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Thursday, January 24, 2013


Why do we have so many acronyms?
The title says it all. American Hockey League In person custom index cards tonight. I just found out yesterday that the Hamilton Bulldogs were having a practice, then a community practice with some young hockey players followed by an autograph signing. This was happening at a small rink in Ancaster, where I got some autographs during the Erie Otters training camp. This was on my way home from work so it was perfect. I didn’t have much time to get any cards or wirephotos but did a quick job on some index cards. Apparently the players got dressed at Copps Coliseum and drove to the rink. After the practice, they signed autographs as they were leaving. There weren’t a lot of people around so it was good for me. A big thanks goes to Kellin Enslev, an account executive with the Bulldogs. He was handing out sharpies to the players and giving the kids some autograph sheets. He noticed me trying to figure out who some of the players were. He would tell me who the player that was coming was and their number.So here is what I got tonight.
Pretty good night I'd say. And then I got home in time to see the Leafs lose.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Toronto Maple Leafs Mantra 2013

After the opening game win, the Leafs are on pace to go 41-0-0-0
Anyhow, I digress from what I want to post about today.
Posted above the whiteboard at the far end of the Maple Leafs dressing room is one puzzling slogan.
"Burn the Boats" reads the  mysterious and striking mantra posted at the team's practice facility.
Legend has it that when Cortes landed in Mexico in the 1500s, he ordered his men to burn the ships that had brought them there to remove the possibility of doing anything other than going forward into the unknown
When we burn the boats and declare a point-of-no-return we can finally stop looking back and assess the way forward with clarity.
We want exit strategies and Plan B’s; but for some things in life, the only way out is by pressing further in. When we don’t burn the boats and we leave room for a way back, we also leave room for hesitation, fear, anxiety, self-sabotage, and resistance to creep in.
The mystery behind the message lies with Leafs coach Randy Carlyle.  Carlyle delivered a motivational and seemingly moving speech to the team, weaving a tale into his efforts to illustrate the point.
"He had a story about people crossing the sea to take the treasure," says goalie James Reimer.
. "When they got there they burnt their boats so they either had to take their treasure or die. That's what 'Burn the Boats' means."
Essentially the story and subsequent slogan comes down to one central message.
"We're all in it together," said Reimer. "There's no looking back. There's no turning back. There's no out. We're in it together. We're going to fight for each other. There's no safe zone to go back to and regroup really."
Okay, I guess they should have some kind of motto for their t-shirts.
Surprisingly, a couple of days later I heard the phrase again.
Chip Kelly was being introduced as the new head coach of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagle.
We’re going to find a bunch of like-minded individuals that understand that the game of football is played by everybody, the best team wins,” Kelly said. “We’re going to surround ourselves with the best team. I’m all in. I think it was Cortez that burned the boats. I burned the boats. I’m not going back [to college], so I’m an NFL coach and this is where I want to be. I made the jump and I’m here.”
Really. You’ve got to be kidding me. Twice in one week from two different sports. Maybe it’ll join
giving 110 percent
we’re just taking it one game at a time
there’s no ‘I’ in ‘team’
at the end of the day…
Keeping our focus

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Go On Episode 9-- Things cannot change their innate nature.

A leopard cannot change its spots. This species' success in the wild is in part due to its opportunistic hunting behaviour and its notorious ability for stealth. The leopard consumes virtually any animal that it can hunt down and catch. Let’s say the wild is the Ligue Nord-Americaine de Hockey. Let’s name the panthera pardus  Donald Brashear of the RDL in the LNAH. In 1025 regular season  NHL games, he accumulated 2634 PIM. Now the minor pro LNAH has the unofficial reputation as the world's toughest hockey league; the league averaged 3.2 fights a game during the 2010-2011 season, compared with 0.6 fights in the NHL. The league has a rule that stipulates that all players must either have come from Quebec, or played junior hockey in Quebec.
From Feb 2011

For this incident, he was suspended for eight games(reduced to five)

From Jan 11 2013
Reminds a lot of people of the Moore/Bertuzzi incident. This resulted in a six game suspension.
Little known fact. Brashear's great-uncle Carl Brashear, was the first African-American to be certified as a Master Diver in the U.S. Navy. He was the inspiration for the movie Men of Honor in which he was portrayed by Cuba Gooding Jr.
Another episode of Go On, showing the whereabouts and doings of former “specialists”
When will it end? Probably never or I won’t have any fodder for these posts.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

WHA Enforcer TTM

Gord Gallant played in the World Hockey Association  for the Quebec Nordiques, Minnesota Fighting Saints, and Birmingham Bulls. In 273 regular season games, he accumulated 849 PIM’s. Add 98 PIM’s in 14 playoff games. Let’s say he was a “specialist”
You can check out his stats here.
Here is how his time in Minnesota ended.
Sent these cards out to Mr. Gallant about 25 years ago.
75/76 OPC # 96 RC
76/77 OPC # 4 Penalty Minute Leaders
It appears on the top card, he is listed as Gordie and that’s how he signed. The bottom card lists him as Gord, so it looks like he just signed Gord.  A great reply from a WHA only player.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

