Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wednesday Puckpourri: Shreddies, Bobbles, Turkeys and Ice (I promise it's hockey-related!)

Time to eat your Wheaties... err.. I mean, Shreddies
The Canadian Hockey League (CHL), parent league of the WHL, OHL and QMJHL, is getting a little more exposure in supermarkets across Canada. Post Cereals will feature 6 CHL players (I'm guessing 2 each from WHL, OHL & QMJHL) on boxes of Shreddies, Honey Shreddies, Sugar Crisp, Alpha-Bits and Honeycomb. There's also the chance to (in their words) "collect up to 24 unique hockey cards" and someone will win a trip to the 2014 Memorial Cup. 

Photo: Post Foods Canada/CHL

I have two questions: 
1. With so many teams represented, how do they select which players will be featured on the boxes?
2. The press release is "Canada"-centric (as it should be) and talks about "52" CHL teams across Canada, I wonder whether any of the WHL's US Division teams get a shot at having a player featured on a box or card? My guess is "no," but a girl can ask. Now, who can I talk to at Kellogg's to get some WHL hockey love...?

KC and the Sunshine Band
Not really.
I was searching for a witty title to go with Kevin Constantine's initials and got... nothing.
Why am I talking about KC, you ask?
Aside from the fact that he's led the Everett Silvertips to their best start in some time (14-3 in 20 games - 14-6 if you add 3 OT losses - and 31 points & second in the US Division behind Portland), the team is celebrating his return with his very own bobblehead. Kevin Constantine Bobblehead Night is THIS Friday, November 15, when the 'Tips welcome the Portland Winterhawks to Comcast Arena. The puck drops at 7:35.NOTE: THERE ARE ONLY 750 BOBBLEHEADS, SO GET THERE EXTRA, EXTRA, EXTRA EARLY.
Isn't he cute?

The next "Signature Saturday" for Everett Silvertips fans takes place THIS Saturday, November 16, following the game against the Prince George Cougars. The following players will take part:
Kevin Davis - Defenseman
Jujhar Khaira - Center
Dawson Leedahl - Left Wing
Austin Lotz - Goalie
(NOTE: Out of respect for the players and other fans, the Silvertips request that you limit yourself to two autographs per person. Also... the list of players scheduled to take part may change - read all of the details by clicking the link above)

The next Seattle Thunderbirds player to be immortalized in bobblehead form is d-man Shea Theodore (Anaheim Ducks prospect, to you NHL fans). The T-Birds are being a little more generous than the Silvertips. The first 2,500 fans to walk into ShoWare Center on Saturday, November 30, will get to take their own "mini-Shea" home with them. I can't find a sneak peek of the bobblehead anywhere, so just picture this in bobblehead form:

Shea Theodore/Photo: Seattle Thunderbirds

The Seattle Thunderbirds have two fun events coming up:
If you've never seen this, you're in for a treat. If you're a woman with a fairly good aim, you might get to take one of these babies home. I'm not even gonna tell you any more about it. Just watch the segment T-Birds PR guy Ian Henry did with KING 5 New Day Northwest last year to promote the Turkey Shoot and you'll get the drift. (Full disclosure: New Day Northwest is my day job and I produced the segment).

Graphic created by Toby Rigby/Spaceman Inceptions
All of the players, plus Cool Bird, will lace up their skates and take to the ice from 2-4pm at the Franciscan Polar Plaza in Tacoma (all right, Cool Bird may not skate, but he'll be there!) The guys will hobnob with fans, sign autographs, take photos (selfies are allowed, even encouraged - just don't lose your balance!). I expect there will be a pretty big crowd for this and I'm not sure how many skaters can fit comfortably on the ice at Franciscan Polar Plaza so make sure to arrive extra-early.
Wouldn't you love to skate with this guy?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday Puckpourri: The snap seen 'round the world, plus a lineman KO'd & DON'T call it a "cat fight!"

The snap seen 'round the world
The screen grab from the video accompanying a story at shows Steven Stamkos lying face-down on the ice, blurred gloves leaving do doubt he's pounding on the ice in pain. Video of the collision with the post that broke his leg has spread like wildfire over social media, but I won't watch it. I'm cringing enough looking at the screen grab. Although I can't see his face, I can tell he's in extreme pain. 

For non-hockey fans, this happened today during a game between the Lightning and Boston Bruins. Boston won 3-0, but I don't think anyone was focused on the game after Stamkos was taken off the ice on a stretcher and rushed to the hospital. 

