In 1967, a man by the name of George Gross was tasked with writing about what hockey would look like in the year 2000. Among his predictions for the future, he had referees hovering above the ice – sorry, the ice has been replaced by plastic – and dropping pucks for faceoffs from the sky.
Sure, George Gross was wrong, but I’m pretty sure hockey would be the most popular sport in the world right now if his visions had come to fruition.
So since I’m always looking for a topic for our weekly Bag Skate, I thought I’d give it a try and project what hockey will look like in 2046. I expect everyone to hold me to all of these guesses so be sure to come back to the comments section in 33 years to tell me how great I am. These aren’t necessarily things that will all happen in 2046, but between now and then. Thank you and sorry for this. Read the rest of this entry »
Earlier today Jamie Kellner of @CanesCountry and the Cane’s Country Blog shared the picture above, which shows Jordan Staal wearing a statement-making jersey.
From the blog:
Twelve Carolina Hurricanes players sported a new look at Raleigh Center Ice today when they took the ice in NHLPA jerseys. The jerseys are black or white with an opposite color NHLPA logo and feature a #ThePlayers hashtag front and back. Read the rest of this entry »
One of the best Twitter feeds going these days is that of Sports Illustrated’s Andy Gray. His feed uses the handle “@SI_Vault,” and he has access to all the amazing pictures the magazine (and now website) has taken over the years. Truly a must follow.
Yesterday he led with this tweet, and I was PUMPED:
Oh god that’s a scary photo.
And predictably, he came through in a big way. The following tweets and pictures are what he shared yesterday, and obviously, property of Sports Illustrated. I just provide a little commentary. Read the rest of this entry »
Wednesday September 5th, a day that I will never forget. The day was winding down and I was beginning to tidy up my desk and get ready to head home. As most people who are into social media do, I had my twitter account up and noticed some new tweets in my timeline. One in particular caught my eye, it was retweeted by a former co-worker of mine by the name of Ryan Fabro.
As any red blooded male who has ever seen Paulina Gretzky would do I clicked on the link in anticipation, and while I would not put this in her top 10 photos of all time, I nodded in acknowledgement and closed the link. As I continued tidying up my stuff (my desk can get messy), it hit me: I follow Paulina Gretzky, why wasn’t that tweet in my timeline?? Read the rest of this entry »
It may come as a jaw-dropping shock to some of you sports fans out there, but not all official athlete Twitter accounts are actually updated by athletes.
Having twitter can be good for their brand, and while a player may not care enough to actually use the social media network, he may care about his marketability. So, the solution then, is ghost-tweeters. I ghost for Clark Gillies rarely-used Twitter account (it exists solely for sharing information about his latest charity endeavours), and I know other people involved in social media who man the keys behind other more prominent accounts. It happens.
Knowing this leads to skepticism – am I getting real player opinions, or just propaganda? Right around the time the owners made their initial CBA proposal, there was a marked spike in the amount of “We just want to play, we’re the good guys” tweets from NHLers. The timing would make sense, given that negotiations were just starting, but they felt a little desperate, a little early. They knew negotiations wouldn’t be easy, so it seems unlikely that the pleas would come months before any deadline. Read the rest of this entry »
Matt Read (@mreader24) checks his Twitter on during a game and then cries on the inside when you say cruel things to him. (Okay, not really, this is during the All Star Skills Competition.)
I literally cannot fathom being a professional hockey player: willingly putting ones body in danger, waking up sore every day, getting pummeled by 90 MPH shots (and not screaming, “OUCH! THAT HURT!” every time), plus having to be that competitive and that UP for every game.
My Type B-verging-on-C personality, my fear of pain and injury, and my negative rating on the Scale of Athleticism all lead me to look at pro players on the ice (and especially in the playoffs) and see superhumans.
So, the most surprising thing to come out of being credentialed media and talking to players after games is that most are smaller, thinner, and more soft spoken than I expected. They have ice bags strapped to body parts, black eyes, and butterfly bandages on lacerations. They pause before speaking, not always because they don’t know what to say, but because they’re exhausted.
It’s in this setting that the cape comes off and players become at least a little human to me.
Read the rest of this entry »
Hm....where's the All-Star game this year again?
Well, this should be fun.
The hockey community, as most people know, is a small one. If you’ve played some years of pro hockey, you know a lot of guys on a lot of teams. If you’re someone who’s been through an entire NHL career, you know just about everyone.
Well, Twitter has made it so that the community of fans and media are both quite a bit tighter too (if you haven’t noticed yet, I’m quite the fan of Twitter). Thus, ideas spread fast.
Well, we at Backhand Shelf have a feeling this one might burn across the landscape like uncontained wildfire.
The latest brainchild to be hatched took shape in the sick-and-twisted minds of two Toronto Maple Leafs enthusiasts. From one friend to another, the idea was passed along in an email to Friend of the Blog @felixpotvin (psst, it’s not the goaltender, it’s our colleague from Pension Plan Puppets), which read something like this:
Vote the line-up of Dany Heatley, Marion Hossa, Martin Havlat, Zdeno Chara, Chris Campoli and Ray Emery into this year’s All-Star Game…in Ottawa. Read the rest of this entry »