If you’re looking for a great gift or stocking stuffer for a hockey fan on your Christmas list, or just a great collection of hockey stories for yourself, look no further than Stan Fischler’s latest book, Behind the Net: 101 Incredible Hockey Stories.
Fischler, an Islanders, Rangers and Devils correspondent for MSG and veteran author of over 90 books, writes a wide spectrum of hockey stories in BTN – everything from the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 2013 playoff collapse against the Boston Bruins, to puck tales that predate the NHL. There’s a story about how a game that went deep into overtime in the 1930’s was almost decided by coin toss – a crazy notion when you consider the discussion of the shootout and other game ending approaches these days. Today’s debate about preventing and managing concussions make the game’s stewards in the 1940’s look like primitive cave people – it sounds like it was commonplace for fights to spill into the stands and involve spectators, and sticks were regularly cracked over helmetless players’ heads. It makes for interesting commentary on where the game has evolved from when you read that teams used to only cost $75,000 and gunshots used to signal period ends, seasons used to last around 20 games, and the Art Ross Trophy winner would net 70 points in that short span.
As today’s hockey fans are aware, the NHLPA and NHL don’t always get along, but those of us affected by their disagreements may take solace in learning that the NHLPA has been a thorn in the side of NHL ownership since the 50’s. And as we are all reminded by Gary Bettman’s annual awarding of the Stanley Cup always being met by a deafening rebuttal of boos from fans in attendance, the NHL commissioner has not always been a fan favorite either. When Clarence Campbell was at the league’s helm, he had everything from insults, tear gas, and items from the produce section whipped at him by fans who did not agree with his suspension of Maurice Richard. Can you imagine Bettman having to make public appearances in riot gear?
Hockey players have always been known for their toughness, resilience, and overwhelming desire to keep playing the game. One of the best examples of this is included in the book. It depicts the story of Bill Chadwick, who lost sight in one eye from an injury but kept playing. He later injured his other eye too, and was forced to end his playing days. But he stayed in the game, becoming a referee, and then an announcer. Do you think they were having the visor discussion even then? The book also digs up interesting tidbits on player oddities, like how Jaromir Jagr runs the stairs of every arena he plays in, and how Gordie Howe was ambidextrous and gave goalies he faced double the grief in trying to stop him.
Fischler’s book gives us glimpses into the days when the NHL competed for fans and players with rival leagues like the WHA and the lesser known Eastern League. He tells us stories of when players were bought with, and arenas were built on, horse race winnings. It unveils stories of “Big” Bill Dwyer, a bootlegger in the 1920’s, who owned the New York Americans; and local rival New York Rangers coach Lester Patrick, who okayed the team publicist’s suggestion to modify to players names to Jewish and Italian last names to attract fans of those local minorities to Rangers games, and away from Americans games.
And if you thought the Winnipeg Jets had a tough travel schedule when they were still competing in the Eastern Conference, things won’t seem so bad when you read about the team from the Klondike that rode dogsleds to Ottawa to challenge for the Stanley Cup in 1905, only to get shelled 23-2 and see Frank McGee score 14 goals in a game against them.
It’s an enthralling and easy read – most of the stories are only 1-3 pages long, suitable for any age or level of reader, and any completion time frame. Any fan of hockey will be a fan of this book. You can find it a print or digital copy for around $20 on Amazon, Chapters, or your local bookstore.
Here’s the Press Release:
Stan Fischler’s latest hockey classic, Behind the Net: 101 Incredible Hockey Stories (Sports Publishing, November 2013) is a collection of short, zany (but true!) tales that have taken place over more than a half century of hockey-watching. An easy read for fans of all ages with photos to accompany the anecdotes, this book offers a unique perspective into the NHL from one of today’s most prolific hockey writers. Different from the typical NHL “game” stories, this book details everything, from the hilarious to the absurd.
Fischler details the time that:
• Bill Mosienko scored three goals in 21 seconds
• Rene Fernand Gauthier accepted a challenge to shoot the puck in the ocean
• Sam LoPresti faced 83 shots on goal in one game
• And 98 more unique stories!
