Tag: hockey

Mike Bossy, Rest In Peace

 

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Mike Bossy was a legendary player for the New York Islanders as well as ranked #20 on The Hockey News 100 Greatest NHL Players. He was an instrumental part of the NY Islanders that won four consecutive Stanley Cup championships.

His NHL career was cut short by injuries. He played for 10 seasons. In his tenth season, his back injuries were so painful that a teammate had to lace-up his skates before each game.

EBUG: A Star is Born

 

Fifteen years ago David Ayers put his dreams of a professional hockey career on ice – literally. He was lying in a hospital bed in the need of kidney transplant which he got from his mother, Mary. But he stayed connected to the game. He’s the maintenance manager at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (the old Maple Leaf Gardens) and has spent time as a practice goalie with the AHL Toronto Marlies and the NHL Maple Leafs. But the closest he has been to game action is driving the Zamboni between periods for the minor league team.

On most nights that the National Hockey League team is at home the 42-year-old Ayers is in the house as the EBUG, the Emergency Back-Up Goaltender, available to suit up for either side in the case that one of the four goalies is injured. Every once in awhile, an EBUG gets the thrill of sitting on the bench watching the number 2 guy mind the net.

But Saturday night, Carolina’s James Reimer went down with a lower-body injury in the 1st Period. In the 2nd, Peter Mrazek left the goal and collided with Toronto forward Kyle Clifford in a massive concussion-inducing hit. After the first injury, Reid Mitchell, the scouting director for the Leafs texted Ayers and told him to get half-dressed. The Hurricanes equipment manager hurried to put Ayers’ name on the back of a ‘Canes sweater. After the second injury, he was walking through the tunnel on the way to the ice.

Kiss the Cup

 

Laila Anderson is an 11-year old St. Louis Blues hockey fan. When her parents took her to games she would make her way to the tunnel leading back to the home dressing room and fist-bump the players on their way in. She became such a fixture the players started to notice her.

Two years ago she was diagnosed with HLH, or Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocystosis, a disease so rare only 15 children in the United States are known to have it. Simply put, it makes your white blood cells attack other cells in your body, deeply compromising your immune system.

Member Post

 

I nearly spilled my coffee on the rug while watching the Stanley Cup Final last night.  Ricochet’s own Pat Sajak was wearing a Washington Capitals polo and announcing the starting lineups. So sad.   Imagine if you were watching Seinfeld on TV and you see Rob Long in the credits as a show-runner?  Or perhaps listening […]

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Tragedy in Saskatchewan

 

Humboldt (SK) Broncos, via their Twitter feed.

The road to the NHL is different than it is for other professional athletes. For many, the dreams get serious at age 16 when they enter Junior Hockey. There are three leagues run under the auspices of the Canadian Hockey League and there are even CHL teams based in the United States. Choosing to play in these leagues, while considered amateur, can make you ineligible to play in the NCAA.

Member Post

 

Edmonton, Alberta is known by hockey fans. In travelling around Russia last summer, when the locals found out I was from Edmonton, the response was an enthusiastic thumbs up and a cheerful: “Edmonton Oilers!” Yep, we’re known for hockey. Fans of the game will recognize the names of the Edmonton Oilers alum who have been […]

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Fifty-Six to Four: The Tears of a Sportsman

 

Billy CropAt his natural position, no one in the league was his equal. He was what hockey folks call a “stay-at-home” defenseman, a player who specializes in using his physicality, vision, and disciplined play to neutralize the opposing team’s offensive star. He had always been one of the smallest players on his team, but he compensated for his modest stature by playing with a bulldog’s tenacity. He was fearless and the fans loved him for it. Opposing centers hated his miserable guts, but to the people in the stands, he represented everything beautiful about the game.

Ohh, did I mention he’s eight-years-old? Gonna be nine in January.

Facing elimination, his team needed a big day from their shut-down defender. They had drawn the Rangers, the best outfit in the league, led by an astonishingly talented center who could seemingly score at will. Despite giving up six inches and two years to the Ranger captain, it would be his job to keep the great star off the board. If he could do it, his team had a chance. If not, the season was over.