This edition’s Hockey Greats Fantasy Camp player bio features former New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins player/Colorado Avalanche coach, Bryan Trottier; who will be making his 4th HGFC appearance this August, and will be co-hosting the event alongside Bob Bourne.
Bryan Trottier appeared in 1,279 NHL games from 1975 to 1994. Drafted by the New York Islanders in 1974, he would go on to win the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year in 1975-76. He spent most of his Islander days playing on a line with Mike Bossy and fellow HGFC pro, Clark Gillies. Known as the “Trio Grande”, they were a formidable line combination. In 1980, Trottier would help the Islanders win their first of four consecutive Stanley Cups. At the dawn of the 90’s, Trottier was dealt to the Pittsburgh Penguins, where he would again collect Stanley Cups in bunches. Playing alongside Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr, Trottier was instrumental in the Penguins collecting 2 consecutive championships. Trottier would briefly retire after winning his 6th Stanley Cup, and took a front office job with the New York Islanders. Trottier was lured back to the Penguins as a player for one final season in 1993-94, before retiring from his playing days for good. He stayed on with the Penguins as an assistant coach until 1997, and moved on to coach with the Colorado Avalanche in 1998; where he won his 7th and final Stanley Cup in 2001.
In international competition, Trottier suited up for Team Canada at the 1981 Canada Cup, though Canada would lose to Russia in that year’s final. Three years later, Trottier claimed US citizenship through his heritage and competed on the American roster of the 1984 Canada Cup; a move that was not received well by Canadian fans. Canada went on to beat Sweden in the finals, and the US team finished fourth.
In addition to his 7 Stanley Cup championships, Trottier
collected a sizeable bounty of individual awards over his NHL career as well, including the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s top scorer in 1979; the Conn Smythe Trophy as the NHL’s playoff MVP in 1980; the Hart Memorial Trophy as league MVP in 1979; and the King Clancy Memorial Trophy as the player who best exemplified leadership qualities on and off the ice and who had made a significant humanitarian contribution to his community in 1989. He appeared in 8 NHL all-star games, was the NHL’s plus/minus leader in 1979, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1997. His #19 was retired by the New York Islanders in 2001.
Trottier currently sits at 10th in all-time NHL playoff points (184), and 15th all-time in NHL regular season points (1,425). He is also the New York Islanders’ all-time leader in assists (853), total points (1,353), plus/minus (+470), and games played (1,123).
**HGFC Fun Factoid: Bryan Trottier suited up for the Pittsburgh Phantoms of Roller Hockey International (RHI) during the 1994 roller hockey season. In 9 games, Trottier had 9 goals, 13 assists for 22 points, as well as a +2 rating.**
For further information on the camp please visit http://www.hockeygreats.ca or call direct to Val 250-878-7871.
This edition’s Hockey Greats Fantasy Camp celebrity profile features Kelly Hrudey. These days, Hrudey is better known as a member of the CBC Hockey Night In Canada broadcast team, but seasoned fans may remember him as an NHL goaltender, and for sporting one of the ugliest goalie masks ever worn in hockey.
A second round pick by the New York Islanders in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft, Kelly Hrudey spent his 16 year NHL career backstopping 3 teams; beginning on Long Island, then moving on to Los Angeles, and concluded in San Jose in 1998. Hrudey nearly hoisted the Cup on two occasions: In his first season with the Islanders, New York was looking to add another championship to their 4 Cup dynasty; making it to the Stanley Cup finals. There they met Wayne Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers, who were just beginning their own dynasty, and defeated New York. Though he didn’t see any ice during those playoffs, Hrudey would return to the Cup finals again in 1993 as a starter while a member of the Los Angeles Kings, and (perhaps ironically) a teammate of Wayne Gretzky. Though that season did not result in a championship, it remains the franchise’s most successful season in club history.
Hrudey was also included on Team Canada’s 1987 Canada Cup roster as a third goalie. He sits at 13th in all-time most saves with 18,140, 24th all-time in games played with 677, 28th all-time in minutes played with 38,080:55, and 35th in all-time wins with 271. While playing for the 1987 New York Islanders, he set a playoff record, stopping 73 shots in a single game versus the Washington Capitals. The match-up spanned across 4 overtime periods, until finally being concluded on a goal by Pat LaFontaine shortly before 2 am.
In the twilight of his playing career, Hrudey would join the Hockey Night In Canada broadcast team for guest playoff commentary if his current team did not qualify for the post-season. These appearances eventually transitioned into a full-time broadcasting career, and he now provides regular television and radio commentary segments for CBC.