So lace up your skates and hit the ice with Behind the Net, a comprehensive collection sure to entertain any hockey fan, regardless of team allegiances.
About the author:
Stan Fischler is a legend of sports broadcasting. He began his career as a publicist for the New York Rangers in 1954 and has been covering hockey in the over half a century since. The winner of five Emmy Awards, Fischler has worked in every medium from print to TV to Twitter. This “Hockey Maven” currently serves as the resident hockey expert for MSG and MSG Plus. He can be seen every week on MSG Hockey Night Live. He lives in New York City.
Contact the Publisher:
Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 W 36th Street, 11th Floor | New York, NY 10018
Ph:(212) 643-6816 x 226 | Fax: (212) 643-6819
When I turned 19 and became legal to gamble, of course one of the first things I did was hit our local casino. Not one who enjoys losing money, my trip frequency soon dwindled to a much more affordable rate than at the onset of my legality. One lesson a good friend of mine learned and established early was to set a budget: come in with a set amount of cash to play with, and leave your wallet in the car(bring your ID too though). Whether your night at the tables lasts five minutes or five hours, look at it this way: you could spend $20-??? on dinner, drinks, a movie, or whatever other evening entertainment you’re into, or you could try your luck at making far more than you came in with. Either way, gambling is just entertainment. If you play responsibly, you can have a fun night, not lose more than the cash in your jeans, and get over how fast you lost it.
If you’re into online gambling more than the real life version, our friends at Lucky Nugget Online Casino have a great hockey themed slot machine game called “Break Away” that they’d love for you to try out. Looks like a great time. Have a read of their review of it, and maybe sign up and (responsibly) play a few pulls!
Review of Ice Hockey Slots Game Break Away
One of the most appealing aspects of slot machine games is that they are based on a wide range of themes. These themes can be quite varied and taken from pop culture, history, music and sports. For those who are sports lovers, it is of little surprise that they are drawn to sports slot machine. Fans of ice hockey can enjoy a slot machine known as Break Away. Some online slots such as Break Away stays true to the sport without tying in any league or team affiliations. Therefore, no matter who their favourite team is, ice hockey fans can find universal fun with this slot machine game.
One aspect of Break Away that immediately pops out to players is its massive amount of paylines which number 243. This gives players many opportunities to win big with Break Away. The symbols of this game are of course items from ice hockey such as rinks, players and refs. The game also provides realistic sounds that one would expect to hear while at an ice hockey match. Ice Hockey fans will find the design quite pleasing.
While Break Away does offer an additional progressive jackpot, with 243 paylines and an awesome free spin feature, it has a lot going for it already. When the free spin bonus is triggered, the largest amount of spins that can be won are 25. The exact amount is based on the number of scatter symbols that appear. Three of these symbols will results in 15 spins while four will award 20 spins. Of course, five symbols are needed to get all 25 spins. The free spin feature doesn’t stop there. When in this part of the game, any money that is won has a special multipliers added to it which makes winnings soar. The more wins translates to a great multiplier amount.
Wanna pass along some info on a neat new product from Quattriuum. They have designed the FWD Powershot; a sensor that is inserted into the shaft of your hockey stick, and can be used to measure and track all sorts of user specific data about you and your shot. I know the radar shooting station was always my favorite part of hockey school, and this little gizmo allows you to essentially bring a radar gun with you every time you play or practice. It also has the potential to help you see very pointed areas of where you could improve that you would otherwise not be conscious of. Have a read, support their Kickstarter campaign, and maybe even buy one!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Executing shots with power and speed is vital for every hockey player. Come release day, a major technological innovation will forever change the way amateur and professional athletes train for this sport.
Designed by Quattriuum, the FWD Powershot is a sensor that attaches to your hockey stick, allowing you to measure different aspects of your performance. With the Powershot, you can measure the acceleration and speed of your stick, the duration and angle of movement, and the speed of your stick’s rotation. The Powershot also estimates the speed of the puck in game situations, without radar.
The technology in the FWD Powershot helps you learn more about how you play and identifies your strengths and weaknesses. You can follow your progress over time and compare your performance with that of other players. You can also share your results on social networks.
