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Under Further Review – December 15, 2020 – Douglas Smith with Contributing Editor Bill Morphy. This week, we applaud the return of the NHL and the World Juniors. We offer up our NHL draft swings and misses plus a Seahawk revival and high-A comes to the Nat. 

Hockey is Back – January 13 is the new target date to start the NHL season. There was a lot of back and forth between the NHL and the NHPA over finances but they agreed to stick to the terms of the deal ratified last year. The players argued they were taking enough of a haircut as it is. Here’s what else we know at this point:

  • The biggest issue still to work out are COVID-19 protocols since the number of cases continues to rise. There will be opt-out language in the final agreement. What about vaccinations? Will they be mandatory?
  • While the intent is to play as many games as possible, the NHL will have no choice but to build some flexibility into the proposed 56-game schedule. You just have to look at the NFL to see what’s been happening there with the schedule. There will be additional days worked into the sked because there are sure to be postponements due to positive tests.
  • There has been no agreement to date over roster size. The NHL has made a proposal around roster size and taxi squads but the details have not been worked out.
  • Three western Canadian teams will have to rely on a taxi squad because they have no plans to move their AHL teams to Canada. The other four Canadian teams are in a much better position. The Manitoba Moose, Toronto Marlies, Belleville Senators and Laval Rocket will play in a 4-team Canadian AHL division. The American Hockey League is set to start their season on February 5.
  • The seven non-playoff teams were to be given an extra week to prepare for the season. Looks now like they will be allowed to start training camp on December 28. All other teams will get camps underway on January 2.
  • The divisional alignment has not been approved. Here’s what it may look like:


Carolina-Chicago-Columbus-Detroit-Florida-Minnesota-Nashville-Tampa Bay

Anaheim-Arizona-Colorado-Dallas-Los Angeles-Las Vegas-San Jose-St. Louis


NHL Leftovers – The Seattle Kraken are nearly sold out of season tickets for their inaugural season next fall. They’ve capped sales at 15 thousand in the 17 thousand seat, newly-renovated KeyArena. The Kraken will make their final installment payment on their $650 million dollar expansion fee sometime this spring. They will then be allowed to attend Board of Governor’s meetings, GM meetings and yes, make trades. Each NHL team will receive $21.7 million as part of the expansion revenues – welcome cash for every NHL team right now.

NHL GM’s were hoping to get a ‘get-out-of-salary cap hell’ card with a one-time compliance buy-out for each team but that’s not happening. The players were OK with the buy-out but insisted it come out of the owner’s share and that was a non-starter.

With the start of the NHL season now in view, the pressure is on several teams to become cap compliant. The Vegas Stars are over the cap and are actively shopping forward Max Pacioretty despite denials from owner Bill Foley.  Pacioretty has three years left on his contract at $7 million per season. If they can move the contract, it may open the door for a run at former Knight Erik Haula, one of the remaining free agents still on the market. The Golden Knights would have loved a compliance buy-out to jettison goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. You have to wonder when the constant roster turnover will catch up to them. Vegas has reached the Western Conference finals in two of their first three seasons but their organizational philosophy to ‘swing for the fences’ is sure to have some fallout long-term.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are the second most valuable NHL franchise on the latest Forbes most valuable NHL teams list. The Leafs are worth $1.5 billion. The Montreal Canadiens are listed third overall at $1.34 billion while the Vancouver Canucks are tenth at $725 million. Rounding out the list of Canadian teams, the Edmonton Oilers are 14th ($550 million), Calgary Flames 20th ($480 million), Ottawa Senators 26th ($430 million) and Winnipeg Jets 27th ($405 million). The New York Rangers top the list at $1.65 billion.

It’s hard to determine what’s happening in Anaheim where the Ducks seem caught in the nether regions of relevance and contention. They will be happy to get Ryan Getzlaf’s contract off the books after this season. He’s got one year to go on his $8.25 million dollar deal. Worse yet, the Ducks are weighed down by the combined baggage of Corey Perry’s buyout, Ryan Kesler on IR (not LTIR) and retained David Backes salary. It amounts to $18 million or more than 22 percent of their cap space.

Getting to the starting line of the World Junior Hockey Championships inside the bubble in Edmonton is proving more difficult than anticipated. Team Sweden and Team Germany have both reported positive COVID-19 tests prior to arriving in Canada for a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Alberta Health and the Federal Government have a number of protocols in place in order for the tournament to go forward and it’s not a certainty the event will start on time. Sweden has already lost three key players and their head coach.