Photo: Elise Amendola/Associated Press
This photo shows a different angle but the pain is still evident. Stamkos must have known as soon as his leg hit the post that it was broken. Stevie Y says he'll be out indefinitely after surgery to repair the break to his tibia, but knowing hockey players, he'll be back sooner than expected. I'm sure if he could play in a cast, he would. Sending healing thoughts his way.

Linesman KO'd
My friend Dee shared this video on her Facebook page. It shows linesmen trying to bring a series of on-ice brawls under control during a game between the Vernon Vipers and Prince George Spruce Kings of the BCHL. One of the Vernon players, swinging wildly, connects with a linesman's jaw and it's "lights out" for a few seconds. That ref's gonna have a big bruise on his face. That player's going to feel more than 2 minutes of "shame." And the team will probably be slapped with a somewhat hefty fine... 

How old are these kids again?

Don't call it a "cat fight"
Speaking of on-ice brawls, my friend Keri sent me this one between members of the Ohio State and Bemidji State (her alma mater) hockey teams, which broke the NCAA record for penalty minutes. This brawl at the end of their game racked up 287 minutes, including 18 fighting majors and a game misconduct. This shattered the old NCAA record of 268 PIM set during a game between Boston University and Maine in 2004. 

Oh, did I mention the record-breaking brawl was between Ohio State and Bemidji State's **women's** teams and the old record was set by men's teams? Ohio State's coach channeled Reggie Dunlop in his post-game comments. 

Here's the video. Click here for the accompanying story.

I'd forgotten Bemidji's team is called the "Beavers."  "Lady Beavers" sound even worse. 

Yes, my mind did go there.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Hockey Talk.. or... Talking Hockey...

I like to talk about hockey. 
I like to hear others talk about hockey.
It's a good thing, then, that I get to co-host a weekly show about... hockey.

My friend Cassie McClellan, who writes for the Tampa Bay Lightning blog Raw Charge (and other websites) and I kicked off the fourth season of our weekly radio show "CCPT Hockey" today, with a fun chat about the season so far and a look at PIM leaders (players and teams).

Logistical issues prevented us from starting the season in August like most other hockey radio shows, but we're really not stressed about it. Our show is more a live chat than a "show" in the "official" sense of the word. We have the occasional guest and even the occasional "high profile" guest, but for the most part, we have a fun group of people who take part in the live, interactive chat that takes place while our show's on the air, and have our hockey loving friends call in to praise or bitch about their teams.

Don't get me wrong. Cassie and I can talk stats like everyone else, but why would we want to? How boring is it to tune in every week for STATS. Seriously. How many of you with college educations really *enjoy* your statistics class? Okay, I know some of you still enjoy statistics. Otherwise, we wouldn't have statistics to talk about, right? I mean, it takes a special mind to come up with the number of times a player has scored on a Saturday night in November where there happened to be a three-quarters moon in the sky. 

I kid. I respect all of you statistically-minded hockey fans out there. The world needs you. I mean it. I really do.

I also digress.

When Cassie promoted our first show on Facebook, someone asked her why our show was named CCPT Hockey Show - and what's up with the Russian-looking logo? If you listened to today's show, you'd know the answer to both questions. If you haven't listened to the podcast version yet, here you go:

"CCPT" stands for CONNECT COMMUNITY PUCK TALK.  The show was created a number of years ago by our friend Justine (aka "Juice in LA") as a gathering place for hockey fans who became friends on's (now pretty defunct) fan site: NHL Connect. In its heyday, NHL Connect was a breeding ground for fans who expressed their hockey love via essays, stories, limericks and more. I stumbled onto the site in 2008, while licking the wounds left by the Pittsburgh Penguins' heartbreaking SCF loss to Detroit. Juice and others welcomed me warmly, and quickly became my family away from home. Looking back, it's funny how most of my early Connect friends were Red Wings fans... I did some of my best writing while a member of that site, including my ode to the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" team (and my dad), which was featured on's homepage for several days (I wish I had saved a screen grab).

A handful of Connectors even managed to meet up in San Jose for a German dinner and game between the Sharks and Red Wings (Juice, JoJo, Al, Shannon, Kevin - did I leave anyone out?). Ahh... those were the days!

