Thursday, September 13, 2012

An open letter to hockey fans

Dear Hockey Friends,

If there's a youth, junior or minor league hockey team in your area, please give them your support. It's great to see young people working hard to not just win for their team, but building toward a future in the sport. They're enthusiastic, passionate and will eagerly welcome you to their venue.

On the other hand, it's pretty safe to say that the NHL DOES NOT CARE for its fans. So why not give your support to youngsters who have not yet been jaded by things like "collective bargaining agreements?"

Here in the greater Seattle area alone, we're blessed with two WHL teams, one NAHL team, one NORPAC team, and a number of youth hockey leagues from Bellingham to Vancouver (with many more throughout WA state and into Oregon and up in British Columbia!)

Go cheer on the stars of tomorrow, since the stars of today seem to be stuck on the bench.

(Photo: Mick White)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Fun WHL fans to tweet with during the season!

Just wrapped up a story for the KING 5 website spotlighting Twitter handles of all the WHL teams and some of the more high-profile writers/bloggers for each team. You can check out that list by clicking here.

I love following teams and "official" writers as much as anyone, but during hockey season, I find I have the most fun chatting with other fans on Twitter. Most of my online WHL friends are within the US Division, although each and every one will give you a run for your money when talking about pretty much anything hockey related.

If you're looking for smart, witty and passionate hockey fans to connect with this winter, start following these people (and let me know who else I should follow for fun WHL chatter!)

Everett Silvertips fans:
@thenwchica (Amy is passionate about the 'Tips, Canucks, Pens and Ducks)
@walkbyfaith1970 (Christine will chat hockey + more with you)
@kirabby44 (Jodie wants more cowbells!)
@rmarcham (Ray will talk 'Tips & other teams. He knows WHL history like the back of his hand. And if you're an Edmonton Oilers fan, you're all right in his book)
@StephNewsNow (She's a news anchor in Boise, but the 'Tips are #1 in her heart)

Seattle Thunderbirds fans:
@naultybits (Sheena moved away from the Seattle area, but her T-Birds passion burns strong)
@RealmofHelm (Tom is also the AWESOME music/PA guy at @ShoWareCenter)
@iankorzeniecki (Ian is a realistic fan - he'll tweet the bad along with the good) 
@lorilinnm (Lori is awesome! A mom and a passionate hockey fan!)

Portland Winterhawks fans:
@TerranceNorman (Terrance is a passionate hockey & Winterhawks fan. You can also talk Iron Maiden with him anytime!)
@KNorman_ (Terrance's better half - awesome friend and Winterhawks fan)

Tri City Americans fans:
@imeanwegotguys (She pulls no punches and is extremely witty to boot)

Spokane Chiefs fans:
@Rhaen_ (I got to take in a 'Tips/Chiefs game once with Rhaen. Cool chick. Great hockey mind)
@AgateShadow (Susie will talk hockey and you will like it!)
@wraparoundcurl (I want to be her when I grow up. Seriously, great with hockey - and just about anything else under the sun)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hockey's in the air! (at least, it is for the WHL... )

Training camp is underway in the WHL and other leagues.
While you wait for the NHL CBA talks to come to SOME kind of fruitful end, you can check out (and support!) your local team. 

Here's the schedule breakdown for US Division teams. If you don't follow the US Division, you can find a breakdown of training camp schedules at the WHL's website ( Or, check out your local team's website.