Team Canada went into the Edmonton bubble on Sunday to begin five days of self-isolation before getting back on the ice. Canada is a heavy favourite to retain the gold medal with 20 first round draft picks on the 25-man roster.

Canuck Conundrum – When it comes to top-flight talent, the Canucks are in an enviable position. They have elite players at each key position, a #1 centre in Elias Pettersson, a #1 defenseman in Quinn Hughes and potentially, a top goaltender in Thatcher Demko.

The issue lies in the bottom half of the lineup where the Canucks free spending ways has left the team cap-strapped. As the Canucks exorcise all the bad contracts from their roster, it is going to be doubly important to have cost-efficient players rising through the ranks. The Canucks front office is going to have to show a lot more discipline when it comes to free agent signings and contract negotiations. It’s a daunting task because a large portion of the salary cap space that will be freed up over the next few years will be used on contract extensions for Pettersson and Hughes.

The damage caused by poor cap management has altered the Canucks competitive window. Realistically, the Canucks should be aiming at the 2022-2023 season as the date for serious Cup contention. This is why we have been trumpeting the need for a second wave of young talent to further infuse the lineup. If the new window of contention is going to last, the Canucks need to halt their habit of trading picks and prospects for short-term gain.

During the off-season, the Canucks swallowed hard and avoided more than $20 million dollars in salary commitments by not re-signing any of their free agents. They are still carrying nearly $30 million in dead money and contracts of players providing zero projected wins. The Canucks supporting cast is among the worst in the NHL. Thomas Drance of The Athletic, in a preview of the NHL’s All-Canadian Division, described the Canucks bottom six as “Ottawa West.”  That must change if the team is going to move forward in any meaningful way. The recipe is simple – take your medicine, clean up the cap mess, and be in position to contend in two years.

Draft Missteps – This is the way-too-much-time-on-your-hands thanks to COVID-19 edition of NHL Draft Busts – Canadian edition. We took a dive into NHL draft lists going back over 30 years and found a lot of swings and misses among Canadian teams. In fact, the draft records of several teams is downright dismal. Here are the biggest first round draft duds for each Canadian team going back to 2000.

Ottawa: 2002-Jakub Klepis; 2007-Jim O’Brien; 2009-Tim Erixon, Jared Cowan; 2011-Stefan Noesen, Matt Puempel; 2016-Logan Brown

Vancouver: 2000-Nathan Smith; 2008-Cody Hodgson; 2009-Jordan Schroeder; 2011-Nick Jensen; 2012-Brendan Gaunce; 2013-Hunter Shinkaruk

Toronto: 2006-Jiri Tlusty; 2011-Tyler Biggs, Stuart Percy; 2017-Timothy Liljegren

Calgary: 2000-Brent Krahn; 2002-Eric Nystrom; 2004-Kris Chucko; 2005-Matt Pelech; 2006-Leland Irving;

Edmonton: 2004-Robbie Shremp; 2007-Alex Plante, Riley Nash; 2009-Magnus Paajarvi; 2012-Nail Yakupov. The selection of Yakupov marked the third straight year that the Oilers had the first overall choice.

Montreal: 2001-Alexander Perezhogin; 2003-Andrei Kostitsyn; 2004-Kyle Chipchura; 2006-David Fischer; 2009-Louis Leblanc; 2010-Jarred Tinordi; 2011-Nathan Beaulieu; 2013-Michael McCarron; 2014-Nikita Scherbak; 2015-Noah Juulsen.

The Winnipeg Jets did not return to NHL play until the 2011-2012 season and their draft record since then has been strong. Their worst first round selection was probably defenseman Logan Stanley in 2016. The Canadiens win the battle for most first round busts. Their string of first round futility since 2000 is astonishing. Talk about consistency! The Leafs and Canucks would probably have more first round busts had they not traded a lot of them away. Ottawa has the ignominy of twice striking out on a pair of first rounder’s in the same draft.

As we went back in the record book, we found an alarming number of draft missteps where Canadian teams selected a player one pick before another club grabbed a future star or future Hall of Famer. Let’s take you back and review some of those tragic mistakes. The purpose is to illustrate how some selections can alter the future of a franchise for better or worse.

