Archive for the ‘NHL Humour’ category

Pro NHL Conduct Tips

November 18th, 2010

Already in this young NHL season, we’ve seen some pretty questionable conduct across the league. Whether it’s players, teams, journalists (ha ha, yeah, imagine that!) or league officials, it seems like at one point or another, people have forgotten how to conduct themselves.

Two of the NHL's "rockstars" Colin Campbell and New York Islanders GM Garth Snow.

I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination (I mean, anyone who “drunk-tweets” with as much regularity as me isn’t exactly perfect…), but since I consider myself classy, I think it’s semi-appropriate to establish several pro NHL conduct tips. So here we go:

  • If fan expectations ever seem too unreasonable, such as challenging for the playoffs or generally not being the laughing stock of the league, it’s important to know you can reset such expectations by registering two shots on goal in three shooting attempts during a shootout or by beating up a fan for no real reason.
  • If a well-known and respected writer fairly criticizes your team and it’s direction, pull all their official credentials. Not only will this teach the writer not to disagree with you in the future, but by cutting off this one person’s access, no one will ever know — much less discuss — if your team is struggling or making bad decisions anymore! Brilliant!
  • If a slightly younger NHL player doesn’t respect you enough, voice your opinion to anyone with a microphone who’s willing to listen. Since you are a grown man and all, know that the fatal “Sticks and stones will break my bones” rhyme probably wasn’t ever true anyways.
  • Try not to throw your own teammate under the bus through the media, even though he totally deserves it. Just continue to let other teams make jerkoff motions to him. If done correctly, this will eventually teach him his lesson…
  • In order to ensure your confidential emails don’t become subject of national headlines and embarrassment, it’s suggested you capitalize your “I’s” as well as start all sentences with capital letters. Also, it’s encouraged that you express full thoughts with complete sentences that actually make sense. Alternatively, you could avoid tarnishing your already questionable reputation by not sending absurdly stupid emails in the first place. Just a thought though.

Stay classy, poorly conducted NHL pro’s.

Things NHL.com stats didn’t tell me

November 15th, 2010

Sometimes when I get bored I look up stats of NHL stars or young up-and-comers to see how they progressed through their minor league careers and into the NHL. In some cases NHL.com has stats going as far back as Bantam and Midget for some players. For example, take a look at Taylor Hall’s minor hockey stats:

Taylor Hall's minor league stats. How hilarious is that top year in Kingston? 85 points in 29 games? Bahaha!

I find it amusing to see how dominant players like this were in very good AA and AAA leagues, prior to hitting Juniors. And that’s when it hit me. Looking at stats like this, it doesn’t give you the full picture of a player. It doesn’t tell the whole story. It’s almost like there’s a need for advanced information… or better yet, advanced stats!!! (Dun-dun-dunnnn).

And thus, here’s some examples of things NHL.com stats didn’t tell me:

  • Nazem Kadri – As you would expect, Kadri’s stats are impressive. While it’s hard to be critical of a guy who regularly scores more points than games played, I’m not seeing any numerical figures for how many times Kadri will say he believes he’s ready for the NHL after no visible change in attitude, demeanor or play.
  • Taylor Hall – Looking at Hall’s stats (see the image above), you’ll see this kid is a star. He’s been a star at every level he’s ever played at. What the stats don’t say is how good of an impersonator he is. Taylor’s stats this season show a damn good Shawn Horcoff impression, but I’m ready to see Hall play himself.
  • Garth Snow – Everything about Snow’s stats reveal he’s an independent thinker who comes to conclusions and decisions on his own. However, the stats don’t say that the Islanders are being run any differently with him “managing the club” then before he was part of the organization…
  • Drew Doughty – I think Doughty’s stats are great, but to be honest, I can’t be certain. Every time I try to view his stats, this annoying pop up comes on my screen and says “You are limited to 2 views of this player per year because of local blackout restrictions.”
  • Brett Sutter – The weirdest thing happened when I looked at Brett Sutter’s stats. I actually thought GP stood for “glasses purchased,” A for “assaultings,” P for “pints” and PIM for “punching incidents (while) messed up.”
  • Marc Savard – According to his stats, Marc Savard has been a point-per-game player at virtually every level he’s ever played at. Unfortunately, there appears to be no evidence that he was ever “not a pussy.” **
    ** Quote from the NHL’s Wheel of Justice guy.
  • Andrei Markov – OK. I looked pretty hard in Markov’s stats for any kind of injury warnings, but I didn’t find anything beyond “skates very well for a guy who’s right knee is made of glass and silly putty.”
  • Gregory Campbell – While stats tell me Campbell is a secondary/checking scorer who takes the odd penalty here and there, there was no count on how many times his father complained and sent nasty emails about minor stick infractions on Greg’s behalf.

