Picture credit to Naz Brown
I recently received a great message from Jason Cotsmire, a Long Island, NY native who now lives in Bangkok, Thailand, about a rather interesting sighting at his local arena these days: Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya.
It turns out that while other NHL players are trying to stay sharp by playing in a variety of European Leagues, Oduya wanted to take a little vacation, but still keep his skills sharp – Thailand was his solution. Here’s how Oduya’s participation there came to pass, from Cotsmire:
It was totally out of the blue and something I never would have believed, but I got it directly from his best buddy who joined him on the trip. Apparently they were celebrating his buddy’s birthday when the subject of the lockout came up and Johnny mentioned that if it kept on going, he was heading to Thailand for a vacation. [name redacted] told him he should check out if there was hockey there so he could still get some skates in and stay in shape…slightly kidding. Johnny picked up his iPhone did a quick search and came upon www.flyingfarangs.com. Not only was there hockey here but he was going to be here during the dates of our annual tournament.
The tournament Cotsmire is referring to is The Land of Smiles ice hockey classic, “an annual mens league competition held in Bangkok to help raise money for hockey in Thailand and slum kids/communities in Bangkok through The Mercy Center.” Read the rest of this entry »
A good number of NHL players aren’t wasting any time in picking a European team to go play for, and find themselves getting settled into their new cities just days after the old CBA expired.
Over the course of the winter, we’ll be following the more interesting stories that our NHL boys are involved in (as well as doing a number of features to keep this from being a lockout blog – old goal analysis, rec league tips, a simulation season, player reviews and much more), so let’s establish a starting point: where are guys going to play?
The excellent hockey site “Elite Prospects” is great for tracking guys, and was largely the source for this. Some are still in the “rumour” stage (if you go to the site, you can see which are confirmed and which are still in the works), but this is likely where you’ll see guys going. Read the rest of this entry »
Up until the NHL’s Gary Bettman era, pro sports didn’t deal with a whole ton of work stoppages. It was somewhat rare to be locked out by one of the big four sports leagues. But, since he came around….yikes.
The NHL has missed more games than any other league over the past two decades, and is on track to miss more. That’s meant that a good number of players were around for two lockouts; heading into the third of Bettman’s tenur, there are a total of 14 who will have been a part of all three. Read the rest of this entry »
The news is surprising and unsurprising all in the same breath: today the Colorado Avalanche announced that Gabriel Landeskog – the guy who was drafted 14 months ago, the guy who was born in 1992, the guy who can’t drink in Denver for another 14 months – will be given the “C” as captain of the Colorado Avalanche.
Landeskog getting the “C” this early is only surprising given that teams tend to be blinded by the whole age thing, and refuse to think outside the box. Beyond that, Landeskog is the perfect selection: he’s hard-working, talented, a guy they intend to be the face of the franchise for many years to come, and yes, it has to be said – he does things the “right way.”
People often misinterpret what a captain means to a professional hockey team. I think they picture the guy with the “C” giving some speech at intermission, or calling out a player who’s not giving it their all. It’s the Mark Messier fallacy – we’ve built the perception of the position into something it really isn’t. Read the rest of this entry »
One of the fun things the off-season allows a blogger like myself to do is explore the game’s history a little bit more, given that the dog days of summer provide us with little-to-no real hockey news.
Today’s exploratory mission started following a conversation between @NHLHistoryGirl and @Sean_Leahy about the following baseball card:
Wait, what? Read the rest of this entry »
Says "81" (the year) on the other side, has Dad's "14" below the Isles logo, pic of the Cup on other side.
The picture at the top of this post is of the Stanley Cup ring my Dad won in 1980-1981 as a part of the New York Islanders. It was their second Cup victory in the midst of their dynasty – each year they won, a diamond was added to the next ring (my brother was given the first one, meaning mine has more diamonds. Yesssss).
Something not a lot of people know – and I’ll be honest, I have no clue if teams still do this today or not – is that the wives were also given a piece of jewelry each time the Islanders won the Cup. Pretty classy move by the team there.
I had known this, but hadn’t actually seen my mom’s collection before, so when I went home this past week I asked her to pull the stuff out. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s always cool when a talented player leaves Columbus and makes the NHL.
…Okay, that wasn’t very fair, but I’m making a point here: when high quality players suit up for small-market teams, we don’t get to see a whole lot of them. It’s the same with guys like Eric Staal in Carolina, or even John Tavares on my New York Islanders – their games aren’t often nationally televised, so we don’t get to see much of their actual game play.
With Rick Nash coming to the Rangers, most of who used to see him a couple times a year are about to walk into some level of over-exposure, so, let’s get to know the guy – first, his top-10 NHL goals (make sure you stick around for number one and see if the goal call rings a bell), followed by an interview that explains why he wears #61, his style of play, and more.
Read the rest of this entry »