Greetings from Beantown

After shipping up to Boston to start another year at school, I'm exhausted. But I had to give a congrats to a fellow BU boy who signed with Wilkes-Barre. It's almost as if I'm recruiting for them. First John Curry and now Boomer Ewing. Although I think he might see time in Wheeling, WBS fans will like him. He's not a huge kid, but he works hard. Hopefully his game will translate well to the pros, and he'll put up some points like he did for the Terriers. :sigh: They grow up so fast.

Well, the Sox won again, and freshmen are wandering the streets looking for frat parties to go to. I'm going to bed!

Photo Credit: Hockey East Online


Fall Into the GAP

I was shopping at King of Prussia this past weekend, and as I strolled out of the GAP, what did I see? Sean Avery's face ten times its original size in an ad for the store. Aside from the fact that he is easily my least favorite NHLer (in a close race with Jeremy Roenick), who really finds this guy to be good looking?? This whole dating celebrities and fashion nonsense is so bizarre to me.

Put Matt Lombardi or Rick DiPietro on a huge ad, and then we'll talk.


Plug Time

Former Wheeling Nailer (and nephew of Craig Patrick), Curtiss Patrick, has jumpstarted his own t-shirt company called Ratfink T-shirts. They're actually pretty hilarious and not too expensive at all.

My personal favorites include "I made out with my sister in Wheeling WV" and "I'm Not Jared" (in the shape of the Subway sign). Check 'em out. You'll get a good laugh in.

Curtiss played hockey at Penn State before spending time with the Nailers. He is headed to England to play next season. He also writes and puts together some pretty hilarious songs which you can check out on his MySpace page -- most famously "Myspace Lovership." If you follow the link to the YouTube video you can see cameos by Paul Bissonnette, Ned Havern and Andy Franck.

Quote Me

Perhaps my favorite media darling in the NHL, Alexander Ovechkin, had an entertaining interview in the new Hockey News yearbook. I couldn't decide which to use, so I went with both:

"You love your mom all the time, and I love hockey all the time."

"I want more. All the time, I want more, more, more. Sometimes you eat a lot and you say, 'I can't eat anymore.' But when you score goals, it's not like that. It's unbelievable ... unbelievable food."

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated


Bits & Pieces

- More on the Dennis Bonvie situation: According to front office gossip talk, Bonvie wasn't going to be picked for the assistant coach position anyway. In that case, I think the team owes a thank you to Dennis for publicly 'withdrawing' his name and making it seem like it was his first choice to leave (which it may have been anyway, who knows). Jonathan Bombulie mentioned him possibly taking a scouting job for an NHL team. Either way, best wishes. Everyone will miss him.

- Pittsburgh's Ryan Whitney will miss the start of the season due to recent foot surgery. Recovery time: 3-5 months. Yikes. Get well soon.

- San Jose did a nice little piece on former WBS coach, Todd Richards.

- In continuing with their Logo Ranking madness, THN made a horrible mistake. They put the BC Eagles above BU! Surely, they weren't paying attention. Go here immediately and vote for BU!!



A little note popped up on my RSS feeds from the Times Leader saying that Dennis Bonvie has withdrawn his name as a candidate for the open assistant coach position. My first reaction is disappointment. Not only would he have been good for the spot, but it would be another great move for the area.

There have been rumors going around that he wants to open up a sports bar in the Wilkes-Barre area. Could that be his other 'opportunity'? If not, then I'm super curious as to what is.


Quote Me

"We might have to employ scientists to investigate, but Wayne may be the best human at everything ever."
- www.barrymelroserocks.com


Hey! Whatever Happened To ...

Have you ever wondered what happened to those players that were skating for your team one day and gone the next? If you haven't, pretend you have. I've seen my fair share of prospects come through Wilkes-Barre, and occasionally some that seemed pretty decent ended up disappearing (by disappearing I mean heading overseas). So here's a little 'where are they now' session of some Pittsburgh prospects who quietly slipped away.

