We're just about a month away from the anticipated 2012 Winter Classic that will have the Philadelphia Flyers take on the New York Rangers in Citizens Bank Park. Last week, the Flyers held a press conference to unveil their jerseys for this outdoor event inside the Phillies clubhouse. At the event, they not only had blank jerseys on display, but Blair Betts and Brayden Schenn were on hand to wear their jerseys.
From a design standpoint, I think Reebok did an outstanding job. I'm part of the school that preaches "less is more" and I think the black and white stripes do just enough to give it a classic feel. The addition of black on the shoulders give the uniform some weight without it being overbearing. The Winter Classic logo will be placed over the right shoulder. The numbers and names will be black while the name plates will have a white rectangle behind the lettering. If you'd like to take a look at the full uniform (below), there was a display set up inside the arena (Photo credit to Kevin at @kevind182).
La Ligue Nationale de Hockey a distribué enfin quelque chose pour compléter leur poussée dans le devant européen.
On second thought, let me start over. I never studied French anyway.
The National Hockey League has finally issued something to complement their push into the European front.
On November 8th, it was announced that the league had launched the NHL.com homepage in a French language friendly version. This new website was an addition to the already language movement that the league implemented before the 2011-2012 season began. Currently the league operates its home website in english with multiple versions in Czech, Finnish, German, Russian, Slovak, and Sweedish.
The league has also taken their language translations a bit further by allowing each site to focus on players from that specific country. Those who browse the French site will see Martin St. Louis and Martin Brodeur. Visiting the German site will bring about images of Christian Ehrhoff and Marcel Goc. Understand the pattern here?
It makes perfect sense for the league to begin a translation movement for all news and media content. With a large portion of French-Canadians following the league, it was only a matter of time before the NHL made things easier for the fans. Additionally, It was made known that LNH.com will have their own local staff writers - which is an expected move. Translating the english content across the board probably isn't the best idea out there. Having a small staff helps ties in the fans even closer.
In the first few moments after agreeing to be a part of Puck Drunk Love, I figured that there would be times where I wish I could post an article on both sites. Little did I know that the first example of this would appear so quickly. All things considered, it isn't that big of a deal. And as I promised in an earlier post, I would do my best not to rehash content.
So with keeping in that same mindset, I've decided to link out on the first week of posts that I've written for Puck Drunk Love. I'll admit - doing something like this might be a "mail it in" post. However, I want to make sure that those visit this site get an opportunity to read the other pieces that could easily fit in on this site. I would hope that you would eventually check both sites to see what is going on. Deciding if the pieces are any good will be up to you (the readers). If you like what you see on this site and Puck Drunk Love, I ask you to please share it with others.
Click the images to read each post.
With the dust finally settled from the wide array of structural business ventures, NBC has started to add more sports programing to its network. It was announced on November 2nd that the NBC Sports Group (which now includes Versus) will add NCAA Dvision I hockey to the lineup starting in January. They will kick things off by adding a debut game on December 31st that will have Boston University take on Notre Dame at 7PM on Versus.
NBC has also paired up with the University of Notre Dame to strike a deal that will broadcast Notre Dame's home games starting for the 2013-2014 season. As many of you know, this will be the second exclusive deal that NBC Sports Network has with Notre Dame. They currently air Notre Dame football games despite the anger of those in various football circles.
Common sense tells us that the broadcasting NCAA games to a national audience will significantly help the sport in North America. With some experience and tinkering, NBC will hope to make hockey the third most watched collegiate sport in America. NCAA Football and Basketball currently command the #1 and #2 spots respectively. If things go well, I would assume that NBC would entertain the idea of broadcasting the entire Frozen Four tournament in years to come. A full schedule has already been released to the public for the Winter of 2012. All times are based on Eastern Standard Time.
NBC Sports Network Schedule:
January 6th - Dartmouth at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (7:30PM)
Jauary 13th - Minnesota Deluth at Nebraska Omaha (7:30PM)
January 20th - Michigan at Notre Dame (7:30PM)
January 27th - Yale at Harvard (7:30PM)
As per USA Hockey, it was announced that Team U.S.A., who will be participating in November's Deutschland Cup, has confirmed a roster list. If you are a frequent visitor to the blog, you'll remember that I wrote a post a bit ago talking about how Team U.S.A. had set their coaching & team staff. Today, we get to take a closer look at who exactly will be representing the United States.
