Monday, December 20, 2010

Just some thoughts going into Christmas break.

Boy, what a difference a few weeks make?

Really doesn't seem all that long ago I was feeling ahead of the curve with my pick for the Blues to come out of the West.  Apparently there are two curses in hockey - one for whoever dons the cover of the most recent edition of EA's NHL video game franchise, and whoever Frank Steele picks to come out of the West.


But, as any good hockey blogger, I will stand by my early season prediction.  Just in case it turns out to be correct.  Then I will look brilliant.  Brilliant.

All joking aside (the part about my brilliance was the joke, in case you missed it) I still have faith in that squad.  I like the way they feel.  People write and talk about liking how a team feels like it has a decent playoff run in its gas chamber.  I think the Blues do.  And I think that injuries to key personnel will help in the long run.  Logging big minutes for small players and resting the top guns can help out big time, if you can manage to hold onto a playoff spot.

(Teams who I believe have a playoff feel in no particular order:  Flyers, Penguins, Thrashers, Bruins, Rangers, Colorado, the Blues, and LA.)

At this time last year people were starting to wonder if the Red Wings of Detroit were finally at the end of their long playoff run.

About that.

My better-bearded blog counterpart Jesse sent me a text last night that I found interesting. One that was more or less an echo of what the word on the NHL Network and in other blogs has been.  That the mighty Red Wings are in trouble right now.

Everyone has to say this sooner or later.  Who wouldn't want to say they were the person who called the decline of arguably the most successful sports franchise currently going before anyone else?  (honorable mention to the LA Lakers, Jimmy Johnson, and the New England Patriots as the best sports franchises going.)

But rumors of their demise have been greatly exaggerated time and time again.  After dropping an embarrassing game to the Kings, getting smoked by the Blackhawks and losing to the Stars in OT the Wings have fallen all the way to first place in the West and tied for second in the League.

Dream on.

I think it has been very interesting to read about what has been happening on this 24/7 series that has been following around the Caps and the Penguins for HBO.  Some very awesome things have been captured, and two very different pictures have been painted. 

It just so happens that HBO's cameras have caught Sidney Crosby during the most dominant stretch of his career and AO during his most dormant.  Which I find interesting, since it is supposed to be Alex who thrives in the spot light.  Who feels the heat of it and responds to it with flair and ease.

Yet Sidney looks like Mario and Alex looks pedestrian.  Or as pedestrian as we have seen since he came into the league.  And these things happen.  Do I think that Ovie has suddenly fallen off track for good?  No way, no how.  I just love the timing of his struggles and Sid's dominance.  It's great for the league and should make for some excellent television leading up to and including the Winter Classic.

At the end of the day, I want the puck on Sid's stick with the game on the line.  The first Winter Classic, every playoff game, the Gold Medal game...  the Kid never ever shies away and never ever fails to deliver.  He is scary.  And he's like, 24 and still doesn't live in his own home.  Which means there is hope for this lowly blogger yet, right?

Someone call the Atlanta Thrashers and tell them that hockey isn't supposed to succeed in the south please?  I'm loving that teams run right now, and from what I have been able to gather those dudes are for real.  Name a city in Canada outside of Vancouver who wouldn't trade squads with the Thrash.

You can't.

Rick Dudley is currently what Brian Burke wishes he was - Shrewd and accurate.  That is a dangerous combination, and an excellent way to build a contender very quickly.

The NHLPA has a new head.  I hope this is less embarrassing than the last round or three for the Players Association.  They were absolutely bullied in the last CBA.  As anyone who has read anything about Donald Fehr knows, the man brings the heat when it is needed.  Lets hope he knows how to use his firepower wisely and can help guide the League into a new era via bargaining agreement and holding the League responsible for its own inadequacy while doing the same for the Players Association.  Like him or not, any hockey fan absolutely has to be rooting for him at this point.

There are literally no other options.

Steven Stamkos will be fine.

And I wish that this years edition of the Bruins and Flyers could go back in time and play in last years Classic.

That is about enough out of me.  For those of you who stuck with me through that whole thing, you get a gold star for the day.

A gold star.

Happy Holidays everyone.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Jesse, a day late. (Fault? Frank's.)

The hockey games have been great lately. That Sharks - Flyers game was awesome.
Corey Crawford's winning streak was finally ended by the Sharks. Kane and Hossa are hurt and you can tell Toews knows he has to pick it up. - and he has been.
I watched the Rangers absolutely stomp the Capitals tonight. Every time I looked up either someone was scoring or fighting.
I honestly haven't watched many games the Hawks haven't been in. Watching the Blues isn't fun anymore with all the injuries.
Dear Lebron-
          I'm not mad at you, nor do I blame you. If I was giving the chance to leave these midwest winters for South Beach I would do the same. You need to have an ESPN special showing your house in Miami. When people saw that they'd understand. It's beautiful. I wish you the best. I respect you for doing what's best for you.
                                                                                                                       I like you more since you left. - Jesse
The Heat played the Golden State Warriors the other night and the fans in Oakland booed him. What do they even care.
The way Cleveland has reacted isn't very inviting for any other stars coming in that they can afford now. He may have left the wrong way, but you can't hate him for leaving.
People leave jobs for better jobs everyday.
It's funny because I compare all these things going on in the sports world to my job. Would everyone in Greencastle hate my guts if I wrote a letter to the newspaper saying I quit? What about the snow completely ruining the Minnesota Vikings roof. I would love for that to happen to me. Vacation city. I would love to grab a customer's shirt as I was walking by like Rick Rypien did and get four days off, or go crazy on someone like Andre Johnson did not get suspended at all. If only ya know.
Jimmy Eat World are playing on Conan on Dec.13.
Bobby Ray released a new mixtape title 'No Genre' and it is awesome. Download it here. -

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dear Lebron,

This is how a crowd responds to you when you leave like a Champion, and with honor and respect.  They cheer you between the whistles, and boo you during the game.  They don't burn your jerseys.  Ya' prick.

Anyway, that was a crazy hockey game on Versus tonight, on a night that would see the Sharks steal a victory from the jaws of defeat.  Gafaw!

After going down 4 to 1 with a little over 13 minutes to play, the Sharks roared back to life and scored three unanswered goals to force overtime after killing off a Philadelphia power play as the clock wound down. 


