Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Well, that was unexpected

Derek Roy is playing for Bern of the Swiss league.

It just occurred to me to look him up in fantasy hockey, and that's what I learned. He had a PTO (wow, how the mighty have fallen) with the Caps but failed to impress, I guess, so left for greener pastures.

Didn't see that one coming, but he will likely do well there. It's just strange for me to think about. The European leagues were very popular among the random minor-league fellas I've known over the years, most of whom will never get a sniff at the NHL. So it's hard to wrap my brain around the idea of a guy who spent several years in the NHL playing there.

But again, he will probably do well there, so more power to him, I guess.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Let's see if it works

I've been trying to write this post for 2 days.

So far, all I've done is think about it. And the words aren't really flowing, but I'll do my best, before the emotions all trickle away.

Sunday was the Hockey Hall of Fame Legends game. Seriously, if you're a hockey fan, and you live within reasonable distance of Toronto, you should go to this game. It's THAT fun. The game itself feels like watching pond hockey- there are no real rules, no offsides, no hitting, just back and forth and a lot of smiling and laughing going on between players. For warmups, all the players skate around the whole rink, so everyone can see them. They mosey about in groups of 2 or 3, taking a shot here, pausing to have a word there- it's delightful to watch. And that's just the warmup. Every player gets a little bio and introduction before the start of the game, so you can know who's who and what they have accomplished. The names change each year, some guys are hall of famers, and some aren't, but they are all there because they want to be.

Then they get down to the business of the day, which is to present each of the new inductees with their official HHOF jacket and a snazzy watch. There's a video montage of the player, along with some statistics and whatnot. It's a nice tribute. Then they play a game. And oh, what a game.

Half of the players don't even wear their helmets. (Makes for good photo ops)
The referee has a microphone, and wanders about interviewing players in-between plays.
Music plays the whole time.
After scoring, the player who scored tosses a t-shirt into the crowd.
The ref interacts with the crowd constantly, commenting on jerseys and activities in the stands.
Every person on the ice (this year we had 3 women playing too!) is smiling and having a blast.

So that's the basic layout of the game.

This year there were some notable participants.
To start, one of this year's inductees was Sergei Fedorov, who happens to be my sister 'Nee's favorite player. She was unable to make it to the game (and she did think about going, but couldn't swing it with work) since she's currently stationed in Mongolia, so it was up to me to represent for Sergei. Also, having been to the game for Pavel Bure Day back in 2012, I knew that it was bound to be a good time.

So, Sergei is playing and that's cool.

Additionally, another inductee was Angela Ruggerio. I love her so much. I've got her autobiography and it is an excellent read. She's a very talented player (was part of the first 4 USA Olympic teams, played college hockey, etc) and seems quite intelligent and well-spoken. I think she'd be on my list of people to invite to a dinner party. :) SO getting to see her inducted, and play a game was really fun. She totally held her own with the boys- getting an assist and a goal. :)

Double cool when you add in Angela.

But what really took the cake was Pavel.

Yes, Pavel was playing again. Not only playing, but captain of the "World" team. I can't say how excited I was to see him again. I don't think words would do it.

Let's just put it this way. We entered the arena, and they were actually letting people down to watch warmups. (they did not allow this last time for some reason). I walked down to about 8 rows up and then just stopped. I found Pavel immediately, didn't need to see his name or anything. I think I'd know his skating stride in my sleep. It's IN me.

I got to about 8 rows.. then I stopped. I had to stop because my knees were shaking. Yep, it was like that.

Suddenly, I was 14 and it was the Red Wings/Canucks game I got tickets to for my birthday and I was standing 30 feet away from Pavel. Bure. 

Only this time I had a camera. And I used it to full effect. It is not a fancy camera, and I am a very mediocre photographer, but I got some decent shots of Pavel. And I will treasure them, because not only do they remind me of the fun that happened this day, but they remind me of my hockey heart. It's still there. Just as Pavel still has a good bit of the skill that made him so legendary, I still have the feelings that he once evoked in me. (He still evokes them.)

