Category Archives: Awesome

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Cute Alert: Jordan Leopold’s Daughter Predicts The Future In Adorable Letter

Jordan Leopold has had himself a pretty nice career. He has managed to hang around the in the NHL for over a decade and he has been a pretty good contributor almost everywhere he goes. After Monday’s NHL trade deadline, he is now onto his 8th team in his career.

By: Adam Pyde – @Adam_Pyde

Lucky for him, it appears he went exactly where he was wanted. Not only just by his new team in Minnesota, but by his daughter who wrote this adorable letter to the Wild about trading for her father.

Originally posted on Talking Baws

Just look at this.

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To be honest, I think this girl could make a better GM than a whole lot of the guys in the NHL right now. That was quite the sell job she did for her father.

Who knows what would have happened if they did not make the trade. Would she have been making people in Minnesota bite the curb?

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NHL Week 2 Panic Rankings

I still think it is too early for power rankings, so I won’t do them. But in sports, it is never too early to panic! There are some real things worth panicking over in the NHL right now.

By: Adam Pyde - @Adam_Pyde

10. The Boston Bruins

Things are getting better but there is still some cause for concern, as in they are not being good at hockey. They may be only a 10th of the way into the season, but it is important to get points early and 6 through 7 games is not good enough. The forwards are out of sync. The defence misses Seidenberg’s knee and Johnny Boychuk. At least they beat up on Buffalo.

9. Calm people 

Everyone has let up on making their sweeping generalizations after 2 games. Where is the fun in that? Don’t let reality set in people. Reality and being sensible is way too boring.

8. Touchy Feely Referees Embedded image permalink

They’re being right up front with it now, which is an improvement over last week.

Read the full Panic Rankings at Talking Baws

NHL Summer Watch: Three Very Different Teams

With the game’s greatest prize heading back to the beaches of SoCal for the second time in three years, the other 29 NHL clubs are dealt back in, and are preparing for a summer of business, and transactions to get them to the next level, to be a contender.

Let’s start by taking a look at the three of the most interesting teams to watch for now that the cup has been delivered.

Teams in the NHL have seemingly found themselves lumped into three separate groups. The first category being “Not Even Close” which would include teams like the Edmonton Oilers, Islanders, Sabres, and Florida Panthers, These are the teams that just can not figure it out, and won’t be close for awhile, if ever, or so it seems.

The second groupings of teams are “Close but not quite” These teams are good, always competitive, but when it comes down to things, they’re still a cut below the best.   Teams like the  St. Louis Blues, San Jose Sharks, Philadephia Flyers, This is the most populated group of the bunch, and these teams are itching to get into the next tier.

The final grouping of teams are the “We’re Here” teams.  Teams that contend seriously for the Stanley Cup each year.  The LA Kings, obviously.  The Boston Bruins and The Chicago Blackhawks. MA Fleury has officially dropped the Penguins into the middle pack.

Let’s take a look at one team out each of these groupings as the most intriguing to watch this summer.  Coming from the not even close grouping, has to be the Edmonton Oilers.  You’ve probably been saying this for the last half a decade, but at some point it just has to click for them… doesn’t it?  The Oilers seem to have fixed their crease, but continue to have a lowly group of defenseman, and the same forward cloned nine times.  Look for them to make some changes to fix the blue line, add some size up front.  Mactavish has proved to be a very active GM, and very open about the changes needed to be made.  They’ve made some changes on the bench this year, and upstairs already having added former Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson into the mix.  This group absolutely has to be eager to get going, and at the very least move into the “Close, but not quite” group.

Coming out of the “Close, but not yet” group is the newest team to join this party, the Pittsburgh Penguins.  The Penguins are continually the top of their division, 2005-2006 was the last season that the Penguins didn’t either win their division, or finish second being only a couple points shy of first.  Yet, they still only have one Stanley Cup in that time.  No question they have some of, if not the two best players in the game, but is it working anymore?  After another quick playoff exit, the Penguins have showed they’re tired of being first to the party, and first to leave year after year.  Winning divisions, and opening rounds is no longer acceptable.  Ray Shero, and Dan Bylsma were the first to feel the brunt of that.  But, can this team really win another Stanley cup with MA Fleury in net?  Hard to blame MAF for their woes this playoff, especially when you’re up 3-1 in a series but by now it’s as much a mental barrier, and a distraction with him back there.  He loves to let in bad goals, and the media is constantly talking about it around the Penguins.  The Penguins have to be careful to not change too much, too quickly, but look for them to add some secondary scoring, some depth in net, if not a new starter.  Penguins have wasted no time making headlines since their exit; look for them to continue doing so.  They won’t be content being in this group for very long, not with 87 and 71 on your team.

