Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wednesday Puckpourri - Flames should be burning with embarassment; 17 WHL players invited to Team Canada WJC selection camp

The Canucks/Flames game just ended and all I can say is WOW. To quote my friend Shawn, who described another game the same way - the Canucks scored a touchdown, while the Flames scored a safety. A 7-2 loss is more than embarrassing. I'd say it's downright humiliating. And we all sat here watching the Flames falter and fall apart, kind of like a train wreck. Kind of? Let me amend that. The Calgary Flames WERE a train wreck in motion.

Mason Raymond scored his second career hat trick, with one goal in the first and two in the third. He also assisted on the Canucks' second goal, by Jeff Tambellini. Raymond sure had a lot of accuracy tonight, considering he fired just four shots on net. Daniel Sedin, Alex Burrows and Dan Hamhuis also scored for Vancouver. Tim Jackman and Alex Tanguay tried to keep the Flames in the fight, then the Canucks blew things wide open in the third, turning the Scotiabank Saddledome into their own personal shooting gallery.

I'm sure bigger Calgary and Vancouver fans than I will post their own, more colorful blogs about tonights fiasco game. When I see their posts, I'll link them here.

I'm excited that 17 WHL players have been asked to attend Team Canada's WJC selection camp, including Everett Silvertips d-man Ryan Murray and Seattle Thunderbirds goalie Calvin Pickard. I wrote up a brief story for the site and listed all 39 players invited to attend. You can read it by clicking here.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Puckpourri - New stuff for From the Rink & Hockey Recon

Spent some time this week writing up quarter-mark reviews for the Penguins and Blues for Hockey Recon. The Pens one was kind of easy, while the Blues review was a little more difficult, as I haven't seen many St. Louis games this season (I'm kind of glad I didn't - because I would not have wanted to see TJ Oshie break his ankle.

My co-bloggers at Hockey Recon took on a number of other teams. You can read all of our reviews - and chime in with your own, by clicking here.

My weekly WHL offering for SB Nation's "From the Rink" focuses on the US Division, as kind of a quasi-tribute to Thanksgiving. I like how it turned out - it features different things about each team, and includes a brief interview with Tri City Americans Head Coach Jim Hiller. You can check it out by clicking here.

I'm going to try to catch a T-Birds or Silvertips game tomorrow night. We'll see. I might end up listening to the game on the radio.

What games have you been to lately????

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thursday Puckpourri: The meaning of Gratitude, via Adam Proteau

I'm sitting in my kitchen, trying to warm up while more snow falls outside, trying to make a list of everything that I'm grateful for this year. As usual, I was procrastinating and distracting myself by checking out Twitter, Facebook and an old episode of "Law & Order" (the one loosely based on Michael Jackson's obsession with kids).

I was just making my third round of Tweets when one caught my eye. It was from The Hockey News and read: "In his blog, THN's Adam Proteau - @ProteauType - offers holiday thanks to the real heroes of the hockey world." The tweet came with this link:

Being the curious person that I am (and always looking for another distraction); and having liked other blogs by Adam, I clicked on the link and for once, I am happy that I procrastinated. This is the most eloquent, thoughtful story I've read in a long time and really illustrates the true meaning of gratitude. 

I'm thankful for people like Adam, to look past the obvious, to find gems that shine more brightly from the inside.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thursday puck-pourri: Hockey Recon and an earth-shaking shave

Some old NHL Connect buddies and I started a blog called Hockey Recon. We wanted to call  it NHL Reconnect because that's basically what we did: reconnected. But.. you apparently can't use "NHL" in a blog title unless the NHL starts the blog.


We created a blog called "Hockey Recon" - which sounds cooler than "Hockey Reconnect" because the wider world wouldn't really get it. (not that we ever cared, but...). The blog went live last week and there's already a bunch of hockey goodness posted there. I like Hockey Recon because it lets me show a side of myself I can't show anywhere else. The stuff I write for KING 5, From the Rink and Hockey Independent are more serious, fact-based and more MSM. The stuff I write for Hockey Recon lets me express opinions, no matter how off the mark or silly, because they're MY opinions and thoughts.

My first "official" post for Hockey Recon concerns what I perceive to be a disservice that the NHL perpetrated on Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas. You can read about it by clicking here.

Earth recently tilted on its axis a little and I now know why: GEORGE PARROS SHAVED HIS PORN-STACHE. I have to thank the Puck Daddy blog for showing the video of George doing the dirty deed and explaining why he chose to part with his most identifying feature (yes, even more so than this Anaheim Ducks uniform), and the reason is pretty heart-warming. He decided to shave his mustache and regrow it for "Movember" - a mustache-growing fundraiser that raises money and awareness of cancers that affect men. You can read more about it on Puck Daddy by clicking here.

That's all I've got for now. To those of you who are a little frustrated because all you see when you come here are links to stories I've written elsewhere, I apologize. I'm writing in so many places right now, there's nothing left for me to post here. Or at least that's how I feel right now.

Here's where you can find my stuff:

From the Rink - an SB Nation blog (I have a Friday column that covers the WHL)
Hockey Independent (I cover a variety of features and sometimes the Los Angeles Kings)
KING 5 Sports (I cover the WHL's US Division, mostly the Seattle Thunderbirds & Everett Silvertips)
Hockey Recon (I write about whatever strikes my fancy, hockey-wise)
CCPT Hockey (the blog for the radio show I co-host with my friend Cassie McClellan from Raw Charge and From the Rink)

If I pop up anywhere else, I'll be sure to post a link. In the meantime, thanks for being interested enough to stop by. I can tell by the StatCounter info that you come from all over and it warms my heart to know that you've stopped by, even if only for a few seconds.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Slapshot Striptease - Just because.

Where does the time go?

Seriously, where does the time go? It's already Saturday, October 30 and I haven't bought Halloween candy or even put up any decorations. Well, I hardly put up decorations anyway so that's no big thing. What I *have* been able to do, however, is write. Just not for this blog!

Here's a link to a story I wrote for Hockey Independent, about Hockey Fights Cancer and the first ever #Hashtag battle between two NHL teams to raise money for charity: "Fighting Cancer, one hashtag, auction and game at a time." ->

I also completed my third colum for From the Rink.

I just joined another blog- but this one is very dear to my heart, as it's comprised of some of my closest hockey friends. We met nearly three years ago on NHL Connect, back when it was a FUN place to hang out. I remained friends with a couple of people but reconnected with the rest on Facebook. We just decided to form our own blog to continue the fun we had at NHL Connect. Here's the link if you're interested in following our shenanigans:

I have some good features in the works and can't wait to share them with you. In the meantime, tell me which WHL teams are surprising you right now, whether for good or bad.

Also... GO UAH CHARGERS!!!!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday puckpourri: Giving from the heart; learning curve and UAH on TV

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a sucker for a "feel good" story. And nothing is more "feel good" than learning about players and teams who give from the heart. I know pretty much every team out there gets in the act during October, which is "Hockey Fights Cancer" month, but one NHL agent has launched a movement to get players and fans alike to think about giving

Sunday, October 10, 2010

From the Rink

This is just a short update to talk about a weekly column I'm writing for the website FROM THE RINK. FTR is part of SB Nation and staffed by some amazing hockey writers and an awesome editor, Mike Chen. I'm very honored to join their ranks. I'm covering the WHL for them right now. We'll see how things go.

