Monday, December 15, 2008

More on the passing of Indiana Ice's President Michael Schupay

This one is a good one from the Indianapolis Business Journal.

The author makes a great point: the local media more or less ignores the Ice, which is so sad.  One would be lucky to get an article a week out of the Indianapolis Star, and maybe once a season out of the television stations, and only if something legal happens.

Schupay will surely be missed.  I really hope the team continues to thrive and grow in Indianapolis.  I mean, if Des Moines has an AHL team, why can't Indianapolis have hockey, even at an elite junior amateur level?

Friday, December 5, 2008

6 games and anger management evaluation: What the heck?

Sean Avery has been suspended six gams by the NHL for inappropriate comments to the media prior to Tuesday's game against Calgary.

The suspension is retroactive to Tuesday's game, meaning Avery will have to sit out four more games.

"Mr. Avery has expressed remorse for his recent comments and has sought a professional anger management evaluation," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement issued by the league. "I will require that he follow through with that process as a condition of his returning to the ice and that he complies with any and all recommendations."

Avery, who signed a four-year, $15 million deal with the Stars in the off-season, was condemned by his coach Dave Tippett, GMs Les Jackson and Brett Hull, owner Tom Hicks and some of his teammates for his remarks.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Stefan Legein on HNIC Radio

About a five minute interview on Hockey Night in Canada Radio (Sirius Satellite Radio) with Stefan Legein (interviewed by Jeff Marek & Cassie Campbell).  Some notes of what I remember.

  • He sounded great, happy, doing well, glad for the decision.
  • He quelshed the rumor that he worked for Boston Pizza.  He simply ate there.
  • He said he started training again about a month ago with the St. Catharines Falcons. The itinerary I read online is the timeline he gave.
  • He doesn't regret his decision, though he also doesn't regret all the things he did before he got burned out.  He said he needed the time to decide what he really wanted.
  • He advised all the young players out there to find time for themselves; not necessarily take time off like he did, but still, take time off in the offseason.
  • He said he would have never walked away during the season.  He would have stick it out.  He also said Howson was understanding.  He hopes the Jackets players will give him a chance.  He also said the Steve Mason was doing an awesome job.
That's all I can remember.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Michael W. Schupay (1961-2008)

USHL's Indiana Ice president passed away on Friday.  Thoughts go out to his family, friends, and the Indiana Ice.

Schupay joined the team for the 2006-07 season and quickly made an impact on the Ice and the U.S. Hockey League. The league's owners honored him as the top USHL executive. He was in charge of day-to-day operations and strategic planning.

Pair of funny Blackhawks All-Star Voting Commercials

Monday, November 24, 2008

Congrats... the Columbus Crew for winning the MLS Championships.  I'm not much of a soccer fan (maybe during the World Cup I'll watch it), but I was watching parts & bits of it anyways.  I was telling my husband (who knows about le football and played it as a kid, but does not actually like watching it):

Man, this is so boring. They keep kicking it out of bounds!

So it was flipping between the game & TruTV.  But I did watch the final minutes.  They may have recruited a new fan (without really adding a new soccer fan - it's fun to play but not to watch)

I hope they motivate the Jackets to go for the cup themselves, and do it in under 12 years :).

Oh yeh, is it just me or does the Crew's coach look faintly like Coach Hitchcock?  Is that possibly  a good sign?

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Let's fire him and give him an honorary title so we don't have to pay him and can placate our fans....

Blackhawks name former coach Denis Savard as team ambassador

The Chicago Blackhawks have named Hall of Famer Denis Savard as a team ambassador, joining legends Tony Esposito, Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita in representing the organization at events at the United Center and throughout the Chicago area.

A member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and one of seven players in franchise history to have their jersey number retired, Savard recorded 1,096 points (377 goals, 719 assists) in 881 career regular-season games and 145 points (61 goals, 84 assists) in 131 Stanley Cup Playoff games in parts of 13 seasons with the Blackhawks (1980-90; 1995-97). 

Savard also served as the Blackhawks coach for parts of three seasons (2006-08), notching a 65-66-16 record.

“It is important to our fans and organization that Denis remains a part of our family,” president John McDonough said in a statement. “He is a very classy individual that embodies the spirit of the Chicago Blackhawks.”

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Some Interesting Things

The lack of posting is a result of my man arriving back from being on the other side of the pond for over a month and just not having the peaceful opportunity to get online to do much of anything, except at work.  So, this is probably going to be indicative for most of the time now.  My apologies.
  • The Fort Wayne Komets has the highest attendance of all minor league teams (that includes the AHL).
  • Every remaining Saturday home game, win a chance of having the St. Louis Blues pay your rent or mortgage for 4 months.
  • The Indiana Ice has the best record in the USHL: 10-1-1, and the sole lost is the game I went to.  Note to self: just stay home and listen/watch them online.
  • For Fort Wayne, they are tied for first in the IHL (6-2-0); the other team being Muskegon.
  • For those who have CSN-Chicago, they will be airing the retirement ceremony for Blackhawks #3 (Keith Magnuson & Pierre Pilote) tomorrow before the game.  Because, hey, the Blackhawks are all about marketing....
  • Steve Mason, Steve Mason, Steve Mason :) Go Jackets!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Invade the bookstores tomorrow!!!

Because a new book by Don Cherry will be out!

book cover

  • Format: Hardcover, 240 pages
  • On Sale: October 28, 2008
  • Price: $29.95
  • ISBN: 978-0-385-66674-9 (0-385-66674-8)

about this book

"Never one to mix words, [Don] Cherry provides an analysis that transcends the reporting found in printed dailies, websites, and typical television broadcasts. That is what he is most often criticized for: not being like everyone else. Cherry provides poignant analysis about the game of hockey that escapes most other commentators. He endeavours to elucidate the small moments within a game that may appear inconsequential, but are integral to the outcome: a failure to clear the zone, a player shying away from a check, a poor line change. This is where Cherry is most valuable as a commentator. As a former coach, one who found great success, he is able to give viewers insights unlike anyone else."
—Ian Smart,

Don Cherry has been named a National Hockey League Coach of the Year with a winning percentage of over .600 and also received Coach of the Year honours in the American Hockey League. His comments on Hockey Night in Canada’s "Coach's Corner" routinely make headlines as they entertain, educate, and often upset some fans throughout North America. He may be controversial, but no one can deny the popularity he enjoys; popularity that was reflected in his top 10 ranking in the competition to determine "The Greatest Canadian."

Now from Grapes himself comes the book that hockey fans of all ages have been waiting for. Written with veteran sports journalist Al Strachan, here are Don Cherry's favourite stories from his career in hockey. And you can imagine the stories he has to tell.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Wallop in Fort Wayne

From the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel:
The only thing the Fort Wayne Komets' home-opening, pre-game ceremonies lacked Saturday night were fireworks. The players took care of that during the game.

The Komets delighted a Memorial Coliseum sell-out crowd of 10,511 by making the Flint Generals look like the Washington Generals in an 11-3 pounding. The game was so out of control at times that the Generals looked like they were trying to avoid a full-court press while wearing mittens as Fort Wayne dominated the shots on goal 53-21.

The Komets scored eight times on 17 shots during the third period, a couple of times missing open nets, or it could have been worse.

"I think their goalie played real well to keep it at three as long as he did," Komets coach Al Sims said. "When we finally broke through, he got a little demoralized after five, six and seven. It was tough on him. A lot of people were questioning our offense this year. I don't know if it's been answered yet, but so far it has been."

(read on in the link above)

Oh, in just in case you want to know: 
"You never intentionally want to embarrass anyone," [Fort Wayne player Colin] Chaulk said.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Adam Burish & some funny commercials

I love this.  During the home games, Comcast SportsNet Chicago mic's up a player and plays some of the things they say on the air.  I had laughed when I heard what Adam Burish called Greg de Vries of the Preds (towards the end of the video).

If you didn't catch it, de Vries asked Burish if he was mic'ed up.  Burish told de Vries "Is the dinosaur talking? Let the kids play, dinosaur."  Wow.  Looked up de Vries' age (35): in 5 years I will be a dinosaur too!

