Hockey Headlines

Thursday, 11 February 2016

The Hockey Show - Episode 177

The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced hockey radio show, is back with an amazing guest tonight. Rarely do we, as the public, get a look behind the scenes into movies and television unless we happen across a piece on TV on shows like Entertainment Tonight. Winnipeg, however, has been home to a blossoming movie industry that has seen a pile of big-name movies and stars roll through our fine city. Due to this emerging industry, the talent found in Winnipeg both in front of the screen and behind it has grown and we're seeing some exceptional people get noticed! One such person is our guest tonight, and she's been instrumental in a couple of hockey films made here in Winnipeg!

The young lady seen to the left is Heather Neale, and she works as a costume designer and in costume and wardrobe departments on a number of television and movie sets! Heather's work may not always be the first thing you see on the screen, but she's costumed some rather huge names in Hollywood including Isabella Rossellini, Jennifer Connelly, Anne Heche, Josh Duhamel, Adam Scott, and Martha MacIsaac to name but a few. Critics and industry types, however, have noticed her work as she was nominated for a 2012 Genie Award for Achievement in Costume Design and a 2013 Canadian Screen Award for Best Costume Design! In other words, the University of Manitoba grad is good at what she does!

Tonight, we'll talk to Heather about her work, some of the stars she's worked with, and her work on the hockey movie sets of the Don Cherry movie - starring friend of the show Jared Keeso - and Goon! She's also a huge hockey fan, so we'll get her take on the hockey world and what's happening within it. As an aside, if you've watched Goon, you may have noticed a "Neale" jersey hanging behind Curt Keilback as seen to the right. That little Easter egg was a shout-out to the costume designer on the movie - Heather Neale!

With Heather being live in-studio tonight, the phones will be closed for calls! However, make sure you tune your radio dial in the Winnipeg region to 101.5 on your FM dial or listen live between 5:30pm and 6:30pm CT on your web-enabled device at the UMFM webpage as well! Tweet me anytime with questions you may have by hitting me up at @TeebzHBIC on Twitter. You can also post some stuff to Facebook if you use the "Like" feature, and I always have crazy stuff posted there that doesn't make it to the blog or show. We'll learn all about the movie industry and the movie Goon tonight on The Hockey Show tonight only on 101.5 UMFM!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Antler Banter: Season 1, Volume 41

The Moose left California behind after going winless in eight tries in the Golden State. They got knocked around by a couple of teams, but managed to pick up three points after dropping games in overtime and the shootout. Unfortunately, those three points didn't save the Moose from the bottom of the standings as they now sit 30th out of 30 teams in the American Hockey League. Things can't get any lower for the Moose in theory, but the Toronto Marlies and Texas Stars were heading to Winnipeg for a pair of two-game sets. The Moose would have to find ways to grab points if they hoped to climb out of the cellar in the AHL, but it would be a tough task against the best team in the AHL and the second-best team in the Pacific Division.

Toronto Is Good

The highest scoring team pulled no punches on February 4 as the Marlies beat up on the lowly Moose. TJ Brennan scored on the power-play at 7:54 of the first period before the floodgates opened in the second period. Mark Arcobello scored at 4:18, Nikita Soshnikov made it 3-0 at 11:11, Arcobello added his 20th of the season at 12:57, and Kasperi Kapanen put Toronto up 5-0 as the Marlies held a commanding lead through two periods of play.

Nic Petan and Jiri Fronk would beat Antoine Bibeau to make it 5-2, but the Moose would give up a shorthanded empty-netter to Zach Hyman at 18:40 to give Toronto the 6-2 victory. Bibeau made 23 stops in the win while Eric Comrie lasted just 32:57 after surrendering four goals on 21 shots. Jussi Olkinuora stopped seven of eight shots in his relief. The Moose fall to 11-26-3-4 on the season after this loss.

Manitoba Shows Up

After a day off, these two teams would meet again at MTS Centre on February 6 and this game had a much different feel to it. Toronto would lead 2-1 after the first period, but Manitoba would rally after trailing 3-1 in the second to make it a 3-3 game after 40 minutes. The two teams would trade a pair of goals in the third period to send this game to overtime tied at 5-5. Manitoba earned its first point against Toronto this season, and they would take the second point after Nic Petan beat Garret Sparks at 4:10 to give the Moose the 6-5 overtime victory! Eric Comrie stopped 38 shots in the win while Sparks took the overtime loss. With the victory, the Moose move to 12-26-3-4 on the season. It should be noted that JC Lipon had a five-point night in the victory as well!

