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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Chops- Closed Door Meeting

Well, the Schlegels seemed to have really screwed DM hockey fans:

Owners of the Iowa Chops hockey franchise violated American Hockey League rules by pledging the assets of their club as collateral for a loan last year, records show.
League officials declined to discuss the club owners' loan. But AHL President Dave Andrews said in January that owners were not permitted to use their franchises as collateral.
"We don't allow it," Andrews said. "There is no one that has their franchise as collateral with a bank. If you pledge your franchise, we eliminate you."
Andrews' statement that the league would "eliminate" franchises that were offered as collateral was made at a news conference held in conjunction with the AHL All-Star game.

The league president said the rule requires club owners to maintain the financial ability to operate franchises without using the value of the team to borrow money. He did not elaborate on those comments.

Aaron Artman, vice president for Schlegel Sports, declined to comment about the amount or reason for the loan.

"We're working through all the current challenges with creditors, local businesses, Polk County, Global and the AHL, and we're hopeful that we reach a positive solution in the coming weeks," Artman said.

Perhaps the most disturbing news is that the meeting between Polk County and the Schlegels aren't even taking place here. They have been meeting in DC. Also, only two reps at a time have been meeting to avoid public notice; the meetings have been behind closed doors.
Basically things look really bad for us here...

Thanks for doing such a fine job operating our team Kirby! It's nice knowing that an idiot from Texas pretty much screwed us from day one!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Reminder Lax Tomorrow

Saturday 11:30 AM Valley Southwoods
-As Usual

What if You Had One Shot, One Opportunity?

If you are any kind of hockey fan, then tonight is the biggest night of the year. Tonight is the biggest hockey night since June 17, 2006. "Why?" you ask. Simple - tonight is the first time since 2006 that the Stanley Cup Finals have reached Game 7.Since the adoption of the 7 game series in the 1938-39 season, the finals have only gone to a 7th game 13 times! That means in the 69 years of best-of-7 play, the winner was determined in less than seven games over 80% of the time! The odds of seeing a seventh game are less than one in five!*
Given the limited occurrence of the seventh game, this year's Stanley Cup Final will be dramatic in itself. The rarity of a single game effectively determining the best professional hockey team in the world (or North America at least) will undoubtedly draw viewers. Creating a Superbowl atmosphere is a difficult task in a sport often described as "niche" by the American media. Luckily tonight's game is doing just that. Knowing that this final game will truly put the teams in a winner-take-all situation adds to its intensity. Two teams will enter and one will leave hoisting the oldest sporting trophy in the world.
What great and deserving teams they are too. The Pittsburgh Penguins are one of the league's oldest franchises after joining in the initial expansion of 1967. Over the years they managed to acquire some big-time stars. Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, Ron Francis, Larry Murphy, and Paul Coffey were all part of the Penguins back-to-back Stanley Cup champion teams in 1991 and 1992.
Today the team is anchored by stars Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal, Marc-Andre Fleury, and Sidney Crosby, the league's most well-known player. All were part of Pittsburgh's third trip to the Stanley Cup finals last year and fought hard before succumbing the Redwings in game 6. Joining them this year is Slovakian star Miroslav Satan. Thus far the reconfigured Pens have proved that they are a legitimate, even if young, team. Taking the defending Stanley Cup champions to a seventh game is impressive to say the least. When that team is the Detroit Redwings, that feat is unspeakable.
Lindsay. Abel. Howe. Sawchuck. Yzerman. Larionov. Fedorov. Lidstrom. Osgood. Zetterberg. Datsyuk. What do these players have in common? They are but a few of the names etched onto the Stanley Cup under the Detroit Redwings.
As an "Original Six" team, it is not surprising that Detroit has hoisted the Cup 10 times after 22 visits to the finals. Sure most of the victories came in the pre-expansion era (1967), but things have turned around for the storied club. Ending a drought that started after losing to the Montreal Canadians in 1966, the Wings made their return to the finals in 1995 where they were promptly swept by the New Jersey Devils in four games.
This loss sparked the Wings who won the President's Trophy the following year only to be blocked from the finals by the Colorado Avalanche. In 1997, the Wings found revenge by defeating the President's Trophy winning Avs to reach the Stanley Cup finals for the second time in three years. Unlike their last visit, the Wings swept the series by beating the Philadelphia Flyers in four games.
A second modern era Cup was won the following year, but the Wings would have to wait until 2002 to win a third. Steve Yzerman, a 1983 draft pick who had spent his entire career in Detroit, captained the team to all three Cups. He retired in 2006. After his number was retired by the team on January 2, 2007, Nicklas Lidtrom led the team to yet another Cup. Winning in six games over the Penguins showed Yzerman's understudy had the heart and determination to lead the team.
Of course the question remains who will win the Cup? Will Detroit repeat and establish themselves as a neo-dynasty? Will the upstart Pens finally help Crosby establish credibility as a true superstar by winning the Cup? Regardless we are in for one heck of a ride tonight! My prediction is that Detroit will continue the spirit of this series and win at home in regulation. I'm curious to know your thoughts...*The Cup was won after 7 Games in: 1942, 1944, 1949 (Detroit), 1954 (Detroit), 1955 (Detroit), 1964, 1965, 1971, 1986, 1994, 2003, 2004, 2006. There was no Stanley Cup Finals series in 2005 due to the NHL lockout of the 2004-05 season.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Lacrosse on Wednesday Night

On the heels of tonight's cancellation, I am confirming that there will be lacrosse tomorrow night (6/10). Cam confirmed that he will be running the session as I will be out of the city. He assured me that he will be there at 5:30 pm. As usual, the session will be at Valley Southwoods.

For questions about tomorrow night, contact Cam. This is the first step towards establishing a second weeknight session as many of you have requested. Hopefully we can get a solid and consistent system in place soon.

We will have our regular sessions on Thursday and Saturday, weather permitting. All three sessions will be full pads. Contact me if you need anything.

On an unrelated not, Paul Tierney has left Princeton to become the head coach at the University of Denver. I am not sure how this might affect any potential camp with DU in the future...

Some Good Reading

After all of the headaches surrounding tonight, I thought a little break was in order. I have been wanting to make a post like this for a while, but the summer league stuff and Chops drama has made it all but impossible.
Having a blog is a tough thing to do. Most writers create a site, post some stuff, and hope that somebody reads it. Sometimes it takes a couple of days; sometimes it takes a few weeks. Unfortunately there are times that nobody seems to discover a blog at all.
Getting a blog noticed is hard work. Most notoriety comes from word-of-mouth. Occasionally sites get found on random Google searches, but getting a site to ping is tricky business. Site pop up on Google based on complex algorithms which calculate number of visits, number of sites linked, number of sites lining to, date of last post, etc. Even then, you may not know what you are getting into. Blogger has a nice feature, "Next Blog," that allows you to visit a random blog. Unfortunately you literally hit a random blog, which sometimes means foreign languages. A search button would be much more useful...
All of this brings me to the point of this post - I have compiled a list of blogs/sites that I routinely visit and have provided a brief description of their content. Please do the author(s) and yourself a favor by checking them out:

Yardbarker: Kyle Harrison - The personal blog of the professional laxer (Denver Outlaws), Nike/STX spokesman, and former Johns Hopkins standout. Harrison gives his take on everything from the latest lax gear to the MLL to movies. Sometimes he writes his posts and sometimes he videos them. Always entertaining and informative. The 2009 K18 line by STX debuted here...

412 Lax (Virtual Varsity) - Written by a University of Pittsburgh (MCLA) player, this site is devoted to college lax, particularly the under reported MCLA. Topics include uniforms and equipment used by club programs, the skill levels around the MCLA, the state of the league and its programs, NCAA lax, pro lax, etc. Every once in a while he divert from lax for a humorous post or to discuss the Pittsburgh Penguins. His posts are usually golden.

LaxBuzz - I've just started reading this blog and I do not read every post. It is fairly comprehensive and covers pretty much all things lax - from MLL to 6th grade girls programs. Very informative to say the least...

Alien Hockey - Started by the former owner of the now defunct Des Moines hockey store, Alien Hockey, this site focuses mostly on the adult hockey scene in the DM metro. Joe's infusion of humor makes his adult league "predictions" a worthwhile read. Posts about the various adult leagues and tournaments are the norm and information about youth leagues appears from time-tom-time as well. Chops and Bucs news sometimes appear. Joe was the first person to publicly predict the "Chops" name; he did so in his store around April 2008...

The Iowa Chops - Fan blog about the local AHL franchise. May be a victim of no readers...

Puckdrawn - Focused on hockey uniforms, logos, etc. Great concept work and home of some outstanding design concepts. Some of the stuff here blows away the actual NHL teams' designs. Every once in a while you will also stumble across a nugget of league news.

Icethetics - Mostly a logo concept site. There have been brackets and battles to determine the best logo/uniform in various hockey leagues. Very focused on how hockey teams look on and off the ice. Posts are not as frequent as they once were...

American Pro Hockey - Comprehensive site of all things dealing with pro hockey. Primarily focused on the under reported and chaotic minor leagues. Links to full articles which the author takes tidbits from and then comments on. Very useful place to navigate the minor league hockey scene. Soem original content and interviews as well.

American Junior Hockey - Take everything I said above and apply it to junior hockey.

The Third Intermission - Houston Aeros fansite. While not an Aeros fan, I have discovered that this site does a better job of covering our division of the AHL than any other. His insights are often ahead of the curve. It would be nice if the aforementioned Chops blog was at this level of coverage...

Pete the Il-uh-strey-ter - The chronicles and online portfolio of a working illustrator/artist. Some interesting stuff including original artwork. Some step-by-step examples of his work evolving from a paper draft to a computer rendered finished piece. Very aesthetically appealing style.

Des Moines Is Not Boring - Pretty self explanatory... Articles about various goings on in the Des Moines area. Designed to prove that we no longer live in Dead Moines.

Wasted Words No Longer - Original works of short fiction - primarily horror and sci fi. Plans to include nonfiction, essays, poetry, and other works in the near future.

Why I Suck - Personal stories, observations, and humor from a fairly intriguing Des Moines resident. Michael describes himself as "a lazy and worthless human being," but his posts are easy to relate to. His cynicism works as a defense mechanism that adds to the complexity of his posts. This is one of my all-time favorite blogs.

-If you've read any of these and want to recommend them, please comment below. The same goes for any other interesting blogs you've stumbled across. If you have a blog/site, post the address so people can check it out!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Tuesday 6/9 Is a No-Go

Bad news. Cam now has to work on Tuesday night. I definitely cannot make it and Zach will not be there. I am canceling the official session for Tuesday night. Sorry.
Wednesday night remains a possibility, but I am still waiting for confirmation that we will have somebody to run it.
I know people are eager to get another night scheduled, but I need to find a long-term solution. As of right now I can only run the Thursday and Saturday sessions. Access to the storage area is one of our hurdles. If anyone has any suggestions on how we can stabilize an additional night each week, please contact me.

Tribe 7