The Blackhawks have some "One Goal" commercial spots playing.  There is one I can't seem to find on the 'Hawks website that was a little cute.  Kane and a little boy skates up to the mic, I think his one goal is to inspire others, and the little kid says "We're almost the same age."  Priceless.  The second one of this batch of two featuring Kane & Toews is pretty good:

So, since I'm at work at the beginning of the 'Hawks vs. Blues game, I went out, bought a VHS tape (yes, they still make those things) and re-learn how to program the VCR.  Yes, let me repeat that, VCR.  Not DVR.  I'm still in the technological dark ages, but not really by choice. :)


Big nod to Bethany for posting up the new Blue Jackets Intro:

I really love this new intro.  It is very nicely done, very tasteful and yet very exciting.  Compared to the Blackhawks intro, much better.  

There are two of the Blackhawks I saw, mostly on TV.  The first one below they play I think before games that feature an appearance of the past greats like Stan Mikita & Tony Esposito.  

The next one is an older variation of the one I saw at the preseason game.  I think now it's redone to feature some of the new 'Hawks and erasing the older ones like Marty Lapointe & Robert Lang.  I'm just not a big fan of having them skating through the streets of Chicago shooting the puck.

Oh the humanity!

This is freakin' scary man.

I'm gonna have nightmares tonight for sure!

Nash, Filatov, & Voracek goals (vs. Preds, 10/17/08)

via YouTube: (note - I'm not sure if the videos are really showing up or not. I'm at work and am using Chrome, so it will have to wait till I get home and check on Firefox)

Rick Nash Goal:

Nikita Filatov & Jakub Voracek Goals:

Friday, October 17, 2008

LaCosta called up

LaCosta got the win just recently in Syracuse, and he should be on his way to Columbus, or actually, Nashville eventually, to back up Freddy tomorrow.

With the new rules we may not know specifically Pazzy's injury (we may get just the general location of the injury), but I really hope it is not too bad and he will be back soon.

Facebook Group

For fellow Blue Jackets fan bloggers: I created a new Facebook group called "Blogging the Blue Jackets." Join up if you are on Facebook (let me know who you are and I will approve you) & spread the word.

Live Blog - Blue Jackets vs. Preds 10/17/08 (third period)

I posted a question for the radio but it wasn't answered :(

Key is defense. Columbus need to get that feeling again.

3rd period begins.

9:08: Nashville scores again. Come on defense!!!!!

9:17: I'm getting sleepy. I'm glad I don't have to be on the road four's bad enough driving two hours home late at night from Chicago. Usually in the last 30-60 minutes it's autopilot, partly because it is pretty unpopulated (for the Midwest) down that stretch of I-65. It can put you to sleep easily.

9:18: Picard vs. Smithson; Picard won! :)

9:20: Power Play!!

9:21: Chimera scores!!!! 5-3 Jackets!

9:32: penalty kill time. penalty killed off again.

9:34: Great save by Pazzy, but he seems to be injured :(. Freddy is in. Sounds like a hand injury for Pazzy.

Final seconds of the game....and Columbus did it!! 5-3!!

It came with a cost if Pazzy is injured though.

Other Scores:
USHL: Waterloo 1, Indiana 5 (final score)
IHL: Fort Wayne 6, Port Huron 2 (final score)
Vancouver 2, Buffalo 5 (final score) - Buffalo has been a pleasant surprise so far this season. I like Patrick Lalime and was sad to see him leave Chicago, but commentators on HNIC Radio seemed to indicate he may play more in Buffalo to relieve Ryan Miller, which is great to hear.
Toronto 0, NY Rangers 1 (final SO score) - Toronto is kind of impressive to me also, especially ruining Detroit's night :)
Phoenix 3, Ottawa 6 (final score) - Alfredsson back in the line up and gained 2 A's in the game
Other games going on (too late for me): The Battle of Alberta, The Battle of California (Anaheim @ San Jose), and the East Coast/West Coast Battle (Carolina @ LA).

Syracuse got 18th consecutive victories, a new AHL record. Congrats Crunch, way to go!

Live Blog - Blue Jackets vs. Preds 10/17/08 (second period)

OK, they really need to cut out that burrito lady song. It's freaking annoying. And really, until I googled it to find out who's trying to sell me a burrito (should have known it was Chipotle), I didn't know where to get that said burrito, but since it is Chipotle, never mind (I'm a Qdoba fan myself, and Moe's).

And other games I'm following:
Indiana Ice 1, Waterloo Black Hawks 0 at the end of the first. This was the game I was going to go see tonight (before deciding to pay for the Jackets ticket and then changing my mind). Playing for Waterloo is Eddie Olczyk, the son, not the father (Ed Olczyk does color commentary for Comcast SportsNet Chicago & NBC Sports)

Fort Wayne Komets 3, Port Huron IceHawks 1 at the end of the first period. Fort Wayne are defending champs from last season, and this is their season opener. Season home opener is tomorrow.

Ottawa 4, Phoenix 0, midway through the second period.
Toronto-NY Rangers, null through midway in the second period.
Vancouver 0, Buffalo 3, at the end of the first.

8:16: Nash score again, 23 seconds into the 2nd period.

8:28: Preds scored two quick goals. Come on defence! 4-2 Jackets.

8:31: 2nd power play.

8:35: 3rd power play. Tootoo goes to the sin bin.

8:40: The airing of my favorite commercial: The Klesla/Boll smooth jazz commercial. :) This makes staying home worth it (I don't think I will be hearing that at Nationwide Arena).

8:41: another penalty kill. Let's go Jackets! And penalty killed off.

8:49: End of second period.

The Jackets need to get back into the game; they need to play like they did in most of the first period.

Live Blog - Blue Jackets vs. Preds 10/17/08 (first period)

From the comfort of my home, via streaming radio online &'s boxscore. Hopefully by me staying home this should guarantee a win (like if I went it's a good chance the Jackets will lose because that's my luck :). )

Spent around 20-30 minutes trying to get the stream up. Stupid computer.

7:30ish: Nash score the first goal in the game, assisted by Commodore & Huselius!

7:32: Dorsett vs. Tootoo. Sounded like Tootoo "won." Actually, looking at the penalty minutes, it looks like it was more of a scrub than a fight, each getting two minutes.

7:40: Looks like Columbus has its first penalty kill. Dorsett 2 minutes for high sticking. Let's get a SH goal men!

7:44: Penalty Killed Baby!

7:46: FILATOV SCORED!! Dang, now I'm regretting staying home.

8 seconds later....Voracek scored!!! And there goes Pekke Rinne.

7:52: Second penalty kill (Modin for hooking) - Penalty Killed

7:57: First power play of the game.

7:58: end of First period.

That was a great first period. Kicking myself for not taking the chance and go, but it's a regret I can live with (as opposed to the other possibilities....).

If they can play like this in the next two periods, I'll be VERY happy.

Next time, Columbus

So, I made my final decision. After a restless night's sleep, worry, internal debates, I've decided it's better for me to stay home and listen to the game online than to make the 4 hour both ways trek to see the game. I had thought buying the ticket would finalize my decision, but it did not. So what happened to the days I bravely traveled alone to Minnesota & South Dakota?

Marriage. It's not that he wouldn't let me go if he was here. I think he would, considering the sacrifices I make to get him to his heavy metal concerts. It's the fact he is so far away right now, and if something were to happen to me, he would have no way of knowing, and I could never forgive myself for something like that.

That, and I realized I don't have as much money as I thought I did (and I know it would probably take two tanks of gas for this whole trip). And considering I would get home around 2am and I have to go to work at 1pm, I want to make sure I am still awake by the time I close up shop at 9pm, because a Saturday night in a college town working in the same block as the bars.....not fun. I need to be fully alert to fight off any drunken dude that comes near me :)

I have no qualms about driving the hour to Indianapolis, obviously (since I am planning to go after I eat breakfast), because it's not a strange town, I know where to avoid and usually hit my usual haunts. So it's also a comfort level there.

Anyways, I'll be wearing my Leclaire jersey today (gotta support the team!) and will tune in to 1460 The Fan online tonight and following the boxscore through For those going, enjoy yourselves, have fun, be safe and get on the Preds nerves. I'll be doing my screaming at home (because it's not as bad as the neighbor downstairs who plays that old Nelson song, "More Than Words" obsessively & loud.)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Kris Versteeg photos

A little late (this is from the first preseason game in Chicago against the Jackets), but there was a request for Kris Versteeg photos. Unfortunately, it was in the pre-game warm up. He's #32.