If you're expecting big names for this event, I'm afraid you're going to be disappointed. However, if you someone who keeps track of the American Hockey League as well as the European Elite Leagues, you just may find yourself with familiar names. All the talent that will fill out Team U.S.A. are currently playing in Europe professionally.
Below is a list of players with their respective teams (and former NHL clubs):
Chris Holt - Hamburg, DEL (Blues, Rangers)
John Curry - Riga, KHL (Penguins)
For those who haven't had the opportunity to catch up on NHL news (or for people who generally don't get out much), last week the league made a formal announcement about the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. The worst kept secret was finally confirmed as the Pittsburgh Penguins will play host to the draft on June 22nd and June 23rd of 2012. The announcement was made by Commissioner Bettman and was accompanied by statements from Penguins President David Morehouse, General Manager Ray Shero, and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. The logo that will be associated with the event and is shown below.
The last time the draft was held in Pittsburgh was in 1997, we saw Joe Thornton go to the Boston Bruins with the first overall pick and Patrick Marleau head to San Jose with the second pick. The rest of the 1st round was sprinkled with names such as Olli Jokinen, Roberto Luongo, Eric Brewer, Marian Hossa, Daniel Cleary, and Brenden Morrow. Looking back, we can say that the steal of the draft was Brian Campbell - who was taken in the sixth round by the Buffalo Sabres.
For those wondering who might be the first overall pick in 2012, there seems to be a can't miss attitude on OHL Sarnia Sting forward Nail Yakupov. It was believed that his teammate, Alex Galchenyuk, could be the second overall pick. However, Galchenyuk tore his ACL and his draft stock will undoubtably drop because of it. Fellow bloggers have coined the term "Fail for Nail" and have thrown this term around to NHL teams who haven't had the best start to the '11-'12 season.
About three weeks ago I received an email that presented me with a unique offer. Bloguin had emailed me about joining together with a few other writers to create a main hockey blog on the front page of Bloguin. Titled Puck Drunk Love, it would be a space where we can write about what interests us the most - hockey. After securing the details, I agreed to jump on board with Kelly Reardon of BHDL, Jon Steitzer of Puckin' Eh, and a few other crazy characters.
This morning at 9AM EST, the blog finally launched on the main page.
If you want to follow the full stream of content that appears on Puck Drunk Love, there are a few ways you can do so:
1.) Through the Twitter article feed @PuckDrunkLove
2.) Through the Facebook page
3.) And of course, actually bookmarking the blog
For those of you who just want to read what I write, you can follow me tweeting about my posts at @icetheoffice. I don't plan on reusing content that I write for PDL on Ice the Office so you should keep an eye on PDL. I may decide to write a weekend links post on this blog to link back to my PDL pieces but I'm just not sure yet.
What does this mean for Ice the Office?
Simply put - I don't know. Ice the Office will still be up and running with no immediately plans to shut anything down. Jumping to the PDL crew is a step up in the blogging world and am thankful for the opportunity given that as a hockey blogger, I don't even have one year under my belt. If anything, Ice the Office will continue to talk about off ice issues and I will continue writing posts. I can't honestly say that I know the schedule I'll keep up though.
Either way, I appreciate anyone who has taken the time to stop by and read my posts. As an internet writer, I don't think I can accurately comprehend the effect (if any) that my posts have on anyone. Whether 5 or 500 people stop by, to me I'm just a guy typing in front of a computer. I don't really get to experience firsthand of what goes on after I hit the publish button. A disconnect - if you will. It is the nature of the position.
Hopefully my jump to PDL will mean that you will get to read great hockey articles!
Not long ago, I wrote a post on how the NHL should expand their viewing audiences by making the game available to the European fan. I argued that in order to increase the fan base, the game must be available to the general audience. To start the process going, I suggested signing a radio deal with the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) to air live games during the night hours. Apparently, the NHL was already ahead of me.