OT comes and almost goes quietly.  That is until Mike Richards fires his last chance shot from the top of the slot.  The puck takes a funny bounce and careens off of Danny Briere's skate, finding its way to the back of the net.  Right as time expires.

The referees on the ice seem sure of their call - it's a goal.  But they review it to be on the safe side.  They could be seen explaining this to Dan as he skated back to his bench.

Then the reviews clearly showed that the clock struck zeros literally a tenth of a second before the puck crossed the line entirely.


Then, of course, the Sharks go on to win in a shootout.  How many different ways can you find to lose a hockey game, Philly?

Pete is throwing an absolute fit after this one, I'd bet.

And Sid?  What is there left to say.  Crown that man.

Crown.  That.  Man.

I don't want any part of him come playoff time.

Long time no see - my explanation and why you should forgive me.

It's been a few weeks since my last post.  Lets get underway.

I have a lot of respect for Mike Modano.  He's won his Cup.  He's had his prolific years, and passed on the torch in Dallas.  He was the face of a franchise that he was drafted by, and wore the C for the greater part of a decade.

He's done just about everything a player would want to do.  In a very highly publicized move, Mike Modano came back home to where his career started as a young child to win another Cup with his hometown squad.  He was to anchor what was to be one of the better third lines in hockey. 

And then there was a freak accident.  These things happen.  Modano caught an errant skate blade behind his own net.  The blade found its way under his glove and severed skin and tendons, and doctors almost immediately counted him out for the season. 

Mike disagrees.

He is already taking measures to prevent excess scar tissue from forming and is gunning for a return in March. 

I find this to be pretty impressive.

For a player that really doesn't have anything to prove to look at a 90-day rehab schedule at the very end of his career?  The only thing that is driving him is a desire to win another Cup and just play more hockey.  I don't know what else fuels that besides an outright Love of the Game.  What a wonderful example for our young players.  I'll take Mike Modano and his drive to win over Brett Farve and his self-obsession in a heart beat.

The reason I haven't been blogging a whole lot lately is pretty simple.  My "real" life has been going pretty well, and several different things have been occupying my time.  Usually I would force myself to make some, but lately I haven't felt like I've had a whole lot of positive things to write about.

The Cambell email incident kind of sunk in, and I was angry.  I didn't want to voice those feelings and make them so public, so I just didn't write anything.  This is really the first time I've felt distant enough from reading them that I could sit down at a blank page and not berate the League. 

I feel like I do that enough.

I missed you.  And I will try not to do this too often.

How about those Thrashers?  I haven't been able to catch any of their games, but I just love the story.  My question?  How crazy would Winnipeg be going right now?  Dustin would probably have one of the top selling sweaters in the League.

Wow, Sidney.  Wow.  I feel like an older brother watching his younger brother transcend himself.  It's just that I was older than he was when he came into the NHL.  This was the first player who was outstanding and younger than me.  This was an odd, odd feeling for me then and it still is.

As I sit on my couch watching a college hockey game writing about hockey, Sid is averaging two and a half points a game. 

(As a sidenote, the college game I have been watching, their power play sponsor is Jack in the Box...  resulting in the color commentator saying "And this power play has been brought to you by Jack in the Box."  Clever.)

He nearly had three hat tricks in four games last week.  Instead he had to settle for two hat tricks and two two goal games.  I don't think you need a hockey blog writer to tell you that we're witnessing  something special here.

Stamkos hasn't been doing too shabby either.

Well I'm all out of thoughts for now.  Sleep beckons. 


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jesse is getting coal in his stocking.

(Frank Note:  It took me way too long to post this.  My apologies to Jesse.)

Happy Cyber Monday (Frank Note:  See?)  . I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and hopefully a nice Thanksgiving break.
Long time no post, and I apologize for that. I've been very busy with work, Call of Duty, and walking my dogs.
First things first. With all the holiday cheer I've been seeing around me with Black Friday and such, I thought I'd give you all a few holiday gift ideas for Frank. Check this badboy out. I could only imagine his x-mas cheer opening this gift x-mas morning. -
(Frank Note:  That isn't very nice.)

Juicy juice will always be better than Minute Maid. Fact.
The Hawks ended the circus trip on a high note. A solid win for Crawford against a slumping Kings team. I've been on the Crawford since before the season started. (ask Rusty.) so it's good to see him do well. The dude has payed his dues.
Watch John Scott beat the shit out of Kevin Westgarth. - It's why you're here Scott. So do it more.  (Frank Note:  Freakin'..  ouch.)
My dislike for Nick Boynton may surpass my dislike for Scott. At least Scott doesn't take dumb penalties that seem to lead to a goal every time.
If you have a PS3 my name is danmajerle. add me.
The new killing the dream came out. It rules. Everything they do rules.
You can stream the new ep from a band named the Frozen Ocean here. -  -  This is a project by a guy named David Swanson. The same David Swanson that was in a little band named Life In Your Way.
You can expect to hear about this fight everyday for the next week. - - Andre Johnson is probably gonna' get the heavy hammer of the NFL law laid on him. Worth it. No one wants to (Frank's Rafio Edit:  fight) with you now.
Actor Leslie Nielson died Sunday night from complications of pneumonia. I'm guessing the main complication was the fact that he had pneumonia.
You have a good night.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Hating on the All Star Game.

Seriously, did Horton's doughnuts run out of coffee on the morning the NHL announced the changes to the All Star game?  It seemed like just about every hockey writer had a lot of negative things to say about the weekend long event, and I guess I can't quite figure out why.  I just assume that there was a coffee shortage.

The common threads seemed to be the following:

1.  That mostly everyone feels that this is just an opportunity for corporate sponsors and the like to rub elbows with the best the game has to offer.

2.  The level of competition in the game is a joke, and as such this game isn't a good example of hockey, or even all that fun to watch.

3.  The players usually put on the ballots for fan voting tend to be more about name recognition than performance recognition.

I will respond to each of these points, and then we can wash our hands of this talk and move on with the rest of the hockey season.

1.  Yeah - it's called running a professional sports league.  Teams and the league itself receive money so that particular products can be associate with hockey and the NHL.  I don't see what the big deal is. That we give these people who pump so much green into our favorite teams the chance to meet Steven Stamkos? 

Suck it up.

I take pride in the fact that hockey players are rarely the pampered athlete type, and the "they deserve a weekend off instead" argument is nuts.  Yeah the players are tired.  That's why watching a squad lift the Cup carries so much emotion. 

