March 7, 2013 |
Stompin' Tom Connors, the legendary Canadian country-folk singer known for tunes that proudly raised a beer to hockey and other pillars of Canadian national culture, has died at age 77. One of Connors' signature tunes, "The Hockey Song," is practically a surrogate national anthem, regularly blasted at hockey games from Vancouver to Nova Scotia. Connors, a kind of cross between Merle Haggard and Gordon Lightfoot, also is known for workingman blues songs about long-suffering, hard-drinking proletarians, like "Bud the Spud" (about a potato-hauling trucker)
February 11, 2013 |
The Bakersfield minor-league hockey team is nicknamed the Condors. Somewhat fitting here in California, where the condor is slowly making a comeback, although the giant bird featured in the video above is an Andean condor and not our native species. You have to love minor-league franchises for always looking to spice up pregame ceremonies or enticing fans to the stadium or arena with unique promotions. But when the ECHL team had a handler bring a condor to the middle of the rink to be perched there during the singing of the national anthem, things slowly got out of hand.
January 30, 2013 |
Forget the imagery of a kid with his face pressed against the glass, watching his friends play hockey games. Kings left wing Dustin Penner got his point across Wednesday with sharp humor, skillfully describing the current situation. "I'm waiting like a dog in a car, waiting to be let out," said Penner, who has been a healthy scratch for three straight games. Let's hope the windows are rolled down. "Just half an inch so I can't get my snout out," he said. This is just one way of saying he is all right.
January 4, 2013 |
The NHL's labor dispute is finally lumbering toward the finish line, leaving in its tortured wake untold damage to fans' faith and deep dents in the wallets of team, arena and restaurant workers who depend on hockey games for their livelihood. The next few days' negotiations between the league and the players' association will determine whether there will be an abbreviated season or if the only victories at stake will be won in courtrooms. An ominous tone crept in Thursday, when two small-group sessions produced no real progress and the NHLPA asked its members to take the complex legal step of approving a potential dissolution of the union.
October 7, 2012 |
If there's anything more American than a college football game, it's the marching band's halftime show. Baseball games don't have it. Pro football games rarely have it. Hockey games definitely don't have it. It's a beloved oddity of tuba-flavored Americana jammed halfway between four quarters of watching giant men batter one another. And despite the brutality of American football - where the athletes get bigger and faster every year and careers are brutish and short - marching bands have helped usher nerd culture into the mainstream.
June 23, 2012 |
Eventually, you knew it would happen. Some 9-year-old boy from Orange County who started going to hockey games in Anaheim would grow up, turn into a legitimate prospect and get drafted by the Ducks. Saturday was that day. The Ducks made it happen at the NHL's Entry Draft in the second round at Pittsburgh, taking left wing Nic Kerdiles of Irvine at No. 36, the first time they drafted a player raised in Orange County. Kerdiles, heading into his freshman year at the University of Wisconsin, not only attended Ducks games in their Stanley Cup run in 2007 but managed to go to Kings' playoff games, including two games in the Final this year against New Jersey, Games 3 and 6. The 18-year-old, who was born in Texas and has a French father and French-Canadian mother, didn't even hesitate when asked if he remembered his first Ducks game.