And there you have it! Perhaps there is a need for advanced stats in hockey. Hmmmm. Even after I just finished saying otherwise. Damn me!

Stay classy, advanced hockey stats.

P.S – To read a serious blog I wrote earlier today (I’m on a tear, I know), check out “Long-Term Faith” on The Score. It’s an article about locking up core players far earlier than teams want to and the differences between teams like the Blackhawks and Penguins, and the Vancouver Canucks. It’s probably the best thing you’ll read today. Well, maybe. Thanks!

How to tell if your favourite team is struggling

October 26th, 2010

So maybe your favourite hockey team is having a hard time so far this season. It’s important not to jump to conclusions or overreact too early in the young 2010-11 season. That’s why I’ve posted this article today and not last week.

But the thing is, unless you are a Senators fan, it’s not always easy to tell if your team is struggling. In fact, it is possible not to know or recognize the signs. To help confused fans, here are several ways to tell if your favourite hockey team is struggling:

  • After selling out 409 consecutive hockey games, the arena’s promotions team comes up with a 3D effect to make fans feel like players are “popping out from benches and grabbing them.”
    Note: this promotion comes with a free seat upgrade to front row too.
  • The General Manager is quoted stating the Head Coach’s job is safe, but was later heard muttering “If only I could find a way to get the Coach’s sweet corner office view.”
  • Clarke MacArthur jerseys enjoy a 200% sales spike in October, but 205% of those jerseys would later be returned in November.
  • The arena marketing department has a new intermission game called “Find an offensive play in Jacques Martin’s hockey system and win $1 Million, plus a coaching job with the Canadiens.”
  • The back-up goalie continues to struggle forcing teams like the Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins to overplay number one goalies Robin Lehner and Brent Johnson, respectively.
  • Referee’s won’t call goaltender inference penalties on opposing teams because Scott Clemmensen is not an NHL goalie and therefore not eligible. (Courtesy of @warwalker on Twitter)
  • The new team motto resembles something like “The uglier twin is the captain, but the better looking one is scoring more.”
  • The General Manager was finally able to find more than 15 skaters actually willing to play for the New Jersey Devils, but the Coach still hasn’t figured out how to convince the team’s best player to dress every night.
  • The General Manager claims he’s recently received two solid trade offers, despite only having five more wins than he had in June – a time when he couldn’t give away his top player.
  • Ticket sales continue to drop despite filming live Grey’s Anatomy scenes on the ice with paramedics and fainting goalie plot lines.

Stay classy, struggling NHL teams.

Other NHL gestures

October 15th, 2010


Image from Puck Daddy

A lot has been made of James Wisniewski’s amusing gesture to Sean Avery during Monday’s Rangers-Islanders game. Some have dubbed Wisniewski a “jerk-off” while others are referring to the incident as “fellatio-gate” (stick tap to Puck Daddy for that one).

Personally, I think the whole thing has been blown out of proportion. It’s just a silly thing that was done in the heat of the moment. Even Wisniewski regrets doing it. Besides, life can be a slippery slope sometimes – we all make mistakes.

But here’s the thing many fans don’t know: these kinds of gestures are very prevalent throughout the NHL. You may not have noticed them before, but after reading this article you’ll start noticing gestures everywhere.