1988 Draft: Toronto selects winger Scott Pearson with the sixth overall pick. The next four picks in succession were Martin Gelinas, Jeremy Roenick, Rod Brind’Amour and Teemu Selanne. Ouch!

1990 Draft: The Canucks select Petr Nedved second overall. The next three picks were Keith Primeau, Mike Ricci and Jaromir Jagr, all of which went on to have far better NHL careers. But that wasn’t the worst of it for Vancouver. With a second first round selection, 18th overall, the Canucks picked winger Shawn Antoski. The next two picks were Keith Tkachuk and Martin Brodeur, two franchise-altering players and future HOF’ers.

1991 Draft: The Winnipeg Jets, before jetting off to the desert, selected defenseman Aaron Ward fifth overall. The next choice was Peter Forsberg by the Flyers.

1993 Draft: The Ottawa Senators select Alexander Daigle with the first pick overall. The next choice was future Hall of Famer Chris Pronger by the Hartford Whalers.

1997 Draft: Vancouver and Montreal both swing and miss. The Canucks select defenseman Brad Ference with the tenth pick overall. Pat Quinn liked him because he had fought Eric Lindros in junior. The Canadiens followed by taking forward Jason Ward. Ottawa jumped in next and grabbed Marian Hossa with the 12th selection, another HOF’er.

2003 Draft: The Edmonton Oilers select forward Marc-Antoine Pouliot with the 22nd pick in the first round. The next two picks were Ryan Kesler by Vancouver and Mike Richards by Philadelphia.

2005 Draft: The Canucks select defenseman Luc Bourdon with the tenth overall pick. He would later die in a tragic motorcycle accident just as his career was taking off. The next pick in that draft was Anze Kopitar by the L.A. Kings.

2007 Draft: The Canucks select obscure U.S. high school forward Patrick White with the 25th pick of the first round. He would never play a game in the NHL. The next pick in the draft was David Perron by the St. Louis Blues. Perron is still going strong all these years later.

2012 Draft: The New York Islanders take defenseman Griffin Reinhart with the fourth overall choice. He would prove to be one of the biggest first round busts over the past decade. The next three picks in that year’s first round were Morgan Reilly, Hampus Lindholm and Matt Dumba. Each has had a fine NHL career. The Islanders corrected their mistake by sending Reinhart to the Oilers in return for a first round pick. Who did they select with the pick?  Yes, Matthew Barzal. That’s how you fix a draft misstep.

2012 Draft: The Senators picked Cody Ceci with the 15th overall pick. The next four picks in order were Tom Wilson, Tomas Hertl, Teuvo Teravainen and Andrei Vasilevskiy. It’s easy to make a mistake but when the next four choices are all better, it’s a swing and miss.

2014 Draft: The Buffalo Sabres select forward Sam Reinhart, Griffin’s brother, with the second overall choice. Edmonton followed by taking Leon Draisaitl.

2014 Draft: The Canucks take forward Jared McCann with the 24th overall pick. Boston, with the next pick, selects David Pastrnak, a budding superstar.

2017 Draft: The Philadelphia Flyers take centre Nolan Patrick with the second overall pick. The next three selections in order were Miro Heiskanen by Dallas, Cale Makar by Colorado and Elias Pettersson by Vancouver. Somebody’s head should have rolled over that one.

2018 Draft: The Montreal Canadiens select centre Jesperi Kotkaniemi with the third overall pick ahead of rugged winger Brady Tkachuk (4th overall by Ottawa) and ascending superstar Quinn Hughes (6th overall by Vancouver).  Montreal may have made up for it, somewhat, in the second round. The Canucks picked defenseman Jett Woo with the 37th overall pick. The Habs followed by taking Russian defenseman Alexander Romanov who many project to be a future star.

Seahawks Get Well Card – Heading in Sunday’s game against the feeble New York Jets, it was time for the Seahawks to cut out the excuses and start performing. The Seahawks were yet to put together a full 60-minute effort with all three phases of the game working. Well, it wasn’t perfect but the 40-3 extinguishing of the Jets was a giant step in the right direction. Yes, we know the Jets couldn’t beat the Saskatoon Hilltops.