2011 will be Hrudey’s first year attending the Hockey Greats Fantasy Camp. Though he won’t be strapping on the pads and suiting up, we are told that Kelly will be bringing a television camera crew with him to camp this summer; and the rumor mill has been running rampant with speculation as to what will be filmed. Don’t miss your chance to meet NHL legend Kelly Hrudey this August; you might even get your mug on TV!
The 2011 Hockey Greats Fantasy Camp is nearly underway. For the days leading up to this year’s event, I’m going to be sharing a player profile for each former pro that will be at this year’s camp. all these player profiles were compiled by me (statistical and biographical info gathered from various sources), made to sound nice, and were printed in various editions of the Kelowna Daily Courier. If you didn’t get a chance to pick up a copy, enjoy the free version!
Fleury’s NHL career spanned from 1988 to 2003. Standing at 5’6” in a league full of giants, he is arguably the best “little” player to have ever played the game. He was Calgary’s 8th round pick in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft. He would go on to compete for the Colorado Avalanche, New York Rangers, and Chicago Blackhawks; but is unquestionably best remembered for his time as a member of the Calgary Flames from 1988-1999. In his rookie season with Calgary, he helped the team win its first and only Stanley Cup championship in the 1988-89 season.
Over 16 seasons, he appeared in 1,084 NHL games, and totalled 1,088 total points; averaging more than a point per game. Many older fans will recall him excitedly sliding backwards on his knees across the ice while fist-pumping, after scoring an overtime game winning goal against the Edmonton Oilers in the 1991 playoffs. He is still a prominent figure in Calgary Flames team statistic history; he is 2nd is all-time goals (364), 3rd in assists (466), 2nd in total points (830), 4th in plus/minus (+148), 3rd in power play goals (107), 1st in short-handed goals (28), 2nd in game-winning goals (53), and 1st in overtime goals (5). He was also the Flames’ team captain from 1995-1997.
**HGFC Fun Factoid: Fleury was such a popular player in Calgary that during a game in 1999, Fleury was sent off the ice to change a bloody jersey. A fan then threw his own jersey over the boards so that Fleury would not miss a shift. He put the jersey on before realizing it was autographed and handed it back. **
Internationally, he suited up for Canada at the 1991 Canada Cup, and for the 1996 World Cup. He also represented Canada twice (1998, 2002) at the Olympic Winter Games, and won the gold medal in 2002; after Canada famously defeated the United States in the final, their first Olympic hockey gold medal since 1952. Fleury would later call the Olympic victory the pinnacle of his career.
Fleury attempted an NHL comeback in 2009, after not playing in the league for 6 years. He appeared in 4 exhibition games and scored 4 points with the club, but ultimately was not included on the team’s main roster. This marked an official end to his competitive hockey career, and he has since moved on to other ventures; including writing his autobiography (entitled, “Playing With Fire”), filming a reality show pilot, public speaking appearances, starting a clothing brand, an appearance on CBC’s “Battle Of The Blades”, and running an annual charity golf tournament in Calgary that raises money for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada.
For further information on the camp please visit http://www.hockeygreats.ca
The 2011 Hockey Greats Fantasy Camp is only 4 weeks away (August 3-7)! This year’s line-up features Theo Fleury, Bryan Trottier, Bob Bourne, Billy Smith, Clark Gillies, Kelly Hrudey, Bob Nystrom, Dave Semenko, Doug Bodger, Larry Melnyk, Ron Flockhart — an incredible opportunity to meet and play with some of the NHL’s all-time best!
In honor of this year’s camp, I’m going to give away the pictured t-shirt (size L) and hat prize pack to the writer of the 9th coherent/legible/non-spam/hopefully topical comment on this article (<–click the link, I don’t mean this exact post)! Good luck!
Hello? Anyone still here?
Between the Hockey Greats Fantasy Camp (by the by, I’m now a 2-time, and back to back VT Cup champ) and Okanagan Hockey School, the month of August becomes my one month a year in Kelowna of steady, dependable income. It also requires me to work “all day” like apparently “everyone else” does. Interestingly as it turns out, this approach sees me acquire more money, which I enjoy. Consequently though, it means I go to bed at a “reasonable time”, and my normal midnight to 2am blogging block becomes voided, and thusly it is you, the reader who suffers. I encourage you to write a letter to whoever it is that could get me out of this unwelcomed routine, and just pay me to sleep in and stay up late, in the interest of entertaining you better/at all. So, um, yeah, call all your rich friends and tell them about this AWESOME blogger that you know that they should hand over all their money to in sacks with dollar signs on them; and might I add, chop-chop (hurry, that is).
