Friday 30 June 2023

The Business Of Women's Hockey

Since the news hit yesterday of the PWHPA acquiring all teams and assets of the PHF while having all contracts for players voided, I've seen a lot of anger and finger-pointing within the women's hockey world. While the players and staff who are affected by this acquisition have every right to be angry, this is how the business of hockey works. It happened in 1979 when the NHL acquired the WHA, and it's happening in 2023 with the PWHPA acquiring the PHF.

I won't deny that both the teams and players of the WHA and the PHF got the short end of the stick when it came to those acquisition deals because they were the ones being acquired, and we need to remember that fact when it comes to hockey being stronger as one unified league rather than two competing leagues. Taking the emotion out of the equation helps one digest this business deal in that it wasn't about which league was better or which gave the fans what they wanted, but, instead, this acquisition puts women's hockey in North America on solid ground for the first time in a long time.

The Mark Walter Group is backing the investment needed to for the PWHPA to purchase the PHF, and there's no shortage of capital there as Walter alone is worth $5.3 billion USD while he sits as the CEO for Guggenheim Partners which has over $300 billion in assets under management. Walter is no johnny-come-lately to the sports world either as he is the chairman and controlling owner of MLB's Los Angeles Dodgers, was part of the Todd Boehly-fronted consortium that bought Chelsea Football Club, and is part-owner of the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks. In short, the man knows sports purchases.

In showcasing Walter's sports acquisitions, when the opportunity came about for the PWHPA to acquire the PHF wholly and completely, it was more than one women's hockey group succeeding over the other despite it appearing that way on the surface. John Boynton, who is part of BTM Partners that managing the Toronto Six, Montreal Force, and Boston Pride, told Erica L. Ayala of Forbes as much.

"It's something that we've wanted to do for more than four years now," he told Ayala on Friday. "From the time that JoJo (Johanna Boynton, John's wife) and I got involved, the objective was to unify women's hockey, to have one league because we really thought that would allow the whole enterprise to move farther, faster. This current situation, we first had our conversations with the Mark Walter Group late last year, more than six months ago."

Yes, you can have emotions whether you're a PWHPA fan or a PHF fan, but it seems both sides finally put their petty differences aside for the business of women's hockey to succeed. In the end, that was always the goal, and it seems that both sides are finally prepared to see that goal through to the end regardless of the bumps in the road they may face.

“You have to understand this is a group of, I'll call it 100 players, who have just sacrificed the last four years, sacrificed the comfort of playing essentially in the PHF because they didn't want exactly this to happen because they believe that having a CBA in place which protects the future players of this professional league,” Liz Knox, a member of the PWHPA said to Ayala.

Madison Packer, a longtime NWHL player and PHF star, echoed the same sentiment as Knox, stating, "We need each other. We need women's hockey to grow in one spot. And some markets have worked for us; some haven't. I think that when it becomes a reality, it's tough to stomach because nobody wants to see anybody out of a job, right?"
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Maybe that's the hardest part to grasp because I don't want to see good people like Tatum Amy, Kennedy Ganser, Autumn MacDougall, Carly Jackson, Venla Hovi, or Sami Jo Small out of jobs in the PHF, but I also don't want see Alex Poznikoff, Kelsey Roberts, or Kaitlin Willoughby making less than they should in the PWHPA. These talented women all desvere to make as much as more than their male colleagues for playing the same sport, yet none had the same opportunities before this weekend.

Like the WHA being acquired by the NHL, the new entity in women's hockey will see less jobs and opportunities before it can grow into more. The women deserve that opportunity because are every bit as good the men who play the game. The new entity will rebound with the announcement of a league of six teams that will play in January with players we all know and want to watch. And before long, six teams may become eight, and eight may become twelve in the same way that the NHL grew.

With any business, stability is far more important than market coverage. Stable businesses with a solid growth plan will eventually move into markets where the business can continue to grow, but that stability also brings other benefits as a sports league. Sponsors, partners, and investors like stability when it comes to risks associated with their money, and having the deep pockets and business savvy of both the Mark Walter Group and Billie Jean King Enterprises at the forefront of this new league should attract companies who are serious about seeing the growth of this league while giving the players new opportunities.

Make no mistake that when this information leaked last night, there was every reason to question the legitimacy of this deal to merge the organizations while the emotional response towards the news ranged from joy to outright disgust. After sleeping on it and reviewing the information today, I can get behind this new entity as long as they reach their goals towards which they claim to be heading. With the PWHPA members voting this weekend on ratifying a CBA on their path to becoming a legitimate union, it seems the players will have a say in their futures as well. Living wages, it seems, will be a real thing with the possibility of earning more in the future.

Everyone has the ability to complain, and one should voice concerns when things seem off. Normally, I find the business of hockey to be cold, lacking morality, and generally bad for fans, but this might be the one deal that makes women's hockey stronger and better despite the loss of jobs and opportunities for players in the short-term. And while I get the fans of the PHF likely won't be happy seeing their favorite teams and players cast aside by the cruelness of the business, the long-term potential for this new league seems uncapped.

Sometimes, taking a step back allows one to gain perspective about how to move forward. Everyone knew that one league was going to prove to be more fruitful than two leagues if and when that occurred. Getting to that point seemingly required everyone to take a step back and look at how to move forward, and it was determined that the best way to move forward was together.

I believe, in business, that's called short-term pain for long-term gain.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Thursday 29 June 2023

The Hockey Show - Episode 562

The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced radio show that strictly talks hockey, is back tonight after an extremely busy week in the hockey world as the NHL was back in full swing this week with a variety of news, announcements, and celebrations as they took over the sports world. We don't usually devote this much time to the NHL unless there were a few major events, and I'd say that the NHL Awards, the NHL Draft, and a major announcement from the NHL regarding warm-up jerseys would suffice as "major events" that we need to discuss. We'll work through all that NHL chatter and more tonight at 5:30pm CT!

Teebz and Jason will jump into the deep end of the NHL discussions by chatting about the award winners from Monday night, the first round of the NHL Entry Draft on Wednesday night, and they'll have a very frank discussion about the NHL walking away from the warm-up jerseys for all occasions including Pride, Military, and Hockey Fights Cancer nights. There was a major trade for the local NHL team that could use some chatter, U SPORTS fails again, an AUS coach will take a pause from coaching, the Anaheim Ducks came out with "new" threads, Tennessee State makes some NCAA noise, and Canada West posted the hockey schedules. Our hosts will work to squeeze all of that into the hour where we chatter about hockey on The Hockey Show at 5:30pm CT on one of 101.5 FM, Channel 718 on MTS TV, or via!

If you live outside Winnipeg and want to listen, we have options! The new UMFM website's online streaming player is pretty awesome if you want to listen online. We also recommend Radio Garden if you need an easy-to-use online stream. If you're more of an app person, we recommend you use the TuneIn app found on the App Store or Google Play Store. If you use the TuneIn app, you won't be disappointed. It's a solid app.

If you have questions, you can email all show queries and comments to! Tweet me anytime with questions you may have by hitting me up at @TeebzHBIC on Twitter! I'm here to listen to you, so make your voice heard!

Tonight, Teebz and Jason talk earning accolades, new kids, dumb decisions, travel schedules, big trades, sleeping at the wheel, new clothes, time off, and much more exclusively on 101.5 UMFM and on the web stream!