Today, news broke that the National Hockey League has agreed to a huge European TV deal with a company called Modern Times Group. The new agreement will last for five years and is valued at more than $50 million US dollars. Modern Times Group (or simply MTG) will be broadcasting NHL games in Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Denmark. Apparently the league has also confirmed deals in other parts of the world such as the United Kingdom, Spain, Czech. Republic, Slovakia, Africa, and the Middle East. Making the league internationally known has been a high priority for Gary Bettman and the rest of league officials. These new deals will allow the game to step up to an entirely new level of exposure. Fans' mark of discovery will come in form of pay channels and online streaming services. There will also be some opportunities to see games on free channels.
It would be a total disservice to my home market if I didn't mention the event that will take place this Friday (October 21st). For those who live in or around the greater Pittsburgh area, there is a big college hockey matchup that will invade the home of the Penguins (The Consol Energy Center). The University of Pittsburgh will face-off against Duquesne University in what is now called the annual city game. Both teams are in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) and have had this rivalry for some time now.
The hockey game is scheduled for a 7:30PM start and tickets will be $5 at the gate. You can buy your tickets ahead of time by going to the A.J. Palumbo Center Box Office or the Consol Energy Center Box Office.
For Duquesne's full schedule, click here.
For Pittsburgh's hockey website, click here.
Unfortunately, I will not be able to make the game. However, it doesn't mean that you have to skip out on the action. I'm sure that it will be a great time for all of those who are fans of these Universities. If you've never been to a college hockey game, I would suggest that you go at least once to get a feel for it.
For anyone wondering out there, I do not plan to cover college hockey on this blog. The time it would require would be out of this world. I will cover a few big events and news pieces, but will not mention the day-to-day activities. If anyone was up to the task of covering college hockey, their heads would have to be on a swivel. Besides the major separation of Division I and III, there are plenty of smaller hockey associations that are often divided my geographic location. It is a shame that college hockey doesn't make the noise it should be making in local, state, and national media. Except for the Frozen Four, availability to watch college hockey is low.
If you want to dive into the web of college hockey, I've provided a few starting links below.
Inside College Hockey
If you believe there is a story that I should be covering, or at least something that I should mention - please send it along! Since I'm just one person, I could always use extra eyes and ears in different parts of North America.
Back in September, the hockey world was completely blindsided by the horrible tragedy that struck Lokomotiv Yaroslavi of the Kontinental Hockey League. Yesterday, two organizations in the NHL helped launch a support campaign for all those affected in the tragedy. Titled "Love For Lokomotiv", the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins decided to dedicate their game last night in honor of the fallen. The game began with a ceremonial face-off between Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin and Capitals forward Alexander Ovechkin, with Penguins team owner and former player Mario Lemieux dropping the puck. They also were approved by league officials to wear a commemorative Lokomotiv patch on their jerseys. Following the heated (Capitals 3-2 OT Win) match, each player signed their game worn jersey and handed it over to the NHL to put the jerseys up for auction with 100% of the proceeds going to the support campaign.
In addition to auctioning jerseys, both teams' better halves raised money to support the campaign by selling silicone memory bracelets during the Capitals home opener (On Oct. 8th) and during the game last night in Pittsburgh. So far, the Capitals have raised more than $7,000 in their efforts. The numbers from last night's game have not been released yet.
If you'd like to bid on the jerseys that are up for auction, you can do so on the NHL supported auction site. If you find yourself lucky enough to win a bid on a jersey, you could see autheticity patches sewn into each jersey. The Penguins jerseys will include these patches sewn in by head equipment manager Dana Heinze.
To bid on (Away White) Washington Capitals Jerseys
To bid on (Home Black) Pittsburgh Penguins Jerseys
If the jerseys are a little out of your price range, you can still donate to the cause. The founders of this campaign are selling two different kinds of memory bracelets. The first is a prayer jade beaded bracelet that has sizes for kids and adults. Prices for this first bracelet are $50 for adults and $25 for kids. The second memory bracelet is made out of silicone and can be purchased for $10. According to the website, orders for the prayer bracelet are made to order and take 7-10 days.
If you can support this cause in any way, I encourage you to please do so.
Love For Lokomotiv Website
Players and Wives Show "Love for Lokomotiv" [Penguins]