Canucks and Beyond
Entries with the tag: nhl
So, I’m distressed to say that I missed the Canucks second game of the season, against Columbus on Monday.
Not because I was busy with work (it was Canadian Thanksgiving); not because my kid was screaming for attention (she was buried in family affection all weekend and really didn’t want anything to do with any of us after a certain point); not because I was cooking some big feast (after three straight days of Thanksgiving dinners, I may never look at food again, much less turkey); and not because I was too drunk to program the PVR (like I said, Thanksgiving, family, screaming kids, etc).
None of these things.
No, the reason I missed Monday’s game against Columbus is because I downloaded the Canucks iPhone app.
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.
From an interview with Gene Simmons on MSNBC:
Q: What would you say has been your biggest failure?
A: I haven’t had too many big ones but for the past two years, I’ve been dancing with Gary Bettman [the NHL commissioner], trying to figure out some way to [get him to] hire Simmons Abramson. It hasn’t happened yet.
Q: That’s a failure, your inability to seal a deal with Bettman?
Simmons Abramson is the marketing firm founded by Gene Simmons and Richard Abramson, currently responsible for branding an Indy race near you with the slogan: “I Am Indy.” (Clever, clever stuff.)
So, would you hand over the NHL’s marketing to Gene Simmons? Well, the NHL did that once already, actually…
Earlier today, John Glennon at The Tennessean noted that the International Ice Hockey Federation will determine the status of the Nashville Predators’ Alexander Radulov in the next two weeks.
If the IIHF finds that the KHL acted improperly, Glennon also noted some possible outcomes:
the IIHF could pressure the KHL to void Radulov’s Russian contract
the IIHF could choose to “red flag’’ Radulov, which would lead to sanctions against Radulov and/or his team.
Sanctions? Like what?
The Canadian Press reports that Hayley Wickenheiser—the all-time leading scorer of Canadian women’s hockey and widely considered one the best female players to ever set foot on the ice—has made the cut for men’s professional hockey again.
A Swedish third-tier team, Eskilstuna Linden, has reportedly signed her for the 2008-09 season. The last time Wickenheiser played men’s pro hockey was a short stint in the Finnish Second Division, and her signing was met with mixed reviews, but there’s no doubting the impact she’s had on professional hockey culture.
A few words from Jamie Fitzpatrick on the issues faced in the past:
I actually like those ads just fine, but what the hell—I enjoy cynical-obnoxiousness as much as the next guy. (or more) But even more importantly, I could probably listen to this screwball interpretation of Sidney Crosby’s voice all day.
Greg suggests that Crosby sounds like “Emo”... and I agree, but would just like to add that Emo sounds a wee bit wasted…
If you’re not going to check out the ASG for the hockey, how about the designer clothes? From Nedra Rhone’s “Shop Talk” in the AJC:
Even if you’re not a total hockey head, NHL all-star weekend isn’t a complete bust.
Alyssa Milano (seen lately on My Name is Earl) is making an appearance in Atlanta this weekend at Rockin’ Skate 2008 to launch her new clothing line for female hockey fans who are into fashion.
Touch, available in early spring at shop.nhl.com, will include outerwear, denim, dresses and more. Clearly a sports lover, Milano also designed a Major League Baseball line.
I have no doubt there’s a market for it—and that baseball line of hers has certainly worked out well— but I’ll be sticking to my Luongo jersey, thanks.
But for the more chic hockey chick, here’s something for the LA Kings fan:
The sport of hockey always seems to be involved in some charitable cause or another. On a league-wide level, for instance, Hockey Fights Cancer is an NHL and NHLPA project which has raised around $7 million to support related projects. And on a community level, most (if not all) teams go to bat for various causes in their community. (*such as Canuck Place, being a well known one in Vancouver)
But while these causes collect money to help people, we seldom—unless we personally benefit from those charities—actually see where the money ends up. So here’s one small-scale example of how, when you throw a buck or some of your time towards your favorite hockey-related charitable cause, you are making a difference.
I’ve been known to berate the programming of Canucks TV (and corresponding $12.95-a-game fee to watch it) but they did come up with something interesting recently—a new round-table show featuring local media discussing a variety of current issues in the NHL.
The video below is from last week sometime I believe, but I hadn’t had a chance to watch it till last night. Still, I thought it was an interesting (and sort of odd) question to bring up, so I decided to throw it on Youtube in case others were interested.
The panel features Vancouver broadcaster Barry MacDonald, former NHLer Cliff Ronning, writers Ed Willes of The Province and Iain MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun.