PODCAST: June 29, 2023: Episode 562

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Wednesday 28 June 2023

That's A Plum Shoulder Logo

It's somewhat hard to believe that the Anaheim Ducks are celebrating their 30th anniversary this season when one considers that I watched them draft Paul Kariya with their first-ever NHL Entry Draft selection following the expansion draft where goaltender Guy Hebert was the first player to be named as an "Anaheim Mighty Duck". Obviously, the eggplant and jade colours have come and gone over the years with champagne and orange filling in those voids, but Anaheim's announcement of a 30th anniversary jersey that they'll wear in 2023-24 had everyone hoping for a throwback to the original egpplant Mighty Ducks uniform or a spin on one of their many alternate jerseys that they wore when they were called "Mighty Ducks".

"As we enter our 30th Anniversary season it's exciting to reveal a new jersey our fans can be proud of," Ducks Vice President of Marketing Merit Tully said in a statement today. "This jersey is a symbol of our journey the last 30 years, our successful history and a nod to our origins. It was designed internally in a collaborative effort by organizational departments up to ownership, and we are excited for our players to wear it with honor this upcoming season."

The jersey to the left is what the Ducks will debut on October 15, 2023 against the Carolina Hurricanes as the eggplant and jade returns to Anaheim for Season 30. The colours are phenomenal and the Ducks should have never abandoned their original colour scheme, but I dislike the metallic silver stripes that Adidas added to this jersey. It feels very out of place on this jersey, and overpowers the other stripes when looking at the sleeves. In low light like the image to the left, it's not as noticeable, but the image below has the stripes stand out awkwardly. I'm also not a fan of lace-up jerseys as they've been done to death, but that's just my own personal thing.

Aside from the metallic stripe, these jerseys are glorious when it comes to colours. The logo, though, is a lot of question marks because the Mighty Ducks wore that logo as a secondary logo during their early days of the franchise, and I can't understand why the Ducks would elevate it to a primary logo when they could have used the original logo very easily or even gone with a conceptual logo for the 30th anniversary. I certainly don't need the name in the circle bordering the duck mask, and the addition of the Ducks' current logo at the bottom screams insecurity when it comes to the current logo. There's a pile of problems with the logo on the chest, and I'd start to make it better by removing that circular border with all the unnecessary pieces on it.

The metallic stripes also possess an imprint of some of the history of the franchise. On the left arm, one will read that the Mighty Ducks were established in 1993 while the right arm stripe marks the rebranding as the Anaheim Ducks in 2006. Why one would put this on the sleeve of a jersey of a professional team's 30th anniversary jersey is beyond me, but this is something that should be on the neckline inside the jersey. If this jersey is only being used this season, the 30th anniversary is implied so the 1993 note is unnecessary. If it's not, having this history on the outside of the jersey is minor-league at best.

"It's a nice little token or metaphorical timeline as we like to describe it," Tully explained to ESPN's Ryan S. Clark. "From a color standpoint, we wanted to hit the nail on the head. We're always understanding that our fans do love that old and original color scheme with the plum and the jade. As we've looked at the third jerseys in recent history along with our 25th anniversary jersey and the third jerseys we have worn, while historical in nature, this is a fresh new look."

Is it, though? It's their original colours with an old secondary logo. How is that "fresh" or "new" if we've seen both before?

Like their previous rebrand to the Ducks where they removed the fun, this jersey feels like a manufactured effort to simply sell more jerseys. People like the 1993 jerseys because they were vastly different from other hockey jerseys at the time in their colours, and those '93 jerseys certainly bucked the trend by having that very recognizable cartoon logo on the front. The colours may be back, but the fun still feels like it was missed as an ingredient in creating a memorable and unique jersey for three decades of NHL play.

When your newly-designed jersey gets a "meh" as a response, you might have missed on the assignment. There simply isn't enough good to outweigh the not-good on this jersey, and I'm not certain I'll be excited to see the schedule where they'll wear this uniforms. While second-overall pick Leo Carlsson was wearing it to greet fans in Anaheim via video tonight, social media was split as it seems this jersey is a true "love it or hate it" design.

It doesn't evoke memories of Kariya or Selanne, but it will serve its purpose as a jersey next season. I'm just hoping that the Anaheim Ducks don't drop the ball on other 30th anniversary moments.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Tuesday 27 June 2023

Can We Call It A Rebuild?

If you're a follower of this blog, you likely know that I have zero confidence in Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff's ability to "retool" this team to the point where it can be a contender again. His inability to see past the faults of his team was a large factor in my lack of confidence, but his defence of the people who appeared to be causing those faults was also a large ingredient in my lack of faith for the man responsible for building a winner in Winnipeg. With star players demanding an out this spring, it looked almost certain that the Jets were headed for a complete overhaul. But maybe something has changed in Chevy since the calendar flipped to June because his efforts today show a smarter, more astute GM than what had been previously seen over the last few seasons.

The Winnipeg Jets traded Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Los Angeles Kings today, getting restricted free agent winger Gabe Vilardi, restricted free agent forward Rasmus Kupari, left-winger Alex Iafallo, and a 2024 second-round pick previously owned by Montreal back in the deal for Winnipeg's 1B centerman. While Iafallo is 29 and under contract until 2026, Vilardi and Kupari are both 23 with some team control, and both should fit in nicely on the Jets' roster if and when Chevy presents them with new contracts.

Dare I say Chevy did well?

I'm quick to pump the brakes when it comes to awarding him the early candidacy for GM of the Year, but, if he can sign Vilardi and Kupari to deals, this trade upgrades the Jets in a number of areas that Dubois simply won't match. In 63 games last season, Vilardi scored 23 goals and 41 points. Iafallo played 59 games where he scored 14 times in a 36-point season, and Kupari played 66 games where he had three goals in a 15-point campaign. While it's true that Chevy is now down a star centerman with Dubois heading to southern California, there will be opportunities for all three of the players coming back to capitalize with a number of potential holes on the Jets' roster.

If the rumours of Blake Wheeler's buyout are true, there will be a winger spot in the top-six that can be filled. Vilardi seems like the right man for the job based on his goal output over the last few seasons. If Vladislav Namestnikov opts to move on through free agency this summer, a third-line spot with opportunities to play up the lineup opens up for Iafallo. Kupari could easily earn himself a spot on Winnipeg's fourth line with the likes of Saku Maenalanen, Karson Kuhlman, and Sam Gagner all unrestricted free agents. In short, this move gives Chevy all sorts of options.

Of course, playing the games will be a different story as each of these players will need to do their parts, but the return when it comes to potential is very good for parting with one player who, at times, seemed like he wanted to be anywhere else but a hockey rink. Dubois' new contract with Los Angeles will certainly put the focus on him in La-La-Land, but Vilardi's arrival in Winnipeg could be the very replacement that the Jets needed with Blake Wheeler's potential departure as Vilardi has an excellent shot, great vision, and can play the front of the net or the bumer as Dubois did on the power-play.

What might make Jets fan salivate a little more over this trade is that Iafallo and Vilardi played together for a portion of the season with the Kings last season, and they looked good playing on opposite wings. If the Jets can get the Ehlers-Connor combination rolling, they may have two top-six winger pairings that can carry this team back to the playoffs in a year where it was expected they'd take a step back.

For the first time in a long time, I have an ember of interest that has been lit when it comes to following the Winnipeg Jets. With Chevy telling reporters that he may not be done yet, the likes of Wheeler, Scheifele, and Hellebuyck might still be up in the air when it comes to Kevin Ceveldayoff having conversations with any of the other 31 GMs. While I reserve the right to optimistic about this Jets team on June 27, I am excited that we may be seeing Chevy finally address the biggest elephant in the room: team culture.

By removing some of the players who, by head coach Rick Bowness's own words, "had no pushback" in the Vegas series in this year's playoffs, Chevy might be able to change the outlook of this group. Yes, there are players who still need to be moved to continue that transformation, but bringing in younger, hungrier guys who want to score and win will change that dynamic. If Chevy can move the likes of Scheifele, Wheeler, and Hellebuyck and bring back similar hauls like he did from Los Angeles, the culture in the room will change.

It's far too premature to say the Jets are back in the running for a Central Division title, but this trade could be the turning point to future success. Vilardi, Iafallo, and Kupari are good players who can find homes with the Jets as key players, and who knows what can come of that if the Jets start playing fun, uptempo hockey that other players start to notice. Putting the "Win" back in Winnipeg might take a few seasons if the current stars are traded, but new stars will emerge and push this team to new heights once again, causing fans to flock to Canada Life Centre once more.

Everyone loves a winner, so we might as well call this summer of trades and free agency what it truly is, even if Kevin Cheveldayoff refuses to use the word. We're in rebuild mode, folks, and it started off with a bang!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Monday 26 June 2023

The ECHL's Best Rearguard

As I settle back into life after taking a small break this weekend, the man to the left caught my eye for the honour he grabbed this season. If you're a fan of AUS hockey, you likely know that the man in the image is former UPEI Panthers defenceman Owen Headrick. Headrick was an soldi contributor on the Panthers' blue line in 2018-19 after arriving in Charlottetown from the OHL's Erie Otters, but he showed exactly what kind of incredible two-way defender he could be in 2019-20 as he scored at better than a point-per-game pace while finishing third on the Panthers in scoring. He'd play 18 more games at UPEI in 2021-22, but it was clear that he was destined for bigger and better things if and when he decided to pursue them.

Headrick, who comes from the Garden River First Nation near Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, graduated in the spring of 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in applied communication, leadership and culture. He decided to stay at the university and continue to play hockey in 2021-22 as he took the the 16-month Master of Education program at UPEI. After missing a full year thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, Headrick wanted his last year in U SPORTS to be his best.

"Going into my last year, I want to win," Headrick told Jason Malloy of the Annapolis Valley Register on July 25, 2021. "That's the main reason I am coming back – because I think we have the team to do it this year."

Unfortunately for Headrick, UPEI ran into the Saint Mary's Huskies who used a 6-5 double-overtime win in Game One and a 3-1 win in Game Two to eliminate the Panthers from the playoffs that season, but there was no doubt that Headrick had made an impact with UPEI. He was the 2020 UPEI Male Athlete of the Year, the Panthers' team MVP for his 13-goal, 32-point season in 2020, a first team AUS all-star, and a U SPORTS Second-Team All-Canadian while serving as the team's assistant captain in his second season. He'd return and be named captain of the Panthers in 2021-22, but the lure of the professional game was an opportunity that Headrick couldn't pass up as he signed a professional tryout contract with the AHL's Syracuse Crunch in mid-January of 2022.

"I decided to focus on my hockey right now," Headrick told Sam Laskaris of "I can always go back and finish (the Master's degree) at some point if I want."

While he was eight credit hours short of his Master's Degree, he may have had enough time to complete the work needed as he appeared in just three games for the Crunch before suffering an injury. He worked through his recovery and found himself as a free agent, and the Texas Stars wanted him in their organization as they offered him a one-year deal through the 2022-23 season! While the 25 year-old only got into one game with Texas, it was in their ECHL affiliate's city where Headrick was a star.

Headrick played like a man possessed as he helped the ECHL's Idaho Steelheads post an ECHL-best 58-11-3 record this past season while personally scoring 15 goals and 39 assists in 61 games. Those totals alone would be impressive for a rookie forward, but Headrick was leading the ECHL in scoring by a defenceman in February when he was recalled by Texas. He'd finish the season tied with Wichita's Cole McDonald at 54 points, but had recorded an ECHL-best 15 goals from the blue line! Headrick was also just as good in the Kelly Cup Playoffs where he scored three goals and added 16 helpers in 20 games as the Steelheads fell just short of their goal in losing the Kelly Cup Final to the Florida Everblades.

Nonetheless, Headrick compiled a season for the ages, and the ECHL's coaches, broadcasters, media relations directors, and media members recognized his outstanding season by naming Owen Headrick as the league's Defenceman of the Year in 2022-23, beating out Idaho teammate Matt Register, Greenville's Max Martin, Orlando's Michael Brodzinski, and Wichita's Cole MacDonald. While none of this comes as a surprise to those of us who follow U SPORTS hockey after watching Headrick play so well for UPEI, Headrick did something only three other players - Gwinnett's Sacha Guimond, Dayton's Brandon Smith, and Erie's Kelly Szautner - have done in ECHL history as he became the fourth rookie to win the Defenseman of the Year Award! On top of that, Headrick was also named to the ECHL's All-Rookie Team and the All-ECHL First Team!

I'm not saying that Headrick will be back in Idaho next season, but there's a very good chance that several teams will come calling after a season like he had! Congratulations, Owen!

It isn't often that U SPORTS gets to celebrate one of the players they had a significant hand in developing, but Owen Headrick should be headlining their webpage as a success story. Except he's not. Maybe they're leaving that up to the AUS to cover since Headrick was a player in their conference. Except they didn't do that either. Perhaps those two organizations are letting UPEI celebrate Headrick's success after he skated for them. Except that didn't happen.

What did happen was that Soo Thunderbirds - a team in the NOJHL he skated for nine years ago - posted the achievement on their site. What did happen was the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League - a league Headrick played in nine years ago - celebrated his achievement. Why is it that the Soo Thunderbirds and the NOJHL understand that this is good marketing for that team and league, respectively, but U SPORTS, the AUS, and the UPEI Panthers can't even post a statement on their websites? If you want to know why U SPORTS and its respective conferences and members are seen as "bush league", this lack of celebrating Owen Headrick's achievement is Exhibit A in that case.

When an Indigenous player who honed his craft at the U SPORTS level in Canada and reaches a pinnacle in the ECHL in first season like Owen Headrick did, there should be fireworks going off at U SPORTS' offices. Instead, it was business as usual since last Wednesday where they have their head in the sand when it comes to generating any sort of positive momentum heading into the 2023-24 season. Should we really be surprised?

Owen Headrick deserves all the kudos for his incredible season with Idaho where he was the circuit's best rearguard while being named as one of the best rookies and one of the league's best players. He earned every bit of those accolades this season, and he'll have his choice of who he plays with next season. I'm excited to see Headrick play next year already, and I'm hoping he puts together an even better season than this season's award-winning campaign.

Congratulations to Owen Headrick, the 2022-23 ECHL Defenceman of the Year with the Idaho Steelheads!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Sunday 25 June 2023

HBIC Summer Project: A Regina Peach

While the first three entries in the HBIC Summer Project looked at three stars on the diamond from Manitoba, today we're heading west to discover a woman from Regina, Saskatchewan who had all sorts of ties to the hockey world despite never lacing up the hockey skates for a game on her own. While she was an incredible all-around athlete while growing up in Regina, Mildred "Millie" Warwick stood out in sports like track and field, softball, basketball, gymnastics, volleyball, and speed skating. It would be her glove and bat that got her notoriety, though, as the diminutive infielder was a star with the Rockford Peaches in the AAGPBL. Today, we meet Mildred Warwick and discover her tie to hockey on HBIC as we continue our look at the women of the AAGPBL!

What makes Warwick's story unique is that her career in the AAGPBL was short - she only played two seasons! We'll look at each of those seasons below, but Warwick's story was one that I couldn't pass up thanks to her connections to hockey through family and marriage. While she certainly made a name for herself on the diamond that will never be overlooked, it's a little crazy to see how hockey relates back to her. Let's get into meeting Mildred Warwick and find out how everything ties together!

