New Book: Ice Hockey Nights in Europe

A nice little write up about a book dedicated to Hockey fans in Europe. The game in Europe is growing stronger and stronger by the day. Leagues are popping up all over the place. I’m definitely going to hunt this book down and give it a read.

ukhockeyfan

Ice Hockey Nights in Europe
The fans and their passion for the game

I’m no book reviewer but I felt compelled to write after Jonathan Northall published a book about NHL fans in Europe.
Jonathan came upon the idea after a friend of his wrote a book about football (soccer) and thought NHL fans in Europe would make a great subject.

The book has been a labour of love, with work officially beginning back in February, 2012.
A series of eight questions(one a week) were sent to NHL fans in Europe asking them for their views and opinions.
Through hard work, dedication and a little luck no doubt, Jonathan was able to obtain submissions from people within the following countries:
Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Norway,
Poland, Republic of Ireland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden as well as British representation from England,
Northern Ireland, Scotland and…

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Vancouver Canucks To Hire Tortorella Today

The exchange of coaches is now complete.

(Photo: Robert Kowal. flckr.)
(Photo: Robert Kowal. flckr.)

John Tortorella is expected to be sworn in as coach today in a Vancouver press conference at 4pm. Lots of speculation had been swimming the past couple weeks on who would be head manning the team since Vigneault was let go.

This could be fun my friends. Can you imagine fiery Tortorella lashing out at the Canadian media? Luongo might even want to continue to play there! Torts is a take no nosense, old school style coach who I think will strive with a veteran team in Vancouver.

Torts does indeed have a championship ring which he earned with Tampa Bay in 2004. Maybe this is what Vancouver needs to keep their winning ways in the post season. Well, that obviously remains to be seen but it will be damn fun to watch in the meantime.

Q & A With Cardiff Bay Lightning Goaltender Matt Richards

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Matt Richards is a six year veteran with the Cardiff Bay Lightning of the British Hockey Conference; a six team league in the United Kingdom. I was eager for him to give me his take on the state of hockey on his side of the pond.

March Hockey:  How would you consider the style of play different in the UK or Europe in general compared to that of North America?

Matt Richards: “The style of play in the UK is fairly unique in Europe, being similar to that of North America, in terms of physicality and build up play. The other European leagues play a more patient, less physical passing game. I would place the EIHL (Elite Ice Hockey League) average skill level around ECHL standard, perhaps AHL/ECHL in the top teams.”

MH:  As a goaltender, who was your inspiration growing up?? Favourite current goalie??

935478_10151390149850764_2116814298_nMR: Growing up, I loved watching Dominik Hasek, Chris Osgood, Marty Brodeur and Marty Turco. I play a fairly different style to all of them but some of their save choices have leaked into my game. For example, i will freeze the puck with my blocker hand if its that side (Hasek), I’ll stack my pads more than a “normal” goalie would (Hasek, Brodeur) and I love playing the puck (Brodeur, Turco – I use the ‘Turco grip”). My current favourite goalies would be Jimmy Howard, Jonathan Quick and Tuukka Rask. They’re all quite technical in their approach to the game but can pull off the sprawling saves when needed.”

MH: Is there a lot of support for UK hockey? A lot of support for Cardiff?

MR: “Support for UK hockey is growing all the time, however I believe it needs better management from the top in order to be more successful. The governing bodies need to be totally independent from the EIHL teams and do more to promote the sport within the UK. It has the potential to be huge, it’s the perfect sport for the UK considering our changeable weather! Cardiff has always enjoyed a very strong fan base and there are actually so many teams below the top league playing out of our temporary rink right now that ice time is very limited!”

MH: Who’s shot would you be most afraid of saving?

940995_10151374256540764_345260863_nMR: “I really enjoy stopping the hard shots, especially with my glove, but I’d have to say Zdeno Chara. I always get out as far as possible when I see a player winding up for a shot but i’m not sure I’d come out as far for his!!”

MH: And finally, if you could play with anyone, past or present, who would it be and why??

MR: “Well honestly, I’d love to have the chance to play with any of the NHLers; I’ve practiced with the pro guys over here a few times and that’s been great. But if I had to pick, I’d say for a goalie it has to be Brodeur. He’s a legend; his numbers say it all and to still be playing at the level he is today is phenomenal. Non-goalie wise, I’d love to play with Datsyuk.  In my opinion the greatest hands the NHL has ever seen. Penalty shot practice would be interesting!”

Cardiff Bay’s next game is July 13th against the Sheffield Squeelers, who sit above the Lightning in first place. Puck drop is 8:30 pm, UK time!

LNAH 2013 Draft: Marquis De Jonquiere

Up next as we take a look at the 2013 LNAH draft is the reigning league champs, Les Marquis De Jonquiere. (Say that 10 times fast.)

(Photo: lnah.com)
(Photo: lnah.com)

With the last pick in the first round, Jonquiere picked up a goaltender in Travis Fullerton. (What’s with all the goalies being drafted?!) Fullerton spent the past 5 years with the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds but also spent time in the “Q” with the Lewiston MAINEiancs and the Saint John Sea Dogs.  In the 2010-2011 season, he was in the crease for 20 games and scored up 5 shutouts.