Alas, as so often happens in many Utopian societies, TROLLS discovered NHL Connect and tromped all over our thriving community, testing friendships, creating alliances, and basically shitting all over the place. A small group of us took our leave and our Flyers friend Matt told us about Juice created the show and we all happily joined in. When Juice's schedule became too hectic to continue, Cassie and I took over. We tried to make it an "official" show for a while, but reverted back to our carefree hosting style when we realized we weren't really having a lot of fun trying to be "official."

Which brings us to today.

Season 4 of the CCPT Hockey Show launched at 6pm ET/3pm ET on Cassie and I managed to fly through an hour of talking about standings, divisions, wild card (huh?), the incomprehensible, early implosion of the Flyers, the unbelievably great play of the Avs, Coyotes and a TEAM-THAT-SHALL-NOT-BE-NAMED (but whose initials are TBL). We also discussed PIM leaders so far:

1. Derek Dorsett (NYR) - 73 PIM in 17 games (fmr. Medicine Hat Tigers/WHL)
2. Radko Gudas (TBL) - 57 PIM in 16 games (fmr. Everett Silvertips/WHL)
3. Steve Downie (COL, PHI) - 53 PIM in 12 games (fmr.Kitchener/Peterborough/Windsor/OHL)
4. Antoine Roussel (DAL) - 52 PIM in 17 games (fmr. Chicoutimi Sagueneens/QMJHL)
5. Erik Gudbranson (FLA) - 51 PIM in 18 games (fmr. Kingston Frontenace/OHL)

1. Flyers - 311 PIM in 16 games
2. Blues - 274 PIM in 15 games
3. Leafs - 279 PIM in 17 games
4. Caps - 273 PIM in 18 games
5. Rangers - 252 PIM in 17 games

Well, I seem to have encapsulated a lot of what we talked about on today's show, which means you have absolutely no reason to listen to it. In the event you do, here's the link to a story on CCPT Hockey Show's website that includes the podcast, and a few more statistics that are blowing our minds right now:

If you find yourself with nothing to do next Sunday at 6pm ET/3pm ET (or the Sunday after that, or the... you get the idea), join us on the air or in the chat room. Here's our show page:  CCPT Hockey Show

You can also follow the show on Twitter: @CCPTHockey

Here's Cassie's Twitter handle: @dagmar27
And here's mine: @Motley_Su

Friday, September 13, 2013

EPIC real estate ad featuring several former 'Tips

EPIC commercial featuring former Everett Silvertips Captain (and current Assistant Coach) Mitch Love, plus cameos by a number of his former 'Tips teammates. How many can you spot in this ad for Lamoureaux Real Estate?

Friday, August 30, 2013

Hockey in Seattle... and Everett... and Spokane... and Wenatchee... etc.

There's been a lot of talk lately about Seattle getting an NHL team. Some people have gone on and on about how much they miss going to hockey games and an NHL team can't come soon enough because it's too much of a hassle to drive up to Vancouver to watch the Canucks, not to mention the ticket prices.


Hockey is alive and well in Seattle... and Everett... and Spokane... and the Tri Cities... and Wenatchee... and even across the border in Oregon (Portland, to be exact).  Okay, in all fairness, these are major junior teams comprised of players who are 16 to 20 years old. Some of the so-called "hockey" fans I've chatted with say they have no time to watch kids - bring on the big guys, the pros. Other fans I've chatted with talk excitedly about being able to watch NHL players like Marian Hossa (Portland Winterhawks), Patrick Marleau (Seattle Thunderbirds), Zdeno Chara (Prince George Cougars) and Carey Price (Tri City Americans) (to name JUST a few) hone their skills in the Western Hockey League, then watching those "kids" go on to have successful NHL careers. (For a complete list of WHL alumni - players AND coaches - currently in the NHL, visit WHL Network’s Prospect Central)

Here’s a list of teams within driving distance of Seattle:

Everett Silvertips (WHL, home arena: Comcast Arena)
Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL, home arena: ShoWare Center)
Spokane Chiefs (WHL, home arena: Spokane Arena)
Tri City Americans (WHL, home arena: Toyota Center)
Portland Winterhawks (WHL, home arenas: Memorial Coliseum, Rose Garden)
Wenatchee Wild (NAHL, home arena: Town Toyota Center)