1. Konstantin Koltsov - Koltsov was probably one of the more impressive players I watched, and I guess the main reason for that was his speed. I haven't seen very many players who skated faster than Koltsov. He played 144 games in Pittsburgh and 116 games (regular & post-season) for Wilkes-Barre. He's now over in Russia playinig for Ufa Salavat Yulayev. He was always a quiet kid - probably because his English wasn't so great, but I will never ever forget his Game 7 OT goal in the first round of the 03-04 Calder Cup playoffs that came after WBS was in a 3-games-to-1 deficit before battling back. I've never felt more pride in a team than in that moment, and for that reason, I will never dislike the kid.

2. Michel Sivek - I never had a problem with Michel Sivek. In fact, he was a pretty decent player. But after 93 games and 55 points with Wilkes-Barre and 38 games with Pittsburgh, he headed home to the Czech Republic where he's played for Sparta Praha ever since. At the time, I remember something about his mother being sick as a main reason why he was going home, but don't hold me to that 100%.

3. Milan Kraft - Other than Koltsov, Kraft is possibly the best player on this list to leave. He was so much fun to watch because his skill level was incredible. He made it look easy. At the same time, he had a tendency to fall into what seemed like an 'I really don't care' mindset. He played 108 games in Wilkes-Barre where he accumulated an unreal 114 points, and he spent 215 games with Pittsburgh where he racked up 82 points. After the 03-04 season, he headed back to his home country of the Czech Republic, and with the exception of one stint in Russia, has played there since. He is now with Karlovy Vary HC.

4. Sebastien Caron - Caron was one of my favorite players when he was around (What? I have a soft spot for goalies, okay). Even though he weighed about 25 pounds and wore his pads so loose they hung off his legs, he had a lot of potential. He wasn't an above average goaltender, but when he first came on the scene it seemed like he could be someday (see: this save). Caron played 90 games for Pittsburgh (to be honest, I didn't even realize it was this much) and 123 games for Wilkes-Barre. He didn't leave North America until this past season when he played for Fribourg-Gotteron in the Swiss League, but he seemed to slip under the radar before that as he was tossed around from Chicago to Portland to Norfolk and Anaheim (where he did manage to win a Stanley Cup). Unfortunately, he controlled his own destiny in all of this. He had a case of laziness and immaturity (proof: a teammate and good friend of his once told a story of how he pushed all his vegetables to the side and only ate the noodles of his dinner) ... neither of which equal success.

5. Tomas Surovy - Another European who left the Pittsburgh organization for Europe. He was a good player who could put up points -- 177 in 239 games for Wilkes-Barre and 59 points in 126 games for Pittsburgh. He left for the Swedish Elite League where he's continued to do pretty well. He faked everyone out with a Phoenix Coyotes contract last summer only to have it cancelled and return to Sweden.



Let's face it, we all love to be given a reason to judge something or someone. I mean, why do you really think American Idol is so popular? Coincidentally, 'tis the season for judging logos (if we're going along with the Hockey News). What's that?? Judging logos you say?? How can I not?

There are some major problems with THN's AHL rankings. For example, they ranked a guy steering a river boat and two odd looking pigs -- excuse me, one is a hog -- above my steroid-enhanced Penguin. No, no, no. Clearly that's a mistake.

Here's a link to the original rankings. Here are mine. I'm not HTML savvy enough to yet figure out how to line up each logo with my ranking, so just refer to the image above. They go in order across. The THN ranking is placed at the end of each description for easy comparison. Check it:

1. Rochester Americans - I'm sticking with the pros on this one. It's classic. God Bless the red, white and blue. THN ranking: 1.

2. Milwaukee Admirals -- Recently re-done. It's modern, and pirates happen to be cool right now. Arr. THN ranking: 3.

3. San Antonio Rampage - I'm not going anywhere near that thing. THN ranking: 2.

4. Bridgeport Sound Tigers - Probably has the best color combo in the entire league -- although I do miss the old royal blue. Ferosh. THN ranking: 5.

5. Toronto Marlies - Pure classic - ness. Yes, I made that word up. Doesn't stray far from Papa Toronto, but it manages to be way sweeter. THN ranking: 9.

