Archive for the ‘Links’ Category

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The One Time That Peer Pressure Could Be A Good Thing

August 22, 2008

– I saw a very interesting article in USA Today regarding the philanthropic organization Right to Play.For those of you not familiar with this organization,

Right to Play is international humanitarian organization that uses sport and play programs to improve health, develop life skills, and foster peace for children and communities in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world. Working in both the humanitarian and development context, Right To Play trains local community leaders as Coaches to deliver our programs in more than 20 countries affected by war, poverty, and disease in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The hockey fans in the room may be familiar with Right to Play from seeing intermission features featuring Andrew Ference of the Bruins.

Johnson & Johnson has teamed up with Right to Play and US Olympians in a unique fundraising effort. If USA Olympians sign up at the Beijing games to be Right to Play ambassadors, and win a medal in their given sport, Johnson & Johnson will donate money in their name to the organization ($20k for a gold medal, $15k for a silver and $10k for a bronze). 6-time medalist Natalie Coughlin has already had $80,000 donated to the organization in her name. She is on a quest to get Michael Phelps to sign on, as his 8 medals would mean J&J would have to donate $160k. That dollar figure would be enough to enroll 52,000 children in the program and get 1,600 coaches involved. That’s a tremendous amount of good.

C’mon Michael. Step away from the money making deals for a second and do something good.

On a lighter note, I really do like this video explaining the Olympic ring tats that a ton of swimmers have.

I also enjoy the look of pure bliss on Phelps’ dog’s face.

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Its a Doodle!

March 21, 2008

How can you not like and respect Jason Pominville after reading this article?

“The little, lovable guy,” teammate and road roommate Paul Gaustad said with a grin. “He’s always got a smile on his face. He’s a good guy, approachable.”

So is a labradoodle.

Those who have known him longest — Gaustad, goaltender Ryan Miller and Pominville have spent the past six seasons together, three in Buffalo and three in Rochester — can see why fans get so attached.

“Being around him for the last six years, he’s a fun kid,” Miller said. “He’s easy to talk to, kind of goofy sometimes, and maybe that’s the reason.”

Why does the trio of Gaustad, Miller and Pominville sound like they could be trouble off the ice?

I do like that Pominville responds to fans questions via his blog, and even answers the unusual ones (Britney? Seriously, people. There was nothing better to ask him about?). He also handles himself well in the locker room with the pre and post game press gaggles.

Its kind of scary to think that he was put on waivers in 2005 and the Sabres almost lost him. If that would’ve happened, then this wouldn’t have happened.

I just remember there being a lot of talk about “who is this Pominville kid” during that playoff run, and now two years later, he’s the captain of the team.

My how things change.

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Pwned!

February 19, 2008

I saw the short version of this clip on Sportscenter over the weekend.

That tops any practical joke I’ve heard about from an athlete before, just because of the breadth of people that were involved: the player’s agent, his manager, his teammates. Its particularly cruel, but absolutely brilliant.

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Just a Mish Mash

February 18, 2008

– Judging from this article it sounds like Timmy and Lindy are having some sort of measuring contest (yea, that’s a good term for it) regarding Timmy’s injury and playing. Lindy’s being pointed and practical about the whole thing and Timmy is too optimistic. For someone who said it hurts even when he sits down, he’s awfully chipper about being able to play a significant role.

– Vanek guarantees a playoff spot.

The wins and the postseason spot may have disappeared, but the confidence hasn’t. Thomas Vanek put his mouth where his money is after the game.

“At the end of the year, we’ll be in the top eight, and that’s all that matters for right now,” the Sabres’ $50 million man said.

So Vanek, if you’re going to guarantee something like that, at least make it interesting. Make like Tony Stewart and yesterday’s Daytona 500. He said if he won the race, each MSM reporter could cut a lock of his somewhat flowing hair in the post-race press conference. What are you going to do, Mr. Vanek, to make this happen or what will you do if this doesn’t happen?

– I’ve watched the Goose PSA’s several times in the past twenty-four hours. They’re like crack. I just want to know which Sabres did not participate in the carbon credit purchasing. I just want to send stern looks in their direction when I go to the game next Monday.

– And this photo has nothing to do with anything hockey related, but I like it. I like big, dopey dogs.

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Soupy Rumors

February 4, 2008

I saw this on CNNSi this morning:

The Sabres haven’t ended contract talks with free-agent D Brian Campbell, but they’re not making much progress. The word is Buffalo won’t let Campbell go for nothing, and will move the defenseman before the trade deadline if he’s not re-signed. The Sharks, Senators, Penguins, Canucks, Rangers and Bruins have all made pitches for Campbell. The asking price: A player, prospect and No. 1 pick.

Heavens to murgatroid. Darcy really wants to get bang for his buck here, doesn’t he?

I think we could probably eliminate the Sens and Bruins from the Soupy Sweepstakes. Has Darcy ever made a trade to a divisional opponent, never mind a divisional opponent in the midst of the playoff hunt? That said, I wouldn’t mind if we got Volchenkov and Nick Foligno from the Sens. With the Sabres current luck, any trade with the Rangers would probably involve Drury coming back. Wouldn’t that be a fine reception, eh? If there was a deal with the Pens, I wouldn’t mind Letang.

