Fan Voice: Mark Woodcock AKA “The Angry Budgie” and the Manchester Phoenix/Phoenix Coyotes

Mark Woodcock comes to us from the United Kingdom and happens to be a rare breed of fan. By that I mean, a fan of of the Phoenix Coyotes. I had to get into the mind of a Phoenix fan. (No disrespect to Manchester haha).

March Hockey: Where are you located and how did you get into hockey?

ced8ffbe97f0a638714f6d94f231820aMark Woodcock: I live in a small town called Macclesfield not too far from Manchester Airport and really got into hockey from birth, by my parents. My mum was a physio for our local Ice Hockey team the Trafford Metro’s so, my brother and I, went to hockey games in the pram! It was natural that I began to play the sport too, have loved the game ever since!

MH: What makes you a passionate fan of the Manchester Phoenix?

MW: They are my team, I have been a supporter of Ice Hockey in/around Manchester since my birth and, the Phoenix are the current incarnation. I have been their since the birth of the current Phoenix and, through the two years the team were put on ice while a new Ice Rink was built. There is a real community and fan orientated passion about this club. A shared sense of pain through the years that stands the club in a good place for the future.

MH: Who is the one player that really stands out on the team and why?

TonyHandMW: I was going to say one of the import forwards, you know the guys who score all the goals. But at this level players don’t usually stick around for multiple seasons. There is one name, however, that has stuck around, possibly the greatest hockey player our small island has produced, Tony Hand. While he may be the wrong side of 40 this man still puts up multi point games every season. He is the lifeblood of the club, any player who is on the same line as him, will have a career year in points! I’m sure I could score 100pts a season if he was assisting!

MH: How does the EPIHL do in terms of fan interaction?

MW: The EPL is largely a development league so is only really semi-professional. That goes for the off-ice staff as well as the players, as a result the fan interaction can only go as far as a small budget will allow. That being said clubs do their very best. Everyone will do a meet the players event, Christmas parties and end of season parties. Along with numerous player signings after a game for example. So, I guess, there is quite a good level of interaction. Continue reading “Fan Voice: Mark Woodcock AKA “The Angry Budgie” and the Manchester Phoenix/Phoenix Coyotes”


One on One with Phoenix Coyotes 2011 First Round Draft Pick, Connor Murphy

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Connor Murphy is one blue line defender you do not want to come across. At 6’3″ he is a towering addition to any blue line he’s on. While suiting up for the OHL’s Sarnia Sting for the past two seasons, he’s notched up 44 points in 68 games. He previously played for the USA Hockey National Team Development Program and in that same year was selected 20th overall by the Phoenix Coyotes. This past winter he scored the overtime game winner of the gold medal match up at the  2013World Juniors in Ufa, Russia.

You may even recall his father, Gord Murphy, a bruising defenceman who spent 14 seasons in the National Hockey League between the Philadelphia Flyers, Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers and Atlanta Thrashers. He is currently assistant coach to Kevin Dineen of the Florida Panthers.

I jumped at the chance at this opportunity to go into the mind of a first round drafted player.

March Hockey: You were drafted by the Phoenix Coyotes in the first round of the 2011 Entry Draft, how did you mentally prepare to go into an event of that stature?


Connor Murphy: The preparation was all in the NHL Combine off the ice, in games during the season, and in the interviews with each team. So once the draft came, it was all about enjoying the experience and soaking it all in. I always watched the draft growing up, so it was pretty surreal being there with my family and around teammates of mine. Continue reading “One on One with Phoenix Coyotes 2011 First Round Draft Pick, Connor Murphy”

Seattle Coyotes? Looks More And More Like It

Gary Bettman released a statement today that said the ownership is up to the City of Glendale now and not the NHL.

498There has been talk that the NHL has various 2013/2014 schedules made up that has Phoenix and Seattle games listed. They also have no problem with the “Coyotes” playing out of Seattle’s Key Arena.

I can see Seattle being a hockey city. With their proximity to Vancouver, it could easily start up a rivalry for the ages. That being said, I wish they would move them back to Quebec. I miss those Nordiques.

For fun, let’s think of what the team would be called. Seattle Sonics? Already done. Seattle Reign? Nice ring to it but I think it was already done. Seattle Storm? Also nice but too generic. Got any of your own?? Comment or drop me a line on Twitter! @MissAMarch

Dumb Arena Names Part 2.

Considering the amount of feedback I got from my first piece on Dumb Arena Names, it’s time for the next installment. I think we all agreed as well that the “Canadian Tire Centre” is one of the dumbest names in the NHL. They better come up with some good promotions to make up for that. ANYWAY, onto some more fun!

1. Arena, Phoenix Coyotes. Really? A website dedicated to finding you a job? Jobing isn’t even a word! Ironically the Coyotes might be out of them soon. Better start putting up Job offers in Seattle along the boards.

Only in Seattle.
Only in Seattle.

2. Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Providence Bruins
“Hey guys, wanna go shoot some crueller’s down at the Dunkin’ Donut Center tonight?!” Restaurants should not be used for area names. Especially fast food.  Period. You think the athletes eat that stuff? There’s a minor league ball team that plays out of Whataburger Field and a soccer team that plays out of Pizza Hut Park. No, just….no.

Sorry Homer, no donut for you. Unless you’ve got a good glove hand.

3. Gaylord Entertainment Center, Nashville Predators
Thankfully was renamed in 2007. This is just asking for trouble. I know the poor man’s last name is Gaylord, but adding Entertainment right next to it? Yeesh. I hate to think of what he went through growing up.

4. PostFinance Arena, SC Bern, Switzerland
Ok, what exactly is PostFinance? Is it a mix between the mail carriers and accountants?? Or the Finance section in the local paper?? Are they in debt to somebody?? Whatever it is, it’s terrible……and before you have a “post” you gotta gave a “pre”. PreFinance Arena, new home of your Phoenix Coyotes!

5. Mohegan Sun Arena At Casey Plaza, Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins
My god that’s a mouthful. As you can probably tell it’s named after a racetrack and casino. Nothing like horses and money to promote your hockey team. But I’m probably still bitter that this team is the former Cornwall Aces.

Please Snowman. Come back. :(
Please Snowman. Come back. 😦

Be on the lookout for Dumb Arena Names Part 3. Got some good ones? Drop me a line on twitter and let me know! @MissAMarch