 Everett Silvertips (
Training Camp Schedule at Comcast Community Rink/Comcast Arena
Thursday, August 23:
8:00am – 2:00 pm   Practices (each team individual practice, plus goalie session)
3:45 pm Team Grey vs. Team Green
5:30 pm Team Blue vs. Team Red
Friday, August 24:
8:00am – 2:00 pm Practices
3:45 pm Team Green vs. Team Blue
5:30 pm Team Grey vs. Team Red
Saturday, August 25:
8:00am – 2:00 pm Practices
3:45 pm Team Green vs. Team Red
5:30 pm Team Grey vs. Team Blue
Sunday, August 26:
8:00am 3rd place team vs. 4th place team
9:15 am 1st place team vs. 2nd place team
2:00 pm Green vs. Grey Game
Seattle Thunderbirds (
Training Camp Schedule at ShoWare Center
Thursday, August 23
9:00am Team Blue vs. Team White
4:30pm Team Blue vs. Team White

Friday, August 24
9:00am Team Blue vs. Team White
4:30pm Team Blue vs. Team White

Saturday, August 25
3:00pm Team Blue vs. Team White vs. Team Grey

Sunday, August 26
9:00am Team Blue vs. Team White vs. Team Grey
4:30pm Team Blue vs. Team White vs. Team Grey

Monday, August 27
5:30pm Team Blue vs. Team White

Tri City Americans (
Training Camp Schedule at Toyota Center
Thursday, August 23
9:00am to 10:15 am – Practice (Team Gold)

10:30am to 11:45am – Practice (Team Grey)

5:45pm to 6:45pm – Goaltenders Session

7:00pm to 9:00pm – Scrimmage (Gold vs. Grey)

Friday, August 24

9:00am to 10:15 am – Practice (Team Grey)

10:30am to 11:45am – Practice (Team Gold)

5:45pm to 6:45pm – Goaltenders Session

7:00pm to 9:00pm – Scrimmage (Gold vs. Grey)

Saturday, August 25

9:00am to 10:15 am – Power Skating Session (Team Gold)

10:30am to 11:45am – Power Skating Session (Team Grey)

5:45pm to 6:45pm – Goaltenders Session

7:00pm to 9:00pm – Scrimmage (Gold vs. Grey)

Sunday, August 26

10:00am – Blue vs. White Game (*New teams selected)
Spokane Chiefs (
Training Camp Schedule at Spokane Arena
Thursday, August 23rd
10:30am to 12:15pm - Klemm vs. Bruton

1:00pm to 2:45pm - Klemm vs. Sawyer

3:30pm to 5:15pm - Bruton vs. Sawyer

Friday, August 24th

11:00am to 12:45pm - Bruton vs. Sawyer

1:30pm to 3:15pm - Bruton vs. Klemm

4:00pm to5:45pm - Klemm vs. Sawyer

Saturday, August 25th

10:00am to 11:45am - Sawyer vs. Klemm

12:30pm to 2:15pm - Sawyer vs. Bruton

5:45pm to 7:00pm - Bruton vs. Klemm

Sunday, August 26th

Red-White Scrimmage - 1:00 p.m.


Thursday through Saturday - 10:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m.

Sunday - 12:00pm - end of game

Portland Winterhawks (
Training Camp Schedule at Winter Garden
Thursday, August 23rd                     
4:00pm to 5:30pm – Heath vs. Mick           
5:45pm to 7:15pm – Holland vs. Yaremchuk    

Friday, August 24th
4:00pm to 5:30pm – Yaremchuk vs. Mick
5:45pm to 7:15pm – Holland vs. Heath

Saturday, August 25th                   
4:00pm to 5:30pm – Holland vs. Mick     
5:45pm to 7:15pm – Heath vs. Yaremchuk 

Sunday, August 26th
9:00am to 10:30am – Teams TBD – Third place game
10:45am to 12:15pm – Teams TBD – First place game

Monday, August 6, 2012

Catching up on T-Birds & 'Tips news

The WHL season is now just a few weeks away and teams have been busy, shoring up rosters, extending coaching contracts and preparing for training camp and pre-season action.  One team is also celebrating a milestone anniversary.

