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Battle of the Blades

I also posted this on my hockey blog, but just to be safe…

There’s a reality show known as “Battle of the Blades”. It is similar to Dancing With The Stars, only it’s broadcast only on CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company). And..here’s the fun part. It’s all done on ice.

Former hockey players (I think they’re all NHL caliber) will be ice dancing, or figure skating.

There’s a blog post done by Kelly Chase of the St. Louis Blues. He’s one of the participants.

Here’s the link:

<a href="http://blues.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=534980&cmpid=stl-twt-072710“>

Seeing that I live in the U.S., I hope I can watch it on the Internet. 🙂

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NHL at the Half Season Point

Now is the time when things start to get good, in my opinion. Serious talks about getting into playoff position become a concern now. (Teams need to be in the top 8 in order to be a playoff contender).

The amount of injuries that players endured during the first half of the season was unlike any I had seen before. So many players were blind-sided when there was no puck around (meaning the hit was not part of any play). Too many players were hit from behind and thrown into the boards. Too many players went into the boards head first due to another shoving him there. Too many players were cross-checked above the shoulders. And, far too many players received hits to the head. They were just plain dirty hits. Some of the hits were called, others were not.

I have heard the excuse, “the players were moving so fast, they didn’t have time to change their course”. I don’t buy it. Someone at the NHL level is skilled enough to control their movement. Or, at least it is expected that they be. Here is a perfect example involving Chris Pronger (yes, I know he is extremely skilled and one of the best defense men ever). His buddy Scott Niedermeyer was against the boards, head down, playing the puck. Pronger comes by. It was a perfect opportunity to throw the puck-possessor into the boards. Did he? No. He skated by. The point is, it can be done. There is no need for the non-play related violent hits that have been happening.

I think Don Cherry has a great idea when teaching kids to play hockey. He is promoting the wearing of a helmet with a STOP sign on the back of it. This is intended to teach hockey youngsters to not hit from behind.

Hopefully, the second half of the NHL 2010 season will not be so injury prone.

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Watching the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic 2009 on NBC compared to the CBC’s HNIC

When the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic 2009 was recently televised on NBC, I was glued to my seat – as were many other hockey fans and interested viewers. In fact, the viewership ratings for this event had increased over last year’s – according to NHL Live! today.

Watching the game was pure fun on New Year’s Day 2009. However, more fun was in store for me yesterday (Sunday, January 4, 2009). There were back-to-back showings of the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic 2009 on the NHL Network. I watched the first for a bit, still enjoying it as much as the first showing (except for knowing the end result of the victory belonging to the Detroit Red Wings…woohoo!)

Then, the second showing of the 2009 Bridgestone Winter Classic started. It was the telecast from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation – HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Woohoo!!!! I was curious to see how, if any, difference there was between the two broadcasts.

NBC did a great job of televising this game, but the CBC was simply phenomenal! Why? Well..

There were no broadcasters talking AT ALL for a long period of time. Fans could listen to what the players were saying, or simply hear the intracicies of game preparation. It made for a feeling a part of the game. Too cool.

There was no unnecessary verbage by the broadcasters. They didn’t talk for the sake of talking. Pertinent facts and meaningful conversation was enjoyed.

Cameras shot to Don Cherry entering the stadium. WAY TOO COOL!!!!! Take him, or leave him, but Don Cherry is a Canadian and Hockey Night In Canda (HNIC) icon. “Grapes” and I go way back to the 70’s when I watched him on Hockey Night In Canada and his own talk show. “HEY! I don’t care what you say!” he’d say to his guest. “This is my show and what I say goes!” lol Great memories!!

Back to the Winter Classic….It was FUN watching Don Cherry in his black suit and hat walking amongst the fans, smiling and chatting. NBC didn’t show him at all (that I saw anyways).

The Hockey Night In Canada televising of hockey games is pure hockey. There is no fluff nor attention getting voices or actions.

I am so grateful for having the opportunity to watch the 2009 Bridgestone Winter Classic on both NBC and HNIC (Hockey Night In Canada).

Rock on….

October 9, not October 10…NHL Face Off Rocks Spectacular

On today’s NHL Live!, October 10th was mentioned as the season opener for the Detroit Red Wings. That is incorrect. It’s October 9, Thursday.  (Unless the date has been changed and the website has not been updated.)

Here is the email I sent to EJ Hradek & Don LaGreca just to let them know. It’s taken from the Detroit Red Wings website, via NHL. com. It’s a simple oversight, but needed corrected.

NHL to stage Face-Off Rocks spectacular
Sep 19, 2008, 8:20 PM EDT
NEW YORK – The National Hockey League will launch the 2008-09 season with NHL Face-Off Rocks™ 2008, an opening day spectacular headlined by the world’s greatest arena rock band, Def Leppard, on Thursday, October 9. (my bold)

The multi-platinum selling rock band will open the night with a special performance of their arena-inspired hit single, “C’mon, C’mon” from the Fox Theatre in Detroit, followed by the raising of the Red Wings’ 2008 Stanley Cup championship banner prior to the start of their sold-out home opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Joe Louis Arena.

VERSUS and CBC will air portions of the performance as part of their broadcasts of the Red Wings game in the U.S. and Canada, respectively. NHL.com and CBCSports.ca will provide live streaming coverage of the concert, giving fans around the world the chance to take part in the season-opening festivities.

