Thursday, 22 August 2019

The Hockey Show - Episode 361

The Hockey Show, Canada' only campus-produced radio show that strictly talks hockey, returns to the airwaves tonight with a rather serious topic that we feel should be addressed. Every year, it seems, there is a player, or players in some cases, who steps forward to report that they were a victim of hazing. Every year, it seems, there is an incident of someone uttering a homophobic or racist remark on the ice, field, court, or where sports are played. Beans and I have addressed stuff like this on The Hockey Show before, and we've made it pretty clear that we both think these actions are despicable and abhorrent. However, we're just a couple of goofs on the radio, so maybe our message didn't hit home as well as it should have. Tonight, we intend to change the delivery of the message.

The woman pictured to the left is doing some ground-breaking work out at the University of Calgary in her role as Sexual Violence Support Advocate. Her name is Carla Bertsch, and she's working with the Calgary Dinos athletes to educate them on a number of important topics such as sexual violence, gender socialization, consent and hazing prior to the 2019-20 school year. So far, the reviews from the Dinos women's hockey team, the first team to complete the training, have been excellent, and, with hockey season starting shortly and other sports gearing up for the winter, Beans and I knew we had to speak with Carla. Tonight, we welcome Carla to the show and we'll talk hazing, sexual violence through hazing, homophobia in sports, racism in sports, and more as we get smarter about something that no one ever wants to discuss. It's a far more serious show than we usually run, but I feel this is a topic that everyone should be able to discuss with athletes, coaches, and fans, and we'll start that discussion tonight with Carla Bertsch of the University of Calgary at 5:30pm CT!

The new UMFM website's online streaming player is pretty awesome if you want to listen online. If you're using an Apple device, the player doesn't seem to like Safari yet, but we highly recommend you use the TuneIn app found on the App Store or perhaps another browser. If you do use the TuneIn app, you won't be disappointed. It's a solid app.

Having lost faith in Facebook, I spend far less time on that site for good reasons. In saying that, you can still email all show questions and comments to hockeyshow@umfm.com! Tweet me anytime with questions you may have by hitting me up at @TeebzHBIC on Twitter! We're here to listen to you, so make your voice heard!

Tonight, Teebz and Beans get smarter as we talk to University of Calgary Sexual Violence Support Advocate Carla Bertsch about sexual violence, gender socialization, consent, hazing, and much more only on The Hockey Show found exclusively on 101.5 UMFM, on the UMFM app, on the UMFM.com web stream!

PODCAST: August 22, 2019: Episode 361

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Take Me Out To The Game

If there's one thing that I enjoy in the summer evenings, it's heading down to the ballpark for a little baseball. The local, independent team is the Winnipeg Goldeyes who play out of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, and they've had some success over the two decades they've been playing ball in this city. It's always a good time at the ballpark while being rather inexpensive entertainment, and the Goldeyes know their market well. How do I know this? They're doing another annual theme night this season that always seems to draw a big crowd!

Late in the season each year as hockey season approaches, the Winnipeg Goldeyes host "Hockey Night at Shaw Park"! There are hockey-themed giveaways during the course of the game, fans are encouraged to wear their favorite hockey jerseys, and the on-field games and entertainment are always hockey-related. There are usually some minor hockey teams that have been invited to the park to catch the game, and the Goldeyes often have a hockey icon or two on-hand to sign autographs. And, as seen to the right, the home team comes out in hockey-like jerseys to play the game as part of the festivities!

The Goldeyes will take the field on these jerseys on Tuesday, August 27 when the Gary Southshore Railcats visit that night, and there's a pile of good stuff happening at ballpark to go along with the action on the field. The Manitoba Moose will be at the game and have a table setup for information, so the local AHL club will be well-represented at the ballpark. There will be a fireworks show after the game, so make sure you plan for a later evening if you're headed to the game. And if you are going to the game, check out The Dugout at some point in the evening to grab yourself some Goldeyes Hockey Night merchandise!

I am proud to say that I will be attending next week's game to take in Hockey Night at Shaw Park. There's something great about watching live baseball while enjoying a hot dog and a beverage, and adding the hockey layer to the game only makes it more enjoyable when walking around the park and seeing the jerseys people are wearing. I can tell you that last season's game saw the Islanders' Fisherman jersey make an appearance as my mom, an avid baseball fan, wore it to the game, and there were a number of people who stopped to ask about it. I haven't decided what jersey I'm going to wear this year, but I have some time to make that decision.

If you're in the Winnipeg region and you want to go to the game, head over to the Ticketmaster website and get yourself a ticket. Tickets range between $14 and $26, so it's not like you need to take out a second mortgage to attend. There are lots of great tickets still available at the time of publishing this article, so find a seat you like and take yourself out to the ballpark!

Hockey Night at Shaw Park is always a homerun!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Are You Serious?

I hold out hope each and every day that the world is getting smarter. There are days where I feel that humanity breaks through the ceiling by which it seems trapped, and then there are days like today where I find myself shaking my head. As seen in the image to the left, all of the jerseys in the GIF share one common trait: none of them have the full team name on them, only a shortened version or a nickname of the team. In each and every case, it baffles me that teams are willing to cast their own logos and brands aside in exchange for one of these nicknames or shortened versions of their true names. But I guess it's better to be hip or cool than to have people respect the name with which one chose to brand one's self.

Today, the Carolina Hurricanes unveiled a new road jersey that they'll wear going forward because the old one simply wasn't cool enough for them, I guess. Whatever the reason given for the change, the end result will see the Hurricanes take the ice on the road in this abomination.
Look, I'm going to hit the positives first here because there are some things to like. The white jersey is clean and crisp with its tight sleeve stripes and the normal storm warning flag stripe at the bottom hem. While I would have liked a red shoulder yoke again, I can live with the white on the shoulders. It's a simple design that allows the logo to stand out... that is, if they actually had a logo on this jersey.

And that's where I draw the line. As stated above in the opening paragraph, all of the jerseys shown in that GIF have a shortened version or a nickname of the team on the front of the jersey where the logo or brand should be. There is no way that a team in the National Hockey League should ever not use its logo or branding on its jersey, particularly one of its primary jerseys, unless it's running a one-night minor-league promotion. And there are exactly zero days in any NHL season where an NHL franchise should be running a minor-league promotion.

If team nicknames aren't used on official documents nor on official releases from the team, why is it acceptable for teams to wear team nicknames on their uniforms? Hint: IT'S NOT.

Look, I get that the Hurricanes have a little swagger in their steps after their improbable run to the Eastern Conference Final last season. I get that they have a bit of a chip on their shoulders with the heat they took over their post-game celebrations. I understand how they bought into and adopted the "Bunch of Jerks" moniker as they employed an us-vs-the-world attitude. There's nothing wrong with any of these and they need to build on their run from last season using all these tactics, but it doesn't warrant nor justify taking their main logo off their road jerseys in exchange for a nickname. EVER.

Mike Forman, Hurricanes vice president of marketing and brand strategy, told Icethetics.com, "This uniform is intended to be a modern take on our classic road jersey," except this take is neither modern take nor a good take on what was a great look already. TSN's Pierre LeBrun reported that Hurricanes owner Mike Dundon didn't like the road jersey last season, and that this redesign came from that dislike.

It's within the owner's playbook to rebrand his team if he likes. After all, he owns everything from the logo to the jerseys to the wordmarks. However, Forman went on to tell Icethetics.com, "Our 'Canes' nickname is how the vast majority of our fans affectionately refer to us and we want to bring a piece of our fans with us on the road by featuring it as the crest logo."

Again, I draw the line here. This is perhaps the dumbest justification for the admitted use of a nickname on the front of a jersey in the history of the game. Your fans never demanded a new jersey and they still followed the Hurricanes when on the road regardless of whether they were the 'Canes, the Hurricanes, the Bunch of Jerks, or any other name they've been given. Changing the road jersey's primary logo to reflect what the owner and/or franchise perceives as fan affection is, without any hesitation, the worst hockey decision ever made regarding a jersey redesign in the history of the game. I say that without exaggeration. And as Chris Smith of Icethetics.com writes, "(L)et this be a one and done situation.