The Everett Silvertips are marking their tenth year of existence by hosting their first-ever "Alumni Weekend" August 10 and 11. A number of former players will return to Everett for a weekend of festivities, including Leland Irving, Torrie Wheat, Zack Dailey, and Taylor Ellington. Fans can rub elbows with former players at a golf outing and banquet. Registration deadline was July 16, but it's worth it to call and see whether there are still any openings. Click here for more info. (BTW, the team will unveil its new logo and redesigned uniform at the alumni dinner)

Speaking of former Silvertips, one of the team's most popular players will remain behind the bench for two more years. The 'Tips gave former D-man/Captain/Assistant Coach Mitch Love a two-year contract extension. He was a highly respected player and continues to be a fan favorite as a coach. You can read more about his deal by clicking here.

The 'Tips' other Assistant Coach is lending his talents to Team USA (again). Chris Hartsburg is spending his summer vacation helping coach USA's Under 17 team, which will compete in the Five Nations Tournament in the Czech Republic next week. This isn't the first time that Team USA has tapped Hartsburg, proving that he's got some good coaching chops (from dad Craig?). Click here to read more about Chris' summer plans.

Once again, the Silvertips will host a Pre-Season Classic tournament at Comcast Arena. This year's event takes place Friday, August 31 - Monday, September 3 and includes US Division rivals Seattle Thunderbirds, Portland Winterhawks, Spokane Chiefs and Tri City Americans. The 'Tips are offering some sweet ticket deals. Here's the info.

Everett will open the 2012-13 season at home on Saturday, September 22 against the Prince George Cougars. The puck drops at 7:05. Get your tickets here.  Click here for the team's full schedule.

To follow all of the Silvertips action, check out their website. Or follow them on Twitter: @WHLSilvertips - or like their Facebook Page.  And make sure you're reading Nick Patterson's stories and blogs at the Everett Herald. Click here to check him out. Here's his twitter handle: @NickHPatterson

Now, to the Seattle Thunderbirds!
Second year defenseman Shea Theodore has just been named to Team Canada's U-18 team, which will compete in the 2012 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament in Slovakia and the Czech Republic from August 13-18. Shea is one of nine WHL players named to Team Canada. Here are the rest:

Eric Comrie - G (Tri City Americans)
Madison Bowey - D (Kelowna Rockets)
Kayle Doetzel - D (Red Deer Rebels)
Josh Morrissey - D (Prince Albert Raiders)
Morgan Klimchuk - C (Regina Pats)
Curtis Lazar - C (Edmonton Oil Kings)
Nic Petan - C (Portland Winterhawks)
Sam Reinhart - C (Kootenay Ice)

Click here to see the complete roster.

Shea had a productive rookie year with the T-Birds, scoring 4 goals and 31 assists for 35 points. Read more about him here.

The T-Birds traded center Colin Jacobs to Prince George, in exchange for defenseman Jesse Forsberg (plus a 5th & 7th round selection in the 2013 Bantam Draft). Forsberg is 19 and judging by some of the things I've read about him, will either be a tough guy or a... tough... guy.

Seattle picked up two players in the CHL Import Draft: LW Alexander Delnov from Russia (played last year with Mystischi Atlanty in the Russian Junior League) and C Roberts Lipsbergs from Latvia (played last year with HK Riga of the Russian Junior League). Here's more info about both players.

The T-Birds will kick off the regular season with a "home and home" type scenario with the Portland Winterhawks. The teams will face off in Portland on Friday, September 21, then journey to ShoWare Center in Kent the following night. Click here for more information on this and the rest of the T-Birds 2012-2013 season.

Check out the T-Birds' website to follow the team. You can also follow them on Twitter: @SeattleTBirds (follow @TBirdsGameDay for play-by-play tweets). Find them on Facebook

This year, former T-Birds Media Intern Tim Pigulski and seasoned hockey writer Andy Eide will cover the team and the WHL for My Northwest/710 ESPN.  Read their stuff here. Follow them on Twitter: @AndyEide & @TPigulski



Friday, July 20, 2012

A Life Cut Short

Tributes have been pouring in for an up and coming sports writer whose life was cut short in an act of truly senseless violence. I did not know Jessica Redfield (Ghawi) but several of my friends knew and loved her. They've been sharing stories and videos on Twitter and Facebook. I've compiled some of them here, so you can get to know Jessi (as she was called) and marvel at all she had already accomplished in her young life. If you see a post that's not included here, I hope you'll share the link.