And it's always nice to see young fans (especially girls) get excited & creative about hockey (the sign says "Patrick Kane Drives Goalies Insane!")

Columbus, Here I Come

Tomorrow. And I have a big knot in my stomach. I mean, it's a four hour drive to see a game and I am nervous. But I guess it is worth it: cheap ticket, cheap gas, tribute to McConnell, free hat, Nikita Filatov.

I just pray for a blowout win on the Columbus end & no overtime, because it is a long drive home.

I just hope I am not making a big mistake on this.

For some reason, I have this bad feeling about going to Columbus, so I am not. But I will be listening to it online. Even though I did buy the ticket, I'm only out $26. That just means I can't buy a book or two this pay cycle. That's the sacrifice I can make.
So Columbus, I won't be coming. Sorry.

Yeh, so actually I'm still undecided about going. I think this bad feeling is more paranoia than anything else. It's funny, when I was in my first-round undergrad years, I had absolutely no qualms about driving 8 hours to Minnesota, even when I drive at night and sleep in rest areas. However, now, 10-12 years later, I'm freaked out about a four-hour drive. This is something I'm gonna have to sleep on and decided tomorrow, probably before 2pm.

Denis Savard Fired

Via Yahoo Sports
CHICAGO (AP)—The Chicago Blackhawks fired coach Denis Savard on Thursday after a 1-2-1 start and replaced him with Joel Quenneville.

The dismissal came hours after the team won its first game by beating Phoenix 4-1. The Blackhawks are now run by owner Rocky Wirtz, and the combination of a slow start and a big public relations push may have led to Savard’s abrupt ouster.

“This was an extremely hard day for this organization and for me personally,” general manager Dale Tallon said in a statement. “Denis is forever a part of our organization. We made a tough decision that we strongly feel is the right one as we continue to evaluate our team and create a championship caliber organization that can sustain success.”

The team canceled its Thursday practice and scheduled an afternoon news conference.

Quenneville has coached the St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche. His first game as coach of the Blackhawks is Saturday at St. Louis. He has a 438-283-118 record in parts of 11 seasons. He was signed by the Blackhawks as a pro scout in September.

“Joel brings us a wealth of experience and a winning track record that will have an immediate and lasting impact,” Tallon said.

Savard, a Hall of Fame player, became coach in November 2006 and finished that season with a record of 24-30-7 in 61 games. Last season, Savard led Chicago to its first 40-win season since 2001-02. The Blackhawks went 40-34-8 but still missed the playoffs.

The 45-year-old Savard retired after a 17-year career in 1997. He played with the Blackhawks, Montreal and Tampa Bay, scoring 473 goals with 865 assists. He was Chicago’s first-round pick in the 1980 NHL entry draft.

He started the 1997-98 season as the Blackhawks’ developmental coach before joining the Blackhawks coaching staff as an assistant coach under Craig Hartsburg on Dec. 3, 1997.

Wirtz took over the team following the death of his father, Bill Wirtz, a little more than a year ago. Since then he has hired former Chicago Cubs president and marketing guru John McDonough as president. The team has mended fences with former stars like Bobby Hull, made sure that home games are televised—something Bill Wirtz was opposed to—and allowed Tallon to spend in the free-agent market.

The Blackhawks also have two young stars in last year’s rookie of the year Patrick Kane and Jonathan Towes.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Decision Time

Payday is tomorrow, I will have a little extra money to work with, I have the day off and won't have to work till Saturday afternoon, gas prices are low and it seems like the cheap tickets are still available. Should I make the trip to Columbus for the season home opener? It's either that or definitely going to see another Indiana Ice game. This is my dilemma at the moment, and I will probably have to decide by tomorrow evening.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Weekend Hockey Roundup (Late, Late Edition)

First stop, the Fort Wayne Komets of the IHL. Last week were the preseason games, and they went 3-0-0, defeating the Bloomington (Illinois) PrairieThunder (awesome name!) and the Kalamazoo (Michigan) Wings. Regular seasons play begins Friday in Port Huron (Michigan) against the IceHawks and coming back home on Saturday to play against the Flint (Michigan) Generals.

There has to been some complaints about the overzealous advertising at the home ice of the Komets. Blake Sebring writes about the advertising on the new scoreboard while icethetics posted a picture of the Nascar erm...I mean rink of the Komets.

The Indiana Ice of the USHL swept the two-game homestand against the new expansion team the Fargo Force.

The Columbus Blue Jackets won a great game (except for the lost of Michael Peca, with a potential 10+ game suspension for allegedly hitting a ref with his stick) against Dallas but lost against Phoenix. Tonight they play in San Jose.

The Chicago Blackhawks lost all three games they played this weekend, against the Rangers, the Caps, and the at-home shoot-out lost against the Predators. Is it really bad that I am starting to root against the Blackhawks because I am so sick of the media hype on their end? Has anyone seen the Patrick Sharp commercials for some electronics place in the Chicago area? He's one of the better looking 'Hawks, but he is definitely not a great actor. I can't stand those commercials now.

Right now I am listening to the Wild @ Thrashers game online. This is my excuse to post this funny commmercial for the Wild:


First, of to the right is my tribute to the two passings in the hockey world, one a little late, one very recent: John H. McConnell, who brought the Jackets to Columbus, and Rangers prospect Alexei Cherepanov. They will be dearly missed.

I read about Alexei Cherepanov yesterday online, but it didn't really hit me till I was driving to the library after work and listening to Hockey Night in Canada Radio, and Jeff Marek & Cassie Campbell plus their guests were talking about it. I typically do not show emotion & rarely cry, but I felt the tears welling up while I was driving. But I held it back. Even writing this I am on the verge. Nineteen is so young. My sympathies go to his family, friends, and teammates, especially Jaromir Jagr, who seemed to have taken Alexei under his wing.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Hockey Rant, Komets starts training camp, and a great big hit

  • Let's start with the hockey rant.  It's about the unfairness of calls when a player takes a dive that seemed to be happening lately in junior & minor league hockey.  This could be a big part of the problem at Saturday night's Indiana Ice game vs. the Cedar Rapids Rough Riders with penalties galore.
  • The hockey season is about to gear up for the closest thing Indiana has to a hockey town: Fort Wayne.  It is the start of training camp.  Read about it here, here, here, and here (and check out the photo montage here)
  • Of course, who can forget this (It would be really cool of it makes it on the Don Cherry dvd next year):

Sunday, October 5, 2008

John Carlson interview

Former Ice Defenseman & Washington Capitals first round pick John Carlson answered the media's questions about his experience after the Caps rookie game. He is a guy to watch in the future.

Indiana Ice Season (and Home) Opener

There is something about watching junior level hockey. They are still working on their skills. They have a bit of reckless control over the game. It is action-pack and fast moving. It may not be the NHL, but they are still a blast to watch.

Last night's season and home opener of the Indiana Ice featured the Cedar Rapid Rough Riders. The crowd were crazy and rowdy. The hockey was great, though the Ice did lose (4-2). They did draw a lot of penalties (15 times, a few where there were a 5 on 3 for a minute or so) and were outshot. But their penalty-kill units were fantastic (12 for 15 is really not bad) and their goalie, Brett Bennett, held up rather well against the onslaught. The Ice is a team what only has four members from last year; everyone else is new to the team. There still has to be a lot of chemistry building, but I think they will gel together soon enough. Considering it could have been far worse last night, the Ice held up very well and never ever gave up, even in the final seconds of the game.

Two players stuck out at me at the game: one from Cedar Rapids by name recognition, the other from the Ice by mere physical presence.

For Cedar Rapids: Dean Chelios. Yes, Chris Chelios's son. I think I read somewhere before that he had a son playing in the USHL, but I had completely forgot about it till I saw the name on his jersey. He is a forward for the Rough Riders. And according to the Indianapolis Star, Chris Chelios was in attendance too (If it was announced over the loudspeakers, I couldn't hear it; everything was muffled at ice level).

