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Product Review: Don Cherry’s Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Hockey 26!!

April 13, 2015 Leave a comment

If you’re an LA Kings fan like me, you’re probably having trouble finding silver linings to the Kings’ failure to make the 2014-15 Stanley Cup Playoffs. While there’s very few positives to mine from this atrocity, one thing that we can cling to is their Stanley Cup victory last year, immortalized on video, as part of Don Cherry’s Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Hockey 26, on DVD and Blu-Ray. We can watch Alec Martinez shake his jazz hands after potting the Cup winning goal in double OT over, and over, and over. And over.

RS26 pairs an epic sounding soundtrack with the best plays the NHL had to offer in 2013-14. You’ll relive the season’s best goals, hits, saves, bloopers, and fights; plus you also get playoff highlights of all 4 rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs, minor hockey tips for parents and kids, highlights from CBC’s Coach’s Corner segment during Hockey Night in Canada, Don telling stories from hockey’s yesteryear, Don wearing flowery high-collared suits, Don dancing and lip syncing in Times Square with old guy glasses on, Don saying “bawango!”, Don saying “trolley tracks” and “look out!”, and everything else you hope Don Cherry would do for you in a 65 minute span.

You can watch Sportscentre highlights on repeat loop all you want, but this video series always shows even the most dedicated fan that there were so many more amazing plays that happened during the NHL season than they ever realized went down. Here’s a preview:

Don Cherry’s Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Hockey 26 is a great addition to any hockey fan’s video library, and it makes a great gift too. Find it on DVD or Blu-Ray on Amazon, or at your local video retailer.

Below is the official press release:

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Video Services Corp., presents:

Don Cherry’s Rock’em Sock’em — In its 26th Year!

 There have been a lot of changes in Canadian hockey broadcasting recently, but one beloved tradition continues with the release of Rock’em Sock’em Hockey 26 on DVD and Blu-ray.

20150413_055546339_iOSThe best goals, saves and hits from the 2013-2014 season, including what many considered to be the best playoffs in years, are combined with the best of Coach’s Corner to create the perfect gift for the hockey lover on your list.

Don Cherry’s Rock’em Sock’em Hockey was first released in 1989, quickly became a huge success in the marketplace and is now the bestselling sports video franchise in Canadian history. To date the franchise has sold over two million units and continues to be one of the highest selling sports videos during the holiday season.

For the third consecutive year Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Hockey is being distributed by Video Services Corp (VSC).

“We’ve had an amazing experience working with Don and Tim Cherry to bring Rock’em Sock’em to Canadians,” declared VSC President Jonathan Gross. “We’re proud to be part of an institution!”

“We’re so happy to be working with old and new partners to keep the series going for a 26th year,” said Executive Producer Tim Cherry, “so many Canadians have grown up with this every year, we don’t want to disappoint them!”

 

DVD DETAILS:

SRP: $19.98 | TRT: 65 min

UPC: 7-78854-21609-9| Catalog: CHE2160

BLU-RAY DETAILS:

SRP: $24.98 | TRT: 65 min

UPC: 7-78854-21619-8| Catalog: CHE2161

 

About Video Services Corp.

Founded in 1993 by former rock critic Jonathan Gross, Video Services Corp. (VSC) is a leading independent all-platform film distributor with offices in Toronto and Los Angeles. VSC’s DVD catalogue includes “Corner Gas,” Sharknado, “Comedy Now! Starring Russell Peters” and “Spectacle: Elvis Costello With….” Recent theatrical releases include Union Square, with Oscar® winner Mira Sorvino, Alan Partridge, starring Steve Coogan, and the Israeli horror sensation Big Bad Wolves. VSC has an eclectic 2014 slate that features Cannes Selection Life Itself, TIFF Midnight Madness People’s Choice Award Winner What We Do In The Shadows, Sundance Festival favourite White Bird In A Blizzard, and the horror film ABCs of Death 2. VSC is also restoring the historic 1984 Canada Cup o DVD in late 2014. For more information visit www.videoservicescorp.com, facebook.com/videoservicescorp or twitter.com/vidserv.