Now that flightless birds have slipped out of this group, were left with three teams that are rest above the rest.  Hawks. Bruins. Champions.  We’ll look to the LA Kings to be the most intriguing team amongst these three this summer.  Defending champs are always an interesting group to watch going into the next season.  How much hangover will they have?  There are a few key players that are without a contract for 2014-15 season.  Willie Mitchell & Matt Greene who were both quietly very effective for the LA Kings are now free agents.  These two will be sought after by many of the second grouping of teams.  They’re older, but still have some grit, and game left. You can’t win without these types of players.  But, with Mitchell having earned $3.5M last season, and Green earning $2.95M, something tells me these two will need to take a significant pay cut to remain with this group.  Secondly, up front the LA Kings will need to make a decision on Marian Gaborik who was phenomenal for them in the playoffs, and then as well Mike Richards.  Gaborik collected a cool $7.5M last season, which is more than Drew, and more than Anze.  Can’t see Lombardi signing Gabby for any more than his two best players, so alike the rugged defenseman, Gabby will need to be happy with a pay cut if he wants to stick around in LA LA Land.  Mike Richards will be another interesting issue for the Kings.  The guy knows how to win, no doubt.  All he seems to do outside of the nightlife, is win.  But, his role was decreased dramatically, centering the fourth line, scoring only eleven goals in the regular season, and three more in playoffs.  Richards will either need to open up his training program manual a few more times this off season if he doesn’t want to be bought out by the Kings.  The Kings also seem to do a terrific job developing players from Manchester and bringing them in at the right times to be effective with the big club.  See Toffoli, and Pearson.   There is going to be a new Stanley Cup banner raised at Staples Center come opening day, but there is sure to be some new faces as well.

Here comes the summer!

 

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How Things Have Changed: NHL Uniforms in 1999

Fifteen years ago was a long time ago. Think about it. Probably a lot of the stuff you thought was cool isn’t anymore (kick scooters), but hey some of it probably still is (Lego, Pokemon, Backstreet Boys). This applies to fashion too. Remember the 90‘s fashion? Especially late 90s when everything had to be shiny or gaudy? Well the NHL was no different.

It used to look ugly. Really ugly, but some of it has come back to look pretty good. Actually it looked good. Nope ugly. Dive in.

By: Adam Pyde - @Adam_Pyde

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We start in Anaheim, where they were very 90s.

Just look at those colours. Teal and eggplant. It looked tacky at the time, but honestly, the look as aged quite well which seems to be the case of most old uniforms. Maybe its my Mighty Ducks movies nostalgia.

“Rabble rabble rabble GET RID OF THAT OLD STUFF! ITS TIME TO MOVE ON! WE NEED A NEW LOOK! rabble rabble rabble”

Then you get new looks, and they usually suck but you buy it and defend it because of team allegiance. But 10 years later people are clamouring for the classic look. And this one was no different.

In fact Anaheim brought it back and the team hasn’t looked so good in the last 8 years. Gone was a 90% black uniform and in came something that really popped. In a league full of boring black and navy uniforms, this was a welcome change.

You’re welcome to bring these back full-time at any moment, Anaheim.

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Next we stop in Boston where, uh, they wore… this.

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Really Boston? Who approved this? Who approved putting one of the greatest defencemen of all time in this? Are you kidding me?

“The hot new trend is a third sweater these days! Let’s make one bright yellow and put Smokey the Bear on it! It’ll sell like hotcakes and look great!”

Awful. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the last terrible yellow uniform we’ve seen.

Still, woof. I get Anaheim. That was 1995.

But this? It looks like one of those hilarious minor league sweaters worn on fundraising nights for local charities.

“Come on out to the Garden to support our local boy scouts raise funds for wildfire awareness!”

Luckily for your eyes, the Buffalo Sabres actually were wearing a pretty decent uniform in 1999.