I can't recall a single instance of a team claiming they could have won the Cup if they hadn't sent three of their players to the All Star Game. 

Stupid.  Stupid.  Stupid.

This is their profession, and the media side of the job is much, much less demanding than that of any other sport (except for in Canada, where I honestly believe that the media coverage is actually a detriment to the game...  but that's neither here nor there.)  Asking our best players to put on suits and schmooz two weekends a year - the All Star Game and Awards Night - isn't that big of a deal.

And they have fun playing together.  They all bring their family members along and hang out and get sticks signed, etc...  The players get to schmooz too!

So, to the point, the game is profitable and has positive impact on the League's bottom line. 

2.  If you don't like the level of competition, then perhaps you missed the point of the All Star Game.  Which is to watch the league's best dip and doodle in ways that are usually only reserved for practices and time off during the summer.

Admit it.  The possibility of watching Sid make a no look, behind the back pass to Pav Datsyuk who fakes a shot and drops the puck back again to a trailing Danny Heatly is a pretty awesome one.  Sure, there isn't a lot of hitting or back checking.  But we get that for 82 games a season, plus four rounds of playoffs.

I say lets marvel at the pure, crystallized and mostly uninterrupted talent flow that occurs on the ice.  How many rule changes have been implemented to increase goal scoring?  And a lot of people feel it hasn't been enough.

How people manage to complain about a 11 to 9 offensive showcase is kind of beyond me.  I savor the chance to not watch a team trap another one to death for 60 minutes.

So the All Star Game is fun.  Which seems to be a dirty F-word to hockey "purists", but I digress...

3.  This point I kind of agree with.  Which isn't any fun - agreeing, that is.  But usually some of the players who are nominated don't deserve to be there, and are only there because of the name on the back of the jersey.

Unfortunately the All Star Game is one of the leagues few opportunities to receive any kind of mild national press coverage that doesn't involve a rude gesture from one player to another, hits from behind, or a 100,000,000 dollar man missing a shootout shot entirely.

In short, we need the name recognition element to the game for it to have any kind of "growing the game" effect.

Hockey fans, for whatever reason, have this shut-in mindset.  That the game is theirs and only theirs and no efforts should be made to include the casuals. 

Well guess what.  We need the casuals.  Casuals fill up the seats that season ticket holders don't buy up.  And lets be honest.  Right now most clubs need all the Casuals they can get.

So the All Star Game gives the NHL positive  media recognition.

Lets recap then.  This one weekend out of the hockey season is profitable, fun, and gives the game positive media recognition and you want to cancel the thing and replace it with rest and relaxation?

Maybe Horton's didn't run out of coffee...  maybe someone spiked it with some kind of hallucinogenic drug...  because that just doesn't make any damn sense.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

A few quick blasts from Jesse

Tonight Jonathon Toews broke his stick purposely on the ice coming off during a shift change. That gesture sums up the beginning of this season perfectly for the Chicago Blackhawks. Another home loss tonight to a bottom feeder team. The Hawks got booed tonight and they deserved it. They aren't playing tough and they are not making chances for themselves. I wish I could write more about the games that have been played so far but they are making it tough. The same story every game, and it's not a good one. This is the seventh home loss this year for the Hawks. They lost eight total home games last year. Weak.
Meanwhile the St.Louis Blues are playing out of their minds. The Predators are getting it done (FS note:  Preds have been falling off a bit lately...  apparently right now it's the Blue Jackets we should be paying attention to...  have a great record in their last 10, and downed the Blues last night 8 to 1.) and the Red Wings are always tough. Awesome.
The Blues look like the best team in the league right now and Lightning have turned it around. Check out where they are in the salary cap compared to everyone else. -
Tuesday night the Rockford Icehogs got into eight fights. The Hawks just play oh-lay. Kyle Beach was in two of them and Jeremy Morin was in one.
Demi Lovato parties. Fact.
One of best hardcore bands out there today officially called it quits this week. Check out what you missed. -
Call of Duty: Black Ops came out this week as well. That zombie map is entirely too big, otherwise that game rules.
Last but not least. Happy Veteran's Day.
Thank you for defending our country and freedom.
If not for you I would not be able to do what I want when I want, and for that I am forever grateful.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Cheetos for breakfest.

Cereal for lunch.  This?  This is how I roll.

Moving on.

Since no one else is writing anything about the St. Louis Blues I guess I am going to have to do it.  Holy smokes, is all I really have to say.  After two seasons of really failing to live up to expectations, what with that awesome young core and all, they finally seem to get "it." 

Halak may end up being arguably one of the biggest steals of the last decade if they keep this up, regardless on how the two prospects Montreal got in return turn out. 

That kid is for real, and how Montreal deals him after what he did in the playoffs is absolutely beyond me.  Price isn't a bad goaltender - he is putting up respectable numbers so far.  But when a guy shows up like that in the playoffs the last thing on earth I'd want to do is trade the guy away.  Especially if that clutch dude is between the pipes.

No way.

Side Question before we get back to St. Louis:  Is there something in the water in Canada that makes their GMs so incapable of making good deals and building a hockey team?  Without even running a Google search I can think of several deals off the top of my head that just don't make any damn sense.

The Dion Phaneuf trade was actually terrible for both teams involved, which is something I don't believe has precedent. 

Taking on Scott Gomez and his Brad Richards sized contract for Chris Kunitz numbers is up there as well.  You can't put a price on leadership.  Unless the price is 7.3 million friggin' dollars a year.  I'd stab myself in the foot if my favorite squad did that.  Was Bob Gainey drunk - and I mean really drunk - when he pulled the trigger on that deal or did he lose a bet or what?

The exception I suppose is Vancouver, who I pray ends up meeting the Kings in this years playoffs after their phenomenal series last year.

Back to St. Louis...  (maybe that is why no one can write about them.  Oh look, a butterfly...)

I have not honestly had the chance to sit down and watch an entire Blues game, but I've seen a lot of highlight packages on the NHL Network, and I am under the impression they operate a lot like the successful Buffalo teams from the 90s did.  Roll four lines that are more or less the same, and play solid hockey in front of a good goaltender.

Seems simple enough, but it isn't very often teams can develop that kind of chemistry on four lines.  The Penguins can't even get synergy on their first line.