 

Book Review: “Shoot To Thrill: The History of Hockey’s Shootout” by Mark Roseman & Howie Karpin

April 12, 2015 Leave a comment

There are not too many hockey fans without strong sentiments on the NHL shootout – one half lauds it as an exciting way to conclude a match-up, while the other half calls for it to die a quick and very painful death. At the moment, I personally am tempted to side with the latter, as my LA Kings’ abysmal 2-8 shootout record this season arguably cost them a playoff spot. But despite the disparity in mass opinion, both sides of the issue surely can agree that shootouts capture the full attention of fans when they happen, whether they’re at the rink or in front of a TV screen.

But why does the NHL use a shootout? And where did it come from? For fans seeking answers to those hockey showdown related questions and more, there is a great new book that goes above and beyond to not only satisfy your queries, but to provide you with further elucidation that you didn’t even know you needed. “Shoot To Thrill: The History of Hockey’s Shootout” by Mark Rosenman and Howie Karpin is sure to smarten you Shoot to Thrillup when it comes to shootouts.

The authors tell of the shootout’s evolution from its introduction at the 1988 Winter Olympics, and details the differences between the Olympic version and the NHL’s incarnation. Furthermore, other sports appear to have influenced it as well. They contend it’s an offshoot from soccer, who adopted penalty kicks to determine game outcomes in the 1980’s (yes, even the world’s most popular sport had to evolve at one point). Roots even spread deeper to basketball, from a one-on-one competition that ABC aired on television in the early 1970’s, which NBC mimicked in return, airing a hockey version in the following years until the 1980’s. This “Showdown” as it was dubbed, was intermission entertainment, and draws striking similarities to modern day reality TV – eliminating competitors, and awarding prize money to the victors.

The shootout also seems to be the step-brother of the penalty shot, which was implemented in the 1920’s in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association, and later adopted into the NHL in 1934. What began as a stationary shot, then morphed to a shot from a confined area, and all the way to the center ice breakaway version we see nowadays during both penalty shots and shootout attempts.

The book also provides Interesting statistics from memorable Olympic and NHL shootouts and penalty shots, detailing the shooters, the outcome of each attempt, and deeper trivia like who the first ever shootout shooters and scorers were, longest, players who have had two penalty shots in a game, two in a period, and who’s had a penalty shot goal disallowed because of an illegal curve.  You also get some insider intel from players and goalies on how they prepare for shootouts, and which goalies and shooters they themselves would pick. Nearly 100 opinions come out from former and current players, broadcasters and officials on whether they like the shootout or not. The book also includes a handy appendix of team shootout records, detailing each NHL team’s top three most successful shooters, and goaltender with the best shootout record.

Whether you’re a casual fan, hockey stats and history junkie, or somewhere in between, “Shoot To Thrill” is a real page turner that I’m sure you’ll enjoy and learn from.

You can find it online as a hardcover or e-book on Amazon, or at your local bookstore, with any luck.

Below is the official press release from Sports Publishing, and imprint of Skyhorse Publishing:

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Shoot to Thrill:

The History of Hockey’s Shootout

By Mark Rosenman and Howie Karpin

Some maintain that hockey’s shootout erases a sixty-five-minute emotional roller coaster between two teams and that it’s wrong for games to be decided based on a one-on-one battle between a shooter and a goalie.

Others argue that shootouts provide edge-of-your seat excitement as two supremely skilled players go head-to-head for all the marbles.

“The anecdotes and notes [in this book] will enlighten any hockey fan and will give you a perspective into how and why this rule was added from those who were and are still directly involved.”  – from the foreword by “Jiggs” McDonald

In 2005, the National Hockey League adopted the shootout to settle ties in regular season games. Some rule changes are instituted without anyone’s noticing. Others shake the game to its very foundations. Ten years after its introduction, the shootout remains one of the most significant and controversial rule changes in all of sports.

Shoot to Thrill blends history, stats, and personal perspectives from players, coaches, officials, and broadcasters. Mark Rosenman and Howie Karpin explore how players and coaches prepare forshootouts, what they think of them, and how shootouts have helped shape hockey history over the past decade.

Like the designated-hitter rule in baseball, hockey’s shootout has left no fan impartial to it.

Love the rule or hate it, no one stops watching when it’s time for a shootout!

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About the Authors

MARK ROSENMAN has been covering sports since 1979, as an on air talk show host on Cablevision, WGLI, and WGBB. He is currently the host and producer of WLIE 540 a.m. SportsTalkNY. He is credentialed with the NHL and covers both the Islanders and Rangers and is credentialed with MLB and covers the New York Mets. He lives in Commack, New York.

