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Terry Trafford

Terry Trafford was a 20 yr old hockey player playing in the OHL for the Saginaw Spirit . He played 4 years with the Saginaw Spirit in the OHL and was remembered by his team at a recent game between the Spirit and the London Knights. The Spirit lost the game 6-2 but honored their former team member with stickers on their helmets that represented his name and number (TT16). They played a video remembering him and his times with the team and had a moment of silence. Both teams respectively lined up on their blue lines and paid the respect in his honor.
Team mates told stories and are still telling stories in his memory as in one way or another they have all felt the pressures of playing and achieving hockey at this level. The life of a Hockey player at this level doesn’t come without sacrifice and loss. The pressures from everyone to proceed to the next level intensifies putting more and more pressures on the individuals involved with the sport. Coaches ,Clubs, Parents and many others pressure these young players who some can handle the stress and others cant. Terry Trafford will be remembered as a young inspiring player who left us too early for reasons only he knows and we can only assume.
RIP Terry Trafford

Josh Harding Returns To Ice

josh harding

Good news; Josh Harding is back on the ice after struggling with symptoms and medication adjustments due to MS.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a potentially debilitating disease in which your body’s immune system eats away at the protective sheath (myelin) that covers your nerves. Damage to myelin causes interference in the communication between your brain, spinal cord and other areas of your body. This condition may result in deterioration of the nerves themselves, a process that’s not reversible.

I was diagnosed nine years ago with MS, after years of vague symptoms that would come and go; leg numbness, weakness, and nerve pain that started in high school. A spinal tap finally gave us the answers, but not the cure. Today, I can go for months at a time with no symptoms at all, to sudden debilitating pain, seizures, and having to walk with a cane.

My work as a writer allows me to continue working (mostly) even when MS is rearing it’s ugly head, but for Josh Harding, it’s not so easy. The general nerve damage component of the disease affects reflexes, muscle memory, and pain, but the medication to treat those issues can cause their own havoc within the body.

It is a challenge to find the right treatment because MS is a very personal disease. You would be hard pressed to find any two patients with the same symptoms, who’s treatment will be successful with the same medications. Luckily, we have several options in present day pharmaceuticals, but it is definitely a trial and error phase to get it right.

Hopefully Josh has found what will work for him right now, and can return to the game he loves. To learn more about MS, and Josh’s inspiring story, check out his website, ‘Harding’s Hope’.

http://www.hardingshope.org/my-goal/

Canine Stanley Cup

So, last night’s game was another predictable example of Oiler hockey. To share my perspective of this entire season, I will use an analogy I came up with in my car driving my kids to school this morning.

Imagine, if you will, the team is a pack of dogs. These dogs are all different ages, sizes, breeds; put together to become highly trained Police Service Canine Unit.

They are a new group to each other, although most have trained under other expert dog handlers to be in this elite group of dogs. Their old trainer, Kreuger, who was good to the dogs, and the dogs had moments of inspiration under his teaching, is fired. In order to get these dogs to the next level, it’s decided they need a new trainer.

However, the new guy has never trained a group of dogs of this level.  He once owned a dog, and was successful in training it to not pee on the carpet, but really not a confident choice to lead this pack. The dogs know it.

The new guy, (we’ll call him Eakins) doesn’t seem to be concerned about his position to this canine group, and comes in with bravado. In he walks in a full padded suit (the kind ‘real’ dog trainers wear to teach dogs to attack the enemy) and provokes the dogs immediately. “You are gonna SIT”. “You are gonna STAY”. ‘You are gonna run until you puke and I let you STOP”.

The dogs sit obediently and listen. Then, when Eakins leaves the room, the dogs start to talk. “WTF is THIS?” “Is this a JOKE?” But, these dogs want to be the best Police service dogs in the league, so they abide. At first.