Looking over their roster, ten players have 5 points through 12 games.  Their top scorer is the gritty TJ Oshie.  I can not wait to see Oshie suit up for the United States for the next three Olympics.

They also only have 3 regulars who are minus players, and they are only -1 a piece.

So I declare the Blues legit.  No one should want any part of them in the playoffs.  They play the kind of hockey that can be very successful come that time of the year.  Responsible, two-way, win games 3-2 kind of hockey.  They can muck it out and have big, physical forwards that have good hands. 

I'm stoked that Tampa Bay is already on the turn around.  I love Steve Yzerman and it makes me happy to see him succeed so quickly.  I know he was handed more or less a full-house hand with guys like Stamkos and Hedman coming into their own, but give the man credit for bringing in good pieces during the summer. 

Early finals prediction? 

Blues vs the Bruins. 

You heard it here first.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Jesse's thoughts on Halloween, the Hawks, and looking like an ass.

Sorry for no post over the weekend. It was a busy one and I don't get a day off this week. One other reason for no post this weekend is because there are only so many ways to type the Blackhawks suck.

Hope your had a Happy Halloween. I can't count on my fingers how many times I heard, "Just an excuse for girls to (FS Edit) walk around town like they were at home, alone." I honestly don't know how they wanted me to respond to that. "Yeah it rules." or "Yeah it's so dumb blahblahblah." No care ever. Get away from me. I honestly do love Halloween. Mainly the decorations and the pumpkins. I'm down for pumpkin, owl, and bat decorations year round.

Brian Campbell is back. Yay.

Hawks had a stupid weekend. Pulled off a solid win against the Kings. Got totally destroyed by the Oilers. I didn't get to watch this game so when I saw the final score I about passed out. Tazer finally got some stats in this game. Beat the Wild on Saturday in a terribly boring game.

Shit has been lame recently man. Cup hangover is setting in. I understand the fact that you are defending the Stanley Cup so everyone wants to beat you but the Hawks are in such a tough division this lolly-gagging isn't gonna cut it. Also losing to Rangers and the Devils doesn't look sweet on the resume either. 

Thank god I'm not a Minnesota Vikings fan. Brett Favre is done. Cutting Randy Moss is accepting the fact it's over.

I hope Seabrook is a Hawk next year.

I work in an establishment where I am required to say goodbye to guests as they are leaving. (My life sucks). Our restroom is located next to our exit. I get faked out and say my farewells to people actually entering the restroom. Needless to say I look like a jackass at least two times a day for this very occasion.  (FS:  I work at the same kind of joint as Jesse - same chain, actually - and I too look like an ass one or two times a day due to this phenomenon, usually bringing my daily total to somewhere around 65 or 70.)
Blake Griffin has been a monster so far this season. Dude trys to destroy the world with every dunk.

Dear Kevin Garnett,
           I'm not mad at you. Charlie Villanueva does look like a cancer patient.
                                           - Jesse - All the netminders masks. Pretty neat. - Some parts are in spanish. You'll figure it out. Free tunes brah.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Living and dying by the stick.

It has been a hard fought, seven game Stanley Cup Final series.  Fans of both teams have watched for what feels like forever to get to this moment.  It stretches back father than a season, usually.  Sure, Chicago fans watched that squad all year last year.  But how many of them had been waiting since '61 - probably before the Kanes or Keiths ever met - just waiting for that run.  The run.

I was thinking about the emotional roller coaster -nay!  Journey - of a season, never causing any less emotion or stress or joy than the year before and the effect it can have on your day to day life.

Such is the power of sports.

Then I kept thinking.  There are Perennials.  Teams that you more or less expect to see in the top 8 of each conference every year.  Detroit.  New Jersey.  Pittsburgh.  Washington.  Chicago.  These are outstanding teams with a great mix of youth and experience and talent and personality and they make it.  They get it.  And fans flock to these teams.  Check out yearly jersey sales.  Ticket sales.  The stands, whenever local economies aren't crashing all over the place.  These are staple and model franchises (ignoring the recent decline of the Devils.  I think it is a bit early to cast them into the dead spout.)

But what is it like on the other end of the spectrum.

I was watching something (I honestly don't remember what it was) on the NHL Network and I saw a short clip of a Panthers fan going crazy with his face panted masterfully and a cape and...  well, you know the type.  And I couldn't help but say out loud...

Really??  They still do that in Florida??

And I don't mean any disrespect by that, but the last time the Panthers had any kind of real success was the first year they were a team and they ran all the way to the Finals, only to run into a juggernaut Avalanche team.

So how do teams like the Panthers keep putting fans in the seats?  And, more so, what is it like to be a honest-to-God, diehard fan of a terrible, terrible team that makes terrible, terrible choices and is terrible, terrible year in and year out?

(Sidenote:  I am not saying that the Panthers are bad.  They got the youth movement thing going..  still..  and they have some good pieces.  David Booth is one of my favorite canadates this year to have a break out season and I really always wanted Horton to break out for them...  kind of like how he is for the Bruins this year.)

Hockey fans are pretty intense.  What kind of toll does it take on your sports soul to roll your eyes every time you general manager calls a name at the draft?  Or makes a "splash" during free agency only to have it backfire in a huge way.  That the guy running your team apparently was the only one who didn't know about this players reputation for being lazy.  How does Steve Yzerman turn Tampa around in three months and do what they have been trying to do for a decade in Columbus?  What kind of blinders are we talking about here?

It seems pretty simple:  There are a lot of rich businessmen running hockey teams that aren't hockey people.  They don't get it.  And that has to be aggravating to fans of those franchises. 

People always complain about places like Phoenix having hockey teams, and they rant about how people don't even show up even when there is a good team on the ice.  But I don't think team placement is really an issue in the league any more.  It's a great game - build the arenas and they will come.

I think the issue is that there aren't enough good hockey minds in the higher-up levels of management to keep these teams decent and well ran for too long.  After all, it wasn't the players that spent the League into the ground before the lockout.

You tell me, in what other profession would Darryl Sutter of the Calgary Flames still be employed?  These guys are pulling the trigger on trades I wouldn't even make in a video game.

So I suppose fans of the rich-getting-richer teams should be thankful for the brains that run their teams.  And we should all appreciate the Atlanta Thrashers fan who is now buying his third team jersey, still going to the games, and still cheering his guts out and still hoping.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Modern-day Judas

Betrayal has been on my mind a lot lately.