Here are a few of the more common NHL gestures:

5 Plus 5
Explanation: Spread each of your five fingers out on both of your hands as if you are showing the number 10. You know, 10 as in two-thirds of the average New Jersey Devils line up.

Hip-n-Laugh
Explanation: Place both hands firmly around your hips and chuckle like some evil villain from the first Die Hard movie. What are you laughing at? The very prospect that the Phoenix Coyotes might actually be sold some time soon.

Shackles
Explanation: Fully extend and hold both of your arms as if they are tied and bound together. You’ll find this aptly describes Ilya Kovalchuk’s 15-year sentence in Jersey.

Oh-Oh
Explanation: With your left hand, press your middle finger and thumb together to make a zero. Now show this gesture to the Calgary Flames CEO Ken King and tell him it represents the impact of his number one line. He’ll know the line you are referring to. The one featuring two amazing UFA signings in Olli Jokinen and Alex Tanguay this past summer.

Can’t See You
Explanation: Place your hands over your eyes, covering them completely. Then make an arbitrary decision based on what you didn’t just see. This is exactly how the NHL’s chief disciplinarian Colin Campbell makes his suspension rulings.

Pure Confusion
Explanation: Stand still and slightly tilt your head to the left. Let your body become totally motionless. Then act completely confused at anything and everything. This is known around the NHL as “Dion Phaneuf interview mode.”

The Wave
Explanation: Raise your right arm until your elbow reaches the height of your chin. Proceed move your right arm left to right in a swaying motion. Dominic Moore uses this gesture to his teammates every trade deadline after he’s traded for a second round draft pick.

The Gun
Explanation: Fully extend your right arm and point only your index finger. Close the rest of your fingers into your fist, raise your thumb and turn your arm until your thumb is pointing upwards. You will need to perfect this gesture by next week when it’s time to fire both of the Sutter brothers in Calgary.

Stay classy, common NHL gestures.

Making sure Ondrej Pavelec is OK

October 12th, 2010

With all the concern around NHL players who’ve recently sustained serious concussions, players like Marc Savard and Ian Laperriere, it’s important the Atlanta Thrashers take their time with goalie Ondrej Pavelec.

Pavelec suffered a fainting spell during the Thrashers Friday night game against the Washington Capitals. As a result of fainting, Pavelec sustained a concussion too. Pavelec has since been released from the hospital, but he hasn’t been cleared to return to the ice.

I have no doubt the Thrashers will do the right thing and ensure Pavelec is 100% healthy before letting him play again. The Thrashers can’t be cautious enough, especially since no one fully understands the effects of brain injuries.

I’m not a doctor or anything, but I think there are several quick ways we can determine if Pavelec’s concussion is still troubling him.

Critical Thinking
Ask Pavelec to watch the TV show Lost. If the ending doesn’t make sense to him, he’s fine. If he claims the show makes sense, put him on the long term injury list and never let him play hockey again.

Spatial Reasoning
Ask Pavelec how many hockey players should dress for each NHL game. If his answer is closer to 18 than Lou Lamoriello’s answer of 15, we’ll know he’s well enough to manage the New Jersey Devils. If Pavelec’s answer is closer than Lamoriello’s, the Devils might want to make sure Lou hasn’t suffered any head injuries since… last year’s trade deadline.

Reactions
Give Pavelec a mild shove while standing up. If he does not respond with an oral sex gesture, everything is fine. If that is his response, he may need to seek further help and have a conversation with a man by the name of “Colon.”

Problem Solving
Ask Pavelec what Anaheim Ducks statistic is higher between penalty minutes and shots against. There is no right answer here, but if he says anything to the extent of “they’re screwed,” chances are he’s well on his way to recovery and could act as an advisor to Ducks GM Bob Murray.

Cognitive Skills
Ask Pavelec to list, in sequential order, the steps required to mail letters and important documents. Assuming he answers correctly, inform him that he is capable of managing the Chicago Blackhawks and the Florida Panthers.

