Ever watched a Boston Bruins’ game and wondered, “man, that Chara is tall, does he play with a tree trunk?” Wonder no more; our friends at Pro Stock Hockey and How To Hockey have collaborated to bring us a video of a bunch of beer leaguers trying out Big Z’s stick:
A perfect hockey blade represents the difference between sinking a shot top shelf and ringing it off the iron. Much like the cut of a skate and the firmness of a pair of gloves, individual taste determines what blades do or do not make for a great match. Professional NHL players may spend hours practicing with different stick blades in order to get the exact fit for their skill sets, with as little as a quarter of an inch making a huge difference. While most stores won’t let you test drive different sticks, you can plan what blade will work best for your shot with a little bit of research.
September 2015 Update
A few weeks ago, I finished my first full hockey season using BenchApp to completely manage my beer league hockey team and feel that it is necessary to give a few thoughts on the App after getting some real world experience. My full review can still be found by scrolling past this update or clicking here.
When January 1st rolled around this year, the only thing I could think of is my beer league hockey team that would be playing this summer. I recently just reviewed BenchApp and was really excited by the potential of the app in alleviating the effort that went into managing my team. We would only be retaining about half of the same players from the previous season, so I had a little bit of work ahead of me for finding new players for my team. Sure enough, I had plenty of people excited right off the bat that wanted to join my team, so I input their account details into BenchApp and added the deposit money that each player owed to me by March 1st.
DISCLAIMER: Please use this guide to determine if ice is suitable enough to be used.
There is nothing like playing a game of pond hockey on a snowy day in North America.
Of the “Big 4” sports in North America, hockey is definitely the most expensive. Football and baseball just need a natural growing field that needs to be cut every now and then, a few pieces of equipment covering certain areas of the body, and a ball you are a good to go. Basketball just needs a net, ball, and pavement to get a game started. Hockey on the other hand, needs players to be covered in equipment from head to toe, a temperature controlled arena, and an expensive Zamboni using up to 380 litres of water after each game that is played.
In 1979, the NHL laid down the law: All players signing new contracts had to wear helmets on the ice. This rule didn’t affect older players like Craig MacTavish, who was the last NHLer to play without protective headgear. Oilers fans used to joke that this explained some of his more … unique coaching decisions. The introduction of composite sticks to the league in 1994 made stepping on the ice even more of a risk; heavy hitters like Zdeno Chara were now able to send pucks screaming toward the net at over 105 miles per hour. Bottom line? Even if you play beer league or casual pick-up games, you need protection.
How exactly would a young Southern Ontario blogger begin to write a column about legendary (and I use that word loosely) hockey player, Gary Bergman?
A breakdown of my top 3 favourite hockey themed movies
Hockey is no longer just a sport. In Canada at least, it seems as if an NHL logo is waiting around every corner. Fans wear their jerseys proud, they personalize their license plates, and some even go as far as painting their house the colours of their favourite team!
As hockey slowly changed from a game to a culture, its prevalence in everyday life followed suit, so it is no surprise that hockey made its way to the big screen. There have been quite a few hockey movies filmed over the years; some are very good, but most are not… The few good ones out there have become iconic to the hockey community. They have influenced countless beer league/fantasy hockey team names, they have roots to many popular locker room and on ice dialogues, and some even have apparel which is often seen worn by hockey fans (one of these fictitious jerseys even made it to the NHL!). Here is my selection of the top 3 best hockey themed movies. These are based on my life experiences, so do not panic if your favourite did not make the cut! Instead, tweet me your favourites by clicking here!
My picks for the top 5 best and worst NHL jerseys of all time
Throughout their NHL viewing career, the average hockey fan is exposed to a very diverse collection of jerseys worn by various clubs across the league. Some teams seem to wear a new jersey every year, while some have not changed in nearly 100 years. Many of these jerseys hold significant historical importance and are considered a privilege to wear, while others are just downright embarrassing. This is my take on the 5 best and worst NHL jerseys of all time.
Like many people around the world, I am, always have been, and always will be a hockey fan. For many, this is not choice but rather a fate sealed long before they existed. Their parents, and parents’ parents, and parents’ parents’ parents would ensure that the culture of being a hockey fan was instilled upon their child from the moment they entered the world. I know that this was the case for me, and will also be the case for my children one day. I cannot speak for cultures around the world, but right here in Canada there is something special about not only being a hockey fan, but passing down the love of the game from generation to generation. As a fourth generation Montreal Canadiens fan myself, I had no other choice but to love the game, and for me, it has truly been recognized as our family’s ultimate heirloom.
Every year in late December, the Lavallée family assembles through the snowy weather from throughout Southern Ontario for a Christmas party. At one of these gatherings there are three things guaranteed. One, at some point hockey will be on the television. Two, several Montreal Canadiens items will be placed under the tree to be opened after dinner. Three, beer. I’m sure that many of you reading this now can tell a very similar story; hockey is not just a sport, it is a culture shared among all of us fans.
There are many ideals of the game which are passed down from parents to their son or daughter; a favourite team, a memory of a great hockey moment, an experience of meeting a player, the list goes on. As an example, one of my favourite hockey stories to tell is the time I found out that I might have been a bruins fan…stay with me here:
My French-Canadian grandfather was a very passionate Habs fan, so it’s no surprise to hear that my father and his siblings in turn, are also Habs Fans. There was however a brief period of time where my father was negatively influenced by a neighbour to cheer for the hated Boston Bruins; a period of time which could have shaped my entire outlook on the game of hockey. I cannot really blame him for this though. Growing up in St. Catharines, Ontario in the 70’s was a lot different than it is now. Back then, many professional hockey players dwelled in the Garden city, and it just so happened that Gerry Cheevers was one of them. This two-time Stanley Cup winning, Hall of Fame goalie was the neighbour of my father. I couldn’t imagine the influence a neighbourhood professional would have on my hockey ideals, so I cannot blame my father whatsoever for turning to the dark side for a short period of time. Luckily my grandfather was eventually able bring my dad back to reality, or I could very well be a Bruins fan today. Yikes.
This story is just one of many stories which has made me realize the true importance of passing down hockey ideals from one generation to another. Hockey has an unmeasurable importance to my family. It is something we talk about together, it is something we get upset about together, and it is something that we love together. Hockey unites us as a family, but the best part is… it doesn’t stop there. Hockey unites countless other families watching their team from the living room. Hockey unites thousands of people cheering for their team at an NHL arena. Hockey unites an entire nation as their hearts simultaneously skip a beat when their countrymen step on the ice during the Olympics. Hockey unites every single one of us hockey fans, wherever we are in the world. That is something special. This passion, this culture, and these ideals were all passed down from generation to generation, and for that reason I truly believe that the love of the game is the ultimate family heirloom.
Cover Photo by: istockphoto
My son is 3 years old. For the last couple of years, my wife and I have been hands off when it comes to really pushing any sports or activities onto my son. Not really for any reason, more or less because we were interested to see where his interests took him on his own. When he was an infant, I noticed that he seemed to be more into football on Sunday afternoons than watching a hockey game with me. (Now that I look back on it though, I’m much more relaxed during football games, so there’s that.) When he turned 1, one of his uncles brought home a mini-stick set from a trip. The thing that surprised me was the fact that he didn’t skip a beat. He knew exactly what to do with a hockey stick. Talk about setting up a discussion based around Nature or Nurture.