As I continue to look back at the stories that made me sit up and take notice in the world of hockey, it's always good to remember some of the other things that helped attract a few readers, and hopefully those readers are still with me today. Teebz's Book Club is fairly popular, especially around this holiday season. The You're Wearing That? articles are always good for a chuckle in regards to some of the promotional jerseys worn in hockey. I wrote a number of these articles this past year, and you can find them under the drop-down lists to the right.
Here's Part Two of HBIC's Year-In-Review.
July 5 was a day for history as I took a look at some of the Winnipeg Jets' past. There are a number of memorable and forgettable moments in that article.
July 9 saw me rip the Iowa AHL franchise for name the team as the "Chops". Greg Wyshynski linked me on the Puck Daddy blog, and that only added to the fire. Iowans were not pleased with my diatribe. July 11, I apologized to the people of Iowa, but I was not apologizing for ripping the AHL franchise.
July 12 was the first teaser that EA Sports hit us with in regards to NHL '09. I was bubbling over with anticipation for this version.
July 15 saw me expose the parallels between baseball and hockey, and how the two have an intertwined history. There's some good history here.
July 20 has me perusing Ebay for a while, and I discovered a large amount of questionable stuff. I should have followed up Jay Leno-style to see if these things actually sold.
July 22 saw Hayley Wickenheiser sign with Swedish third-tier team Eskilstuna Linden to play alongside the men. This would be Miss Wickenheiser's second attempt in playing with the boys.
July 28 saw the first major story break about NHL alternate jerseys for the upcoming 2008-09 season. Howard Berger has some great info on them, and he's almost bang-on with each of his previews.
July 31 had me questioning the thought process in Minnesota Wild GM Doug Risebrough's head as he signed Owen Nolan to a more expensive contract only to cut a more productive and cheaper Mark Parrish. I still don't get this.
August 8 saw me deliver a comprehensive overview of field hockey as the 2008 Beijing Olympics prepared to kick off. Great read if you're interested in the sport of field hockey and how it may have started.
August 11 had me looking into the absence of India from the Beijing Olympic Games. For a once proud nation on the field hockey pitch, they have fallen quickly from their height as a field hockey power.
August 16 saw the first salvo of words between the upstart KHL and the NHL. Personally, I think either side making threats is childish, but this is hockey business, I supposed.
August 20 was the day that my good friend, Bethany, broke the story regarding Stefan Legein's decision to walk away from the game of hockey. My thoughts were posted in the article, and I wasn't too pleased with some fans' reactions to Legein's decision.
August 22 had me post the final standings from the women's field hockey event at the Beijing Olympics. Congratulations go out to the Netherlands for their gold medal victory!
August 23 saw the men's final standings posted from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Congratulations go out to the powerful Germany squad who secured the gold medal for their country!
August 24 saw me partake in a bit of a thought exercise as Puck Daddy writer, Greg Wyshynski, was compiling the Top Five Ways You'd Change The NHL. I wasn't invited as a guest writer for that series, but I did get linked back to Puck Daddy as my re-alignment idea was celebrated. August 31 had me address some of the comments left by readers, and some very good comments were made.
August 29 was a day where I questioned the expansion cousins in Ottawa and Tampa Bay as they individually were trying to self-destruct their own teams. Of course, both teams are at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings right now, so it appears I was on the right line of thinking with this one.
September 6 saw me look a little deeper in the David Frost saga. This guy is a creep from top to bottom, and he should be locked up. But I'm just Joe Public, and I have no say in the matter.
September 8 saw me run down a number of late-round NHL draft picks who turned out to be pretty darn good NHL players. Zetterberg and Nabokov are pretty solid picks after the 200th spot.
September 9 was a fun day of introducing everyone to the NHL mascots you see at arenas around the nation. Youppi! is still one of my favorite mascots of all-time.
September 10 was the introduction of the new Carolina Hurricanes alternate jersey. I wasn't impressed then, and I'm still not impressed today.
September 12 saw me treat the HBIC Playoff Pool winner, Justin St. Louis, to a night on the town at the Amadeus Steen Foundation Charity Benefit. Great times had by all, and we got to meet a ton of hockey stars.
September 14 saw another team introduces an alternate jerseys as Boston showed off their new designs, we get sneak peek at Buffalo. I'm not convinced Boston is a good idea, and what is up with Buffalo's ridiculous piping issues?
September 22 was the official unveiling of Buffalo's design, and St. Louis joined in on the alternate scene. I like St. Louis' design, but Buffalo just doesn't cut it.
September 23 had me looking at some of the older arenas, as well as some that no longer stand. As you may know, I'm a big hockey history buff, so these kinds of articles are fun to write.
September 25 was a short post, but the commercial featuring Minnesota Wild forward Andrew Brunette still cracks me up. "That's Engebretson!" Hilarious.
October 8 saw three more teams jump on the alternate uniform bandwagon. Edmonton has a great look, Toronto is wearing their throwbacks, and Atlanta is simply out to lunch. No idea who designed their alternates, but the person is probably unemployed at this point.
October 13 saw the loss of another young hockey player as KHL star and New York Rangers prospect Alexei Cherepanov collapsed on the Avangard Omsk bench and died. The hockey world mourned his death, but it was only the beginning of an investigation into his premature death. Rest in peace, Alexei. You were a star in your short 19 years on this earth.
