The foot to the left has five toes on it, but today's article brings you only this TOE: Tuesday's Odd and Ends. These are more images and stories that have been sitting on my desktop that need their stories told, and we'll do that today. It's an eclectic mix of things from several leagues, so we'll work through these as orderly and quickly as possible. Some of the images are interesting while some are strange, but they are all entertaining in their own right. Needless to say, this little piggy had better get to market and write this article before Christmas gets here! Here are some random things from the world of hockey. Enjoy!
- I was looking through the New York Islanders' website on Sunday evening for some information on the fans from Quebec City who had made the pilgrimage to Nassau Memorial Coliseum. I didn't find very much information, but I did find that the Islanders' photo gallery page is actually a time-travel portal! Yes, that gallery is dated for January 1, 2011. And just like the product they roll out onto the ice, the quality control people still have that date on the website at the time of writing this article!
- Huge kudos go out to everyone who attended The Big Chill at The Big House on Saturday! A Guinness record-setting 113,411 people were at the game, and they got to see the Michigan Wolverines knock off the Michigan State Spartans by a score of 5-0. John Merrill was named as the game's first star as he scored two of Michigan's goals. I am definitely impressed with the fans in Michigan who showed up for this game, and you certainly deserve a spot on Guinness' lists with that effort! Well done, fans!
- The AHL decided to roll out their newest All-Star Game uniforms in conjunction with the Hershey Bears. The Bears, as you may know, are hosting the game this season, and I expected something quite traditional with the AHL celebrating its 75th anniversary. Well, we got traditional as the AHL unveiled their home Eastern Conference uniforms and road Western Conference uniforms for this year's game. I do like the look of them, but I immediately thought of these past NHL All-Star Game uniforms. They seem pretty similar, no? Does anyone in hockey have any creativity left?
- Great article from Brett Zarda of The New York Times about a small Canadian town that has solved the issue of springtime ice in their arena without a refrigeration system. Fort Chipewyan, a tiny outpost on Lake Athabasca in northeastern Alberta, has invested $559,000 into synthetic ice for their arena over the summer. The cost of a refrigeration system in the arena would have been into the $2 million range plus annual maintenance costs. The synthetic ice is no different than regular ice: players still use their regular skates on the synthetic ice, only there is far less maintenance involved with the synthetic ice. If you're interested in reading more about this, click the linked article above or click here to visit the Global Synthetic Ice website. It's a very cool product!
- I had never seen this before, but a friend sent me a picture of a patch that the Vancouver Canucks wore in 1986-87. The "Rick Hansen - Man In Motion World Tour" was started in 1985 from the Oakridge Mall in Vancouver, and eventually saw Mr. Hansen travel more than 40,000kms on his trip while confined to his wheelchair before finishing on May 22, 1987 at BC Place. While support was slow at the start, Hansen eventually raised over $26 million for for spinal cord research and quality of life initiatives. The Vancouver Canucks supported Mr. Hansen in his efforts, and wore a patch to help bring his work to light. A very cool patch for a great cause!
- Last, but certainly not least, is a friendly holiday greeting from the 1941-42 Chicago Blackhawks! I'm not sure how many teams would actually send a team photo to fans in this day and age, but I was tickled pink when I saw this holiday message from the Blackhawks! Bill Thoms, second from the right at the top of the card, would lead the team in scoring that season with 45 points (15G, 30A) in 47 games. Two brothers, Robert and William Carse, can be seen on the bottom row while Doug Bentley stands beside Robert Carse. Earl Siebert can be seen at the top-left as well. Missing from that team photo are Max Bentley and Billy Mosienko - two very important players in Blackhawks history!
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!