Tag: nhl

Lord Stanley’s Cup is a reason I loke Hockey

Lord Stanley’s Cup is a reason I loke Hockey

Originally written as part of a larger article in February 2014, I republish the fifth aspect of hockey I like.


The Glory of the Cup

It’s not the NHL title, though it’s bestowed to the champion of the league. Its history goes back beyond the Original Six. Players on this continent and elsewhere in the world are raised to dream about getting possession of it and hoisting it in victory.

Unlike the Lombardi Trophy in the NFL, the O’Brien Trophy in the NBA, the Commissioners Trophy in MLB or the Coaches Trophy in NCAA Division I football, which are all minted for champions individually – for them to own — there is only one Stanley Cup. Unlike the previously named awards, the Stanley Cup carries its legacy and history with it to whomever it is ultimately awarded to – the names etched upon it, the flaws and dents that have their own stories, as do the teams that are named as champions on it.

All trophies can be looked at as over-glorified paperweights in the end, but the Cup is to be drunk from by its winners in celebration. It’s raised over your head in triumph, not foisted around and then stuck in a trophy case to be forgotten about. Every championship in every league the world over is fought for, bled for, scarified for, but this one, the names etched right on the Cup itself show you who has done the same in days of yore; the hockey legends and the bit players from previous championship teams who put everything on the line for that title, who played while hurt or outright infirm.

There is so much hurt, so much anguish, so much emotional strife and insecurity you suffer in your life as a fan, it can haunt you when you’re a fan of a team in a non-traditional market, or one that faces mediocrity on all too regular a basis. But the moment the commissioner tells your team captain to come get his Stanley Cup – all of that is erased. And while you personally aren’t the one who got the Cup, you own that moment and that title just as much as the team that won it all. That’s yours to hold on to until your dying day.

That silver chalice, that’s the most beloved thing that anyone can ever know in this sport.


Morning After Thoughts: Clutch performances drive Lightning to series victory over PanthersVasilev

SB Nation shuts diwmMHL coverage; John Fontana reavts

While this economic climate makes cuts understandable, a network devotes to sports coverage abd too lost in web-design excess needs a revamp at the top level. Fans and dollars estranged by this are just a symptom of a disconnect between staff writers and site managers which contributed to my resignation.

An Old NHL Aggravation Reminder on Tampa Bay’s Anniversary

Just a quick note to Tama Bay Lightning fans as well as to our expansion siblings to the north, the Ottawa Senators: While the 2022-23 season of the NHL is the 30th anniversary of our clubs, it’s technically only our 29th anniversary season. You can blame the NHL and NHL Players Association for that.

The 2004-05 National Hockey League season never happened.

It’s the 30th Ammiversery of 1992-93’s ex]ansion class… Just remember it is one less season of play than it should be. Ultimately You can thank commissioner Gary Bettman and former MJ:PA chief Bob Goodenow for that.

One opinion on a minor-league location matter in hockey

One opinion on a minor-league location matter in hockey

This piqued my interest while scanning headlines this morning: The Vegas Golden Knights are considering bringing their AHL affiliate to Las Vegas.

I have a best-interest concern about this and it can be aimed at the act the NHL has long-allowed this and it/s actually on-display with the Golden Knights current AHL affiliation location: Market saturation/franchise conflict.

Before I say another word: Stick tap toward the Golden Knights and the Las Vegas region. This is NOT a market-judgment led remark which too-often I’ve witnessed/dealt with in my time as a fan of a team (Tampa Bay) in a non-traditional market. Las Vegas and the southern Nevada region is growing in sports-culture and ir’s not by way of sports-gambling.

That being said, I take issue with NHL/AHL/ECHL franchises in the same NHL market. While it adds more or the sport in the market, it fails where the NHL has so often done so: In marketing the sport broadly.

In the early and mid 20th Century, it made sense for hockey to have multiple teams in a multitude of leagues in one city as the sport was not capable of being played in places where weather conditions kept ice-surfacing a challenge. Hell, the league was only six franchises until 1967. How many lesser-league affiliates were out and about at that time, I can’t tell you. What I CAN tell you is that cities like Chicago, Toronto, Montréal, Detroit, Philadelphia, and others have and do contain multiple league affiliations over the decades, and while that’s to be expected with amateur teams, having minor-league, pro-affiliates or the local pro team or of out-or-town clubs works against the leagues. Oh, it’ll get turnout in certain markets because of how big the city is and how many people love the game, but how does it grow the game to non-fans or in markets that are non-served he the sport at the pro level? 0t There’s a very large number of minor-league teams in baseball and they are scattered through the US and elsewhere…as long as they don’t play in cities where there are MLB teams. St. Petersburg, Florida, lost its long-time affiliation with the St.Louis Cardinals when the Tampa Bay Rays came to be in 1998. With the minor-league venue, Al Lang Stadium merely blocks away from Tropicana Field, there’s an obvious conflict there. It’s arguable there is still a conflict going on in TB as Rays attendance is porous and affiliates for the Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays, and New York Yankees still reside in the Tampa Bay metroplex…. Those are single-A affiliates, though, which is akin to junior-league hockey. In-market Spring Training residence? Tourism.