Mildred Marion Warwick was born on October 18, 1922 to William and Caroline Warwick, and into a household that would feature ten children. Her parents were living in Quebec before heading west after World War I where they settled in Regina, Saskatchewan, but things didn't always go well as the family moved four times in five years after living on the prairies as William navigated jobs through the Great Depression. Their brood of children would soon include five girls - Embyl, Isma, Jean, Mildred, and Wilda - and five boys - Archie, Grant, Claude, Billy, and Dick - would find themselves playing every sport imaginable to keep themselves out of trouble during their days.

In the summer, baseball was their sport of choice and Mildred would often accompany them to the local ball diamond where she played on the infield. In the winter, the boys wpould trudge through the snow across the street to a field that would flood where they'd play as long the light allowed them. There wasn't much money to go around on the dusty and cold prairies, but the Warwick kids always had warm meals to eat and warm clothes to wear thanks to two hard-working parents that were determined to give their kids a better life.

It was on the local diamond where Mildred began to hone her skills, and she could swing the bat with the best of the Warwick kids. As such, she was a strong player when she took up fastpitch softball in school at age 12 while attending Balfour Collegiate. According to the North Central Regina History Project, Mildred was a star in school sports, noting that "[a]t every inter-school track and field meet of her high school career, she placed first in the softball throw, with a record-breaking performance in 1940 that got her voted the meet's most outstanding athlete."

With an arm like hers, Millie wound up playing at the highest levels in Sasaktchewan by the time she turned 16 as she joined the Regina Army and Navy Bombers in 1938. Playing second base, she had an excellent glove and an accurate throw while she hit for average with the bat, using her speed to leg out extra-base hits. Millie's skills were part of two consecutive Saskatchewan Ladies Softball Championships in 1940 and 1941, and she was named MVP in the 1941 championship as well. It would be the summer of 1942 where regional scouts for Philip K. Wrigley took notice of Warwick's skills, and an offer of $85/week was made to the 5'2" infielder to join the AAGPBL!

Her acceptance of the offer made by Wrigley meant she was heading for Chicago in 1943 for the inaugural AAGPBL tryouts as teams needed to fill out rosters. As players were sent home, Warwick's abilities kept her playing and she'd finally survive the final cuts to earn a roster spot with the Rockford Peaches in 1943! While she may have been a star in Saskatchewan, finding herself as a Peach meant that Warwick was going to have to show all her skills on the diamond if she wanted to make an impact in the new women's professional baseball league.
In 1943, the Peaches took the field with Warwick playing third base and wearing #7. From that day forward, she officially was one of the league's top hitters when it came to making contact and getting on base as Warwick played in 92 games that season, recording 354 at-bats. Her efforts saw her pick up 93 hits which included five doubles, seven triples, and a homerun, and she finished the season hitting .263 with 30 RBIs. She walked 19 times, stole 34 bases, and scored 62 times for the Peaches while only striking out seven times!

Warwick's 1943 season started off at Beyer Stadium with a bang as she was tied for the league-lead in triples through the first 30 games with five by June 29, 1943. A week later, she was leading the AAGPBL with 54 hits and six triples while batting .331. By July 21, 1943, Warwick was making a name for herself both as a Rockford Peach and as a Canadian player in the All-American Professional Softball Glamour League, as it was called in 1943, by hitting .319 over the first two months of the season. Warwick was locked in and hitting at an incredible pace that only a handful of AAGPBL players could match!

Knowing that the Peaches had the makings of one of the best infields in the game with the likes of Warwick at third, Gladys Davis playing in the middle infield at both positions, and Dorothy Kamenshek at first base, it's hard to fathom that the Peaches ended the first season in the AAGPBL at 48-54, finishing at the bottom of the standings in both halves of the season. To her credit, though, Warwick was named an AAGPBL All-Star in 1943 as she played under the lights at Wrigley Field alongside teammate Olive Little for the Illinois-Indiana team!

Perhaps what might be the coolest thing about Warwick's 1943 season is that she established a record that only one other player in the AAGPBL ever matched. On June 20, 1943, Warwick began a hitting streak that saw her reach base safely in 13-straight games from June 20 through June 27, 1943! If you're doing the math, that's one week of double-headers that were played by the Peaches, and she reached base via a hit in all of them except the final game on June 27. The only other woman to accomplish a hitting streak that long was Elizabeth Mahon of South Bend Blue Sox who did it two years after Warwick did. Her efforts in the 1943 season earned her MVP honours among her teammates as well! How's that for a first season?

Warwick would return to the Peaches for the 1944 season in the AAGPBL, but she'd see her average fall as she hit just .208, but she managed to drive in 37 runs. She still put up 71 hits in 342 plate appearances over 97 games, recording four doubles, two triples and a homerun in those 71 hits. She was an absolute terror on the base paths as she stole 69 bases in 1944 to go along with 35 walks and 45 runs scores with only 17 strikeouts to her name. With two additional teams in the league from the four in 1943, there were more good arms to throw strikes and keep hitters at bay, but Warwick still managed to put up very good numbers.

Rockford struggled in the first-half of the 1944 season, going just 24-32 to finish in fifth-place. The second half saw them finish above .500 as they closed out the 1944 summer with a 29-28 mark, but their overall 53-60 record wasn't good enough to get them into the playoffs. It would seem that Warwick would have to seek her first AAGPBL championship in 1945, but things changed as that summer progressed as Mildred Warwick became Mildred Warwick-McAuley as she married her boyfriend and moved to Edmonton with him where she decided that she was happier being home with her family as she retired from the AAGPBL at the conclusion of the 1944 season.

Her softball days didn't end there, though, as she and Ken established the Edmonton Mortons softball team where she starred at third base from 1945-47. Following the 1947 summer, the McAuleys moved to Saskatoon where Mildred Grey joined the Cab Ramblers ladies' softball team for their 1948 season and helped them to a Saskatchewan Ladies Softball Championship in 1948 - the third of her career! Her work on the diamond in Canada had all sorts of accolades attached to it!

And if that wasn't enough, the McAuleys returned to Edmonton for the 1949 summer where she rejoined the Mortons, and they built a powerhouse team over the next few years. In 1951, the Mortons posted a 34-1 record while winning the B.C.-Alberta Inter-Provincial Championship and the Western Canadian Championship that allowed the team to advance to the Canadian National Championship at the Canadian National Exhibition against the heavily-favoured Toronto Ace Queens as the rules were played under the eastern Canadian rules of softball which saw base paths that were five-feet shorter and an increased pitching distance compared to the western Canadian rules. It mattered not to the Mortons as they defeated Toronto to become the first-ever official Canadian Senior Women's Softball Champions in 1951!

Her playing days would end there, however, as Mildred and Ken welcomed their first son, Ken Jr., in 1952 before adding a second baby boy, Todd, to the family. While she wasn't fielding grounders and hitting singles on a rope, she was an advocate for women's rights and women's sports when it came to seeing women get the same opportunities as men. She and Ken were married for nearly 47 years before Ken's passing on June 18, 1992 at the age of 71 in Edmonton.

While Millie would pass at the age of 84 on December 9, 2006, it should be noted she was one of two Rockford Peaches that had been asked to be ambassadors for the first World Cup of Women's Baseball held in Edmonton. She attended the event to fulfill her role as ambassador as the US won the event after posting a 5-1 record. Canada, it should be mentioned, finished in third-place after falling to Japan in the semifinals before defeating Australia in the bronze-medal game.

On The Ice

As stated off the top of this article, Mildred Warwick wasn't a hockey player. She did compete in speed skating events, but she never once grabbed a stick nor shot a puck in any meaningful competition. However, her life was certainly surrounded by hockey and affected by hockey, so let's take a look at what hockey played a role in her life.

