August 28, 2011
(Ed. Note: Our series "Puck Daddy's Guilty Pleasures" features puckheads from all walks of life answering questions about their own hockey-related guilty pleasures. It will run daily during the month of August. Have a suggestion for a "Guilty Pleasures" guest blogger? Hit us on email. Enjoy!)
1. The Player You Most Love To Hate
I'm not a Vancouver fan by any means, but I think that Dan Carcillo's(notes) latest comments come off as completely idiotic. I understand he's trying to stoke the fire that burns in Chicago Blackhawks against the Vancouver Canucks, but he's has zero history as a member of that rivalry. Worse yet, he named Raffi Torres(notes) and Tanner Glass(notes) as two members of the Canucks that he wants to square off with, but apparently missed the memos that Torres is with the Coyotes and Glass is now with the Winnipeg Jets. He may want to check his facts before running his mouth.
Also, I'm not a Capitals fan, but the suckerpunch he threw on Matt Bradley in 2009 still irks me. To me, this guy is a circus sideshow most of the time he's on the ice.
2. Other Than Your Own, The Team You Can't Help Rooting For
I'm pulling for the newest old team this season. With the Winnipeg Jets coming back to my hometown, I'll get a chance to watch a lot of NHL hockey at MTS Centre, and I'm pumped for the action. While I think they don't have the firepower to earn a playoff spot this year, I'm rooting for them simply because it will be a party in downtown Winnipeg every single time the Jets play. Being a member of the Eastern Conference also means we get to see Ovechkin, Crosby, Malkin, Lecavalier, Lundqvist, Richards and Tortorella a few times this season, and that's something not a lot of Western-based cities can boast!
3. Favorite Fight or Brawl of All-Time
Any fight featuring Link Gaetz holds a special place on my fight card, but I always laugh my butt off watching Rob Ray pummel the fan in Quebec City.
April 14, 1992 saw a Nordiques fan come to the table hungry, and Rob Ray served him a buffet of knuckle sandwiches. It truly remains one of my favorite, albeit one-sided, fights of all-time.
4. The Hideous-Looking Hockey Jersey You Secretly Love The Most
If you're a reader of HBIC, you already know that the Fisherman holds a special place in this fan's heart. Players such as Zdeno Chara, Wendel Clark, Mathieu Schneider, Zigmund Palffy and Darius Kasparaitis wore the Fisherman "proudly" during their stays on Long Island! Of course, there is this black mark on the franchise during that time. Such a bad time. And yes, I do own one myself!
5. Your Favorite Hockey Cliché (terminology, traditions, announcer-speak, etc.)
Actually, here's my most hated cliché:
"The Quiet Room".
This really irritates me because it's not a padded cell or a sound-proof booth or anything. The fifteen minutes needed inside the "Quiet Room" is the amount of time needed to do a thorough examination after a player has had his bell rung. The "Quiet Room" is simply a room away from distractions on the bench and ice where the team physician can do the thorough examination with a series of tests and questions. So just call it what it is: an examination room.
6. The Injury You Couldn't Stop Staring At (Non-Skate Lacerations Only)
When Zdeno Chara made David Koci's face explode, I honestly couldn't stop watching that fight on highlight reels. Koci may have needed a blood transfusion in the locker room when he went for repairs. Love the play-by-play guy's comment: "Koci looks like he's making a donation to the Red Cross!"
7. Your Favorite Cheesy Hockey Reference in Popular Culture
Oh man, my hatred for the Mighty Ducks cartoon can finally be given its proper respect.
The entire series was based on superhero Ducks who could play hockey... which is an entirely terrible concept. Personally, I have nothing against Disney the company, but this entire cartoon series reeked of blue cheese. Whoever came up with this idea should have been handed his pink slip immediately.
7a. Your Favorite Terrible Hockey Card Or Hockey Action Figure
I also own one of these simply because I laugh every time I look at it. He may have played 103 games as an Islander, but how many people actually will remember Osgood as an Islander a decade from now? Osgood will always be associated with the Red Wings in most fans' minds. Even if he did suit up with St. Louis for a short period of time.
8. Finally, What's The Thing You Secretly Respect Gary Bettman For The Most?
Allowing his likeness to be used as the basis for The Count on Sesame Street. Imitation is the sincerest form of flatter.... wha? The Count wasn't modeled after Bettman? Could have fooled me. And almost did.
In all seriousness, I think Mr. Bettman should be commended and respected for getting the game into more homes in the US. He knows hockey in Canada is close to be a religion, so there was really only one country that needed more exposure to the game. The Winter Classic, games on NBC and Versus, young stars like Crosby and Ovechkin, and getting a little lucky with teams like Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Boston — four major US hockey markets — win Stanley Cups have all been major boosts for the NHL's marketing department.
While he still admittedly has a long way to go, the inroads have been made in the non-traditional markets, and that growth needs to continue for the NHL to thrive.