HOWIE KARPIN has been a sports reporter for more than thirty years and has covered everything from the World Series to the Stanley Cup Finals. He is an accredited official scorer for Major League Baseball in New York and is a contributor to Mad Dog Radio, MLB Radio, and NFL Radio. He lives in the Bronx, New York.

Sports Publishing hardcover, also available as an ebook

Pub Date: March 17, 2015

ISBN 978-1-61321-797-9

Price: $19.99

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*****Wanna win your own copy of “Shoot To Thrill”? Be the first to tell me in a comment who scored the most NHL shootout goals in the 2014-15 regular season, and I’ll send you your own hardcover version of the book!******

XP PSP s01e17: Warrior Hockey brand manager, Keith Perera

February 1, 2015 Leave a comment

Perera1Warrior Hockey’s Brand Manager, Keith Perera, calls in for episode 17 to talk about Warrior’s generous equipment donation to the Jeju Islanders Hockey Club in Jeju, South Korea last year, the evolution and maturing of Warrior’s products, the difference between marketing to hockey and lacrosse players, the role social media plays in product sales and brand loyalty, the hockey equipment business, Warrior’s presence in the NHL and other hockey leagues, what guys like Dustin Byfuglien and Ryan Smyth request from them, why the Oilers and Sabres are so bad and how to fix them, and a whole bunch more.

Follow Warrior Hockey on TwitterFacebookTumblr, and Instagram.
Download XP PSP on iTunes

Product Review: The Mission Belt

January 26, 2015 2 comments

logo

It’s impressive when a company can re-invent a basic product, and actually have their new approach reach beyond the label of total gimmick. Take the belt and belt buckle for example – l mean, since forever (actually only since the Bronze Age, says Wikipedia), anyone who has ever had a need to keep their pants from falling down has accepted that a belt strap wraps around your waist, heads through a buckle, and then is affixed with a prong securing itself in a hole on the belt’s opposite end. The belt buckle strays a little from this method, but is still conceptually the same. So it is, so it was, so it always will be, right?

Enter The Mission Belt Company. Mission Belt has, without a doubt, changed the belt game. For the better. Not only do they make a better belt than what we’re all used to, they’re helping make the world a better place too. So beat that, conventional belt makers.

muralThe major conceptual reinvention Mission Belt employs with their leather belts and buckles is a ratchet system, built into both the buckle and the leather strap. They’ve completely bypassed the standard holes and prong approach, instead giving you a completely different fastening experience. Conversely, Mission’s belt does away with the leather puncturing holes and replaces them with gear-like teeth on the underside of the strap. When this section hits the buckle after insertion, it’s met by the pawl on the backside of the connection point. The wearer simply slides the belt in as far as necessary, and the belt locks in place. When escape is necessary, freedom is only a release knob lift away. Readjustment requires only a push in on the strap – unlike the traditional belt that requires an entire unlatch and re-latch to get where you need to be. Don’t expect readjustment to be overly necessary though – unlike old style belts that can loosen over time through wear and tear, the Mission Belt stays locked in place all day unless you tell it otherwise.

Still need help with this new concept? Here’s a video walkthrough: 

Mission Belts are resizable too — here’s another video walkthrough on how to shorten the leather strap.

IMG_7524Further, you can (likely) get a buckle with your favorite team’s logo on it. 22 NHL teams are available, alongside squads from the NCAA and NBA. Each team has 2-4 pre-set leather color options, but if none of them strike your combo fancy, you can mix and match your buckle with one of the 17 leather colors the company offers. And if sports belts aren’t your thing, they have a whole line of other fashionable belts to peruse instead. A standard belt/leather combo set runs $54.95, but alternatively you can pick your own buckle for $34.95, and then pay $20 for leather of your choice, to get the combination you desire or to switch up another setup you already have in play. Sizes fit small to large, accommodating 32” to 42” waists within those standard sizes, or you can customize a belt to fit up to a 56” waist.

Beyond all that, “Mission” is not only the company’s name, it’s also part of their business plan. For every Mission Belt sold, $1 is donated to Kiva, a non-profit peer-to-peer “micro-lending” organization that helps provide opportunities to support economic development and entrepreneurship around the globe. To learn more about how Mission Belt’s team up with Kiva helps fight global hunger and poverty through micro-lending, read Mission’s statement on their practices here, visit Kiva’s website www.kiva.org, and visit Mission Belt’s Kiva lender profile here.

