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.