The Sharks. They've made a whole host of changes this summer. But I refer not solely to the roster additions of Brent Burns, Martin Havlat, Colin White, or Jim Vandermeer, etc. They've jacked up the price of season tickets by a greater margin than before. Since the lockout, the price of as season ticket has been steadily climbing by a dollar each year. The cheapest season ticket last year was $19 per game. This year, it is $23 per game. $4 per game! Snap! The Shark Tank has also gotten a whole new set of boards, replete with clear stanchions and gaudy, electronic advertising boards, with one glaring omission: Round Table Pizza.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
The roar of the crowd was overwhelming. One almost couldn't hear oneself think. Of course, the people there weren't accustomed to thinking. No one in Greater Los Angeles had ever before heard such a noise in the Ducks' home arena. Most of them had never before been to the Ducks' arena before today, only the gravity of a championship event was too much to resist. The Stanley Cup was in the building. And it was about to be awarded.
Amidst the hysteria, the red carpet unrolled onto the ice like the dog Pluto's cartoon tongue. White-gloved hands carried the heretofore pristine trophy from the gaping vomitorium to where all the cheering customers could see. It was the first and last time, most of them knew, that the Stanley Cup would be awarded to a Los Angeles team.
Chris Pronger watched without listening as the commissioner gave his perfunctory congratulations to the home team. The six-foot-six defenseman did not let his beady eyes leave the sparkling trophy as the Ducks' captain Scott Niedermeyer hoisted the Cup over his head to applause unprecedented within the marble walls of the Honda Center. The captain kissed the beloved trophy as he slowly skated the ice and Pronger follwed him, impatiently waiting for his own moment of glory. Pronger had spit out his mouth guard in the moment of victory; now his teeth ground as he watched Scott Niedermeyer pass the Cup to his brother, Rob Niedermeyer, but Pronger swallowed his words along with chips of his teeth. Deep down, he knew that he owed the lesser Niedermeyer this moment; hockey's champion defenseman, and the Ducks' captain, had only deigned to sign a contract with this team out of pity for his younger sibling. It seemed like ages that the Cup was in Rob's hands. Pronger had waited long enough! He had waited while they passed out championship baseball caps. He had waited through the tedious presentation of the MVP award. He continued to fight the urge to grab his trophy from the little squirt. He had won it! It was his! He knew his own on-ice contributions far outweighed anyone but Scott's and that he had deserved to be second in line for his moment of supreme self-satisfaction. It wasn't fair!!
But presently, Pronger's eyes widened with anticipation as he saw the most beautiful trophy in all the world skating toward him, carried by Niedermeyer's brother. He tried not to look down, fearing vertigo. The dizziness of disbelief and his own freakish height were taking their effect on him. His moment had finally come. Elated, he greedily snatched the proffered trophy from Rob's ourstretched hands.
The Cup burned his flesh as with cold fire and Pronger only gripped it tighter--tried to steady his hands as the thing which he desired most in the world was finally delivered to him. He felt the Cup try to slip from his grasp. The whole moment seamed unreal, like it wasn't supposed to be. Fifteen and a half kilograms of etched silver seemed feather-weight in his hands. With one deep breath and the most powerful scream he could muster, Chris Pronger raised hockey's greatest trophy high over his head and, as he slowly lowered it and felt the cold metal touch his chapped lips, he knew he had proven what he had suspected for a long time:
There was no God.
Friday, September 9, 2011
Saturday, September 3, 2011
"The new problem of the NHL" - The Globe and Mail
George Laraque made his living fighting other goons in the NHL. It was a tough, anxious position to be in, but he doesn't condemn the role. He does, however, call for improved counseling options for players and retirees.