The Sharks and the Canucks are more interesting trade partners, mainly because I don’t know enough about them. I know the Sabres need wingers like they need a hole in the head, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Mike Greer come back to Buffalo. He could provide some good veteran leadership in the room. (Sidebar: speaking of veteran leadership, where is the Captain announcement? Were they all so distracted from the Catwalk and watching the Super Bowl that they forgot to announce and/or vote?)

If Darcy did deal with the ‘Nucks, then I wouldn’t mind seeing Matty O come over. Or, one of the Sedin twins (that’s the “when pigs fly” trade). But then again, I don’t know how Pinky and the Brain would play without the other right there. And we’re also back to the “we need forwards like we need a hole in the head” dilemma.

Also seen on CNNSi this morning:

To some, the Devils coach Brent Sutter’s so-public bench critique of Jamie Langenbrunner Saturday would border on rebellion-inciting disrespect. To others, the captain’s response could qualify as insubordination. Each said both were neither. Langenbrunner nearly duplicated an earlier error by Arron Asham, and Los Angeles’ Jack Johnson ducked behind his back to close the Devils‘ lead to one goal. When Langenbrunner returned to the bench, Sutter let him have it. And Langenbrunner gave it back. All on camera.

A six goal night and the captain is getting screamed at? Makes me wonder what happens behind closed doors during a losing streak? Methinks Sutter didn’t get the coach-killing memo, or if he did, he’s completely ignoring it and writing a player-killing memo.

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Clowning Around

February 3, 2008

Photo taken at last night’s Catwalk for Charity and found on Buffalo.com

Update: WGRZ’s link works!

http://www.wgrz.com/video/vplayer.aspx?aid=39762&bw=

Highlights include: Hank working the runway, Goose’s “under appreciated” shirt and Timmy’s “New York Times” shirt. And Sabretooth. Just Sabretooth. Can one get a mascot sized leisure suit at Crunchy’s Hipster Emporium?

The above doesn’t show what was on the news last night. There was Miller holding a golden retriever puppy (no, not Pommerdoodle) that was up for auction (won by Max, but given to Mrs. Thiebault, who he was bidding against), RJ hamming it up for the crowd, and Kotalik moonwalking sort-of unsuccessfully.

I hope everyone has a blast watching the Super Bowl (or Puppy Bowl, if you lean that way) and does well in their pools.

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Is There Real Hockey Yet?

January 28, 2008

– During last night’s ASG, I was hanging out at IPB, and one of the topics that came up was Buffalo hosting a future ASG. The group pretty much agreed that the city has a snowball’s chance in hell of that ever happening, since our city doesn’t have enough swanky hotels, restaurants and cultural attractions for the people that require swanky hotels, restaurants and cultural attractions. (I don’t want to see the fights that would break out over who would get to stay at The Mansion and who would be relegated to the Hyatt or a No-Tell Motel. )

However, in reading the Buffalo News site this morning, Bucky writes that Buffalo is on the list of contenders to hold the World Junior Championships in 2011. The tournament has been awarded to the USA, but USA Hockey needs to make the final decision on who the host city would be. Bucky rationalizes that the city’s proximity to Canada, plus having satellite sites in Rochester and Jamestown, make the area a natural fit.

Buffalo can put on a show, as we just proved with the Ice Bowl. If your looking for tournament credibility, check out what Buffalo’s done for the NCAA Basketball tourney and The Frozen Four. (I only remember the Frozen Four because some kid named Vanek was the star of the show. Wonder what happened to him?)

– Continuing with the Bucky writings, he gives Bettman a written BJ. All that aside, Bucky does bring up an interesting idea to make the All-Star game more relevant: put a prize on the table, a cool couple million. Winning team takes all. Losing team gets nothing but the swag they picked up over the weekend. It might give players an additional incentive to stay on the All-Star roster, and would make the game have some meaning. If the NHL doesn’t want to pony up the cash, then give the winning team’s conference home ice advantage in that year’s SC Finals.

– Surprisingly enough, Bucky only mentions Soupy’s contract in his blog, not in the actual paper itself. And there’s nothing new to add, nothing that no one with half a brain couldn’t figure out.

– Am I the only person who didn’t know the All-Star uniform pants were worn over the player’s regular team uniform pants? See here for an example.

– Flipping channels last night, I stumbled across Snoop Dog’s reality show on E! Its not my cup of tea, but what made me stop and watch was Snoop and his kids on ice with the Anaheim Ducks. It was pretty hilarious watching Snoop try to skate and Getzlaf encourage him (I think this show kind of cemented my Getzi-phiphany, which started with the Home Depot commercial of him just jammed in the back of an SUV. He really was quite adorable with Snoop, though the camera did get a rather unfortunate look at his bald spot.) The only other Duck mentioned by name on camera was Pronger, talking to Snoop about the penalty box. Even though he wasn’t called out by name, I did see Baby Crunchy floating around in the background. I guess this is another thing he can lord over his brother.

– Poking around on one of the message boards this weekend, it looks like Crunchy has a new mask. Its a similar design, but there’s more blue in it than before. And, the back of the mask features a halo over the bulldog representing his cousin Matt. Aww.

– Not hockey related, but New Kids on the Block are getting back together. It will be interesting to see how they sound after so many years of being apart. Will they try to be that cutesy boy band (like the Backstreet Boys were when they reunited), or will they sound a little more grown-up (like Hanson has managed)?