The over-saturation of the Miami Heat's big three through the duration of the summer has been pretty unparalleled.  Since Lebron's one hour (total bull shit) "decision special" I don't feel like we've really heard about much else.  Every day that the Heat have played, they have been the cover story.  That is, of course, until Carmelo Anthony stated after the first game of the Nugget's season that he felt like it was "time for a change," implying that he wouldn't be re-signing with his current team come free agency and his mind was already wandering as far as the options went.

Are you kidding me?  You're paying these guys money to fly your colors?

I've tried to wrap my head around the situation and the psychology of it.  I understand that there is a huge difference between my life and theirs. A huge difference between me switching majors in college (ten times, all the while nobody else is really effected by it) and Lebron catching a flight down to Miami and never coming back (everyone cares, and an entire state feels like they have been stabbed in the back on national television while the entire world was watching).  Our lives don't level out or match up at all - the one exception maybe is that we are both capable of arming a supermodel girlfriend every time we take to the streets.  But I digress.

My point is, at the end of the day, these are people too.  Albeit very talented and rich ones.  But shouldn't they hold themselves to the same regulations that most decent people do?  I know words like honor and respect are loaded, but if you strip away all the implications I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to understand what I mean.

Go ask Joe Sakic and Steve Yzerman if they would have left their respective teams to join forces elsewhere for "a better chance at a ring."  But that would be a total waste of time.  We all already know the answer.

I've tried to pinpoint a single hockey player that would do this to his city.  Would scheme for an entire season to leave the squad he was playing for for seven years, take his foot viably off the gas during a playoff run, and then announce to the world that he was joining a few of his friends somewhere else without even alerting his team first.

Of the upcoming NHL free agents, I think Alex Semin of the Washington Capitals is a good example.  Especially when compared to Carmelo.  They both are supreme talents.  They can control a game from start to finish with their speed, finish, and vision. 

As long as they are in the mood to do so.  As long as they happen to feel like it that night.

Rumors have been swirling for the last few months that 'melo has already contacted a few other players with the intention of going to the New Jersey Nets once the current NBA season is over - the one that just started on Tuesday.  Could you imagine that being the lead of a hockey story?

Rumors  are abound recently that upcoming Washington free agent Alexander Semin has contacted Martin St. Louis (Tampa Bay) and Brad Richards (Dallas) and discussed with them the possibility of bolting to Edmonton at the end of the season to form a super-team.

That would blow my mind.  And I know I am not alone in that.  In fact, I will bet that you can't find me a single hockey fan that would nod his head and say "yeah, good move there.  I like that."

Every time I read a story about the Heat, or Carmelo it just makes me thankful that most hockey players have at least a little bit of honor and respect for the cities that they play for.  Ask anyone who plays in Montreal or Detroit and they will tell you that they are keenly aware of what they and their team means to their city.

These guys - the Carmelos and Lebrons of the world - they don't seem to have a clue or a care in the world about that.  Hell, Lebron just made a commercial with Nike capitalizing on his recent fall to villianhood.

And every day that passes it becomes more evident.  Lebron doesn't give a shit about you and how hard it was for you to save up for season tickets in the nose-bleeds while Ohio was sank deep into a recession. 

And every day I am more and more thankful that I am a hockey fan.  I am thankful for guys like Duncan Keith and Drew Doughty and Steven Stamkos who play the game it was meant to be played, and aren't obsessed with bringing attention to themselves via a twitter page or a clothing line.

They are soldiers.  That they get it.  And these other prima donna athletes just don't.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sparadic thoughts of Jesse's mind

Ummmmmmm. Where is Marian Hossa and why didn't he return for the third period?  (Frank note:  Hossa only took a few shifts in the second period and left the game with what was called an "upper body injury."  When he was hurt, and where he was hurt, and how serious the injury is is not yet clear.  I hope it isn't bad - I have the guy locked up on two of my fantasy hockey squads.)
Get well soon Marian. Dear god please get well soon.
The Blackhawks first game back from a three day vacation was tonight against the Kings. Patrick Sharp is on fire, and a handsome young man. Nine goals so far this season. Hawks win even being outshot. Ending a two game losing streak. Always good to win at home to such a tough team. 
Brian Campbell is ahead of scheldule and already on skates. Once he returns maybe Keith and Seabrook can sit down for more than 10 seconds a game.  (Frank note:  Keith will always play 45 minutes a game.  I think they added horse DNA into his genetics when he was a baby because that dude is a work horse that just does not make mistakes.  Anyone in Chicago right now that would take Kane over Keith?)
Should sticks really break this much?
The NBA Season began to take away what little ESPN time hockey gets.
Dear Patrick Kane,
   Welcome to the third line, now put your mouthpiece in your mouth and do something please.
Antti Niemi is making the Hawks look good. And the Hawks don't look good.
The Minnesota Wild's alternate jersey is much better looking than that weird logo with trees and whatever.
If your 100 million man is watching from the pressbox, shit is seriously caked on the fan. I don't know what is up is New Jersey other than the fact that the Devils suck right now.
Speaking of sucking in New Jersey. You can pick up Nets tickets for as low as .39 cents on Stubhub. People pay more the cheapest thing at taco bell. I spent more on a can of soda. That price blows my mind.
The World Series is underway and no one cares.
So Mel Gibson was supposed to have cameo in The Hangover 2, until the staff voted no. There are so many jokes here. So much racism.
Sony announced they are no longer making Walkmans. 1992 is bummed.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Imagine a hockey bar.

I do this from time to time.  Often, honestly.  I work in a sports bar - a Buffalo Wild Wings to be specific - and live in Indiana.  So needless to say every Sunday the establishment is full to the brim with football fans.  Colts fans, Steelers fans, Bears fans.  All hooting and hollering and berating one another. 

My facebook page is filled with sports comments of all kinds every day.  A friend of mine who is a Yankees fan comes to mind.  She is a legit fan - not the band wagon sort.  She's got the NY tattooed on her hip and splurged her college refund money on a seat from Yankee stadium a few years back when it was torn down, much to her fathers chagrin.  Needless to say when the Yanks failed to make the World Series last week her wall was packed to the brim with friends (?) rubbing her nose in the loss. 

I can't even imagine what her cellphone text inbox looked like.  Sheesh.