In fact, Jessica narrowly escaped another mass shooting last month in Toronto! She shared her experience in this very unsettling blog post.

Jessica "Redfield" Ghawi
1987 - 2012

Her brother Jordan shares his family's heartbreaking timeline since learning that Jessi had been shot inside a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.

Here's a tribute written by Cassie McClellan (Raw Charge, SBN Seattle & my co-host at CCPT Hockey Show)

Sean Leahy from Puck Daddy contributed this story.

Here's a passionate and emotional story from Justin Goldman from Goalie Guild.

The first story I read about Jessica came from Ken at Fang's Bites.

My friend W.B. Philp (Lightning Shout) posted this YouTube video of a lighthearted interview featuring Jessica and a member of the San Antonio Rampage (AHL).

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday Puckpourri: Something for everyone (maybe)

Chasing Stanley...

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The hubby never begins watching hockey until the post-season begins. He says this is when the REAL hockey is being played. He played hockey through college and to be honest, can be a pain to watch games with, so I'm grateful we have so many TVs in the house.

Thinking back on his words, I find he's correct. While I enjoy watching hockey from pre-season in September all the way through the final game where one team hoists the Cup, I agree the level of play intensifies during the post-season.

Okay - this is NOT an earth-shaking, "Aha!" observation. I can already hear many of you mutter "DUH" as you read this, but as I'm writing this for everyone who sails into this blog (including many who are not rabid hockey friends, but non-or casual-hockey friends who support everything I attempt to do), I'll leave that observation intact and carry on.

We've already talked ad-nauseum on Twitter, Facebook and the plethora of hockey-related blogs about how well the Kings have been playing in the post-season. They've never lost two games in a row, however, so how many fans are thinking the same thing I am right now: Are the Kings hitting the wall after going balls-out for 3 rounds? Or do they have one more win in them? Since I'm being honest here, I will admit that I don't know. As much as I support them, I didn't expect them to get past the first round. I didn't expect them to roll over St. Louis in the second round as easily as they did. By the time they reached Phoenix, however, my faith was growing and they did not disappoint.

However... the same thing could be said for the Devils. After the tough battle against the Panthers, how many people (I'm not talking about rabid fans who can't fathom their favorite team ever doing anything BUT win) honestly expected them to beat the Flyers AND Rangers?

The hockey fan in me is excited to see how this plays out - can the Devils come back from 3 games down to win their third Cup (with Brodeur in net for all 3) or can the Kings pull off their first Cup victory EVER?

As they say in the news business, "Stay tuned..."

Sailing to victory...

(Photo from AHL website)

Congratulations to the Norfolk Admirals, who pretty much "sailed" to a Calder Cup victory over the Toronto Marlies in four straight games. I'm not going to talk about the controversial OT goal in Game 3 - that's also been discussed ad nauseum on the social web by greater hockey minds than I possess. I will, however, post it here for you to check out for yourself.

Special congrats go out to former Everett Silvertip Radko Gudas and former Seattle Thunderbird Scott Jackson, part of Norfolk's championship team and possessors of two of the most EPIC playoff beards EVER. And by EVER, I mean at ANY level.

(Photo from Norfolk Admirals website. Both beards are WAY bigger now)

Pedal till you puke...