Anyway, here's my latest offering for them:

Check it out, leave a comment and let me know if I'm on the right path.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Homage to anthem singers - courtesy of the Hanson Brothers

Monday Puckpourri: WHL season underway; CCPT Hockey expands to 2 HOURS LIVE; new hope for UAH and one more thing!

The WHL season started over the weekend, which means I am in hockey heaven right now! Having two teams within (relatively quick) driving distance isn't bad, either. The Everett Silvertips are starting things off with an 8-GAME HOME STAND. You can't get any better than that! Two games ar already in the books for the 'Tips - both wins (They beat the Seattle Thunderbirds 4-3 Friday night and the Vancouver Giants 5-2 Saturday night. This Friday, they welcome the Kamloops Blazers to Comcast Arena, followed by the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Saturday. For game times and tickets, click here.

The Seattle Thunderbirds rebounded from their last-second loss to the 'Tips by handily thrashing the Portland Winterhawks Saturday night at ShoWare Center. Before dropping the puck on their home opener, the team and fans paid tribute to Glen Goodall, the most prolific scorer in T-Birds history. To take a look at his numbers, check out his profile at I couldn't believe some of the numbers I saw! For example: during his final year in Seattle (89-90), Goodall had 76 goals and 87 assists for 163 points. Does that look like a typo or what?? Anyway, the crowd welcomed him back in high style and his 16 year old daughter thrilled everyone with her rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Then, the T-Birds showed what they learned over the summer, beating the Winterhawks 4-1. After the game, I conducted my very first post-game interviews, with Head Coach Rob Sumner and T-Birds d-man Brenden Dillon. You can read my entire wrap up, plus interviews on the KING 5 Sports site. Or just click here.

My friend Tyler Hunnex is one of the finest T-Birds hockey minds I know - and is busy adding to his popular blog, "Let's Go Birds." You can check out his wrap-up of opening weekend, plus a player-by-player overview for the season. Just click here.

I guess this is also a good place to remind you to read my WHL stuff over at "From the Rink."

My friend Cassie McClellan and I are having a blast co-hosting the CCPT Hockey show over on  We've garnered a faithful following who tunes in at 3pm Pacific/6pm Eastern/11pm UK every Sunday to listen to us banter with each other and a myriad of guests for an hour live and even longer on the archive podcast. This past Sunday, the show expanded to TWO HOURS live, plus longer in the archive podcast. We had a lively conversation with 5 guests: Eric Naughton, a Pens fan and cancer survivor, who's chronicling his post-cancer quest to learn how to play hockey with a documentary called "Life, Cancer and the Pursuit of Hockey," Matt Wagner, Columbus Blue Jackets blogger, Anthony Curatolo, co-founder of The Hockey Guys, writers for The Fourth Period, Hockey Independent and a bunch of other sites, as well as co-host of his own BTR show called The Hockey Guys. He's also a diehard Flyers fan; Marilyn aka "Macksayev" - a good friend of ours from our NHL Connect days and very knowledgeable about the Buffalo Sabres and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League; and "Super" Dave Block, a Leafs fan who works the NHL Rookie Tournament in Traverse City, Michigan every year (and knows about the Red Wings by osmosis, as he lives in Michigan). Not only did we fill the entire LIVE two-hour block, our podcast portion ran almost an extra hour! You can check out that show and all our other shows by clicking here. We also have a show blog:

Anyone who knows me knows that I am extremely passionate about my would-be alma mater, the University of Alabama in Huntsville and its hockey program. The Chargers have withstood so much adversity, only to thrive and produce some top-notch human beings who also happen to play hockey. So far, only one Charger has cracked an NHL lineup (Jared Ross, first with the Philadelphia Flyers last year; now, with the Atlanta Thrashers), but that doesn't change the fact that the guys are first-rate. Last year, when the CHA dissolved, all of the teams found new homes within the WCHA and CCHA. EXCEPT the Chargers. UAH is playing as an independent program this year (they're no stranger to that!) but after that, the future is a little cloudy for the Chargers. I firmly believe that recent news that Penn State wants to start a Division I hockey program (men's and women's) may breathe a little life and hope into the Chargers. My friend Derek Zona (from "Copper and Blue" and "From the Rink") wrote up a very nice outline of just how the NCAA hockey landscape could change once Penn State hits the ice. As of right now, I'm saying, "Come on, Big 10 - get going so UAH can join the CCHA or WCHA and stay alive!"  To read Derek's story and comment on it, just click here.

Now, for that ONE MORE THING.

I want to make the ULTIMATE hockey playlist, but I need your help! Share your favorite songs heard at hockey games. Once I get enough submissions, I'll create a playlist to share. It can be as obvious as Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll, Part 2" - to the opening strains of AC/DC's "Thunderstruck."  But try to be obvious and give me something that might not have been played to death already (hint: think Europe. Yep, I know that keyboard intro is playing in your head right now!)

That's it for tonight. If I forgot something, I'll post another blog.
Happy Hockey, everyone!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The 2010/2011 WHL season is officially underway, with 8 games already in the books. Here's a look at last night's scores:

Brandon 5, Regina 4
Lethbridge 5, Calgary 3
Red Deer 4, Edmonton 1
Swift Current 4, Moose Jaw 1
Saskatoon 3, Prince Albert 2

Kamloops 5, Prince George 2
Vancouver 9, Chilliwack 4
Everett 4, Seattle 3

Folks who attended the Vancouver-Chilliwack game last night got quite a show. 7 different players scored for the Giants, while Brenden Gallagher and Marek Tvrdon scored TWICE in what can only be described as a ROUT. Here's a list of Giants who scored: James Henry, Dalton Sward,Jordan Martinook, Matt MacKay and Captain Craig Cunningham. Gotta give props to Bruins LW Ryan Howse, who had a had a hat trick in Chilliwack's losing effort. Jamie Crooks also scored.

The big season opener here, of course, took place up at Comcast Arena in Everett, as the Silvertips faced the Seattle Thunderbirds in an exciting showdown. The T-Birds hit the scoreboard 2:50 into the first period on a goal by German player Marcel Noebels. Luke Lockhard put Seattle up 2-0 with a power play goal at the 13:54 mark. Everett cut the lead by one less than 30 seconds later, with a goal by Campbell Elyniuk.  Kellan Tochkin tied things up for the Tips on a power play 3/4ths of the way into the 2nd period, but Burke Gallimore scored a power play goal two minutes later to put Seattle on top again 3-2. Tyler Maxwell scored on a power play early in the third, then sealed the game for the Silvertips with 38 seconds left on the clock.  Final score: Everett 3, Seattle 2.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Saturday Puck-pourri: A new column, Super-Sized Sunday and an awesome dinner/T-Birds game deal

Now that we're on the brink of a new hockey season, I need to knuckle down to some serious writing, especially as I've added a new column to my repertoire. The nice Mike Chen at FROM THE RINK has invited me to cover the WHL for them and I've said yes. However, I will NOT be doing a WHL blog for SB Nation this season. Since I've rejoined the ranks of the employed, my writing time has been severely cut and I need to focus the majority of my attention on writing my second novel and promoting the first. There IS time for hockey, but not to the extent that I would have had to commit myself.

Anyway, back to FROM THE RINK. I posted my first blog for them on Friday (my regular posting day)- a little blip about the WHL's pre-season action that's already under way. If you want to check it out, just click here.

Many of you know that I co-host a hockey show on Sundays with my friend Cassie McClellan. Some of our friends also have shows on Sundays. Tomorrow, three shows are joining forces for one SUPER-SIZED SUNDAY HOCKEY EXTRAVAGANZA. The Hockey Guys, The Program and CCPT Hockey will air as one mondo show starting at 5pm Pacific/8pm Eastern. We've never done anything like this before. It should be pretty interesting, to say the least.

The Seattle Thunderbirds are going to be fun to watch this season. Last year was the beginning of a time of rebuilding for the team. This year, the 16 year olds are older and wiser, and goaltender Calvin Pickard is on tap to have a hell of a season. There are many critics writing off the T-Birds, but I think we're in for a few surprises. To make things even better, Salty's Seafood is teaming up with the T-Birds to offer its "dinner and a game" special again. $55 gets you a 3 course meal, transportation to and from ShoWare Center and a ticket to the game. Right now, the offer is for the home opener on Saturday, September 25 against the Portland Winterhawks and the game on Friday, November 19 against the Spokane Chiefs, but expect to see that list expand as the season goes on. To check out the menu and other details, click here.

Here's a look at some of the features I'm working on right now to post in the coming days and weeks: A piece about some of the more amazing women of hockey's blogosphere; a story about the WHL's awesome scholarship program, featuring interviews with several players who have benefited from being able to go to school after aging out of the league; and a chat with the play-by-play guys of the WHL's US Division.

As you wait for the WHL's season to fully kick off (yes, I'm mixing sports), here's a list of websites you might want to bookmark or keep in a handy place:


US Division Teams
Everett Silvertips
Seattle Thunderbirds
Portland Winterhawks
Spokane Chiefs
Tri City Americans

Other Western Conference Teams
Chilliwack Bruins
Kamloops Blazers
Kelowna Rockets
Prince George Cougars
Vancouver Giants

Eastern Conference Teams

Brandon Wheat Kings
Calgary Hitmen
Edmonton Oil Kings
Kootenay Ice
Lethbridge Hurricanes
Medicine Hat Tigers
Moose Jaw Warriors
Prince Albert Raiders
Red Deer Rebels
Regina Pats
Saskatoon Blades
Swift Current Broncos

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Silvertips, T-Birds open training camp

The Everett Silvertips and Seattle Thunderbirds are ready to start the new season. Both teams are holding training camp this week. The ‘Tips started things off today by holding weigh-ins. On-ice sessions begin tomorrow at Lynnwood Ice Center (19803 68th Avenue W, Lynnwood) and culminate with the annual Green-Grey Game at 12:30pm on Sunday, August 29. The game, as well as the on-ice sessions, are open to the public and free, but fans are encouraged to donate $5 to the American Red Cross during Sunday’s scrimmage. All proceeds will benefit families who were displaced by the fire at Lynnview Apartments on Monday, August 9th.  The following weekend (September 4, 5, 6), the ‘Tips will host the 7th Annual Holiday Inn Preseason Classic tournament at Comcast Arena, featuring the ‘Tips, Seattle Thunderbirds, Portland Winterhawks, Spokane Chiefs, Tri City Americans and the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds from the OHL. (Note: Silvertips Head Coach Craig Hartsburg played his junior hockey at Sault Ste. Marie, where one of his teammates was the “Great One” himself, Wayne Gretzky). You can find more information about Silvertips’ training camp and the preseason tournament by clicking here.
The Seattle Thunderbirds will hold Prospect Camp tomorrow through Saturday (August 26-28). The prospects will take part in their first scrimmage tomorrow from 5–7pm at ShoWare Center in Kent. They’ll take part in two scrimmages on Friday: 8-10am at ShoWare Center, and 4:30-6:30pm at Kent Valley Ice Centre (6015 S. 240th St., Kent); and one on Saturday: 10am-Noon at ShoWare Center.
The main training camp for returning players gets underway on Saturday, August 28. Players will take part in 2 practice sessions and 3 scrimmages at ShoWare Center:  6-8:30pm Saturday, Sunday and Monday. All scrimmages and on-ice sessions for prospect and main camp are open to the public. Fans attending sessions at ShoWare Center should enter from the east side of the building. The Hockey Store will also be open during all scrimmages. For more information about the Seattle Thunderbirds' training camp, click here.
Single game tickets for the Everett Silvertips and Seattle Thunderbirds are now on sale, but if you’ve been thinking about treating yourself to season tickets, there are plenty available. You can find more information at each team’s website. Just click on the links above.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday Puckpourri: Golfing w/ TJ Oshie, Dancing w/ Radko Gudas & Thomas Hickey's rehab

Cassie and I had kind of a fun show yesterday. Well, we had fun once things got into place! Our special guest, Timothy Oshie (Coach Osh) was driving through the Badlands of North Dakota and his call kept dropping. Before he joined us, I lost my focus and completely blanked out. However, Cassie, our first guest Ola and our friend and frequent guest Meg picked up the slack while I regained control and went hunting for Coach Osh. Once he was locked in, we had a great chat about he and TJ's upcoming charity golf tournament/auction/benefit on July 28 and 29 in Grand Forks, ND. He also talked about TJ's hockey beginnings and the battle over UND's "Fighting Sioux" name. If you missed the CCPT Hockey show, click here to get to the podcast. If you're interested in taking part in TJ Oshie's golf tournament, click here for more info.

Everett Silvertips fans are lamenting the fact that defensive star Radko Gudas isn't returning to the Cable Box. He turned 20 years old in early June, then a couple of weeks later, the Tampa Bay Lightning selected him in the NHL Entry Draft. Radko and I had a great chat about the next step in his career, life in the Czech Republic, hockey fans and his special hobby: ballroom dancing. If you want to read about it, click here.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have been a huge fan of former Seattle Thunderbirds d-man Thomas Hickey for years. Since he left the T-Birds to join the Manchester Monarchs and try to crack the LA Kings lineup, he's had to battle more than other prospects vying for the same position. He's recovering from shoulder surgery and a high ankle sprain that pretty much sent last season down the drain. My friends over at Frozen Royalty caught up with Thomas at prospect camp and talked to him about rehab and what he's focusing on in his quest to make the team in the new season. Thomas was his usual honest self and I know I'm not the only one who's cheering for him to find the success he richly deserves. Click here to read more about Thomas.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Silvertips Snippets: Simpson, Gudas, Theriau drafted, Street Hockey challenge and pre-season tourney

The Everett Silvertips are celebrating a trifecta. Three 'Tips were taken in the NHL Entry Draft last weekend in Los Angeles. Goaltender Kent Simpson was taken #58 by the Chicago Blackhawks, while defensemen Radko Gudas and Alex Theriau went #66 and #109 to the Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars, respectively. I'll be posting interviews with Kent and Radko up at the KING 5 sports site before the weekend is out. Unfortunately, I was not able to get in touch with Alex but I'm sure he's excited to be affiliated with the Stars. The Silvertips website has a number of stories about the three. You can find them by clicking HERE.  I did a post-Combine/pre-Draft interview that does not appear on the Silvertips website. However, it IS over at the KING 5 site so click HERE to read it.

                                                     Kent Simpson - now a Blackhawks prospect

                                                       Alex Theriau - now a Stars prospect

                                                      Radko Gudas - now a Lightning prospect

 The Silvertips are hosting a street hockey tournament on Saturday, July 17th. The action will feature 4-on-4 teams, with lots of prizes. Each entrant also receives a free ticket to the Silvertips' home opener against the Vancouver Giants on Saturday, September 25th. For more information about the street hockey tournament, click HERE.

Everett is also hosting a pre-season tournament September 3-5 at Comcast Arena. In addition to the Silvertips, Seattle Thunderbirds, Tri City Americans, Spokane Chiefs and Portland Winterhawks, the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL will take part in the tournament. Why Sault Ste. Marie? That was Head Coach Craig Hartsburg's junior hockey team. He also coached them, and very successfully, too. You can get the complete pre-season schedule by going to the Silvertips' website. Just click HERE.

T-Birds Tidbits: Calvin is an Av, Fan Photo Contest, and the LeBron sweepstakes

The Seattle Thunderbirds are pretty busy this off-season. First, they see star goaltender Calvin Pickard selected 49th overall by the Colorado Avalanche at the NHL Entry Draft in Los Angeles. (Link to my Calvin story at the KING 5 sports page here).

 L-R: Russ Farwell/T-Birds GM, Calvin, Rob Sumner/T-Birds Head Coach  (Photo: Su Ring)

Having an NHL prospect just doesn't seem to be enough for our T-Birds friends. They've also decided to throw themselves into the free agent frenzy surrounding NBA phenom LeBron James.On their Facebook page, the Birds offer King James all sorts of perks, including (but not limited to):

*Grand Marshall of the Kent Cornucopia Parade
*Friendly billet families that will welcome LeBron into the Kent community.
*Free Preferred Parking at ShoWare Center
*Two free tickets to Opening Night of the 2010-11 season against the Portland Winterhawks in addition to a 24-Flex Ticket Package.
*Lunch with Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke (pending Mayor’s schedule) and Cool Bird.
*Use of both Allied Waste Zambonis for personal recreation.
*James St. leading to ShoWare Center will be renamed LeBron James St.
*A suite at ShoWare Center to watch the Backstreet Boys on August 5
*Entry fee will be waived for participation in the ShoWare Shootout 3-on-3 basketball tournament on August 6 and 7.
*Discounts at the Hockey Store in ShoWare Center

This fun promotion has been lauded and panned by fans and media alike. I look at it and see it for what it is: a bit of comic relief to help ease the summer doldrums. It's actually quite witty, if you think about it, especially the photo-shopped pic of King James in T-Birds gear.

LeBron James, new T-Bird? (Photo: Seattle Thunderbirds)

On a more serious, yet no less fun note, our friends in Kent have also launched a fan photo contest. They're looking for pix from all over the globe, featuring fans wearing T-Birds clothing. This contest kinda makes me wish I had planned a trip to Siberia or Antarctica. Click HERE for a link to the contest and let me see your best T-Birds fan pix!

The puck drops on pre-season play in early September (Sept. 5, to be exact), when the Birds take part in a tournament up I-5 at Comcast Arena, hosted by the Everett Silvertips. In addition to the T-Birds, 'Tips and tournament regulars Tri City Americans, Spokane Chiefs and Portland Winterhawks, expect to see the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (Silvertips Head Coach Craig Hartsburg's junior team). You can find the schedule and ticket info by clicking HERE.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Weekend in LA, Day One

I can’t work in the media workroom – there’s no space available. So, I’m sitting in a waiting area near the guest elevators, lounging on a comfy couch and smiling at everyone who walks by while I type. The sightseeing’s been a bit interesting so far. As Steve Yzerman walked across the open area toward the elevators, he spotted my credentials and smiled. What could I do but smile back?
LA is crazy right now and it seems that this sprawling plaza that surrounds Staples Center is “Ground Zero” for a number of events, including the NHL Draft and a star-studded, red-carpet premiere of the final “Twilight” movie. As I wandered from the Marriott Hotel and around a maze of barricades toward the Staples Center, I passed hundreds of “Twilight” fans already lined up to catch a glimpse of their favorite star (Team Edward or Team Jacob, anyone?). The NHL folks set up a little construction trailer outside one of the entrances to SC. It’s a pretty unassuming little set-up, until you see the big blue sign that reads, “Credentials,” and two doors. One door reads “Enter.” The other says “Exit.”  Pretty self-explanatory. I climbed the steps, pulled open the “Enter” door and came face to face with Mark Fischel, who helped me navigate the credential process and told me very nicely that my photographer request had been denied because the “photog” in question was not affiliated with a major newspaper or a photo agency, like Getty Images. Made sense.
Mark and I shook hands and he handed over a nice, big plastic credential with my picture grinning out at me, and a nice NHL Draft lanyard to which I could affix it and hang it around my neck, thus labeling me to anyone passing by that I am a member of the MEDIA, in town to cover the NHL DRAFT. Talk about feeling official. Newly credentialed, I made my way back to the Marriott and the overcrowded media workroom, where I chatted with John Fontana from Raw Charge for a few minutes, looked for a place to plug in my dead laptop (it died midflight), then decided to go somewhere else to write as I could not find anywhere to plug in. Which brought be to the lounge-type area between the meeting rooms and the guest elevators and my smile exchange with Mr. Stevie Y. He looks tan, fit and thinner than he does on TV (Yes, the camera DOES add weight!). I don’t know if he was surprised to see a woman of my age (40-something) and build (NOT a skinny-minnie) with an NHL Draft credential and a laptop. If he was, he didn’t show it. The smile he bestowed as he strode by was kind, and knowing (as in, he knows that I know who he is).
So, here I sit. As of this writing, it’s 4:20pm and I’m tired and hungry, but not as sweaty as I was after that hike to SC to get my creds. A cool, air conditioned breeze is wafting through and I’m quite comfy on this couch, watching people walk by.
John texted me that they’re closing up the media workroom so I rushed over to grab my bag, then decided to continue writing down in the lobby. Talk about sightseeing! Hockey prospects, women dressed to the nines, waiting to walk the red carpet at the “Twilight” premiere and a host of conventioneers (there seem to be a couple taking place at the hotel).  As I sat, trading texts with friends and people watching, Stevie Y moseyed into the lobby. While he was chatting with two enthralled young men, he glanced over, spotted me and waved. I’m sorry, folks, but you can’t fake that kind of attentive kindness. This man is the real deal.
I chatted with two glittery women who were waiting for a guy to show up with their red carpet tickets (tickets to walk the red carpet? Now I’ve heard everything!) I asked them if they followed hockey at all. They both shook their heads, then one piped up, “My husband loves hockey. He’s a Buffalo Sabres fan.” I pointed over at Stevie Y and said, “That’s a hockey legend over there.” She looked over, then asked, “Is that Wayne Gretzky?”
I explained who Stevie Y was, and she nodded enthusiastically but I could tell she couldn’t care less. The guy with the red carpet tickets showed up and they wandered off to get in place. Not long after that, top prospects Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin appeared in the lobby, dressed in suits. They joined Stevie Y and someone told me they were going to the premiere as well. I’m sure they didn’t need tickets to walk the red carpet, though.
My sightseeing venture ended when my friend Justine arrived to ferry me to her lovely home in Brentwood. Tomorrow, the real excitement begins. My first NHL draft. I really hope our local guys: Calvin Pickard, Kent Simpson, Radko Gudas and Alex Theriau go quickly—and to awesome teams. Well, whoever gets those guys will be awesome just by virtue of drafting them, but I guess that’s my homerism talking.
Good luck to all the prospects.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

2010 NHL Draft - Mock Drafts = Learning Experience

Last weekend, we dedicated most of our CCPT radio show to the Draft. I must confess, I'm fascinated by all the "mock" drafts leading up to the real deal. I never really thought about trying to predict which teams will take which players (aside from the top picks, of course). As guest Nick Giglia from Hockey Independent talked about strategy surrounding the draft, then shared his own mock draft, I realized I'm more than ignorant about the process, I'm downright clueless. How much skill does it take to boldly predict that the team with the #1 pick will pick the #1 prospect (or the #2, as the case may be). I was more fascinated with the projected wheelings and dealings of teams picking 10th or lower. And what about these supposed trades and other strategies? I know there are hockey experts who spend a great deal of time researching all the nuances and delve into the mindsets of those who hold the futures of more than 200 hopeful players in their hands.

My interest in this year's draft lies solely in the fact that 4 players from our local WHL teams are eligible: Goalie Calvin Pickard from the Seattle Thunderbirds, and goalie Kent Simpson and D-men Radko Gudas and Alex Theriau from the Everett Silvertips. I'm also interested to see where Nino Neiderreiter (Portland Winterhawks) and Brooks Macek (Tri City Americans) end up, as well as which young players the Pens and Kings will pick.

Hearing Nick's picks (and reading up about the various teams that may take Calvin Pickard) intrigued me so much, I ordered a copy of McKeen's NHL Hockey Draft Guide and read the scouting reports on the top 90 prospects. Here's a LINK to more info about the guide. I also delved into the various mock drafts posted online by various hockey bloggers and writers. I've linked some below. See how your picks match up, then let's meet back here after the draft to see whose mock draft came closest to the real thing!

B.D. Gallof & the Isles blogosphere - Hockey Independent
Scotty Wazz - The Strangest One of All
SB Nation's mock draft (submitted by John Fontana of Raw Charge)
Joe Correia - Bleacher Report Staffers
The Hockey Guys

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hockey Off-Season Survival Guide.... Sorta

If you listen very closely, you can hear the tumbleweeds rolling across the once ice-covered surfaces of arenas across the country. Or maybe you hear the sound of crews setting up RV shows, monster truck rallies or concerts where pucks once flew and bodies slammed bodies into the boards.

Yes, the dreaded off season is here. The Stanley Cup has been paraded through the streets of Chicago and even made an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The Calder Cup has been lifted in Hershey, as the Caps' minor league team achieves what has eluded its parent team - a national championship. Well not only a national championship, but back-to-back championships.

So, Blackhawks and Bears fans are still celebrating; still riding the cloud of euphoria that comes with seeing their team capture that golden ring - or rather, that silver cup. The rest of us have been twiddling our thumbs, half-heartedly cheering friends whose teams were still in the running, and trying not to think about just how many days, weeks, months must creep by before the roar of Zamboni engines ushers in a new season.

But while many people twiddle their thumbs, set reminder countdowns to pre-season, or try to lose themselves in baseball to pass the time, a number of hearty hockey souls are working hard to help feed your puck-lust until training camps get underway.  I'm including a few websites and online radio shows that should get you through the dog days of summer. I also have a crazy long list of blogs and sites on my blogroll elsewhere on this site. Grab a snack, an icy cold drink and click away to your heart's content. And if you have a minute, let us know which sites really strike your fancy. Have a blog you want to see included? Leave a comment telling us about the site. Please provide a link, too.

Preds On The Glass - Buddy & Jackson Oakes plan to keep us informed about all things Nashville, on their website and internet radio show. (Note: They will be sporadic until after July 4, because of travel)

The View from 111 -  Mark Willoughby waxes poetic about the Preds and other topics.

The Hockey Guys - Anthony, Brandon, Dustin and Joe cover a wide variety of hockey-related topics. They also host an online radio show by the same name. (Note: The guys say they’ll post and broadcast all summer, but not always on a weekly basis.)

Lightning Shout, Raw Charge – Tampa Bay fans will find all kinds of Tampa Bay coverage, courtesy of Bill at Lightning Shout and Cassie & John at Raw Charge. This is good to know, since the Lightning are undergoing some major changes under new GM Steve Yzerman’s tutelage.

7th Woman – Dee is an Islanders fan of the first degree and her blogs are top notch.

Chicks Who Give A Puck – A group of women who really know their hockey.

Oshie’s MN Section 8A Hockey – TJ’s dad, Coach Timothy Oshie runs this site that’s a must for any hockey fan remotely interested in the talent being developed in Minnesota.

Cup Crazy’s National Hockey League – Paul is a regular on CCPT Radio, updating listeners on the situation surrounding the Phoenix Coyotes.  His website offers much more.

Hockey Independent – the brainchild of Islanders fan and writer B.D. Gallof, HI features a number of writers covering just about every team in the league.

Pine Tree Pucks – Hockey talk from the heart of Maine.

NHL Hot Stove – A veritable “who’s who” of hockey minds cook up a feast to appease any appetite.(Writers include: Dave Strehle <- @PhilaDAVEia on Twitter, and the boys from The Hockey Guys)

Opiated Sherpa – One of our favorite Twitter names has a website. We approve.

Flyers Faithful, Flyer Flies – All Philly, all the time.

The Program BTR – Chris, Rick, Kevin, Bob and others cover all kinds of hockey topics on their website and online radio show.

Hockey Broad – This girl loves the Blackhawks, but that’s not all she writes about.

Scotty Wazz – He’s one of the most creative hockey minds out there. If you don’t know his work, you’re missing out.

Miles Davis Exploration – Don’t let the name fool you. Noah mixes jazz and hockey like nobody’s business.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Talking Hockey today!

My friend Cassie and I are taking to the airwaves again this afternoon to talk hockey. Today, we'll be joined by Flyers fan/writer David Strehle (@PhilaDAVEia on Twitter). We can't wait to talk about the SCF with him! Paul Gheduzzi (@scoobydoozi on Twitter) will also be here to update us on the situation surrounding the Phoenix Coyotes. And... I'll put Cassie on the hot seat for our "3 Questions" segment!

Join us at 3pm Pacific/6pm Eastern/11pm in the UK, or download the podcast later.
Here's the link:

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Interview with former T-Bird/current Marlie: Greg Scott

This interview was originally published online at the KING 5 sports site. However, when the station switched to a new server, a lot of old stories were blown out. So... to keep my stuff from vanishing into the ether, I'm re-posting all stories lost by  This is one of them: an interview with former Seattle Thunderbird Greg Scott, who is now with the Toronto Marlies, in the Maple Leafs organization. (The interview was originally published in summer of 2009). ~ Su R.
 Greg Scott (Photo: Toronto Marlies)
We continue our conversations with Seattle Thunderbirds and Everett Silvertips players who have graduated out of the WHL, and are taking their next steps on the path to make their hockey dreams come true.  Today, we catch up with T-Bird winger Greg Scott, who is just as well known for his sense of humor and friendliness off the ice, as his ability to not only score goals, but set up scoring chances for his line mates.
Greg wrapped up his fourth year with the T-Birds with a stellar season. He led the in goals (32) and assists (44) for 76 points. His plus/minus rating was a whopping +14. He registered 6 assists in 5 post season games, as Seattle fell to a strong Spokane Chiefs team in the first round.  Immediately after the T-Birds’ season ended, Greg headed to Toronto, to join the Maple Leafs’ AHL affiliate Marlies. He didn’t play in any games, but practiced and worked out with the team and watched them advance to the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs, where they lost in 6 games to eventual Calder Cup finalists, Manitoba Moose.

When I caught up with Greg a couple of weeks ago, he was home in Victoria, BC, preparing to move to Toronto. You see, the Maple Leafs have invited him and several other players to spend the summer training intensively with the Leafs.  However, he jovially took a few minutes to chat about his time with the T-Birds, how he caught the eye of Toronto’s GM without even realizing it, the teammate he says may just be funnier than he is, and the yearly team project he calls a “win-win” situation for players and the children at Seattle’s Ronald McDonald House.
KING:  What’s the difference between the Marlies and Thunderbirds?
GS: Well, the WHL is a lot younger. The WHL is 16 to 20 year olds and the AHL is 20 to however old. The guys are a lot stronger. Everyone was real friendly and the guys were a lot stronger and bigger and faster.  It’s quite a big step but it was good to get experience there.
It’s a big step.  Of course, everyone wants to go to the NHL; that’s their main goal. And the AHL is just one step away.  It takes a lot of hard work and determination to get there. In the end, we want to make it to the NHL, obviously but the step from the WHL to the AHL is still a pretty big step.
KING: I was reading up about you and I did not know that you did not get drafted as a Bantam, nor were you drafted by the NHL, but yet here you are.  How did you end up on the T-Birds?
GS: I was passed up on the Bantam draft. To be honest with you, I didn’t even know what the Bantam draft was.  I wasn’t familiar with it. I was passed up and some person I knew got drafted and I was like, “what’s that? What’s this Bantam draft?”  And when I was 16 and playing for the Peninsula Panthers Junior B team, Bryan Bridges played goalie on the Seattle Thunderbirds. His dad was my coach. So he kinda told the Thunderbirds about me and the Thunderbirds came and scouted me and they listed me when they came and saw me so, it was good. I went and tried out for the Thunderbirds and played four years there so it worked out pretty good.
KING:  I recently interviewed Bud Holloway and he said the most awesome line he was part of (with the T-Birds) was a line with you and Lindsay Nielsen.  I thought you did a great job with Prab Rai and Jim O’Brien last season. I think that rivals it. How do you feel about that?
GS Any line that I play on, I’m just gonna go and work hard, but last year, me, Bud and Nielsen, we had really good chemistry. We got put together and we just took off, I guess. Neely did his job, he was the center on our line and he played really well for us and Bud, he can score anywhere on the ice, it seemed. That was just good chemistry right there, but also with Prab Rai, he’s got unbelievable speed so if I give him the puck and he’s going down the wing, he can make a lot of chances out of nothing.
Me, Jim and Prab only played on a line for about 10 games, roughly.  I think it was right after Jim O’Brien got back from World Juniors. But then we were put on a line with me, Prab and Jon Parker, who’s a rookie and he did really well for us. He’s got a great shot, good hands; a pretty quick little guy. Playing with Prab, he’s so fast, so smart and smooth skating, it’s just an honor to play on his line. He’s such a tremendous player.
KING: Well, you seem like the type of guy who could pretty much adapt to any line and just really make it a lot better.  Bud really misses playing on a line with you.
GS: Me, Bud and Neely definitely had great chemistry. I loved playing with Neely. I loved playing with Bud. Bud’s got such great skill. You give him the puck and he’s gonna do good things. I’m just in the right spot at the right time and got put on a line with him. We just connected and it was awesome.
KING: You didn’t get drafted by the NHL but you got signed by Toronto. How did that come about?
GS: I got passed over in the NHL draft and I was pretty upset, but my first two years I really didn’t have good enough numbers to get drafted. That didn’t really get me down. I kept working and I think it was playoffs against Kelowna when I was 19, the Maple Leafs were there to watch Luke Schenn (current defenseman/Toronto Maple Leafs).  I think me and Schenn, we were going at it pretty good against each other and GM of the Maple Leafs t the time, Cliff Fletcher, was there scouting Schenn and he asked who I was, and that all started from there, so yeah, it worked out.
I had a rookie tournament at the middle of September. We played that then we went to the Toronto Maple Leafs main camp and I got sent down to the AHL team (Toronto Marlies). They kept me all the way until just before their first regular season game, then said I’d probably develop more if I played in the WHL since I’ll get more playing time. It actually worked out good. I think I gained a lot more experience playing in the WHL one more season.
KING: How old were you when you started playing hockey?
GS:  I was 5 years old, I think. My brother started playing first. He’s two years older than me. I guess I looked up to him at the time and I wanted to play hockey too.  I don’t remember this too well but my dad says that the first time I tried on skates, I was the worst skater he’s ever seen. He said it was like I was running on ice. But he said, ‘I’ll keep him in hockey as long he’s having fun.’ And eventually I guess I got it, got how to skate and stuff.
KING: It‘s really is important when you first start that it is about fun, isn’t it?
GS: Yeah, it is. I was just going out there in minor (youth) hockey just because my brother did it, I wanted to do it and met a lot of friends through hockey and then I just kept on doing it. I always dreamed of playing in the NHL but I didn’t know if I could do it. As the years go on, you start gaining a lot of confidence.  I got scouted by Seattle. That was a big step for me and then I got signed by the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s just one step at a time. It is all about fun at the very start but there’s a point where it is fun but it’s also business, too.
KING: How old are you when you moved into a higher skilled league?
GS: When I was 16, I was playing for a Junior B team just outside of Victoria and that was decently competitive and back when I was 16 I thought that was the NHL almost, and just thought that was the best league there is.  I did pretty well there and eventually, Seattle took me and I went to Seattle. I thought Junior B was serious, then I went to Seattle and found out just how serious it was there.  From Junior B to the WHL it’s bigger guys, faster, better players, all that, but you learn to adapt pretty quickly. After the first few games, I wasn’t sure. I was almost doubting myself, wondering if I should have just gone to play Junior A and gotten a scholarship or something. I doubted myself a little bit, but then everything worked out.
KING: How long did it take you to get your feet under you here?
GS: I’d almost say two seasons, in a way.  That’s when I really started to take off. There were games when I’d have good games and I felt like I belonged but it really took me about two years to mentally think I’m good enough to play in this league.  I wish I could have wrapped my mind around it that it’s just hockey, as long as you compete and battle as hard as anyone else competes.
KING: You were also transitioning from living at home and moving to Seattle. It was almost like changing your life.
GS:  That’s actually a pretty big factor in a way.  I tried not to make it that big but you’re still pretty young. You’re 16, 17, moving out into someone else’s house and playing for a different team, meeting all new guys, because I didn’t know one guy coming into the league except for the goalie, Bryan Bridges, who I’d played with my 17 year old year. But when I was 16, you’d get home from school with the guys you’d been going to school with your whole life and it’s just comfort at home. When you move to Seattle it might be awkward for a little bit but the billets are unbelievable, the billets I’ve had over the years.
KING: Did you have one billet family for your four years there?
GS: No, I actually had four billets in all four of my years.  Every year I had a different billet. I think I might have made a record.  I got to meet four families and live in their houses but it was a good experience.  My first year, I had a roommate. His name was Clayton Barthel and he’s playing hockey in Germany right now. He was two years older than me so he knew the ropes of the league.  It was good to have him because he’s been around the league and knew what to expect.  He would kind of take me under his wing and I really appreciated it.  The next two years I went solo and lived on my own, which was nice, but in my fourth year I roomed with Steve Chaffin. He’s a really great guy. He’s young but he was already on the team; he wasn’t a rookie and we got along great.  He’s a pretty funny guy. I enjoy the odd joke here and there.
KING: I interviewed several players and they all say you are the guy who keeps things loose on the bench or is good for a joke or a prank. How does it feel to know you have the reputation for making your buddies laugh when things are tense?
GS: I’ve had that reputation almost my whole life. I was the class clown. But I could say almost the exact thing about Bud Holloway because Bud Holloway is one of the funniest guys I’ve ever met. He always has a smile on his face. Everyone got along great so it was easy to make the odd joke here and there.
KING: I heard there’s one joker coming up the ranks this year: Calvin Pickard.
GS: Oh yeah, Calvin’s gonna be there, if he isn’t already there. He’s a funny guy. He’s a great guy too.
KING: How did playing all four years of your WHL career with the T-Bird help you develop as a player?
GS: It helped me develop a lot. I owe pretty much all I know to the coaches there: Rob Sumner, Turner Stevenson, all those guys. They coached me for the past four seasons on a pretty high level. There were guys who bounced around here and there were about four or five of us who stuck around since we were rookies: me, David Richard, Thomas Hickey, Lindsay Nielsen and Jeremy Schappert.  I think that’s everyone. We played all our years together so we got pretty close.  At first, we were the younger guys getting helped out, then after a couple of years, you’ve gotta kinda take that role because you’re the older guys. It all happened so quickly.   I think we handled it pretty well. Oh, I can’t forget Bud Holloway! I only played three seasons with him but he was there too.
KING: How is it going to the same school with your teammates?
GS: When I went to Lake Washington High School, I went in not knowing anybody except the guys that I’d just met, like Thomas Hickey, Bud Holloway, David Richard, all those guys. I’d just met them and now I’m going to school with a bunch of random kids that I’ve never seen before and in another country. Even though Canada and the US are almost the same, it’s definitely different.
KING: You’re dealing with so many different things at the same time: a new level of hockey, living with a strange family, going to school with people you don’t know.
GS: It’s a great life experience. How many kids from my hometown can say they went to high school in the US? It’s definitely a great experience and I met a lot of great people along the way.
KING: We’ve kind of touched upon it a little, but how would you say this whole experience has helped you grow as a person?
GS: Well, when you move away at such a young age, it almost makes you grow up a bit faster than everyone else, because not too many kids move out of their parents’ house when they’re 16 or 17 years old.  So, it definitely helps you mature as a person. Along with experiences, you have to deal with a lot of pressure that most people don’t deal with at that age. But it definitely helped me along the way. I probably wouldn’t be the person that I am today without Seattle, without the experience that I gained from there.
KING: The Thunderbirds team up with the Seattle Ronald McDonald House every year for a celebrity hockey classic fundraiser.  But players also take time to visit with the kids living at the Ronald McDonald House.   This year, you were the focal point of the promotion campaign. (The team spoofed the popular “CSI” series, with Greg Scott and Devon LeBlanc in the lead)
GS: I did “GSI: Greg Scott Investigates” with Devon LeBlanc. Ian Henry asked us to do it and we said sure. We went to the Ronald McDonald House to shoot. It was fun to interview little kids but it was tough because they only gave one-word answers, but you expect that from little kids. But it was awesome. The team loves going there. They’re (the children) going through a lot. Their families are going through a lot and anything we can do to put a smile on their face, it brightens our day- it brightens their day. It’s a win-win situation. The kids wear us out a lot of the time, playing tag and stuff. It’s just fun, seeing the smiles on their faces because you know how hard it is for them right now. Anything we can do to help them forget about it is a bonus.
KING: Will go back to Leafs training camp this year?
GS: I’m actually moving there June first. I’m gonna live there and train there this year. They want me to do that. I think that will help me get used to the city and the workouts that they’re doing.  That’s exactly what they want me to do.
KING: How different is Toronto from Seattle?
GS: They’re both huge cities. I hear Toronto gets cold in the winter. I’ve never been there in the winter but I hear it gets pretty cold. I love Toronto, though, it’s big. It’s the “New York” of Canada; I guess you could call it.
KING: It seems that they’re pretty serious about you if they want you to go there and immerse yourself in their culture.
GS: Yeah. I hope so, anyway.  They’ve got six or seven of us that are gonna move there from Boston, Newfoundland, Sweden, all those places.  They’re having us move there and train there with their staff there.
KING: You spent some time with (former Everett Silvertip d-man) Taylor Ellington when the Marlies and Moose met up in the Calder Cup playoffs.
GS: We played Manitoba in the first round. Taylor Ellington and I grew up playing hockey against each other because he’s from Victoria, too. We actually hung out together when we (Toronto & Manitoba) were playing each other, because we both weren’t playing at the time. (Neither was on his team’s playoff roster).
KING: Now for some fun questions:
Favorite movie:  I love comedy and right now it would have to be “Pineapple Express” or “Superbad.”
Favorite player growing up: Joe Sakic. I just loved the Colorado Avalanche growing up. And also Trevor Linden, because I’m a pretty big Canucks fan as well.
Who do you like to watch now? I like to watch the Maple Leafs, of course, and the Canucks. I wish they went further. I like watching Pavel Datsyuk on Detroit. He’s got the best hands I’ve ever seen, or Kovalev on Montreal.
What do you like to do when you’re not playing hockey? I play a lot of video games, but when it’s nice out I like to go to the beach or tubing down this river that’s an hour outside of Victoria.  Just hang out and go to the gym.
Music or bands get you pumped up for a game: Well, me and Steve Chaffin, when we lived together, we’d drive together to the game and we’d always play songs that get us pumped up. We always had a random mix. We’d play Eminem, lots of rock, Nickelback’s pretty big. I like listening to Nickelback before a game. It always gets me pumped up.
KING: So, do you like the music Mitch (Brotherton) plays during the game?
GS: Yeah, I do. Mitch plays pretty good music during the game. I wish he would change my goal song, though, but, it’s over now. I don’t even know what it’s called. I asked him to change it but he wouldn’t. I think I requested a couple of songs but he never put them on.
A lot of the guys on the team like country. We have a lot of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta guys. They all love the country. The guys from the west coast like rap and all that.
KING: Did you guys ever argue in the locker room about music?
GS: Yes. Some guys don’t like country music. Others did. There would be a few fights, I guess. Not fights but arguments.
You should ask Bud about his dancing, by the way. He’s an unbelievable dancer. He’s the best dancer I’ve ever seen. 
So, by now, Greg is firmly ensconced in Toronto, learning the team’s system and working out with the trainers. Seattle fans have no doubt that he will see his NHL dream come true, hopefully sooner rather than later.  The fact that the Maple Leafs invited him to spend the summer working out with the team, is pretty good sign. We’ll check in with him after training camp to see how things are going.
But if there’s one thing I’ve learned about Greg Scott in our short conversation, it’s that he will always do his best, on the ice and off.  And he’ll do it with a smile… and the odd joke.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Talking Hockey on the Radio

