For many players in their final season of junior hockey, their biggest preoccuption is landing a pro contract to keep their dream alive. Spokane Chiefs captain Darren Kramer was drafted by the Ottawa Senators last spring, so he's seeking another kind of financing — for his patent-pending "double twist off" jar.
Kramer first drew attention for his invention in early 2011. Now he and Chiefs teammate Steven Kuhn have posted a video on YouTube — have the producer's of CBC's Dragon's Den seen this?! — demonstrating the jar's many uses. The acting is infomercial-worthy.
(Hey, it is much smoother than Dave Rose's Steak Me Home Tonight commercial on Happy Endings.)
As Kramer told Steve Ewen in the Vancouver Province, he's managed to design a prototype, but just needs a little seed money to get working (all while focusing on trying to turn pro next season). Not to shill too much for the young man, but there is a potential synergy there — down-to-earth young man from small-town Alberta and draft pick of a Canadian NHL team trying to pitch Kevin O'Leary. It goes together like, well, peanut butter and toast. Or flatbread crackers if you're carb-cutting.
It has one lid, and once the top half is finished it goes into recycling and the lid moves on to the bottom half.
It's patent pending, it could work for jams and mayonnaise and Kramer says that's he's "had talks with a few different corporations but it hasn't gone anywhere yet."
The jar did receive play on TSN when Dave Naylor did a feature on Kramer and his 46 fighting majors from last season. There's a youtube video (search Darren Kramer's Innovative Jar) and Kramer's also been using twitter (@darrenkramer22) to drum up some celebrity support. He's reached out to the likes of Georges Laraque, Theo Fleury and even Howard Stern, albeit with limited response so far.
"It's a long process," Kramer, a Peace River, Alta., native said. "I've talked to some people who got their ideas patented and it took them almost eight years before it flew.
... "I like to have peanut butter in the mornings on my toast. I have big hands and I've always got peanut butter on my hands. It's that idea that motivated me to do it." (Vancouver Province)
As with any good invention, the brilliance is in the simplicity. Below, the 20-year-old Kramer shows how the jar works.
The Chiefs, who got back into their playoff series with Vancouver by winning on Tuesday, certainly are one of the more viral-friendly teams in junior hockey. One of their centres is the son of a rock star. One of the goalies' fan club one-man chapter in Texas consisting of a sportswriter with the same name. Meantime, their captain is an inventor who will save getting his hands dirty for when he's sticking up for his teammates on the ice, thank you very much.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.