"Teebz," you're saying, "you're too much of a traditionalist." I can accept that labeling if you like. However, I fully believe that a team's logo is sacred ground and something that should never be altered unless absolutely needed. Minor changes I can accept, and the logos of the Red Wings, Bruins, Blackhawks, Maple Leafs, Yankees, Packers, and Cowboys have stood the tests of time over their long histories thanks, in large part, to those logos remaining virtually the same from year to year and decade to decade. No one ever questions why the Packers haven't slapped "The Pack" on their jerseys or why the Yankees don't come up with a "Bronx Bombers" jersey.

For all the good that this jersey brings, it would have been capped off beautifully with the Hurricanes logo on the chest. Instead, the Hurricanes go and do something unspeakable at the highest level of professional sports by making their franchise look like a minor-league promotional night by slapping a nickname across their chests - something that has been roundly admonished and clowned when other franchises have done it.

Epic fail, Hurricanes. And I'm disappointed more and more by this redesign each time I glance at it.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Monday, 19 August 2019

Heading Outside

You may have heard that there will be an outdoor hockey in Canada this year as the Winnipeg Jets will set up show as the home team against the Calgary Flames at Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Saskatchewan for the 2019 Heritage Classic! And while the NHL game will be a big deal in the Queen City, there is another game that will hit the field at Mosaic Stadium on Sunday, October 27, one day after the Jets and Flames do battle at the home of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The WHL's Regina Pats will host the the Calgary Hitmen in a classic Western Hockey League showdown, marking that game as just the third outdoor game in WHL history!

Back in 2011, there were a pair of outdoor games, marking the first time the WHL had its teams venture outside for a game. The Spokane Chiefs met the Kootenay Ice on January 16, 2011, and it was likely a game that Kootenay - now Winnipeg - would like to forget as the Chiefs crushed the Ice in an 11-2 rout. 7075 fans showed up at Avista Stadium, home of the single-A Spokane Indians baseball team, to cheer on their WHL lads as they put the walloping on the Ice. 102 penalty minutes were assessed in the game as the physicality wasn't lost in the outdoor atmosphere in Spokane, Washington.

The second game featured two teams already mentioned here as the Calgary Hitmen played host to the Regina Pats at McMahon Stadium following the 2011 Heritage Classic that featured the Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens. On the afternoon of Monday, February 21, 2011, the Pats met the Hitmen at the home of the Calgary Stampeders for their second game of the weekend after defeating the Pats 2-1 in a shootout on the Friday before the outdoor game. On this day, there would be less of a blowout than what was seen in Spokane as Chandler Stephenson, now of the Washington Capitals, buried the game-winner with 36.5 seconds to play to push the Hitmen past the Pats by a 3-2 score. It should be noted that this game set the CHL record for attendance as 20,888 fans showed up to McMahon Stadium to watch their Hitmen down the Pats. It broke the previous record of 20,081 fans who attended the OHL game between the Ottawa 67’s and Kingston Frontenacs at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa on December 20, 2004.

The fans in Regina usually come out rabid when there's football being played, so I expect a near-capacity crowd for the NHL game that will take place on Saturday, October 26. However, Regina is proud of the Pats, and we may see 33,000 fans show up and smash that CHL attendance record on Sunday when the Pats and Hitmen tangle once more. Tickets to see the WHL game are very reasonable, checking in at $18.50 with taxes and fees included, and will be available for purchase next Thursday on August 29. If you're a Regina Pats season-ticket holder, you already have a ticket reserved for you as part of your ticket plan!

If you're going for the Heritage Classic game in Regina, do yourself a favour and stay for the WHL game the next day. WHL hockey is fast, exciting, and physical, and the outdoor setting at Mosaic Stadium will be one you won't forget. Isn't that how hockey is supposed to feel and be remembered?

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Crafting Young Minds

The man in the Vancouver Millionaires uniform, complete with the Vancouver "V" on his pads, is Eddie Lack. Lack hasn't been seen in NHL nets since 2018 and hasn't played much professional hockey aside from six games with the Binghamton Devils last year as he needed surgery on his hip. The Swedish goaltender known as "The Stork" has been conspicuously absent from free agent talks this summer as he recovers, and he decided to put out a tweet a couple of days ago to update fans on where he's been and what's going on.

Let's start with the tweet released by the goaltender who has suited up for Leksands IF, the AHL's Manitoba Moose, Chicago Wolves, Charlotte Checkers Stockton Heat, and Binghamton Devils, and the NHL's Vancouver Canucks, Carolina Hurricanes, Calgary Flames, and New Jersey Devils.
If you didn't click on the tweeted message, Lack is still working through his recovery from hip surgery after playing in pain for the last six seasons, and he's going to spend his time working with young goaltenders as the goaltending coach for the NCAA's Arizona State University Sun Devils! How cool is that?

Yes, I would like to see Eddie Lack back in professional hockey, but it's pretty cool to see him giving back during his recovery from surgery. The 31 year-old will likely have to work hard to unseat an up-and-comer when he does decide to return to the pro ranks, but his experiences in big games and around the professional game should prove to be gems of wisdom for the ASU netminders this season.

Best of luck in your recovery, Eddie, and here's hoping ASU has a big season at the NCAA level thanks to some stellar goaltending!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Cleveland In '37?

I was involved in a bit of a discussion yesterday about the relocation of hockey franchises. Obviously, the original Winnipeg Jets and the Hartford Whalers were brought up along with both Atlanta NHL franchises, but it was asked of me if I knew the history of the Montreal Maroons moving when it seems like Montreal would be one city who could have supported two franchises historically. The Maroons only lasted in the NHL from 1924 until 1938 in a hockey-mad city, so what prompted their move? And where did they go once the move was inevitable?

I went digging through old newspapers, and I discovered that the reason for the Maroons' move was waning attendance numbers across Montreal as a whole. Not only were the Maroons suffering from declining attendance figures. Part of the problem started in 1935 when one single entity took over the operations of both teams thanks partly due to the Great Depression causing financial problems for a number of people. One of those people was Leo Dandurand, owner of the Montreal Canadiens, who sold the team to the Canadian Arena Company in 1935, making the CAC owners of both teams in Montreal.

With the francophone population much larger than the anglophone community in Montreal, the Canadiens saw better support at the box office than the Maroons did despite the financial strains of the Great Depression. As a result, it became apparent that two teams existing in Montreal was unrealistic, and the Maroons were put on life support in 1936-37. It would be the summer of 1937 where things went from bleak to inevitable regarding the move of Maroons to another city.

We need to go back to 1937's Board of Governors meeting to discover the details of what was proposed. We'll check in with The Montreal Gazette on July 15, 1937 for what happened at said meeting.
It's interesting that Ernest Savard proposed that visiting teams get a cut of the gate receipts, essentially suggesting a profit-sharing plan as far back as 1937. The Canadian Arena Company, of which Savard was a part owner, did need some financial help in supporting two franchises, but it sounds like the other owners at that time were less than receptive to the idea.

In any case, the NHL decided to come up with a three-person committee to examine the fate of the Maroons in Montreal. That committee was made up of NHL President Frank Calder, Jim Norris Sr., and Colonel John Reed Kilpatrick. If the last two names seem familiar, Norris Sr. was the owner of the Detroit Red Wings and Kilpatrick was the President of Madison Square Garden and the New York Rangers. The committee, it would seem, would have their hands full in trying to figure out how to keep the Maroons in Montreal. The only other option would be to move the franchise, and The Montreal Gazette identified Cleveland, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh as possible destinations.

Still, this small article seemed to only reveal a fraction of what I needed to know. I pressed on through the newspaper archives, and I discovered a July 15, 1937 article in The Calgary Daily Herald taken from the wires of Canadian Press as written by George Maguire. He filed the following report:
There are certainly more details in Maguire's report. As he wrote, the entire Board of Governors meeting was occupied by the Canadiens-Maroons problem which led the group to ignore the financial problems of the New York Americans. The Americans, as it was, only lasted four years part the demise of the Maroons, ceasing operations in 1942. Perhaps they should have been discussed as well.