Starting Monday, Sept. 22 at 10 a.m. EDT, tickets to NHL Face-Off Rocks 2008 at the Fox Theatre headlined by Def Leppard on Oct. 9 will be available for purchase for $35 and $45 on-line at Ticketmaster.com and

OlympiaEntertainment.com, at all Ticketmaster locations and at the Fox Theatre box office. To charge by phone, call 248-433-1515. Doors will open at 6 p.m. for the 7 p.m. show.

Fans in attendance at the Fox Theatre will be treated to a broadcast of the Red Wings game, including the championship banner-raising ceremony, an exclusive arena rock show performance from Def Leppard of the band’s smash hits and songs from their latest album, “Songs From The Sparkle Lounge,” and a performance from a soon-to-be-announced special guest. A deejay will entertain the audience throughout the event.

With more than 65 million albums sold worldwide and two prestigious Diamond Awards to their credit, Def Leppard–Joe Elliott (vocals), Vivian Campbell (guitar), Phil Collen (guitar), Rick “Sav” Savage (bass) and Rick Allen (drums) — continues to be one of the most important forces in rock music. Over the course of their career, the band has produced a series of classic groundbreaking albums that set the sound for generations of music fans and artists. Renowned as Great Britain’s premiere arena rock band, the group’s spectacular live shows, filled with powerful melodic rock anthems, have become synonymous with their name and they are an institution in the touring industry as they continue to sell out arenas worldwide.

“When Sav first played me “C’mon, C’mon,” I remember saying to him ‘I can hear this being played in every hockey arena all over the United States and Canada’,” said Def Leppard frontman, Joe Elliott. “Once we recorded it, I was even more convinced.”

The band’s latest album, “Songs From The Sparkle Lounge” (Bludgeon Riffola/Island/UMe), debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard Top 200, earning Def Leppard their highest-charting debut since 1992. “Songs From The Sparkle Lounge” contains 11 new songs including the hit single “Nine Lives,” featuring a groundbreaking collaboration with country music superstar Tim McGraw.

Sharp Dressed Man – EJ Hradek

Well, our beloved NHL Live! Has returned. Today, EJ Hradek wore a white jacket and shirt and looked stunning. 🙂 It was funny how that became the topic of conversation for a while on the show today. He was, indeed, a sharp dressed man today.

And, Don LaGreca has obviously lost a lot of weight. Good for him. 🙂 I wonder if he used Jenny Craig? (Just kidding).

Anyways, speaking of well dressed men…I am reminded of that ZZ Top song. It’s a double whammy. Back when Don Cherry (aka “Grapes”) had his tv show, it would start with a video of him showing his cuff links, rings, and outfits. Very sharp. And, the video would include “Sharp Dressed Man”. That was always such a pleasure to see and hear.

So, every time I hear “Sharp Dressed Man” I think of both hockey and Don Cherry. It can’t get much better than that. 🙂

Note: I remember when I first saw Don Cherry’s show. It was on the CBC right before Saturday’s Hockey Night in Canada game. I thought he was so arrogant. He remember him telling his guests to keep quiet since “It’s my show and what I say goes!” Or…”I don’t care what you have to say!” Anyways, I noticed how his guests would just chuckle and go along with it. Or, they would start to give him feedback that made for great entertainment. Soon, he grew on me. 🙂

I knew I was a Don Cherry convert when one of my friends told me she had just watched his show and hated him. She couldn’t stand his arrogance. “He’s just so hung up on himself!” she said. I found myself laughing and saying, “Yeah, I know. He can come across like that. Just watch him a couple more times and he’ll grow on you.” Sure enough, two months later my friend came to me and told me how she got a kick out of listening to Grapes.


Updated Hockey News as of August 27, 2008

Here is some updated NHL and hockey news that I received last night while watching the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs – Vancouver vs. Anaheim. It was telecast on the NHL Network – “the home of hockey”.

Some of the unsigned free agent defenseman as of August 27, 2008 consist of:

  • Chris Chelios (Detroit)

  • Alexei Seminov (San Jose)

  • Marek Malik (New York Rangers)

  • Aaron Miller (Vancouver)

  • Luke Richardson (Ottawa)

  • Keith Carney (Minnesota)

  • Bret Hedican (Carolina)

I was just wondering what was going on with Chelios, and there it is on the feeder board. 🙂

Other signing news:

Joe Sakic signed a 1 year contract with Colorado.

The NHL opens its season in Europe on 10/4..

10/9 – NHL opens its season in America.

10/11 – U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

11/09 – Hockey Hall of Fame Game…Montreal V Toronto

11/10 – NHL HHOF Induction Ceremony

For 2009:

01/01 – Winter Classic at Wrigley Field. Detroit V Chicago. We know who’s going to win. 🙂 (DET)

01/24 – NHL All Star Skills Competition

01/25 – NHL All Star Game in Montreal

02/13 – 2/15 – Hockey Weekend Across America….woohoo!!

03/27 – Women’s National Championship

04/04 – End of NHL Season…..bummer…

04/15 – NHL Playoffs start…..whooppee!

If I recall correctly, Canada usually has a time set aside to celebrate hockey. It’s telecast on the CBC. I wonder when that is….