Stay classy, Ondrej Pavelec. In all seriousness, best of luck with the recovery.

The Vancouver Canucks. Wait, who???

October 4th, 2010

Recently I was asked to write an article about the Vancouver Canucks. I figured “why not,” I’m always up for a challenge. Trouble is, I really didn’t (and still don’t) know much about the Canucks, beyond the fact they are easily Canada’s best shot at a Stanley Cup.

Obviously that doesn’t say much since everyone knows Canada’s next best hockey team might not make the playoffs. Despite my embarrassingly poor knowledge of the Canucks, I’m reasonably comfortable stating the Canucks are the best team in the Western Conference with identical twins.

Image of the Vancouver Canucks

I’m a bit of an optimist (well not really, but still), so maybe this will be one of those “fun” posts where I do research and learn something new about the team. OK, I’m totally in for doing a Canucks article. I’ve convinced myself! *Begins research*

Researching and learning about Vancouver’s hockey team started out well, too. For example, I just read the team cut Brendan Morrison from his pro tryout. Instantly, I’ve learned the difference between the Canucks and the Calgary Flames. But that was the only “easy” information to learn. I started reading more about the on-ice tendencies of all Canucks players and got really confused. The article described how hockey goalies often dive and flop around on the ice. I found this weird and confusing because I didn’t think Alex Burrows was a goalie. What the hell???

Then I discovered there’s a small controversy over who the new team captain will be. I even talked to several Canucks fans about the issue. It seems the consensus choice is either Ryan Kesler or Henrik Sedin. Both seem like great choices to me, especially since neither of them will require a bilingual stepping stool in order to jump over the boards for each shift.

Throughout my research, it was clear the Vancouver Canucks are considered a top contending team for this year’s Stanley Cup. No one has declared this an “all or nothing” season (although typically that’s something you do to justify signing a checking center to a $7.5 Million contract, or something like that…), but this year probably stands as the year the Canucks Stanley Cup window begins to close. I’m told this window will shut far quicker since it doesn’t have to close over top of Shane O’Brien and Kyle Wellwood. Wellwood is apparently going to the KHL. O’Brien, well, I’m guessing he’ll just hibernate over the winter months after being placed on waviers.

Perhaps the biggest reason many see this year as Vancouver’s chance to win the Stanley Cup is because the arch-rival Chicago Blackhawks lost some of their depth and skilled players during the off-season. Of course, Dustin Byfuglien’s trade to the Eastern Conference means Roberto Luongo will only have to worry about his own teammates trying to kill him.

It also means Luongo has one less person to blame during the four or five times he fakes an injury each game…

After doing all this research, I’ve concluded this will be an interesting year for the Vancouver Canucks. The pressure is on to win, but the players and management should be used to that since Canucks fans have expected a Stanley Cup win for the better part of the last decade. Even if they don’t win, the Canucks can take comfort knowing they still have their first round pick in 2011′s Entry Draft.

Stay classy, Vancouver Canucks.

Things to consider when picking a new team captain

September 29th, 2010

On Wednesday morning, the Montreal Canadiens officially announced Brian Gionta as their new team captain. It’s a great selection too, even though it took the Canadiens way too long to figure it out and announce it. I think the long awaited announcement took longer than most of their Centennial pre-game ceremonies last year… ouch.

Brian Gionta - Montreal Canadiens newest captain

Is it Captain... or "Chaptain?"

Anyways, choosing a team captain for a storied franchise can’t be easy. There’s literally hundreds of thoughts and factors that go into such an important decision. A good friend of mine, who is very connected with the Canadiens, recently sent me some interesting criteria the Habs had for picking their new captain. With today’s news, I figured many fans would be interested to see how Gionta ended up with the “C.”

Consider: Is the player American?
Reason: The last Habs captain who was American played in the NHL until he was 100.

Consider: Is the player 25 or younger?
Reason: Historically, the last two Stanley Cup winning teams have had very young captains.

Consider: Is the player a goalie?
Reason: Fans will forever wonder if the “C” on the face mask stands for “Canadiens” or “Captain.”