There are a number of reasons to drive to Everett, Kent or take a road trip to Wenatchee, Spokane, the Tri Cities and Portland - or even a ferry over to Victoria or cross the border to Vancouver and support major junior hockey:
  1. Games are affordable! You can score a ticket for as little as $10
  2. There's not a bad seat in the house... err.. arena
  3. You'll meet some awesome fans, many who also double as billet (host) families, giving players a "home" away from home.
  4. You can help support these kids on their quest to attain NHL careers by showing up and cheering loudly. 
  5. You can bask in the satisfaction of saying on NHL Draft day, "I knew _______ would make it!"
  6. You can watch NHL games with your buddies and say, "I watched ________ come up in the WHL. I knew he'd make it."
  7. Did I mention games are affordable?
  8. Snacks and drinks are a lot cheaper than at NHL arenas (and a mere pittance when compared to food sold at Safeco & CenturyLink Fields)
  9. You can join your team's Booster Club and take part in special events, meet and greets, and get special deals and promotions or sponsor a player as their "Secret Pal"
  10. Without leagues like the WHL (and OHL, QMJL, NAHL, USHL, NCAA and others), there might not be an NHL - or an NHL filled with players from such diverse backgrounds. I mean, how many frozen ponds are there in Canada for up and coming players to hone their skills? (Just kidding, I know all Canadian boys are born with skates strapped to their feet and hockey skills embedded in their brains.
If this hasn't convinced you to plunk down $10 to check out a game, maybe the following people will. They're the men and women who cover the teams, driving to every home game (and even some away games), interviewing coaches and players, breaking down plays and offering their skilled analysis of the team they cover, as well as every opponent who comes to town. They know their stuff and are more than happy to chat with you should you happen to run into them at a game (or on Twitter). 

Let me introduce the writers who cover teams in Washington and Oregon, along with their Twitter handles (click on their names to visit their websites):

Everett Silvertips (WHL)

Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)

Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

Spokane Chiefs (WHL)
Tri City Americans (WHL)
Wenatchee Wild (NAHL)

Want to know what life is like as a major junior hockey player? I can help you with that, too! Chris Rumble, who played with the Wenatchee Wild from 2009-2011 and now attends Canisius College on a hockey scholarship, filmed a documentary during his final year with the Wild. It’s called Into the Ice and is available on DVD. (Side note: if the name Chris Rumble sounds familiar, he’s the mastermind behind the “Stronger” video shot at Seattle Children’s Hospital that went viral)

So, you’ve been prepped. Now, sit back and think about what turned you into a hockey fan. Think about the amazing plays you’ve seen, the players who defied description, the players you believed in, even if others had already written them off. Did you wish you could have seen The Great One as a kid player? Super Mario? Bobby Hull? This is your chance to watch for the next generation of “Great Ones.” The challenge to you is to go to your local arena and see whether you can spot the next NHL star in the making.

If you see me there, come say hi. I’ll buy you a beer. 

'Tips host preseason tourney Labor Day weekend

The Everett Silvertips begin pre-season play today by hosting the Holiday Inn Pre-Season Classic at Comcast Arena. The tournament runs Friday, August 30 through Sunday, September 1 and features the following WHL teams: Seattle Thunderbirds, Tri City Americans, Portland Winterhawks, Spokane Chiefs and Victoria Royals

Here’s the schedule:

Friday, August 30: 
11:30am     Seattle Thunderbirds vs. Tri City Americans
3:00pm       Portland Winterhawks vs. Spokane Chiefs
7:00pm       Everett Silvertips vs. Victoria Royals

Saturday, August 31:
11:30am     Tri City Americans vs. Portland Winterhawks
3:00pm       Seattle Thunderbirds vs. Victoria Royals
7:00pm       Everett Silvertips vs. Spokane Chiefs

Sunday, September 1:
11:30am     Tri City Americans vs. Victoria Royals
3:00pm       Spokane Chiefs vs. Seattle Thunderbirds
7:00pm       Everett Silvertips vs. Portland Winterhawks

For more information about the Holiday Inn Pre-Season Classic and the rest of the pre-season schedule, please click here.

The Silvertips will launch the 2013-2014 regular season on Saturday, September 23 by welcoming the Prince George Cougars to Comcast Arena. The puck drops at 7:05pm. Please click here for the complete 2013-2014 regular season schedule.

For more information about the Everett Silvertips, including promotion nights, season ticket options or to buy single game tickets, visit the ‘Tips website:
Connect with the team on Facebook:  Everett Silvertips Hockey Club
Follow them on Twitter: @WHLSilvertips

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Hockey with Heart

Another example of the tremendous hearts that beat inside hockey players.
Another reminder that we need to find some way to teach our children to respect each other and end the bullying epidemic.
Kudos to Matt Duchene.
Best of luck to Trista and her family ♥

(Photo: Minden Times)