Russell Wilson returned to form with a 4 touchdown performance. He now has 36 TD passes on the season, a new career high. The Seahawks had 410 total yards against the Jets and Wilson only played three quarters. In the last five games prior to the Jets, Wilson had 6 TD passes, 5 interceptions, 4 fumbles, he was sacked 21 times and the Seahawks were 2-and-3. He had been very indecisive, had missed check-downs and was slow to get rid of the ball. It was good to see the offence start clicking on Sunday. What a difference it makes when Chris Carson is running the ball with authority.

After allowing an opening-drive field goal, the defense shut out the Jets the rest of the way. They were aided by three missed Sergio Castillo field goals. Like everything else with the Jets, they can’t kick the football either. Jamal Adams was awarded a sack and now has 8.5 sacks on the year, a new NFL record for defensive backs.

On the negative side, the Seahawks have surrendered 41 sacks this season, third worst in the league. Only the Eagles and the Bengals are worse. They are also 25th in third down efficiency. One thing that is obvious is the Seahawks need a better third option than David Moore. Heading into the Jets game, Moore had only 27 receiving yards in the previous four games. Josh Gordon can’t arrive soon enough.

The Seahawks head to Washington next Sunday for what should be a good test against an improving Washington defense. Quarterback Alex Smith is questionable which may make life easier. The Seahawks should get a lot of credit for the way they have handled the pandemic. They are the only team in the NFL yet to have a player test positive for COVID-19.

Postscript – How dysfunctional are the Jets? They named Pierre Desir as their Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee despite the fact he had been cut from the team 22 days earlier.

NFL Notes – The Steelers are in a nosedive after starting the season 11-and-0. They can’t run the football. They’ve averaged 54 yards rushing over their past seven games. After dropping their second straight, the Steelers relinquished the top seed in the AFC to Kansas City.  The Chiefs just keeping rolling despite turning it over four times against Miami. Pat Mahomes threw more interceptions on Sunday (3) than he had in the previous 12 games this season combined (2).

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is giving Mahomes a run for his money for NFL MVP. Rodgers had three more touchdown passes and ran for another in the Packers win over the Lions. Rodgers now has 39 touchdown passes on the season. Green Bay has pulled even with New Orleans for top seed in the NFC after the Saints were upset by Philadelphia. Still not buying stock in the Packers just yet. Soft schedule. Let’s see them go on the road and beat somebody decent.  Rookie Jalen Hurts took over at QB for the Eagles in the upset win over the Saints which means, I guess, that Carson is now gone Wentz he came.

Derrick Henry of the Titans had another monster day with 26 carries for 215 yards as Tennessee rolled over Jacksonville. Henry is the closest thing we’ve seen to Beast Mode since Marshawn Lynch’s glory days in Seattle.

The Las Vegas Raiders are the Jekyll and Hyde of the NFL. They almost beat the powerhouse Chiefs twice yet get blown out by Atlanta and need a last-minute Hail Mary to beat the Jets. When Jon Gruden was hired after ten years in the broadcast booth, he was handed a lavish 10-year, $100 million dollar contract. Three years into the Raiders makeover, it remains to be seen if the culture has changed. The Raiders are the most penalized team in the league and appear to be as undisciplined as ever. Gruden has traded All-Pros Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper for draft choices that haven’t worked out. Free agent signings have been iffy. The Raiders gave quarterback Marcus Mariota a two-year, $17.6 million dollar contract to serve as a back-up. Maybe Gruden isn’t the smartest guy in the room after all.

If you thought the Seahawks had a bad defense this year, be thankful you are not a Dallas Cowboys fan. The Ploughboys are allowing a league worst 32.8 points per game. Their run defense is historically bad. Dallas is giving up 167.8 yards rushing per game. Hey, but Jerry Jones knows what to do.

None of the five leading rushers in the NFL – Derrick Henry, Dalvin Cook, James Robinson, Ronald Jones and Nick Chubb – were taken in the first round of the NFL draft. Robinson went undrafted. Moral of the story – don’t waste a first round pick on a running back.

You know how much we like kickers, right? How about Dan Bailey of the Minnesota Vikings? He’s missed seven kicks in the past two weeks. He makes Cody Parkey look like Jan Stenerud. Bailey missed two extra points and a field goal last week versus Jacksonville. He followed it up by missing an extra point and three field goals on Sunday in Tampa Bay. That’s a one-way ticket out of town.

