This is what I get for wasting so much time following the CFL playoffs — arguably the most entertaining hockey story of the new season, totally ignored by your misplaced-priorties editor. From the New York Times’ Jeff Z. Klein and Lew “Full” Serviss.

The big story in Canada over the last couple of weeks, involving the Maple Leafs rookie Jiri Tlusty, spilled beyond the sports pages to become a sort of national litmus test on social attitudes.

It all began when cellphone photographs of Tlusty taken last season, when he was a junior player for Sault Ste. Marie in the Ontario Hockey League, appeared on a gossip Web site. One picture showed him nude; another showed him playfully touching tongues with a male friend. The Toronto Sun, the country™s biggest tabloid, published the pictures on its front page Nov. 14.

Tlusty immediately apologized. He and his lawyer said some photographs had been on Tlusty™s Facebook page; Tlusty sent the nude picture to a woman he met online.

œI used poor judgment in this instance last season and I have learned a valuable lesson, Tlusty said in statement issued by the Maple Leafs.

Toronto sports columnists and some Leafs fans discussed the incident in terms of embarrassment and disgrace, but many fans and commentators said Tlusty had nothing to apologize for. The Globe and Mail columnist Christie Blatchford wrote that Tlusty™s critics had œthe delicate sensibility of a maiden aunt finding her nephew™s dirty magazine stash.

Tlusty told Is This, “I know nothing about the homosexual”. Imagine how much time Larry Craig would’ve saved had he been nearly as terse?