For Indiana: Mikael Owilli. This guy was HUGE for a league full of 16-20 year olds. 6'4, 208 pounds. There was only one other player that had a similar height (fellow Ice defensemen Joe Hartman, 6'4, 200 pounds). Owilli has a nice, physical presence on the ice and I thought played fairly well. He will be interesting to watch in the future.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Quick Notes

  • Mike Commodore will be on Hockey Night in Canada Radio on Sirius Satellite Radio 122 (sometime between 4pm-7pm ET) tomorrow (wednesday)
  • Raffi Torres out at least 6 weeks with a dislocated shoulder (ouch).
  • Khabibulin cleared waivers (and I was not the only one wondering why LA didn't pick him up; Jeff Marek on Hockey Night in Canada Radio also was surprise).

Monday, September 29, 2008

Final Score

7-1. Jackets blew the 'Hawks out of the water.

I work in a bookstore in a college town, and during the first week of courses, a student who was buying books notice the 'Hawks shirt I was wearing (I wore the Jacket's shirt before and it needed to be washed). He asked me if I was a 'Hawks fan and I said I was a bigger Jackets fan. Turned out he was a Jackets fan too. Anyways, he was telling me to keep my eyes out for Tyutin, that he was going to shine. And he was right.

Awesome game guys!

But I am getting sick of that burrito song commercial. It's embedded in my head now.

Why Couldn't the Jackets Played Like This In Chicago Last Week???

Halfway through the second period, 4-o Jackets. That is so freaking awesome!!

There is a lot of excitement in Chicago, but I never felt it. I feel so much more excited with the Jacket's new and awesome lineup. There wasn't much change in the 'Hawks lineup. I think the hype is because of John McDonough's marketing genius (Hey, it worked for the Cubs).

I really do think that the Jacket's changes are not given the respect that it deserves. This is a new team now, much better. 4 goals in less than 5 minutes? We beat Nashville once? Heck yeh, we got a great team.

Ain't I excited? Heck yeh.

In other news, the 'Bulin wall is on waivers. Think he's going to get snatch up? Only if a team is really needing a goaltender. Maybe LA. But I don't think it's going to happen.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Holy Crap!! We DID IT!!!


Great game guys!!

Voracek with a goal & assist. Tyutin sounded great. Nasty Mirasty dropped them early (unfortunately I missed the first period).

And I can't hear enough of that Nationwide "smooth jazz" commercial with Jared Boll & Rusty Klesla. That is a classic.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Quick Initial Thoughts about the Game Last Night

  • I will try to post up my photos later on today. They are not exactly perfect (the camera is a loaner so I wasn't entirely familiar with it, I was at a kinda bad angle for some of the action, and I after a while I wanted to focus on watching the action rather than trying to find photo opportunities). (I saw the request for Versteeg this morning; I may have one or two of him, since he seemed to be on the ice quite a bit).
  • For someone who never been to an NHL game before (been to the old IHL & the current USHL games), you get a new appreciation for the game that you don't get watching it on TV. Like, the ice looks bigger on TV; it's not. They check REALLY REALLY hard into the boards. And it was REALLY cold near the ice (and I was dressed warm too).
  • Over 18,000 for a preseason game. Impressive. It was nearly packed, especially in the 200 & 300 levels. There were more open spaces in the 100 levels but people moved down towards the 3rd period to fill those spots.
  • There was a guy sitting about 5-10 rows behind me wearing a CBJ jersey who looked very familiar. It took a few takes and then I realized where I saw him (considering I've never been to Columbus before). He was in the background of the Leclaire computer background download photo released by Blue Jackets. That was just weird. I think I saw maybe 2 others CBJ jerseys in the crowd (I went incognito for safety. If something were to happen to me no one would know until Thursday when I go back to work. We are talking about Chicago here...I had on a old Nordiques tee but mostly wearing my black Indiana Ice hoodie jacket inside)
  • It is really rough rooting for your team in enemy territory.
  • I focused entirely on paying attention to the Blue Jackets, so my comments will be about them. I cannot comment about the 'Hawks, except that Campbell was really quick out there.
  • Lots of fighting last night. There's bad blood between these two teams.
  • Players I was impressed with: Brassard, Voracek, Chimera & Novotny; Tollefsen & Backman; Sestito & Dorsett plowing the 'Hawks into the boards; Norrena coming back to finish strong in the 2nd after being plowed into the boards.
  • More later on in the day. I rolled into home at 2am on autopilot (I don't remember much of the last 15-20 minutes of the drive), and I am still exhausted.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Game tonight

  • Ticket? - Check.
  • Camera? - Check.
  • Roster Info? - Check.
I will be taking a lot of pictures tonight. And writing down my thoughts. I will try to post them as soon as I can, but I can imagine I will be sleeping in quite a bit on Wednesday. This should be an interesting game: Brassard & Voracek is playing on the CBJ side, while Patrick Sharp & Patrick Kane, as well as goalie Corey Crawford, on the CHI side. Interesting people to watch.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I now have a new favorite (non-goalie) player

From what I have been reading, I think I'm going to really, really, REALLY like Mike Commodore (not to mention his AWESOME last name!!)!

I hope to see that hairdo soon!

Indiana Ice News

There seems more to the story of Ethan Werek's decision to play for the OHL's Kingston team instead of in Indiana.

Also, the 2008-09 Indiana Ice roster is up.

I was able to score a ticket to the Ice's home opener against Cedar Rapids in a few weeks. Only $20 (with the Ticketmaster fees of course) got me front-row next to the penalty box. I might just have to bang on the plexiglass just this once. I'm not sure if I can even get a seat for $20 at Nationwide (if so, it's nose-bleed seats). One day I hope to go to see the Jackets play in Nationwide, but right now I'm content with their preseason game in Chicago.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

It was expected.


Hope the New Yorkers will have fun with Zherdev.

Also, Fritsche had a good day on the ice with a highlight-worthy goal.  I wish him all the luck in NY.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Just For Laughs

The Hockey News website featured some off-the-wall predictions from various sports writers, including Columbus Dispatch's Aaron Portzline. Some of them are predictable: Stabs at the KHL, Mats Sundin, Toronto & the Tampa Bay, but some are actually quite good.

Aaron Portzline's prediction:

KHL czar Alexander Medvedev gets fed up and decides to buy the NHL for $2 trillion. No more quibbling over players. No more dealing with the IIHF. Say hello to the Kolomna Blue Jackets!
My favorite:

Dallas Stars co-GM Brett Hull will pass on a chance to trade for Jeremy Roenick saying Roenick talks too much.

Other good ones:

Mats Sundin signs with the Red Wings for $500,000 and becomes a fourth-line center in an incredibly stacked lineup.

In a particularly intense late-season game between Dallas and San Jose, Sean Avery climbs into the stands at the Shark Tank, grabs the purse of a woman heckler and hits her over the head with it.

Winter Classic at Wrigley Field. Marian Hossa shot flying toward unattended Blackhawks net. Out of nowhere, skating wildly, wearing baseball glove, Steve Bartman to the rescue.

Vancouver GM Mike Gillis trades the Sedin twins for the Olsen twins. The Canucks lose much-needed scoring, but attendance at their games goes through the roof.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


  • Hockey Night in Canada Radio was not on last night, so I think it is safe to assume that will start airing again September 29.
  • It appears I will not be able to see Nikita Filatov play on Tuesday in Chicago. Seems that they are keeping him off the ice till late next week in order to mend his (hairline) broken fibula. I hope to see Voracek play though.
  • The Blue Jackets prospects beat the Tampa Bay prospects last night to take 7th place in the Prospects Tourney.
  • Blue Jackets: Question about playoffs nets cautious optimism (Columbus Dispatch)
  • For those in the Columbus area: Free food on Friday, 12-2pm at the Nationwide Arena Plaza. You can also see Fedor Tyutin, Kristian Huselius, Nikita Filatov and Jakub Voracek.
  • Blue Jackets 2008 training camp preview (Hockey's Future Website)
  • Voracek yanked from prospects tourney (Halifax's Metro News - The Q blog). I'm not a communications/journalism degree-holder, but isn't this title a little too rough?
  • In unrelated news, I am fighting for first place in 2 out of my 3 fantasy baseball leagues, which is amazing because I never made it any better than 3rd place, even in hockey. And baseball I know little about.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Quick updates