Another friend of mine - a Steelers fan - went back and forth with a Dolphins fan in the same fashion for the entirety of what turned out to be a hell of a game yesterday.  I was exhausted just reading the exchange.

Now lets switch gears a bit.  When my favorite hockey team was knocked out of the playoffs last year I heard nothing about.  No one stopped me on the side walk to marvel in my displeasure and suffering.  No one mocked me on a social network site, or even so much as dropped me a quick text after seeing the score of the game on Sportscenter.

Two different worlds to say the least.

Since I was a teenager I'd always wondered - borderline fantasized - about what it would be like to live in a hockey crazed community.  Like Minnesota or anywhere in Canada.  Where you could walk into a sports bar and find a building full of people (gasp) watching, enjoying, and talking about hockey.  It sounds like heaven to a guy who grew up - for lack of better term - in Indiana.  Not exactly a hockey hot bed. 

But then I started thinking about this last night while closing down at work.  How awful could it be as well?

Lets be honest, some sports fans are just ignorant.  I have the luxury of not having to hear any of that ignorance for the most part.  If someone at the bar thinks he wants to get lippy with me about my squad, I can pretty much guarantee I know more about the sport than he does and can drop knowledge on him to get him to shut up and leave me alone and return to his 3 dollar draft light beer.

I promise you that isn't the case for my football, baseball, and basketball counterparts.

So what's better?  Being a one-out-of-a-million hockey fan, surrounded by those who argue about the sport like it were politics (just check out the comments on just about any story posted on  Or being the guy in a community that is associated with the game?

Not to toot my own horn here, but anywhere I go I leave hockey fans in my wake.  Kind of like a hockey Moses or something.  Usually life-long fans too.  And I'm very proud of this.  They see the passion in the game and listen to me yell at the TV and talk about the sport in a way that is foreign to most fans of any other game.  And they want to know why.  They catch the bug, pick a team, and keep up with the sport long after I have moved on.

It's an awesome effect to have on a group of people.

The grass is always greener, I 'spose the saying goes.  But maybe in this case I should be thankful for what I have around me, eh?

A quick sidenote:  ESPN released this weeks power rankings today ( and I found it interesting that the top two teams are in the Central, and every team from the division except for the Blue Jackets were in the top ten. 

I remember when the Central was widely considered the worst division in hockey.  That clearly isn't the case now, and hasn't been for a long while.  Hell, the Jackets are finally finding their game after a slow start and could muscle their way up there as well. 

I'd like to know how the Capitals would do if they had to play Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis and Nashville three hundred times a year instead of Atlanta, Carolina, and Florida.  Of course the Bolts seem to be poised to give the Caps a run for the Southeast crown, but it's a bit early for that kind of talk.

I'm off for some lunch.  Have a good afternoon all ye' faithful.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Canada is awesome because...

of reasons that can be found beyond that link.  It is what it sounds like.  A chart showing when people in Canada used water during the gold medal game during last years Olympics.  Pretty epic.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Jesse reviews a few games and entertains some entertaining thoughts.

Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook play about a half hour every night. This isn't good for anyone.
The Chicago Blackhawks are out of shape.
Brian Campbell should be on skates next week.
The rent is too damn high. -

Hawks beat the Canucks in a shootout Wednesday night. Toews and Kane were automatic and Sharp is a good looking man. All three putting the puck in the net during the shootout respectively. Viktor Stalberg and his fourth line scored the Hawks lone goal in regulation in the first. Four game winning streak. Free scarves and a shootout. Can't beat it.

Luongo shit his pants Wednesday. I'm not impressed with the Canucks. The NHL Network have been stoked on them since preseason though.
The four game winning streak was ended in a loss to the St. Louis sads Friday night. Sharp and Seabrook the only hawks to light the lamp. It was a close game just as every other game so far this year. John Scott finally did something useful and got into a fight. He didn't win, but neither did the other person. I was under the assumption that he would fight like Mike Tyson seeing that he can barely skate.
Kaner had his mom fly into Chicago last week when he was sick. You scored the winning goal in the Stanley Cup. Now is the best time for you to look for a girlfriend.
The day after the letter was posted to Turco he waved Seabrook in for a pass. My living room erupted.

Marty Turco is a loyal reader if you weren't already aware.

We are all aware of what Ryan Rypien did so I won't waste your time. The fan spoke to the local newspaper saying that all he said was "way to be professional." That's awesome. He also made it clear that he would be pressing charges. I'm sure at least 3 lawyers talked to him before he left the building. If a player grabbed me like that at the United Center I would be absolutely stoked. Jumping for sheer joy. Rink side seats forever baby. The building may also receive a little bit of the blame seeing they didn't bring out the tunnel for him to walk in. Rypien was suspended six games. Six games is a slap on the wrist.

Speaking of people acting professionally. The punter for the Indianapolis Colts Pat McAfee was found by police soaking wet at 5:30 A.M. Wednesday morning. Homeboy went swimming in the canal in 40 degree weather. He told the police he was soaking wet because it had been raining. It hasn't rained in months in Indiana. I was unaware people went off like this on Tuesday nights. Dude rules.

Pat McAfee parties. Fact.

Ocho Cinco and Terrell Owens have their show on Versus. No Care Ever. They stated on their show that the NHL hits are harder than the NFL hits. They know this because they are smartest men alive.

I thought it was interesting.
In music news the new Killing the Dream album is now up for preorder at - you can also watch a live set.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Rarely am I glad we have Gary...

David Stern recently came out with a list of things he wanted to accomplish with the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement.  It included the following.

-A hard cap
-A 40% rollback in all player salaries
-Unlimited expense deductions
-The elimination of guaranteed contracts

"There's a swing of somewhere in the neighborhood of $750 to $800 million that we would like to change" Stern said in regards to how much he'd like to roll back in player salaries. 

David Stern is clearly insane.

What would your response be if your boss called you into his office and asked you to do the same amount of work for 40% less money just so he could make more?

At least Bettman had the tact to not come right out and say "I don't think our players are worth as much as we're paying them.  I'm going to sit on the laps of the owners and cause a work stoppage.  Whatever it takes to make these 30-some people happy."

So what's my point?  We may be stuck with a lame commish who is not a hockey-man, but at least he isn't an idiot. 

And now we have yet another reason to be glad that we aren't the NBA.  Let me know how the lock out feels next year boys. 

Sports > economics


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sunday night Football.