As we wrap up the NHL season, we gear up for the Draft and a rite of passage for many NHL hopefuls is the dreaded Combine. From what former participants tell me, the Combine is a defacto four-letter word (pick your favorite) which sends them to hell and back in hopes of landing with a team where they can grow. Players undergo a battery of physical and psychological tests and get the opportunity to meet with representatives from all 30 NHL teams. Teams use information gathered at the Combine to help make their decisions for Draft Day. One of the tests involves a stationary bicycle, breathing tube, duct tape and a guy screaming orders the entire time. Click here for results of the Combine. (and congrats to Everett Silvertip D Ryan Murray and Seattle Thunderbirds RW Branden Troock, who took part in the Combine and did well. Click here for a Q&A the T-Birds did with Troock about his experience. Click here for a blog that Ryan Murray wrote from the Combine)

(Everett Silvertips D Ryan Murray/Photo:

Click here for video of Neil Yakupov's (RW, Sarnia Sting) Combine tests.

The 2012 NHL Entry Draft takes place June 22 & 23 in Pittsburgh. I'm sure NBC Sports Network and the NHL Network will split the broadcasting duties.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Saturday Puck-pourri

There's a lot of hockey goodness going on  - but as each intense match winds down, we're reminded that the season is coming to a close. To make sure you're taking in every second of puck, here's a list of tournaments that are taking place right now:

NHL Playoffs.
As of this writing, the New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils, Los Angeles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes are fighting for a spot in the Stanley Cup Finals. As of this writing, the Kings look closest to achieving that goal.

AHL Playoffs
As of this writing, the Norfolk Admirals (TBL), Saint John Ice Caps (WPJ), Oklahoma City Barons (EDM) and Toronto Marlies (TOR) are fighting for a spot in the Calder Cup Playoffs. As of this writing, the field is WIDE open, so pick a team and jump on for the ride.

ECHL Playoffs
As of this writing, the Florida Everblades and Las Vegas Wranglers are battling for the Kelly Cup. Florida leads the series 2 games to 1. The two teams face each other again on Tuesday (May 22).

Memorial Cup Tournament
The Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL), London Knights (OHL), Shawinigan Cateractes (QMJHL) and Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL) are vying for the coveted Memorial Cup. The Q has two teams in the tournament because Shawinigan, as host city, gets an automatic berth. The other teams had to get their the old fashioned way, by winning their respective leagues.
Tangent: Here's hoping that this year's trophy is more sturdily constructed than the one awarded in 2008. This video has been seen so many times, but it never gets old:

NAHL Playoffs
Well, this went by pretty quickly! The Texas Tornado defeated the St. Louis Bandits to win the Robertson Cup.

World Championships.
Russia and Slovakia will meet tomorrow (Sunday, May 21) in a Gold Medal match. Russia got there mostly on the back of Evgeni Malkin, who's playing like a man possessed. As a diehard Penguins fan, I'm a little disappointed that he didn't unveil this side of him when the Pens needed him most, but I'm still cheering for Russia to go all the way. Former Pen Miroslav Satan led Slovakia to the finals, but my money is still on Geno.

Geno's Hat Trick
Here's Sean Leahy's story about Team Russia and Geno's hat trick. Video is included, because Sean is a thorough kind of guy.
What the hey - just watch it right here:

Norfolk Admirals on Video

My good friend (and CCPT Hockey Show co-host) Cassie McClellan covers the Norfolk Admirals for Raw Charge. Recently, she has shared several pieces of video featuring Admirals players showing off their various personalities. A shout out should go to the Admirals' PR corps for taking a creative approach to showcasing the team. I'd post individual videos here, but I'll use my time more wisely by linking you to Norfolk's website so you can browse to your hockey heart's content. Just click here. (BTW, if you're a WHL fan, then you should follow the Ads, as they boast a lineup that includes former WHLers: Radko Gudas (Everett Silvertips), Keith Aulie (Brandon Wheat Kings), Scott Jackson (Seattle Thunderbirds), Tyler Johnson (Spokane Chiefs), Brandon Segal (Calgary Hitmen), Dustin Tokarski (Spokane Chiefs).
Oh, who am I kidding?
Here are two videos I like, because one features Scott Jackson (former T-Bird) and the other features Radko Gudas (former Silvertip):

Did I miss anything?
Let me know!