How the AHL Changed My Life: My Story

 

 

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While I may have an “about me” page on this blog, I really want to tell every one of my beginning into the field of sports.

I give all my thanks to the American Hockey League, and more particularly, the Texas Stars.

I took the phrase “do what you love” and did it.

sit down, it’s storytime.

Coming out of high school, I attended a program through UMass Amherst (now one of my rival schools) all about sports management. Even though I came out of that program with the knowledge of the field, I also came out scared and slightly worried that finding a job in the field that I love (and now breathe) would be very difficult.

That’s where the AHL came in for me.

Living in the middle of Texas doesn’t allow for much opportunities in the field of hockey, but I remember attending a minor league for my birthday a year prior.

I decided to venture on to their website at the time, and see what openings they had for positions, as I wanted to see if I was heading in the right direction with my degree plan.

Behold, there was a position open that didn’t require a college degree,

and I hit that “apply” button.

I literally went on to that site to plan my future, and I decided to begin it right then and there.

For those who don’t know anything regarding what I have done for the past year and a half, I worked with the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League, as a member of the co-ed spirit squad, the Ice Patrol.

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One of my favorite nights, TEDDY BEAR TOSS!!

While to everyone in sports, this may seem like a bottom-of-the-barrel job, but for me, this meant so much more.

I started that job with no knowledge of the sports industry, and I didn’t know where to even begin. I ended it with great friendships and valuable knowledge that got me to where I am today.

While you may see applying tattoos on kids’ soft faces as a chore, I saw it as an opportunity.

While you may see me watching enthusiastic fans on the ice dressed as BBQ sauce bottles fall, I saw it as a dream.

I probably couldn’t continue my journey in working in sport without the opportunities that the Texas Stars gave me.

While our first season tracksuits looked like prison uniforms, they were the meaning of a beginning for me.

Plus, they were super comfy. I actually still have mine.

My first season, I was the youngest one on the Ice Patrol, and the only that wasn’t of drinking age.

I ended my last season as one of the veterans, but still not of drinking age.

sigh

I did two jobs at the same time, while being a full time college student. I worked at a grocery store, and started that before the AHL.

Let’s just say the AHL one was better…

I also started and ended it as it being one of the greatest experiences in my entire life.

 

 

So, where do I stand now?

I left the Ice Patrol mid-season this year to study Marketing at the University of Maine, in hopes of doing what my boss at Stars did, become a Director of Marketing for a successful sports team. The Stars helped me decide what in sports I want to pursue. Maybe I’ll return to the Stars, but who knows at this point.

I still work sports but in a different way. I work both Marketing and Statistics for the University of Maine athletics. I’ve also considered venturing out into other sports too, like baseball and football (shocker, I know). The Ice Patrol is probably a big reason I got a job in the middle of the year at Maine.

My sports part of my resume has grown. Similar people I have met don’t have the same experience on their resume as I do, and that gives me the reassurance that I am heading in the right direction. Sports takes up OVER HALF of my current resume.

All because of the Texas Stars and the AHL.

Before I end this post, I just want to thank the AHL and the Texas Stars for being a stepping stone for me. The AHL isn’t just a development league for players, but for staff as well. I have my Stars logo proudly displayed on my laptop every single day. It’s actually displayed right next to my Boston Bruins sticker.

I’ve never actually considered me a Stars fan, but after working for an amazing organization like them, I think I might just have to.

Well, maybe just the Texas Stars.

But, I guess you can say I have a second NHL team.

 

If you are a sports fan wanting to work in the field someday, it’s never too early (or too late) to start looking! Here are some great links for the curious fan:

UMass Summer Pre College (great for HS students, I loved it, its well worth it!!)

Job Search for AHL (not saying you have to look at AHL, but great for looking for jobs, and what degree you should follow for a certain job)!

Take Your Eye Off the Puck (random, but it allowed me to get more into the statistics world of things, and got me to pursue the statistics field in sport).

Interested in studying sport? (this link provides a list of ALL sport management schools in the country. Even though I don’t attend one, this list was very helpful!!)

For any questions regarding the industry, don’t hesitate to contact me at the email in the Contact section of the right side of this blog.

always follow your dreams

and as always, fear the bear

^AHC

 

The growth of NCAA hockey prospects

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my school is in the header, cause why not? (photo credit)

 

Wanna hear some fun facts?

There is at least one player on each NHL team that played in the NCAA before their “big boy” career began.

Only 5.5% of NCAA players who have played in the NCAA have been drafted in the first round since 1960.

Since 2000, about 10% of the first rounders have been from the NCAA. And about 16% are drafted in the 5th or 8th rounds.

For the longest time (and currently), the CHL has been the source of many of the top NHL draft picks year after year. 9 out of the last 10 first overall draft picks have been from one of the major Canadian junior leagues (that one exception is 2016’s Auston Matthews, who played in the NLA).

Out of those 9 in Canadian Juniors, one each came from QMJHL and WHL, while the other 7 came from the OHL.

For those who need a quick refresher, or don’t know how the CHL works-

Basically, these players are the ones who put hockey over everything. And by everything, I mean EVERYTHING. They get rid of the opportunity to play college hockey (NCAA or CIS) to increase their draft value and get looked more by the fancy-schmancy pro scouts.

HOWEVER

I have noticed an increase in the amount of draft picks from the NCAA. Last draft (2016), out of the first round of 30, 11 of those players play in the NCAA, ranging from schools like powerhouse Boston University to smaller known schools like St Cloud State. This draft set a new record for a number of players taken in the first round of the NCAA. It’s also kinda fun to show that two of these players, Tage Thompson (STL) and Charlie MacAvoy (BOS) are having spectacular years, and could prove to be valuable in the future of their respective NHL clubs.

I saw McAvoy play against my school’s team last weekend, and BU looked super good, and McAvoy was no exception.

Get hype, Bruins fans. (I know I am)

2015 was no different. 7 of the 30 draft picks were from the NCAA. 5 of those players are currently playing in pro leagues like the NHL or the AHL. Jack Eichel (BU/Buffalo) and Zach Werenski (Michigan/Columbus) have already proven themselves to their clubs.

2014 was hard. 3 out of those first 30 played in the NCAA. Among those, Dylan Larkin has proven to be a great addition to the Red Wings.

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list of the NCAA first rounders for the past 5 years

There were no NCAA first rounders the year before, and five the year before that.

The NCAA is a league that can give development, but players from those leagues (as evident in 2013 and 2014) were chosen in the later rounds.

A huge reason this player could be drafted late could be due to many reasons, like:

Age. An average college degree not only comes with crippling debt (ugh) but also requires you to take (about) 4 years of your life to get into books. Some players (Jimmy Vesey being a prime example) not only want to play hockey for a great organization, but they also want that degree to come along with it. With that 4 year wait from being drafted, they risk the fact that they could lose that player’s rights, which gives fans much to be angry about apparently.

and

Adjustment. College is never an easy adjustment for anyone. Heck, for me it wasn’t the best. The addition of all that school work and the pressure of going in the first round of the upcoming draft isn’t easy. Their draft value could fall.

I can’t even imagine that.

The NCAA welcomes a bunch of opportunities as well.

They get to play with older players. The average college student finishes their degree at the ages of 22-23. The CHL has a cutoff of 20. Those extra 2-3 years allows a player to adjust to the professional league play. This was also one of the reasons Auston Matthews probably decided to go to the Swiss league. Not everyone in the NHL is 18-20, so playing with older players can be a huge advantage in the long run.

They don’t have to “live and breathe” hockey. The CHL could be a league that shoves the idea of hockey being life, and hockey being love. For some, it could be that. For NCAA players, they have the opportunity to gain a social aspect, which gives them more personality and makes them more comfortable with the adjustment to the NHL, if that time ever arises. Once they have the idea of how to balance the college life (social, sport, academics, and sleep) they can be a success with managing the NHL or another pro league.

Also, they get to learn to live on their own. This is simple. The CHL offers to house with a host family. NCAA has dorms. Every college I’ve heard of makes freshman required to live on campus in (my opinion) the crappiest dorms on the campus. The NCAA lets the players experience the life of loud neighbors and stupid events that the RA requires you to go to. The NHL isn’t always going to have parents handhold at every moment.

Lastly, the schedule organization. The NCAA games are played primarily on weekends, so they don’t affect the student’s courses, and its better from a marketing standpoint. This allows time for conditioning, rehab, better academics, and makes them more well-rounded health wise. The better conditioning aspect makes a prospect better prepared for the major (or minor) leagues health wise, and are least likely to have knee or other problems before their career even starts.

The NCAA could maybe (i hope!) take over the CHL in the NHL draft someday. It would be amazing to increase the amount of talent in the NCAA.

fear the bear

^AHC

Is this it for Claude Julien?

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This season, Claude has been getting hate as the sole reason for underperformance.

Not gonna lie, I kinda agree. The organization isn’t wanting to give the Bruins “time” to “figure things out”.

The clock is (pretty much) up.

To repeat the fans at the TD Garden, “WE WANT PLAYOFFS!

clap clap clapclapclap

The Bruins acquired some new talent in the free agency and offseason, and we still sit on the bubble of a playoff spot. Toronto (never thought I would say that) and Ottawa sit pretty close to the Bruins and are also fighting for a coveted spot in the playoffs.

Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak are having great seasons, and Tuukka is also having a great season. The Bruins have league leading Corsi percentage. The team itself hasn’t given up, but the points and standings say otherwise.

For the past two seasons, the Bruins have had to wait until the last day of the season to determine if playoffs are happening. Both seasons, we lost on the last day (very bad, I might add) and we painfully watch as a team that came from behind enjoys the added publicity and extra hockey.

I’m not kidding, I yell at the TV the past two years on the last day of the season.

curse you Peter Chiarelli and your horrible contracts and drafting skills

Players (other than Brandon Carlo ugh) have not been in trade rumors often this year. The Bruins themselves are playing quite well, and show that they have the energy to make it into the playoffs if it ever does happen.

So, the only thing that we as fans can point to as factor of the losses is coaching and staff.

And one name that has been discussed has been our coach, and pride & joy, Claude Julien.

Not trying to drag CJ under the bus, he’s actually not the only coach that is on the hot seat. Lindy Ruff from Dallas has also been rumored that he’s gone if his team doesn’t make the playoffs.

So, here is what we are looking at here:

The 2014-15 season had a 41-27-14 record (96 points) and missed the playoffs sitting in 5th place in the Atlantic. They lost the wild-card spots to Ottawa (99 pts)  and Pittsburgh (98 pts). Because of no playoffs, Peter Chiarelli was fired (and then hired by Edmonton) and we lost free agents Jarome Iginla (a good winger for Looch and Krejci), Shawn Thornton (the definition of Bruin), and Chad Johnson (who hid his awesome goalie skills from us). We traded Milan Lucic, Dougie Hamilton, and Carl Soderberg for draft picks. To somehow replace them, we signed Jimmy Hayes (aka a massive headache) and Matt Beleskey.

The 2015-16 season had a similar record. The Bruins posted a 42-31-9 record, and totaled 93 points, good enough for 4th in the Atlantic. However, the one spot increase in the standings didn’t help, as the Metro division became a powerhouse. We lost the wildcard spots to New York Islanders (100) and Philadelphia (96). We also completely got rid of the final 2 members of the famous “Merlot Line” (Soupy and Paille). Lastly, Sweeney made the awful decision of signing Kevan Miller for more than he probably needs and deserves. Sweeney actually made progress during the free agency period, signing David Backes, Dominic Moore, Riley Nash, and Tim Schaller.

Even with all of this happening, the fans were always told that “Julien is safe, for now.”.

When does “for now” become “never”?

That time could be soon.

The Bruins have been a successful season for the past decade. Before missing the playoffs in 2014-15, the Bruins never missed the playoffs under Julien, and haven’t missed it since the 2006-07 season.

For a reminder, that was when Marc Savard was still playing (and leading the team in goals) and the goaltending tandem was Tim Thomas and Hannu Toivonen.

And who was that coach?

It was Dave Lewis, a coach who was newly hired for that season.

And, what happened to him?

Well, he was fired by Peter Chiarelli and hasn’t had an NHL head coaching job since.

And the coach for that no-playoff season before that? Mike Sullivan, the Stanley Cup winning coach for the Penguins last season. He was fired after that losing season.

What is all this trying to prove?

If we have no playoffs this year, the fan base should be prepared for a new coach next season. He’s already on thin ice, and another disappointing season will not help.

I’m just hoping Mike Milbury doesn’t find a way to coach the Bruins next year.

I would probably scream.

fear the bear

^AHC

Bruins World Cup Preview: Who’s Who

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It’s finally September!

One more month till NHL and AHL action, and we are also a few weeks from the World Cup of Hockey.

and also one more month till I can post relevant content for once

It’s been 12 years since the last WCOH, and I don’t remember the last one, since I was 7, and I didn’t really know hockey.

So, today, I decided to discuss the Bruins playing in the World Cup. Basically discuss potential linemates, previous stats, and fun facts!

LETS GET STARTED.

  • TEAM MAPLE SYRUP (aka Canada)

On this team, the marvelous duo of Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand will use their wicked awesome skills to defeat the evil that is Alex Ovechkin (and Russia).

I *probably* over exaggerated, but that’s beside the point.

Last season, Bergeron and Marchand combined for 69 goals and 59 assists, for a total of 128 points. They were both first and fourth on the team for overall points, respectively. Bergy played 80 games last season, while Marchand played 77.

They had more points than Zac Rinaldo had penalty minutes, so that must mean something! woah

I’m not gonna lie, Canada has some pretty dope looking uniforms, the logo looks kinda better than the USA one, but I probably shouldn’t say that cause I don’t wanna get shamed for not being patriotic enough.

My dream line for Bergeron and Marchand (cause they kinda should play together) is:

Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler “party boi” Seguin

You gotta reunite the great line of 2011, am I right?

But… according to practice lines, I think it’s probably gonna kinda look like this:

Brad Marchand-Sidney Crosby-Patrice Bergeron

Why? Because twitter said so and I kinda believe what twitter writes?

lol

Seriously, though, this line will dominate the world cup. We have Crosby, who kinda needs an underdog in the tournament to actually succeed (see: Kunitz and Crosby). You have the amazing two-way play in Bergeron, and you have the playmaking pest in Marchand.

BOOM.

  • TEAM FREEDOM (aka USA)

This year, we actually have someone on Team USA. YAY!

Representing the country of Fried Mac and Cheese and “proper” football is newcomer David Backes.

Who I really haven’t looked at yet, tbh

What I do know (other than the roar bacon pig thing) is pretty cool:

Last season for Saint Louis, Backes played 79 games, scoring 21 goals and 24 assists while doing so. Plus, he is a great two-way player, who has a physical image and can play multiple positions. So, like a way better Chris Kelly.

But, on Team USA, he will probably fit on the fourth line.

I’m thinking:

Brandon Dubinsky-David Backes-Blake Wheeler

they all have B’s in their name, but they could be solid A’s!

  • TEAM CHEX MIX (aka Czech Republic)

The Bruins were gonna have the two Davids play for CZE, but one is still broken, so I guess one David will have to do.

For Team CZE, the Bruins have David Pastrnak representing.

For this WCOH, I kinda consider the Czechs to have a mixed bag when it comes to the roster, as I have no idea how they are going to win with that defense, tbh.

But, in all honesty, I will watch this team because not only do I love me some Pasta (both the person and the food),

I also love Radek Faksa. (Dallas does have a pretty awesome prospect pool)

In Pastrnak’s second season with the Bruins, he played 51 games, with 15 goals and 11 assists. He also played 3 games for Providence of the AHL and registered 1 goal and 3 assists during that time frame. I’m kinda surprised (and happy) he has developed as an NHL player this early, and players like Nick Ritchie (ANA 10th) and Michael Dal Colle (NYI 5th)  from the same draft have only done little to no NHL action so far. I really enjoy watching Pasta and his fast feet and gifted hands.

He’s the Angel Child of the Boston Bruins.

Team CZE needs Jesus if they want to win, and Pasta is pretty much Jesus

As for a potential line for Pasta, I’m looking at this:

Ondrej Palat (who?) -Tomas Plekanec (the turtleneck dude) -David Pastrnak (Jesus)

As much as I hate pairing a Bruin with Hab, this line would look super cool in the top 6. There has already been some confirmation on twitter with pairing Plekanec and Pasta, but I added Palat because I think that Palat’s Clutch ability would pair well.

  • TEAM MILK CRATE (aka Finland)

For the Finns, the Bruins have everyone’s favorite milk crate throwing goalie,

Tuukka Rask.

Now, I can’t give a line idea for Tuukka, as he is a goaltender and he doesn’t have a specific line. He is, however, competing for the number one goalie spot with Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne.

I believe Tuukka will win the number one spot over Rinne, as Rask is the more consistent and reliable goaltender. The other goaltender for Finland is Mikko Koskinen, a former Islanders draft pick who currently plays for SKA St. Petersburg.

The Finn’s goaltending tandem is gonna be something along these lines:

1: Tuukka Rask

2: Pekka Rinne

3: Mikko Koskinen

Tuukka’s stats last season in 64 games included:

Record of 31-22-8, with 2.56 goals against average and .915 save percentage. Out of 31 wins, 4 of those wins were in a shutout.

Pekka Rinne had a record of 41-17-6, with 2.48 goals against average and .908 save percentage. 4 of the 41 wins were in a shutout.

According to the stats found, Rinne gets less SOG (shocking cause Nashville defense is popping), but Tuukka will show to be the better decision in the  shoot first games, has he has the high SV%, with more shots than Pekka.

  • TEAM MIXED BAG (aka Europe)

The Bruins technically have one player playing on team Europe, but there is still two Bruins on our payroll for the next season.

The two oldest players on last year’s roster will be representing their homeland in the WCOH.

Defensemen Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg.

I love Chara like the next Bruins fan, but he isn’t making our defense look any younger. Sweeney ain’t helping either.

The former all-star played 79 games last season, scoring 9 goals and registering 28 assists. Chara has slowed down due to recent knee problems, which didn’t require surgery in the 2014-15 season. His contract expires in 2018.

I see Chara pairing well with the young and upcoming Roman Josi (Switzerland, NSH).

Dennis Seidenberg played 61 games, scoring 1 lone goals and registering 11 assists. He has slowed down ever since the 2013-14 season, due to an ACL and MCL injury that required surgery. He was bought out by the Bruins this past season and remains on the books until the end of the 2019-20 season.

So, he is technically still a Bruin.

I see Seids on the bottom pairing, with Andrej Sekera (Slovakia, EDM) or Mark Streit (Switzerland, PHI). He could also end up on the second pairing, due to the lack of depth that Europe has on the right.

every day we go through is one day closer to hockey!

It’s even closer this season thanks to the WCOH.

see ya in october

^AHC

From Texas to Boston: My First Time

margaret is turning-2

 

Hey guys!

This has been a long offseason, with not much really happening.

I have been awfully busy with the extra work hours and summer college courses and such, that I forgot to post something!

Today,

I shall discuss my first Bruins home game!

yas

Let me do a little throwback to February, I was supposed to go to the Dallas vs Boston game that month and then something happened, and I couldn’t go.

I was sad (more because I sold my lower bowl tickets for $90), who wouldn’t be?

That night when I confirmed that I couldn’t go to the game for sure, I saw the tweet for the JetBlue contest the Bruins do, where they send a lucky out of state bruins fan, to a Bruins game IN BOSTON for free, all expenses paid.

Even though I knew I don’t ever win *anything*, I decided to enter in on a whim, literally, the night entries were due.

I submitted my entry and then forgot about it.

Fast Forward a month later, I was getting ready for work, and I got an email from a rep from the Bruins (I at first thought it was blog related) and he wanted to know a good time to call. I told him now was a good time and he called a few minutes later.

This is when it happens.

I was told I won the JetBlue contest that I thought I wouldn’t win.

I was going to the GAHDEN.

After I got off the phone with the rep, I came in my house (in tears) and ran to my dad and said,

“We are going to Boston!”

My dad was the one going with me, no questions asked.

I, unfortunately, had to work that day, but I told everyone who would listen about what happened earlier that day. I couldn’t hold my excitement. One of my dreams was coming true, and I am still in shock that I actually WON something. I always lose at anything (which is the main reason I don’t play fantasy sports).

Once I got my game confirmation and my flight confirmations, a countdown was on.

April 5th, 2016. Boston Bruins vs Carolina Hurricanes.

THE FINAL PLAYOFF PUSH.

The day finally comes, and I woke up at 3:30 to catch my flight to New York at 6, to catch the connecting flight to Boston.

Before I start everything, this will probably be known as the longest I have gone without sleeping.

We land at Boston Logan, and we are instantly greeted off the plane by (two?) of the Ice Girls and Blades. I seriously was so excited, yet so tired, that all of this went by so quickly. I remember walking to the car, and everyone was looking at my Dad and me, cause we were with Blades. I took a picture with the Ice Girls and Blades, and then we were escorted to our car to take us to the hotel.

One thing I want to mention is the weather. Texas in April is 70 to 80 degrees (imagine a Boston summer, but hotter). Shorts and sandals are the attire, and jackets and boots are already packed away. However, when we went to Boston, we landed in 30-degree weather, with some snow and ice on the ground.

Not gonna lie, I was excited for some snow, which I haven’t seen since I lived in Virginia.

But, I had to buy winter boots the day I left. They are actually still in my closet since I have had no need to wear them since.

My dad and I spent the rest of our day getting some Mike’s Pastry (for some awesome Cannolis) and Halftime Pizza for some huge pizza slices (thanks, reddit).

After pizza, we made our trek to the Garden, went to look at the Pro Shop (I wanted everything), and then headed back to the hotel to get ready for the best night of our lives.

Our first time at the Gahden.

We got there right when the doors opened, went to the pro shop (again) and then walked into the garden itself. I remember looking around in awe, at the Cup banners, retired numbers, and the black and gold seats all over the arena.

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It looks like it does on the TV, but bigger and more magical.

A dream had come true.

The closer we got to puck drop, the more excited we got. The lower bowl started to get full, and the atmosphere was super awesome. The people who say that Bruin fans are rude are wrong, I actually think that the crowd was better than Dallas tbh.

The players finally started skating out for warm-ups. My heart was beating so fast and I was so excited that I was shaking a little. I look back at some of the videos I took that night, and some of them were a little shaky. I guess seeing all the players skate against the glass in front of you can be a little terrifying.

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One of Bergy’s faceoffs

Even though Carolina scored that first goal, the atmosphere when Loui scored the first goal was amazing.

Goal lights on. Zombie Nation on. Wooing and clapping everywhere.

This was seriously, one of the highlights of my night.

We high fived the people around us, and then like everyone else, concentrated on the game we need to win, because playoffs.

Another highlight of my night was about to happen.

I got to go on Garden ice. Something not everyone gets to do.

This is kinda funny actually.

I was doing shoot the puck on the ice. This is actually something I organize at work. I am the one who give the participants the puck and stick. I was on the other side of that.

They announced all the prizes I had a chance at getting.

Tuukka signed puck and a team signed jersey were among the prizes.

I went on the ice with my Bergeron jersey and attempted to shoot the best that I could.

I didn’t win anything, but I was pretty close to the farthest shot, which would have won me ALL the prizes.

I still went home with a Bruins official puck! (Which is in the cabinet in the living room)

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I went back to my seat with the people around me high fiving me and saying I did pretty good. That was kinda nice, but I thought I did pretty bad. I watched the rest of the game from my seat.

I will say, I got to go to the most exciting game.

I went to a sudden death SHOOTOUT!

ehid

Shootouts are the best, but the worst games to go to.

More hockey for your buck, but I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.

My heart was pounding and I was sweating until the very end.

Even though the Bruins lost 2-1 that night, this is the best night I have ever had with my dad.

We were able to take our hockey bond to the next level, and we couldn’t have asked for anything more (except for maybe a win).

We got back to our hotel that night and went straight to bed, cause we had to be at Logan the next morning to catch a flight back to good ol Texas.

I didn’t want to come home (or go to class that next day) but I am already looking at going to Boston again for Bruins and Stars (but in BOSTON this time!).

This is not an ad BUT

thank you to JetBlue and the Boston Bruins for sending this Bruins obsessed girl (and her dad) to Boston to live out one of her dreams.

Thank you to the Bruins fans in general. The B’s seriously have the best fans in the world and didn’t make me feel bad when I missed the dang net!

and thanks to Blades for giving the best bear hug I will probably ever get.

 

Consider this post as a return to more blogging. More and more hockey news is coming the closer we get to the season, meaning more things to post.

see ya in October!

^AHC

Why /r/hockey hates the Boston Bruins

margaret is turning

I love reddit, I really do.

Reddit is my favorite tool to use for blogging. It allows me to know what you guys want, and also gives me some nifty gifs to use for my future writing. Over half of the GIFs on my computer are probably from reddit, not gonna lie.

The subreddit I frequent the most, /r/hockey, is also one of the most popular subreddits on the site. Every time I open to the front page, I see something relating to Toronto or John Scott.

Every. Dang. Time.

But, one thing I noticed on r/hockey is how often Bruins related comments get downvoted, even if it’s a positive thing.

So it got me thinking, why does the hockey subreddit hate anything that relates to the Boston Bruins?

If you say anything, it can be smart, stupid, brilliant, or comedic, but you have a Bruins related flair next to your username, you will be downvoted or attacked. You are essentially a magnet for the downvotes that should be given to other users, but they are given to you instead.

Want to express how much you think Sidney Crosby cries himself to bed every night?

BOOM. Roasted. People are complaining you are wrong and how you should be ashamed.

If you want to post about how Chris Neil should have been suspended for eye gouging Adam McQuaid, people will say that Neil “was being himself” and get on the side that says that he did nothing wrong.

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 12.49.51 AM

Yet, the posts that are upvoted a bunch are the ones that link to a twitter status that says the exact same thing as the post title. These type of posts get a bunch of uproots for essentially stealing someone else’s words.

WHY IS THIS A THING?

The New England success rate. Boston’s sports teams are famous for being successful. The Patriots are hated by a bunch of people in the NFL. The Red Sox for the MLB. The Bruins aren’t much different. A lot of people don’t want to see another championship with a Boston team in it because of how much we have dominated in the recent years.

Our reputation. The “Big Bad Bruins” style of play is what we are known for. r/hockey seems to think that means we play dirty. They think that Bruins should have penalties called against us, rather than in our favor. That already freaking happens, your tanking Toronto Maple Leafs didn’t need the win that bad.

Yes, we know that Marchand was being a pest. We know that we had Lucic and his punchable face. But, it shows that they did a great job of irritating the opposition. They simply did their jobs. Trust me, if Marchy was on another team that wasn’t the Bruins, I’d hate him too.

He’s skilled and physical.

A great combo.

We don’t even have Lucic on our team anymore, he’s on the Kings.

So go hate on the Kings.

God knows Canadiens fans LOVE mentioning that Chara hit on Pacioretty. IT WAS AN ACCIDENT GET OVER IT. Chara is the tallest man in the league at 6 foot 9, so any hit is gonna be different than a hit from Sidney Crosby.

The Boston Bruins are slowly moving away from the look of a “dirty” team. Charas contract expires soon. Zac Rinaldo is probably never gonna come back. Lucic is gone.

The past is gone, it’s not here anymore.

Though, I do know why Maple Leafs fans hate us.

it was 4 to 1.

meryl

see you in october

^AHC

 

The Rise of Co-Ed Spirit Squads

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*Before you decide to read this post, I want to say I have absolutely NOTHING against NHL ice girl squads. They are great people, and represent organizations well. This post is to point out a great idea that could help the future of the NHL entertainment wise. Thank you and enjoy!*

When I was a young girl, the first thing that popped into my mind when I thought of women in sports was Cheerleaders. By cheerleaders, I thought of the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders that would hop onto the field at halftime, and dance to the same routine over and over again.

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(photo credit)

With the rise of feminism since then, more and more females have entered the Sport industry, leading to the creation of the NWHL and WNBA, and being able to see more females pop up in professional front offices all over the country.

However, one thing still hasn’t changed.

Ice Girls. 

Spirit Squads, like the Ice Girls, are considered the cheerleaders of the NHL. They typically take care of the on ice intermission activities (games), handing out programs, and also working with the community. Some of them (like Dallas Ice Girls) dance on a platform in the middle of the crowd preforming a small routine in the lower bowl. They are essentially the face of the organization that isn’t the players. They are the ones that interact with the crowd to get the fans pumped up for a win, and give the fans a memorable experience to want to come back again.

The job can be a fun one, but why aren’t men included in this amazingness?

Hockey teams all over North America are starting to transition an Ice Girl squad, in favor for a co-ed spirit squad, essentially doing the same job specifics, but with a different group of people.  The Washington Capitals have started a squad simply called the “Washington Capitals Spirit Squad”, which entails throwing shirts, and pumping up the “energetic” sold-out crowd at the Verizon center. As of right now, the Caps are the only NHL team in the league to have a co-ed spirit team like this.

The co-ed spirit squad is becoming popular in the minor leagues, like the AHL.

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Texas Stars (AHL affiliate to the Dallas Stars) have a spirit team called the Ice Patrol, a group of around 15 people who take care of the giveaways offered at games, and also the on ice intermission games (like sumo races and soccer). The Ice Patrol also manages watch parties for away games, and the kids zone with temporary tattoos. The Ice Patrol replaced their version of the Ice Girls, and allows more people to be given the opportunity to be part of the spirit team, and also probably make old people comfortable at games again.

Lets be real, if you are a 50-something year old man watching a bunch of girls in yoga pants and a sports bra, you are going to probably be looked at as a pervert.

Just saying.

But women don’t want to be perceived as this.

Women want to be looked like professionals, showing how hard we have gotten our life to be where we are. Someone I know in the sport industry is the head of their own department, which is a department full of women.

This is showing that the sport industry is becoming more and more female driven.

Women are hockey players. Women are hockey fans. We aren’t just at a game cause we got dragged there. We are there cause we WANT to be.

Women are not just cheerleaders or Ice Dancers.

They are FANS.

Adding co-ed spirit squads opens the door on entertainment in the sport industry for men, changes the image of women in the sport industry, and lastly,

it would get rid of the assumption that women are puck bunnies.

Women and sports doesn’t equal bikinis and calendars.

see you in October

^AHC