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Thursday, 31 December 2009

HBIC YIR 2009

As the clock clicks towards 2010, Hockey Blog In Canada looks back in 2009 to bring you the best work done on this site from the past twelve months. I realize that there are a number of stories that should be highlighted for their importance or relevance to the major hockey stories this past year. We'll also take a look at the resolutions I proposed at the start of last year to see if I held true to things I wanted to do through 2009. Lastly, I want to run through some people and organization that deserve a "thank you" for helping HBIC become what it is, and for working towards making HBIC better than what it was. Let's get this party started with the Year-In-Review.

Janaury 2009
February 2009
  • February 14 - What number do you wear? HBIC takes a look at goaltenders who wear wacky numbers from a historical perspective.
  • February 20 - Oscar night. How many players named Oscar have had success in the NHL? HBIC can tell you.
  • February 27 - History of the masked men. HBIC, in conjunction with Uni Watch Blog, takes a look at the way the goalie mask has evolved over the course of time.
March 2009
  • March 6 - The passing of a legend. Colleen Howe, the woman behind NHL legend Gordie Howe, passes on. The world loses one of the all-time greatest people with the loss of Mrs. Howe.
  • March 15 - A legend retires. Brian Kilrea, legendary junior coach, hangs up the skates and clipboard. His retirement marks the end of an impressive era in Ottawa.
  • March 23 - Frozen Four logos to 1999. Uni Watch Blog and HBIC join forces to examine the Frozen Four logos and history up to, and including, 1999.
  • March 25 - Frozen Four logos to today. More information about the logos and history of the men's and women's Frozen Four.
  • March 28 - Men's Frozen Four jerseys. Phil Hecken from Uni Watch Blog works his magic in examining the jerseys worn by all 16 teams in the 2009 Frozen Four.
  • March 31 - The HHOF decides women are important. After being stuck in the stone age for so long, the Hockey Hall of Fame changes its by-laws to allow women into the Hall based upon their body of work in the game of hockey. Finally.
April 2009
  • April 9 - Communicating in hockey. HBIC is proud to provide major coverage of the World Deaf Ice Hockey Championships. Great hockey is played over the next two weeks.
  • April 21 - Overtime playoff hockey rules. I love overtime in the NHL Playoffs, and this piece has a number of videos to show why.
  • April 24 - Ovechkin and Mara. These two are forever linked due to Ovechkin's goal-scoring ability and Mara's presence on the ice.
  • April 25 - Awesome photos. Triswykes, a commenter on the Uni Watch Blog, emailed me a pile of old pictures from the NCAA. Note all the old equipment!
May 2009
  • May 4 - Overtime in the playoffs. I'm not sure why the talking heads on TV need to change something that works so well in the NHL Playoffs.
  • May 5 - Stick-swinging incident #1. Tomas Surovy clocks teammate Jaroslav Halak. My opinion is that it is an accident, but it's still stupid.
  • May 9 - Balsillie gets lots of press. The battle for the Phoenix Coyotes was just beginning, but Jim Balsillie proved that he had been planning the coup for some time. I take swings.
  • May 16 - Bettman mentions Winnipeg. This dream of having an NHL team in Winnipeg needs to stop. I make the case for the insanity to end.
  • May 18 - Rick Dudley's music career. I was unaware that Rick Dudley's hockey career in Cincinnati was overshadowed by his music career. Until I wrote this piece.
  • May 24 - A non-starring role. I spend a day out in Selkirk, Manitoba on the set of CBC's newest mini-movie about Don Cherry. And I learn about the movie-making business.
  • May 26 - Losing another. The hockey world sees Peter Zezel lose the battle with anemia. The entire world loses a great man who was significantly underappreciated.
June 2009
  • June 8 - A more personal loss. Paul Lukas, head man over at Uni Watch, sees his father pass on. Rest in peace, Mr. Irwin Lukas.
  • June 13 - Lord Stanley's Cup is handed out. The Penguins defeat the Red Wings in seven games to win the third Stanley Cup in team history.
  • June 16 - Spelling errors. HBIC takes a look at mistakes on the Stanley Cup in terms of spelling errors, multiple names, and a few omissions.
  • June 21 - Hockey's family tree. HBIC looks at all the members of the Sutter family who have played hockey in the various leagues across the globe.
  • June 23 - New mathematics. HBIC looks at a formula to determine a defenceman's value in terms of overall performance on the ice.
  • June 30 - Prospects and the future. HBIC takes a long look at the vast amount of talent that the Washington Capitals have stockpiled.
July 2009
  • July 7 - Going extinct. The Iowa Chops, farm team for the Anaheim Ducks, announce that they are ceasing operations. And the AHL gains respect as a professional league.
  • July 10 - End of an era. Joe Sakic announces that he will retire. Burnaby Joe is the epitome of class in a hockey player, and I pay him some respect.
  • July 24 - Product endorsement. I had never heard of "Sweet-Stick", but chatter of it on Hockey Night In Canada forced me to research it. Readers said it works.
  • July 27 - More product endorsement. I test WIN detergent out at home. My test piece of laundry drew rave reviews for its overall stank.
August 2009
  • August 8 - Clairvoyant. I make a radical proposal in the battle for the Coyotes: the NHL should buy the franchise. I'm not saying that I am clairvoyant, but I came close.
  • August 9 - The cab ride from hell. Patrick Kane shakes the hockey world up by posing for mugshots in Buffalo after a dispute with a cab driver.
  • August 14-15 - Captains of the ship. HBIC looks at the captains of the Manitoba Moose since their move to Winnipeg. IHL captains are featured, followed by the AHL captains.
  • August 25 - Confirming clairvoyance. The NHL officially files a motion to buy the NHL. 13 days earlier, I had suggested that very thing.