While having the home-team of the city put its own minor-league affiliate in its city seems all fine, right and of no conflict, it doesn’t implement the traditional goal of the minors– the quest to get to the big-league town. Why try harder?

I wouldn’t put an AHL team in an NHL market, that’s the point of my opinion. What should the Golden Knights do? Why not explore Reno, Nevada or another city in the mountain-west or southwest? You do want to grow Golden Knight loyalty in Nevada to non-Vegas residents, and the sport of hockey is missing in the town, as is pro-sports in general (Reno, “America’s Biggest Little City”, has 14,000 fewer residents total than St. Pete according to stats via Google – St. Pete, Reno). That boosts the Golden Knights as well as the AHL — to be THE franchise in a populated, non-served sports town.

With technology where it is nd with buildings being capable or hosting the game, hockey shouldn’t be market-saturated as-so-much diverse and widely exposed. It’s a marketing thing and an ongoing fact that there’s a need to “grow the game.”

2019 NHL Playoffs: Oh, how the mighty have fallen

Ring around the Rosie
Pocket full of posies
Ashes, Ashes
We all fall down!

  • Ring Around the Rosie

I told you I ain’t a betting man and while I stood and fell with the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2019 NHL playoffs, while ridicule was poured heavily on the franchise (by fans and general sports followers) for their exquisite failings… Well? The best of the best have failed.

All of them.

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Will the start of Steve Yzerman’s tenure in Detroit bring transactions with Tampa Bay?

I could be dead wrong on this but I’ve also got a certainty tied to it, so here goes: I have an inkling, this feeling, that Tampa Bay Lightning forward Alex Killorn is Detroit-bound.

If it ain’t Killorn, it’s going to be somebody wrought through the Tampacuse system. All with thanks to the fact what Stevie Y wants, Stevie Y gets.

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Lightning’s success generates all too much silence in the Tampa Bay sports media

There’s a outspoken and upset Florida Panthers fan who voiced their discontent with the Panthers organization in a post on Reddit’s hockey community. A mix of words invoked nostalgia and made me upset in my own fashion.

[…] At the start, things looked great. The team had great players in Scott Mellanby and John Vanbiesbrouck, took a Cinderella trip to the Finals which got all of Miami absolutely BUZZING in 1996, started a notable fan tradition of throwing rats, acquired a superstar in Pavel Bure, acquired future superstars Olli Jokinen and Roberto Luongo, had very great and notable players pass through here… […]

Ah, 1996! Yes, the Florida Panthers looked upright and had a future optimism shown in only their third season of play in the National Hockey Lague. But ’96 didn’t show a dim picture on the other coast of Florida. No, no, the 1995-96 Tampa Bay Lightning did something foreign in the Tampa Bay metroplex in the sporting sense of the term: They were a pro team that made the playoffs. It was the first time in 13 years that a top-level professional franchise in the Bay area had done that [author note: this isn’t an attempt to truly look pat the Tampa Bay Rowdies soccer team; soccer is not traditionally pitched as a top-four major sports league in the United States.] It was also the Lightning’s first-ever playoff appearance.

There was a sense of optimism and hope invoked in the local press coverage from WTVT, WFLA, WTSP, and WFTS. The St. Peterburg Times and Tampa Tribune did it too: The Tampa Bay Lightning was the sports team in Tampa Bay, and they were the entity to rally around. Brian Bradley, Mikael Andersson, Petr Klima, Paul Ysebaert;  with the future (or so it seemed at the time) franchise ties to Roman Hamrlik, Chris Gratton, Jason Weimer, and Rob Zamuer. All these (and so many more names that I’ve forgotten off the top of my head) and the last line of defense, the stalwart in goal #93 Darren Puppa.

The playoffs! Such a rare feat in this burg was being embraced by a local team and that generated a degree of local pride for sports fans. It was something accomplished by Tampa Bay and invoked such a good vibe, even if the Bolts were a one-and-done team in the 1996 NHL Playoffs  (the Philadelphia Flyers bounced the Bolts in the first round). Contention was such a foreign term and it was finally translated! Yessir! Yessir!

It seems foreign now, doesn’t it? No, I don’t mean contention. I’ve already written about that for the Bolts before this season. The Lightning themselves have proven it, night in and night out, through 76 games and the feats achieved.

I’m talking about coverage and the lack thereof from the traditional media people in town. There is no buzz. It’s not a priority. It’s filler.

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Eugene Melnyk and the suffering of hockey fandom in Ottawa

With the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline now passed, fans refkect on moves made by their respective franchises. and what was, what is, and what could be in the NHL’s pivitol second season (the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs).

Yet in Ottawa, Ontario, the reflection is of the demise of their love for the game of hockey and the perpetual rebuilding of the Ottawa Senators.

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The Lightning storm of the 2018-19 NHL first-half

There are many in-depth details to go through with the Tampa Bay Lightning season so far in the 2018-2019 NHL season; they haven’t even reached the midway point of the regular season but the club in setting records and living at the top… Y’know, they’re a dominant storm.

How dominant? It’s one number that has led to this posting, one number that people would sooner forget or brush off. It’s a number that deep sports fans should be taken aback by, though: A .756 win percentage.

After their 6-3 victory in Edmonton on Saturday, Tampa Bay’s season record is 28-7-2. 28 wins in 37 games played. Now do the math with that win percentage and you see the Lightning are on a pace for 62 wins in 82 games played. That’s one hell of a first half.

Now, the cold-water factor: You can’t and shouldn’t expect things to keep riding this high. Injuries were already overcome early this season but hey could easily thwart things in the months to come. The NHL’s silly-season is forthcoming, where physical play nadc altercations become more regular. That could easily factor in and spoil the party at Amalie Arena.

It also obliterates the franchise record for wins in a season; it’s 12 games better than the 50-win season of 2014-15.

And, of course, this doesn’t mean shit when the playoffs arrive. The proverbial second-season is just that, a second chance to shine for all remaining and contending clubs.

The Bolts last three games of 2018 and the first half of the NHL season are split between Eastern and Western Conference clubs. The Lightning host the Flyers and Les Habitants De Montréal before heading west to California . They’ll face the Anaheim Ducks on New Year’s Eve; something to take in if you’re not in the mood to watch the ball drop or partying with friends.

A word to summarize the Tampa Bay Lightning before the 2018-19 NHL season

It’s a foreign word in the history of sports in Tampa Bay, really. Oh, there are numerous athletes that the Bay area has produced who met and had relations with the word. There are plenty of high school athletic organizations who have known the word but single teams don’t represent the region. Heck, this applies to college sports too. Many residents may claim loyalty and devotion to Florida State, the University of Florida or the University of Miami while the University of South Florida is here in the region and…. Well, the word is foreign in the most prominent sports followed by area sports enthusiasts.

While the word has been largely foreign in the Tampa Bay metro area, it has taken up residency here in the past and it’s seriously hanging out along the banks of the Garrison Channel at current. It blazes so bright that some of the fans are blinded by it and they cannot take satisfaction from it.

The word, ladies and gentlemen, is contention. Read More

The inconsistency of NHL rule enforcement and inconsistency of accountability

I’ll invoke a name and that will inspire both groans of displeasure and distaste as well as defensive reactions from those who support their team’s player: Brad Marchand.

Brad Marchand.

Can I say it a third time? No, I’m not trying to apply a licking on your emotions (how gross a joke?)… It’s something else. It’s something larger. It’s not to incite Bruins fans specifically or re-invoke the 2018 Eastern Conference Semifinals. It’s just an opening line of evidence that needs to be cited.

“Evidence to what?” you might ask? Oh, it’s stuff that’s been doing more than just milling around the National Hockey League during the 2017-18 NHL season.  No, it’s not multiple players licking or biting opponents, it’s grander than that. Not a grander action on the player front. No, no, it’s a grander failure by the NHL, be it on-ice officials or those in the executive offices, regarding rule enforcement.

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Poll: Are broadcasts of the NHL on NHC Sports patial?

This poll (via Twitter) will be running until Saturday, May 12th.

The idea of politics and the NHL cross paths

Russia. Collusion. Obstruction of justice. “Act of War”. You can’t dismiss this stuff and it’s still coming to fruition through Special Counsel Robert Mueller as well as House Intelligence committee hearings and such. Perhaps you look past this or perhaps you turn away from politics in general; there are other things in this world worth attention that aren’t the complication of politics and the riff-raff of the them-vs.-us partisan fray.

Sports are a relief. In one case, though, a sport is in unstated “what-if?” territory. Read More

Of Tampa Bay sports and media focus

I’ve been put off since last week while scanning headlines and online coverage of news in the Tampa Bay area and seeing a greater-than-usual focus put on the Gasparilla Pirate Festival than usual, while the marquee mid-season event of the NHL All-Star Weekend was an afterthought (or a complication to Gasparilla festivities). It felt almost like the NHL and Tampa Bay Lightning are afterthoughts.

In fact, disappointment and issues with the Bucs holding the headlines in the fall of 2017 and through the early weeks of 2018 have taken away notice to casual readers of local headlines online than the Tampa Bay Lightning haven’t just been playing games, but have been (and this will floor you) winning. Read More

The grand and highest; the feats achieved for Tampa Bay by Vincent Lecavalier

The grand and highest; the feats achieved for Tampa Bay by Vincent Lecavalier

Grand Marshal“, why does that seem such a fitting title for Vincent Lecavalier who was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning 1st overall in the 1998 NHL Draft, ventured through the hell of a lost franchise, the warfare of conflict with John Tortorella (and calm bestowed upon the pair by Jay Feaster), and has his name immortalized on the Chalice of Lord Stanley with his colleagues and companions from the 2003-04 Tampa Bay Lightning roster?

Vinny rules. He was…no, no, wait, wait; he is. He is Tampa Bay Lightning hockey. While Roman Hamrlik was draft pick Numero Uno for the hockey franchise bestowed upon Phil Esposito and the Tampa/St. Petersburg Metroplex, while Chris Gratton and Jason Weimer were early standard-bearers along with Hammer. They didn’t last in Tampa. They didn’t develop fully and top out with the Bolts (or, arguably at all). Everyone that came to the Lightning between 1992 and 1997 just came and went. They served, they left a mark.

The ones who went deepest in the psyche of the fledgling market did not come by way of the draft or having developed with or through Tampa Bay. That is not trying to write off long-time alumni and early stars of this club like Brian Bradley or Darren Puppa, Rob Zamuner or Alex Selivanov. They gave us a taste of what was to come. They let us feel it and revel in it – Tampa Bay Lightning hockey and being a competitive force in the NHL and drawing us to the game. The 1996 NHL playoffs was a glimpse of what was to come.

Lecavalier helped show us what is an what can be. Read More

Q and A with Calgary Flames blogger Kent Wilson of FlamesNation

I got Kent Wilson from FlamesNation to participate in the hockey blogger Q and A that I’ve been casually conducting this month. Kent’s one of the strengths of The Nation Network and blogging in general, having his hand in the 2014 “summer of stats”.

What follows is a little insight in how Kent found his way into blogging and his views on the season ahead for the NHL.

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NHL fans versus “Mad” Mike Milbury

Let me start with a link to an old article on Raw Charge by one Mister John J. Fonts Esq. (me, it’s a pseudonym ): Suffering Mike Milnury and the NHL on NBC. It’s an issue that doesn’t get highlighted enough during hte regular season. That, or a base group of fans complain on and off about Milbury, but things stay the same; there are issues with the style of Mike Milbury (whom had his own issues during his NHL career) and yet he continues on with television coverage on US Network TV (ESPN and then Outdoor Life Network / Versus /  NBC Sports Net

The last few days have put a special spotlight on NBC Sports broadcasts as the NHL was at its climax – the Stanley Cup Finals of 2017. Leave it to Mike Milbury to line-cross and give his personal dislike of a player just enough attention in coverage to sully things and make the way for the spotlight to be his in the worst way possible. Read More

Social Media Reach and the Tampa Bay Lightning

And down the stretch they come….! Thoughts on the Tampa Bay Lightning as the NHL season wanes

The Tall Order: Saying Farewell to Ben BIshop

I posted over on Raw Charge last night in the wake of goalie Ben BIshop’s trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Los Angeles Kings. Click over to read.

A steady course and an open mind for the Tampa Bay Lightning at the 2017 NHL trade deadline – Raw Charge

Read my full column/blog post HERE.

Contention, mediocrity, and the future of Tampa Bay sports

The storied franchise of each city in the United States is different.  There’s a chance they are all on par, but that’s basically a decree toward the mega-markets – the New York Yankees, Giants, Rangers, Mets, Knicks, Jets; The Chicago Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, White Sox and Cubs (congratulations, Cubbies, on your World Series championship); the Los Angeles Dodgers, Lakers, Kings, they-have-an-NFL-team-again-in-the Rams and Chargers. That’s talking market size and not what I’m touching on here.

The storied franchise of Tampa Bay is the Buccaneers of the NFL, that one ruling force of the region for its longevity and its beholden nature to the sport worshiped by the region.

Yeah, yeah, Florida loves itself some football.  If it’s not the Bucs then the sport is dominated by college antics, high school efforts, or even the twisted spring and summer interests of Arena Football (that’s not trying to put it down or undermine it as so much admit the fact the league was adopted because of the fallacies of the Bucs in the 1990s).

The thing is there’s a very big breaking point in Tampa Bay sports history on the cusp of coming into existence. It’s already happened, really, but this enigma becomes a fact within the next 5 months. How many NFL fans would expect their NHL teams to be more apt than their NFL clubs are? How many NHL towns can boast that their hockey team is just as often a playoff contender than their NFL team?

Indeed, the Tampa Bay Lightning professional hockey club is close to matching the number of playoff berths the Buccaneers have accomplished in their 40 years of existence. The Lightning can already crow about going to the cusp/brink of a championship more often than the Bucs – the Bucs made the NFC title game three times and advanced to the Super Bowl all of once; the Bolts have been in the Eastern Conference finals four times, playing for the Stanley Cup twice, winning once.

The Bucs made the playoffs all of 10 times in their 40 year history, accomplishing it for the first time ever in 1979, and then crossing into the playoffs twice in the early 1980s (1981, 1982) before failing for 15 years.  Tony Dungy resurrected the Bucs competitiveness in the mid-1990s and got them back into the playoffs in 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2001… He was then replaced by Jon Gruden as head coach who grabbed a Super Bowl title in 2003 (his winning season as coach was 2002) before things started growing awkward. The Bucs made it to the playoffs all of two times after the championship (2005, 2007).

For the Lightning, the franchise has existed for 24 full years (but, with thanks to work stoppages, seasons have been abbreviated twice and stopped all together once in that span). They cracked the playoffs for the first time ever in 1996 and didn’t make it again until the 21st century (2003). They won Lord Stanley’s Cup the very next year (2004) and have made the playoffs most of the years following (2006, 2007, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016).

I could elaborate on stats a bit, or about schedule shenanigans brought on by Players Association / league conflicts in both the NFL and NHL, but the technical stuff doesn’t matter. What does matter is that the Lightning has made the playoffs nine times in their history while the Buccaneers have made it 10 times.  The NFL season is more brief compared to the NHL, the NFL makeup has been thicker over the years (number of franchises) than the NHL (though the NHL has grown in size; they’ll be at 31 teams next season, just shy of the NFLs 32 teams).

The Bolts are likely to compete in their 10th NHL playoff appearance in team history (subject to change under certain circumstances) while the Buccaneers…? The Bucs are at this position internally and competitively where things don’t matter besides what the market and the league provides for them. That’s not a knock on the market as-so-much a knock on the Glazer brothers who have kept a status-quo of the franchise that mimics Hugh Culverhouse; business first and competitive futility second.  The major difference between Culverhouse and the Glazers is that Culverhouse was not a silent individual whereas the Glazers are mutes in control of the sport the market is in love with. If they want more at a cost to the market, they’ll get more upon demand. If the market expects from them, keep dreaming. That’s all we’re allowed to do.

It’s part of why Jeffrey Vinik, who took over the Lightning in late winter 2010, is such a champion of an owner. Vinik has his hockey team competing at the pro sports level but he is also accomplishing in-market with what he seeks and accomplishes downtown… That’s a far, far cry from the Glazers (who have owned the Bucs a much longer time than Vinik with the Lightning).

The Lightning tying and potentially topping the Bucs in playoff achievements is long overdue. Some football fans might see that as a moot decree – the NFL is much more competitive and influential than the NHL – but to strive to achieve is a grander accomplishment than accepting mediocrity.

The South should celebrate its hockey heritage at Tropicana Field

The annual high-speed track to summer irrelevance by the NHL

An Open Letter to Jonathan Drouin

Click the title to access the letter I wrote at Raw Charge.

The business of the NHL demonstrates a culture clash

Of hockey events and Tampa Bay as host

An open letter to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Execut5ive President Donald Fehr

Nashville’s success beefits the Tampa Bay Lightning

Club Two-Minutes: Bad Calls and Zero Accountability

Bonus for Boltsmag

So for 3 years I have been toiling (off and on) away at Boltsmag. It’s got a reputation as the Lightning Weblog, it’s renown around the hockey blogosphere…

And as of a few days ago it’s linked to on Sports Illustrated’s Tampa Bay Lightning team profile page. How is that for a birthday gift?

Re-design time

With the coming NHL hockey season, I’ve been working on a new design for Boltsmag.com.

Only problem is that Boltsmag’s new design isn’t cooperating and is driving Johnny insane…

To be continued.

The Saddest thing about the NHL Lockout ending…

…..Is that I will have to start actually writing something worth a damn at Boltsmag / Raw Lightning

Finally some GOOD news

It seems like forever since something got my spriits up – yesterday being the Anniversary of the Lightning’s Stanley Cup win helped things along a bit… But today seems even more of an uplifting thing…

They actually agreed upon a salary cap, there is indeed hope that a new CBA will be in place for the NHL and the 2005-06 season will happen.

Now only if things in my day to day life were better… 🙁

Someoen is pissed — and rightly so

Tom Benjamin is pissed off, and with good reason ladies and gentlemen. Here is politics at it’s worst and Pork Barrels in America also at it’s worst:

CC NHL Weblog

How does it work? In the United States the entire sports franchise is apparently a depreciating asset. Never mind that the franchise does not wear out like a building or a tangible asset. Never mind that history tells us franchises appreciate over time. Everybody will pretend they depreciate and if you have the money to buy an NHL hockey team in the United States, you get to write off the entire purchase price over 15 years.

Please read the full story on this…

The Downward Spiral of ESPN / Sportscenter

Oh how the Mighty have fallen.

Off Wing Opinion quotes two articles with regards to the breaking of the Sports news leader… The once cultish sports network has risen to carrying all 4 major sports, along with poker and other side leagues, and a promotional arm for it’s owner: Disney.

Honestly I watched for a while after Keith Olbermaan left ESPN for MSNBC… I never really fell in love with Kenny Mayne, but that’s not the real downfall of ESPN (losing an anchor). It started when Keith left the Big Show and ESPN looked for Olbermaan clones… It seemed everyone had to have extra quips and had to try to add tag lines to scores… Stuart Scott and Rich Eisen were ok with it, other people doing it just seemed a little weird if not lame.

Then Sportscenter started just getting too flash-in-th-pan for me. The News seemed to fade and trying to boost sports personalities seemed to get a rise. I was getting ESPN: The Magazine for a time and I canceled my subscription because they were hyping players that shouldn’t be hyped and trying to make me feel sorry for multi-millionaires while the relevance of the articles that appeared in the magazine seemed to degrade with every single issue.

ESPN used to stand for news to me. I grew up watching the morning editions of Sportscenter before running off to school. There were tag lines and zingers used in those days but there was also the NEWS relevance part of the coverage. It wasn’t a promo with regards to a top team, but it was a report on news of teams around he league. Sure, shitty teams didn’t get a ton of coverage but when they DID you knew they were either playing someone relevant or they themselves were becoming more relevant. I used to judge the barometer of the Bucs and Bolts through replays on ESPN, or commentary by ESPN Analysts.

I haven’t watched Sportscenter in years now… not a full episode at least. I don’t watch NFL Primetime anymore because of garbage they’ve had the last few years (including Rush Limbaugh) and the coverage of the NHL playoffs further made me loathe the former sports leader.

I miss the old days of ESPN, but of course those are never to return… But maybe someday, someone, somewhere will figure out that sports enthusiasts want to have in depth reporting and not annoying TV personalities. Sure, we’d like some entertainment with our sports but we don’t want TV ties, Film ties and other corporate ties shoved down our throats.

Summer Doldrums

I still haven’t been posting much on the site because I want to make statements on here and not personal diatribes. My anecdotes aren’t that funny or I tell them better one-on-one with close friends instead of telling them to the masses all at once.

I got into a little argument last week with Melanie over politics. She is indifferent towards them and I am urging her to see “Fahrenheit 9-11” and we got into a dispute because of the purpose of the film and shit like that. It made me realize there’s something worse that comes out of partisan politics and corruption than just disgust — apathy. Anyone who is elected will be corrupt because power corrupts, money corrupts and the President of the United States is the key to both money and power.

Meanwhile I bought a couple of domain names and have some visions of grandeur. I’m not saying the names because it could lead to trouble… But it’s something to pass the time with.

Speaking of passing the time and domain names, I’m almost done with Rocheleau Cabinetry Inc’s web site. It’s not the most excellent design in the world but it’s good enough for government work. Hopefully this will help me pay off some debt.

And what else is there? My buddy Bill left Entec and is happy about that but of course also struggling because he wants to be doing something most of the time now… I’m in the same boat because I am getting around better now but still don’t have much to do besides trying to push myself to do more things online and offline.

I’m trying to keep myself busy… Maybe that means a lot more Stonegauge from now on because I don’t have hockey news to cover on Boltsmag.

Keithed Short

Ah the wonderful world of Johnny. Details, details, details of Keith’s visit to suburban hell… er, Tampa Bay.

So I was f’n stoked on a Saturday Night when the Lightning tied the Stanley Cup finals. Keith, of course, is in disbelief. He had expected to be attending one of the upteenth city parites that would be going on if–no, WHEN the Flames had won.

But it didn’t happen that way.

So what happens when Keith gets home from Saddledome? He’s got to book hsi flight to Tampa. He had tickets lined up since the Flames / Lightning NHL Finals had been set. Game 7 tickets in fact. The series hadn’t been as good as we both had hoped but – gods – this was a game seven! You can’t scalp tickets for an event like this for less than 500 bucks… We got them through Ticketmaster before the game was even scheduled – so we’re in luck.

Sunday night, Keith was due to start flying to Tampa — going to Vegas first and then getting a connector flight / red eye to Tampa. Only problem was his flight was 2 hours late to begin with, which thus made him miss his connecting red-eye flight to Tampa.

Back in the Bay area I am going nuts Sunday night trying to figure out WTF has happened to Keith. He’s stranded, or is he moving? Flyte Comm basically confirmed where Keith was — just leaving Alberta – about the time I was ready to call it a night.

I decided to indeed call it a night, wondering what the hell was going to happen and how Keith woudl be when he finally got here – if he got here…?

I wake up bright and early Monday morning and have a sense of urgency running over me. Not just urgency but anxiousness. Within a couple of hours the Lightning would be playing for a world title and I would be in attendance.


My first thought is – where Keith? His connector fflight took off on time (fuck America West) and that meant he indeed missed his connector flight. I fought on the phone for a good hour trying to find out what happened to him and I find out (through America West customer service) that he’s “Taken another route and going to another city. He’s all right.”

Well, whoop-de-shit. He’s OK. Now where is he? “Sorry, can’t say… but he’s all right.” :rolleyes

I call his cell phone (which I am still told is a wrong number by parties that call back later — but it’s the same number that America West has in their system and same number I have from Keith directly) but I still tell him on his message service to give me a ring to let me knwo what happened and where he is…

I find out a little while later it’s Orlando, and he’s still on his way here.
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“All rules are off” hockey is a hindrance to the sports growth

A day of Ups and Downs

I’ve been torn this evening on my mood for the day as it has changed over and over again from positive to negative to positive again. I’ve been walking around without the walker today – and when I say that I don’t mean walking and leaning on shit but walking walking a weird walk that was almost toddler like but I was doing it. That had me stoked to no end….

But then the other shoe fell as I got a message from my friend Michelle. Michelle has been a friend for a year now and it came as news to me, and as quite a shock when I found out that she will be moving to Brooksville in July as her family just bought land up there. I’m friend with her dad too and the fact we talk online mostly means I won’t have that relationship bothered much but to lose Michelle hurts.

Of course, this was made up for to me in the smallest of ways as the Lightning beat the Islanders and moved on to the 2nd round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs… But that really doesn’t help me feel better that a good friend is going away.

The Competition

I didn’t want to post this on Boltsmag and ridicule another Tampa Bay Lightning web log, but after reading the journal in question and this post — I just want to gag…. :puke

tb_lightning: *eagerly awaiting the Lightning to lead the series 2-1*

*eagerly awaiting the Lightning to lead the series 2-1*
I wish this area had more supportive fans like are seen on this journal.

I was sitting in French class today, and the girl next to me goes: “I don’t really care who wins, but the Islanders are all much better looking than the Lightning”… I had to remain silent (else I would have screamed!- “Elle est tres stupide!”) since I was writing an essay, but seriously… a puckbunny? and for the wrong team. I sure hope this area at least becomes more supportive of the Lightning. And fast. I can deal with bandwagon fans if they’ll at least support FOR REAL for once.

p.s- The Lightning will win tonight. Afterall, we’ve seen the hunger in interviews, we just need to see it out on the ice. They are so very beautiful when they win.

p.p.s.- does anyone besides me notice that the Islanders play the consistently same defense every night? we just need to not pass and sneak in from behind maybe? their trapping wouldn’t work then. and their puckhandling has nothing on ours anyhow.

also, in case anyone wants to have any hockey parties and let me know about them, I am willing to bake or bring NHL 2001 for the Playstation, lol.

“A puckbunny?” That’s you, kiddo. That’s everyone who uses your site, so it seems. Little girls or children who are fans because these players are cuties and don’t really understand the game…

I’ve dealt with enough puck bunnies in my time to have to be associated with another one… :rolleyes

Lightning clinch #1 seed

With Boston’s tie against Washington, the Bruins can do no better than tie the Lightning for most points in the conference.

