Saturday, 25 January 2014

Hockey On TV

The title is a little misleading as there is hockey on TV on a number of channels, especially here in Canada. However, there has been a recent slate of TV shows that have featured hockey-related items that have been on TV or will be premiering on TV in the near future. While I certainly encourage people to get off their couches and head outside, sometimes there are reasons to stay inside and watch some TV.

The above image came from the CBC as their newest "reality" show, Four Rooms, sees people from all walks of life bring in items that they feel are value in an effort to sell the item to one of the four investors/collectors. Shawn Chaulk, a construction company owner from Fort McMurray, Alberta, is a major Wayne Gretzky memorabilia collector who wanted to sell his 1981-82 Gretzky game-worn jersey, the same season when he posted an NHL-record 92 goals and 212 points. The link to the video is here, and I would have embedded it, but CBC doesn't allow embedding from their site. I apologize to American visitors - the CBC doesn't like you visiting their site either.

I will tell you this: the bidding for the jersey was high. Mr. Chaulk wanted a minimum of $250,000 for Gretzky's jersey which he states could be sitting in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Chaulk acquired the jersey from a friend who had got it from the team's official photographer at the time. The highest amount offered by the four investors/collectors? $110,000. Mr. Chaulk will return to Fort McMurray with the Gretzky jersey after turning down the high offer made by Eddie Lobo.

"Going in, I didn’t think it would sell but CBC wanted it for what it was — iconic and Canadiana," Chaulk told Marty Kilnkenberg of the Edmonton Journal. "I always had full intention of bringing it home with me. But it was fantastic exposure and a fantastic opportunity."

Would you sell it for $110,000? Leave your comments below. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Bruins vs. Four Rooms

Lane Crockett from Victoria, British Columbia also wandered into the Four Rooms set after having amassed a huge Boston Bruins collection of stuff. The image to the right, a pair of old-time sticks gifted to him in 1969 by Bruins great Bobby Orr, will be a featured item on a future episode of Four Rooms. The sticks, one of which is autographed by members of the 1970 Stanley Cup champions, are encased in the display box and includes hockey cards from each player who signed the stick along with several of Orr.

The sticks have a deep personal meaning to Mr. Crockett as well, and Don Descoteau of the Victoria News brought the story forth in his article.
He underwent open heart surgery in a rare procedure at age 7 and as a post-surgery gift, his father searched out a Boston hockey sweater. When none could be found locally, he called the Bruins directly and the club sent a huge fruit basket, an autographed picture of Orr and other Bruins items.

"I call it the healing power of hockey," said Crockett, who is healthy today.

The young Victoria native's connection to Orr didn’t stop with the hospital gift. A few months later, Orr invited Crockett, a novice hockey player, to attend his skills camp in Orillia, Ont., where he gave him a pair of autographed sticks.

Later, when Crockett was in Vancouver to watch the Bruins play the Canucks in their inaugural NHL season, Orr invited him into the dressing room afterward to meet the players.

"(Bruin star) Ken Hodge pulled me in and said 'go get 'em kid.' I went around the room with one of the sticks and got everybody to sign," Crockett recalled.
Pretty awesome, right? While Crockett and his wife Christeen - also a huge Bruins fan - cannot divulge the results of the show, he did say that a producer of the program called it "one of the most memorable moments in CBC sports television history."

If you want to see that, the episode of Four Rooms will air tomorrow on CBC. Check your local listings!

Ice Warriors

With the Sochi Olympics just a couple of weeks away, HBIC wants to take a minute to direct your attention to what sounds like a fantastic documentary that will Monday, February 24, 2014 at 10pm ET on PBS. Ice Warriors will take an in-depth look at the American sled hockey team as they work towards representing the country at the Sochi Paralympic Games in March. The one-hour prime-time PBS documentary will go behind the scenes as Team USA looks to defend their 2010 gold medal on Russian soil!

From the release notes, "For ICE WARRIORS, the filmmakers gained unparalleled access to the US Paralympics Sled Hockey team. Beginning in September of 2013, the filmmakers accompanied the players at training camps and competitions, in the locker rooms and in the athletes’ homes, giving viewers an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at the arduous journey to Sochi. Along this journey, viewers witness the camaraderie of the teammates on and off the rink, learn about the personal triumphs and trials of the athletes, and see them at home with their supportive families."

This documentary was produced by WGBH Boston with Judith Vecchione as the Executive Producder, Juan Mandelbaum as Senior Producer, Meredith Nierman as the Digital Executive Producer, while video production was done by Luminant Media under the watchful eye of Executive Producer Brian Knappenberger. I am very interested in seeing this documentary, and it's probably something you should watch as well.

If you've never seen what some of these players go through just to play hockey for their country, you'll be amazed. These men are dedicated to their sport, and they deserve at least one hour of your attention. Watch on Monday, February 24 on PBS to see these men take to the ice!

Grapes No More

Being that he's a friend and an all-around great guy, I have to give some blog space to Jared Keeso who played Don Cherry in his CBC-produced biography. Jared's new series, 19-2, debuts this week on Bravo as the premiere happens on Wednesday, January 29 at 9pm ET. Jared is really excited for this series, and so am I. So let's take a quick look at who he's playing, who he's starring with, and why you should watch.

Jared plays Ben Chartier, an honest, uncomplicated, and sensible man. Or so he seems. He bears emotional scars. His combination of affability and strict honesty serves him well on the job, but he arrives at Station 19 ill-prepared for the politics of a major police force. To his right, Adrian Holmes plays Nick Barron, a brooding beat cop with a reputation of a cowboy who regularly bends the rules. Outwardly, Nick is cool, even cocky, but inside he's tormented and ridden with guilt over the shooting of his partner Harvey. Nick is a man losing himself and at the limit of his self-control.

Sounds pretty good, right? A couple of intriguing characters lead us into life inside Precinct 19 in Montreal. Nick is a veteran on Montreal's urban police force and has just returned from a three-month leave following the traumatic shooting of his partner. On his first day back, he is unhappy to learn he has been partnered with Ben, who has just transferred from a small town to restart his life in the big city. Both men are good cops, who deeply care about the job, yet struggle to move beyond painful events in their past. Ben and Nick must attempt to put their differences aside as their lives further intertwine, both professionally and personally, and continue to take surprising and dramatic turns.

If you're looking for me on Wednesday around 8pm, I'll be off the grid entirely as I'll be glued to the television to watch Jared on 19-2. Expect a review on this blog, and some discussion about the premiere episode on The Hockey Show. I'll be looking for feedback to send to Jared as well, so make sure you watch and then drop by HBIC to leave a comment!

That's all for tonight, kids. I'm going to watch the Ducks and Kings battle in Dodger Stadium. Have a good one!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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