Monday, 28 February 2011

Things You May Not Know About Eric Lindros

There are a lot of perks of working at The Hockey News. I get to go to games for free and get the best seat in the house; I may be at a dizzying height near the rafters, but I get an amazing view of all the action away from the puck and get to see plays develop better than from any other seat. I get to talk hockey all day and get my name out there in the hockey community. One of my favorite things however, is the archives.

Every issue of The Hockey News ever produced is in the office and looking at the old issues is amazing. The annual Future Watch is coming out soon, ranking the top prospects from every team and we are just starting to work Draft Preview now as well where we look at the hopefuls for this year's draft. Today, I came upon a copy of Draft Watch from 1991, with the cover story being about young phenom Eric Lindros. The story, which came out on June 30, 1991 in volume 44, number 35, listed 88 things you may not know about Lindros and they were quite intriguing. Here are some of my favorites.

10. When he isn't playing well or something isn't working in his game, he's most likely to ask his father, Carl, how to remedy the problem. Now if he only knew the remedy for obsessive, controlling parents.

13. As a youngster, his favorite NHL team was Montreal. Now, he says he doesn't have one. I would most definitely rule out Quebec though.

22. His teammates call him "Lindy." Well, it's better than Erica. Kinda. OK, not really.

25. He is definitely motivated by pride to be the best, but financial rewards are high on his list, too. Hey, at least he's up front about it.

30. The Greyhounds improved from 42 points to 87 points after trading his rights. And the Nordiques/Avalanche went from 52 points (second lowest in the NHL. Only expansion San Jose had fewer) to 104 points (fourth in the NHL) in one year and a Stanley Cup three years later after trading his rights to Philadelphia. Hmm, I sense a pattern.

49. He will float at times...until he's hit, which rarely fails to get him fired up. Said Scott Stevens, "challenge accepted."

69. When he was 16, then Philadelphia Flyer GM Bob Clarke said he was good enough to play on any team in the NHL. When he was 28, then Philadelphia Flyer GM Bob Clarke said get the hell outta Philly. 

71. He has never suffered a major injury. His worst injury has been a shoulder separation. This was written just a bit too soon, don't you think?

86. His inner circle and unofficial advisory council is tight, consisting of his parents and agent. I think he could have used a new inner circle.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

March 7 Issue and Week 5 Work

No written articles in this one, but I did do a lot of editing on it. Here are the articles I edited.

  • pg. 6-Editor's Notebook with Jason Kay: There Will be Blood, Comparing Sidney Crosby to oter stars who have had their careers cut short due to injury.
  • pg.8-THN Inbox: Wayne's no Gordie, One fan's opinion on why Gordie Howe is greater than Wayne Greyzky.
  • pg. 14-Inside Hockey: Trade Deadline Primer, Who are the buyers and who are the sellers at this year's trade deadline.
  • pg. 18-The Star Treatment, A look at Dallas' Brad richards
  • pg. 28-Fossil Fuel, A look at the players over 40 who are enjoying tremendous years.
  • pg. 30-Comfortable in His Own Skin, How Jeff Skinner is handling playing in the NHL. Quotes from Skinner, Erik Cole and Paul Maurice (expect for the last one) were gathered by me after the morning skate on February 3.
  • pg. 31-Picking up his Game, A look at New York Rangers center Brian Boyle.
  • pg. 31-NHL Team Reports: Atlantic Division, A look at each teams' best trade of all time. It is the same idea for all team reports.
  • pg. 32-NHL Team reports: Northeast Division.
  • pg. 33-Bogosian Adds up, A look at Atlanta Thrashers defenseman Zach Bogosian.
  • pg. 33-NHL Team Reports: Southeast Division.
  • pg. 34-All About Daniel, An attempt to write a story about just one of the Sedin twins.
  • pg. 35-Sharp When it Matters, A look at Chicago Blackhawks center Dave Bolland.
  • pg. 35-NHL Team Reports: Central Division.
  • pg. 36-Man Vs. Wild, A look at Minnesota Wild defenseman Brent Burns.
  • pg. 36-NHL Team Reports, Northwest Division.
  • pg. 37-Back to his Old Self, A look at Los Angeles Kings winger Justin Williams.
  • pg. 37-NHL Team Reports: Pacific Division.
  • pg. 42-Beyond the Spotlight: The Overlooked Super Sniper, A look back at the career of the most overlooked of the league's 19 60-goal scorers, Dennis Maruk.
  • pg. 46-Overtime: Padded Madness, Why goalie fights are stupid and a waste of time.
Sunday, February 20
Tuesday, February 22
Wednesday, February 23
Thursday, February 24
Friday, February 25

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Old-Time Hockey, Bar The Door...