Eh’ Ball in Vancity – Major League Baseball finally got around to the along-awaited realignment of the minor leagues and it’s going to have a big impact in Vancouver. The Canadians will remain an affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays and become a full-season team at the high-A level starting in 2021.

The Dunedin Blue Jays, the club’s longtime high-A affiliate, will now be home to a low-A team. New Hampshire remains the Jays Double-A affiliate while Buffalo remains the Triple-A affiliate. The Lansing Lugnuts and Bluefield Blue Jays will lose their Blue Jays affiliations as the minor leagues undergo a complete restructuring.

This is welcome news for Vancouver baseball fans because it looked for a time like the Canadians might lose their Jays affiliation. The Canadians will play in a newly aligned Northwest League starting in April with a 132-game schedule. When Vancouver was a low-A Jays affiliate, they played a short season starting in June when rainouts were not a big issue. That will change now. Expenses will increase as will facility requirements at Nat Bailey Stadium. Who foots the bill?

Baseball fans in Vancouver will now get to see all the Jays top prospects. We could see players like Austin Martin, Miguel Hiraldo, Orelvis Martinez and Canadian outfielder Dasan Brown as early as this year. We may even see catcher Gabe Moreno and third baseman Jordan Groshans depending on where the Jays want to place them to start the season. Pitchers Adam Kloffenstein, Simeon Woods Richardson, Alex Manoah and C.J. Van Eck, this year’s second round draft pick, could be Vancouver-bound. One thing we do know, top prospects will no longer be skipping Vancouver on their way to the big leagues.

The overhaul will streamline the minor leagues from 162 teams down to 120. The goal is to be more efficient with player development. However, for fans in many small baseball markets, that may be hard to swallow when 42 minor-league teams suddenly no longer exist.

Baseball Winter Meetings – The virtual Baseball Winter Meetings came and went without a lot of fanfare. The Blue Jays have been connected to every free agent this side of Coco Laboy. So far there have been no major signings to kick-start the slow-moving market. The Jays have an abundance of options to improve the infield including Korean star Ha-Seong Kim. The 25-year old would fit into the Jays mix nicely in terms of age and position flexibility. He could start at third and also become a reliable back-up to Bo Bichette at short.

Investing in the Asian market seems to be a priority for the Blue Jays. Last winter, their major signing was Korean pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu. They also inked Japanese right-hander Shun Yamaguchi. Social media blew up this week with word that Kim had dinner with Ryu at the youngster’s urging. Was it to learn more about the transition to the majors or was it a part of a concerted effort to woo Kim to Toronto?

Is there a more immovable contract in baseball than that of Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto?  The Toronto native is guaranteed $75 million over the next three seasons, plus a $7 million buyout on his $20 million club option for 2024. Oh, and did we mention, he has full no-trade protection? The 37-year old’s production has been in rapid decline over the past two seasons and he’s providing below-average defense. Votto signed a 10-year, $225 million dollar deal in 2012 after leading the National League in OPS seven times.

Can anyone explain why the Philadelphia Phillies would hire Dave Dombrowski as their new President of Baseball Operations? The free-spending Phillies are having financial issues so why recycle Dombrowski who’s the king of building bloated rosters. He was fired by the Tigers and the Red Sox and left both with empty farm systems and swimming in bad contracts.

The Phillies should serve as a cautionary tale for the Blue Jays. Just a few years ago, the Phils were an up-and-coming team with a dynamic young core. They opened up the wallet and dished out big contracts to Bryce Harper, Zack Wheeler, JT Realmuto, Andrew McCutchen, Jake Arrieta and David Robertson. All it did was leave them with a top heavy roster and still plenty of deficiencies. Same thing happened to the Chicago Cubs. After winning the World Series in 2016, the Cubs couldn’t keep the competitive window open, largely due to a number of underperforming big contracts.

The coronavirus pandemic has put expansion on the back-burner. The baseball industry reportedly lost a combined $3 billion dollars this year. The quickest and easiest way to defray operating losses from the ’20 season is to add two new clubs, each for with an expansion fee of $1 billion. Major League Baseball would cover two-thirds its losses and increase from 30 to 32 teams, providing perfect balance between the two leagues.