We'll start with Millie's brother, Grant "Knobby" Warwick, who spent nine seasons in the NHL as a member of the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, and Montreal Canadiens. Warwick was a tough winger who starred with the Regina Abbots in the Southern Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League where his mix of skating, scoring and toughness was the kind of recipe scouts were seeking when it came to finding future NHL players. While the Abbots fell in the 1940 Memorial Cup, the Regina Rangers of the Southern Saskatchewan Hockey League liked his moxie as they signed Warwick to join their team in 1940-41 where he helped them win the 1941 Allan Cup! As stated, NHL scouts liked what they saw, and that was all the New York Rangers needed to see as they invited Warwick to camp for the 1941-42 NHL season!

Warwick made an impact immediately upon arriving in Manhattan as he was named the 1942 NHL Rookie of the Year after scoring 16 goals and 17 assists in 44 games with the Blueshirts. He'd hit a high of 20 goals twice with the Rangers in 1944-45 and 1946-47, and he was selected by the NHL to play in the 1947 NHL All-Star Game. However, he'd be traded by the Rangers to the Boston Bruins on February 6, 1948 for Billy Taylor, and he'd find success as a Bruins winger by scoring 22 goals and 37 points in 1948-49. In the fall of 1949, the Bruins would ship Warwick to the Montreal Canadiens for cash, and a broken nose would see him miss time with the Canadiens who then demoted him to the AHL's Buffalo Bisons for what appeared to be a reconditioning stint. Buffalo was a fairly good team, and it seemed that Warwick would get his shot after being a reliable goal scorer for both the Rangers and Bruins.

Three seasons with the Bisons from 1949-52 was enough for Warwick to become discouraged with professional hockey after he received no other call-ups despite scoring 77 goals and 211 points in 157 AHL games over those three seasons. Warwick would eventually land with the Okanagan Senior Amateur Hockey League's Penticton Vees where he, along with his two brothers, made the Vees virtually unbeatable. He was named as an OSAHL First Team All-Star four times in four seasons, and he helped the Vees win the 1954 Allan Cup!
Thanks to that victory, the Vees were named as Canada's representative at the World Ice Hockey Championship that took place in the four cities of Düsseldorf, Dortmund, Krefeld, and Cologne, West Germany. Working as the team's player-coach, Grant Warwick guided the Vees to the final against the Soviet Union where they took down the defending champions by a 5-0 score to earn the gold medal!
Warwick would spend one more season with Penticton before joining the Trail Smoke Eaters for one campaign. He'd finish his career back in the OSAHL with the Kamloops Chiefs before retiring at the conclusion of the 1958 season. Grant was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1986 after scoring 147 goals and 142 assists in 395 NHL games. He was also added an an honourary inductee into the Regina Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.

It seems pretty clear that Grant Warwick had a big stake in the hockey side of Millie Warwick's life, but it took on a bigger role for one reason: Ken McAuley.

Still On The Ice

Ken McAuley also played as a goaltender in 1941-42 with the Regina Rangers of the Southern Saskatchewan Hockey League. He didn't log many minutes with the Rangers, but the New York Rangers came calling after the American draft pulled a number of hockey players off the ice and into World War II. With the Rangers needing a goaltender, McAuley was in a Rangers uniform as the starting netminder for the 1943-44 season!

McAuley likely shouldn't have been there based on his 17–64–15 record over two seasons that saw him sport a 5.61 GAA in 96 games. That's not to say he couldn't make stops at the NHL level, but there were simply far too many shots that got past him and into the back of the net. He still holds the record for the worst GAA of any starting goaltender in NHL history as he surrendered 310 goals in 1943-44 for a GAA of 6.24. No matter the reasons for him being in Manhattan, he had an ally in another former Regina Ranger who sat down from him in the New York dressing room, and that player was some kid named Grant Warwick.

Warwick introduced McAuley to his sister through photos, and McAuley was instantly drawn to her. As we know, McAuley not only dated Mildred Warwick, but eventually married her in 1945 as the two moved to Edmonton. That would end McAuley's run in the NHL, but he joined the Western Canadian Senior Hockey League's Edmonton Oil Kings for two seasons before the couple moved to Saskatoon where he guarded the nets for the WCSHL's Saskatoon Quakers for two seasons as well.

Upon moving back to Edmonton with Millie, Ken hung up the skates and coached the Oil Kings for four more seasons where he compiled a 156-113-4 record as the head coach, leading them to a Memorial Cup Final in 1954. Among his other efforts, he was President and Co-founder of the Edmonton Oldtimers Hockey League into the late 1980s, organized the first charity golf tournament in Alberta, and was President of the North Edmonton Community League and the Edmonton District Fastball Association. Ken McAuley was inducted into the Alberta Amateur Fastball Hall of Fame in 1988 for his coaching and founding of the Edmonton Mortons. He was also inducted into the Edmonton Sports Hall of Fame in 1975, and was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in 2005.

Even More Ice

The 1940s saw another Warwick lad make the NHL as younger brother Billy "The Dapper Yapper" Warwick played 14 NHL games for the New York Rangers alongside his brother, Grant, from 1942-44. The majority of Billy Warwick's time in New York was spent with the Eastern Hockey League's New York Rovers, but Billy did score two goals and three assists while playing 12 games with the Rangers in 1943-44. As stated, though, his scoring was far better in the EHL where he was a star with the Rovers. While Grant's path through hockey took him to a handful of cities across North America, Billy certainly saw more of the continent, including stops in Canada, thanks to the movement he experienced in his career as a professional hockey player.

Billy found himself as a member of the Rovers in 1944-45 before joining the Philadelphia Falcons for nine games before landing in the AHL with the Hershey Bears while helping the Bears finish as AHL Calder Cup Finalists after losing a 4-2 decision to the Cleveland Barons in the final. In 1946, he'd be on the move as he was shipped to the Providence Reds. In 1947, he would be moved to a rather brutal Philadelphia Rockets team. 1948 and 1949 would see him in the USHL with the Fort Worth Rangers while logging 17 total games with the AHL's Springfield Indians. 1950 saw him play most of the season with the USHL's Minneapolis Millers while getting a handful of games in with the Cleveland Barons. In 1951, Warwick would take his talents to the USHL's Denver Falcons before landing in the Quebec Senior Hockey League in 1952 with the Ottawa Senators. If you're counting, that's eleven teams in eight years as Billy Warwick seemingly lived out of a suitcase!

Like Grant, he'd play one season in the Maritime Major Hockey League with Halifax before reuniting with Grant in Penticton where the Warwick brothers turned the Vees into a machine in the OSAHL. Billy was part of the 1954 Allan Cup team that allowed the Vees to play in the World Championship, and he's officially a gold medalist at the 1955 World Ice Hockey Championship after scoring two goals in the final to help Canada defeat the Soviets 5-0 in the gold-medal final where he was named as the tournament's best forward after scoring 14 goals and seven assists! As noted in the flyer above, Billy also broke the OSAHL scoring record in 1954-55 with 95 points, so it seems the New York Rangers missed out on a second prolific scorer with the last name of Warwick. In any case, Penticton benefitted from having two Warwicks in the lineup, but they weren't the only Warwicks skating for the Vees.

Billy Warwick joined Grant on the Trail Smoke Eaters in 1956-57 after one more season with Penticton. Billy would retire from playing, but briefly returned to hockey when he stepped in as head coach mid-season for the Alberta Senior Hockey League's Edmonton Oil Kings. It should be noted that Billy Warwick served as a colour commentator on Oil Kings, Oilers, and other sports broadcasts as he was found in pressboxes across the city for 50 years. He was also the man responsible for "Billy's Guide", an entertainment and restaurant magazine, published in Edmonton. William "Billy" Warwick was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1986, and into the Regina Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.

