Mike McIntyre | On Sports
Free Press
Be kind to yourself, and others
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Be kind to yourself, and others

It’s been a long week. A long month. A long year. Tensions and anxiety and frustration are rising. And there is much to dislike about so much of what is going on around us.

I don’t blame anyone for feeling overwhelmed right now.

All I can offer is a reminder that you’re not alone, a sympathetic ear if you need to vent, and my personal wish, to you, that better days will truly be around the corner.

As we head into the holidays — a time that can bring out the best, but also the worst, in society — let’s all try to remember that a little kindness can go a long way. And that actions really do speak louder than words.

This is also a time of year for reflection, and I suspect many of you are doing plenty of that these days.

From my little perch, let me say it’s an honour and a privilege to be able to connect with the community for a living, and this weekly missive that arrives in your email inbox has afforded me the chance to do it in a unique and personal way that I really do treasure.

Thanks for having me in your busy lives. It means a lot.

Mike McIntyre

Mike McIntyre, Sports columnist

Mike McIntyre

Maurice was one-of-a-kind

I’ll soon be starting my 28th year in this wacky business. It’s safe to say things have changed a little since my byline first appeared in print.

I can honestly say the passion and excitement for what I get to do has not waned one bit. If anything, the fire burns brighter and hotter than ever.

As I’ve written about before, moving from more than two decades on the crime and justice beat into the sports department was a life-altering move for yours truly.

I’ve reflected on that quite a bit over the past few days, still reeling at the news that one of the best people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with was no longer having much fun at his very public, high-stakes job.



That would be Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice.

I had written a handful of recent columns in which I wondered whether time was up for the veteran bench boss, who seemed to be running out of answers for his talented but inconsistent squad.

Although necessary from my perspective, I didn’t enjoy typing those words. I respect Maurice on multiple levels. And on a purely selfish level, seeing him go wouldn’t be good for business.

Former Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice. (Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press files)

Maurice is a hall-of-fame communicator and storyteller, and the clips you’d see of his back-and-forth with us scribes at morning skates, practices and post-game availabilities only captured a tiny snippet of what he was like.

The best material often came when the cameras were turned off and talks would take on a less formal, more personal nature.

I will miss those dearly. And I learned plenty about the sport of hockey from Maurice, a guy who has forgotten more about the game than I could ever learn.

But it had become clear in recent weeks he wasn’t having as much fun at the rink as he often had, the stress of increased expectations and spotty performances taking a toll.

Credit to Maurice for recognizing it, and for the way he and the organization facilitated his exit. His final news conference last Friday only re-enforced what a first-class human being he truly is.

Every coach and every leader should watch and re-watch it. That is how it’s done.

I wish him, and his family, nothing but the best.

Our spidey senses were tingling

We’re no Siskel & Ebert. But my 16-year-old daughter, Isabella, and I give the new Spider-Man: No Way Home movie four enthusiastic thumbs up.

No spoilers here, but holy smokes. It is absolutely perfect on so many levels, from the incredible story, stunning visuals and throwback to the rich history of the franchise.

Run, don’t walk, to the theatre to see it if you can. You will not be disappointed.

Mike and his daughter, Isabella, at the theatre to see Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Confession: I’ve been a fan of the webslinger since I was a wee little one, running around my living room in my spidey pajamas and collecting comic books as a kid.

I wish I would have taken better care of them, since they’d probably have quite a bit of value these days. But hey, I actually enjoyed flipping through the pages!

When my wife became pregnant with our first child, I somehow talked her into letting me name our bouncing baby boy.

And that’s how our son, Parker — yes, after the reporter-by-day, superhero-by-night Peter Parker — came to be.

True story: I also convinced my bride to let me name our daughter after my all-time favourite Days of Our Lives character, Isabella Toscano.

Yes, my wife is a very patient woman.

And now, a quick time-out

I’ll be back on the Jets beat next week — assuming the NHL holiday pause isn’t extended beyond Boxing Day — but I’m going to take a brief pause from this newsletter.

Look for the next one on Jan. 6.

I’m scheduled to be in Denver that day, preparing to cover the final stop on a four-game Jets road trip that begins New Year’s Eve in Calgary and continues through Vegas, Arizona and Colorado.

Interesting times ahead, that’s for sure.

From me to you, my family to yours, I hope the coming days can bring you some much-needed peace and calm and joy in your world.

Happy holidays, folks.

What I've been working on

COVID creates uncertainty for Jets, NHL

Extended holiday break may last longer for squad eager to realize potential Read More


Jets' Olympic dreams dashed by pandemic

Connor, Hellebuyck were set to be key pieces of U.S. team Read More


Dream now a reality for Reichel

Undrafted forward gets first taste of NHL action against Blues Read More


Jets still have jump

Life still left in team going into extended holiday break Read More


A sad day for Winnipeg sports

Maurice will be missed at the rink and in the community Read More


Maurice parts way with Jets

Head coach resigns after 600 games behind bench Read More


Gustafsson's patience pays off

Centre will see first NHL action of season against Capitals Read More


Jets loss to struggling Sabres a wake-up call

You have to be ready to play every single night, says veteran centre Stastny Read More


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'This should be our finest hour'

Hellebuyck channels Churchill in assessment of Jets situation Read More


Lowry impressed with effort in loss to Caps

Will take time to reflect on resignation of Maurice Read More


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There was more grim news on the pandemic front with Saturday’s cancellation of the Wesmen Classic. Read More


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Jets fall to Capitals 5-2 in Lowry's debut behind bench

The Winnipeg Jets produced the intended response Friday night but weren’t rewarded. Read More


'It was a selfless act'

Players say Maurice took one for the team by resigning Read More


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