The whole game was amazing. Sergei had 2 goals. Pavel had a goal and an assist (or 2?) He played beautifully.

Truly, one of my favorite moments of the game- and I wish so much that I had gotten this on camera- I did take random videos throughout- was after Angela scored her goal (assisted by Pavel, of course), he gave her the cutest hug with a huge smile on his face. It was adorable and just the perfect melding of 2 of my great hockey loves.

My hockey heart was very, very full that day.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

OKay so it was a little more than a week

10 days since my last post- that's not too terrible.

The tricky thing about blogging about hockey in the summer is that there is no hockey to write about. Sure, there are some rookie camps and prospect showdowns happening, but I'm not ready to delve in that deeply just yet.

It does make me reminisce a little bit about the summer of 2002, when I spent most available moments in Columbus, attending many of those very same rookie camps and prospect showdowns. But it was different then, because I knew several of the players in the Blue Jackets' system from the minor leagues.

Gosh, that was an awesome summer. We went skating practically every Sunday, and spent a heap of time watching young guys play hockey. I may talk about that a bit more here soon, whenever I get my thoughts in order. One of these days I'm going to write a memoir-

"In Pursuit of the Impossible Winter Dream"
(with something under in in parentheses about searching for my hockey love, but I haven't quite worded that part yet)

I even have the final sentence- "They are great memories, most of them, a few sad times and some wrenching bitterness, but mostly it was hockey and hockey is essentially good. At the heart of it, hockey is everything."

Now I just need everything in between. ;)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I'm not dead! (yet)

It's been 19 months since my last blog post.. no biggie.

And the irony of my last post being a resolution to "blog more' is not lost on me. ;)

I feel like I've kind of neglected hockey in the past couple of seasons. I didn't watch a single Sabres game on tv for 2 years *(we don't have cable anymore)* and only attended one (preseason) game last year. I did see the Canes in DC (yay Gerbe!) and the Red Wings in Philly last year, so I got a couple of live games. We didn't even get to the CBJ weekend with the nephews last season, (first time in 4 years) or the preseason Dannie b-day hockey game (first time in.. 7? years). Boo on real life getting in the way of my hockey dreams.  (and it's not like I've been out having fabulous adventures every minute either, my life has just been very busy with regular stuff.)

But I want to change that. It's almost hockey time again, and I want to return to my long-lost love. I miss it. I just renewed my subscription to The Hockey News, so that should help.

So here's to hockey!

Let's see how long it goes til my next post. (I'm aiming for a week or less.)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

One of my new year's resolutions is to blog more. I wrote an entry in my lj-first one since.. September I think so here is the first blog entry since November. I hope the next one will be more eloquent- but I'm pressed for time at the moment.

SO all I have to say is

SHARPIE made Team Canada! WOOOHOO I'm so happy for my boy. (but of course I can't cheer for him cuz USA !)

So yeah, go Sharpie. Silver is lovely, isn't it?

But for my brilliant countrymen (and women!) I say GOLD GOLD GOLD!

Can't wait. Winter Olympics are SO. MUCH. FUN !

Monday, November 25, 2013



If the Sabres only have 5 wins (25 games into the season), 79 goals against (that's a little over 3 per game, for those keeping track at home) and a -35 (I'm almost choking while typing that number) goal differential,

can we still refer to Ryan Miller as an "elite goaltender"?

Now, I know it's not all on him, the whole team is in shambles, they can't hit the broad side of a barn most days, and Enroth is no better, but Miller is supposed to be "the man".

Not feelin it.

Not really feelin anything about the Sabres this year. They look uninterested and uninspired on the ice, it's not fun to watch (and I've been quite busy) and they wouldn't know a win if it bit them.

I get that they are "rebuilding", if that's what you call selling off every player I remotely liked in the 6 years I've been a Sabres fan. But they aren't bringing in much of substance, and I'd love a couple of veterans to keep the ship a little more afloat.

I don't like Steve Ott, I think John Scott is a joke, and I'd be hard pressed to name 5 Sabres, let alone pick 5 that I like this year.