Ice, Ice, Baby?

As alluded to in the section above, there was one more Warwick who played hockey, but never went to the NHL. The youngest of the Warwick kids, Richard, played in the minor leagues all his life as he moved from the Brandon Elks, Humboldt Indians, Medicine Hat Tigers, New West Royals, Tacoma Rockets, and the Nanaimo Clippers before becoming the first Warwick brother to join the brand-new Penticton Vees team in the OSAHL in 1951. It was in Penticton that Dick Warwick became a hockey legend as he scored a number of memorable goals for the club.

After recruiting his two brothers who had suited up in the NHL, Dick, Grant, and Billy formed the squad's top line and they dominated throughout the OSAHL. Centering his two brothers, Dick Warwick used pinpoint passing and his phenomenal athleticism to make plays for his bigger wingers. The end result was a Vees team that simply got better and better each year, culminating with the World Championship victory over the Soviets in 1955. His size was always seen as a reason he wouldn't go further in hockey as he was smaller than both Grant and Billy, but Dick earned team MVP honours with both the Indians and the Tigers before landing in Penticton. Again, hockey in that era seems to have underestimated another Warwick brother's ability to score points.

"He was just a solid, quiet guy who was dedicated to winning," former Vees teammate Ivan McLelland told David Crompton of the Penticton Herald in 2015. "He didn't participate in all the hijinks that went on, but he loved being part of the team. He was there at the beginning and he was there at the end, proudly standing on the blueline in Krefeld with his teammates and his brothers when we won that championship."

Just as his brothers did, Dick Warwick would play one more season in Penticton after winning the World Championship gold medal before moving to the Trail Smoke Eaters in 1956-57. He'd retire after that season in Trail, moving to Edmonton to work with his brothers in the restaurant business. It should be noted that the 1954-55 Penticton Vees were added to the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 1976 while Dick Warwick was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1986, and into the Regina Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.

Just Add Ice

If you were interesting in seeing the Warwick boys in action, Youtube user "kroghie" posted the video of the 1955 World Ice Hockey Championship on the website as Canada, represented by the Penticton Vees, played the Soviet Union in the gold medal final.

The Accolades

Clearly, the Warwick family was a pretty important cog in amateur and professional sports in this country, and I didn't even mention Claude Warwick's impressive prowess in the boxing ring. We have two brothers who played in the NHL, three brothers who won an Allan Cup and a World Ice Hockey Championship, and a sister who won multiple softball championships in two provinces before becoming an all-star at third base in the AAGPBL while setting a hitting record that only one other player matched. These kids were athletes, and their accomplishments shouldn't be overlooked by any means.

Mildred Warwick retired from playing softball with the arrival of her kids, and she worked at the Department of Energy during 27 years, retiring in 1988. After losing her husband, Ken McAuley, in 1992, she neve re-married, living out her days in Edmonton until her passing at the age of 84 on December 9, 2006. Millie Warwick was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1986, the Alberta Softball Hall of Fame in 1989, Alberta Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991, the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in 1998 as part of the AAGPBL induction, the Regina Sports Hall of Fame in 2004, and is part of the "Diamond Dreams" exhibit at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York in 1988.

While Mildred Warwick only spent two seasons in the AAGPBL, she was a fearless hitter who set records with her bat while stealing bases whenever she could after reaching base. She didn't have much need for hockey with her softball skills, but it was hockey where she found her husband thanks to her brother Grant who, along with siblings Billy and Dick, accomplished more in hockey than most players ever will. Her 164 hits in 696 at-bats was good for a .236 batting average, and she was an AAGPBL all-star in 1943 after setting the league record for the longest hitting streak.

Mildred McAuley is now the fourth AAGPBL player in this series and the first to be featured from a province other than Manitoba, but we're not close to being done yet. There are still a pile of incredible women who were incredible players in the AAGPBL while having ties to hockey. McAuley's story didn't involve her standing on the ice, but Grant Warwick introduced her to her NHL-playing husband while three brothers won gold medals at the 1955 World Ice Hockey Championship. That's certainly enough ties to the ice for this Sunday!

Rest in peace, Millie. Your incredible legacy in sports makes you a legend, even if those honours came long after you had retired.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Saturday 24 June 2023

Concerts And Jerseys - Part 2

As seen yesterday, it seems all genres of music are getting wrapped up in NHL jerseys as those artists in each genre take the stages in NHL cities. Today, we'll see some more NHL jerseys being handed out like freebies to fans as musicians travel through more NHL cities, but we'll also see some WHL, AHL, U SPORTS, and international jerseys get a mention as well. In short, wearing a team's jersey is good for a pop at a concert for musicians as their fans seem to appreciate it, so expect more of these articles in the future.

It's all about the latter half of the alphabet today as we look at teams whose cities start with the letter "N" and go until the alphabet runs out. As stated above, there's a handful of jerseys that don't have NHL homes, so we'll talk about those at the end. Without further adieu, though, let's look at more musicians in jerseys!

Usually, the Nashville Predators have a laundry list of stars who have taken the stage in their colours, but there are only a couple of names to add this time. Taryn Papa was at Bridgestone Arena to sing the anthem, and Tracy Lawrence belted out his version of the anthem as well!

The New Jersey Devils found a pile of people who wanted to show their allegiance while showcasing their musical talents. Wé Ani sang the anthem in Newark while donning a jersey. Not only was Swayam Bhatia one of the stars of the new Mighty Ducks series, but she's a budding musician who supports the Devils! We know Post Malone can do music, but who knew he had a thing for the New Jersey Devils? Moving on, I have no idea about anything to do with Swedish rock band Ghost, but Papa Emeritus IV received a jersey when they played the Prudential Center. Marc Anthony got himself a "Jersey" jersey when he stopped in Newark. Rapper Daddy Yankee had the name of his seventh and final studio album on his jersey that he received. And while he's known more for acting and comedy, there's no doubt that having Adam Sandler next to Jack Hughes has to count for something!

The New York Islanders only have one musician on this list, but he's got twenty-six studio albums, four live albums, and six compilations to his name as Loudon Wainwright III wore an Islanders jersey on his 1979 album, A Live One.

The New York Rangers added a few musicians to their celebrity roster on this concert bill. South Korean girl pop group Dia decided to perform in New Rangers jerseys with six of the seven singers wearing Chris Kreider jerseys while the one lone singer wore a Rick Nash jersey. In a far more explainable moment, Luke Combs got a personalized Rangers jersey when he played Madison Square Garden. And in another weird moment, Phil Collins of Genesis is wearing a Rangers jersey in this picture, but it appears to be different from the Rangers jersey he wore on stage. The sleeve stripes seem to be in a different spot. It is a second Rangers sweater for Collins?

I mentioned Mark Wahlberg's friendship with Max Domi on yesterday's entry, and here's more proof as the musician-turned-actor poses with Domi and his new Arizona Coyotes jersey. Why is it posted here? Arizona started as Phoenix, so they land in the "P" section on the big database!

As seen on the Phil Collins image above, Tony Banks is clearly wearing a Pittsburgh Penguins jersey. Joining him on the Penguins bandwagon is rapper Maxo Kream who seems to be wearing the 1990s version of the diagonal Pittsburgh jersey. Train played the PPG Arena at some point, and lead singer Pat Monahan wore a Penguins jersey for the occasion!

There's just one addition to the San Jose Sharks' celebrity fan club, and that honour goes to Fuerza Regida who were founded in San Bernadino, California, but play traditional Mexican music and Latin pop music. They received jerseys when they stopped by the SAP Center for a concert!