Consider: Can the player fight?
Reason: It’s important that the captain be able to occasionally defend teammates on the ice or in dark alleyways.

Consider: Does the player have a strong sense of humour?
Reason: He’ll need to know when and when not to laugh during Carey Price interviews.

Consider: Does this player have any Stanley Cup experience?
Reason: We’re not picking captains for the Toronto Maple Leafs…

Consider: Is this player’s name easy to spell?
Reason: Spelling C-A-M-A-L-L-E-R-I or P-L-E-K-A-N-I-C-H-X is a pain in the ass.

Consider: Is this player photogenic?
Reason: Former Canadiens captain, Saku Koivu, didn’t always have his eyes open in some pictures.

Consider: Can this player speak French?
Reason: He needs to be able to hold conversations with media and fans like “Je suis d’accord, nous aurions dû garder Halak.”
(Translation: “I agree, we should have kept Halak.”)

There you have it! That’s how Brian Gionta ended up as the Montreal Canadiens captain. Please don’t hate me, Habs fans.

Stay classy, NHL team captains.

Leaving notes for players at training camp

September 24th, 2010

From time to time, coaches and management will leave players notes. It’s a more personal touch than sending emails or texts… or tweets depending on which goalie you recently signed. Sometimes notes are placed on doors and walls, and other times more private messages are left in individual locker stalls.

I’ve noticed a bit of a trend in this year’s preseason: teams are leaving notes in common areas for everyone to see. And sometimes they aren’t pretty! Earlier this morning, I was able to obtain several notes that were left on team fridges! Scroll down to see them.

Here is a note left to several veteran Ottawa Senators like Ryan Shannon, Filip Kuba and Daniel Alfredsson:

A funny note for Ryan Shannon, Filip Kuba, Daniel Alfredsson and other Ottawa Senators on Stayclassy.net

Below is a note directed at a few of the Toronto Maple Leaf hopefuls including Nazem Kadri, Jesse Blacker and Tomas Kaberle:

A funny note for Nazem Kadri, Jesse Blacker, Tomas Kaberle and other Toronto Maple Leafs on Stayclassy.net

Of course there would be a message for Kyle Wellwood when the word fridge is in discussion!

A funny note for Kyle Wellwood on Stayclassy.net

Finally, the Edmonton Oilers also left notes for a few of their young stars like Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi:

A funny note for Jordan Eberle, Magnus Paajarvi and other Edmonton Oilers on Stayclassy.net

Stay classy, NHL training camp notes.

A fans guide to preseason hockey

September 21st, 2010

It’s no secret that you and I, and every other hockey fan is eager to get the regular season underway. In fact, I’m so excited for hockey that I was actually reading about the Minnesota Wild earlier!

Unfortunately, there’s a catch: hockey hasn’t started yet. We still have a few weeks before opening night. We’re in preseason mode right now and NHL preseason is crap. It’s slower hockey and harder to pronounce names. Basically, it’s NHL-lite. But, because I know a lot of hockey fans really enjoy the preseason, I thought it would be nice to explain some of things you might see over the next few weeks in a small, bullet point guide:

  • It’s well understood some referees blow calls when they work with the AHL and minor league players. They just don’t care when it’s not authentic NHL. That’s why the league has gone to great lengths to ensure Stephane Auger won’t be calling any of Alex Burrows games this year.
  • In Edmonton, fans are lining up for hours to meet new stars Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle. As an alternative way to get Hall and Eberle’s autographs, try asking Sheldon Souray to get them for you. It’s not like he’s busy playing hockey and it will be good for his ego too… this might be the closest he comes to the NHL this season.
  • There’s a slight potential the NHL’s preseason might become a testing ground for wacky new ideas, following the summer’s Research, Development and Orientation camp. Some “out there” ideas might include actually calling penalties.
  • It’s customary for veterans to leave steep dinner bills with newbies throughout preseason/regular season. You can probably imagine why Matt Carkner, then 28, looked awkward last season after having to take Nick Foligno, then 21, to dinner all year…
  • Over the next week or two, you’ll notice a lot of NHL players signing last minute contracts – some with new teams and some with their teams from last season. Whatever you do, please make sure your favourite player has a signed contract before switching allegiances, buying new jerseys or uprooting your family.
  • It’s taking awhile for Boston fans to learn who the new Bruins players are, how to pronounce their names and imaging what they will look like in yellow jerseys this year. The long list of players includes the likes of Tyler Seguin, Nathan Horton and some rarely seen guy named Milan Lucic.
  • Don’t be alarmed if you notice Rangers fans as the only fans around the NHL who aren’t excited about the upcoming year. Although the beginning of the season represents a fresh start for every NHL club, Rangers fans already know their team will be terrible since Glen Sather was in charge during the offseason.
  • You might notice players fighting each other during inter-squad scrimmages and practices, but it’s no reason for concern. Most of the time it’s two players playing “tough hockey” or in Mike Komisarek’s case, it’s a harmless attempt at hitting on the new team nurse.
  • Sometimes players get hurt or come down with strange injuries in the preseason. Some fans will try to encourage their favourite players to stay healthy with home-made signs that say things like “Get well soon Drury – Please stoping hanging out with DiPietro.”
  • In Toronto, Maple Leaf commentators are trying out several new sayings in TV and radio telecasts. The one that’s sticking the most is ” He Phaneufed it.” It’s basically a clever way of saying a player’s shot missed the net by only seven feet.
Stay classy, NHL preseason.

Fun suggestions for Ottawa’s 2012 NHL All-Star game weekend

September 14th, 2010

In what might be the worst kept secret since Jonathan Cheechoo’s buy out (which bore rumours approximately five minutes after the Senators acquired him, give or take a few minutes), the NHL is reportedly set to announce the 2012 All-Star game will be held in Ottawa later this week.

Despite being panned by both fans and analysts, hosting an All-Star game is a big deal. Much like the NHL’s Entry Draft, the All-Star game is a full weekend event and churns out big dollars for hosting clubs. Since I grew up in Ottawa, I thought it would be somewhat appropriate to give some fun suggestions to help spruce up Ottawa’s 2012 NHL All-Star weekend. You’re welcome, Senators…

  • The City of Ottawa will likely make a multi-day event out of the All-Star game, packed with entertainment, activities and games for fans, families etc… For example, games could include designing your own horrible 3rd jersey or participating in a scavenger hunt with one incredibly difficult place to locate. Of course that place would be Scotiabank Place.
  • As a way to bring fans closer to their favourite players, fans could be given an opportunity to try out game-used Senators equipment on Scotiabank Place ice in a fun “pick-up” hockey game. I’m guessing the poor soul who gets stuck with Chris Phillips’ stick probably won’t understand why it keeps shooting the puck into his/her own net.
  • On that note, the Senators could also give fans an opportunity to try on game-worn jerseys. Or in Alexandre Daigle’s case, previously worn nurse outfits.
  • Fans, if you are lucky enough to attend the 2012 All-Star game at Scotiabank Place, building officials won’t mind if you “boo” any/all of the Ottawa Senators All-Stars. Turns out the Senators are used to playing 82 road games each season.
  • I think a hockey themed version of Monopoly would go down very well as part of the All-Star weekend festivities. It would be realistic too. For example, the “Go To Jail” board tile would actually include the words “Ottawa Senators starting goalie.”
  • Fans could play a game of Clue as yet another game during the All-Star weekend. The game would include the following clues: “Has done some shady business deals,” “Has lied to authorities” and “Has made a lot of unkept promises.” Fans would be able to choose between Rod Bryden and Eugene Melnyk.
  • I’m told a member of the Senators had an idea too. It turns out a Senators captain recently approached the NHL about a modification to the “Hardest Shot” skills event. I don’t know which Senator made the suggestion, but apparently the idea involves taking slapshots at Scott Niedermayer instead of empty nets.

Stay classy, NHL All-Star game and Ottawa Senators.