  • For those with Sirius Satellite Radio, Hockey Night in Canada Radio with Jeff Marek should be back on (Sept. 15 according to the website). I haven't confirmed this yet because I take public transport to work rather than drive. But it should be on M-F, 4-8pm (2 hours, repeated twice), on Sirius channel 122.
  • (see above): Looking at the website, Hockey Night in Canada Radio will start airing September 29, M-F, 4-7 pm (I think I heard they are doing 3 hours straight now) on Sirius channels 122 & 97. I will try to see if it's on tonight and confirm which may be true here.
  • With the merger of Sirius & XM satellite radio, there should be more choices coming in the "early fall". This may or may not mean that with Sirius XM, those who were previously with Sirius may have access to the NHL games when it comes to a la carte programming. I'm a bit fuzzy on the details, but if this is indeed the case (o please please please!!), I will let y'all know.
  • Six days to the first preseason game of the Blue Jackets in Chicago (I got my ticket! Three rows from the ice on the Columbus shoot-twice side! I will bring a camera and take beaucoup pictures).
  • A bit of old news, but Robert Lang (C-Chicago) was dealt to Montreal for a draft pick in 2010. My first reaction was "That's a bummer," but then I realized he wasn't that great of a player last season. It was commented Langer was one of the players that caused the normally cool & calm Denis Savard to give his "Commit to the Indian" speech last season (Right after the lost to the Blue Jackets *big smile* in January).

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Nice Pitch Sharpie!

Watch Patrick Sharp throw the first pitch of the White Sox game yesterday.

There was an interview with John McDonough during the third inning that was more interesting then the baseball game (but I guess that says a lot about how much I really like baseball).

One more year of....

Chris Chelios.

Man, he's got to be Superman. Instead of the Red Wings logo, he should have a big S on his jersey instead. How does he do it?

Trinity to Columbus, the Filatov has landed

Filatov in town, set to go to work (Columbus Dispatch)

Oh yeh! He's here. Finally.

Thirteen days to the first Jackets pre-season game in Chicago & I will be there. Three rows from the ice, at the Columbus shoot-twice area (I just hope the people in front of me are short as well). I got a good price on that ticket too. The ticket should arrive today. Next step, get a good camera to take pictures with. I will be totally excited, I would love to see Filatov, Voracek, & Brassard play, as well as Nash, Commodore, Tyutin, & Pazzie. And I would be interested in seeing whoever Chicago puts on net (either Khabibulin or Huet I'm sure). I love watching goalies.

I went to a fight last night...

and a hockey game broke out!

KHL game, Dinamo Riga (white jerseys) and HC Sibir Novosibirsk (blue).

Among the fighters: Marcel Hossa, Matt Ellison (formally of the Blackhawks & Flyers), Ron Petrovicky (formally of the Thrashers & Penguins) and Former Blue Jackets Duvie Westscott (the last guy fighting at the end of the video in white).

Poor Bulgaria!

An 82-0 lost for the Women's Ice Hockey Olympic qualifying team. Slovakia just blew them into smithereens.

A small blurb about Steve Mason

From the Calgary Herald website (which I think is actually just a summary Sunday's Columbus Dispatch article):

Steve Mason would love nothing better than to be suiting up with the Columbus Blue Jackets prospects.

But the 20-year-old goaltender, who starred with the Ontario Hockey League's Kitchener Rangers and London Knights, injured his left knee in April. He's had a quiet summer following surgery and hasn't skated since the injury.

"The pads are just sitting there collecting dust," Mason told the Columbus Dispatch.

Mason, who led Canada to a gold medal at the 2008 world junior hockey championship in Russia, is expected to start the season with the American Hockey
League's Syracuse Crunch. But the native of Oakville,Ont., is considered a significant piece of the Jackets' future.

Not so great news for the Indiana Ice & the USHL

It seems that Ethan Werek, who had planned to play for the Indiana Ice this season & even practice the past two weeks with them, decided to go with the Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL instead. This is a big blow for the Ice and the USHL in general (and even possibly Boston U., as he was planning to play college hockey there), who are trying to be the American version of the OHL, WHL, & the Q.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

It's that time of year again...

Time for those NHL season preview magazines to hit the magazine racks. And the only time of year I can get any hockey magazines at the local Barnes & Noble.

So, in my hands, or on my hardrive, I have:
  • The Hockey News Ultimate Fantasy Pool Guide 2008-2009
  • The Hockey News Yearbook 2008
  • The Sporting News Hockey 2008-2009
  • The Official 2009 NHL Yearbook
So, what are they saying about the Blue Jackets this year?

The Hockey News Ultimate Fantasy Pool Guide 2008-2009:

The Fantasy Impact Standings:
8. Columbus: Nash & Umberger lead revamped offense.
In their Hot 100 Top Scorers, they project Nash as being #42, with 78 games played, 4o goals, 32 assists for 72 points. The only other Columbus player on that list is Kristian Huselius at #95, with 81 games played, 21 goals and 38 assists for 59 points.

In their Projected Shutouts, guess who they have on top? Yes, Pascal Leclaire with a project 8 shutouts (FYI, they projected 6 each for Giguere, Brodeur, Kiprusoff, Luongo & Lundqvist).

As for the Rookies to watch, they have Jakub Voracek at #6:
Voracek is more of a playmaker than scorer, which suits the Blue Jackets fine. They've been searching for someone to get Rick Nash the puck since he entered the league (43 points)
In their Ultimate Guide to the Teams:
The Blue Jackets are a defensive-minded squad under coach Ken Hitchcock, but rely heavily on star winger Rick Nash for offense.

A one time 40-goal man, Nash missed the milestone by two goals in 2007-08, but will get there again. Fifty goals is not out of Nash's reach, but, he needs a better supporting cast first.

Kristian Huselius will replace Nikolai Zherdev on the wing, playing with more consistency and causing less headaches for GMs.

Swedish veteran Fredrik Modin is also a strong winger with scoring ability, but has had a hard time remaining healthy.

There are solid role players, led by Jason Chimera, Manny Malhotra & Jiri Novotny. The team has high hopes for Czech winger Jakub Voracek, who will get every opportunity to earn a top-six winger spot this year.

While the Jackets are strong on the wings, they are weak at center. Neither Malhotra or Novotny are solid options for the first or second line and Rookie Derick Brassard needs time to develop.

On defense, new acquisitions Fedor Tyutin & Christian Backman have made the backend even bigger and tougher. Kris Russell is a few years away from handling the quarterback duties.

In goal, Pascal Leclaire has arrived as the No. 1 man. As the team improves, so will his numbers.
And finally, on the page about penalty stats, a photo of our very own Jared Boll fighting!

Next magazine up: The Sporting News Hockey 2008-2009

100 Things About Me (part deux)

  1. I love corny 80's satire comedy.
  2. Musically, I am stuck in the 90's: 90's grunge and alternative are my favorites. There is very little I like today. Outside that, I also like some slowcore (i.e. Low) and some indie rock (Ida, The Reindeer Section).
  3. I married a metal head but you would never guessed it.
  4. Our first real "date" was to Ozzfest. I didn't really enjoy the music too much but I liked people watching.
  5. The first real concert I've ever been to: The Cowboy Junkies in 1996 (I was a senior in high school). I went to see them several other times in the 6 years after that.
  6. My favorite concert: Low, in Chicago, a few years back.
  7. I do not like clothes shopping. It is rare that I find something I like and will fit and is somewhat modest.
  8. I am a modest dresser. No low-cuts, no cleavage, no stomach showing, and no pants/skirts/dress an inch or two above my ankles.
  9. I wear tennis shoes & t-shirts with my skirts.
  10. I fell in love with Ottawa (the city).
  11. I've been trying to get into a habit of running for about 8 months now. I never can keep at it though.
  12. Most days I'm content staying at home. Other days I crave to go hang out at Barnes & Noble (though I work at an independent bookstore on the other side of town).
  13. I never eat meat when I eat out.
  14. I prefer vegetarian meals to meat.
  15. I LOVE Qdoba and Noodles & Co.
  16. I hardly have to go to my favorites; I memorize most web addresses that I frequent.
  17. I love tons of snow.
  18. I am extremely, painfully shy. I usually don't like to the be first one to speak.
  19. I hate PDA: Public Displays of Affection.
  20. My man is my best friend. I have very little friends other than him. Due to the type of community I live in, people come and go every four years or so.
  21. I always wanted to move far far away from Indiana. Now I've grown to love it. I just want to move to a city in Indiana with more hockey.
  22. When I was a kid I had a Manon Rheaume picture/poster on my wall.
  23. I also had a Monet print up on the wall.
  24. And a map of Canada as well.
  25. I also went for any Canadian musician's cd I knew of and get my hands on: Barenaked Ladies, The Tragically Hip, Spirit of the West....