The Seattle Kraken added a musician to their ranks who has already appeared on this list as Train's Pat Monahan sported the Kraken colours when they took the stage in Seattle.

The St. Louis Blues get four more celebrities to join their roster, but one of these musicians has a great background story. We'll start with Shania Twain who got a possible Al MacInnis jersey when she stopped in the Missouri city. Post Malone got a new jersey with the sponsor logo that had #77 on it. Fallout Boy were given jerseys during their stop in the city. Sammay Hagar apparently bleeds blue when he's in St. Louis. And, finally, I'll let Carole King explain what's happening in this image here: "To those of you who've seen the recently released video of my performance in Montreux in 1973 and are wondering why the band members were wearing St. Louis Blues hockey jerseys, here's the answer. Lou Adler liked the musical note logo and thought the jerseys would be better than black suits." I'm not here to knock Carole King or Lou Adler, but the Blues never wore jerseys like that. Where did they find them?

The Toronto Maple Leafs get three more celebrity musicians to join their fray. Thomas Rhett got himself a personalized jersey, but just getting your intials on a jersey is dumb. He should be more like Ozzy Osbourne who went and got himself a personalized jersey with his last name on it! And it had to happen some time, but the Leafs finally got Michael Bublé in a jersey as well.

The Vancouver Canucks have two different jerseys on display in their set as Shania Twain wore the recent stick-in-rink alternate jersey while rapper Freddie Gibbs was sporting the primary Canucks jersey from 2007-19. Shania's jersey is clearly the better one.

With the Vegas Golden Knights winning the Stanley Cup, you know they attracted the attention of celebrities. They enlisted the likes of 50 Cent into their ranks with his personalized gold jersey. Mexican rapper Alemán makes another appearance in the gray Golden Knights jersey. Mexican singer El Dasa, aka Dasahev López Saavedra, showed off his allegiance to the fortress. Country singer Jason Aldean got himself a personalized jersey during his stop in Vegas. Li'l Jon completed the jersey set with the gold Golden Knights jersey. LL Cool J picked up a personalized jersey during a stop at T-Mobile Arena. Marshmello got the crowd fired up before one of the Stanley Cup Final games. Shania Twain added a Golden Knights jersey to her closet. Yes, Shaq does basketball, but Shaquille O'Neal has released rap albums and now has an oversized Golden Knights jersey. And we can't forget one of our biggest hockey fans as Snoop Dogg showed off his allegiance to the Golden Knights this spring!

The Winnipeg Jets hosted a few concerts, and they were in the giving spirit as well! Styx visited the city on their tour, and frontman Lawrence Gowan ended up wearing Jets' colours. In one of the cooler donations to an artist, the Jets gave Indian singer-songwriter Diljit Dosanjh - known as Diljit - a personalized Jets jersey! I know nothing about his music, but Diljit is the first artist from India on these lists to receive a hockey jersey!

On the international scene, check out this amazing Vastra Frolunda jersey worn by ABBA's Anni-Frid "Frida" Lyngstad! And doubling-down on the amazing, here's Elton John hawking a Captain Fantastic pinball machine wearing a 1974 Canadian Canada Cup jersey!

We'll jump to the AHL where a few jerseys got some celebrity love. Country-pop singer-songwriter Russell Dickerson sported a camouflage Iowa Wild jersey during one of his stops. Country musician Cody Johnson got himself a Syracuse Crunch jersey during his stop in the New York city. And in one of the cooler jersey-music moments, Rich F. captured Journey's Jonathan Cain wearing a Coachella Valley Firebirds jersey during their concert tour!

On the major junior circuit, Canadian country star Katelyn Lehner wowed the crowd with her pipes at the Saskatoon Blades game while Jess Moskaluke handled the anthem duties at the Regina Pats game with ease!

Brother-and-sister country music act Jenna and Stuart Walker visited the campus of the University of New Brunswick where they, as musical duo The Reklaws, performed a concert while wearing jerseys of the UNB Reds!

That leaves the odds and ends for jerseys that don't fit into any of the categories, but we won't exclude them. I mentioned yesterday that Toadies guitarist Lisa Umbarger was all about Texas hockey, and she doesn't disappoint with her support of the NAHL's Lone Star Brahmas. She also took to the stage in a jersey from the former Central Hockey League's Fort Worth Fire! We'll go back a few years when the Foo Fighters received matching IHL Manitoba Moose jerseys during a stop in Winnipeg. And in one of the coolest jerseys ever designed, Fletcher Shears from The Garden wore an IHL San Francisco Spiders jersey!

We have a couple of late additions to the concert bill as well as I missed a couple if images that needed to be included yesterday. Let's jump right into the Colorado Avalanche having Blink 182's bassist Mark Hoppus as a fan, and he met Wayne Gretzky! Not to be outdone, the Minnesota Wild gave Robert Smith of The Cure his own personalized jersey!

In total, there are 99 new images listed on the master list of musicians in jerseys, so I invite you to click that link and poke around to see which artists have worn or supported your favorite team. If you have any images you wish to include, please send them through to me here. It might be a while before we see more of these articles, but I'm willing to wait if we get some great images of musicians in jerseys like we had over the last two days!

Enjoy the summer concert season, folks, because it goes by way too fast!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Friday 23 June 2023

Concerts And Jerseys - Part 1

It's that magical time of year where people take to the streets, end up in fields, camp in weird locations, and drive all day and night just to see a specific musician or band in concert! Summers are always going to be a season where music fills the landscapes across this nation, and there's likely a good chance that one or two of those musicians will return home with some new clothing thanks to hockey teams and arenas playing host to those musicians in their rinks. I haven't done one of these articles in a while, so I'll warn you that this is a two-part article today and tomorrow. In saying that, your Friday and Saturday stop on HBIC are all about musicians in hockey jerseys!

We're going to go in alphabetical order, but not all teams will have a new musical friend about whom they can boast. There are some teams who acquired many musical friends thanks to their seemingly consistent donation of jerseys to bands who land in their arenas, but that's just how this puck bounces. There are a lot of musicians on this list, though, so let's get going!

The Anaheim Ducks saw a bunch of artists make their ways through the Honda Centre in Anaheim. Those artists included Grammy Award-winning Latino artist Pepe Aguilar who got an incredible "Petos de Anaheim" jersey, Shania Twain in a retro Mighty Ducks jersey, Shinedown's Brent Smith in a retro Mighty Ducks jersey, Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman and Jonah Nimoy of The Offspring who "wanted a 13, but got a 31" in retro Mighty Ducks jerseys, and rapper Maxo Kream got himself a home Ducks jersey. That's not a bad lineup for an Anaheim concert!

The Boston Bruins welcomed a number of acts to TD Garden after the pandemic lifted, but not many came away with jerseys, it seems. Post Malone was sure to score one on his trip through Boston. The other group that got at least one jersey was Hillsong United who I had never heard of before, but apparently they're some sort of worship collective that's part of the Hillsong Church, and they write music and release albums. Again, not really my cup of tea musically or religiously, but here's lead singer and worship leader Taya Gaukrodger wearing a Bruins jersey.

The two images you'll see of Buffalo Sabres jerseys both go back to the black-and-red era, but that, to me, makes them more awesome to see. While the first photo is small, both Lisa Loeb and Sarah McLachan were a part of Lilith Fair which never stopped in Buffalo, yet both artists were snapped wearing Sabres jerseys. Another musician wearing the black-and-red of the Sabres in the 1990s was Kerry King of Slayer who was doing a radio interview in the city as Slayer stopped there. Kudos to John M. for finding the King photo!

