With young talent like Wolski, Statsny, Richardson, Svatos, Leopold, Liles, Budaj, etc. coming on strong the Av's are in a good position to surprise a lot of naysayers.
Besides, the Av's have the force behind them...
You can't fight the force.
The story was a sexual awakening of sorts for Bidini, who tells me "the time has come for sex and hockey to come together."Yes indeed, it was a very amusing era... for both hockey and sex.
It’s a side of hockey that hasn’t been talked about, he explains, "except under the low lights of the Tavern or bar."
Or in jokes, like: Why do Montrealers do it Doggie Style? So they can watch the game.
Or, when players are behaving badly, and sexually assaulting women, or when coaches are assaulting their young players.
But there’s a more innocent sexy side to hockey, says Bidini. Heck, when you’ve got a bunch of guys skating around with big sticks, shooting and scoring, how can there not be?
Sticks and dicks
Especially during its heyday in the ’70s, a "real wild-and-swinging-guy era for hockey, with the tight trousers and the long hair," says Bidini.
It was swinging, quite literally, in come cases.
"It was public knowledge that Bob Nevin and another player were wife swapping," says Bidini.
And back then, before hockey players were micro-managed and heavily marketed, that fast-and-hard lifestyle was more celebrated, he adds.
"There was a bit of that sweet, naïve, hoser-star hockey player enjoying the banquet of life," he laments. "I just think it’s an amusing era to look at in terms of sexuality."
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - The final leg of an international tour stopped at Cambria County War Memorial Arena on Saturday night.Read >>> more.
But no big-name rock star was in town.
No monster truck show or Disney on Ice production, either.
Instead, four hardcore hockey fans from Norway parked a RV a few blocks from the arena and marched into the building where "Slap Shot" was filmed.
These guys came for the Johnstown Chiefs' ECHL game against the Cincinnati Cyclones. But of perhaps greater significance, "The Do It Right or Don't Do It At All Tour" concluded in the Flood City after 14 days and approximately 3,200 miles at a cost of about $3,000 per man.
"It's usually 10 days, but this time it's 14 days and we decided to try to see as many leagues as possible," said Jon Manum of Sarpsborg, Norway. "Sometimes we try to do as many NHL teams as possible. This time we switched it around a little bit and this is the last game."
This fall's tour opened on Oct. 18 at Madison Square Garden as the NHL's New York Rangers played the Nashville Predators.
There were visits to cities with teams in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League, Central Hockey League and American Hockey League.
Today, ugly jerseys run rampant in the NHL, and with honourable mention to every European billboard jersey that comes out every spring with the Spangler Cup, and the horrific striped jerseys that Chicago and Detroit broke out in the early ’90s that featured prominently on our Pro Set hockey cards, here are the Gateway’s picks for worst NHL uniforms.Complete article >>> here.
The majority of Europeans drafted by National Hockey League clubs between 2000 and 2006 didn't make an impact either at the professional or minor-pro level, and those jobs could have been filled by Canadians and Americans, a study conducted by the International Ice Hockey Federation found.Read more >>> here.
The IIHF concluded that 62.5 per cent of the 621 players drafted in the six-year period were either marginal NHL players who were frequent "healthy scratches" or were non-impact players on minor-league teams.
The IIHF said those players should have remained in Europe to develop their skills before coming to North America [...]
Fasel has long complained that NHL clubs are draining European leagues of talent, while the federations have cried foul over losing players to the NHL and minor-pro leagues, such as the American Hockey League and ECHL.
Fasel has long urged NHL clubs to let Europeans develop at home for a longer period before they join NHL organizations.
At the lonely end of the rink, you and me
Oh to join the rush
as the season builds
I hear your voice ‘cross a frozen lake
a voice from the end of a leaf
saying, ‘you won’t die of a thousand fakes
or be beaten by the sweetest of dekes’
Sunday evening, my day job took me to the Phoenix in Toronto to see the Hip meet hockey, with cameras rolling.And so another song gets added to... The List.
We were shooting a feature about how the Tragically Hip have become synonymous with the game of hockey -- so we took Leafs' Andrew Raycroft, Brendan Bell, Jay Harrison and Matt Stajan for an all-access soundcheck visit with the ultimate Canadian band.
Enigmatic frontman Gord Downie, who is typically quite camera shy, became a kid in a candy store at the sight of Andrew Raycroft [...]
Downie made it abundantly clear that he was meeting one of his hockey idols and the look on Raycroft's face said it was mutual admiration.
