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