Maguire reports that the committee "was granted 'full powers to act on any plan they select to ameliorate the professional hockey situation in Montreal.'" It's important to note that this would include the relocation or suspension of a franchise in Montreal if they saw it as the best course of action. It's also noted that the merger of the two franchises was not an option on the table whatsoever. Clearly, the NHL Board of Governors at the time felt that this situation in 1937 was far more dire than the NHL had let on in previous seasons.

It's here where we get our first impression that Cleveland could have been the front-runner for the Maroons franchise. Alf Sutphin's name is mentioned, and he was an owner of the Braden-Sutphin Ink Company in Cleveland. He also owned the Cleveland Falcons in the International-American Hockey League which he purchased in 1934, paying his players better than what players in the NHL received, and built the Cleveland Arena seen in the lede photo.

At the end of the article, the New York Americans' situation is mentioned, but Maguire mentions that sources told him that the league felt it could "dispose of the New York team to persons financially responsible if it felt so inclined." That's an interesting take during the Great Depression, but it would be another major world event that would eventually force the Americans to cease operations.

With the lingering financial difficulties hovering over the team and no decision issued by the committee, Maroons President Donat Raymond declared that the Maroons would remain in Montreal in September 1937, prompting the league to press forward with a schedule for the season. Star player delivered another blow that the team didn't need when he retired prior to the start of the season to enter politics where he won a seat as a Liberal in the Ontario general election.

King Clancy was hired as the coach, but his efforts were rather futile and he was fired on December 29, replaced by the man who hired him in General Manager Tommy Gorman. With the team bleeding money and having zero star power, the Maroons finished the season at 12–30–6, last in the Canadian Division and last overall in the league.

Over in Cleveland, Sutphin had renamed the Falcons to become the Cleveland Barons, playing three seasons in the International-American Hockey League as the Barons before the league shifted to simply the American Hockey League in 1940. Sutphin would eventually sell the franchise in 1949, but the Barons would remain a fixture in the AHL and in Cleveland through to 1972 when the NHL finally came to town.

With the Maroons in serious financial trouble, the team requested that its operations be suspended at the Board of Governors meeting on June 22, 1938. The Board of Governors voted this idea down at the time, hoping to keep its eight-team league intact. By August 1, the NHL needed confirmation that the Maroons were participating in the 1938-39 season, and the Board of Governors finally gave into the Maroons' request to suspend operations.

Where things went a little crazy was that the majority of the players on the Maroons team that sat in limbo were moved to the Canadiens despite there never being a formal merger between the two teams. If you recall, the Canadian Arena Company owned both teams, so they essentially just moved its players from the failing franchise to the operational one. The Canadiens, it should be noted, finished in sixth-place in the seven-team NHL, barely benefitting from the addition of the Maroons players.

The CAC owners attempted to sell the rights to the Maroons franchise to a group from St. Louis, but the NHL Board of Governors expressed concern with the financial stability of a team in St. Louis and denied the sale. The team sat in limbo for the next six seasons until a group came forward from Philadelphia fronted by Canadiens board member Len Peto in 1945. After clarifying the Philadelphia group's situation with regards to financial stability, the NHL agreed to sell the Maroons to this group who would begin play in the NHL in Philadelphia in 1946. The NHL also added that if nothing happened with the franchise by 1947, the team's membership in the NHL would be dissolved.

The Philadelphia group closed the deal for purchase of the Maroons franchise rights, but discovered a bigger problem once they secured the rights to the Maroons - there was no rink in Philadelphia that could accommodate an NHL team! The group had originally wanted to move into the Palestra at the University of Pennsylvania, but the Palestra had no ice plant to install ice. The Philadelphia Arena, which did have an ice plant, only could seat 5500 for hockey and had poor sight lines for hockey games, making it unsuitable by NHL standards in 1946. That left Peto with one option: build his own rink. He proposed a 20,000-seat arena to be built for the 1947-48 season, but was unable to secure the $2.5 million in funding for the new rink. With no suitable rink in Philadelphia, the NHL made good on its promise and dissolved the membership of the Maroons franchise at the conclusion of the 1946-47 season.

The Maroons lasted 14 years in the NHL, and spent another nine years as a suspended franchise in the NHL. It wasn't a heartfelt goodbye nor did they pack their bags and leave in the cover of night, but the Maroons did eventually leave Montreal. While the Great Depression was a major factor in the demise of the Maroons, a lack of funding for an arena really did cost the NHL a franchise in Philadelphia.

You wonder what would have happened if the Maroons had moved to Cleveland under Alf Sutphin. Might we have had an Original Eight assuming that the NHL could have solved the financial issues of the New York Americans? Would that have led to the New York Islanders never being created? Where would the California Seals have moved to Cleveland if the Cleveland NHL franchise survived that long?

These are all questions that have no answer, but it's interesting to think of how history would have changed, in some cases dramatically, had the NHL opted to move the Montreal Maroons to Cleveland in 1937.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Friday, 16 August 2019

The Golden Bison

It's a big year in the city of Buffalo for its NHL team. As you can see to the left, it is the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Buffalo Sabres, and, like any major birthday or anniversary, it seems the Sabres are prepared to throw a big party to commemorate their founding. There are announcements to come, including one further down on this article, but the Sabres are celebrating their birthday as if they were teenagers by going out and getting new clothes! Buffalo will have an alternate jersey this season that they'll wear to celebrate this historic season, and while it's not red-black-and-silver, it does introduce a new colour into the colour scheme for at least one season before they'll change the jerseys again next season. Like that foreshadowing? Let's check out what they did.

The new jersey, pictured to the right, has a significant amount of gold where it appears they normally would use yellow. The stripes on both the sleeves and hems are gold with a navy blue stripe for contrast, and the font used is navy blue surrounded by gold. Clearly, the logo has swapped out all the white and yellow in exchange for gold in those spots. Needless to say, the Sabres are celebrating their golden anniversary with a lot of gold on their alternate jerseys. I don't mind the use of the gold colour on the sleeves, hem, and outline for the name and number, but I do believe that changing the logo for any reason should never happen. The Sabres logo is already one of the best in hockey, if not all of sports, but this is a one-season jersey. I suppose I can live with it for a year.

The rest of the uniform feels like it will be pretty standard with the navy blue pants for contract between the white jersey and white socks. I'm assuming the socks will have the similar five-stripe pattern that the sleeves and hem do, so that uniformity across the entire uniform should look pretty good. However, as you can see, the Sabres will go with white gloves for the first time in their history with navy blue accents and the manufacturer's mark in gold. White gloves have been seen on other teams, most recently on the Vegas Golden Knights, so they may be the new trend in the NHL for teams to use just like lace-up collars and sublimation were once popular. I would have preferred a navy glove, but I can work with the white gloves. They fit the uniform as it stands.

The Sabres are using the hashtag #Sabres50 on some of their marketing. When written in capital letters, it shows up as #SABRES50" which, when glanced at quickly, sounds like a variation of an espresso shot that one may add to coffee. While this is a minor quibble, it could be an interesting marketing twist if the Sabres decide to offer a "Sabresso" shot to coffees served at KeyBank Center. If they do this, I'm claiming the idea. My demand? One nickel from every coffee sold with Sabresso in it. Wait, would that make those Buffalo nickels? I could be rich!

The dates where the Sabres will wear their 50th anniversary jerseys has already be set. Mark your calendars if you're heading to the game or watching on TV because here are those dates:

October 5 vs. New Jersey Devils
November 2 vs. New York Islanders
November 29 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
December 2 vs. New Jersey Devils
December 12 vs. Nashville Predators
December 27 vs. Boston Bruins
January 30 vs. Montreal Canadiens
February 6 vs. Detroit Red Wings
February 13 vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
March 5 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
March 21 vs. Chicago Blackhawks
March 22 vs. New York Rangers
April 4 vs. Philadelphia Flyers

If you're keeping track at home, there's only two Western Conference teams in those 13 dates, the Devils appear twice, all Original Six teams appear, and they face divisional rivals four times in those jerseys. It's an interesting selection of teams, but those are your dates to see them play at home in white. Perhaps the hockey gods will smile upon the Sabres for opting to wear white at home.