Penalties Cost Moose

The Texas Stars rolled into town on February 9, and it appeared that the Moose were in line for their second two-game win streak of the season until late in the third period. With the Moose up 2-1, Josh Morrissey was whistled for tripping at 17:01 for tripping. A late power-play shouldn't cause too much concern, but Patrice Cormier fired the puck over the glass in the Moose zone at 17:21 and the Moose found themselves killing a 5-on-3. Ten seconds after Cormier sat down, Brett Ritchie scored to even the game at 2-2. And with 47 seconds to play and eight seconds left on Cormier's penalty, Jason Dickinson found the back of the net to make it a 3-2 Stars game. They would play out the last minute with no changes as the Texas Stars snatched two points from the jaws of defeat thanks to the Moose hanging out in the sin bin. Maxime Lagace stopped 27 shots in the win while Eric Comrie deserved better after making 30 saves. The loss sets the Moose back with a 12-27-3-4 record.

Tulsa Time

Brennan Serville was returned to the ECHL's Tulsa Oilers on Tuesday. He has played in three games with the Moose, picking up four penalty minutes. The 22 year-old would be better served playing in the ECHL rather than sitting in the press box, and it appears the Moose agree with that assessment.

The Next Week

The Moose have a return date with the Texas Stars tonight after giving the game away on Tuesday. There's hope that they'll play a little smarter tonight and actually earn the victory, but the Stars are a quality team. The Moose will have to be ready to go at puck drop if they hope to capture the points up for grabs tonight.

From there, it's a pair of weekend afternoon games against the Chicago Wolves who have kicked the hell out of the Moose all season as well. If Manitoba can take a game off the Marlies, they can do the same to the Wolves, but there are no shortcuts. They need to be ready and they need to be prepared to bleed and sacrifice if they want to beat these veteran-laden teams. It'll be two tough games against the Wolves, but the Moose have to believe in themselves first.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

That Looks Different

You've probably heard about the trade already. The above image should be pretty self-explanatory if you're aware of the deal made today between the Ottawa Senators and the Toronto Maple Leafs. I also don't have to tell you about the cap room both sides save thanks to the deal made for Dion Phaneuf thereby setting both teams up for some free agency fun in the coming years.

Dion Phaneuf is an Ottawa Senator. It still looks off to me.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Monday, 8 February 2016

Big Money Buff

I'll admit that it's hard being a Jets fan sometimes. Granted, they aren't my first team when it comes to my fandom, but they are the local squad so there is a vested interest there. Having two key free agents from the core of the team unsigned to new deals with the trade deadline and free agency approaching makes fans a little nervous. However, Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff stole all the thunder in the sports world today when it was announced that fan favorite Dustin Byfuglien was off the market after agreeing to a five-year, $38 million deal with the Jets. While the big man was putting his signature on a new deal, let it be known that most of Winnipeg breathed a huge sigh of relief.

It wasn't an easy negotiation from reports as both sides needed to give a little to find a deal with which both sides could be happy. Dustin Byfuglien wanted a longer term to secure his spot on the team until nearing retirement while the Jets wanted a shorter term at a lower dollar figure. In the end, Byfuglien and the Jets agreed to a five-year deal that was higher than the price the Jets may have wanted to pay, but they needed to buy that shorter term with a higher average salary.

In the end, both sides are happy, and the fans wil get to enjoy the booming slapshot and big hits for the next five seasons.

"I've been here five years now and where we started and where we're at now, I don't feel as an organization or as a group that we're far off," Byfuglien told reporters in St. Louis as the Jets prepare to face the Blues on Tuesday. "We've got a good group of guys here that I've been with for a while now. Just watching the process of everyone coming up and who's coming in the organization now and what we've got coming, I believe in what they're trying to do around here. You can't win a Stanley Cup overnight. It's a process, and I feel they're in the right state, so I thought I'd run with them.

"It never really crossed my mind going anywhere. I'm excited to be a Jet."

That's a powerful message to send to the fans, and it might be time to look at Byfuglien as a lettered leader on this Jets team. He certainly leads on the ice and can change games with his skill and physicality, but the word out of the coach's mouth is that he's respected and liked by everyone in the Jets' dressing room.

"His personality is probably bigger than he is in that room," said head coach Paul Maurice. "Dustin's a guy who is connected to everybody in the room — kind of like a man of the people. He can go to the All-Star Game and hang out with the best of those guys and then go have dinner with the fourth line guys. He's a real regular guy and because of that he has a connection to everybody in the room."

Let's not forget that it was Dustin Byfuglien who tossed the infamous track suit of a former Jet into the showers. While others silently looked the other way when Evander Kane was up to his antics, it was Dustin Byfuglien who sent a very clear message to the immature Kane by drowning his clothes in the shower. Dustin Byfuglien is a leader on this team.