Additionally, find Mission on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, YouTube, and their website missionbelt.com.

Look good with Mission Belts, and feel good about looking so good too!

=========CONTEST=========

Wanna win your own Mission Belt? I am giving away a size medium (up to 35″ waist) LA Kings buckle with “Cool Grey” strap to the first commenter who can correctly answer the following question:

Wayne Gretzky finished his NHL career with 2,857 regular season points and 382 playoff points. What is the combined total of regular season AND playoff points he scored for the LA Kings?

The first person to leave the correct total in a comment will win! Good luck!

 

XP PSP s01e16: Jeff Jarrett, president/founder of Global Force Wrestling

December 30, 2014 Leave a comment

UntitledIt’s not everyday that you get to interview a legend from the world of pro wrestling. Have a listen episode 16 of the eXPat Pro Sports Podcast, as I talk with Jeff Jarrett, president of Global Force Wrestling, former WWE Intercontinental Champion, WCW Heavyweight Champion, NWA Heavyweight Champion, founder of TNA Wrestling, among other billings — we discuss GFW, their promotion of NJPW’s Jan 4th PPV event, “Wrestle Kingdom 9″, his wrestling career, WWE, Vince McMahon, concussions and guitar head shots, Jeff’s Christian faith, No Mercy 1999, Bash at the Beach 2000, David Arquette as WCW Champion, and more.
Download XP PSP on iTunes

2014 Jeju Cup Winter Classic

October 27, 2014 Leave a comment

Jeju Cup Winter Classic

Unwilling to be restricted to being just an annual summer event, the Jeju Cup will be contested for a second time this calendar year — this time at the 2014 Jeju Cup Winter Classic.

On December 7th, 2014 players of all skill levels and from all locales are invited to be part of a full day of street hockey action — to declare the second Jeju Cup champion, and to push towards our goal of raising 1,000,000 KRW (approxmiately $1000 CAD) for the Jeju Islanders Hockey Club.

As of now, all Jeju Islanders weekly games and events rely solely on donations and out of pocket payments to operate. As our team has grown to regular weekly games of over 20 participants each week, and tournaments with attendance many times that, so have our required expenditures increased. Currently, we need funding for:

  • The rental or construction of an equipment storage facility.
  • Current and future tournament/event costs.
  • Equipment:
    • new sticks as old ones break, and to accommodate our rising amount of players.
    • stick tape.
    • street hockey balls.
    • goalie equipment.
    • jerseys.
    • scoreboard.
    • equipment maintenance.
    • proper goal netting (currently our nets are lined with fishing netting).

To reach that goal, we’ll have mini-game prizes, silent auction items, t-shirts for sale, concessions, and our registration fee that gets you a full day of tournament games, and lunch.

If you’d like to be a part of the competition and the effort, fill out this registration form:

Once you’ve filled out the registration form COMPLETE YOUR REGISTRATION and secure your spot in the tournament by transferring 25,000 KRW via ATM  bank transfer to:

Jeju Bank 18-02-312272

You can also pay your registration fee online by clicking on this PayPal Pay Now button:

OR if you are a local you can pay me cash directly when I see you.

To get to the rink, get yourself to the Jeju City bus terminal on the 1132 highway. Head south a few blocks and fade a little east. It’s right beside the swimming pool in the Sports Complex. Here’s a map:

rink map

We are also actively seeking event sponsors who would like to have their company and/or product benefit from the exposure the Jeju Islanders and the Jeju Cup can offer them in our local community, and throughout the world, online. For sponsorship inquiries, please email davecunning09@shaw.ca

Visit the Jeju Islanders Facebook page by clicking here.

Read about the inaugural Jeju Cup street hockey tournament:

1) In the Jeju Weekly: http://www.jejuweekly.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=4231

2) On this blog:  https://davecunning.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/jeju-cup-scores-big-puts-hockey-on-the-map-in-jeju-south-korea/

3) in KelownaNow.com: http://www.kelownanow.com/columns/sports/news/Sports/14/07/19/Okanagan_Hockey_Player_Brings_Canada_s_Sport_to_South_Korea

faceoff

See you at the rink!