With the second pick, Jonquiere selected a player that needs no introduction to the fans in Cornwall. Ahmed Mahfouz is an agitating right winger who spent the past 3 seasons in the Federal Hockey League; 2 of them with the Akwesasne Warriors. With the Dayton Demonz last season, he somehow racked up an astonishing 111 points in 46 games!!! (Where was that in Akwesasne. Huh.)

Another player of note that is now Marquis property is Alex Penner. A towering 6’4 enforcer, Penner has spent his playing career among various leagues including the English Elite league, AHL and CHL, wining a championship last year for Mike Modano’s Allen Americans. And if you don’t believe me well….

Looks like the Marquis is trying for back to back championships. It’ll be interesting to see how this season plays out.

Counterfeit Jerseys And You

I was reading an article posted by NBC Chicago about counterfeit jerseys and felt I should put my two cents in.

Common Sense Rule #1: Do not be this guy.
Common Sense Rule #1: Do not be this guy.

It’s an interesting topic because I am an Avid jersey collector.. I’m not going to lie. I do actually own a few fake NHL jerseys. One of which I was duped and bought under the pretence that it was real. I then bought a few out of morbid curiosity as to how they fair up against NHL official merchandise.

Counterfeiting is an issue surrounding any business with intellectual or financial property. However there will always be a market especially with these people praying on those of us with less money or low incomes.

So I thought I’d enlighten anyone who isn’t aware how to spot a fake one by a mile. I may have missed a few things, but here’s some basics.

1) Player ID tags. The grey ID patch in the bottom right hand corner (if you are a looking at a photo of it.) I have NEVER seen one of these patches on an counterfeit jersey. Possibly because they are too hard to counterfeit, but in my experience I’ve never seen one on a fake jersey.

Real deal:real

Counterfeit: fake

2) The weight. Most of these jerseys are modified CCM overstock. The Fabric from top to bottom is extremely heavy in comparison to the official Reebok merchandise. The badges and patches including the NHL logo at the collar are all thicker and less detailed when inspected a little more.

3) Sizing.. Another obvious sign..Official Reebok jersey merchandise is sized as S, M, L, XL etc.
– CCM sizes are numbered. 42,54 etc. As I said before most fake jerseys are Modified CCM jerseys.  clear sign of a fake!

4) Common sense. If a named jersey is for sale cheaper than 100 dollars from a store or seller frequent on something like ebay….beware. Especially if its from China or somewhere in south east Asia. You do however get private sellers who take real photos and are just selling a jersey, unwanted gifts etc. Then you got yourself a pretty sweet deal!

Basic Rule of Thumb – Anything cheap comes at a price my friends..if its too good to be true – it probably is.

If anyone has any tips of their own Tweet me with yours !

@pattenMH

Stanley Cup Finals Game 5 Preview

Aaaaaaaaaand we’re back in Chicago.

After a nail biter in Boston for game 4, we’re all tied up at 2 games a piece. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a playoff series, hell even finals series as close as this one. (I’m talking hockey here, the Miami Heat/San Antonio Spurs final was ridiculously close.)

Jonathan Toews. (Photo: Michael Zampanelli. Flickr.)
Jonathan Toews. (Photo: Michael Zampanelli. Flickr.)

Chicago’s offensive FINALLY lit up and special teams seemed to finally start clicking. Jonathan Toews broke out of his 10 game goalless streak and Sharp and Handzus netted a couple on the powerplay. Corey Crawford should except the Bruins to keep firing at his glove hand as we’ve seen they may have solved him. Marian Hossa should be in the lineup even though he didn’t skate with the team at practice.

Tuukka Rask. (Photo: Gosha Images. Flickr.)
Tuukka Rask. (Photo: Gosha Images. Flickr.)

On Boston’s side of things Tuukka Rask finally had a struggle of a game. I don’t think that should haunt them though, it was bound to happen. Rask should be able to bounce back. The Bruins proved in game 4 that they can keep up and skate with Chicago. Their resilience is something to be measured with. Patrice Bergeron is as hot as ever with 6 goals in his last 7 games. If the Bruins can get past the sloppy play of game 4, we might be in for another close one folks.

Hard to say, but I’m going to give Chicago the hometown advantage.

Fun fact: Most expensive ticket going for tonight’s game 5 is $1,044 according to http://www.seatgeek.com.

2013 LNAH Draft: Riviere Du Loup 3L

I thought I might as well take a look at how some of the other teams faired in last week’s LNAH draft.

(Photo: lnah.com)
(Photo: lnah.com)

The 3L of Riviere Du Loup, (for all you english folk, that’s Wolf River 3L), played smart and drafted a wonderful pick in the first round. Simon Danis-Pepin is a native of Montreal and was drafted 61st overall in the 2nd of the 2006 NHL Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks. He was signed to a 3 year entry level deal but has spent most of his playing career in the AHL and ECHL playing for such teams as the Rockford IceHogs, Toledo Walleye and Orlando Solar Bears.

Simon Danis-Pepin (Photo: the_mel, flickr.)
Simon Danis-Pepin (Photo: the_mel, flickr.)

