Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Another round of favorite NHL Memes....


First of all, I would like to say THANK YOU to everybody who has read this blog! It has been an interesting process for me and I'm learning as I go here. I also apologize for not posting anything within the last week and a half, real life has gotten a tad busy for me. 

I will be attending the Minnesota Wild game on Saturday night (11/29) when they take on the St. Louis Blues, so I will have pictures from that game!

On that note, Happy Thanksgiving everybody (and safe travels to those who are traveling)!







Here we go with the memes that have been sent to me, posted on Facebook, or I have found online (from Twitter, Pinterest, or from google/bing searches).

This isn't exactly a meme, but this is cool what @AK47_Studios did with Maggie Simpson and the Wild logo...

To see what more of the Simpsons meeting the NHL logos, go here.

This was posted on Facebook on Zach Parise's first game back after suffering a concussion.

I love this one!


This isn't a meme, but this was posted on Twitter by the Stars' Jamie Benn.

Hockey games USUALLY don't get weather delays. 

After all these years, yes, Norm Green still SUCKS!!

Courtesy of Erik Rousu. He posted this on Facebook. There have been games where
the officiating has just sucked!!
Appropriate for tonight's game since the Wild's opponent is the Kings.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everybody! If you have a meme that you would like to see on a future favorite memes post, feel free to send it to me at stickhappensblog@gmail.com.  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Chris Pronger hasn’t officially retired, but is now being considered for the Hockey Hall of Fame???

A month ago, it was announced that Chris Pronger was hired by the National Hockey League to work in the league’s Department of Player Safety. I wrote about his hiring and there potentially being a “conflict of interest” because Chris Pronger has not officially retired as a player, even though he played his last game as a player three years ago. (Pronger is still currently under contract with the Flyers, but they have him on long-term injured reserve to avoid a cap hit). My post about this is here.

This saga now has just taken another weird turn. Chris Pronger is eligible to be considered for the Hockey Hall of Fame. Say what?  This former (dirty) player has NOT officially retired, yet he can be considered for the hall of fame? How is that even possible for someone who hasn’t even retired? I know it’s been three years since Pronger has been able to play, but seriously? It makes absolutely no sense to me.

Chris Pronger

NHL Hall of Fame President and CEO Jack Denomme stated in Pierre LeBrun’s article on ESPN:

The new by-law imposes a more objective test for the three-year eligibility rule applicable to player candidates, in particular, resolving possible ambiguity as to the nomination of a player who has not played for more than three years due to injury, but who is still under contract and continues to receive compensation that counts for salary cap purposes or otherwise…”

Denomme went on to state that this isn’t just about Pronger. He (Denomme) included “here could be other players moving forward who are in a similar circumstance and the HHOF board doesn’t feel it should be concerned with medical or contractual issues when it comes to determining induction eligibility…”

Currently, the by-law regarding consideration to the hall of fame is stated as "a candidate for election in the player category must have concluded his or her career as an active player for a minimum of three playing seasons before his or her election." As of right now, a player would have had to announce they’re done playing before this consideration. The new by-law would state "a candidate is not eligible for election in the player category if he or she has played in a professional or international hockey game (which terms shall not be considered to include games played only or primarily for charitable or recreational purposes) during any of the three playing seasons immediately prior to his or her election." (The new by-law is subject to ratification, which is expected in March)."

So, what this means is that even though Pronger hasn’t announced his retirement (and hasn’t played a game since November 2011), he’s going to be eligible for consideration under the new by-law, even though he is still under contract with the Flyers (and is until 2017). 

Whatever happened to a player retiring before being considered for any Hall of Fame ballot or being hired by the league office? I guess that according to the league and the Hall of Fame, that isn't going to have any effect--which is unfair to those who are retired and should be considered for voting into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Personally, I don't think he warrants consideration. Yes, he did win the Hart Trophy back in 2000. However, he has a history of dirty play (such as stomping on Ryan Kesler's leg with his skate, in which he received an eight game suspension) and I don't think he should received first ballot consideration.



Link to Pierre LeBrun's article is here.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Update regarding the death of 14-year-old Eastview Bantam player

Update (November 18, 2014):

According to kare11.com, the cause of Patrick Schoonover's death was "pointed to two genetic heart defects that lead to an aortic aneurysm." 


Original Article


Yesterday, I posted about the tragic news out of an Eastview Bantam AA player who collapsed and later died while playing in the Battle of the Blue Ox tournament in Brainerd, MN.  

Here's an update...

