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Archive for the ‘Hockey’


Vintage Video: Remembering Gordie Howe “Mr. Hockey” 1

Posted on June 12, 2016 by Dean Hybl
Mr. Hockey earned NHL All-Star honors in five decades.

Mr. Hockey earned NHL All-Star honors in five decades.

Before there was the “Great One” (Wayne Gretzky), the king of the hockey world was “Mr. Hockey” Gordie Howe. During a 32-year career that spanned parts of five decades, Howe, who passed away Friday at age 88, was a dominating performer and skilled performer who was able to compete at a high level even past the age of 50.

Howe joined the Detroit Red Wings of the NHL as an 18-year old rookie in 1946. During his 25 seasons in Detroit he led the Red Wings to four Stanley Cup titles while winning six scoring titles and six Hart Memorial Trophies as the league MVP.

During the 1968-69 season, at the age of 40, Howe scored a career-high 103 points (the NHL expanded from a 70 game to 76 game season in 1967-68).  He was named an All-Star in 22 of his 25 seasons with the Red Wings.

After retiring in 1971, Howe returned to the spot in 1973 as a member of the Houston Aeros of the World Hockey Association. There he played with his sons Mark and Marty and soon proved that he was still among the best hockey players in the world. He was named league MVP in 1974 (an award renamed the next year as the Gordie Howe Award). He also led the Aeros to two WHA championships.

He moved to the New England Whalers in 1977 and after the WHA folded the renamed Hartford Whalers joined the NHL in 1979. Howe, at the age of 51, played in all 80 games of the 1979-80 season while helping the Whalers make the playoffs.

In a fitting tribute, Howe was named to the All-Star team with the game being played at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Howe completed his career having been selected to NHL All-Star teams in five decades. Also appearing in that game was 19-year-old Wayne Gretzky.

Below are links to some of the great highlights of Howe’s career available on YouTube.

 

Read the rest of this entry →

Head Shot: Sports with the Highest Rates of Brain Injuries 7

Posted on June 03, 2016 by Brooke Chaplan

soccer-headHead injuries are a common occurrence in many sports and can range from mild concussions, to severe or even traumatic brain injuries. All athletes, regardless of the sport, risk injuries, but some sports have much higher rates than others. Here is a look at some of the most dangerous sports out there.

Boxing
Boxing has one of the highest rates of brain injury of any sport. On average, being hit by a professional boxer is like being hit with a bowling ball moving at 20 miles per hour. About 90 percent of boxers, both professional and amateur, have received some type of head injury from the sport, and one in five have received a traumatic brain injury.

Football
Tens of thousands of people visit the emergency room every year with head injuries caused by football. This sport has the highest concussion rate for high school sports, and at least one third of NFL players have received traumatic brain injuries from playing. Read the rest of this entry →

Stanley Cup: Can Anyone Beat the Dallas Stars This Year? 0

Posted on April 13, 2016 by Andre Smith
Jamie Benn scored 41 goals and had 48 assists for the Dallas Stars during the regular season.

Jamie Benn scored 41 goals and had 48 assists for the Dallas Stars during the regular season.

The Dallas Stars have failed to make a major impact on the National Hockey League since reaching the Stanley Cup Finals series in back-to-back years at the end of the millennium. Back then, the Stars lifted the title in 1999 before coming up short the following year. However, they failed to build on their brief era of dominance and this is just the second time that Dallas have reached the playoffs in the last eight seasons. Can they go all the way and lift the Stanley Cup at the end of the grueling postseason? Only time will tell but they’re certainly good enough on current form.

Right now, the Stars are firing on all cylinders and Lindy Ruff’s side are looking strong ahead of the playoffs. Dallas won eight of their last ten regular season fixtures to ensure confidence will be high ahead of what could be a difficult seven-match series against the Minnesota Wild. As of April 11th, 32Red Canada price Dallas at 10/1 to win the Stanley Cup this season and, with a bit of luck, there’s no reason why the Stars cannot go all the way to the finals. After all, they’ve been one of the most impressive, exciting and consistent teams during the regular campaign.

Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin have both been simply sensational throughout the regular season and are key reasons for Dallas’ prominent position in the push for the Stanley Cup. While the likes of the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks both have impressive recent records in the NHL playoffs, the Stars can end the monopoly and win a second Stanley Cup if they perform at their best and tighten up defensively. Offensively, the Stars are one of the best sides in the league but they can be caught out at the back, especially with the inconsistent Antti Niemi in goal.