October 22 saw me run through the KHL standings, and which teams were doing well. I'm very impressed with Ray Emery's transformation into a big-time goaltender over there with no side effects. This article gets a ton of hits for some reason.
October 23 saw another appearance by Dave Shoalts on my blog. Shoalts floated the idea of Toronto obtaining a second NHL team, and I have my thoughts on this idea. Namely, in one word, NO.
October 26 allowed us our first looks at what the Red Wings and Blackhawks will be wearing on the ice at Wrigley Field for the 2009 Winter Classic. But why are the jerseys so damned expensive?!?
October 28 had the Islanders break out their new alternate jerseys. I have to say that I do like the throwback jerseys. I really would have loved it had they brought back the Fisherman jersey. One can dream, can't he?
November 6 had the Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins dressed in new clothes. The Penguins look fabulous while the Blackhawks went back to black. The Blackhawks black uniform is my least favorite of the three they wear.
November 8 called for more criticism thrown at the Tampa Bay Lightning and their dysfunctional front office. I don't know how no one has burned the building down yet.
November 9 saw hockey history made in Lake Placid, NY as the women from Team Sweden defeated the Canadian women for the first time in history. For all the nay-sayers about women's hockey, this is why it's important to grow and nurture the game. Sweden is an emerging power.
November 14 saw the introduction of the Vancouver Canucks' alternate jerseys. The return of Johnny Canuck was a fabulous addition, and it really gives these jerseys a historical feeling.
November 15 had me re-open the debate of no-touch icing thanks to Don Cherry's commentary on Coach's Corner. Why is this something that the NHL won't adopt?
November 19 had me preview the new alternate jerseys presented by Dallas and Philadelphia. Philly in orange feels so right. Dallas' design team seems to have gotten the project wrong since their alternates look like road jerseys.
November 21 saw me take major heat on The NHL Arena forum from San Jose fans after I hammered the Sharks for their BlackArmor alternate jersey. A sellout is a sellout is a sellout. There's no way I can get past the fact that they sold out an entire set of uniforms to help Seagate sell a few units.
November 22 had me rip on the Ottawa Senators for their atrocious alternate jersey. The words "epic fail" could be used in this case with no problem.
November 23 had the Los Angeles Kings appear in their new alternate jerseys. I'm not as harsh towards them as I am with the Senators or Sharks, but there's really nothing to be overly impressed with either.
November 24 had Tampa Bay and Phoenix bring out their new wardrobes, and failures are seen. Oh, and I respond to the venom from the San Jose Sharks fans on The NHL Arena forum.
November 27 had me examining the purpose of the bodycheck, and how the focus has been shifted from separating player from puck to intending to deliver pain. I still think this needs to be taught at the grassroots level properly.
November 28 had me catching up with the Canadian Sledge Hockey team, and their most recent gold medal achievement at the World Sledge Hockey Championship in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Congratulations to the Canadian Sledge Hockey team on their gold medal standard!
November 29 saw Brian Burke sit in the big chair at the ACC in Toronto as he assumed the General Manager and VP of Hockey Operations position with the Maple Leafs. Burke is the right guy for the Leafs, but he's going to need time to right the ship.
November 30 had me talking to Uni Watch Blog's Phil Hecken about the greatest hockey team that no one has ever heard of. The Preston Rivulettes were a dominant women's team in the 1920s, and theirs is a story that needs to be told. I'm glad I could do that. Thanks for your help, Phil!
December 7 saw me profile a pioneer in the game of hockey. Manon Rhéaume hadn't been heard of for a long time since she suited up for the IHL's Atlanta Knights on December 13, 1992, and I was happy to post some updates on her career and life. I've always been a Rhéaume fan, and she certainly is doing some excellent work both on and off the ice today.
December 9 saw my anger over the minutely updates on the Mats Sundin free agency saga bubble over. The NHL Arena Maple Leaf fans had some issue with this, particularly one gentleman who labeled me as a bigot. I rise the ire of fans once again with my words.
December 12 saw the biggest day in Brett Leonhardt's hockey life come to fruition. Brett was signed to an amateur tryout contract by the Washington Capitals to play as the backup goalie that night against Montreal. Cool story, indeed.
December 18 had me gearing up for Christmas, as well as the World Junior Championships and the Spengler Cup. I love that time of year simply due to the amount of hockey available on television.
December 20 and 21 had me working on another collaboration with Uni Watch Blog's Phil Hecken. Phil had gathered the votes from the hockey fans on the Uni Watch Blog and we went about ranking the NHL alternate jerseys from 1-19. Part One is here, and Part Two is here.
So there are the major stories from the past year that have appeared on this blog. Despite whether you agree or disagree with me on any of these items, any discussion about hockey is good because we're all passionate. We wouldn't be here if we weren't, right?
Enjoy the Winter Classic tomorrow. I'll have a piece up about it tomorrow. Happy New Year to all the readers of Hockey Blog In Canada, and thank you for stopping by to read anything I have written. All the best to you and yours in 2009, and may everyone find health and happiness.
Until 2009, keep your sticks on the ice!