The Eastview Youth Hockey Association identified the player as 14-year-old Patrick Schoonover of Eagan, MN. Patrick's family released this statement Saturday afternoon:


""We lost our son Patrick last night. He passed away unexpectedly playing the game he loved so much. We appreciate the outpouring of support from the Eastview and MN hockey communities to our family. We want to thank his coach, first responders and the staff at St. Joseph's for doing everything they could to help Patrick and for providing comfort to our family. We appreciate all of you. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Patrick's coaches and team mates. He loved all of you." (youthhockeyhub.com)

Patrick collapsed while on the ice with his Eastview team while they were playing against Wayzata. As stated previously, he was taken to Essentia Health St. Joseph's Hospital by being air-lifted there, where efforts to revive him failed. 

The Eastview Youth Hockey Association made this statement on twitter last night:



The Minnesota Wild issued a statement upon hearing of Patrick's death:

"The Minnesota Wild joins the state of hockey in mourning the tragic passing of a Bantam hockey player today in Brainerd. Our hearts and prayers go out to the player’s family, friends and teammates."

Other people had posted on twitter a show of support for Patrick, his teammates, and his family: 


This afternoon, a moment of silence was held in honor of Patrick before the start of the Alexandria and Rosemount pee wee game I attended at the Rosemount Community Center. The Eastview AA Bantam team has asked to share the "Play for Patrick" theme in honor of their fallen teammate. 


Along with everybody else from the State of Hockey, I extend my thoughts and prayers to Patrick's family, teammates, and friends. 

(Picture of the patch, twitter posts, and statement from the Minnesota Wild courtesy of kstp.com)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Tragic News out of Brainerd, MN 2014 Battle of Blue Ox tournament

Tragic news out of Brainerd, MN and the Battle of the Blue Ox tournament:

It was announced tonight that a 14-year-old boy playing for the Eastview Bantam AA team collapsed Friday (11/14) afternoon while playing in a game during the Battle of the Blue Ox tournament. He was transported to a hospital in Brainerd, where he died. As a result of the tragic events, the remainder of the tournament was cancelled.

This statement was issued on the Youth Hockey Hub Website:

“Hockey is a wonderful game. As a player, volunteer, parent, coach, and founder of Youth Hockey Hub, I look forward to each weekend where I get to be a part of such a special game.

While we may be competitors, ultimately, we are one community. One family. Tonight, our hearts are heavy. 
We’re still working on learning exactly what happened today ourselves. Soon, we’ll learn together what happened, but we’ll wait for the appropriate people to share that news. 

The Battle of the Blue Ox will be back next year. After consultation with the Brainerd Amateur Hockey Association, we believe the best course of action is to cancel the rest of the 2014 Battle of the Blue Ox so we can reflect on what happened today.

Tonight, we need to rally around each other. We need to take a moment to say a prayer, we need to give those closest to us an extra hug.

-Tony and the Youth Hockey Hub Family” (http://www.youthhockeyhub.com)”


I would like to extend my condolences to the Eastview Bantam AA hockey team, family, and friends of the 14-year-old who passed away. 

At the time this blog post was posted, that is what is known at this time. No further details have been released. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Penguins. The Wild. The top two teams in the NHL set to take the ice…

The top two teams in the NHL met for the first of two meetings this season at the Xcel Energy Center last night (these two teams will meet again in Pittsburgh on January 13). Coming into this game, the Wild were the only remaining undefeated team at home (Montreal lost Sunday night to Calgary at home 6-2). These two teams split their two game series last season. 

The Penguins will be without defenseman Olli Maatta for the next four weeks. It was reported yesterday that he underwent successful surgery to remove a tumor from his thyroid. It had been revealed recently Maatta’s tumor was found during his pre-season physical, but he had been cleared to play until he was scheduled to have surgery.


The Family of Slain Mendota Heights Police Officer Scott Patrick
(courtesy of @mnwild on Twitter).

Before the start of the game, the Minnesota Wild honored slain Mendota Heights (MN) Officer Scott Patrick. (Officer Patrick was killed on July 30 while conducting a routine traffic stop). Officer Patrick’s widow, Michelle, was joined by the couple’s two daughters (Erin and Amy). The Wild presented them a team-autographed jersey with his badge number. Michelle, Amy, and Erin were also joined by Officer Patrick’s two closest friends and co-workers Bobby Lambert and John Larrive. Scott Patrick was a 19-year-veteran of the Mendota Heights Police Department. Michelle, Amy, and Erin led the crowd with the “Let’s Play Hockey” call before the opening face-off. Michelle Patrick stated to a local media outlet "... the opportunity was a good chance to show the community the family is doing OK. She says it means a lot for the team and fans to recognize what her family is going through, which she says continues to be a long journey." (KSTP.com)


The Penguins' Thomas Greiss and the Wild's Zach Parise
When I was starting to write this blog post, I had made the assumption that Marc-Andre Fluery was going to be starting last night's game (against the Wild, he's 0-5 with a 3.76 GAA and .853 sv %). Shortly before the game, I found out that Thomas Greiss was getting the start. He was 1-2 against the Wild heading into last night's game with a 2.36 GAA and .917 sv %. Darcy Kuemper made his first career start against the Penguins. 

The Penguins were going into this game with a league leading average of 4.1 goals per game, while the Wild were averaging 1.8 goals against (which was the league's lowest). 

Then the puck was dropped....

The Wild got themselves into trouble early, especially in the neutral zone. The Penguins forced the Wild to ice the puck three times early in the first period, and committed several turnovers. The Wild were not playing the up-tempo and fast-paced hockey we had seen in the first ten games of this season. Despite the sluggish play of the Wild, they still managed to out shoot the Pens 6-5 in the first period. The only scoring came very late in the first period when the Pens' Nick Spaling tallied his second goal of the season with 53.9 seconds left.

The Wild's sluggish play continued into the second period. Brandon Sutter notched the second Pens' goal of the game 2:08 into the second period. Chris Kunitz scored to make the score 3-0 with 4:32 left in the second. That goal was scored five seconds into the Pens' first power play of the evening. Kunitz's goal marked the first time this season the Wild have had a 3-goal deficit in a game. All three of the Pens' goals came as a result of turnovers by the Wild. The Wild still managed to out shoot Pittsburgh 13-12 in the second period. 

The Star Tribune's Michael Russo stated in his blog that the "Wild executed poorly for 40 minutes and for the first time this season couldn’t play 'fast hockey' because of difficulty getting through the neutral zone." (Flat Wild bumbles, tumbles vs. Penguins, 11/5/2014, startribune.com).  

The Wild tried to get back into the game in the third period and had come out of the gate out-shooting the Pens 9-1 for the first 12:16 of the period. Nino Niederreiter put the Wild on the board with his first career short-handed goal at 10:42 of the third period--snapping the Pens' scoreless streak at 205 minutes and 28 seconds. (Marc-Andre Fluery had two shutouts in the Pens' previous two games).

With 3:05 left in the game, a very controversial and blown call was made when Mikko Koivu's goal was called off. The refs claimed the reason why the goal was waived off was because of interference by Mikael Granlund on Pens' goalie Thomas Greiss. In watching the replay of the incident several times, Granlund was pushed into Greiss by defenseman Kris Letang, therefore making it incidental contact. Where the refs made the mistake is that the whistle should have been blown when the "interference" was spotted and not allowing play to continue for several seconds--allowing Koivu to get the puck past Greiss.  The refs stated that the call was "not reviewable" and could "not be overturned," even though the Wild's broadcast did show a shot of the situation room in Toronto and it looked like they were reviewing that play--and spent a couple of minutes doing so. 

Nino Niederreiter stated this after the game, "it’s obviously very frustrating, definitely very big, because I thought it should have been a goal,” 

Patric Hornqvist scored an empty goal to make the score 4-1 in favor of the Pens at the 18:26 mark in the third period. The Wild ended up taking their first home loss of the season, even though they managed 34 SOG, compared to 22 for the Pens. 

This was a very frustrating game for the Minnesota Wild. Jason Pominville was quoted in the Pioneer press, stating, " ...We were in our zone and didn't give up much, but it felt like they controlled most of the play and we weren't able to generate as much as we usually do." (Chad Graff, twincities.com 11/5/2014). Ryan Suter added,  "I think we took for granted just being at home," defenseman Ryan Suter said. "We've had a lot of success here. We came out flat and we thought we just had to show up to get the win, and that's obviously not what happened."

The Wild were without Zach Parise for the third period, for what has been disclosed as an "upper-body injury" and he will not be on the road trip for the next two games at Ottawa and Montreal. It also looks like the Wild will also be without Matt Cooke and Jared Spurgeon for this road trip as well. The Wild's depth in their line up is going to be tested on this up-coming two game road trip. 

I usually would not include some kind of meme in a blog post like this. However, I did find this particular one very appropriate...