No one really likes (or so they always say) to toot their own horn, but if you will allow it (not that you have a choice, I’m the one writing after all), toot-toot! At the inception of this blog last July, I had a whopping 228 reads that first month. Now a year later, my last July’s read total came to 2,566. Now, compared to other bloggers, this is probably still nowhere near their ballparks, but for me I’m going to count it a success. And of course, I only have you to thank. So, thanks for reading!! I hope the trend continues, and that you’ll stick around for the long haul.
Alright, on with some non-sense….
Funny how everyone’s weigh scales, whether they are at home in the bathroom or at the gym, are apparently always wrong. I mean, have you ever stepped on a scale that wasn’t yours that you hadn’t heard was out 5-10 pounds, or something like that? “Oh, yeah no, if you use it on the carpet, it’ll be waaay off…” I hate to sound harsh, but can we all just sober up and deal with the truth for a second…. YOU’RE OVERWEIGHT. There, I said it. Admitting the problem is the first step, right? Now, we can all move on together, and figure out how to get the scale to read the number we want it to…
When I started dating my now-wife, she filled me in on some men’s fashion tips that I believe I benefited from: Match the belt with the shoes, don’t button up the bottom button on your suit jacket, etc. But there’s one incredible faux-pas that even a fashion idiot like myself doesn’t need to be told not to perform. Have you seen guys wearing suits that do up the top button on their shirt without wearing a tie? If you’re a kid trying to fit-in at school and you roll up dressed like this, you might as well punch-a-size your own face, just voluntarily enter the locker, and lock it behind you; you’ve purchased a non-refundable, one-way ticket to Geektown.
Why do dudes in theatre productions always have to wear caked-on eye-shadow and lipstick? Why can’t they just look like dudes on stage?? Why is it supposedly more believable or realistic that the men would be wearing girl faces while pretending to dance through a fictional life scenario on stage? Don’t we want to differentiate the men FROM the women? Are they going for some sort of non-partisan, inter-gender approach?
The sooner we get the Bob Saget voice-over to the concluding statement, “…and that’s how I met your mother.” On the “hit” (so they say) show “How I Met Your Mother”, the better. That show’s soooooooo over-rated. Doogie Howser and the American Pie band-camp girl are just really not my cup of tea.
The ice cream man drove down our block the other day playing a Christmas medley of songs instead of the traditional one it’s played for the past 50 years (“The Entertainer”, I believe?). Apparently a focus group think-tank determined nothing moves popsicles into kids’ faces during the hot summer months like a Silent Night/Jingle Bells ice-cream truck remix. Maybe there’s something to it – we’ll see if at Christmas I start craving popsicles for the following six months, and upon my first hearing of the chimes, whether I take out a small loan and buy the entire contents of the truck. My brother used to buy so many popsicles when he was a kid that when the ice-cream man would come down our street, he would literally park outside our house playing the song until he came out. I’ve heard other stories of people being followed down the street by ice-cream trucks. The popsicle peddlers are a sneaky bunch; now that I think about it, maybe that idea isn’t so crazy/beyond them after all….
The third annual “Hockey Greats Fantasy Camp” is nearly upon us. And yes I did say that with Christmas-Eve-ish excitement.
I’ve been really fortunate to have been absorbed into the organizing team, and to have had the opportunity to partake last year and this year. Basically an all-inclusive hockey vacation, our registrants are granted the opportunity to 1) golf Shannon Lake Golf Club in West Kelowna 2) board a houseboat cruise of Okanagan Lake, provided by The Boardroom including an open bar, and being catered by Original Joe’s Restaurant, where Clark Gillies may or may not do this again:
3) play three days of hockey practice, scrimmage, and a final showdown for the VT Cup (a replica Stanley Cup, complete with engraved names of past winners) in a charity game 4) be accomodated at 5 star The Cove Resort in West Kelowna, and participate in all our social activities (hint: the event is also sponsored by Okanagan Spring Brewery and Ex Nihilo Winery), where Bryan Trottier may or may not shave his signature moustache as part of an impromtu midnight charity auction again to the tune of a karaoke’d rendition of Sweet Home Alabama:
Oh, I forgot to mention, they get to do all these things with NHL Hall of Fame Legends Bob Bourne, Clark Gillies, Dale Hawerchuk, Billy Smith, Dave Semenko, Bryan Trottier, Larry Melnyk, Steve Shutt, Ron Flockhart, and Doug Bodger, who by the way, are all still really good at hockey. Our players also recieve 2 personalized jerseys (home and away, with choice of number), a free stick and gloves, and various other freebees of all kinds. For a hockey fan, it’s a pretty big deal.