It's amazing what a few well oiled, machine like athletes can do to each other in an instant.  They can make spectacular twinkle-toe catches or phenomenal no look drop passes leading to a laser beam slap shots.  They can also end each others careers in an instant.

I wanted to write about this as soon as it happened last Sunday, but I decided to really think about the subject before I just blabbered on for paragraphs and managed to say nothing important or original.  Not that the four days of thought actually did those things.  But I digress.

On Sunday, the NFL saw a rash of head-on collisions that sent shock waves through the league and the sport.  Sportscenter gave their writers three days off, in fact, since they weren't going to be covering anything besides the hits and the NFL's subsequent reaction. 

A can of worms was opened when several players ended up face down on the field motionless due to devastating hits.  And the NFL didn't waste any time acting.  They touched up their rulebook.  They handed out fines.  Big ones.  One of the players involved is even considering retirement.  From guilt!  Could you imagine Matt Cooke saying in an interview that he was considering retirement after one of his disgusting plays?  No.

Could you imagine the NHL responding with the same haste and heavy-as-a-hammer response?

How many players ended up cheek down on the ice before the NHL bothered to hold a meeting?  Ask David Booth.  I'm sure he was counting the days - granted he could count past three after this hit at the beginning the season last year.

Crushed.  The only thing left after that hit was a buy-low option for fantasy hockey players who were in a dynasty league.  A good, young player hit high and dirty by another good, young player.  And what did the NHL do?  Diddly squat.  Nadda'.  Nothing.  I don't remember there even being a damn statement. 

The NFL, on the other hand, didn't miss a beat.  They dropped punches onto the heads of the players who were breaking their rules and, more importantly, hurting people.  No nonsense.

The league full of clowns like Terrel Owens - the kind of athlete hockey fans are proud not to have grabbing headlines - reacted better, and with more accuracy than the bureaucratic mess that is the NHL and the NHLPA.

I guess to some degree I just wanted to give credit where credit was due.  Kudos to the NFL front office for not hesitating.  Some people are saying that maybe the reaction was a bit knee-jerk.  But I'd rather have people accusing my league's commish and co. of being too quick on the trigger than wondering if they are even paying attention at all.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Jesse comes out and unvails his favorite squad.

To start this post I would like to remind you all that Marian Hossa is a beast. Period.
In these past few weeks he has been unstoppable.

We all love big hits. The NFL and UFC is absolutely huge right now. People love to see people get rocked. Even I love to see a good fight now and again. Nothing changes the
momentum of a game like a nobody on your team winning a fight. The main difference between a fight and a blindsided head shot is the fight is controlled. Everyone knows what they are in for and it can be ended at anytime.

A hit from behind sucks. Across the board. If you the opposing team does it, it's the biggest deal in the world. If your team does it you make sure the floor is still there and look to change the subject.
The suspensions and fines are legit. They are deserved. No one likes losing money, no matter what country you were born in. The only reason I don't park in handicap spots is because I don't want to pay the fine. The hits will decrease.

As Frank stated this is not yesterdays hockey. These guys are huge and they been playing hockey since they could tie their skates. They know how to hit. In this day and age we know too much concussions and head injuries. Imagine these guys not wearing helmets these days. It could be fatal. We cannot eliminate hard hits because it is a part of the game, but we can not let it get out of hand.
These suspensions must stay consistent.
Niklas Hjalmarsson was suspended two games for a hit on Jason Pominville of the Buffalo Sabres. Hjalmarsson's first game back was against the Sabres. A Buffalo player knocked the glass out of the boards looking to land a big hit. I'm sure the boys in suits saw the drama coming. Pominville has yet to return from Hjalmarsson's hit.

Moving on, the Stanley Cup champions were off to a sluggish start with a loss to the large amounts of falling snow and the Wings of Red. Losing your entire defense will do that to a team. Luckily Hossa has been playing out of his mind and Patrick Sharp has a pretty good relationship with the back of the net. Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook can't keep playing the amount of minutes they have been.

Nick Leddy was sent to Rockford this week which I found strange seeing that John Scott is the worst player in the league. Boynton knows the exact time we do not want a penalty and commits a delay of game. Last and not far from least everyone is aware Cullimore just isn't that good.

Dear Marty Turco,
     The last I checked you're getting paid to be the goalie. Please stop straying so far away from the goal.
   - Everyone.

Corey Crawford is solid backup. Rockford has treated him well.

My main concern right now the Chicago Blackhawks are conditioning and defense. Bickell won a fight last night. It seemed to pump them up a bit to pull the overtime win over the St Louis musical notes. Last season they out skated everyone. The blondes and Bacardi's over the summer didn't treat the stamina too well.

That's enough Blackhawk talk for now. I just don't get to talk about them very often.


Monday, October 18, 2010

My name is Jesse. It's a pleasure to meet you.

Frank here, again.  In all honesty this blog came about from the encouragement from a few friends.  Of course.  But during a text exchange with my friend Jesse last week I decided I was going to take a run at it.  He said a few things that clicked, and made me feel like it was worth a shot.

As it turns out, Jesse is a decent writer and a good friend.  Since he helped talk me into this (finally) and came up with the name for the blog and aided in the development of our concept, he gets to post as a contributor.  Just pretend we're, with more than one writer about the same thing. 

I mean, it's only a matter of time before we get there, right?

So with no more introduction, the following is Jesse's first post.  An introduction, much like my first post was.  Enjoy.


Life has a very interesting way about it. People also have interesting ways about themselves. People generally think they know what is best for any other person that is willing to listen. I am also guilty of this. As I get older I realize these things. I plan to write about the things that I learn in life that I feel as though are important and or may be useful to someone else. As I stated earlier, you know what is best for you, I am full of mere suggestions. Keep in mind that I am an idiot, and I am asshole.
Another thing I plan to write about is sports. I have loved sports since I was young. The thing I love the most about sports is the companionship and the passion. Everyone wants to be a part of something. Being a sports fan is something everyone can be a part of. No matter what the sport almost everyone has a favorite team. The feeling you get when you realize you and another person have the same favorite team is incredible.
To my understanding this will be a hockey based blog. Let it be known that Frank's hockey knowledge is probably at least triple that of mine. It can be said I am a little more than a casual hockey because I know a lot about one team. My knowledge outside that one team is very little, But my love for that one team is very great. You will figure out the team soon enough. I have been studying up on my hockey this season already for this blog and to be able to keep up with Frank.
My contributions to this blog will probably be inconsistent as with everything else in my life. Some weeks may have two or three and others may have none. Some days I may just feel like playing Call of Duty instead.
Frank probably does not remember any of this so it is more than likely news to him as well. The first time I met Frank was while he was working at the Tecumseh Dining Hall while we were both attending Vincennes University. The only reason I spoke to him was because he was wearing a Red Wings hat. I asked, "You a big Red Wings fan?", in my mind I was thinking 'Detroit Sucks.' I'm sure his answer was yes, I didn't care at the time. Later on we both worked at our local Buffalo Wild Wings where we became friends. I generally learn and can respect Frank's opinions on things or else you wouldn't be reading me type this right now. 
My name is Jesse. It is a pleasure to meet you.