6. Houston Aeros - Retro is so in right now. THN ranking: 4.

7. Hershey Bears - Maybe you have to see Hershey play a lot to fully appreciate their logo. I think it's pretty sick. THN ranking: 18.

8. Manitoba Moose - Do you know how big moose are? And one with that face? Solid one-two punch. THN ranking: 11.

9. Philly Phantoms - For as much as I hate the Phantoms, I've always had a soft spot for their logo. The egg plant purple they use for jerseys? Not so much. THN Ranking: 20.

10. Lake Erie Monsters - Nessie? Oh wait, that's Loch Ness not Lake Erie. THN ranking: 13.

11.WBS Penguins - Maybe I'm biased here, but this Penguin was juiced up before being juiced up was cool. I'm pretty sure it could knock out some of these other logos here. THN ranking: 21.

12. Hartford Wolfpack - I automatically think AHL when I see this. I'm not sure why, but I think it's cool. THN ranking: 24.

13. Syracuse Crunch - No one can really be sure what that white thing is. THN calls it a gorilla, but I'm not even sure that's right. It looks more like a person. Abominable snowman? Whatever it is, it's completely crazy. It's also a step up from their old logo which looked like it could be a third member of the Ambiguously Gay Duo (thus making it a trio). THN ranking: 28.

14. Hamilton Bulldogs - Are you going to try and take that bone away from that dog? I didn't think so. THN ranking: 14.

15. Rockford Ice Hogs - If Disney wanted a logo for another hockey team, this is what it would look like. THN ranking: 16.

16. Portland Pirates - How old is this guy that his beard is completely grey? THN ranking: 17.

17. Norfolk Admirals - The ship is shooting pucks. Get it? Yeah, I know. Cool. Next please. THN ranking: 6.

18. Lowell Devils - The Devil himself on skates. Get me some holy water. THN ranking: 12.

19. Providence Bruins - Like father, like son. THN ranking: 22.

20. Grand Rapids Griffins - I wasn't sure where to rank this. So I just put it here. THN ranking: 10.

21. Iowa Chops - This is the scariest thing I've seen in my life. So maybe that's an exaggeration, but seriously. I'm having nightmares about this thing, and I'm not even asleep. THN ranking: 15.

22. Peoria Rivermen - A guy steering a boat and chewing on a puck. I can't imagine that's good for your teeth, but if that's your style, all the more to ya. THN ranking: 7.

23. Binghamton Senators - Looks like he's the Riverman's brother. Similar facial features. THN ranking: 27.

24. Springfield Falcons - Is the bird stealing the hockey stick or getting ready to take a shot? If the latter is true, then the set up doesn't look very promising. THN ranking: 8.

25. Chicago Wolves - Wow a vicious looking wolf. I've never seen one of those before. THN ranking: 23.

26. Manchester Monarchs - I'm bored. THN ranking: 19.

27. Worcester Sharks - Negative points for using the big club's hand-me-downs. THN Ranking: 26.

28. Quad City Flames - I bet you can't guess its NHL affiliate. THN ranking: 29.

29. Albany River Rats - I'm sorry I just can't be a fan of a rat -- sorry, a river rat -- for a team logo. And is it winking or did it lose an eye? THN ranking: 25.

New Boss In The Dub-B

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton made the move everyone was expecting and named Dan Bylsma head coach. No shock factor here. He's been with the Baby Pens for a solid two years riding shotgun in the assistant position. The organization didn't have to look far to find a qualified coach. He'll be dealing with a similar group of guys from last season (aka not an extreme amount of talent but a great work ethic), so I think that works in his favor.

The question now is ... are they going to hire Dennis Bonvie as the assistant?

Pretty please??


It's All About The Looks

The Hockey News released their logo rankings which is always fun to look at. They ranked the Blackhawks #1. I'm not sure that Chicago's logo is the best one in the league -- actually I don't think it is at all. It's a classic, but I don't know.

My favorite logo goes to Minnesota. Even though I'm not a huge Wild fan, the logo is super creative.

What's your fave? Hmm??

PS: Sorry for the lack of activity during the week. I spent the week in Ocean City, NJ where I randomly ran into Bill Guerin and his family. Small world, hey?

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