Ugh. I'm not jumping ship, but this sucks! It's a good thing I've got a lot of other interests to keep me occupied, and I'm a fan of other teams, because otherwise I'd probably throw myself into Lake Erie.

Let's go Buffalo. Let's go anywhere but here.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Support Sally

Hey guys..

I still have a hockey blog.

And I still read other hockey blogs.

This link- http://www.buffalowins.com/buffalo-bills/articles/mcfaddens.html

from Joe over at BuffaloWins is a MUST read.

I saw that, and read the whole story of beautiful little Sally Sunshine and her fight against Leukemia and it's breaking my heart, but she and her family are strong.

Don't take my word for it, go read and then if you can or you want to, there are ways you can help.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pavel Bure finally getting his due

As my long-time readers are aware, I am a Pavel Bure fan. I had advocated for his inclusion in the HHOF for years, and finally, this past November, it came to pass. (as I'm sure you recall. Everyone I know probably remembers, because I was giddy as a schoolgirl for days before and after. You can never forget your first (hockey) love. And Pavel was mine.)

Now he's getting the same treatment from the Vancouver Canucks, the team that drafted him.

And you can read it here .

Even though Pavel left the Canucks  on slightly uneasy terms, his years there were good ones. I honestly think he just needed a change. From everything I remember reading at the time, he was just tired of the small-town vibe of Vancouver, having his every move noticed and criticized and needed a break from all that. (Do remember that he is from Moscow, and he is a very private person. And those were the days before social media. He'd probably be a wreck/criticized half to death in today's cutthroat world.)

Also, when he parted ways with Vancouver, in a trade to Florida along with Bret Hedican, the two of them were the last vestiges of the 1994 Cup team, aka my first hockey team. So when they left, I went with them.

There will always be a place in my heart for the Canucks (again with the first love), and I greatly enjoy the current incarnation of them (see this post for a refresher), but at the time I needed to move on.

Enter the Florida Panthers. A sad-sack franchise for many years-aside from the random Cup-run of 1996- they couldn't ever quite get it together. The never had a really strong core and struggled for years to find an identity to call their own. I think they hoped that by getting Pavel Bure they could build it around him. But, while I adore Pavel, and his playing skills cannot be overstated, he is not a Leader, in the "capital-L Leader" sense of the word. He isn't the guy to carry his team, it's not his style. Not to say that he's a selfish player, because I don't believe that, but he's not in the mold of a Steve Yzerman or a Trevor Linden or even Mark Messier. He is more of a behind-the-scenes guy, let his work on the ice speak for itself. I think this is a) why he was never the captain of an NHL team* he shared Captain duties with Paul Laus in 2001-02, but was never just the C* and b) part of why it took him so long to get to the HHOF. But I digress. Bure may have been a good piece of the puzzle, but even with Ray Whitney and a few other talented players, they Panthers didn't really have enough skill to make a run for it, and he was not enough to carry the team on his own.
 When Pavel was traded to the Panthers, it was time to get myself a Bure jersey. I had wanted one since the beginning, but it wasn't something that happened. My first hockey jersey was a black Canucks jersey that I got for my 14th birthday. My parents had to go to Cincinnati to find it (in August, no less) but they managed. A Bure one would have been virtually impossible at that point. But by 1999, the internet was a real thing and I had access to all sorts of hockey catalogues and whatnot, so I was ready. I asked for it for Christmas, a red Florida Panthers jersey with his name on it. And I got it. Ironically, they put a C on it instead of an A *he was only an Alternate Captain* but my mom fixed it for me. I LOVED that jersey, I wore it all the time. I was finally able to represent for my main man. But I never got to wear it to a game, as the last time I saw him play was in November 2000, but I didn't get the sweater til January of 2001. (I did wear it to the HHOF game though, so all is well.)

I still want a Bure Canucks jersey. I actually have found it on e-bay. The one I want is white, with the 1994 Cup Finals patches on it. I saw someone wearing one in Buffalo at the game I went to a few years ago and it made me so jealous. One day I'll get one for the collection. One day..