Boom! Head shot.

The NHL recently suspended the Coyote's captain Shane Doan for 3 games in response to a hit delivered to the head of Duck's forward Dan Sexton.  The hit can be seen here: 

In case you were wondering, yes I did just teach myself how to create a link.  Just to save you loyal readers (still three, I believe) a few clicks.  You're welcome.

I counted two seconds.  Go back and watch, and count how long the puck is off Sexton's stick before he catches a shoulder across the side of the face.  Now rewind that, and watch what the honorable Shane Doan is looking at while the play is developing.  At no point does he seem particularly interested in where the puck is.  Sexton passes the puck.  Doan's head doesn't follow the play.  He hoans in on Sexton and clips him.  That was the intent from the time Doan's squad turned the puck over in the O-zone on forward.  He was a heat seeking missile, regardless of where the puck or play was.

Good play Shane.  Stay classy.

There are two arguments I can see stemming from the league's suspension of Doan.  I'll address them both.

1.  Finish your hits.  I get it.  I love hockey, probably more than you do it that's your honest thought.  This isn't 1967 and players are no longer normal size.  These are athletes, to degrees we hard working folk can't understand, and hit way harder these days than we can fathom. 

There is the flow of the game.  And then there are rules - rules that have been implemented to keep everybody safe.  Not just the guy you're blindsiding.  But you too.

Hitting is a part of the game.  I know.  I...  I know.  How's this for a hit?  That's the ticket.  The defenseman, in this case Nick Kronwall, read the play, stepped up, and crushed Havlat who was staring at his feet.  Kornwall didn't leave his feet.  He hit a player head on who had his head down.  Doan didn't do that.  Doan came from the side, had zero intention of following the puck, play, or money considering it will cost him around 70 grand, and leveled another player who didn't know he was there.

Now, obviously Havlat didn't see the hit coming, but that is because he had his head down.  (How old was he during that game anyway?  12?  Isn't that the first thing they teach you?)  Sexton, on the other hand, was watching the play develop after making a pass and had no idea Doan was coming.  So...

Boom.  Head shot.


2.  Sexton shouldn't have been admiring his pass. 

Yeah.  Whatever.  He watched the puck go stick to stick for about a second and Doan trucked him another second later.  If this is your thought process, watch less Don Cherry and maybe think logically a bit more.  Start thinking about if this is the reputation you want your game to garner across the board.  If you want each team to have 3 or 4 players on the IR at any given time, maybe you should go watch baseball.

These are favorite athletes on favorite teams.  No one wins when players go down because of dirty hits.  Did I give a crap when Eric Lindros lost his career to head-on collisions?  No.  Keep your head up.  But that does not apply to these hits from behind.

These hits aren't hockey.  They are total crap, and they make me angrier and angrier every time they happen.  This isn't our game, no matter what a few alleged "purists" (code word for stubborn old men) insist.

So, to some extent, kudos to the NHL - just this once - for increasing these suspensions.  We've gone from a $2,500 fine, to a two game suspension, and on to a 3 game suspension.  I like that they are jacking the dosage here.  Doan will be missed for three games, make no mistake about it.  If they miss the playoffs by one or two games (Ask the Rangers about that) we may very well look at this suspension as a turning point in their season. 

Maybe, just maybe, by the time the year 3000 rolls around these guys will get the point.  These dirty hits aren't ok.  You're hurting people. 

Stop.  Doing.  It.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Hockey, Life, and what to Expect

Life has an interesting way about it.  Obviously I am not reinventing the wheel of thought here when I state this.  But that doesn't make it any less true. 

When I was a kid my dad decided to redo our basement.  Needed a closet.  So he wanted to build one.  Drywall and what not.  Probably a few beers.  The works.  Or was it?  You see, my father was building in an iTuneless, iPodless time (insane to even think we ever existed without these things, right?) and he had to rely on a radio! *cue the dramatic, static filled music*

As the Hockey God's would have it, only one station came in on my dad's radio down in our basement:  an A.M. station carrying an IHL team called the Cincinnati Cyclones (  My dad - a lifelong baseball fan - discovered hockey.

Needless to say, he passed this on to his young son.  ...  Yes.  That would be me. And I took it.  Apparently like I'd never took to anything in my adolescent years.  I never loved basketball (short), and you couldn't pay me to play baseball (boring) or chase a soccer ball around a field (asthma).  But you put a stick in my hands and I'll disappear for hours.

This story could obviously go on.  I could talk about my first hockey games and going to Cincinnati Mighty Ducks games and playing and playing and playing.  But that isn't what you're here for.  What I want you - all three of you! - to know is that hockey isn't like a hobby to me.  It's integrated into the fabric of my person like a profession or a title like brother or husband might be.  Not all hockey fans are like this.  I'm here for the ones who are.  Who understand that a person plays the sport the way they live their lives.

There's a short bio, I guess.  Other important things include the following:

I hate Matt Cooke.
I love the game more than any one team.
Every year I pull for one underdog team - usually the Buffalo Sabres and the Blue Jackets (thanks dad).
I think Chris Stewart and Drew Doughty should form a super-hero crime fighting duo.
I always crank the sound whenever we get a live game from a Canadian venue.  The anthems are astounding.
Gary Bettman is a business man.  Not a hockey man.
We don't need two teams in Florida.  Move one to Winnipeg. 
Winnipeg should have a hockey team.

I think that about does it for now.  I plan on being a very active poster - at least once a day, but hopefully two or three times.  So check back, and tell all your friends to come check it out!

Be well, and good luck.