Cutting Room Floor – If Canada’s golfing darling Brooke Henderson wants to win multiple majors and fulfill huge expectations, she needs to fix her balky putter. The club is causing her headaches time and time again. Henderson was over par in all four rounds at the U.S. Women’s Open this week at Champions Golf Club in Houston. She had 34 putts in two of the rounds and finished the tournament at +10 and T44. Brooke’s shoddy putting has become a recurring story and she will need to improve if she is going to contend in majors.

Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard, from Sherwood Park, Alberta, opted out of the team’s final game of the season and announced he is entering the 2021 NFL draft. The 21-year old had a checkered season with only 625 rushing yards and five touchdowns in seven games. Last year, Hubbard rang up 2,094 yards en route to becoming a unanimous All-American selection and the Big 12’s offensive player of the year.

Giannis Antetokounmpo has until December 21 to sign a supermax extension with the Milwaukee Bucks or become an unrestricted free agent next summer. The Bucks have to be getting very worried at this point. The Toronto Raptors, meanwhile, have to be holding their collective breath. Man, would he look good in a Raptors uniform!

James Harden has made it known he wants to be dealt out of Houston and he has provided the Rockets with a list of teams in which he would approve a trade. Harden is scheduled to earn $41, $44 and $47 million over the next three seasons. How about sending him to the Washington Generals? He can put up 40 shots a night, no problem. Perhaps they should put Harden and Kyrie Irving and Paul George on the same team and let them fight over the ball.

The NBA will not test its players for marijuana during the 2020-21 season. It’s a carryover from last year when the league dropped testing during the COVID-19 outbreak. There’s a significant expectation around the league that the entire testing program is on its way out in the near future.

The L.A. Clippers must have been smoking something when they handed Paul George a max extension that will pay him up to $226 million over the next five years. The deal adds four years and $190M on top of the $35.4M guaranteed him this upcoming season. George will pocket about $43 million per season starting in 2021-2022. Based on playing about 35 minutes per game, that’s nearly $1,500 per minute, about what an average worker makes in a week. It works out to nearly $53,000 per game, about the equivalent of what a CFL lineman makes in a year.

Remember the cavalier approach taken by the Los Angeles Dodgers to the coronavirus during their World Series title celebration? How do they feel now after learning of the death of Dodgers scout Jairo Castillo at the age of 31 from COVID-19 complications? Castillo was an international cross-checker for the Dodgers, based in the Dominican Republic. He also scouted for the Blue Jays at one point. It’s disgraceful and infuriating that Castillo’s friends have had to set up a GoFundMe page with a goal of $10,000 to try and help out his family.  The Dodgers are the richest team in North America. They could shake that much money out of the cushions in the owner’s suite.

Umpire Brian O’Nora chose to opt out of the MLB season earlier this year due to the pandemic. Apparently, he kept busy. O’Nora and 13 other men have been arrested and charged with possessing criminal tools and soliciting as part of what the Ohio attorney general’s office called “a single-day human trafficking operation that targeted individuals seeking to buy sex via the internet.” O’Nora is one of the worst umpires in baseball with a correct call rate of 87 percent. That’s just one point better than the gold standard for bad umpiring in baseball and that belongs to Angel Hernandez.

Music Videos of the Week – I’ve been a big fan of American singer-songwriter Shelby Lynne for a long time. She’s one of those rare artists who refused to fall prey to music industry conventions. She was born in Quanico, Virginia in 1968 but grew up in Jackson, Alabama. Her Dad was a local bandleader.  Her Mom was a harmony-singing teacher.

All was not perfect, however. Shelby’s father was a violent alcoholic who abused his wife. In 1985, her mother fled with the two girls to Mobile but her father soon discovered their whereabouts. In the family’s driveway, Shelby’s father shot her mother dead, then turned the gun on himself while his daughters looked on.

Shelby Lynne soldiered on and in 1998, released a breakthrough album entitled “I Am Shelby Lynne.” In 2001, despite having released several albums, Lynne won a Grammy Award for Best New Artist. In recent years, she has also recorded and performed with her sister Allison Moorer, who is divorced from singer Steve Earle.

Here’s the track “Leaving” from a ‘Live at Daryl’s House’ session.  If you let it run through, you can also listen to the song “Bend.”

One of my all-time favourite songs is the Tony Joe White classic “Rainy Night in Georgia”.  Shelby recorded the song with White back in 2005.

Here’s Shelby performing “Today” from her latest album ‘The Healing’.

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