Overall, I can live with these uniforms for one season. My only major complaint is the changing if the colours in the logo because I think commemorating a franchise's founding by altering the logo is a minor-league move, but at least they didn't put a Roman numeral or a "50" into the logo. I like the white jerseys, the striping works, and these will be worn at home, so the good outweighs the bad on this uniform.

And as promised off the top, the Sabres even hinted at their uniforms for next year as they enter the next fifty years of their franchise's history. On their webpage, they wrote, "The Golden Season also holds significance in that the Sabres will be wearing their current navy uniforms for the final time. Beginning in 2020-21, the team will return to royal blue as its primary color." In other words, the colours of Gilbert Perreault, Rick Martin, Rene Robert, Pat Lafontaine, and Alexander Mogilny will return! How great is that?

Enjoy your birthday, Buffalo Sabres. Make it a memorable one!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Thursday, 15 August 2019

The Hockey Show - Episode 360

The Hockey Show, Canada' only campus-produced radio show that strictly talks hockey, is back tonight as we near another milestone! I was looking at that number above - Episode 360 - and it dawned on me we're one month of shows away from celebrating the seven complete seasons of The Hockey Show and going into an eighth season. That's pretty remarkable considering everyone we've met, interviewed, chatted with, and welcomed to our world over the years. We've been through an NHL lockout, we've seen plenty of trades and free agency moves, we've witnessed graduations, and we've seen players retire. Seven years of radio work has been pretty darned rewarding, and we're nearing the precipice of starting the eighth season! Stay tuned for that!

Beans and I are going over all the news stories over the last month as our Summer of Interviews takes a week off. There has been significant news generated from all over the hockey world since we last checked in mid-July, so it's time to get back to basics and work through these stories. Among the topics tonight will be the inactivity with the RFAs in the NHL, Calgary got a new arena using significantly more public funds than had been previously proposed, the Brandon Wheat Kings and Winnipeg Ice finalized their coaching staffs for the upcoming WHL season, Tampa Bay puts all of its eggs into the Vasilevskiy basket, the Islanders appeared poised to move into the Belmont area, and we'll squeeze in anything else that seems relevant on tonight's show! It's going to be a busy hour, so please join us at 5:30pm CT for all the chatter!

The new UMFM website's online streaming player is pretty awesome if you want to listen online. If you're using an Apple device, the player doesn't seem to like Safari yet, but we highly recommend you use the TuneIn app found on the App Store or perhaps another browser. If you do use the TuneIn app, you won't be disappointed. It's a solid app.

Having lost faith in Facebook, I spend far less time on that site for good reasons. In saying that, you can still email all show questions and comments to hockeyshow@umfm.com! Tweet me anytime with questions you may have by hitting me up at @TeebzHBIC on Twitter! We're here to listen to you, so make your voice heard!

Tonight, Teebz and Beans talk unsigned players, signed agreements for arenas, newly-signed coaches, expensive contracts that have been signed, and much more only on The Hockey Show found exclusively on 101.5 UMFM, on the UMFM app, on the UMFM.com web stream!

PODCAST: August 15, 2019: Episode 360

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

That's How You Do A New Logo

Take note, London Knights. You're currently trailing 1-0 to the QMJHL's Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. Or what were the Screaming Eagles. The QMJHL franchise took to Twitter today to announce that they were changing their logo and name slightly to reflect a new era for the team heading forward. While there is some history with the Screaming Eagles name - Marc-Andre Fleury had his #29 retired by the team, they drafted Ilya Kovalchuk in 2000 in the CHL Import Draft but he declined the opportunity, and the team jokingly retired Kovalchuk's #71 as an April Fool's Day prank in 2014 - the team is taking a new step forward with the changes announced this morning. Let's take a look at what changed.

First off, the Screaming Eagles are no screaming. Instead, the Sydney, Nova Scotia-based team will simply be the Cape Breton Eagles moving forward. The team had been the Screaming Eagles since the franchise relocated to Sydney from Granby, Quebec in 1997.

The team wrote on Twitter, "Today is a defining moment. Our new name and brand reflects who we are as a team. We’re bold. We’re confident. And we’re aggressive in our pursuit to win.⁣ We have listened to the wants of YOU and your feedback! This one’s for you!"

Before we go too deep, getting feedback on a new logo and name AFTER you've already made the change never really works out for the best. Nevertheless, the team is accepting likes, dislikes, hate mail, love letters, print ads, and any other feedback you may want to send at that Twitter link above, so you what to do if you have feelings about this change.

For me, the new logo is an upgrade. I was never a big fan of the attacking eagle logo that the Screaming Eagles used, so this new, sleek logo gets a pass from me. Yes, it's still an aggressively-pictured eagle, but it feels a little more cartoonish compared to the swooping eagle before. Jerseys weren't shown at the time of writing, but I would assume they would keep the same jerseys as they wore last season, simply replacing the logo on the front.

What do you think readers? Upgrade? Downgrade? Totally awesome or total tire fire? Sound off below in the comments!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

A Cool Coincidence

I have never been to Worcester, Massachusetts, but I do know they have a fairly strong hockey community there with the ECHL's Worcester Railers, the College of the Holy Cross who have both a men's and a women's Division-1 hockey programs, and the former CWHL franchise known as the Worcester Blades who called the city home. The image to the left is of Simjang, a Korean-American restaurant located at 72 Shrewsbury Street in Worcester, Massachusetts. What does the hockey community have to do with a Korean-American restaurant? Well, nothing if I'm being honest. But I was channel-surfing tonight when I happened across the Food Network and a woman who works at the restaurant and comes from a lineage of hockey.

I happened to land upon the Food Network program known as Chopped. You likely know this program where they pit four competitors in a cooking competition where mystery ingredients are placed in a basket and must be used in a dish prepared for the three judges. Once the dishes are served and sampled, the judges eliminate one competitor based on the dish they were served. Tonight, on a Chopped episode billed as "new", it was a butcher's challenge and that's where we get the hockey aspect.

Normally, I'd just watch the program and move on, but one of the butchers caught my attention almost immediately. The chef who appeared from Simjang is the lady to the right, Miss Erin Hockey! Hockey grew up in Quincy, Massachusetts where hunting and fishing was part of life. She accepted a "a full ride to the New England Culinary Institute", according to Massfoodies.com, which led her "to intern at The Butcher Shop, working for the famed restaurateur, Barbara Lynch." Lynch is a world-famous chef whose restaurants feature recipes and tastes from in and around Boston. She was named as one of Time Magazine's "Top 100 Most Influential People of the Year" in 2017, so it's pretty clear that Hockey learned from one of the best in the business!

According to the Chopped website, the episode sees "[f]our female butchers battle it out for a shot at $10,000. In the first round, the competitors must break down a large piece of beef while sizing up a sweet salad in the basket. Fresh chickpeas pose a time-consuming challenge in the second basket. Then, a third savory round gives the last two women a final chance to show off their butchery skills."

I'm not going to spoil Erin's efforts by revealing how she did on the show, but I have to say that I thought she did well. Her skills shone throughout the competition, and it comforts me to know that diners at Simjang are getting a meal made by a chef whose skills are second-to-none. The prices on the menu aren't overwhelming by any means, so I would gladly check this place out if it wasn't a three-day journey by car to get there.

If you've been to Simjang, I'd love to hear a review! More importantly, if you're headed to Simjang, say hi to Chef Erin Hockey who, if she played hockey, would play for the name on the back of the jersey as much as she plays for the logo on the front!

Until next time, keep your forks on the plate!

Monday, 12 August 2019

But It's Not New

There's always a little bit of excitement and anxiousness when it comes to teams announcing that they've designed a new logo or are introducing new jerseys. As you've likely seen on social media, the Edmonton Oilers alternate jersey has leaked, and everyone who has even seen the Oilers play from any period of time has an opinion. I'll wait until the official unveiling for my opinion on those jerseys, but the OHL's London Knights have gone back to the drawing board to redesign their logo. Today was the unveiling of said new logo!

Here is the comparison between the old Knights logo on the left and the new Knights logo on the right.
If your initial reaction is "they're exactly the same," you're not wrong. They are identical in design. The only thing different about them is the colours used, making this logo redesign not a new design at all. Is this hockey's version of "new and improved"?

From the release put out today,
"To be able to represent many of the previous achievements that this franchise has accomplished, while being able to look forward to the future was incredibly important to us," said London Knights Owner, Vice-President, and General Manager, Mark Hunter, when discussing the inspiration for the new logo. "To be able to extend the legacy of the amazing young men who have played and lived in London is a continuing priority of ours. In looking to develop the new generation of London Knights, this new logo will serve as a reminder of the hard work, passion, and dedication it means to be a London Knight, as represented by our alumni, both in hockey, and in life."
But it's not new. It's simply recoloured. Stop calling it new when it's not new. There isn't one aspect of the logo's design that has changed, moved, been updated, or been upgraded, so the logo is entirely the same. The colours are different, but the logo is the same!

Words are important, folks, and this isn't a case of semantics. If the Knights organization wants to sell more t-shirts, jerseys, and other paraphernalia, they have every right to do so. I'm not going to stop them, but the least they could do is understand that the logo did not change. Tell your fans about the colour changes that reflect the history of the London Knights franchise and how it brings the great teams of the past together with the Knights of the future. Use that marketing if you like, but stop saying the logo is new.

Something can't be improved if it's new, and something new shouldn't need improvements as any improvement made would render the "new" portion false. The oxymoron contained in the "new and improved" statement is one of those things that makes no sense in the same vein that putting a recoloured logo out and calling said logo new makes no sense.

You're better than this, London Knights. Be better.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Get Your Shovels Ready

If you've been following the saga of the New York Islanders, you know they played at Barclays Center for the majority of the season before transforming the old Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum into Thunderdome during their first-round playoff series against the Penguins. It became pretty clear to anyone watching the games that not only do the Islanders need a proper hockey home to play in, but that moving back to Long Island was the only option. With that knowledge, it became pretty clear that the Islanders' proposal for a new rink and entertainment center at the current Belmont Park location was the only proposal that needed to be tabled.

I'm late on this news, but the New York state board that is responsible for economic development unanimously approved the $1.3 billion development on Thursday. Temper the celebrations for now, Islanders fans, but it should get you a little giddy because this was a major hurdle to clear in getting the Islanders back on the island proper. The boys are almost back in Nassau County permanently!

Before we start planning ribbon-cutting ceremonies and ground-breaking photo opportunities, there are still a few other hurdles to clear for the Islanders. The Franchise Oversight Board must approve the an environmental review before a single speck of dirt can be moved for a new arena. This environmental review should be before the board in a matter of weeks, and it's expected to be passed.

The Empire State Development also opened up a 120-day window for opponents to file lawsuits in opposition to the building of this new development. Among those who will use this 120-day window is Floral Park Village who had "for more time to respond to the final environmental impact statement because it includes significant changes to the project such as a new Elmont Long Island Rail Road station."

The 120-day countdown started on Thursday, but it's expected that the project team will work closely with Floral Park Village to come to an agreement. The concern that was raised on Thursday's meetings was the proposed "LIRR station's proximity to an elementary school and nearby homes" which would cause additional noise and pedestrian traffic among other concerns. I feel like these two concerns can be solved fairly easily, but we'll see what happens in the coming days.

The Islanders, it seems, are excited about the latest news.
For a team that saw its fans turn out in droves to support them on Long Island in the playoffs, I'd be excited if I were the Islanders as well. It's been a decade since they called Nassau County "home" permanently, but, if everything goes to plan, that will become a reality in 2021.

While there will be games at the Coliseum next season, the one thing that Islanders fans should do is get out to as many games as possible, even out in Brooklyn at Barclays Center. The Islanders are a young, exciting team and there's a better-than-good chance they'll have a state-of-the-art arena in two years' time. If that doesn't get you excited for the future of the New York Islanders, you're likely a Rangers fan.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Saturday, 10 August 2019

TBC: Calling The Shots

With rain cancelling my outdoor plans for today, I needed to fill the time with something constructive. After doing some cleaning, the rain was still falling so I decided to tackle something that I've slowly been absorbing over the last couple of weeks. Teebz's Book Club makes a triumphant return today as I am proud to review Calling The Shots, written by Kelly Hrudey and Kirstie McLellan Day and published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. Kelly Hrudey was a pretty good goaltender in his time, and he played with some exceptional players and on some incredible teams. In Calling The Shots, we get to read about all the most memorable experiences that Kelly saw, heard, and went through with those teams (and others) as he navigated his way through the NHL and beyond!

From the HarperCollins webpage, "Kelly Hrudey was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. The former Medicine Hat Tiger and Indianapolis Checker played for fifteen seasons in the NHL with the New York Islanders, Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks. Hrudey is now a well-respected hockey colour analyst for the Calgary Flames and a broadcaster for Hockey Night in Canada. He and his wife, Donna, and their daughters, Jessica, Megan and Kaitlin, all live in Calgary." I should also point out that Kelly Hrudey is a major advocate and speaks out for mental health research and initiatives, receiving an honourary degree in 2017 from Mount Royal University for his efforts in promoting mental health discussions.

Also from the HarperCollins webpage, "Kirstie McLellan Day ranks among the top hockey writers in the world thanks to six national bestsellers (including three instant #1 bestsellers): Theo Fleury's Playing with Fire, Bob Probert's Tough Guy, Ron MacLean's Cornered and Hockey Towns, Wayne Gretzky's 99: Stories of the Game, and Kelly Hrudey's Calling the Shots. Kirstie is a mother of five and is married to Pyramid Productions Inc. president and television producer Larry Day. They live in Calgary." She also co-authored Cujo, Curtis Joseph's autobiography, in 2018, and is currently sitting as the book being read on my nightstand. As of today, Kirstie McLellan Day is the second bestselling Canadian author, trailing only children's author Robert Munsch on that list.

Kelly Hrudey's career wasn't defined by personal accolades or Stanley Cup championships, but it was highlighted by consistent goaltending while spanning two decades of play. Over those two decades, Kelly had to adapt his goaltending style from stand-up to butterfly in order to keep up with times, so it wasn't like he was able just to make saves and carry on as goaltenders prior to him did. His adapting to new NHL shooters was a constant in his career as he moved from the Islanders to the Kings and, finally, to the Sharks before he retired from the game.

There aren't many people who can claim Mike Bossy, Wayne Gretzky, and Ed Belfour as teammates in their careers, but Kelly Hrudey can. He speaks of growing up early in the book and getting recruited by the WHL's Medicine Hat Tigers where he meets his future, which becomes his current, wife, Donna. After being drafted by the Islanders, Hrudey found himself playing for the Indianapolis Checkers where he backstopped the CHL franchise to back-to-back Adams Cups in 1982 and 1983! Hrudey was slotted in behind Billy Smith and Rollie Melanson on the depth chart for the Islanders which meant that roster spots were hard to come by during the dynasty era. However, following a November 19 trade that saw Melanson dealt to the North Stars, Hrudey joined the NHL club and wouldn't play in the minors again for the next 15 seasons.

Along the way, Kelly speaks of teammates, coaches, and owners who had an impact on his career, and some of these names include the likes of Gretzky, Melrose, McNall, Lombardi, Conacher, Granato, Vernon, Belfour, Marleau, Smith, Potvin, and Arbour. Perhaps more than any of the others, Hrudey holds Al Arbour in high regard not only for what he accomplished, but for how he treated players and the respect he gave his players. At times, it was like reading a son's ode to his father, and Hrudey describes Arbour as a father figure on several occasions. Throughout Calling The Shots, Kelly pays respect to the guys who made the locker room fun, the hard times palatable, the good times even better, and seems to have really enjoyed the brotherhood of the NHL fraternity as players were moved in and out of the various dressing rooms he called home.

One of the things I found interesting in Calling The Shots is Kelly's view of the goaltending position itself. He describes changes to the position when it came to styles as the years moved from the original stand-up netminders through to the Patrick Roy-era where the butterfly style took over. He talks about reading players regarding shooting tendencies and some of the players against whom he found hardest to play. The one quotation I really found interesting since I'm not a goaltender was his comments on stick tape and whether it hides the puck. Kelly writes,
"Oftentimes I'm asked if it matters whether a guy uses black or white tape on the blade of the stick. It's doesn't. A professional goalie sees the puck in a three-dimensional way. We are able to discern the puck from the tape no matter what colour it is. So guys who use black tape to fool an NHL goalie are wasting their time."
I had a teammate who swore that black tape was the only tape to use when coming down on a goalie for breakaways so it hid the puck better, but Kelly Hrudey blows that theory out of the water. Maybe it helps when playing minor hockey against some goalies, but anyone who is playing elite-level hockey should know that goalies can see the puck on one's stick. These nuggets of goaltending information make Calling The Shots even more enjoyable!

Towards the end of Calling The Shots, Kelly undergoeds a bit of an internal conflict where he struggles with thoughts of being unable to stop pucks and no longer being good enough to take the net. I'm not sure if this still affects him, but I have to believe that these thoughts and his struggles late in his career combined with some of the mental health issues his daughter dealt with have led him to being an advocate of mental health initiatives and research. If it didn't lead him there, that's ok too. The fact that he worked through his struggles to have a few extra years of high-level play is a testament to his efforts in overcoming his own doubts.

Overall, Calling The Shots is an enjoyable read from a very personable guy. Kelly Hrudey doesn't have a room full of trophies and accolades, but his efforts to raise awareness for mental health initiatives makes him a champion. His jovial nature seems to have led him to being a life-long teammate of a number of players, coaches, and management types in hockey. His care for his friends and teammates have led to friendships forged in steel. His respect for people he encountered who didn't show the same level of respect shows he is compassionate and understanding. All of these traits come through in Kelly Hrudey's writing, and, because of the warm writing, great stories, and funny tales, Calling The Shots absolutely deserves the Teebz's Book Club Seal of Approval!

Calling The Shots can be found at most libraries and bookstores. There are some instances of adult language in Kelly's telling of stories, so I would recommend this book for teens and older. If you were a fan of the Islanders, Kings, or Sharks while Hrudey played, you'll likely enjoy Calling The Shots and the stories contained within the 310-page book!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Friday, 9 August 2019

An Amazing Run

I wrote about the team on Wednesday regarding their run to the gold-medal final at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, and today was the big day for the Canadian women's field hockey team as the 18th-ranked team in the world met one of the powerhouses in third-ranked Argentina for not only the gold medal, but an automatic berth in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics next summer. After defeating the defending champions and 15th-ranked Americans two days earlier, Canada was facing the only team who beat them in the preliminaries and likely their toughest test in this tournament. Could they play David to the Argentinian's Goliath in this game on the final night at Villa Maria Del Triunfo Sports Center?

There's no hiding the fact that the Argentinian women are significantly skilled at their sport. It was evident in their time of possession on this game, it was clear with the number of chances and shots they had, and it would be evident once the final whistle went and the final score was noted. That's not to say that Canada didn't play well or hold their own - they did, and they had opportunities. The only problem was that they were few and far between thanks to how well the Argentina women play the game.

Las Leonas were structured throughout the game, and methodically worked the ball around the Canadian zone early on as they looked for weaknesses to exploit. Midfielder Natalie Sourisseau of Kelowna, BC had an opportunity to give Canada the lead minutes into the match, but her flick went wide. Back came the Argentinians and they would strike as Julieta Jankunas' flick eluded the Canadian defence and goaltender to find the back of the net inside the post to give Argentina the 1-0 lead in the ninth minute. Canada's first quarter would end with them down on the scoreboard, needing more opportunities, but stood only one goal from tying the game.

Argentina would continue their play in the second quarter, frustrating Canada at times as Canada couldn't get the ball to the net. In the 22nd minute, Argentina was awarded a penalty corner that they would convert when Silvina d'Elia found the back of the net past Kaitlyn Williams, and Argentina had themselves a 2-0 lead. At the halftime whistle, Canada needed a regroup after falling behind by a pair of goals by the Argentinians.

Whatever was said by head coach Giles Bonnet during the break seemed to rally the troops as Canada came out more aggressive to start the second half, earning a penalty corner just two minutes in. Off that penalty corner, captain Kate Wright of Kingston, Ontario would convert the opportunity, and Canada was down 2-1 with 28 minutes to play!

The only problem was that Las Leonas weren't interested in letting Canada back into the game. Five minutes after Canada scored, Argentina earned a penalty corner of their own as the 37th minute, and Carla Rebecchi would find the back of the net off the opportunity as Argentina went back up by a pair of goals at 3-1. And just before the quarter ended, Argentina earned another penalty corner, and they would make it a 4-1 game when Silvina d'Elia scored her second of the match! With just 15 minutes to play, the Canadians faced a huge task in trying to come back against a team who had surrendered just two goals - three with Wright's goal - all tournament long.

Two minutes into the final frame, Argentina all but sealed their victory when Julieta Jankunas found some space and fired a shot past Kaitlyn Williams to make it a 5-1 game. From there, Argentina simply denied opportunities and controlled the ball well when they moved into the Canadian half. At the final whistle, the 5-1 score stood as Argentina claimed the Pan Am Games gold medal while Canada was awarded the silver medal!

What might be more important isn't the result that sees Argentina automatically qualified for Tokyo 2020. Giles Bonnet found the silver lining almost immediately thanks to his team's effort as Argentinian coach Carlos Retegui asked Bonnet if Canada would be available to play against his squad in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics.

"That's what happens now," Bonnet told The Canadian Press. "Other top teams are interested in playing us. Before they wouldn't give you a phone call."

Bonnet also figured there would be a boost in the world rankings for Canada, possibly rising as high as #14 in the world. Just six months ago, Canada was ranked 21st-overall, so there has been major strides made in the last six months for the squad under Bonnet. And that leads to the next problem in that Bonnet's contract with the Canadian team ended at the conclusion of the Pan Am Games, but he has agreed to remain on with the team through to the next Olympic qualifier in two months' time.

Regardless of whether Canada qualifies for Tokyo or not, the growth of this program under Bonnet should make it a no-brainer for Field Hockey Canada to offer him a new deal that keeps him in place through the Olympic Games. This team has improved over the last year like no other has, and it should be imperative that Field Hockey Canada keeps Bonnet in the loop to continue that growth.

However, as it is stated in the article, "[t]he loss of Own The Podium funding and Field Hockey Canada's financial problems forced the team to turn to fundraising this season. A crowdfunding effort financed the team's trip to Valencia and a private donor helped pay for a training camp ahead of the tournament." As stated, the team has raised about $200,000 to continue playing through the rest of the year.

Maybe I'm reaching too far here, but I'd like to see the Canadian government invest in this squad, particularly if they qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, to see them reach heights that Canada has never seen. The athletic talent is clearly there as shown in their recent finishes in tournaments and teams who they've beaten along the way, so getting that financial boost would show not only a commitment to the team from the government, but a belief that this team is headed for bigger and better things.

Regarding the outcome of this game tonight, these women deserve your support because they represented the country well in Lima. They stared down some good teams, played some exceptional hockey, and brought home silver medals after falling to one of the top-three countries in the world in field hockey. That alone should fill you with pride as you read this, but the image below of these smiling women with their silver medals might be the impetus for that Canadian pride that you need!
Well done, ladies! HBIC salutes you on your amazing tournament!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Thursday, 8 August 2019

The Hockey Show - Episode 359

The Hockey Show, Canada' only campus-produced radio show that strictly talks hockey, returns with a live interview to conduct as Teebz and Beans convene at the radio station once again. It's been a while since we've spoken to this woman, so we need to get updates and fill in gaps chronologically when it comes to what she's been up to over the last year. Lots of stuff happened in and around her life, so we'll get totally caught up with a returning guest tonight!

We are thrilled to have Kelsey Neumann back on the show tonight hot on the heels of her signing with the NWHL's Buffalo Beauts today! We'll talk to Kelsey about everything that went on in the last year when she was playing for the Lady Hurricanes, getting ready for another school year in Buffalo, coaching in Buffalo and elsewhere, coaching with some big names, learning from some big names, working with Lift The Mask, cheering on the Hurricanes and Checkers in their respective playoff runs, and the ever-changing world of women's professional hockey now that the CWHL is gone! It should be a fun show again with Kelsey, and we'll get totally caught up with her tonight at 5:30pm CT!

The new UMFM website's online streaming player is pretty awesome if you want to listen online. If you're using an Apple device, the player doesn't seem to like Safari yet, but we highly recommend you use the TuneIn app found on the App Store or perhaps another browser. If you do use the TuneIn app, you won't be disappointed. It's a solid app.

Having lost faith in Facebook, I spend far less time on that site for good reasons. In saying that, you can still email all show questions and comments to hockeyshow@umfm.com! Tweet me anytime with questions you may have by hitting me up at @TeebzHBIC on Twitter! We're here to listen to you, so make your voice heard!

Tonight, Teebz and Beans chat with Kelsey Neumann about hockey, teaching, coaching, inspiring others, cheering on other teams, and much more only on The Hockey Show found exclusively on 101.5 UMFM, on the UMFM app, on the UMFM.com web stream!

PODCAST: August 8, 2019: Episode 359
RESOURCES: Lift The Mask

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Big Day For Canada

While I don't necessarily agree with their uniform colour, the women to the left are doing this great country proud at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru! HBIC covers usually only covers field hockey during the Summer Olympics as it is legitimately the largest field hockey tournament on the planet, but I need to make mention of the exceptional women above because they could be back on the Olympic stage in Tokyo 2020 with one more win at the Pan Am Games! That's something that we should all be proud of considering our nation is covered in snow for half the year!

Canada, whose roster is here, met the defending champions in Team USA yesterday in the semifinal with a berth in the Pan Am Games final on the line. The key in all of this is that the winner of the tournament gets an automatic berth in the Tokyo Olympics as the Americas representative in that tournament. While there are still other opportunities to make the Olympics, grabbing an automatic berth in the world's biggest competition next summer would be a major step forward for field hockey in this country.

Canada entered last night's game with a 2-0-1 record, falling only to Argentina in their pool play on July 31 by a 3-0 score. After defeating Cuba 10-0 on July 29, Uruguay 5-0 on August 2, and Mexico 9-0 in the quarterfinal crossover game, Canada advanced to play the USA who went 3-0 in Pool B and downed Cuba by a 9-0 score in their quarterfinal crossover game.

Canada started the game well with accurate passing, leading to a Katherine Wright backhand attempt that sailed just high over the crossbar. However, the ball movement and uptempo play eventually landed Canada a penalty corner in the tenth minute. That proved costly for the Americans as Canadian Karli Johansen of North Vancouver converted the penalty corner for her first goal of the tournament, and Canada went up 1-0!

Canada wasn't done there as they stormed back down the field and nearly made it 2-0 off a Stephanie Norlander flick towards the American goal, but US defender Julia Young kept the deficit to one goal with a timely block on the goal line. Canada was clearly the more aggressive squad in the opening 15-minute frame, but they could only count one goal for their efforts.

The US came out hungrier in the second as evidenced by their play, and they had chances in the Canadian end only to send balls wide of the goal or to be denied by the Canadian side. Goaltender Kaitlyn Williams of White Rock, BC made a couple of key saves for Canada while the Canadian defence thwarted developing chances by the Americans. Canada had another penalty corner where they nearly scored, but Sara McManus hit the side of the net after recovering a blocked shot. As the two teams went into halftime, the score remained 1-0 in favour of Canada.

Five minutes in to the second half with both teams pressing for goals, we'd see a celebration on the field. Katherine Wright flicked a shot towards the net that was stopped, but Madeline Secco of Victoria, BC dove towards the net and pushed the ball across the line to increase Canada's lead to 2-0 in the 35th minute! After the goal, the Americans upped their efforts, but Canada went into a bit of a defensive shell, looking for opportunities to transition the ball up the field as opposed to trying to force the ball up the field. When the whistle blew to end the third quarter, Canada held a 2-0 lead!

The Americans, sensing their championship defence may end, gave Canada all it could handle in the fourth quarter, but the Canadians withstood the pressure. Despite a late surge by the Americans, Canada would hold on for victory by the 2-0 score as they advanced to the gold-medal final!

Canada, who was ranked 18th in the world entering this tournament, had dispatched arguably their biggest rivals on the international stage in the 13th-ranked American squad. To say the American women were disappointed might be an understatement.

"We knew that Canada is dangerous on the counter-attack," US midfielder Kathleen Sharkey stated to Gregory Strong of The Canadian Press. "We just needed to always be turned on on defence."

Canada will play in their toughest test of the tournament on Friday when they square off against the only team who defeated them in Argentina. Las Leonas are the third-ranked team in the world, and they laid waste to everyone they have played thus far, allowing just two goals through the entire tournament. For Canada, however, the opportunity is one they sought since the first whistle.

"We're lucky to have another crack at Argentina," Wright told Strong. "We think we can really compete against them. They're also a very skilled, talented side. But we're going to bring that Canadian grit and that Canadian passion and really play well against them."

The gold medal will be awarded on Friday, but I can tell you that I'm already extremely proud of these ladies as they wear the maple leaf with pride. They upset the Americans and are already talking about taking it to Argentina, so here's hoping they can continue their strong play and bring home a gold medal after a week of strong play! Well done, ladies, and HBIC is rooting for you!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Breaking From Uniformity

If there's one thing that teams within the same city do more often than not, it's they align their colours with the other teams. It happened in Pittsburgh where the Penguins joined the Steelers and Pirates wearing black-and-yellow (and were subsequently sued by the Bruins, but won that case). It happened in Hamilton where the OHL's Bulldogs swapped out the red-white-and-blue they wore for a number of years for the black-and-yellow like the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats wear. The ECHL's Atlanta Gladiators dipped into the red-and-black, among other colours, like the NFL's Atlanta Falcons wear after moving from Gwinnett to Atlanta, but it seems they've reconsidered their position on the matter as of today.

In a release today from the team, the Atlanta Gladiators have decided to move away from the colour scheme they had above and move into a brighter, fresher light. The Gladiators move from the darker colours to a brighter scheme with their swap to blue-and-yellow. Personally, I really like this new colour scheme, and I hope the fans in Atlanta of this team do as well. As the Gladiators stated in their release, "[t]he Gladiators new colors of navy blue and gold are a marked difference to the standard black and red that dominates Atlanta sports, something the team believes will help to create a unique identity for them in the market."

"Count on seeing a much bigger presence by the Gladiators in all areas of the community. In order to better connect and stand out with new and existing fans, we needed to have a fresh look that was more appealing to a broader, diverse audience in a youthful market," said Team President Jerry James.

The bigger presence in the community should help the franchise attract more fans as the Gladiators were 11th in ECHL attendance last season. Getting a new look with some cool colours never hurts, and this should make it easier to have their own identity in the community. Their identity on the ice seems a little more well-defined already.

"One of the biggest things for us to be better, was to get bigger and tougher. With that we also added skill and experience. This will be the first team I can remember with four veterans. I think the timing of bringing these guys together was a bit of luck, but it's a good group and has the potential to be a very good team. I'm very excited to see where we go," Head Coach Jeff Pyle stated about the make-up of his team.

While it will be a few more weeks before any successes are seen on the ice, I have to say that I feel this move to change the team's colours for the 17th season is a good one. New jerseys and merchandise sales will never hurt the club if fans are looking to update their memorabilia, and they could see an influx of fans if Pyle is right about his team playing winning hockey. Atlanta certainly has had its ups and downs with NHL hockey, but they have seen success with minor-league teams such as the Atlanta Knights of the IHL. With this new look, perhaps this is the right time for the Gladiators to add their name to the list.

This colour scheme change gets the approval nod from me. What say you? Sound off in the comments!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Monday, 5 August 2019

I'd Wear That

This image, while cropped for this blog, was posted today on Twitter by Jen (@NHLhistorygirl) on Twitter. Jen often posts great old photos of hockey, and she's a wonderful follow if you're not already doing so. The caption she tweeted with the photo reads, "At the 1932 Olympics, Canada was represented by the Winnipeg Hockey Club (aka the Winnipeg Winnipegs) and this logo". Needless to say, this is another post of hers I simply had to like.

Why am I bringing this up on a holiday Monday? If any clothing company out there was looking for an easy win when it comes to me buying one of your t-shirts, I can 100% guarantee I'd wear that shirt proudly. All I ask is that you correct the apostrophe issue on the logo. If that happened, I'd buy a shirt in a heartbeat. Probably two. And I'd wear them until they were worn down until they were just threads dangling from a collar. Yes, I like that logo and this sweater that much.

Other than that, I'm relaxing today. It's a holiday at HBIC Headquarters, and I'm taking full advantage of that situation.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Sunday, 4 August 2019

HBIC Summer Music Festival

Summer and outdoor music festivals go hand-in-hand, it seems, but there are still lots of shows that roll through hockey arenas when the ice is out. Regardless of where you experience live music, the one constant that seems to happen when a band or musician visits a rink is that the local hockey team bestows a personalized jersey upon that artist. Let's break into the HBIC Summer Music Festival as we look at a pile of artists who have received hockey jerseys recently, and you can see the full list in the database of images!

The Backstreet Boys are, somehow, still touring to this day, and they've been to a number of arenas across North America on this tour where they've sported the local team's threads. Among those seen include the Winnipeg Jets' alternate jerseys, the Edmonton Oilers' alternate jerseys, and San Jose Sharks jerseys. With their tour still happening, there may be more images of the once-heartthrobs in hockey jerseys.

In what has to be the 1990s-est crossover ever, the Backstreet Boys and New Kids On The Block both were at the TD Garden, and both received their own sets of Boston Bruins jerseys. I can't imagine how many screaming women would have been at that concert, but I'm guessing it was a lot.

Seen at the Stanley Cup Final outside TD Garden for a public performance: Lil Nas X in a Boston Bruins jersey!

Blake Shelton got himself his own St. Louis Blues jersey while touring through the Gateway to the West.

Brendon Urie, lead singer from Panic! At The Disco, received his very own San Jose Sharks jersey.

It was a little strange seeing SJ Sharkie decked out in all his bling, but he was there repping the Sharks alongside California-born rapper E-40!

On his 24K tour, Bruno Mars made a stop in Washington, DC where he got his own Washington Capitals jersey. Yes, that is former First Lady Michelle Obama with her arm around him as well.

Dave Matthews, lead singer of the self-named Dave Matthews Band, stopped in DC shortly after the Stanley Cup victory in 2018. He received a Washington Capitals jersey for his appearance at Capital One Arena. Guitarist Tim Reynolds also got in on the act and got himself a jersey too!

Another musical act who stopped at the Capital One Center was Bon Jovi. Lead signer Jon Bon Jovi met Capitals and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis and got a Washington Capitals jersey!

Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins took in a Chicago Blackhawks game while wearing a Winter Classic Blackhawks jersey.

Chance the Rapper showed his colours when he was invited to shoot in a contest for the Chicago Blackhawks. He did receive a #5 jersey with "The Rapper" on the back for his efforts.

You can count Kevin Cronin, lead singer for REO Speedwagon, as a fan of the Chicago Blackhawks as he too did the celebrity shooting contest.

Mumford and Sons hit the Windy City for a show at the United Center recently, and they were the recipients of personalized Chicago Blackhawks jerseys.

Another band who received jerseys for stopping at the United Center? That would be Muse who got their own personalized Chicago Blackhawks jerseys.

In a photo from Y2K, Christina Aguilera was on tour and she happened to stop at Rogers Arena in Vancouver where she received her very own Vancouver Canucks jersey.

Since we led off with boy bands from the 1990s, here's another Y2K photo from Rogers Arena with 'NSYNC receiving their Vancouver Canucks jerseys. Justin Timberlake looks like he's 12 years-old in that photo.

I'm not sure when this photo was taken, but here is a younger Shawn Mendes showing off his support for the Vancouver Canucks.

In a very recent photo, Snoop Dogg made his way back to Vancouver and Rogers Arena where he took the stage in the new retro Vancouver Canucks jersey that the team will wear this season. Snoop Dogg looks good in those colours!

I don't believe that Tegan of the sister act known as Tegan and Sara is a hockey fan. She hasn't appeared in jerseys before, but Sara has. And Sara looked outstanding in a Vancouver Canucks throwback jersey at a game last season!

Air Canada Center has played home to many acts that have toured through Canada, and the recent trend is Toronto Raptors jerseys after they won the NBA Championship. However, Disturbed's visit to Air Canada Center saw them receive Toronto Maple Leafs jerseys.

The Glorious Sons are a Canadian band from Kingston, Ontario, so it should be no surprise that the band received Toronto Maple Leafs jerseys when they stopped for a show in Toronto.

His full name is Salvatore Paul Erna Jr., but he's better known as Sully Erna, lead singer for the heavy metal band Godsmack. During a music festival in Tampa Bay, Erna appealed to the crown by donning a Tampa Bay Lightning jersey.

I haven't heard of them, but Underoath is an American rock band that hails from Tampa, Florida. When they were invited to play a local show in their hometown, they all donned Tampa Bay Lightning alternate jerseys that were personalized for each member!

Gavin DeGraw, whose first album Chariot went platinum, is back on tour this summer. He did get a chance to stop by Bridgestone Arena in Nashville to do a little anthem singing, and he unfortunately took a spill after his rendition of the Sta-Spangled Banner! Nice personalized jersey, though!

I had no idea she was a hockey fan, but Bridgestone Arena seems to be the place to go if you have musical talent and want a jersey. I say this because Mary J. Blige was given a Nashville Predators jersey when she played that venue!

You may know Pentatonix from their Christmas music, and the acapella group did a massive world tour recently. The nice part? They too received personalized Nashville Predators jerseys when they played Bridgestone Arena.

KISS toured through North Carolina recently, and it seems that Hurricanes GM Don Waddell may be a fan as he posed for pictures with KISS and their personalized Carolina Hurricanes alternate jerseys.

Based on the treatment that KISS got, you'd think that maybe other touring bands would get the same from the Hurricanes, right? Apparently not as Mumford and Sons received their personalized jerseys and photo opportunity with Don Waddell in some sort of backstage corridor? Weird flex, Don.

Drake has visited a pile of places through his music tours and his love of the Toronto Raptors, so here is the rapper with his own Buffalo Sabres jersey, holding an autographed Mario Lemieux jersey, with his own Nashville Predatros jersey, and wearing a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey in honour of the curse that goes by his name! It should be noted that exactly none of those teams won the Stanley Cup in the past calendar year.

Lauren Alaina is a former American Idol contestant and has now moved into the music industry after growing up in Georgia. I'm not certain how big of a hockey fan she is, but it seems the Minnesota Wild want her as a fan as they gave her a jersey while in the Twin Cities.

Speaking of TV shows, Brynn Cartelli was the winner of Season 14 of The Voice. I have never watched the show nor can say anything about Cartelli's singing ability, but the 16 year-old was on tour recently with a stop in Boston, getting a Bruins jersey, and a stop in Nashville, receiving a Predators jersey.

We had Snoop Dogg in an Oilers alternate jersey before, but the photo was horrible. Here's a much better picture of Snoop Dogg with the personalization on the back.

Pat Monahan of Train has worn hockey jerseys at times before as he's shown support for the Lightning. Monahan was back in a jersey for another show, but this time he was wearing the colours of the other Floridian NHL team as he donned a Florida Panthers jersey!

The NCAA National Champion Wisconsin Badgers got a little musical support when country star Jordan Davis toured through Madison. Not only did he meet the team and hold the trophy, but he wore the Wisconsin Badgers jersey!

I joked about Ozzy Osbourne's old mugshot photo of him in a St. Louis Blues t-shirt that he'd never likely wear a Blues jersey. Well, the joke was on all of us this past June when Ozzy donned a Blues jersey in support the Blues in their Stanley Cup run!

There are another handful of musicians to take you through to the holiday Monday. While tastes in music will differ, it seems some musicians are just happy with a closet full of hockey sweaters. For that, HBIC salutes you, musicians, for you make these articles possible! And if you have a photo you want to submit, please send it here!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!