Moving on- Pavel had several good years in Florida. I still remember the day I learned he had been traded. I was happy (because he hadn't been playing that season) but a little sad to be leaving my Canucks behind. However, Pavel adjusted quickly, scoring 13 goals in 11 games before injuring his knee (again) and missing the rest of the season. It was a sign of things to come, as Bure had 58 goals (and 94 pts, missing the Art Ross trophy by 2 points to Jagr that year) in 99-2000, and 59 goals ( 92 points) the following season. The Panthers made the playoffs in 2001, losing in 4 games in the first round, and that was the last Bure saw of the playoffs, and the Panthers last appearance for 10 years. (Again, a sign of things to come?)

The following year Pavel was joined by his brother Valeri, and it was fun to see the Bure brothers together. But it was a rough year for Pavel, as he was hampered by injuries again (this time a concussion) and only played 68 games. He did manage 68 points but only 34 goals and was not up to his usual speed. Also, during this season, the UNTHINKABLE happened. He was traded to the Rangers. It still makes me hurl just thinking about it. The Rangers are the ENEMY, the "grossbadguys". They ruined my first hockey season and broke my heart. I can NEVER, NEVER like the Rangers. This will not change. I may have grown to respect and perhaps even like a former player or two, but I can NEVER cheer for the team. And now my first (and only, at the time) hockeylove had been traded to the WORST.TEAM.POSSIBLE.

I didn't know what to think. Of course I still loved Pavel and I wanted him to do well, but I wanted his team to lose. That's a bad combination. But it didn't really matter, because the next season was his last. He only played 39 games- but I got to watch a few- the only consolation to him playing for the Rangers was the fact that their games were more televised than the Canucks or Panthers had been. And while he managed 39 goals, he was struggling more and more with knee injuries.

It was one of the great tragedies in sports that Pavel Bure only played for 11 seasons. He was forced to retire due to injuries (not the first player to go through this, but arguably one of the most talented) and with it went my dreams of ever seeing my favorite player win the Stanley Cup. I have since discovered other players to enjoy, and some of them have even won (Marty Brodeur, Steve Yzerman, Patrick Sharp) but none of them are Pavel.

So what is the bottom line of all this rambling? It's that Pavel Bure will always be a Canuck to me, even though I own his Florida Panthers jersey. His time with the Panthers was fun (and we won't talk about that other team anymore), but he began with Vancouver and that's how I first met him and how and when I first learned and loved hockey.

It is fitting. It is good.

Now I just have to figure out when it is and find a way to get there!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Totally weird NHL season keeps getting weirder

Um, so the season isn't over yet. We're still in the finals (at this point, only 1 game in- Go Blackhawks!) and yet they have already handed out awards?

The Awards show used to be a pretty big deal. The Stanley Cup winners were there with their prize, and the players got to actually accept the trophies on the spot, rather than through video chat.

Did I miss something? Is it because it was already scheduled for some skank hotel in Vegas (I STILL don't agree with this, btw), so they couldn't change it? Still though, this is kind of early for an awards show. The season didn't even end until June 14 in 1994 (the end of the first season of my hockey-watching life) and it's been getting later.

Or am I just an old lady who likes to complain about the "good ole days"? and remember what things were like back when I was a young hockey fan..

Maybe so.

But it's my blog (when I remember I have it) and I can say what I want. And I say having the NHL Awards in Las Vegas is lame, and that having them without everyone present is even lamer.

So there.

Monday, April 1, 2013


Dear Sabres,

Feel free to trade anyone *pleasetradeStaffordpleasetradeStaffordpleasetradeStaffordpleasetradeStafford*

EXCEPT Nathan Gerbe. I know Gerbs isn't lighting the world on fire, but he's not really a liability. AND I have his jersey.. and haven't worn it to a game yet. I'm going to Friday's *and Sunday's* game(s) and would prefer to not be sporting an outdated look.

Anyone else is fair game. These bums gotta go.