“Because we’re passionate about sports and cutting-edge technology, we realized there was no technological solution that allowed players to push their talent one step further. We combined our strengths to create an accessible and ultra-efficient tool, something that would bring science to our national sport. Now we’re looking for passionate players like you to back our project on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter,” said Olivier Munger, President and Chief Technology Officer at Quattriuum.
How does it work?
The FWD Powershot is a user-friendly, high-performance miniaturized platform that allows real-time processing of algorithms that detect and analyze complex movements. The Powershot is specially designed to measure the range of shooting techniques in hockey. The system is a powerful asset for players looking to push their skills to the next level, fast.
The FWD Powershot works hand in hand with the FWD Sportscard App, which sends and displays the Powershot’s tracked data via Bluetooth, and allows you to analyze, share and compare your data with others.
To learn more about the technology behind the FWD Powershot, visit www.quattriuum.com/en/
To back our project on Kickstarter, click here.
Founded in 2007 by a group of tech-savvy entrepreneurs, Quattriuum specializes in motion tracking and analysis.
Drawing on its team’s specialized expertise in the areas of telecommunications, microelectronics and computing, the company aims to export these competencies to other sectors and increase the range of potential applications.
Inspired by a deep understanding of the digital nature of movement, Quattriuum is working to create products for amateur and professional athletes, as well as sports organizations. Our goal is to help players understand, learn more about and improve how they play as individuals and as members of a team.
FWD Powershot retails for $149.99
For more information on the FWD Powershot, contact their President and Chief Technology Officer, Olivier Munger by email at email@example.com, or call 514-817-9255
THE ROB REPORT:
“SPOT IT! NHL” & “NHL FASTRACK ” BY BLUE ORANGE GAMES
If you’re starved for NHL action this hockey season, Blue Orange Games has a couple of titles that might just hit the “spot” for you. I recently took Spot It! NHL for a few laps around the rink, and here’s what I thought:
I’m into bigger style board games, so it was a bit deceiving when I saw Spot It! NHL was so compact. However, along with its miniature size came a great deal of fun, as it provided 5 different NHL hockey themed matching games.
The game’s single dimension is to spot matching NHL logos and other hockey-themed images before the other players can. This game has 5 different variations. The fun is all in the mayhem, trying to quickly make matches before everyone else.
I played with 4 friends, 2 of which don’t follow hockey regularly. All of us thought the game was great. My friends I played with play a lot of board games (they have a few shelves dedicated to them) and they decided to add this game to their regular lineup of games to play on game night.
The gameplay time is short enough that it does not get tiresome (3-5mins). Short is also good because players can exit a game anytime without disrupting a very involving showdown. There are a few variations that can potentially take a little longer (up to 8-10min) to finish than others, and the time difference adds to the variation.
You can keep score, but I found it more fun when each game is mutually exclusive from the other, since there is potential for players with superior matching skills to run away with the score over the course of multiple games. The game has a tendency to favor better players, as the real good players can go on long streaks, and slower-matching players could become frustrated. I’d recommend players organizing games amongst evenly skilled players, rather than letting the game even it out for you. But then again, playing the game is the only way to truly find out what level of matcher every player is.
The game comes in a durable case so game owners do not have to worry about wear and tear outside of actually the game.
Overall this is a great game to play for not only hockey enthusiasts, but for everyone. The learning curve is extremely low and the logos are easily distinguishable.
Below is their official press release, and some additional info.
While the NHL hockey season is on hold, Blue Orange Games is proud to be the source for the hottest NHL® licensed games to kick start the action!
Blue Orange gave their wildly popular games, Spot it! and Fastrack a sporty makeover that Wayne Gretzky would approve of! Now hockey fans have the perfect family games to fuel their passion and show off their pride. Packaging and instructions for both games is in French and English.
Whether you are a die-hard hockey fan or you just want to break the ice, Spot it! NHL® is for you. Hockey themed symbols give this collectible edition its cool edge. There is always one, and only one matching symbol between any two cards! To become one of the Greats of the game, be the first to spot the match. Officially licensed by the National Hockey League, this hockey card game contains the logos of every NHL® team. Have a blast skating through all 5 mini-games: make that “Sweet Pass,” avoid “The Penalty,” and score in “The Net,” and more! Packaged in a puck-size tin, Spot it! NHL is the perfect stocking stuffer for hockey heads young and young-at-heart!