He's also one of the few players in the league that can be effective on his own blue line or playing in front of the net. San Jose's Brent Burns might be the only other player in the NHL right now with the same skill set, but that puts Byfuglien in a very elite group of players where he can load up the cannon from the back-end or show the soft hands of a sniper. These players are rare to come by, and they aren't made available by the teams that have them. Winnipeg can now claim that same fact.

While some will question the amount of money given to Byfuglien, you can't deny that 29 other NHL teams wouldn't have had that contract ready in seconds if he became a free agent. The fact that the Jets won't have to play against him should be a huge relief for the players in the room, but the Jets have restored some of the faith that seemed to be eroding in its fanbase with this signing.

You can only hope that Cheveldayoff has more up his sleeve when it comes to locking up stars of this team and fan favorites. But it was a helluva start today.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Saturday, 6 February 2016

TBC: Hockey Card Stories

It's Hockey Day in Canada today, and that means that we're in for a ton of hockey on the old television today. What you might not be aware of is that it is also National Hockey Card Day sponsored by Upper Deck where fans can get free packs of hockey cards from selected outlets! Being that today is an unofficial holiday on the Canadian map, I thought it would be a good time to blend the two days together as Teebz's Book Club returns with a great book today in Hockey Card Stories written by Ken Reid and published by ECW Press. Collecting hockey cards is something that a lot of kids did for fun and some turned it into a lucrative business, but there was nothing like finding that hard-to-find card or the one missing card from a set when you tore into a pack! Hockey Card Stories takes that feeling to a new level as Ken Reid talks to the players on the front of those cards!

You might know Ken Reid as one-half of the Sportsnet Central anchor team along with Evanka Osmak. Reid grew up in Pictou, Nova Scotia and graduated from Pictou Academy before getting a shot at a local station in Dartmouth. After establishing himself as a credible play-by-play man for the junior A team, the station hired Reid to do a weekly news program where he was editor, videographer, and anchor! Reid moved to Calgary, Ottawa, and Edmonton before landing in Toronto where he worked with CP24, TSN and the NHL Network before landing a permanent gig with Sportsnet in 2011. Ken is married and lives in Toronto.

Hockey Card Stories has some of Mr. Reid's memories of his favorite hockey cards, but the book is all about speaking with the men on the front of the cards and reminiscing about the photos which featured big hair, crazy facial hair, all sorts of errors, and a ton of airbrushing. It's the stories from the players, though, that make you wonder what they were thinking at the time and question what the card makers were thinking.

Hockey Card Stories features 59 players from various eras. People on the cards include Don Cherry, Orest Kindrachuk, Norm Beaudin, Murray Bannerman, Kelly Hrudey, Paul MacLean, and Bobby Orr - a wide range of characters and stars that each have their own stories to tell about the cards that Ken Reid has hand-picked for the book. The stories are funny and show a side of the players that we, as fans, may not know. It's this intimate look inside a player's mind when looking at his old hockey card that really shines through in Hockey Card Stories.

There are also some amazing pieces of information that are found within the covers. Not everyone knows the story of every player, but there are facts that some hockey historians may not even know. One such story comes from Kelly Hrudey whowore white gloves underneath his blocker and catcher. There was a reason for it. He tells Mr. Reid,
"In the late '70s, early '80s, there was this thing going around. It was called 'The Gunk.' And guys were getting this rash all over their body," begins Hrudey, who luckily never caught what the hockey world called The Gunk. But around this time, he did get a small rash on his right hand. The glove protected him, along with some medication inside. The Gunk, it seems, is one of hockey's greatest unsolved mysteries.
Hrudey's white gloves weren't because the rinks were cold and his hands got cold. Instead, they were to protect and heal the rash he developed on his hand and keep the medication from rubbing off inside his blocker. A little less interesting and a little more gruesome than one may have thought, right?

It's stories like that in Hockey Card Stories that make the book worth the price of admission. While I originally thought it might be a book about hockey cards, it turned out to be a book about the memorable players found on those cards. I have to say that it was a real joy in reading Hockey Card Stories because each story was another chapter into learning about a player and that time in his career. Mr. Reid does an excellent job getting some great stories out of the players. Because of this, Hockey Card Stories absolutely deserves the Teebz's Book Club Seal of Approval!

Pick up Hockey Card Stories at your local bookstore or at your local library. It's a fairly light read with lots of great facts, making it suitable for readers of all ages. Younger readers may not know all the players, but it's an excellent way to bridge the gap between the past and present hockey stars!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!