Friday, September 5, 2008

100 Things About Me (Part 1 of ?)

Because it seems everyone else is doing it; and no, I wouldn't jump off a bridge if everyone else is doing it.

  1. I took 3 years of German, 3 years of French, and a semester of Spanish in high school.
  2. I took German because, well I don't know why initially. But I liked the fact I was learning the language of the vast majority of my ancestors. It also gave me an opportunity to go to Germany for 3 weeks; the first time I ever left the US.
  3. I took French because I dreamed of living in Montreal or elsewhere in Quebec.
  4. I'm not sure why I took Spanish; it was a conversation & culture course anyways.
  5. I added my French major after getting my first bachelor's in order to communicate with my in-laws.
  6. My initial degree was in anthropology.
  7. I [HEART] fantasy sports. I usually have at least one baseball team, a few football teams, and as many as I can get of hockey teams. I tried basketball once and absolutely suck at it. My co-worker got me started on fantasy sports. Now I'm obsessed with them (usually because I end up doing better than he).
  8. Magazines I read: Real Simple, Vegetarian Times, Runner's World, any hockey magazine I can get my hands on.
  9. I work in a bookstore.
  10. Favorite authors: Sherman Alexie, Joy Harjo, Louise Erdrich, Simon Winchester, Tolkien, Willa Cather.
  11. Favorite book themes/topics: anthropology, history of the world through the lens of a single item & idea, interesting travel narratives, natural disaster histories, the prairie.
  12. Favorite cookbooks: anything by Rick Bayless, Bittman's How to Cook Everything, and most of the Moosewood cookbooks.
  13. I'm currently reading the Star Wars novels in storyline chronological order.
  14. In terms of reading, I have obsessions that would last a week or two but fade away. Like once I tried to read all the Shakespeare plays in alphabetical order, but never finished.
  15. I [HEART] watching Monk & Psych.
  16. I'm totally obsessed with weather. I started college in meteorology but switched out because I sucked at chemistry. If I am able to (but I can't because we have the cheapest part of cable), I would watch the Weather Channel obsessively.
  17. I [HEART] Fanta.
  18. I lived in Indiana all my life.
  19. I never been to an NHL game before.
  20. I used to go to the Indianapolis Ice games when they were in the old IHL.
  21. I do plan on going to the first Jackets preseason game (in Chicago) in a few weeks.
  22. I am really hoping to go to the regular season home opener of the Jackets next month. It will be my first time in Columbus (not driving through).
  23. Been to Cincinnati once. Went to the art museum on top of the hill. That park area was really beautiful.
  24. I went to New Jersey once and will never go back.
  25. I have never been to NYC or California, and I have no desire of going there.

Apologies, Fantasy Hockey, Stefan Legein & More

My apologies for the slight break in blogging. Little or no hockey news (or just too late to blog about it) plus a very busy time at work plus some hiccups in life equals a very bad blogger. Now without further ado...

Hey Blue Jackets Fans!! I have started a Fantasy Hockey League on You can name your team after your fave Jacket past & present. It's a weekly Head to Head, with an automated draft set for September 20. Please join {League Name: "Columbus Blue Jackets Fans"}; I have 5 more spots to fill. (I also have a league for hockey fans in Indiana; So please, if you are a fan living in Indiana, please join {League Name: "Hoosier Fantasy Hockey League"}- because I need 11 more people...). These are all free leagues, of course. [EDITED: I tried to provide links but it only went to my teams for some reason. If I can find links to the league in order to join, I will post it up]

Canada's Sportsnet (Ontario Region) website tries to make sense of Stefan Legein.

So, it's a little over three weeks till the first preseason game (I'm nearly 90% sure I'm going to the first Jackets preseason game in Chicago). Mix feelings about whether I want this time to move quickly or not: I want hockey and I want it now, though that also means that while I'm (almost 90% sure I will be) at that first preseason game, my other half will be flying overseas to visit family for 4-5 weeks. So, I'm sure it will be a very lonely time those 4-5 weeks, watching hockey, reading hockey, reading Star Wars novels (yes, I'm a geek) and hiding from society in general. But at least I'll have hockey.

Discussion: Should I break out my Pazzie jersey to wear in Chicago, or should I go low-key for my safety?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Chimera chipper about Jackets' outlook

From the Edmonton Sun:

Jason Chimera figures it's about time.

Since joining the National Hockey League in 2000, the Columbus Blue Jackets have yet to make the playoffs.

In fact, they're the only team in the league never to have played in the post-season.

"We've been close the last couple of years," Chimera said. "For whatever reason, it hasn't worked out. Last year we were pretty close up until the end. The year before we were also close.

"It is getting there. I think we made some good steps, I think. With these new guys, it might give us that extra push.

Chimera, 29, an Edmonton native currently taking part in Perry Pearn's three-on-three camp here, has been a member of the Blue Jackets for the past three seasons.

The former Edmonton Oiler scored 14 goals and added 17 assists as the Blue Jackets finished 13th in the Western Conference standings 11 points out of playoff spots.

This off-season the team made a number of moves in order to try and make up those points.

"I think we've made some good moves, brought in some guys that will help our competitive level," Chimera said.

"With (Kristian) Huselius joining us, that's another good dimension of skill. He's a guy that might be able to get (Rick) Nash the puck a little more where he wants to be.

"We got a few good defencemen and (R.J.) Umberger was a good pickup, too.

"It will be a little different look for us. It looks good on paper, so we'll see how the season goes."

Originally selected by Edmonton in the fifth-round (121st overall) of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, Chimera spent five years in the Oilers system before making his way to Columbus through Phoenix.

He's been a good fit with the Blue Jackets and is looking for big things this season.

"You always hope to contribute offensively a little more going into a season," Chimera said.

"You're always looking at that 20-20 mark, looking to get about 20 goals this year.

"I think I'm a guy that's getting better and better every year. So I just want to keep on building from that."

Saturday, August 9, 2008

My New Header Photo

So, I finally got a half-way decent header banner. Here are some things about it.

Indiana Ice vs. Ohio Jr. Blue Jackets
Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis
Saturday, April 5, 2008

It was the final game of the regular season, with the Ice going to the playoffs and Ohio eventually seizing operations. Final score: Indiana 7, Ohio 0.

This was the end of the game as they were leaving the ice.

From left to right:
  • #10 Brent Gwidt (F). 2007-2008 stats: In 56 games, 8 goals, 14 assists for 22 points; + 15 & 48 penalty minutes. He was drafted by the Washington Capitals in 2006 in the 6th round (157 overall).
  • #6, John Carlson (D). 2007-2008 stats: In 59 games, 12 goals & 31 assists for 43 points; +11 & 72 penalty minutes. Drafted by the Washington Capitals in 2008 during the 1st round, 27 overall. In this game he scored 1 goal, 2 assists, with a +3.
  • #24 John Kemp (F). 2007-2008 stats: In 58 games, 13 goals and 59 assists for 72 points; +-0 & 20 penalty minutes. He tied for first in the USHL in points and first in assists. He will be playing for University of Nebraska-Omaha in the fall.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Early look at Calder contenders

Hockey's Future takes an early look at the Calder trophy contenders for the upcoming season.

For the Blue Jackets Fan:
Columbus: Jakub Voracek, Derick Brassard.
And what they say about Filatov:

Nikita Filatov is a popular name due to him being embroiled in controversy, but he didn’t have enough Super League experience last year to make him a likely candidate even if he does end up with the Blue Jackets.

A little harsh on Filatov? I would like to think so. We will see.

