Monday, September 05, 2011

Beat writer blog rolls updated

Labor Day marks the unofficial start of the hockey season. Major junior starts preseason. NHL players are start trickling into their designated cities to be ready for camp. And I update the WHL and NHL blog rolls. Lots of Twitter handles added. As always, if you have a blog or Twitter to add, please email it to: hockeyramablog AT gmail DOT com.

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sponsor me for the RMHC Hockey Challenge

I'm proud to be participating in the Hockey Challenge again this year. Now in its 12th year, the Hockey Challenge benefits Ronald McDonald House, which provides a “home-away-from-home” for children and their families during medical treatment. Proceeds from the 2010 event helped the Seattle house provide accommodations for over 800 families last year. I hope you can help me help this great charity.

Me and fellow Amazonians have fielded a rag-tag group of hockey players for a charity game. It takes place Sunday, February 27th at 2:30pm, followed by the Seattle Thunderbirds game at 5:05pm. The lucky arena is the ShoWare Center in Kent (625 W James St). The more sponsors I have, the faster I skate. And at this age, I need a lot of sponsors. Here's how you can help:

Be my skating coach. Please sponsor me by making a tax-deductible donation directly to Ronald McDonald House Charities. Donations for the Seattle house can be made online here. Choose "Hockey Challenge" from the drop down menu under Program Area and write "" in the Comments box. Very important. Here's why:

Double down. I will match any direct donations. Again, be sure to include my name in the Comments box so RMHC can add up my bill. My goal is to have to cap this next year lest you all put my in the poor house, albeit for a good cause.

Score a hat trick. Does your employer match funds? (I'm talking to you, Microsofties!) Be sure your boss knows you're a philanthropist so your donation can go three times as far.

See ya at the game. Your ticket to the T-Birds game that night also gets you into the charity games beforehand. (My team is on the ice at 2:30pm.) Better than that, $4 from each ticket you buy will be donated to RMHC. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online here. Enter “RMHC” in the promo code box when buying your tickets.

What? You say you're not a hockey fan. Or you are but 2000 miles is just too far to travel for a game. Gotcha. May I modestly suggest buying a virtual ticket to the game? Throw those 25 bones directly at RMHC. Score a hat trick and magically turn that into $75.

So that's my spiel. I sincerely hope you can join me in raising money for Ronald McDonald House. And a huge thank you to those who have donated in the past, present and future.

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Friday, December 31, 2010

Goal of the Year

It's that time of year. Best lists. Fail lists. Looking back on the year that was.

Puck Daddy recently published its Top 10 Greatest Hockey Goals of 2010. Have to say I agree for the most part. But there was one omission, which would be my call for Goal of the Year:

Yes, it's yet another lacrosse-style hockey goal but I have to say this is the most impressive I've seen. Everyone other version has the shooter set up alone behind the net before pulling it off (or in a shootout attempt like that 9 yr old in Boston). All the time in the world. Here Finnish junior Markus Granlund shed a check and then beat the poke of another guy just before scooping the puck up and depositing it top corner.


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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mottau Joins Islanders and Elite Eight

Hobey Baker winner cum NHL journeyman Mike Mottau completes the New York area trifecta today by signing with a two-year, $1.6M contract with the Islanders. That got me thinking. Who else has played for the Rangers, Devils and Islanders?

It must be early in the morning, because I got as far as Vladimir Malakhov before my brain froze. But thanks to HockeyDB and, I've filled in the gaps. Here are the eight players who've donned (or will don in Mottau's case) all three sweaters:

Pat Conacher
Sergei Nemchinov

Joel Bouchard
Vladimir Malakhov
Mike Mottau

Mike Dunham
John Vanbiesbrouck
Kevin Weekes

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Intent to Blow

If you're a fan of The Onion and the NHL, you'll love Intent to Blow. While it possibly hit a bit too close to home, as all good humor does, I quite enjoyed today's piece on Rangers fans waiving their team.

H/T to Bourne's Blog.

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Beat writer blog rolls updated

As another season descends, I took some time to update the NHL and WHL blog rolls. I've also added the writer's Twitter handle where I know it. If you have a blog or Twitter to add, please email it to: hockeyramablog AT gmail DOT com.

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Sunday, June 06, 2010

Did I hear you right?

I can tell you one thing — we are certainly not going to overpay for free agents. If we can improve with a signing that makes sense, we’ll look into it, but we want to give our guys the first shot.

- Rangers GM Glen Sather

Missing the playoffs by one point has apparently caused Sather to completely re-evaluate his management strategy. Pardon my skepticism.

In an interview with NY Post's Larry Brooks, the Blueshirts GM speaks about why his team missed the playoffs (injuries to Marian Gaborik, Ryan Callahan and Sean Avery) and how he plans to improve the team this summer (let the kids play).

While he says all the right things about next season, you have to wonder if Sather realizes there's a salary cap. As Brooks points out, the GM has around $12 million of cap space to fill nine roster spots, including resigning Marc Staal and Dan Girardi. Hamstringed by overpaying for free agents in the past, the Rangers may be forced into rostering their own prospects as the most viable option available.

But can Sather really stop himself from throwing money at another Wade Redden or Donald Brashear? I guess we'll know on July 1.


Thursday, April 01, 2010

Another Night, Another 5 And A Game For Boarding

Remember the good ol' days? When a player knew a hit was coming and would be ready for it. (And if we're lucky, smear the guy who intended to smear him.) When the last thing he would do is stand two feet away from the glass and turn his back. When the most feared check was the Scott Stevens-style demolition delivered open ice.

The new rule is intended to protect the players from head shots not stupidity, and definitely not from boarding. There's already a rule for that:
42.1 Boarding – A boarding penalty shall be imposed on any player or goalkeeper who checks an opponent in such a manner that causes the opponent to be thrown violently in the boards. The severity of the penalty, based upon the degree of violence of the impact with the boards, shall be at the discretion of the Referee.

There is an enormous amount of judgment involved in the application of this rule by the Referees. The onus is on the player (or goalkeeper) applying the check to ensure his opponent is not in a vulnerable position and if so, he must avoid the contact. However, there is also a responsibility on the player with the puck to avoid placing himself in a dangerous and vulnerable position. This balance must be considered by the Referees when applying this rule.
There's a sad trend starting of guys kissing the dashers in order to draw penalties. I'm not just talking about the checks that Ryan Kesler and Matt Lashoff recently got the boot for. (Though I think their marks, particularly Derek Morris, did little to prepare for the hit.)

I'm taking about the 'soccer-fication' of hockey. In the recent Rangers victory over the Islanders, Brandon Prust got two after giving an innocuous bump to John Tavares, who was facing the boards. Prust deliberately did not check Tavares in the numbers. It's a hockey play we see all night long, and only becomes a penalty if Tavares crumples. And guess what? Yep, Tavares walks away from the "hit" (sorry, no video) and the already short-handed Rangers go two men down.

Calling the result is not a new trend for referees. How many slashings have we seen that weren't called because the player's stick stayed in one piece? But certainly no player skates with a half-broken twig in hopes of drawing a call.

It's amazing how many players are willing to break their body because they think the post-lockout rules will protect them. In fact, they were much safer when it was legal to hook and hold a guy into the boards. If players don't take some responsibility for their own safety, they're going to drive hitting out of the game along with the clutch-n-grab.

End rant. Play on, boys, and keep your heads up. Please.