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Not bad. And I would probably like it more if half of the Minor Hockey Associations across British Columbia didn’t feel the need to switch to this design. It’s probably the second best uniform set in franchise history, trailing only behind the classic 1970′s look.

Plus, this sweater accompanied Buffalo’s only trip the Stanley Cup Finals where… oh right. This happened.

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Would you look at that. What a travesty. And of course I’m talking about the Dallas Stars ever ditching those classic green star uniforms.

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Damn. That looks good. Oh so good. And so unique. The Stars used to be the only team in the entire league to wear green in their uniform. No idea why. Green is a great sweater colour.

And look at that design. They are called the Stars, and their uniforms were star designed. And it worked. Good job marketing and design teams!

Similar to the Buffalo Sabres, this was the only sweater that ever got the Stars into the Stanley Cup Finals, and they won. Then the franchise struck futility for years wearing boring black uniforms.

But times are good right now, and its no coincidence its because they’re mean in green again.

Curious of another NHL team that seemed to hate the idea of colour in their uniforms? Why the Los Angeles Kings are they!

To see how things have changed in places like Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix (ew) and Tampa Bay, head over to TalkingBaws for the full article.

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Top 10 Tuesday: Best Hockey Pranks (April Fools Edition)

Happy April Fool’s day everyone! Today’s Top 10 Tuesday is dedicated to the best hockey pranks to pull on your teammates for April Fools (or any other day of the year). I apologize in advance to the victims of these pranks.

10.  Twist the top off your teammate’s water bottle most of the way so that when they go to take a swig of water the top completely comes off and they get a nice little bath on the bench.

9. Mess around with your teammate’s car after they’ve pulled up to the rink and are inside. This can range from saran-wrapping their car, or filling it with the styrofoam used for packing.

8. Put some A535 in your teammate’s gloves or any other piece of equipment that directly touches their skin. Observe as they take off their gloves and try to figure out why their hands are hot and tingly. You can put it on their jock if you’re feeling particularly brave.

7. Take the plug out of your teammate’s stick and throw some coins into the stick, put the plug back in and re-tape the stick. Watch as your teammate struggles to figure out what the racket in his stick is. If you’re feeling particularly scheme-ish you can fill the stick with water so it weighs a ton when he or she picks it up.

6. Throw a funny sticker on the side of your teammate’s helmet. He or she will be getting chirped and have no idea why.

5. Spray some whipping cream (or shaving cream) in the bottom of your teammate’s skates so they’re in for a nice surprise when they put their foot in to lace ‘em up.

4. Throw some glitter in your teammate’s bag. Nothing sticks to everything like glitter, plus it’s almost impossible to get off.

3.  This one is best suited for practice, unless you’re looking to make someone late for a game or not play at all. Cut your teammate’s laces up the middle of the skate, but not all the way through! Make sure you leave it so that just a few of the threads are attached so your teammate doesn’t notice anything suspicious until they start to tighten their laces and they begin snapping.

2. The good ol’ sock tape on the bottom of the skate. Slap it on the bottom of your teammate’s skate blade when they’re not looking and if everything goes as planned they won’t notice until they hit the ice… literally.

1. This is beer league hockey, right? Swap out some of your teammates’ water for beer or spike it with vodka and watch as they take their first drink.

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There’s Still Hope For You: 43 Year Old Laurie To Make 3rd NHL Appearance

Often you hear players talk about “defining” themselves and “carving a niche” that makes them an important player. You know, filling a “role.” Well, Rob Laurie may be the best at this. He’s become the NHL’s go-to emergency backup goaltender as he’ll play for the Minnesota Wild.

Story courtesy of Talking Baws

For the third time in his career and second time this season the Anaheim-based goaltender will suit up for an NHL team. First, it was for the Vancouver Canucks. Now, the Minnesota Wild.

Darcy Kuemper was hurt during the morning skate and later ruled out of action. This forced the Wild to sign the 43-year-old Laurie, formerly of the ECHL and a single appearance in the AHL. Laurie is also an experience roller-hockey goalie from his time spent playing for the Bullfrogs during the mid-90′s.

Must be pretty nice to become “the guy” for any team needing an emergency goalie in the entire state of California. He’s now dressed for Anaheim, Vancouver, and Minnesota. All while over the age of 42.

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Maybe one day I can be signed as an emergency player. I hereby vow to never let go of the dream ’till death takes me.