Ready to feel old? You may remember Bryan Littrell from his time with the Backstreet Boys. Well, he got older and got married and had a child. Said child is now following dad's footsteps into music as Baylee Littrell is working to establish himself on the country music scene, and he received a Carolina Hurricanes jersey while touring through Raleigh. With the Backstreet Boys having their own Hurricanes jerseys, I believe this is the first father-son duo to have worn the same team's jersey!

The Chicago Blackhawks apparently were a popular team for musicians to wear in jersey from the 1970s right through to today. We'll start going back in time to catch Kate Bush wearing what looks like a Bobby Orr Blackhawks jersey. We'll add English guitarist Alvin Lee to the Blackhawks mix as well. Moving more into today's realm of music, rapper Roddy Ricch was on-stage in a Jonathan Toews Blackhawks jersey. Rapper J. Cole owns part of the NBA's Charlotte Hornets, but he may have been a Chicago Blackhawks fan at one point. Rapper Freddie Gibbs was also spotted wearing a Chicago Blackhawks jersey.

The Columbus Blue Jackets used to hand out Blue Jackets-branded robes to a lot of musicians, but they seem to be falling in line with every other team more recently. Case in point is Post Malone getting a Blue Jackets jersey for his concert in Columbus. What's weird, though, is that Taylor Swift - someone who has a closet full of hockey jerseys - played Columbus and I can find no visual evidence that she ever got a jersey. I'll have to keep looking, I guess.

The Dallas Stars added a few famous musicians or former musicians on this article. We'll start with a man whose music is still popular after his passing as Prince appears to have adopted the Dallas Stars as his team following the move from Minnesota. We can add former musician Mark "Marky Mark" Wahlberg to Dallas' list thanks to his friendship with Max Domi. Rapper Maxo Kream makes another appearance as he was wearing a Dallas Stars alternate jersey at some point. And Lisa Umbarger of the Toadies is a huge Dallas sports fan and likes to wear jerseys during concerts as evidenced by her old-school Dallas Stars jersey from back in the day along with a new Stars "victory green" jersey more recently!

As we know, Canadian crooner Michael Bublé has all sorts of jerseys at his disposal so it was a little surprising that it took him this long to get a Detroit Red Wings jersey, but he can check that team off the list now.

We might as well keep going with the Michael Bublé fun because he now has himself one of those terrible navy blue Oilers alternates as well. Canadian Bryan Adams took the stage in Edmonton wearing a Wayne Gretzky Oilers jersey. Country musicians Old Dominion sported the road Oilers jerseys in their Edmonton concert. Shania Twain got herself a blue Edmonton Oilers jersey during her stop in the city. Country singer Thomas Rhett picked up a personalized jersey when visiting Edmonton. And Freddie Gibbs wore an older Oilers jersey at some point during his musical career.

The Stanley Cup finalists can add five new fans to their list of musical fans as the Backstreet Boys stopped in Sunrise and got themselves Florida Panthers jerseys for their efforts!

We already know guitarist Daron Malakian from System of a Down was a Los Angeles Kings fan, and he certainly can claim the title after appearing in a Kings alternate jersey on-stage. Mexican rapper Erick Raúl Alemán Ramírez, better known as Alemán, was seen in a Wayne Gretzky Los Angeles Kings jersey. Rapper Jeezy was sporting a Vintage-branded Gretzky Kings jersey during a visit to whatever Staples Center is called now. The Cure's Robert Smith has a 1990s-era Los Angeles Kings jersey in his collection. Rapper Warren G was working the board and doing a little deejaying at an LA Kings game in proper attire. And the legendary Phil Collins of Genesis wore the gold jersey during Los Angeles' purple-and-gold era in their history!

The Minnesota Wild have new musical fans as well. In our second faith-related musical group to join the musicians wearing jerseys, the guitarist from Maverick City Music, Elijah Kaiween, took the stage in a Minnesota Wild jersey. Dude Perfect is better known for their zany and crazy videos, but they played a Minnesota gig in Wild jerseys after releasing their only song to date. Sir Brian Harold May CBE, better known as Brian May from Queen, played concert in Minnesota while wearing the former red home jersey. I had never heard of American singer-songwriter Ber before, but the Minnesota-born Berit Dybing played a gig in St. Paul at the Xcel Energy Center where she wore the home team's colours!

Out final act tonight lands us in Montreal where the Canadiens rule the sports and entertainment business. However, a few musical acts blended the "sports" and "entertainment" parts together. Bill Wallace of The Guess Who was apparently a Ken Dryden fan back in the day. Deep Purple's Don Airey was singing "Vive Les Canadiens" at one point on a recent tour. British rocker Greg Lake played a show wearing the bleu-blanc-et-rouge. Michael Bublé was gifted a Guy Lafleur jersey during a recent tour stop in Montreal. French-Canadian and Juno-winning Roch Voisine got himself a personalized Habs jersey. And last, but certainly not least out of all these accomplished artists, is Frank "Pedro" Sampedro wearing a Canadiens jersey on-stage during a concert featuring Neil Young & Crazy Horse!

There's the first dump of photos of musicians in jerseys, and there will be more tomorrow as Part 2 of this concert series comes to an end. If you have an image of a musician wearing or holding a hockey jersey, feel free to fire it through to me here. You'll get credit on the database of images I've built, and we can both take pride in making that database of images more complete! Part Two is tomorrow, so make sure you drop by for that!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Thursday 22 June 2023

The Hockey Show - Episode 561

The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced radio show that strictly talks hockey, is back tonight with a very special guest! We often hear of hockey players being bloodied in games, but our guest tonight is all about blood off the ice as well! Jason has the night off as Teebz goes one-on-one with one of Canada West's clutch scorers as she has helped the Saskatchewan Huskies win a bronze medal at the U SPORTS National Championship, and she return for her sixth and final campaign as the Huskies host Nationals this season! Tonight, we welcome one of the best players to wear the Huskies logo thanks to her work on and off the ice as this talented woman will certainly go places once she's done at the University of Saskatchewan!

Tonight, The Hockey Show is proud, honoured, privileged, humbled, and pleased to welcome Sophie Lalor! Lalor has been a mainstay on the Huskies' roster, and the Commerce student is looking to cap off her career with some more U SPORTS National Championship honours! Teebz talks to her about growing up in St. Albert, Alberta, moving to the CSSHL, moving to Penticton, BC, her experience playing with Team BC, joining the Saskatchewan Huskies, winning a bronze medal, and her work as an ambassador for Hockey Gives Blood and Canadian Blood Services that put her in the running for the inaugural Cameron Bulger Memorial Award! Sophie's seen and done a ton of stuff in her career so far, and there's certainly more chapters to be written. Tonight, we meet Sophie Lalor and get to know this amazing player and incredible person on The Hockey Show at 5:30pm CT on one of 101.5 FM, Channel 718 on MTS TV, or via!

If you live outside Winnipeg and want to listen, we have options! The new UMFM website's online streaming player is pretty awesome if you want to listen online. We also recommend Radio Garden if you need an easy-to-use online stream. If you're more of an app person, we recommend you use the TuneIn app found on the App Store or Google Play Store. If you use the TuneIn app, you won't be disappointed. It's a solid app.

If you have questions, you can email all show queries and comments to! Tweet me anytime with questions you may have by hitting me up at @TeebzHBIC on Twitter! I'm here to listen to you, so make your voice heard!

Tonight, Teebz sits down with Saskatchewan Huskies forward Sophie Lalor to discuss growing up, moving around, winning medals, helping a cause, playing hockey, and much more exclusively on 101.5 UMFM and on the web stream!

PODCAST: June 22, 2023: Episode 561

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!