Ages 7 to Adult • 2 to 8 Players
Here’s another NHL themed game from Blue Orange games that we think you’d also enjoy…
NHL® Fastrack brings your favorite sport to your fingertips! Officially licensed by the National Hockey League®, this puck passing game produces kinetic energy and exhilarating competition. The first to send all 10 pucks to an opponent’s side takes home the trophy! Just like a hockey game, NHL® Fastrack calls for lightning-speed, accuracy and just the right amount of chance to win. This eco-friendly speed game is made of 100% sustainable wood and the rink’s sidelines feature logos of teams adored by hockey fans all over North America. With quality you can see and ready to play right out of the box, NHL® Fastrack makes an unforgettable holiday gift. And what’s more—Blue Orange plants two trees for every tree used to create this game!
Ages 5+ • 2 Players
About Blue Orange Games:
With 12 years experience creating stimulating and easy-to-learn games,
exquisitely designed for maximum fun, Blue Orange Games looks to the future
with consistent ideals.Using durable materials, Blue Orange pledges to produce high quality games that are enjoyable for the whole family. The eco-friendly company remains committed to planting two trees for every one tree used in game construction. Blue Orange has won multiple awards, such as Parenting Magazine’s “Mom Tested Toys of the Year,” Parents Magazine’s “Toys of the Year,” Family Fun Magazine’s “Toys of the Year,” Oppenheim Toy Portfolio’s “Platinum Seal,” and Dr. Toy’s “10 Best Games,” among others.
If you’re still looking for Christmas gifts for the hockey fan on your list, or are just generally hockey starved during the current NHL lockout, the 24th installment of Don Cherry’s Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Hockey series is sure to satisfy.
Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em 24 features a pile of fantastic video montages from the 2011/12 NHL season, the ever hilarious “piano desk”, the year’s best saves (feature on Martin Brodeur) and goals (feature on Steve Stamkos), plenty of regular speed and slow-motion hits, Don mentioning “trolley tracks”, bloopers, some vintage Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em techno and Cherry rapping, Don mentioning how many NHLers he saw play as kids (Tavares, Stamkos), Don mentioning players from Kingston, Ontario (Mike Smith), Don wearing a top hat and supporting fighting in hockey, Coach’s Corner commentaries (featuring classic opinion pieces like, “Kids, if you ever really want to get benched…”, and “Why do they never run Tim Thomas?”), and all the best highlights from every round of last year’s playoffs.
It’s really a fantastic highlight tape, and everything you’ve come to expect from Don Cherry. In the words of Don himself, it’s a beauty. This is a no brainer! Pick up a copy today. cbcshop.ca and other retailers will hook you up.
Below is the official press release:
No Lockout For Rock’em Sock’em!
Canada’s most controversial and outspoken hockey personality, Don Cherry, brings his brash brand of hockey to his 24th DVD with the release of Don Cherry’s Rock’em Sock’em Hockey 24 from Video Services Corp (VSC). This year’s release features the first “Blue”-ray in the Don Cherry catalogue, endorsed by Don’s ever-present terrier companion, Blue.
“I’m glad to be working with a good Canadian studio in VSC,” said Executive Producer
Tim Cherry, “we’re not pulling any punches this year!”
The release includes Coach’s Corner segments and all the best goals, saves and hits from the 2011-2012 season, right up to (spoiler alert!) the Los Angeles Kings’ historic Stanley Cup win. Bonus features will include extra footage from the Kings’ win on the Blu-ray, and vintage Rock’em Sock’em techno with Chris Sheppard on both formats.
Even Don himself is looking forward to the release, “I love doing Rock’em Sock’em. Players come up to me and tell me how they got Rock’em Sock’em as a gift every Christmas. They’ve grown up with it. It’s become a Christmas tradition in a lot of homes,” said Cherry, “This year’s is great, and we have lots of highlights from one of the best playoffs in years.”
The Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em series is Canada’s longest-running and best-selling DVD property. “We’re all huge hockey fans at VSC and we’re so excited to add Don Cherry to our catalogue – it’s a new chapter in VSC’s hockey history,” says VSC President Jonathan Gross, “Tim and Don create an exciting summary of the season and it’s time for an HD version to be available – that’s the only way to watch a hockey game these days!”
SRP: $19.98 | TRT: 70 min
Street Date: 13 November, 2012
UPC: 7-78854-19199-0 | Catalog: CHE1919
SRP: $24.98 | TRT: 70 min
Street Date: 13 November, 2012
UPC: 7-78854-19209-6 | Catalog: CHE1920
DVD Extras: Vintage Rock’em Sock’em techno with Chris Sheppard
Blu-ray Extras: Bonus footage from Kings’ win, vintage Rock’em Sock’em techno with Chris Sheppard
About Video Services Corp.
Founded in 1993 by former rock critic Jonathan Gross, Video Services Corp. is a leading independent DVD distributor with offices in Toronto and Los Angeles. With a vast catalogue strong in television, sports and comedy, some of VSC’s releases include Corner Gas, The WHA Chronicles, Comedy Now! Starring Russell Peters and Canada Cup ’87. Other 2012 releases from VSC include the second season of the hit series Portlandia and the theatrical film Union Square starring Oscar® winner Mira Sorvino. VSC also owns the e-commerce websites
sportonvideo.com, laffstock.com and jewishflicks.com.
Video Services Corp.
5145 Steeles Ave W, Suite A201, Toronto, ON, M9L 1R5
P: 416-597-8325 / 877-341-7577 F: 416-597-9142
www.videoservicecorp.com firstname.lastname@example.org facebook.com/videoservicecorp twitter.com/vidserv
Hi folks! Friend of the blog, Rob Cunning, is back with his latest installment of The Rob Report. In this edition, Rob takes a look at the Toe Tape-It, by Stick-Aid. It’s a great time-saving product for hockey players out there that tape their toes, but are ready to ditch the scissors in the back they’ve been toting around for far too long. Have a look at what he thought!
The “Toe Tape-It” by Stick-Aid
Christmas is just around the corner, and the folks at Stick-Aid have a fantastic little product for the hockey player on your list who you still need to find a stocking stuffer for.
If you are, or you know a player who is a habitual taper of the toe of your hockey stick blade, Stick-Aid’s “Toe Tape-it” is for you.
The traditional toe tape job requires either a two or even three step process to complete – and some people even require a pair of scissors to be on hand to finish the job. Not exactly ideal variables when you need to re-tape mid game, are in a rush to get on the ice and are in desperate need of a new TJ, or are in any other scenario that is may result in the sacrifice of a fresh wrap on your blade. And who wants to dive into their bag and run the risk of getting stabbed by a pair of scissors anyway?
Toe Tape-it cuts the labor process of toe taping down to just one step: just stick the product on either the forehand, backhand, or both sides of the toe of your blade. That’s it. You’ll have to smooth over the edges and confirm you’ve aligned it properly, but this approach is no where near as labor intense as the old way, and it’s every bit as effective. Way simpler, and faster. Boom. Win.
Watch the instructional video here (you’ll need to use Internet Explorer to see it)
There are 12 TTI’s per pack, so you’ll be stocked for a good while with every pack you buy. TTI even comes in five colors (black, white, red, orange, blue), so you can customize your tape job to match your team’s colors, or whatever you please, really. But if I were you, I’d just stick with good ol’ black. If it was good enough for Wayne Gretzky, it’s good enough for you too.
1) First off, if you don’t tape your toe to begin with, this product probably isn’t for you. Hockey players are creatures of habit, and very rarely stray from traditional/superstitious methodologies, but if you’re willing to try something new, this could be a good catalyst towards a new approach to your tape job. Personally, I made the switch to taping my toe in college, and never looked back. It might be the way to go for you too, if you give it a chance.
2) You’re gonna have to have a rounded toe stick blade – if you’re a square toe guy or girl, this ain’t gonna work for you. Unless you get out the scissors and customize further, but then that’d defeat the whole purpose of the product.
