Canucks and Beyond
The New York Times Slap Shot blog posted their tribute to the Northwest division yesterday, where I added my own two-bits on the Vancouver Canucks last week. And they were some very deep thoughts, too. A sample:
Q. The worst thing about going to a game at your team’s rink?
A. The. Price. Of. Freakin’. Beer.
You get the the idea. Check out the rest of the division (*well, minus the Wild and the Oilers since those contributors apparently went AWOL) Still, there’s good stuff out of Calgary and Colorado.
In The Hockey News, Ken Campbell argues that Glenn Anderson’s induction into the Hall of Fame today should bode well for Pavel Bure eventually. When considering Bure, Campbell notes:
The two arguments against Bure are that his career was cut short by injury and he never won a Stanley Cup, but both of those are quite easily debunked.
Those two arguments may indeed be easily debunked. But unfortunately for Campbell (and Bure) those aren’t the only two arguments. And it’s important to note that the ‘character’ issues that have dogged both Anderson and Bure through the years aren’t exactly the same thing.
So much going on in the puck world these days and I couldn’t think of a better person to sort it all out with than Hockey Night in Canada’s Jim Hughson. Jim was kind enough to give up a good chunk of his time and we covered a few topics on the audio clip below, including:
- The Hockey Hall of Fame inductions are happening this weekend. Jim reminds us of how fast a player Glenn Anderson was back in his day, plus Pavel Bure‘s name comes up in the discussion.
- What Does October Teach Us? That if you’re a member of the New York Rangers with dreams of a Stanley Cup, statistically you might have history on your side. Plus some words on why the NYR had to say goodbye to Brendan Shanahan and why Markus Naslund has found a perfect fit at MSG.
- Head Injuries: Should there be a special penalty for hits to the head? The issue came up again this week. There are no simple solutions, but Hughson shares his thoughts on the topic.
Plus a few more odds and ends. Listen to the complete conversation below.
Dr. Silverman is a frustrated sports fan, so from now on he will now be offering free LASIK surgery to any referee or umpire of the NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL who is a good candidate for the procedure.
In a letter written to the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL official’s union, Dr. Silverman writes:
With the recent rash of missed calls adversely affecting games, you’re probably sick and tired of hearing fans and sports announcers complaining about officials making bad calls. We all know that instant replay is not always going to correct all bad calls. I feel strongly that we should minimize the chance of officiating errors in the first place. Correcting an official’s vision is certainly a step in the right direction. Why not consider LASIK for your officiating members?
When it comes to the NHL, Dr. Silverman was particularly motivated by last years playoff series between the San Jose Sharks and Calgary Flames, apparently.
*image is from the Blind Referee Costume Kit. The internet is such a magical place…
A press release from the LA Kings today noted this:
I.C.G., the leader in wireless digital signage solutions, today announced that they have deployed a wireless digital dasher board for the Los Angeles Kings 2008-09 season at STAPLES Center, replacing a section of traditional steel and plastic dasher board that surrounds the playing surface.
Unfamiliar with this technology, I contacted Will Geoghegan, the director of marketing at ICG, and he was good enough to email me back more details and some photos:
Hockey Lollapalooza* or “Super Saturday” as the NHL is calling it, takes place this weekend. For the second time in history (the first being October 5th, 2005) all thirty NHL teams will be playing games on the same day.
From the NHL, here’s a hodgepodge of trivia that will never show up on Jeopardy but that you’ll probably memorize like the lunatic hockey fan you are, anyway:
- 275,000 fans will flock to arenas throughout North America Saturday to watch 600 players compete in 15 games
- With the drop of the puck at the Pepsi Center in Colorado at 9:08 PM ET, 12 NHL games will be in progress simultaneously.
I once found it odd how many UK hockey fans there are out there, but not anymore. Over the years I’ve heard a lot from British NHL fans and am no longer surprised at their knowledge of and passion for the game.
The only thing I still find surprising is that such passion exists despite the obstacles they face in trying to enjoy their favorite sport—which is why this might be an interesting option for some.
Pat Quinn might not be front and center of the NHL these days, but he’s certainly stayed in the public spotlight.
While the pundits like to speculate endlessly about his suitability for various league coaching positions as they become available, Quinn himself stays plenty busy without worrying too much about the NHL.
In addition to being part-owner of the Vancouver Giants, Quinn helmed the gold medal winning Under-18 Canadian men’s team in Russia this past April, and just last month was awarded the distinguished position as head coach of Canada’s Junior team. Additionally, he also donates time to causes like Making the Connection, an organization dedicated to bringing awareness to issues of cardiac health.
Given his busy schedule, I was especially appreciative that Mr. Quinn took a few minutes to answer some questions.
It’s federal election day in Canada, and for all my negativity about politicians, politics, economics—and especially how that all can mix itself up into hockey (ick)—I’m certainly not cynical about our right to vote.
So in a non-partisan attempt to encourage today’s voting, I reached out to the leaders of the five major federal parties: the Bloc Quebecois, the Conservatives, the Green Party, the NDP and the Liberals, and asked them (1) who their favourite childhood NHL teams were, and (2) their favorite hockey memories.
The Bloc, Greens and Conservatives chose not to respond, but the leaders of the NDP and the Liberal Party were kind enough to do so, which is why only their answers are available here:
Yesterday, Cam Cole at the Vancouver Sun wrote an article on the potential impact that the economy may have on the NHL. In the course of his writing, he happened to speak to Chris Zimmerman, President of the Vancouver Canucks, who had this to say:
“Ticket prices, whether for us or for a U.S. club, are generally a function of demand.[...] We have no illusions that we are immune to the impact [of a recession]. We are a discretionary entertainment value, and ... we recognize that we have to hunker down and work that much harder to justify people spending their discretionary dollars with us…”
Zimmerman understands his job better than most, I think. Rather than simply relying on the fact that he helms the hottest ticket in town, he also knows that the real trick is making it stay that way.
About Canucks and Beyond
Alanah McGinley has been blogging hockey since 2003 (with a notable gap in time through 2010, kicking it with new baby Lucy while living knee-deep in chaos while reading "parenting for complete idiots" during every spare minute) sharing opinions, rants and not-so-deep thoughts with anyone who will listen.
In addition to writing Canucks & Beyond and helping manage Kukla's Korner, Alanah was one of the founders and co-hosts of The Crazy Canucks Podcast. She has contributed pieces to FoxSports.com and the New York Times Slapshot blog, as well as other stray destinations in cyberspace.
So that's me. Who the hell are you?
Alanah's Twitter: [@alanah1]