A lot going on hockey wise these days (it's wonderful isn't it?) Here are some random hockey news stories worth checking out while you avoid doing any work on this lovely Friday afternoon:
** Interesting read. Bob Probert's brain has been donated to a research project at Boston University. No really, it has. The study focuses on head trauma and the possible lingering effects for athletes. Obviously this has been a hot topic here in Boston, especially earlier this week when it was discovered Marc Savard is still suffering from post concussion symptoms.
** Sick of the Sid VS Ovie business? Yeah me too. As we all know, this season's Winter Classic will feature The Capitals taking on the Pittsburgh Penguins. HBO and the NHL are both looking to cash in on the "rivalry" as much as possible by airing a special 4 week long documentary series leading up to it.
Personally I have mixed feelings about this. I have pretty much had my fill of the Pens and Caps being continually paraded around by the league. However, hockey being the "red headed stepchild" of the sporting world is not just a Boston phenomenon. Aside from your larger markets, your typical American sports fan doesn't pay much attention to the game. It also doesn't help that the NHL has been terrible at marketing it's product over the years. (Incredibly terrible)
A show like this is placing the entire league in the spotlight, and the possibilities are endless. I'm not personally familiar with the Hard Knocks show, which is the blue print for this series. How will it be executed, and what sort of audience are they targeting? Does "uncensored" mean I'll get to aquire an arsenal of Russian swear words? Guess we'll have to wait and see.
** Cue the Brass Bonanza! The Whale is returning! Sort of...This isn't really the return of the Whale as much as a clever marketing push to sell more tickets for the Rangers AHL affiliate. But hey, I'm sure the Whalers booster club is pumped they're getting an AHL team instead of the NHL team they were after. (Also, does anyone else find it strange they are waiting until mid season to make the name change?)
** "Score: A Hockey Musical" did not go over well at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this month. I know. I was shocked to hear this myself. I mean what could possibly go wrong having Olivia Newton John Star in a musical about hockey?
Hm. Apparently a lot could go wrong.
Let's hope "The Goon", which started the pre-production process earlier this month, fares a bit better.
** Finally, let's all just take a moment to be jealous of the fans over in Phoenix. Not only will they get the opportunity to partake in special giveaway nights that include camo hats and wearable blankets, but they also get a special 80's night! (and I thought the Rene Rancornament night at the Garden was going to be awesome) Ah, hockey in the desert. It never ceases to amaze me.
Alright, that's all I've got for you. Enjoy your weekend folks! Please don't forget that NESN is actually going to be airing the pre-season game against the Panthers this Saturday night. If you can't make it over to the Garden to heckle Dennis Wideman in person, be sure to tune in. Puck drops at 7.