Last season was spent with the San Franciso Bulls of the ECHL afer being exchanged through a trade with Orlando. Standing a 6’7, Danis-Pepin is a force to be reckoned with on defence. I’m sure 3L will use his size to their advantage.

Another notable pick came in the 3rd round with Jean Sebastien Berube. Drafted by the New Jersey Devils in 2008, he has spent the past 3 years playing for New Jersey’s primary affiliate, the Albany Devils. Making his professional debut against the Binghamton Senators, he finished the 2011-2013 season tied for first on team with a plus 6 rating.

8460921133_9b7e43caf1_zOther players of note that are now 3L’s property are goaltender Andrew Fleming who just finished a season with McGill University and Nicholas Tremblay who was a apart of the AHL’s Providence Bruins. All in all, not a bad draft for 3L.

Here’s the full 10

1. Simon Danis-Pepin2. TRADED
3. Jean Sebastien Berube
4. Nicholas Tremblay, Alex Belzile
5. Coderre Gagnon, Mathieu Olivier Daoust
6. Andrew Flemming
7. Alex Emond
8. Tommy Castonguay
9. Christian Ouellet
10. TRADED

Avs Don’t Want The ‘D’

March’s note: Little do you folks know, I have one of the greatest friends a woman could ask for living over in London, England. Leo Patten is a die hard Dallas Stars fan and is the transition of moving close to Tampa, Florida for 6 months starting in August. He is hopeful to take in as many NHL games as possible to add to already impressive hockey resume. I asked him if he had anything he wanted to contribute, so here is his take on the situation in Colorado. Golly good job ol’ boy!

It appears that the Colorado Avalanche will pass on Seth Jones, arguably the top prospect in this year’s up and coming draft.

Well, no. Not really.
Well, no. Not really.

Okay, it’s a given that most NHL teams with a first overall pick in the draft, will almost always choose a strong offensive player over the best two way defencemen. However, within the modern game it seems that most clubs are pretty much going after whatever system or culture is flavour of the month.

Now part of me can understand this new culture of youth, due to how the Cap and CBA agreements have changed over the years. I mean this in terms of player management, contracts and of course style of play. It’s totally different from the days of  good ol’ time hockey.  General Managers have to be constantly one step ahead of the game. But this is all chatter for another time.

Ryan O'Reilly and Gabriel Landeskog. (Photo: Lindsay Akkiyama, flickr.)
Ryan O’Reilly and Gabriel Landeskog. (Photo: Lindsay Akkiyama, flickr.)

Newly appointed Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy are definitely going to be shaking things up in Denver so it seems. Again, following a common trend of appointing an extremely young captain in Gabriel Landeskog, they are clearly making preparations for the future. The bottom line of the Draft is in some ways, pot luck. Either way the Avalanche will obtain a highly skilled player and whether they step up to to the plate will remain to be seen.

This also doesn’t fair well for other clubs such as the Florida Panthers who have their sights firmly set on players like Nathan MacKinnon, who is definitely what they need right now.

It’s clear that Colorado issues lie in poor defensive quality in the back end and I’m not sure what they hope to achieve by drafting more fire power. If this trend continues it’s quite clear that we will have plenty more upsets continuing in the playoffs of the future. *COUGH*PITTSBURGH*COUGH*.

–@pattenMH

Dumb Arena Names….Thanks To The Canadian Tire Centre.

In an interesting piece of odd news, the Ottawa Senators now have the Canadian Tire to call home.

Now with free lube jobs!
Now with free lube jobs!

The shock came down Tuesday morning as GM Eugene Melnyk announced that the Scotiabank Place will be renamed the Canadian Tire Centre as of July 1st. The company has an 8 year deal which will have an option for them to renew in 2021.

With that being said, let’s look at some other silly arena names of hockey’s past.

1. BB&T Center, Florida Panthers.
Ok granted, this doesn’t sound too bad from the get go. Flip back a couple years in it’s history and you’ll find “National Car Rental Center”. Um, are you serious?? I realize National Car Rental was a major sponsor (or still is, I have no idea what goes on with hockey in Florida or why it’s still there.) but come on, give your head a shake. I hope they at least offered the fans a chance to drive around with Pavel Bure at intermission.

2. The Cow Palace, San Jose Sharks.
Oh those poor poor, Sharks. What do Sharks even have in common with cows?! Yes I know it was their first year in the league and there was no arena in San Jose yet and yes I know this arena was in San Francisco but once again, COME ON. Sharks. Cows. They have nothing in common. I guess Link Gaetz kinda resembles a cow.

Moo.
Moo.

3.  PNC Arena, Carolina Hurricanes.
Can’t complain with this one really. Rolls off the tongue nice. I’m referring to when it was once known as the RBC Center. As in, ROYAL BANK OF CANADA Center. In Raleigh, North Carolina. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. How does that even work?! Are there even any RBC branches down there?? I know TD has made it’s way south of the border (Hence TD Garden in Boston), but RBC? That one makes me shake my head.

Can you think of anymore dumb arena names? Drop me a line on Twitter. I love a good laugh. @MissAMarch