliers quenched the city of Cleveland’s thirst for a trophy by winning the 2016 NBA title, but football (and any other sporting) success still alludes ‘The Land’.

The Browns won an NFL title in 1964 but have not won or even reached the last game of the season in the Super Bowl era (since 1966).

With a miserable name like the Browns, voted by fans as an homage to former heavyweight boxing champion and Cleveland native Joe ‘The Brown Bomber’ Louis, making fun of this sorry lot is almost too easy.

Unfortunately, while some other teams on this list seem to have some upside and hope in the not too distant future, the Browns appear destined to be terrible for a while yet, having recently signed injury-prone quarter-back Robert Griffin III, who instantly got injured.

Liverpool — No League title since 1990

Gerrard skulks off after woeful Liverpool farewell

PHOTO: The Reds have won other trophies in the interim, but are still looking for another Premier League title.(Getty Images: Dave Thompson)

Some context is required to justify Liverpool’s spot on this list.

The streak is nowhere near as long as the others, but the Premier League is so top heavy that there really is no excuse for one of England’s most storied clubs to miss out for as long as the Reds have.

Of the 26 titles available since Liverpool’s last league win, which was its 11th in 18 seasons, 21 have gone to the other members of the ‘Big Four’ – Manchester United (13), Chelsea (4) and Arsenal (4).

Sure, Liverpool has been usurped by Manchester City in the awesome foursome but that only happened relatively recently and as the drought extends it is becoming increasingly difficult for Reds fans to keep saying their team is a major player in the league.

Source: Cronulla, Western Bulldogs looking to get off list of sport’s longest active title droughts – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

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How good is the Vancouver Canucks’ prospect depth? | National Post

“I’ve developed well and have had some success and I’m a guy who has always stepped up to the next level when the challenge is calling,” Thatcher Demko said.

Patrick Johnston, Postmedia Network | August 30, 2016

It all depends on how you look at it.

At the top end, it’s strong.

But the list just isn’t that long.

That’s the conclusion reached by ESPN prospect guru Corey Pronman, who has the Canucks 13th overall in the latest edition of his prospect pool ranking.

There’s plenty of reason to be excited about the golden trio of Olli Juolevi, Thatcher Demko and Brock Boeser. One could be a top-end defenceman, another an elite starter in net and the third looks to have elite sniper written all over him. The 2018-19 Canucks could be a real hotshot team.

Juolevi’s hockey brain is his most notable asset, Iain Macintyre wrote in early July.

“I think it’s the same thing for your whole life: whether it’s on the ice or off the ice, you have to be confident,” Juolevi, 18, explained. “Be yourself. Don’t be fake or anything. If you know your strengths, you can use those. If you’re good at something, you can say that. But you also have to know you have to improve other things.”

Demko’s set to spend a season in Utica, working with goalie guru Rollie Melanson.

After he signed on with the Canucks, leaving behind a stellar record at Boston College, he told Ben Kuzma he’s ready to take on the challenge.

“I’ve developed well and have had some success and I’m a guy who has always stepped up to the next level when the challenge is calling,” added Demko. “I did get the opportunity to play at the world juniors against (Connor) McDavid, (Max) Domi and (Anthony) Duclair and that’s the closest I’ve been to the pro game. I expect faster guys and the pucks is going to be moving quicker.

“It’s just an adjustment period from a physical sense and just learning the grind of a pro schedule.”

And Boeser did everything you could imagine a college freshman could do, and then probably more.

He could have turned pro, especially with his father dealing with Parkinson’s and his mom working two jobs to support the family, but Boeser said he wanted to do another year of education. The Canucks’ cap planning benefits too. They save another entry-level contract year and you’d think they’d want to slot him right into the NHL. Boeser at 20 will surely be even better dynamite than he will be at 19. Muscle does matter.

“There’s definitely a thought about helping support them and getting some money,” Brock said. “But they also wanted me to go back to school and get another year under my belt, closer to a degree.

“It wasn’t that hard a decision. I think Vancouver and I were on the same page. Another year would really help me develop. I think I took a big step this year and I think I can take another step next year. (The Canucks) agreeing with me really helped. They didn’t push on me.

“I think it helps me build a relationship with them. It made it easier for me to make the decision to stay.”

The depth, though, isn’t much. The list has names like Gaunce, Pedan, Subban, Cassels, Sautner, Stecher, Brisebois and Zhukenov on it. Those are all interesting names — the first two have already played NHL games of course — but none of them screams possible star like Juolevi, Boeser and Demko do.

Source: How good is the Vancouver Canucks’ prospect depth? | National Post

CANUCKS & SPORTSNET ANNOUNCE 2016.17 BROADCAST SCHEDULE

Vancouver, B.C. – The Vancouver Canucks, in partnership with Sportsnet and Rogers, announced their 2016.17 regular season broadcast schedule today with the complete 82-game schedule set to air on Sportsnet.

Coverage kicks off with a national broadcast of the season opener versus the Calgary Flames on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday, October 15th at 7:00 pm PST.

Canucks games will air nationally 24 times. Highlights from the national broadcast schedule include 17 Hockey Night in Canada matchups, one appearance on Scotiabank Wednesday Night Hockey and six Rogers Hometown Hockey Sunday matchups.

Sportsnet Pacific will broadcast 46 regional games with seven games airing on the Sportsnet ONE companion channel, Sportsnet Vancouver Hockey.

All regional broadcasts will feature play-by-play commentator John Shorthouse, former NHL goaltender and analyst John Garrett and rinkside reporter Dan Murphy. During Canucks home games, Murphy will host the broadcast panel live from Rogers Arena, while reporter Irfaan Gaffar will be at ice level delivering exclusive player interviews.

Visit canucks.com/scheduledownload to add the complete schedule to your desktop or mobile.

Every game will also be broadcast live on TSN 1040, the Canucks official radio broadcast partner.

Click here to see the complete game and broadcast schedule.

Source: CANUCKS & SPORTSNET ANNOUNCE 2016.17 BROADCAST SCHEDULE – Vancouver Canucks – News

Gas & petroleum rights sale, Aug/16 — In-Sights

The Crown Petroleum and Natural Gas Rights Public Tender brought in $950,121 this week, raising the 2016 eight month total to $5.8 million. 2015 and 2016 are the two worst years among the last 20. It’s another bad result for a Premier who ran the last election on a claim that large natural gas revenues would result in a debt-free, sales tax free BC.

via Gas & petroleum rights sale, Aug/16 — In-Sights