  • August 30 - Wild new look. The Minnesota kick off the alternate jersey frenzy for the 2009-10 season as they debut their new alternates. And I comment on this look.
September 2009
  • September 2 - Retro Flames. The Calgary Flames announce that they will be wearing a throwback jersey in honour of their 30th anniversary. I comment on these.
  • September 9 - Breaking the rules. Washington's Alexander Ovechkin tells the NHL that he doesn't care about their ideals, and will "definitely" be playing in the 2014 Olympics.
  • September 13 - More new threads. Philly shows off their Winter Classic uniforms, and the University of North Dakota gets some Reebok-isized uniforms.
  • September 24 - Being fed crumbs. Or, at least, crummy teams. The NHL stages an Oilers-Lightning game in Winnipeg. I demand better based on the price of tickets alone.
  • September 30 - Unceremoniously. The Phoenix Coyotes ordeal ends with a whimper, and Jim Balsillie walks away with his tail tucked between his legs. For now.
October 2009
  • October 9 - Icing is bad. I'm not a fan of touch icing when there is such a huge risk for injury. I make the comparison of driving a Ferrari into a wall.
  • October 13 - Toronto is in a hole. The Leafs start the season in complete disarray, and I make a bold statement: if Toronto betters last season's point total, I'll give away a Maple Leafs jersey. It's currently in the Prize Vault awaiting the Leafs to do good.
  • October 15 - ECHL fashions. I post the entire list of ECHL teams that will have a promotional jersey night this season.
  • October 16-17 - Theoren Fleury talks. Fleury's return to the NHL didn't end with a roster spot, but it helped him talk about his life and his new book. He appeared on The Hour and on The Fifth Estate on CBC.
  • October 19 - Simply amazing. In November 2008, I wrote an article about the Preston Rivulettes. This is the follow-up article with Miss Ruth Collins. Huge thanks goes out to Miss Collins and Matt, her grandson, for providing me with this opportunity!
  • October 21 - Down the middle. HBIC looks at center ice lines in hockey, and the various design elements that go into making them unique.
November 2009
  • November 2 - Head trauma. I make the suggestion that cheering on monsterous hits could be a reason for the increase of hits to the head, and the resulting increase in concussions.
  • November 3 - Wednesdays change. An opportunity is extended to HBIC from the AHL's Manitoba Moose. HBIC will now dedicate Wednesdays to the AHL club.
  • November 5 - No more games. OHL Commissioner David Branch throws the book at Erie Otters forward Michael Liambis after he destroys Ben Fanelli.
  • November 12 - Colorado goes blue. The Avalanche present their new alternate jerseys to the world, and I find serious problems with their design and colours.
  • November 16 - Forsberg says no. Peter Forsberg announces he will not return to the NHL this season. Does anyone notice? Or care?
  • November 21 - Best look ever. I take a look at every city to house either an NHL or WHA team, and pick the best uniform from their history.
  • November 23 - Panthers are tamed. Florida introduces the world to their alternates, and I am underwhelmed again. This trend will continue.
  • November 27 - Blackhawks go retro. The Blackhawks bring back their Winter Classic jerseys with a few changes. I'm a fan of these.
  • November 28 - Smashville. Nashville goes black-and-blue with their alternates, and there are elements that I like in this new jersey.
December 2009
  • December 3 - Computer savvy. I got to test-drive an impressive piece of hockey software, and I must say that it was quite slick.
  • December 6 - Coward. I make the case that Daniel Carcillo's punch on Matt Bradley is a sucker-punch and, therefore, cowardly.
  • December 10 - Magazine archives. I found an interesting article in an old edition of Popular Mechanics that suggests that Gordie Howe's wrist shot is harder than any shot recorded in modern NHL history.
  • December 11 - Most successful coach. I find some interesting information about John Paris Jr., the most successful African-American head coach in pro hockey.
  • December 19 - No yule logs. The Minnesota Wild encounter a serious problem as their equipment burns in the back of their truck.
  • December 21 - Best all-time. I make the case that Martin Brodeur is the best goaltender in the history of the NHL based on his career stats and accolades.
  • December 22 - Being responsible. Sheldon Souray makes the case for players protecting players, and I agree with his suggestion.
I do want to thank a number of people for helping me make HBIC successful this year. In no particular order, I'd like to thank: Paul Lukas, Phil Hecken, Rick Pearson, Eric Postma, Dorion Morphy, Nikole Kritikos, Cassandra Sadek, Derek Jory, Matt McLeod, Ruth Collins, the Manitoba Moose, the Vancouver Canucks, Pepsi Canada, Scholastic Canada, and Random House Canada.

But most of all, I want to thank you, the reader, for stopping by and reading my babble about hockey. At the closing bell for 2009, over 302,000 visits have been logged on this site, and I want to issue 302,000 thank yous to all of you. Thank you so much for making HBIC a part of your day, and for making HBIC an absolute joy for me.

There is the HBIC YIR for 2009. There are lots of stories that I didn't pick as my favorites, so I encourage you to search through the archives if you're searching for specific news. The Winter Classic is less than 15 hours away, so get yourself ready for some excellent outdoor hockey action tomorrow!

Until 2010, keep your sticks on the ice!

1 comment:

Jim BC said...

Hey Teebz - Happy New Year! I've been thinking about Brodeur and his status amongst the best in the game. There is absolutely no doubt he is a Hall of Famer and one of the best to put on the pads. The thing that I've been wondering about is how much he has benefitted from being on a Devils team that for years prided itself on the defensive aspect of the game and more specifically, the "Trap" that Lemaire drilled into them in the 90's. Again, I'm not saying Brodeur is not worthy of all of the accolades bestowed upon him, I've just been thinking...