Clear the track, its all-out war

Those are the first lines in the Dropkick Murphys' song Time To Go. The song celebrates the experience of going to a Boston Bruins game, as well as the toughness of old-school hockey. Dropkick loves a good party and I'm willing to bet they love a good hockey fight as well. Well, they must have really enjoyed the past week watching hockey as two games, Montreal at Boston on Wednesday and Pittsburgh at Long Island on Friday really were wars that featured a combined 26 goals and 528 PIM. That sounds like two entertaining games and don't get me wrong, the Bruins-Habs game was, but the Isles-Pens game was just an atrocity that Mario Lemieux called a "sideshow."

Like all Original-6 match-ups, game between the Bruins and Habs are always entertaining to watch. They have met 32 times in the playoffs, more than any other two teams in professional sports, with Montreal winning 18 consecutive series between 1946 and 1987. the game in Wednesday featured plenty of emotion that showed just how much of a rivalry this is. This game featured 14 goals, including seven goals in a 6:19 span in the second period. The excitement didn't stop there; this was a fight-filled affair with Tim Thomas and Carey Price continuing the recent trend of goalie scraps with their "fight" at 12:36 of the second period. Seriously, where is Mike Vernon and Patrick Roy, or Ron Hextall when you need them?

Don't get me wrong, I love a good goalie fight, but they are ultimately pointless. They are almost 200 feet away from each other and don't have anything to do with one another, what could they possibly have to fight over? With the Thomas-Price, umm, tickle fight, I think they just felt left out and wanted to join in the fun. As they skated towards each other and even as they were grabbing on to each other, they really didn't want to fight each other. There was only one punch thrown, by Carey Price, and it didn't even hit its target before both went slipping onto the ice. I think giving the two of them fighting majors was generous.

It really was a big game, going into it Montreal was two points behind Boston for the Northeast Division lead and both teams went at it with all the heart and determination they could muster up. With the exception of the goalies (I don't know what the hell happened to them that game, two of the best this season just decided to take a nap I guess) everyone came to play hockey. It was exciting to watch and close the whole game an teams traded goals more than the Sunny gang trade drunken insults.

Hmm...playing hockey. It would have been nice if the Islanders were interested in that at all during their game against the Penguins. All they wanted was revenge. For what? An injury to Rick DiPietro (are they even surprised anymore?) that really was his own stupid fault. Can anybody tell me what he was thinking? He's made of glass, what does he expect to happen when he gets punched in the face?

It was cheap-shots galore during the 9-3 Islanders victory that saw Matt Martin take down Max Talbot from behind, Brooks Orpik hit Michael Gragner from behind into Brent Johnson almost knocking his own goalie out in the process, Trevor Gillies hit Eric Tangradi with an elbow then try to fight the injured player a la Jesse Boulerice, Micheal Haley drop Max Talbot then fly down the ice to take on Brent Johnson (how the refs let that happen I can't figure out), Eric Godard jump off the bench to intercept Haley (for no reason since Johnson was waiting for Haley, its not like he was attacked from behind. Godard also nearly landed a shot on Johnson), Gillies once again trying to get Tangradi to fight after Gillies has been tossed and with Tangradi still injured on the ice, some jackass yelling over Brent Johnson's shoulder at 9:45 of the video (that has nothing to do with anything, he just looks like a moron), Brett Sterling run Kyle Okposo from behind once again right into Johnson, Zenon Konopka punch Talbot when he was already down on the ice.

By the end of the game, not counting goalies, there were nine Islanders and six for the Penguins left who hadn't been ejected. And screw the announcers, the Penguins were just as dirty as the Islanders in this game. They  may not have started it, but they were matching the Islanders blind-side punch for blind-side punch. By my count (though I'm sure I missed some) there were five cheap shots for the Islanders, three for the Penguins. The final result of this "game" was three suspensions and $100,000 worth of fines. Somehow, the Penguins escaped any fines, surprising especially after Islanders GM Garth Snow pointed out no one from the Islanders left the bench to fight (they were fined for not controlling their players. Hey Colin Campbell, explain the Godard situation then). I love fighting, I really do, but this game was just bullshit. It wasn't old-time hockey, it was a bunch of muggings. They were already winning by a large margin (which would not have happened if Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were healthy, so enjoy the win, you're still one of the worst teams in the league and have been for years), I don't know what they were trying to accomplish.