Now it would be so awesome to see a Voracek-Filatov run at the Calder Trophy like the Toews-Kane run with the Blackhawks. If this were to happen, watch out, because that would make some excellent hockey to watch.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Press Conferences & Retirement

The Chicago Blackhawks are going to have a press conference on Monday (noon ET, 11am CT) to introduce Cristobal Huet. Is it just me or are they having just way too many press conferences. I think there was one to introduce Scotty Bowman. Another to formally announce the winter classic. I'm sure there were several to advertise the 'Hawks convention. One for Patrick Kane, and one to introduce the expanded tv airings of games this upcoming season. I'm sure there's more. But I don't remember hearing about Columbus having a press conference to introduce Commodore or anyone else. But man, I think the 'Hawks are marketing themselves to death. Or at least it is starting to really annoy me.

Just a reminder from Steve Yzerman to those thinking of pulling a brettfavre :)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Vermette staying in Ottawa

According to RDS, Vermette accepted a 2 year deal for $5.525 million ($2.525 mil. the first, $3 mil. the second). We can scratch him off our list.

Leclaire has signed.

Thank God!!! I hated this not for sure thing. And wouldn't it be a waste when I bought a Leclaire jersey and not really be able to use it much this season. I can get a good three seasons out of it now.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

USA U-18 Team to play against the Indianapolis Ice

2008-09 NTDP Schedules Announced
The U.S. National Under-18 Team opens its season at home against the Indiana Ice
of the USHL on September 12 at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube before heading to Blaine,
Minn., for the sixth annual NAHL Showcase from September 17-20.

This would be interesting to watch if I had time to get to Ann Arbor (I loved Ann Arbor. It reminded me of Madison, Wisconsin. In both of these places my other half somehow seeked out his fellow countrymen without even knowing them, without knowing they even existed. He's weird that way.)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Saturday, July 26, 2008

NHL prospect headed to Indiana

It is always nice to see future talent come to our humble state. Keep an eye out for Ethan Werek this season.

Stouffville forward will play in USHL, then Boston University
By: Mike Hayakawa, Staff Writer

Ethan Werek is leaving the Stouffville Spirit.

The 17-year-old Stouffville-area resident, who has accepted a scholarship to attend Boston University in the fall of 2009, will be in the United States Hockey League tier one circuit with the Indiana Ice in Indianapolis this season.

“It was a hard decision,” he said Friday. “In the end, I sat down with my family and said Indiana will be a great place for me to develop before I go to Boston University and hopefully get drafted in the National Hockey League. It’ll definitely be hard to leave home. But I’m excited.”

Making the decision more interesting is that fact that his father, Zeev Werek, has co-owned the Spirit for 10 years.

Ethan, who started in the Whitchurch-Stouffville Minor Hockey Association, is a projected high-end pick in next June’s NHL draft in Montreal.

He was picked in the first round of the 2006 Ontario Hockey League draft by Kingston, after telling teams he was going the college route and would not report. (U.S. colleges consider OHL teams as professional. Playing in one game makes a player ineligible for college hockey. The USHL is not considered pro.)

The thought of moving south was planted last year when Werek was Indiana’s first pick in a USHL draft.

Several pro and amateur scouts recommended the USHL to him as the top league south of the border and of similar quality to the OHL, Werek said.

As well, the Boston University coaching staff suggested he take the USHL route.

Last month, Werek made a visit to Indiana and met the Ice coaching staff.

“I liked the program they were running. It’s like a major junior A program and the club was one of the top teams in the league last year and they have good resources there,” he said.

The Ice had three players taken in this year’s NHL draft for the second straight season, including first-rounder John Carlson (Washington Capitals). They average more than 3,500 fans per game.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Why not here?

New league plans for a team in Indy (Indianapolis Star)

The Indianapolis Trax would play in the startup four-team Midwest Hockey League, set to begin play in November. Other franchises are to be located in Evansville, Ind., Columbus, Ind., and Louisville, Ky., league president Wade Stuckey said Tuesday.
OK, Indianapolis & Louisville I can see. But Evansville & Columbus? Why not Lafayette? That would be so cool. Population wise, I'm not sure Columbus could support it for sure. Evansville, maybe. Also, geographically, Indianapolis, Columbus & Louisville are all on I-65, but getting to Evansville from Indy or Columbus becomes a pain in the derriere.

Although Indianapolis is already home to the Indiana Ice of the United States
Hockey League, Stuckey said he isn't worried about saturating the market.

"We're not looking to put anybody out of business," Stuckey said. "This league will offer something different. What the Ice have done is give people in Indianapolis knowledge of our sport. We see it as a very viable market."
The Indiana Ice had the 2nd largest average in attendance in the USHL last year. However, it is also the only hockey team in town. This won't help the Indiana Ice, especially if the games are at the same time. This IS Indiana, not Canada. And the USHL doesn't have the same prestige at the Q, OHL, WHL, so getting people to pay attention and giving them respect is hard to do (even though an Ice player did get drafted in the first round this year, defenseman John Carlson by Washington).

The league will include players 18 and up. Unlike the USHL, which is an amateur league, players in the Midwest Hockey League will be paid. Stuckey said players will make roughly $150 to $300 a game. Each team is scheduled to play 40 games and will be permitted to have a maximum of four players with more than 180 games of professional experience.
Even though I would have called it this before, I think the USHL won me over. I hate the term amateur league. It's a junior or developmental league.

"We'll be able to keep our costs down because of the geography of the teams," Rossetti said. "With a smaller facility and reasonable prices, this league can appeal to families looking for affordable entertainment."
Well, I will have to give that a plus, especially for Evansville & Columbus. In Indianapolis, tickets for the Ice games cost 11 & 16 dollars, which I think is pretty cheap for a decent hockey game.

I'm not sure yet what to think of this. I love hockey to grow in Indiana, however, not at the expense of the Indiana Ice. I think what they and the USHL are doing is extremely valuable to hockey (in developing American players, though not exclusively American) and valuable to the community (they do a lot of charitable work in Indianapolis). I would probably like it more if Lafayette would have a team, so I can go without paying too much for gas, but really, we don't have a facility except for a really small outdoor skating rink in a park (The Purdue Hockey Club has to travel to Danville, Illinois - an 1.5 drive - for practice and games).

Midwest Hockey League

Also mentioned in: IceMen are 'flagship franchise' (Evansville Courier & Press)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Breakfast burritos with Columbus Sports Icons - Sports

Breakfast burritos with Columbus Sports Icons - Sports

Also presenting his case was the general manager of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Scott Howson. He had a chance to discuss his free agency moves.

"To get good players, you have to give up good players and I feel like we really improved our puck handling in the back end," Howson said.

In the first week of July the Blue Jackets traded forwards Nikolai Zherdev and Dan Fritsche to the New York Rangers for defensemen Fedor Tyutin and Christian Backman.

Howson also provided an update on contract negotiations with the Blue Jackets talented young goaltender, Pascal Leclaire.

"Negotiations are all about changing people's expectations, and we worked on Pascal's expectations and now he's working on ours," Howson said.

I am really hopeful to see good defense this upcoming season.

Yet another reason why I WILL REALLY like Commodore!!

Blue Jackets: New hire hoping to drop anchor (Columbus Dispatch)

"I didn't pick a place where I would come, lay back, pick up a paycheck and go
to Buckeye games," he said. "I came to a place where I thought we could win."

I'm glad he won't be wasting time at college football games because I HATE college football games myself.

I am getting extremely excited. Is it hockey season YET!?!?!

I think I am going to REALLY like Commodore!

10 Questions with... Mike Commodore What were your first impressions after you signed with Columbus?
Mike Commodore: I was excited, of course. I chose to come here. I was excited about the moves they were making — they told me there was a plan in place, and they were going to execute it. I guess my first experience with the city has really been the last couple of days (visiting for the first time). It’s been great, it’s a nice city and everyone has been welcoming.

It is nice to hear a player say he is excited & chose to be in Columbus. This is a great change from that Adam Foote bailing out on us. I'm so excited that Commodore is so excited. :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

New Home

This is my new home. I was previously on WordPress ( but didn't like the few options I had there of sprucing this up, and it is easy to post here from work than on the WordPress website. So here I am.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Poll: Which Blue Jackets, Blackhawks, and Indiana Ice games should I go see?

EDITED: Post your answers in the polls to the right for each team.