-Dave Cunning

President & GM,  Jeju Islanders Hockey Club

 

New AllSportsMarket Free App allows you to trade pro sports teams like stocks

October 23, 2014 Leave a comment

NHL hockey legend, Bernie Nicholls, and Hollywood stuntman and filmmaker, Ace Underhill have teamed up to build the World’s First Sports Stock Market. The duo’s brainchild, the All Sports Market App (ASM), is a sports stock market App where fans can buy and sell shares in their favorite NHL, NBA, and NFL teams.

After each game, the winning teams payout dividends to their shareholders (note: the app is free, and no real money is involved). Players can accumulate SportsFolio Points to exchange for ASM Dollars (the in-app currency), which can then be used to buy real sports memorabilia and other sports products from the Rewards Store (opens in or before January 2015, though points are collectible now). The program parallels the real stock market, except that ASM uses sports teams from leagues that people actually know, rather than unfamiliar businesses listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

ASM is free to download, free to play, and offers sports fans an alternative to “gambling”, instead focusing on “investing”. It’s more of a “reality sports” product, rather than a “fantasy sports” product.

“As a player, I always loved the fans and appreciated them,” Nicholls said. “I’ve tried to give back as much as I can. All Sports Market is taking it to the next level by opening up a whole new world of fun and opportunity for sports fans everywhere. It’s simple. You buy and sell teams like stocks on the stock market. When they win, you win!”

“ASM is a quantum leap beyond fantasy sports,” Underhill remarked further. “We know fans love consuming all the data they can find, following their players and bragging about them, but something is missing… a REAL connection to their favorite teams. We enable fans to own the game.”

The app, and its unique combination of founding talent, has drawn the attention of comedian Christopher Titus, film and television star Zack Ward, triple Grammy winner Ben Moody, Snoop Dogg, and many other celebrities and athletes who are participating in the worldwide launch over social media.

By contributing to and supporting the Snoop Youth Football League (SYFL), ASM seeks to help end financial illiteracy and create new opportunities for kids to learn finance through sports. The SYFL’s classroom setting and focus on education in addition to athletics makes a partnership with the sports stock trader a logical evolution.

“I love the kids and I always have,” said Nicholls. “I love the youth camps and programs. Having Snoop on board is just awesome. I know we’ll do great things together.”

“The children are our future,” Underhill continued in his manifesto on the sports trading movement. “As cliche as that sounds, it’s true. Financial illiteracy in this country, and the world, represses people’s abilities to overcome the day-to-day challenges of earning and handling money, as well as planning for their future. What if you could focus all that sports knowledge and passion into a positive change for your personal future?”

Upon reading Underhill’s statement, Snoop replied, “Run with it everywhere.”

20141023_151123000_iOS

Full disclosure: I owned 50 shares in the LA Kings at the time of this picture.

ASM is a great way to really get involved with your favorite teams, giving players a feeling of novelty and involvement not normally gleaned from other sports products. It gives the fans a sense of empowerment both through the ownership of a team ‘share’, and the confidence that goes with having learned about stock trading, without having to open a text book.

To find out more about the AllSportsMarket App, visit ASM’s website: http://ASMFree.com/; Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/asmfreeapp; and Twitter feed: http://www.twitter.com/ASMFreeApp

You can download ASM for free on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/kr/app/asm-free!-allsportsmarket/id905746665?l=en&mt=8

Read more about ASM online:

1) Yahoo! Finance: www.finance.yahoo.com/news/hollywood-stuntman-hockey-legend-build-184700872.html

2) Reuters: www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/16/ca-allsports-snoopdog-idUSnPn5gC6sQ+89+PRN20141016

3) The Hockey Writers: http://thehockeywriters.com/all-sports-stock-market-ex-nhler-bernie-nicholls-explains/

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AllSportsMarket (ASM) is operated by The New Sports Economy Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established to teach finance through sports. Ace Underhill is the sole technical architect with over 15 years experience working in movies, television, and music videos with such luminaries as Snoop Dogg, Coldplay, Rihanna, Foo Fighters, and other top artists worldwide. Bernie Nicholls is ASM’s spokesman and sports industry liaison. Bernie was an explosive scorer who accumulated over 1,200 career points while playing for six NHL teams. Recently, Bernie helped coach the L.A. Kings to their first Stanley Cup in 47 years.

The Snoop Youth Football League is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded to provide the opportunity for inner-city children to participate in youth football and cheer. The SYFL serves children between the ages of five and thirteen, teaching them the values of teamwork, good sportsmanship, discipline, and self-respect, while also stressing the importance of academics. Visit: http://snoopyfl.net/

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