If you’re game to give it a shot, here’s a list of shops and dealers that can help you get your hands on Toe Tape-It: http://www.stick-aid.com/dealer_page.html
Hi folks! The following is a product review done by friend of the blog, Rob Cunning. Rob is a software developer at Thinkingbox, an Athletic Therapist working out of the Langley/Vancouver BC area, and also my brother. He formerly was the AT for the Mt.Royal University Cougars men’s hockey team, and Trinity Western University Spartans men’s soccer team and men’s & women’s volleyball teams. He also played a little puck for Trinity Western University of the BCIHL, and some baseball for the University of Calgary Dinos, Kelowna Jays, Kwantlen Eagles and Burnaby Bulldogs too.
That all being said, Rob recently reviewed 3M’s Tape Tiger, a new hockey tape removal device, and below are his findings. Enjoy!
The Rob Report:
The Tape Tiger by 3M Hockey
The Tape Tiger is a new device from 3M’s Elite Series of hockey products, and is highly effective for easing the hassle of tape removal from a player’s hockey stick blade.
After using it, I was reminded of the “Shark” tape cutter, a tool Athletic Therapists use to remove tape from an athlete’s taped body part – a great tool which we use often in our field.
Upon using the Tape Tiger, I found that it removed hockey tape well, and did not leave any cut marks on the blade afterwards. Also, it did not matter which side of the blade I cut on, it was effectively removed the tape from both faces. However, I think it would be easier to remove tape from the backhand side of more curved blades with this tool, in my opinion.
It was really easy to cut fresh/more recent tape off of a blade with the Tape Tiger, however it did have some difficulty removing older tape (tape on a stick for 1+ years, maybe from that stick in your basement you haven’t re-taped since minor hockey, for example). That being said, it did get the job done in the end.
If ever necessary, the Tape Tiger’s blade may be a bit time consuming to change, as you have to unscrew it from the body in order to facilitate replacement. Once it’s unscrewed though, the replacement process is pretty easy – it only requires the user to slide the old blade out, slide a new one in its place, and retighten. However, treat it right and its stainless steel blade should serve you well for many seasons before any maintenance is required.
The deluxe version (which I demo’ed) comes equipped with a few handy little extras that the original version does not include:
1) A stone for removing burrs and nicks from skate blades – perfect to tune up an edge in a pinch when you’ve lost one mid-game and a trip to the hockey shop for a sharpening is out of the question.
2) A lace tightener – which is useful, but not something I’d use. Perhaps it would be useful for a younger player still learning to tie their skates, or someone who struggles to tie their skates tight enough, but personally I can tie my skates well enough with my hands at this point. But again, useful if a scenario calls for it.
3) The lace tightener also triples as a bottle opener and a flathead screwdriver–great for beer league hockey, or any sort of post game celebration in the dressing room; and for when some knucklehead brings bottles into the dressing room instead of cans for the post-game.
4) The screwdriver is perfect for tightening or removing helmet screws, and possibly skate screws depending on which brand of skates you own.
5) There’s also a key ring thrown into this Swiss-Army knife-like mix, for, you know, attaching your keys to.
Overall, the Tape Tiger is a great device that does exactly what it says it does – quickly and easily removes hockey tape from a stick blade. Plus, it provides extra tools for situations that all hockey players encounter at some point and need a tool for. It’s especially great for players who already lug around toolbox worth of gadgets in their bag and could use some consolidation. However, if you have one of these, you run the risk of either becoming that guy with all the weird tools in his bag, or else the guy who never gets to use his own sweet stuff because everyone’s always borrowing it. It would be an asset to any team’s equipment manager too.
I rate this product as a buy. Pick one up at your local Canadian Tire next time you’re in one and chuck it in your hockey bag.
For more info, visit: http://www.3m.com/intl/ca/english/centres/home_leisure/hockey/3Mhockey-tapetiger.htm
Or their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/3MHockey
To browse 3M Hockey’s full-line of Hockey Canada backed Core & Elite Series hockey products, visit: www.3MHockey.ca
Product Promo video: