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Steve Simmons, Tyler Dellow and shouting about Dave Bolland

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy
NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Toronto Maple Leafs
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Mar 22, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward Dave Bolland (63) during the pre game warm up against the Montreal Canadiens at the Air Canada Centre. (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)

Blogger Tyler Dellow has gotten under the skin of most of the hockey establishment at one point or another, but his targeting of Sun Media columnist Steve Simmons has been especially biting. Like, on a Luis Suarez level – read “Dear Steve” for a glimpse at that. 

Simmons was guest co-hosting on TSN 1050 in Toronto on Wednesday, and by some cosmic miracle Dellow was a guest. According to Simmons, it’s the first time they’ve spoken to each other. The results were as expected.

It wasn’t the Lincoln/Douglas debates, but it was a U.S. sports radio’s-worth of yelling on Canadian sports radio. And that’s saying something.

Listen to the interview here, but some highlights are transcribed below.

The crux of the debate was over Mikhail Grabovski’s departure from the Toronto Maple Leafs and Dave Bolland’s value as a player, now that he’s an unrestricted free agent. Dellow made much sense on that latter issue:

“If you want to be the Chicago Blackhawks, how do you do it by signing guys the Chicago Blackhawks decided aren’t worth the money.”

“You can’t turn a lesser player into a better player by giving him more money and more years.”

“Everyone that’s won a Stanley Cup isn’t automatically better than everyone that hasn’t won a Stanley Cup!”

More on Bolland in a bit, but here’s the yelly part about Grabovski, whom the Leafs let walk to the Washington Capitals last summer. (There was a lot of yelling on the part of one of the debaters, and we’ve capitalized it for effect.)

DELLOW: “The Leafs created this problem a little bit because they got rid of Grabovski.”

SIMMONS: “OH OH OH I HAVE TO INTERRUPT HERE. GRABOVSKI IS A BAD PLAYER. HE’S A THIRD-LINE CENTER WHO PLAYS LONE WOLF HOCKEY. YOU CAN THROW YOUR STATS OUT THE WINDOW ON THIS GUY. EVERY TEAM THAT’S EVER HAD HIM WAS frustrated by him.”

DELLOW: “Why were they frustrated by him? Because …

SIMMONS: “BECAUSE HE doesn’t produce.”

DELLOW: “His teams produce when he’s on the ice. What do you mean he doesn’t produce? When Grabovski’s on the ice, he’s teams put up goals. Isn’t that kind of the objective of hockey? To score goals?”

SIMMONS: “You’re watching a different game than I’m watching.”

DELLOW: “Yeah, I guess I’m watching … I just pulled up Grabovski’s stats from Washington.”

SIMMONS: “TALK TO THE PEOPLE ON THE HOCKEY TEAM! THROW YOUR STATS OUT THE WINDOW FOR A MINUTE! Talk to the people who run the hockey team what they think of him.”

DELLOW: “How did the Leafs do this year?”

SIMMONS: “OH YEAH HE WAS GREAT AGAINST BOSTON IN THAT SEVEN-GAME SERIES. When Bozak went down, he did zero.”

DELLOW: “And how did the Leafs do in the playoffs this year? They let Grabovski go and didn’t make it. Look at his numbers: When Grabovski was on the ice this year, Washington got 57.5% of the goals. You tell me, would the Leafs have benefitted from having a player that helps them get 57.5 percent of he goals when he’s on the ice? I think they would have.”

SIMMONS: “YOU’RE TELLING ME IN TODAY’S NHL THAT MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI makes a difference?”

DELLOW: “Yeah.”

SIMMONS: “Oh my … NOBODY WANTED HIM AS A FREE AGENT LAST SUMMER. You’re telling me every general manager in the league is wrong and you’re right?

DELLOW: “Yeah, I guess so.”

SIMMONS: “HE GOT A ONE-YEAR CONTRACT!”

DELLOW: “Yeah.”

SIMMONS: “YOU’RE TELLING ME EVERY GENERAL MANAGER IN THE LEAGUE IS WRONG AND YOU’RE RIGHT?”

DELLOW: “There’s a lot of general managers in hockey that could have used 800 minutes of hockey in which their team scored 57.5 percent of the goals.”

And so on…

Back to Bolland: Simmons made the point that since he scored the Cup-winning goal for the Blackhawks and was on the ice in that situation to do so, that’s a measure of value that’s unmatched by players like Grabovski. We can only assume this paves the way for a max contract from the Leafs for Alec Martinez.

“IT’S THE FINAL MINUTE OF A TIED GAME 6!” Simmons bellowed to Dellow. “You’re smarter now than Joel Quenneville too. Now you’re smarter than ALL THE GMs and JOEL QUENNEVILLE.”

Wonder how getting that assist on Bolland’s goal has exponentially increased Michael Frolik’s value …

Alas, the audio clip cuts out before Simmons explains that Dellow has been one of his most vicious and unyielding critics, which is probably something that should have been stated at the start of the interview, before the yelling. 

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