IP 1/12/13 Killer and Captain Crunch

Meet Doug Gilmour and Wendel Clark live at the Casino from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 12, 2013. Space is limited to the first 200 people who register.
This ad has been running in the local paper for about a month. I wasn’t sure if I could make it so I just filed it away in my mind. Around 10:45 this morning, I discovered i would be available during this time frame. I looked for a few things to get signed and left around 12:30 for the 5 minute drive to the OLG (Ontario Lottery and Gaming) Casino Brantford. I went inside to see what the setup was going to be. After I entered, the hostess asks me if I’m a hockey fan. I answered in the affirmative and she said I could register at the desk for a meet and greet with Doug Gilmour and Wendel Clark.
I received this pass for Group B at 1:15.  In group A, there were probably 25 – 30 people ahead of me. I got in line and these were the photos they were signing and giving out. Notice the OLG Casino Brantford logo.
Since there weren’t many people there and the line was moving quickly, they were both signing additional items. I brought two wire photos to get signed.
Since this picture was from Doug’s Calgary days, he added his number “39”. The Leafs photo they were giving out, he added his number “93”
After Wendel signed this, he read the byline and remarked that he hadn’t seen this before.
I said hello to both, and  thanked them as I left. Pretty good experience and I was home by 1:25. I probably could have stayed and got some cards signed as the line was pretty short. But why spoil a good thing.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Game On 2013

I get all excited that there is going to be NHL hockey this year and my friends send me this.
I guess this is what I get in response to my Dec 20th post
I wonder what the NHL and the teams will do to show their appreciation to us fans. We’ve probably lost 34 games and I’ve lost my mind. Also I’ve apparently been underfoot and beating the wife in Scrabble most of the time makes her want me to watch the games ( stay out of the way) .
I’ll leave you with this quote which I hope the players don’t share.
My h'allergies you know to these fucking fans has returned.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Field of Dreams

Wade Boggs is part of  a group that has bought The Field of Dreams movie site in Dyersville, Iowa. The plans are to turn it into a $38 million, 24 field youth baseball and softball tournament complex. The site includes 193 acres, mostly cornfields, as well as the two-bedroom house featured in the movie, the baseball field and six other buildings. Now that is really buying some sports memorabilia. This got me to thinking. What piece of sports memorabilia would I buy from a sports movie. Maybe something from The Air Up There. I was an extra in that and also in The Cutting Edge.  Rocky? The Colour of Money? Caddyshack?  For me, though, I’m a hockey guy. It would have to be from the classic Slapshot. Since I wear glasses, a pair of specs worn by one of the Hanson’s would fit the bill nicely.
What would your ultimate piece of sports movie memorabilia be?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Go On, Episode 8

The Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) is a low-level professional ice hockey league based in Huntersville, North Carolina, with teams located in the Southeastern  United States. Dec 28th brawl video below and announced suspensions.

HUNTERSVILLE, NC – Following its review, the SPHL today announced disciplinary action resulting from an incident occurring in Game #99, Mississippi at Huntsville, played on December 28:

Huntsville player Corey Fulton has been suspended four (4) games and fined an undisclosed amount.

Huntsville player Chapen LeBlond has been suspended five (5) games and fined an undisclosed amount.

Huntsville player Matt Smyth has been suspended five (5) games and fined an undisclosed amount.

Huntsville player Bill Baker has been suspended three (3) games and fined an undisclosed amount.

Huntsville head coach Glenn Detulleo has been suspended two (2) games and fined an undisclosed amount under Rule 29, Supplementary Discipline, for failing to control his bench.

Huntsville players Bryant Doerrsam and Ian Boots and trainer Billy Welker were fined for their actions. The Huntsville Havoc organization was also fined pursuant to League rules.

Mississippi player Brandon Kosolofsky has been suspended six (6) games and fined an undisclosed amount.

Mississippi player Anthony Collins has been suspended three (3) games and fined an undisclosed amount.

It’s not a great brawl by any stretch of the imagination. It does evoke memories of the Big Bad Bruins and the Broad Street Bullies.

Now here’s another way to win fans if the fighting doesn’t cut it.

Sabres welcome newborns

 Haley Elli Matesich

Along with a pat on the butt, Buffalo babies born in 2013 will get a spanking new Sabres blanket.
The hockey team and Kaleida Health have teamed up for the “Sabres Newborn Baby Program.” All children born in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital and Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo this year will receive a Sabres-themed blanket and a certificate from team owner Terry Pegula.
“Fandom in Buffalo is something that runs much deeper than in most other places,” said Sabres President Ted Black, who will visit Millard Fillmore this afternoon to kick off the program. “Even from birth, people here know that hockey and the Sabres are a part of life. This program is a way for us to welcome the newest members of our community and hopefully plant the seed of passion that will grow into a lifetime of embracing the game that we all love so deeply here in Buffalo.”
The gold, hooded baby blankets are emblazoned with the Sabres’ logo and “We Live Hockey” on the back. They also have “’13” to signify the year and Kaleida Health’s “Buffalo Baby” logo.
In addition to the blanket, each baby will receive a “Future First-Round Pick” certificate. The certificates feature the Sabres and Kaleida Health logos, space to fill out the baby’s birth information and Pegula’s signature.
“Over 6,000 babies will be born at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital and the Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo in 2013,” said James R. Kaskie, president and CEO of Kaleida Health. “This is a great way to welcome each and every one of them to our team.”

I guess this is somewhat similar to when I was growing up. My father was a Leafs fan and I just picked up the fever. Now it will be interesting to see if any of these 2013 babies do get drafted. That story would almost be as good as the 94/95 Pinnacle Patrick Kane RC.