Raycroft and Downie could have talked all night if not for the matter of the "little show," another sellout, that needed to go on in a matter of an hour.
Hip guitarists Gord Sinclair and Rob Baker joined us for a quick chat with the whole group before we wrapped. Growing up in Kingston, the band members played hockey on any patch of ice they could find, but as they tour they always carry gear and pick up games in every town they can [...]
The band's new album, "World Container," has "The Lonely End of the Rink" as its ever-present hockey song. Here to stay is the bond between the Hip and hockey.
1) (Last Week: 3) Buffalo Sabres (8-0-0, 16 points)Complete rankings >>> here.
Thomas Vanek leads the league in +/-. Chris Drury leads in goals. Maxim Afinogenov leads in points. And Buffalo leads the league in goals by 10(!) after only 8 games.
2) (1) Dallas Stars (7-1-0, 14 points)
Brendan Morrow never struck me as the point-per-game type. That said, he is just entering his prime.
3) (2) Minnesota Wild (7-1-0, 14 points)
Minnesota's stats look exactly like Dallas', except they played more home games and scored one fewer goal. Pierre-Marc Bouchard looks like he's about to have a breakout season with that +5 and a nearly point-per-game rate.
4) (8) Anaheim Ducks (6-0-2, 14 points)
I still don't think the average Anaheim resident could tell you the Ducks two top goalscorers are Kunitz and Perry. I mean, the average Anaheim resident might not know that Kariya isn't there anymore either, but...
5) (5) Atlanta Thrashers (6-1-1, 13 points)
Does Lehtonen count as a surprise? Probably not, but maybe to some of you.
6) (4) San Jose Sharks (6-2-0, 12 points)
Who is Matthew Carle?
7) (6) Edmonton Oilers (5-2-0, 10 points)
Didn't a whole bunch of people say the Oilers D was toast after losing Pronger? They have given up the third-fewest goals in the league. They really have no breakout players, so I'll just put down Petr Sykora.
8) (9) Montreal Canadiens (4-1-2, 10 points)
That they're ranked 8th in these power rankings is a surprise in itself, but surely Chris Higgins deserves a mention.
9) (10) Vancouver Canucks (5-3-1, 11 points)
Of the Canucks first 11 games, only 2 are/were at home. As for the surprise, Naslund gets my vote for proving he still knows how to score. Maybe Bertuzzi was depressing him.
10) (14) Colorado Avalanche (3-3-2, 8 points)
Ian Laperriere, a career -40, leads the team with a +3 rating after 8 games.
In the late 1960s and early 70s, Orr was so famous he didn’t even need a nickname. He was Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year in 1970, unheard of for a hockey player. But where books about DiMaggio are almost as plentiful as his World Series titles, the literature on Orr is lacking.I can trace the origins of my own life-looong love of hockey directly to Bobby Orr. I can still remember the day as a young boy of around 10 years of age passing a TV with a NHL game on and becoming absolutely transfixed by the magic and talent of this kid named Orr who played for Boston. What followed was years of deep devotion to those late 60's early 70's Bruin teams and a permanent addiction to the sport of hockey.
"There are a lot of people who’ve wanted an Orr book for a long time but there’s a really good reason why there wasn’t one," says Stephen Brunt, author of Searching for Bobby Orr. Orr, Brunt contends, doesn’t want books written about him and remains influential enough in hockey and media circles that until now, he’s been able to prevent it from happening [...]
"I think we’re all used to these hockey card portraits of these guys. Think of how managed the images are of these guys. Sidney Crosby, on one hand you’ve been following him since he was 10 years old, on the other hand you don’t know anything about him at all."
Despite a wonky knee that would eventually cut short his career, Orr was the best player on the best team in hockey, a team that won two Stanley Cups in three years, and he was named the NHL’s top defenceman eight years in a row.
But Orr’s fame, which led to magazine covers, endorsements for hair-care products and newspaper stories about his love life, far outstripped even those achievements.
"He comes along at a very significant time, when the league doubles in size, when it has pretensions of big league grandeur for the first time," Brunt says.
"The country is kind of changing, culturally, and everybody sees 1967 as a watershed year for Canada, an awakening of nationalism in this country and he’s the best Canadian athlete of that moment. He also is handsome in kind of a boy next door way, not like Namath, who was the dangerous bad boy.
"Orr’s kind of the counterpart to that, but he was also packaged. (Player agent Alan) Eagleson did things with his image that had never been done with a hockey player before. In the sense that we understood a professional athlete now, Orr’s the first modern athlete in Canada, the first Canadian to become one of those."
Kings forward Sean Avery skated behind the net and appeared to be tripped by a New York Islander on Tuesday. Play continued. In the same game, the Islanders' Brendan Witt leveled Avery after the whistle. Referees missed it.So, how's life off ice for the guy with "the most-hated-man-in-the-NHL" title?
This is life with a bull's-eye, the Kings say.
"It's a difficult job for anyone to go out there with a big target on their back," forward Scott Thornton said.
Avery earned such hands-on, and elbows-on, attention last season with conduct and comments that oozed controversy.
But as of yet, he does not lead the NHL in penalty minutes, and the Kings have avoided the need to write a blanket apology.
Sure, it has been only three games, but it took him only four last season to earn the most-hated-man-in-the-NHL title.
Ottawa Senators head coach Bryan Murray raised some eyebrows during the weekend when he sat his three star forwards during a shootout.Read complete article >>> here.
With Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza on the bench Saturday while visiting the Canadiens, Antoine Vermette and Mike Fisher scored in the shootout to give Ottawa the win. Checker Dean McAmmond would have been the third shooter if needed.
Confused? Don't be.
"It's a different skill," Dallas winger Jussi Jokinen said. "You don't have to be a 40- or 50-goal scorer to be good at shootouts."
The 23-year-old Finn is the NHL's shootout king. Going into last night's game in San Jose, Jokinen had 11 shootout goals in 14 attempts since the new format was added last season - only seven short of his 18 career regulation-time goals.
He's a specialist. Like a left-handed reliever in baseball or a third-down back in football, he's found his niche in hockey.
The film's story will focus on the 1973-74 season when Howe, then 44, returned to pro hockey after two years in retirement and played on the same team as his two sons, Mark and Marty, in the upstart World Hockey Assn. Howe's wife Colleen served as agent-manager for the trio, which led the Houston Aeros to the championship, with the elder Howe named league MVP.Complete article >>> here.
"The thrill of playing with my two sons that first year in Houston could only be surpassed by telling the story on the bigscreen," Howe said.
Kelley will turn his attention to the project following the launch of "Life on Mars" for ABC.
The Baldwins and Kelley worked together previously on "From the Hip," which Kelley penned, and on the 1999 hockey film "Mystery, Alaska," which Kelley co-wrote [...]
Kelley's eponymous shingle currently produces "Boston Legal" for ABC, is in pre-production on "Life on Mars" and has a TV adaptation of Joseph Wambaugh's "Hollywood Station" in development. Ilitch has produced several films, including "Lost in Space."
"Amazing," said Darcy Tucker, who had an excellent view of Sundin's shot in overtime as he sat in the penalty box. "The puck just jumped off his stick. I was out there when he scored his 400th goal and to see his 500th goal in overtime is special for everybody."Congratulations to Mats, one of the classiest players in the whole NHL.
Sundin is revered in the Maple Leafs dressing room and his penchant for coming through in the clutch is a big reason. Sundin leads the National Hockey League in regular-season career overtime goals with 15, and has 36 game-winning goals since the start of the 2000-01 season, which also is an NHL best.
That Sundin's milestone goal also was his third of the night, and shorthanded no less, meant something more to those who wear the blue and white.
"The whole team was rooting for Mats to get his third, but we did not say anything (for fear of bad luck)," Kyle Wellwood said. "He's incredible. I'm sure every fan in the building was elated to be a part of it. He makes such an impact on everyone around him, so it's fitting that he could do that for us."
"I love Hockey because it's the great American pastime. It's a metaphor for all things American... like baseball.In still other Saginaw Spirit hockey news, there's no report on whether "The Steagle" is part of this investigation.
...and there are fights."
WILMINGTON -- Wade Brookbank isn't the type to back down from a fight.So, pay your respects and say goodbye to a "time-honored tradition" that apparently has no place in the "new" NHL.
The 6-foot-4, 225-pound enforcer has literally scrapped his way from the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League all the way to the NHL, and he's hoping his fists can help him land a spot on the Bruins roster this year after signing as a free agent in the offseason.
But Brookbank is battling the toughest foe he's ever faced in his 10-year professional career. It isn't an opposing team's heavyweight, nor the challenge from the latest young buck vying for the same job in camp.
No, Brookbank is fighting against the game itself.
The instigator rule and other recent legislation to reduce fighting in the NHL has put the time-honored tradition of the enforcer in peril. The obstruction crackdown that has opened up the game after the lockout has placed an emphasis on speed and skill. Size and toughness, once highly sought after commodities, are no longer in such high demand.