Well, Christmas is over, so apparently it’s a good time to get down to being obnoxious and mean-spirited. From ESPN’s Page 2:
There are athletes like David Beckham, Tom Brady and Michael Jordan who rise to fame behind their talent and good looks. And then there are those like Otis Nixon, Sam Cassell and Gheorghe Muresan, who become known for being horribly, horribly, horribly ugly.
Ricci fell into the latter camp. Although that association besmirches the likes of Nixon, Cassell and Muresan. Ricci was uglier. Much uglier.
In fact, if you created a person out of the worst genes of those three, raised it in a kennel, beat it about the face every night with a hockey stick and never washed its hair, you’d get Mike Ricci on the day of his high school senior picture.
*photo in this post found on TSN
Top 10 Reasons Why Hockey is Better
Than Other Major League Sports
10. No one notices when you have a labor stoppage.
People say that it’s particularly bad for the NHL, of all sports, when they go off the air for an extended period of time. Well, that’s rubbish. The only people that even know about NHL labor stoppages are hockey fans themselves. But if NFL goes on strike? People are liable to get genuinely freaked out about that.
The NHL is much better at keeping such things under wraps…
Today, Neil Stevens at the Canadian Press ran down a selection of trivia found in the NHL media guides. For instance:
Chicago defenceman Brent Seabrook loves yogurt covered peanuts, Carolina captain Rod Brind’Amour can’t get enough Red Vines licorice and Los Angeles defenceman Tom Preissing says his favourite food is bacon.
Philadelphia goalie Martin Biron has horses named Mel and Mad Dog, teammate Mike Knuble has a leopard gecko named Flames and San Jose centre Joe Thornton owns cats named Lenny and Indy.
Fascinating? Well… cherry-picking the CP article a bit, perhaps there are some other odds and ends you’re desperate to know. Starting with the Leafs:
Gare Joyce’s new book Future Greats and Heartbreaks* is an education in the workings of the NHL draft and hockey scouting itself. It was a riveting read that also had me comparing his observations to old draft guides, and looking up the current stats of the many players he met at an earlier time in their development. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
After reading the book, I had a chance to ask Joyce a few questions about his experiences. That interview is below, as well as a few more details about the book.
About the author:
Gare Joyce is a writer on the masthead of ESPN The Magazine. He is also a regular contributor to Christian Science Monitor, Canadian Geographic, Maclean’s, and The Walrus. Joyce has won three National Magazine Awards and is the author of three previous books, Sidney Crosby: Taking the Game by Storm, The Only Ticket Off the Island: Baseball in the Dominican Republic and When the Lights Went Out.
It’s definitely not a boring week in the hockey business when the very league we love—despite all the ways it drives us nuts—receives notification of a lawsuit filed against it by one of it’s own member teams, MSG and the New York Rangers.
The lawsuit alleges that the NHL monopolizes control over team promotion. The Rangers appear to be the only team left in the league that hasn’t handed over their website, as everyone else has followed the new standards. And that hasn’t sat well with the NHL:
From GossipGirls.com (...because apparently I have no shame):
What do you get for the girl who has everything? No, really, when you’re buying for Hilary Duff, that question must ring especially true. And her boyfriend decided to take a trip to the Mercedes dealer to celebrate her birthday.
And oh what a present he got her! Duff’s boyfriend, Mike Comrie, called her up to say that he’d purchased an early 20th birthday present. “I hope you like them,” he told her, faking her out totally. The singer/actress told press she was thinking, “Okay, it’s shoes or something.” But when she went to her sisters house to get the gift, she was awestruck.
Rather than shoes or earrings, or matching hockey pucks with their names on them (Comrie is an NHL player) she found a $100,000+ Mercedes Benz G-class SUV with a big red bow on top.
You know what my coolest birthday present was this year? A book, Canucks Legends, by Jeff Rud. And it’s great, but perhaps dating Mike Comrie is a better idea than I had previously considered.
Meanwhile, these maniacs have only been dating for 2 months. Imagine what Christmas will be like.
William Houston at the Globe & Mail takes note of the pre-season cheerleading going on in Leafs Land this week, and takes a few shots at Greg Millen:
Millen went as far as to describe Raycroft’s 2006-07 season as “excellent.” Excellent? Is that why the team rushed out to acquire another starting goalie? What is he talking about?
Millen makes himself look foolish by making these sorts of remarks and he also undermines the credibility of the channel. Why listen to Millen and his fellow housemen dish pap when you can get real commentary, sometimes hard-hitting, from TSN, Rogers Sportsnet and the Score?
But as Houston himself points out, it’s not just Millen, it’s the flavor of Toronto… particularly at Leafs TV: