Archive for December 2008

Hockey Players Not Sure What to Wear for Outdoor Hockey?!?

December 31, 2008
Courtesy of chicagoblackhawks.com

Courtesy of chicagoblackhawks.com

Yes, the Winter Classic is tomorrow.  I’ll be attending a “winter-classic” bash by my brother’s.  There’s something cool and almost sacred about playing hockey outdoors-I mean, that’s where it all started, right?

Which is perhaps why I’m upset and alittle bewildered by the following statement by Brian Campbell of the Blackhawks appearing here:

“The guys are asking what they should wear and I told them I didn’t wear anything different from what I normally wear and I was fine.  Mostly, it’s a wait-and-see situation. When the snow starts landing on your visor, you adapt and move on.”

So there are guys that don’t know what to wear when they play hockey outside?!?

Didn’t they play hockey outside as kids?  Don’t they play with their kids outside?

I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised, after all, indoor rinks and leagues are everywhere.

Call me a purist, but all hockey players should be required to skate on a lake or pond at least once a year…

…to remember their roots…

NOTE: The header for this blog is me on a frozen lake, so I, um, know what to wear when playing hockey outside.

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Embedded Sensors Might Really Show When a Hit is a HIT!

December 31, 2008
Sensors Detecting Impacts

Sensors Detecting Impacts (Red=high, Blue=low)

Was thinking the other day about technology and hockey and I began thinking about body checks and the impacts players experience.

Apparently I’m not the only one thinking about stuff like this.

While I hated the colored puck that was used on national tv to try and highlight the movement and speed of the puck, sensors embedded in players’ equipment or on the boards could yield really cool (and scientifically pertinent) images of the forces players experience during a game.  Perhaps it could even be used only on replays?

What do you think about it?

Three Things That Bug Me About the Blackhawks

December 16, 2008

The Chicago Blackhawks keep rolling.  They trounced Edmonton tonight 9-2. 

In spite of the great start, there are a couple of things that bug me about this organization.

1. They lead the NHL in attendance which is a good thing, but the Cubs led the league in attendance too.  There is a wonderful exuberance in the air with this team, but it’s not a Stanley Cup team and it doesn’t deserve sellout crowds every night.  But, this doesn’t really surprise me that much because fans have been so starved for a decent Blackhawks team that what they see now seems like filet mignon, when really it’s more like a double whopper with cheese, with fries and a drink.

2. There’s the Winter Classic. AWESOME!

Wrigley Field–BOOO!!

They were so caught up in the marketing of this they forgot they were marketing a hockey game and hockey can’t be watched well in Wrigley field- period! People will say it was a great experience, but that’s what it will be, an experience — the hockey game will play second fiddle.  There are multiple college locations in Chicago that would have been better, but alas, this isn’t about hockey.

3.  I’ve saved the best/worst for last.  Dale Tallon- the GM.

Yes, Dale is a nice guy. Yes, Dale is not a Rhodes Scholar and his poor grammar and sentence structure would drive me nuts when he was a color commentator.  But, Dale Tallon is not a GM.  He is the last of the Old Regime, the quid pro quo world of the Chicago Blackhawks that was only rivaled by Chicago politics. 

Dale is still standing and Hall of Famer, Denis Savard, is gone (which I don’t think he deserved to be coach either but that’s another story).   He’s stumbled into good draft picks and made some terrible signings.  In summary, he looks like he really isn’t sure of what he’s doing.  But now Dale has an opportunity to learn from the best in Scotty Bowman and maybe this will be his saving grace.  

Yet,  there is still that  part of me that sees Dale getting something he didn’t deserve, and getting accolades for something that’s not really his doing.

And…

…there is deeper, darker fear…

He’ll screw up a good thing.

Meanwhile,  the Blackhawks are rolling along …

The Character of the Chicago Blackhawks.

December 15, 2008

Recently I was emailed a story about the Chicago Blackhawks heading over to their GM, Dale Tallon’s, dad’s funeral.  While it is beginning to take on the earmarks of an urban legend, it really doesn’t need the fluff- truth is better than fiction in this case.  Read the real scoop here.  The article says something about the character of this team.  The emailed version is below:

A True story…..

In the middle of a grueling six game road trip where a very young
hockey eam is away from home, the third game of the trip ends late on a
cold Canadian Saturday night.  This is the only break on the trip and the
three days between games allow them the only break to get back home in
their own beds for a couple of days before going back on the road.  A scheduled
commercial flight waits for them at Toronto’s International Airport for the short flight home; they could be home by midnight.  This plane departs on schedule, but without a single member of the hockey team. (more…)

Why Wrigley? – Seating For “Winter Classic 2009”

December 12, 2008
Layout for the Winter Classic (Courtesy of ChicagoBlackhawks.com)

Layout for the Winter Classic (Courtesy of ChicagoBlackhawks.com)

 The Blackhawks have released some more info on their WinterClassic.  I don’t know about you but I’m a wee bit underwhelmed.  Don’t get me wrong.  It’s a cool idea and one long overdue.  I love the idea of pros playing hockey outside.  It’s how most of us first played ice hockey – outside (Personally, I relish the opportunities I can play outside in the winter.)  But, I think the Blackhawks’ own headline says it all:

Wrigley Has AUnique Feel For Classic.

That is marketing talk for, “This is really cool and really expensive for the fans but the sight lines are going to stink!”

For tix that are $75, $225 and $325 this game should be deciding who gets the Stanley Cup, not who can keep their binoculars from freezing while players keep their A%%es from freezing.

The GREAT Conversation

December 7, 2008
Courtesy of the Coyotes Website

Courtesy of the Coyotes Website

“Come in, Wayne-have a seat.  Your suit looks great.”

“Thanks Wayne, you’re looking sharp tonight.  Things are coming together don’t you think?”

“That’s what I brought you in to discuss.  I don’t think things are coming together.  That is a nice tie.”

“Thanks.  What do you mean?  I mean, I know we’re less than .500 in the three years I’ve coached, but we’re finally starting to gel.  Office looks great tonght.”

“Thanks.  Wayne, this team is just getting beat. That 7-1 loss to the Blackhawks was the last straw.  It seems like we’re not going to be better than .500.  As managing partner I’m going to have to let you go.”

“You…you can’t let me go!  I’m…um…the GREAT ONE!”

“Wayne, YOU’LL always be the GREAT ONE to me.  You’re still part owner and managing partner.”

“Thanks….Who’s the replacement”

“I haven’t thought much about it, but if someone doesn’t rise to the top, I’ll take the position myself.”

“I appreciate the second chance.”

“It’s the least I can do.  Say ‘Hello’ to Janet for me.”

“You too.”

Great Hockey Tonight!

December 7, 2008

Tonight was a hockey game.

 Good speed, checking, fights, a bit of blood and the Wolves won.  I called it.  

The Blackhawks, while mustering another point in the standings (Though it’s a good thing, for some reason I’m really getting tired of OT and Shoot Out losses and STILL getting a point! Either 2 points or NO points), blew a two goal lead in Detroit tonight.

Perhaps even better was the drunk group of fans in the row in front of us.   The elder statesman of the group shared the story of his youth: “I gave up hockey for alcohol and drugs”

Oooooookay.

Soon he began singing, “Too too, shy shy, hush hush, eye 2 eye.”  His buddy, on the other hand, eyes glassy from what was probably herb smoked between periods, yelled, “That’s bulls**t!” and quickly leaned over to the row in front of him:

“Sorry, Father…”