Monday, 13 June 2016

There Can Be Only One

They beat a team who embarrassed them in the playoffs not long ago. They beat the Presidents Trophy winners. They beat the defending Eastern Conference champions. They beat a team that had all the sentimental value one could stand driving it through the playoffs. The Pittsburgh Penguins are the 2016 Stanley Cup Champions, and I don't think anyone could have predicted this victory at Christmas. The Penguins had no scoring, had no chemistry, and were sitting outside a playoff spot at that time and even the most die-hard of fans - me, perhaps - wouldn't have given them an ounce of belief that they could play their way out of the first round let alone stand atop the 29 other teams.

With the victory, however, the summer begins for virtually all hockey players. So what does HBIC have in store for this summer's adventures? Well, there are definitely a few things to keep an eye on as we await for the ice to be installed in arenas once more.

First off, there's this little sporting event taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil called the 2016 Summer Olympics. I'm not going, but I will be following the field hockey event and posting information about the game and the games in Brazil as the event rolls on. This sport might be familiar to some, but it's a little different than the game played on ice. Ok, a lot different. Because of this, I'll have a few primers to get you ready as well as looking at the teams who have qualified for both the men's and women's field hockey events.

I plan on doing a little road-tripping this summer as I follow hockey stories from across this great province. As you may be aware, both the Calder Cup and Stanley Cup will be making appearances in Manitoba, so I'll get out to see if I can speak with Snowflake, Manitoba's Justin Falk of the Calder Cup champion Lake Erie Monsters and Winkler, Manitoba's Eric Fehr of the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. There's also a great golf tournament that is taking place on July 17 at the Neepawa Golf Course as young Alyx Delaloye and her family look to raise funds for Ronald McDonald Houses here in Manitoba and for Pediatric Cancer Care initiatives. We'll be radioing at that golf course, so stay tuned to UMFM and this blog for those announcements!

I plan on doing a little reading to expand Teebz's Book Club. I have several books awaiting my eyes, so I plan on getting those started soon. Reviews will always be posted here, and I hope you'll do a little reading too. In fact, if there are hockey books I haven't reviewed that you have and you want to write a review, send one in! HBIC will post any reader-generated content as well!

Finally, there are probably going to be stories all over the place as the summer unfolds. There's the NHL Entry Draft in Buffalo, free agency, and everything else going on with all the hockey leagues. I'm sure there will be announcements from a number of teams and players about new initiatives and endeavors, so HBIC will do its best to keep its finger on the pulse!

I'm off to umpire again today, folks, so that's all for now. If you're in the HBIC Playoff Pool, hold tight for updates. I will have those as soon as I can once this tournament ends. Hopefully by Wednesday, things will have settled and I can produce the final round's results! I gotta roll, though, so I'm off!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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