First lesson on the field they are told that everything they have been taught (attack, lay down, sit, stay, track) will be changed. “We are changing our process, and if you don’t play it my way, you won’t play at all”. The dogs sit and look at the new trainer with their heads cocked sideways, like they’re trying to hear properly… in a cute way.  “I wanna PLAY! I wanna PLAY”. The dogs wag their tails eagerly!

But now, when they get on the field to train, they have completely forgotten the point of their game. Now all the dogs are so worried about playing the ‘new way’ they are, literally, running in circles. They couldn’t take down a criminal if they tried. People are talking; ‘These dogs are not getting to the next level’, they say. ‘We have to move some out of the pack, and new ones in. That will fix it’

It doesn’t. Now the dogs are frustrated. They are no longer a ‘team’. Gone are the days when they’d be happy to see each other at training school, chat on the field, sniffing each others butts. Now they barely speak. If one of the pack is threatened, they just walk away. They have lost any respect they had for Eakins, and when he tells them to do something, they shit on his shoes while staring into his eyes.

They all have to take some responsibility in the situation, but nobody wants to admit they made mistakes. It’s unlikely that, by keeping the status quo, these dogs will make the Stanley Cup of the Police Dog  Academy. What do we do? Nobody knows.

If one day, the coaches give up their power and say “OK. Whatever. Just go out and play hockey. Figure it out yourselves. Play hockey the way you know you can play hockey”, we might have a chance.

Let the dogs play. Instinct. Desire. Motivation… get it back.

 

Here We Go…!

I live in Edmonton, Alberta; home of the Oilers, so it’s a natural fit to have some hockey observations. There are an awful lot of things to talk about with this team, and I speak about it with anyone who will listen. I LOVE researching and learning about this team, it’s players, and it’s staff, (including off-ice stories, which are equally fascinating). I don’t do ‘stats’ or Corsi. I do observational commentary and analysis from player’s untimely falls, and coaches reactions to the game. I am a big fan of John Tortorella; he is everything I aspire to be in a person, and the most entertaining to watch.

I have a keen awareness of the game, with insight from being a former professional figure skater/coach.

Living in Edmonton provides a vast opportunity of hockey chatter. Sub-par play,questionable management hiring and firing, and a long ‘rebuild’ phase, the Oilers are just too easy to make fun of. A virtual ‘stage’ in fact.

A ‘stage’ I personally experienced while doing stand up comedy in this town. You cannot make fun of the Oilers in Edmonton without receiving 500 nasty emails explaining how we are in a ‘rebuild’, we have to be ‘patient’, and we have a ‘good young team’ that I should be more supportive of. At a recent show, a group of women were enjoying the show, until the Oiler jokes… In my defence, how was I supposed to know they were ‘Oiler wives’? Yes, they were all wearing Oiler jerseys, but I just thought that particular table had a really good sense of humour. Lesson learned.

I love our team. I see their potential. I am looking forward to the new arena and (maybe) someday a playoff run again. Until then, I will continue to find humour in the situation in my writing and social media, but I will hang up the Oiler chat
on stage, (just in case). I look forward to writing and chatting with all of you here!

Thanks for having me aboard!
C.Anne

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Burrows

Burrows is at it again? Hair Pulling?

Burrows is infamously known for biting and eye gouging while playing hockey. I guess he is also known for diving and being, in general,  an embarrassing Canuck player ( sorry personal opinion). However this time, pulling Phil Kessel’s hair during a scrum in todays game vs the Leafs. When will this guy be suspended for this BS? Doesn’t anyone else have a problem with how Burrows plays?

mcsorley_brashear

Teen hockey player allegedly assaulted at a tournament, by a hockey mom

The unnamed 18 year old, tournament participant, accused another player’s mom from an opposing hockey team of hitting him with the lumber during a tournament in Eckville. Heck the woman allegedly hit the poor guy with a hockey stick, what?!

Surprisingly, the player did not retaliate and did not request the help of the team’s enforcer in the matter.

Full story and the video on CTV Edmonton.