While it’s too late to sign up or sponsor for this year, you my loyal readers, can still purchase tickets for the VT Cup Championship game, of which 100% of ticket sales will directly
benefit the Rick Hansen Foundation. Tickets are $7.50, pretty freaking decent to see that amount of NHL caliber in one game. The game is a lot of fun for players and fans alike; we’ll have some local personalities provide in-game entertainment, so bring your friends, family, kids, and of course yourself for a great afternoon of entertainment. Puck drops at 1:00 PM at the Royal LePage Place Arena in West Kelowna on August 7th. There will be an open autograph session for any and all fans to get all the pros to scribble on whatever you want at noon as well.
Hope to see you all there!
First off, congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks on winning the Stanley-Freaking-Cup (as though they all are collectively reading this blog and saying, “hey thanks man”), and to Rich Abney of Kelowna for winning the 1st Quadrennial SDC Blogs’ Double Championship Challenge! Along with his prize, Rich receives 4 years of bragging rights. Keeeerr-rap (doubly for runner up Ryley Herzog, who will be hearing about it at Chevy’s Source for Sports for the next four years J). It was looking like Ryley and the Flyers had a chance of pulling one over on all of us with that Bruins/Habs massacre, but alas…
What a great playoffs overall. Complete with a standard Canucks exit, Pronger’s puck stealing/Carcillo antagonism vs Byfuglien/everyone, Joe Thornton and San Jose’s meltdown, Pronger vs. Burish chirps, awesome NHL “History Will Be Made/No Words” commercials and CBC video montages, 3rd string goalies becoming starters and fading out 1st stringers while fading in huge contracts next year (see: Rask, Halak, Niemi, Leighton, etc), Keith losing 7 TEETH mid-game and continuing, Crosby and Ovechkin eliminated early by an underdog, Hossa rescinding his Cup curse, Vince Vaughn, the rejuvenation of hockey in Chicago and the end of the longest running championship drought, a mullet and a mystery OT Cup winning goal (and a Crosby-Olympic-Golden-Goal-esque one at that) by Kane, a prophetic mural, the Conn Smythe and yet another championship for overshadowed (until now) Jonathan Toews; hard to find anything bad to say about that guy.
The Stanley Cup is just simply awesome. Winning it is an un-top-able feat (no, not even Dilbert’s Topper could); truly the most difficult trophy to win in sports, by all accounts of comparison of every other sports’ playoff formats. In no other sports are you required to win 16 games and not lose more than 3 per series to secure final victory. And when you do accomplish said task, an achievement-appropriate sized trophy awaits you; also the biggest in all sports. Often described as the lightest 34 pounds you’ll ever lift over your head, most dreamers will never have the opportunity to find out what that really means. From the first moment video cameras show the Cup in the building to well after it gets lifted over the captain’s head, I get perma-chills and goosebumps every year.
Justin Bourne did as good a job as anyone could on describing what winning the Cup means here.
I had one idea about something to change in the playoffs though. You see, it’s always better to win the Cup at home, in front of your own fans. The Wachovia Center in Philadelphia was dead silent when Patrick Kane scored to win, and rightfully so. How much better would that moment looked on TV if the Madhouse on Madison had the chance to chant “Chelsea Dagger” alongside Toews’ Cup hoisting?
So here’s my idea: for sure in the Cup final, and perhaps in the previous series’, once a team has won three games, the remaining games should be played at that team’s home rink; unless the other team wins 3, in which case the series would shift to that team’s rink. It might play havoc with some arena scheduling, but I think it’d make for a better winning atmosphere. Your thoughts???
Well, that’s it for hockey for a while. Cripes (I’m sure the female readers out there are breathing a sigh of relief). No, I won’t watch baseball in the meantime. Trying reeeeallly hard to give the World Cup and soccer a chance…. but can someone score a goal or two already? 90 +minutes and 0-0 draws are not helping the cause. It seems too exciting of a tournament to have play that boring, doesn’t it?