Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Looking Around The 'Net

I've been poking around the internet today as I searched for something fun to write about. Of course, I've found a number of pictures that could be used for a myriad of topics, but I wanted something a little better for the most important part of this blog - you, the reader. Well, there were lots of candidates, but almost none of the have anything to do with hockey. Which is the entire point of this blog. Of course, those sites didn't make the cut, so we're left with a few choice selections, and these should be seen. In particular, the piece from the mandatory daily read known as Uni Watch Blog is an absolutely phenomenal piece. Let's get at it!

  • Robert Marshall is an artist who lives in Chicago, but was born in Baltimore. Robert has been emailing Mr. Paul Lukas of Uni Watch Blog fame regularly as of late with some do-it-yourself projects he has done in the past. Today, Paul featured Mr. Marshall, and his work in the do-it-yourself hockey world is impressive. I'll break these down below.
  • First, Mr. Marshall is an avid table hockey player. He decided to change the normal, generic players into something far more impressive: international hockey teams. He created the 1980 "Miracle On Ice" USA team, the 1972 "Summit Series" Canadian team, a Czech team, a Swedish team, a Finnish team wearing a jersey of his own design, a Polish team, a German team, and the always-feared Soviet team. But he didn't stop there. He created Baltimore-themed and local board ads for his rink. He even designed and made his own hockey players, featuring the Minnesota North Stars playing the Washington Capitals. This is one of the most impressive things I have ever seen anyone do on their own dime, and deserves some serious applause.
  • He has also created his own jersey. Mr. Marshall is a huge fan of National Bohemian Beer, aka "Natty Boh", a traditional beer once brewed in Baltimore. In moving to Chicago, he joined a table hockey team where it was decided that he needed to bring the Baltimore feel to the game. Lo and behold, he created a Natty Boh hockey jersey (kitty not included)! The Natty Boh jersey even features a phenomenal shoulder patch. That patch is the flag of Maryland with a crab on top because, as Mr. Marshall explained, "nothing goes better with an ice-cold Natty Boh then Maryland blue crabs". As you can see here, he is definitely the best-dressed of the table hockey crowd in that photo. Huge props go out to Mr. Marshall for his creativity and ingenuity!
  • I was looking for some solid Brian Burke quotes today, being that he's Irish and all, for St. Patrick's Day, and I found something even better: audio clips! Honestly, that Trent Klatt quote is still one of his all-time best as a general manager. There are also a pile of great random hockey quotes available on that site as well, so if you're looking for a sound byte, check out Entertonement.
  • Just as they have done in year's past, the Phoenix Coyotes donned St. Patrick's Day-themed warm-up jerseys for their pre-game skate. All proceeds of the jersey auction go to helping Coyotes Charities, and the money stays in the Phoenix community to help out there. Great work by the Coyotes to raise money, and you can grab a shamrocked jersey by heading over to the NHL Auction page.
  • In a weird piece of news I caught a few days ago, it was reported that Tampa Bay has no interest in drafting John Tavares with the first overall pick if they secure that draft position. Instead, they would opt for Swedish defenceman Victor Hedman. Now, don't get me wrong here, but drafting Tavares and then packaging him in a trade would get Tampa Bay three things they need: (1) a top-tier defenceman, possibly even Hedman; (2) cap space by dealing away one of their albatross contracts in the deal; and (3) possibly more draft picks. Honestly, the only advice that people go into the draft with is "draft the best player available when you pick", and I can't find any reason why Tampa Bay would do differently.
  • Stat of the day: the Detroit Red Wings haven't lost to the Philadelphia Flyers in Joe Louis Arena since 1988. That's right - 18 games, and 20 years ago. OUCH!
Ok, I have a ball hockey game tonight, so I'm checking out. Honestly, I am still overly impressed with Mr. Marshall's work above, and can't say enough about the effort or the results. Fantastic work, and something that shows what a little creativity can do!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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