Meaning for the first time in their history, the Tampa Bay Lightning are regular season Eastern Conference champs and secure home ice advantage throughout the playoffs! :woot

Lemme say this again because this is weighty stuff for anyone who has been following this team since their inception, through the ups and downs:


Yes, this means absolutely jack shit in the playoffs, but this is still an incredible feet for a franchise that lost 50 games for 4 straight seasons)


The Tampa Bay Lightning weblog

I launched Boltsmag last week. It’s another Blog devoted to the NHL but I’m not sure how many southern hockey teams have Blogs like this….

…Hell, there aren’t many fan pages for the Lightning, let alone a full weblog like I am running now.

I also could use contributors – someone who is a devote message board poster might work best.

Thinking of taking a (hockey) Dive….

I used to write, a long long time ago, for a hockey publication.. A local one… One that had a good little mix of local readers and local fans talking it up and hanging out on the site…

This of course was a crappy Rivals.com site but it worked. It had a dedicated owner, a dedicated set of fans and a couple of kids (including me) who wanted to do what they could to get noticed and get published and what not….

I’d like to try setting something like that up again…. But an MT version of it… (meaning a journal report on the Lightning if it’s possible).

It IS possible, the thing is I am not a great writer — well, it’s not exactly writing as so much reporting and I am a worse reporter than I am a writer… Why? I can’t get to locations to report… Not only hat but when I DO report, I get the information wrong…

I’d love to have a site, though, dedicated to one of the local sports teams and with a team of fans to help report on the team…. The Lightning is the best team to achieve that with, as the Buccaneers want to keep everything in house and the Devil Rays happen to resent their fans with a vengence….

A Tampa Bay Lightning fan site while the Lightning are getting ready for their next playoff push might be fantastic to launch… Though it also might be suicide seeing the NHL is on a collision course with the Apocalypse.


I was flipping through the cable channels this evening and came across ESPNews, which was reporting a trade between the New York Knicks in the NBA and another team. I started thinking about the Knicks name, which is short for Knickerbockers, and how classy/traditional the name is in a sense that it just seems totally old school…

It then occured to me that any or every NBA player has to ask themselves what the hell a Knickerbocker is. They also probably wonder why the team is keeping such a lame name…

Welcome to the NBA.

You look at the other professional sport leagues and not only are names with non-modern/urban undertones in existence, but there are traditions stacked upon traditions in each league. The NHL has the hat trick — which leads to caps thrown onto the ice. Major League Baseball has the 7th Inning Stretch. The NFL has the coin flip, gatorade dousings and individual traditions (as do MLB and teh NHL) such as the Lambeau Leap and the Thanksgiving Day games involving the Cowboys and the Lions….

What does the NBA have?

The NBA has rapists, drug abusers, teenagers who skipped College for the money and shoe deals with Nike. The NBA has arrogance and individualism. The NBA tries to be one big highlight reel of slam dunks….

And people wonder why I don’t follow the sport?

While fans in Detroit are tossing Octopi onto the ice at Joe Louis Arena to celebrate a Red WIngs goal, and while Yankee fans are dancing to Rock and Roll Part Two (the Hey song) or YMCA between innings, NBA fans have mascots doing basketball tricks and players bitching at each other and making threats. While the Buccaneers have their pirate ship firing after a touchdown (a relatively new tradition), the NBA has gimmick slam dunks that everyone tries to imitate.

Michael Jordan is not the norm of the NBA — he’s just the most imitated player.

Like Dreamers Dew

I controlled my dreaming last night / this morning. i don’t mean one or two degrees of it, I mean I totally controlled my dreaming (or so it felt like).

It’s hard for me to remember anything at this point besides certain details – Vincent Lecavalier putting salmon (dead salmon) on plants as fertilizer, him having a bigger, better house than my brother Andy who (in this dream) drafted by the Lightning. He wasn’t burying the dead fish, mind you – he was just throwing them on top of where the seeds / plants / sapplings were.

I also dreamed about the gap between myself and others physically and a voice said “Just dive in” — I was on the edge of a cliff and where I wanted to be was far below… the land then shifted and everything was high above me and I figured it’d be easier to get there in a plane….

…enter the prop plane and what seemed like Microsoft Flight Simulator

I’m in control of this plane and I’m getting the feel for it while on the runway and I start taxi-ing into position and then things got clouded (trying to understand the dream)

I know Brian Dilenge was in this dream, he and one of the actors from An Officer and a Gentlemen for that matter…

There ain’t no friggin’ way I’m going to dissect this dream apart like I have in the past so I’m just posting it in order to get it out.