This game only strengthens my belief that players such as Eric Godard, Zenon Konopka, and Trevor Gillies (seriously dude, that mustache makes you look like a pedophile) should not be in the game. They, along with Jody Shelley, Derek Boogaard, Colton Orr and others have no skill whatsoever, they just make a mockery of this great game. At least Steve Downey, Steve Ott, Brandon Prust, Scott Hartnell, hell, even Sean Avery are capable of playing a shift or two of actual hockey when they need to. Something has to be done. Hopefully stiff fines and suspensions will deter teams from employing players of that caliber. But since the discipline system is just as messed up as that Isles-Pens game, I doubt that will happen anytime soon.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Not Much More to Add. Will Have a Lot in The Next Issue Though

And of course there's this video about Cam Ward. I had nothing to do with it, but see the lighter voice recorder to the right of the screen when interviewing Paul Maurice? That's me! I'm waiting to ask his a few questions on rookie sensation Jeff Skinner.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

What I've Done So Far

February 8 is a day the hockey world will remember. They may not notice now, but the impact of today will be felt later on. The first issue of The Hockey News that I worked on is out, here's what I worked on. For the most part, I am editing for basic grammar and fact checking, so if you don't see my name at the bottom of the article, which is just about all of them so far, I edited it.

  • wrote 'A' Plus: The Recent AHL Hall of Fame Class, pg. 10
  • edited Under the Radar, Over the Moon: NHL All-Under-Rated Team, pg. 13
  • edited Refresh: How to rebuild three struggling teams (TOR, CAL, OTT), pg. 18
  • edited Trade Deadline Rewind, pg. 26
  • edited Atlantic Division Team Reports: Trade buzz, pg. 29
  • wrote Promise Cut Short: Don Gallinger stat chart, pg. 41
Here are the articles I worked on for the website. I will start posting these everyday so you can keep up with what I'm doing.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The Final Eight

The Maple Leaf is a massive, hulking, well...tree. He is the biggest Guardian and an immovable object which is great provided the bad guy walks right by him. He can control plant life which is kind of useless unless he knows where those plants from Jumanji are. "Always quick with a joke or a sarcastic barb, the Maple Leaf often disarms his opponents by bringing levity to tense situations." Fantastic news if The Wet Bandits happen to be running by. "He fires sticky 'sap' bombs from his fingertips that trap his opponents like an insect in amber," so I guess in 65 million years someone will be able to use his DNA to bring back us back after we go extinct.  

The Senator has his values kinda backwards. Apparently he didn't get the memo that slavery is bad and sold himself into it. His bravery in being a slave/gladiator allowed him to become Russel Crowe. He's over 2000 years old. You know how most people suck at driving when they're 70? Imagine this guy. Yikes.

A guy who loves the Miami nightlife, The Panther is yet another hero who doesn't take his job too seriously. Half man and half panther (who knew?), he can claw through any six inch steel walls. Now that the bad guys know that, they just have to make their fortresses 7 inches think and they're all set. I did learn something new though, apparently a shadow has elements. Go figure.

In trying to make this guy as diverse as possible, they forgot to give him a power. Seriously, this guy is a cop and that's about it. Other than some pretty cool weaponry, he's got nothing.

Relaxed and young, The Duck is a "rebel with a trust fund." You know those kids who grow up in a nice neighborhood with proper parents and a great education who try and act all gangster? That's this guy. His suit allows his to breathe underwater for a small amount of time and he can fly in short bursts. Or, you know, be a duck. He has a bunch of specialized surfboards and boots that serve the same purpose, they both allow him to glide quickly across the surface of the water. Can't he just pick one?

I got nothing. The Blue is actually pretty awesome.

The Islander is one of the toughest Guardians. I would be too if I had a metal shark suit on and chainmail suspenders, whatever the hell that is. He's kind of a shitty sailor in that what seaman enjoys being on land more? He can control ocean currents and, yet again, can control the weather. Come on, this is getting ridiculous now. They need to come up with new ideas, that's the fifth hero already that can control the weather.

The Thrasher doesn't have much going for him other than the fact he can fly, the term 'hand cannons' doesn't give him much credibility either. He can fly, like, really really fast. He has titanium armor and can fire mini cruise missiles which is pretty cool. But those hand cannons...