I narrowed it down to games which are feasible for me to go see from late September to mid-October (while my other half is away visiting family). Considerations I made in narrowing it down are the following:

  • Is it a Monday-Thursday game or Friday-Sunday game?

  • What time is the game?

  • Do I have time to drive there (if working that night) and get home at a decent hour?

  • Can I afford it?

  • How much vacation time will I have?

  • Chicago is a 2 hour drive; Indianapolis is 1 hour, and Columbus is 4 hours

  • I am on Eastern Time, Chicago is on Central Time

  • I work 9-5pm, M-F

  • I can afford more Indiana Ice (USHL, junior hockey) games than NHL games (or at least can afford better seats at Indy)

  • At least one game in Chicago, one game in Columbus, maybe one game where Chicago & Columbus are playing against each other, and maybe 2-3 games in Indianapolis

So, the game choices are:

  • Pre-Season Games

    • Columbus @ Chicago, Tuesday, September 23, 8:30 pm ET (I will probably be in Chicago that day anyways)

    • Minnesota @ Chicago, Friday, September 26, 8:30 pm ET

    • Nashville @ Columbus, Friday, September 26, 7pm ET

    • Dallas @ Chicago, Sunday, September 28, 7pm ET

    • Buffalo @ Columbus, Thursday, October 2, 7pm ET

    • Colorado @ Chicago, Sunday, October 5, 7pm

    • Toronto @ Columbus, Sunday, October 5, 5pm

  • Regular Season Games

    • Nashville @ Chicago, Monday, October 13, 8:30 pm

    • Nashville @ Columbus, Friday, October 17, 7pm

    • Vancouver @ Chicago, Sunday, October 19, 7pm

  • Indiana Ice Games (all games at 7:30 pm)

    • Cedar Rapids @ Indy, Saturday, October 4

    • Fargo @ Indy, Friday, October 10

    • Fargo @ Indy, Saturday, October 11

    • Waterloo @ Indy, Friday, October 17

    • Des Moines @ Indy, Saturday, October 18

Good Luck in Buffalo...

Patrick Lalime. It was such a delight watching you play for Chicago. I will certainly miss that, and too bad I didn't get to see you play in person.

Welcome to Columbus....

  • Kristian Huselius

  • Mike Commodore

  • Christian Backman

  • RJ Umberger

  • Raffi Torres

  • Fedor Tyutin

  • Nikita Filatov

  • (and although drafted last year) Jakub Voracek

I wish you all the luck and success in Columbus and hope that you will finally get us into the playoffs very soon :-)

(still waiting on Pascal Leclaire to resign.....)

Oh Captain My Captain (Chicago Style)

Jonathan Toews named captain of the Blackhawks squad, becoming the third youngest in league history.

So though Kane has the Calder Trophy, Toews got the big C on his uniform.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Arab Cup of Hockey

Yes, believe it. It is currently taking place this week in the United Arab Emirates, between UAE, Kuwait, Algeria & Morocco. I'm rooting for Algeria (my other half is Algerian, that's why).

The scores so far (partly from National Teams of Ice Hockey and partly from various forum(s) posts of someone involved directly):

June 16, 2008

  • Kuwait vs. Algeria - 8 to 2

  • UAE vs. Morocco - 9 to 0

June 17, 2008

  • Morocco vs. Kuwait - 3 to 6

  • Algeria vs. UAE - 2 to 6

Note: The rosters for Morocco and Algeria are filled with Moroccan or Algerian expats who lived & played in France or Canada (with the exception for a French guy who lived in Morocco for a very long time with his family). The rosters for UAE and Kuwait includes a whole line filled with players from Belarus & Czech Republic. Not very fair, don't you think? Money buys nationality, I guess.


Friday, June 13, 2008

“I want to make speech longer but my English short.”

-Pavel Datsyuk (with nods to Bethany's Hockey Rants for posting the quote)

Updates since last posting (I apologize but things have gotten crazy here):

  • Detroit won the Stanley Cup: BOOOOOOOO!!! HISSS!!! (obviously I am not a Detroit fan)

  • Dominik Hasek (G-DET) is retiring (now I have to find another good goalie for my fantasy team)

  • Patrick Kane won the Calder Trophy!!! YES!!! He was so awesome to watch last season. I'm so happy for him (Other NHL trophy winners listed here and of course Ovechkin is carrying around a lot of metal)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The many suits of Don Cherry

Love him or hate him, there are just no words to describe Don Cherry's clothing style:

Don Cherry's Fashion Statements

Battle of the Goalies

I think it was Don Cherry who said (or at least re-iterated) that great teams have great goalies. This year's Stanley Cup finals are no exceptions. It is the battle of the goalies: Chris Osgood for Detroit and Marc-Andre Fleury for Pittsburgh.

Game 6 starts tonight, and so far it's Detroit ahead 3 games to 2. Here is a numerical comparison between Osgood & Fleury so far in this final series:

  • Chris Osgood: 3 wins, 2 of them shut-outs. 112 saves against 120 shots, so the save average is 93.3%.

  • Marc-Andre Fleury: 2 wins. 178 saves against 192 shots, making the save average 92.7%

So, as you can see, despite Osgood's 2 shut-outs, the save average are close to each other.

Osgood has been good to me on my fantasy teams when Hasek was benched for various reasons this past season. But in this final series, I have much greater respect for Fleury, and it's not because he's a Quebecois goalie (I do like French goalies a lot, like Patrick Roy when I was much younger & Pascal Leclaire currently). Fleury, I think in this series, is a better goalie than Osgood. He has been bombarded by the Detroit offense and have made countless great saves. A team's best defense is their goalie, and since Pittsburgh's defense is not as strong as Detroit, Fleury has pretty much kept the team's chances alive. And quite frankly, Detroit's defense pretty much makes Osgood's job easier.

Though I'm not a Pittsburgh fan, I am definitely not a Detroit fan (though I have had their players on my fantasy team and they had been good to me). With that I must say:

Go Penguins!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Funny Short Film

I Won!!!

About a few months ago, I participated on an online survey (a legitimate one) with free tickets giveaway to the USHL's Indiana Ice game. So naturally, I did, and totally forgot about it until today. Coming home, my husband got to the mail box and grabbed the mail and gave me a letter. I looked at the return address and felt it was familiar, but didn't know. I opened it up and...I won free tickets to Saturday's Indiana Ice game at Conseco Fieldhouse. Good tickets too! Wow! I rarely win anything, and wasn't expecting this. It is the last game of the (outstanding) regular season for the Ice. Finally I'll be going to a hockey game this season. (Oh, yeh, and it's against the Ohio Junior Blue Jackets).

More Blackhawks Stuff

An interesting bit about one of my favorite Blackhawks, Big Buff, Dustin Byfuglien.

Size of Byfuglien's Heart Matters Most

All Blackhawks games to be televised next season

Owner Rocky Wirtz & President John McDonough announced yesterday that all Chicago Blackhawks games will be televised next season in HD. The vast majority will be aired on the regional sports station Comcast SportsNet Chicago, while about twenty will be aired on Chicago Superstation WGN. Any remaining games will be televised with other NHL partner stations (I guess that means Versus). Details are still be to worked out.

This is fantastic news. Previously, only the away games were shown on Comcast SportsNet Chicago. This year, with the passing of Bill Wirtz and the ascent of Rocky Wirtz, they began airing a select number of home games. Originally they planned on airing around 10, but they had began airing a few more in the final weeks of the season (one's with "playoff implications," the last one being tonight against Detroit) that was not in the original plan. This will be the first time since the 70's that WGN has shown any Blackhawks games.

A lot has changed for the Blackhawks this season, which is great. They have a fantastic young team that I'm sure will only get better and will be a hoot to watch further down the road, if not already. Even though I am a Blue Jackets fan, it has been really exciting watching the 'Hawks this season on TV. It will be even more exciting next season, I'm sure.

Yes, it is odd that the previous culture of Blackhawks management resisted so long airing the games for all to see. An interesting quote from the Chicago Tribune:

"For most franchises, televising games is as elemental as selling watered-down beer. But in the Blackhawks' case, this was the fall of the Berlin Wall."

Just hope that the 'Bulin wall remains standing :)

Blackhawks Press Conference Part 1

Blackhawks Press Conference Part 2