And although many Dallas supporters are pondering over Niemi or fellow goaltender Kari Lehtonen, it’s a no-brainer. It has to be Lehtonen. On his day, Niemi can be almost invincible but Lehtonen is the more reliable stopper and consistency is exactly what is needed in the playoffs. In a one-off game, it might be worth risking Niemi but when it matters most of all, Lehtonen has to start. In recent weeks, he has led Dallas to victories against the Kings, Blackhawks and the Nashville Predators which is no easy feat. Read the rest of this entry →

1980 USA Olympic Hockey Upset: Miracle on Ice 0

Posted on February 22, 2016 by Mike Raffone

MIKE Sports Comic - Miracle on Ice

February 22, 1980 marked a national day of pride in America.

It birthed a miracle in the highly competitive arena of international sports.

Known as the Miracle on Ice, an unlikely hockey victory took place at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, NY and lifted America out of its funk.

During that precarious era in our nation’s history, the 1970s was a decade comprised of war protests, a Presidential scandal, and a troubling economy.

In the midst of those uncertain and depressing times, Americans were nervous and ripe for a miracle to lift their spirits.

And, then came along an unexpected special moment in sports history.

The event produced one of the most amazing upsets the sports world has ever witnessed.

Team USA’s stunning win over the heavily favored Soviet Union National Hockey Team still stands as one of the greatest victories in the history of team sports.

This USA win remains an unforgettable highlight of the 1980 Winter Olympic Games. Read the rest of this entry →

#TBT Sports Blog: Former Philadelphia Flyers Bobby Clarke 1

Posted on January 28, 2016 by Mike Raffone

Today’s TBT sports blog remembers my favorite hockey player of all-time – Bobby Clarke – who once starred for the Philadelphia Flyers.

Seems like only yesterday that Clarke was skating effortlessly up and down the old Spectrum Arena ice in Philadelphia in his orange, black and white #16 Flyers jersey.

Now, long since retired and 66 years-old, this Flin Flon, Manitoba native became a three-time NHL Most Valuable Player and skated his way into the hearts of hockey fans everywhere.

That’s because Bobby Clarke personified old-school hockey. He played without a helmet and hit about as hard as any player who ever took the ice. The Flyers captain was easily recognizable by his wide, toothless smile, long curly blond hair and incredible skill on skates.

The 17th pick of the 1969 NHL Draft, Clarke played his entire career for the Flyers franchise. Even after retiring, Clarke continued with the organization for many years first as General Manager and most recently as a Senior Vice President. He’s still Philadelphia’s greatest player ever, holding team records in total points and games played. He also appeared in eight NHL All-Star games.

As the Flyers captain, Clarke excelled during the 1970s. In both 1974 and 1975, he led the notorious Broad Street Bullies to back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships. Read the rest of this entry →

The Zamboni: Baddest Maintenance Vehicle in Sports! 3

Posted on November 30, 2015 by Mike Raffone

The ZamboniMy guess is that the look and speed of the sports world’s most famous maintenance vehicle is the same now as it was back then, making it a perfect entry for today’s Sports Then and Now blog.

Driving this clunky ice resurfacing machine on wheels would satisfy nearly every hockey fan’s fantasy.

Who hasn’t yearned to climb behind the wheel of this giant tractor and take charge on the ice?

Perhaps the baddest maintenance vehicle in all of sports, whose top speed runs at just a mere 9 miles per hour, the Zamboni cruises in

The boxy Zamboni tractor scrapes, collects, washes, resurfaces and smooths the ice for hockey games and skating competitions.

In addition, the monster machine sprays and then squeegees 140 degree water and transforms once rutted and scarred ice into a shimmering surface that mirrors polished glass.

Founded by Frank J. Zamboni in Southern California in 1949, the Zamboni ice resurfacing machine has become the standard throughout arenas around the world. Approximately 200 custom made machines, at a price of $75,000 each, are manufactured each year.

The Zamboni’s iconic fame has extended beyond the boards of the hockey rinks it resurfaces. In the classic sitcom Cheers, Carla’s husband Eddie supposedly got run over by a Zamboni.

And, in a Peanuts comic strip, a fictional miniature Zamboni once cleaned the ice in a birdbath for Snoopi’s pal Woodstock

This heavy duty “bad to the boni” machine is dear to all who have watched it perfectly restore chunks and grooves in previously pock marked ice during intermissions at NHL, NCAA an biddy league games.

All the while these same hockey fans were dreaming they were ones behind the wheel of the Zamboni chugging down the ice at a speed most people walk…backward.

Now what fan could possibly argue that the Zamboni ranks as one of the best things about sports?

MIKE on sports!

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