My friend Cassie ("Raw Charge" writer & @dagmar27 on Twitter) and I decided to take over a radio show that sprang up last season among some friends of ours. The show had helped us spend a fun Sunday evening chatting and calling in to banter about hockey and other topics. Justine, the show's original host, couldn't make it one night, so we volunteered to guest-host. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and with Justine's blessing, decided to continue and see where we can take it.

We've just wrapped up the 4th episode of "Connect Community Puck Talk," and are having a blast. Cassie and I have been lucky to snag some great guests, like Chelsea Alexander, a Sharks and Caps fan who's a regular contributor for The Hockey Writers, Paul Gheduzzi, a Rangers fan who is up to date on the dealings involving his West team, the Phoenix Coyotes, Nate from, a blog devoted to all things Philly, Buddy Oakes, a Preds fan who runs the blog and radio show, "Preds On the Glass," Mark Willoughby, another Preds fan who runs the blog "The View from 111," and is spearheading an NHL Tweetup on Tuesday, June 6 to benefit flood relief efforts in Nashville, Clayton Hansler, an avid Leafs fan who works with the Toronto Marlies of the AHL, Alix Wright, a Canucks blogger who has new reason to start following the Lightning in the East, and renowned Tampa Bay blogger John Fontana, who along with Cassie, run the blog "Raw Charge" over at SB Nation. Our good friend Super Dave has called in to chat about a wide range of hockey topics, along with our good friend Mike Chiconsky. 

We've had switchboard problems, awkward pauses and abrupt endings. But with each show, we're finding that we're having more fun. The ad libs are starting to come a little easier (for me, it's because I take notes so I can refer to them when my mind goes blank!), the guests are getting easier to line up and we're ready to take this show as far as we can. Hopefully, folks decide to continue tuning in and downloading the show, giving us feedback and suggesting topics and guests.

Here's the link to our last show:

And... here's the link to our show page, should you wish to tune in!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday Puckpourri: Prospects and Flyers and Bears, oh my!

There's a lot going on right now in the hockey world, but on the other hand, we're heading into the final laps of the race for glory that signifies the end to another season. 2460 regular season games have been played. 83 playoffs games are in the books.

Photo courtesy: Associated Press

The Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks just wrapped up a high-scoring Game 1 last night, with Chicago prevailing, 6-5. Game 2 gets underway Monday night at 8pm Eastern. There's a bunch of Game 1 coverage, including video clips of interviews, on the NHL's website:

Calder Cup Underdogs: Texas Stars (photo: Texas Stars Hockey)

The Calder Cup race is also down to the final two teams: the reigning champion Hershey Bears and the Texas Stars, who join the 2002 Chicago Wolves and Bridgeport Sound Tigers in reaching the Calder Cup finals in their first season. According to the AHL's website: "Texas won a pair of Game 7’s on the road – just the fifth time in AHL history that feat has been accomplished. The Stars, who initially fell into a 2-0 series hole, also became the 21st AHL team to win a best-of-7 series after dropping the first two games." Not even the return of leading scorer P.K. Subban, who had a tremendous showing for the Canadiens in the playoffs before Montreal folded to Philadelphia, could help Hamilton overcome the upstart Stars. You can read more about Texas' amazing comeback by clicking here.

Defending Calder Cup champs: Hershey Bears (Photo: Hershey Bears)

The Hershey Bears were their dominating selves, knocking off the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 5 games, sweeping the Albany River Rats in the second round, then dispatching the Manchester Monarchs in 6 hard-fought games in the Eastern Conference Finals. Game 1 of the Calder Cup Finals gets underway on Thursday, June 3. According to the AHL's website, you can listen to all the games live on XM Radio. For more information, check out I'm cheering for the upstart Texas Stars. They've shown grit all season long. I hope they have what it takes to pull off a Calder Cup victory.

Neuvirth & Bernier: Two stellar goaltenders (Photo: Hershey Bears)

Now, to the prospects.  The NHL invited 100 18-year-olds to take part in a pre-draft combine, undergoing a battery of physical and psychological tests, as well as one on one interviews with NHL GM's and other team officials. All eyes are, of course, on Tyler Seguin and Taylor Hall. Hall drew attention by not taking part in the physical tests. He's apparently healing from a number of injuries suffered in post-season play culminating in helping his Windsor Spitfires win the Memorial Cup in Brandon last weekend. Seguin took part in all aspects of the Combine and was reportedly impressive on all counts. I'm still looking for updates on T-Birds goalie Calvin Pickard and Silvertips goalie Kent Simpson. The best Combine coverage I could find was up at TSN's website. Here's the link:

That's it for now. I'm off to prepare for today's radio show. But that's another story.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

History Will Be Made: Marc-Andre Fleury

The NHL Network created a HWBM ad featuring Flower.
I approve. Click here to see it.

"IRON MAN" Jordan Staal skates in full pads

Talk about a REAL Iron Man. Jordan Staal had surgery Friday night to repair a tendon, following an ugly collision on the ice with Montreal D-man P.K. Subban. Yesterday, he skated for a few minutes in sweats at practice. This morning, he skated in FULL PADS.

Click here for more from the Pens' website.
Aaaand.... click here for the video!

NHL, AHL, WHL & NAHL playoffs, plus TWO former T-Birds doing well

Last night, while I was watching the San Jose/Detroit game go into overtime, I commented on Twitter, "I hope Clowe or Marleau scores for the Sharks in OT." Several minutes later, Patty Marleau did just that, surprising the HECK out of me and making me wish that I could have the same effect on winning Lotto numbers.

I have friends who are Red Wings fans and I feel bad for them that Detroit is now down 3 games to 0. But seeing Patty put one past Jimmy Howard filled me with pride. Marleau is one of the Seattle Thunderbirds' biggest success stories, and even though I didn't go to many games when he played (just the 2 or 3 games a season at which I sang the anthem), I still join with other T-Birds fans at fawning over him like proud parents.

Another former T-Bird is having a heck of a post-season. Bud Holloway leads the Manchester Monarchs with 5 goals and 4 assists for 9 points in the playoffs. He's scored 5 game-winning goals and has been en fuego all season since he joined the Monarchs from the Ontario Reign of the ECHL. Hopes are also high for another former T-Bird, Thomas Hickey, to dominate the D-line once he fully recovers from shoulder surgery.

A recap of the latest NHL, AHL, WHL and NAHL action is posted over at the big KING 5. Click here to read it.

NAHL: Wenatchee Wild host Robertson Cup Tournament

There's a lot of hockey being played this week in Wenatchee - as the Wild host the NAHL Championship Tournament. The Wild will take on the likes of the Bismarck Bobcats, Fairbanks Ice Dogs, 3-time reigning champs St. Louis Bandits, and the Traverse City North Stars for the Robertson Cup.

CLICK HERE for a link to a bigger story I wrote about the tournament for the big KING 5:

Monday, May 3, 2010

Silvertips, T-Birds add talent at WHL Bantam Draft

Just posted over at the big KING 5 site- a rundown of players selected by the Everett Silvertips and Seattle Thunderbirds at the WHL Bantam Draft. Everett picked 12 players: 6 forwards, 4 defensemen and 2 goalies. Among their draftees: Ryan Chynoweth son of Kootenay Ice GM Jeff Chynoweth and grandson of late WHL Commissioner Ed Chynoweth. The T-Birds selected 9 players: 4 defensemen, 2 right wingers, 2 centers and 1 goalie. Among their draftees: Brad LeLievre from Mill Creek, just outside Seattle! You can read more about all the players you could see sporting the green and white or blue and white by clicking here.

Then tell me, do you agree with the selections?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Talkin' hockey on the radio!

I co-hosted my first hockey radio show tonight, with my friends Cassie and Jojo. We had a good response for those who listened and took part in the live chat. Here's the podcast if you want to take a listen and weigh in with your thoughts.

Monday, April 12, 2010

AHL playoffs feature WHL names, including former T-Birds & Silvertips

The 16 teams are set for the Calder Cup playoffs and when I pored over team rosters, I found many familiar names. So, for all you WHL fans out there looking to keep track of your favorite (or not so favorite) players, I've made a list of guys and teams. Just click here to link to my story over at the big KING 5 site.

And since DailySu is my own personal space, let me just say this: GO MONARCHS!!!! (which features former T-Birds stars Bud Holloway and Thomas Hickey).