Sunday, December 18, 2011


young leland on the bench in tampa (thx to kingjafi for the pic)

there's a lot of talk about whether or not leland irving should get some nhl starts, and i think the general consensus amongst sane people is that he should get all of the games that henrik karlsson was "scheduled" to play as the flames' #1 backup 'tender. no more, no less. in that time, we'll hopefully get a glimpse of what we've got as a netminding prospect.

in a whimsical sortof analogy, i think young leland is like a geode, and we're on the verge of breaking it open. from the outside, he's nothing really to talk about. y'know, like this:

but we're on the verge of cracking him open and who knows what kind of gem we've got ?!!

unfortunately, i think hank will come back after only a handful of games for the kid (unfortunately ? yeah, i said that...) and the small sample size of games will not sway the flames' hockey ops folks either way. i wasn't a fan of the two year karlsson signing as i thought it essentially told irving they weren't gonna give him a chance with the big club, and that they would likely skip over him in favour of joni ortio in the coming years (with the timeframe and length of the karlsson/kiprusoff deals). i thought it was rather.... discourteous (?) to a goalie who'd given the org his all since being drafted in 2006.

i'd love for leland to prove he's an nhl-level competitor, and then take his contract renegotiations as far as they can go this summer when he becomes an RFA. why ? because i can't stand the continual mismanagement of assets on this team.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Arena Report: Rogers Arena

There are a lot of things to love about Rogers Arena: fabulous downtown location, easy access via public transit, heaps of great restaurants and bars just a hop skip and jump away, everything that happened there on June 15th, the golden goal... But they are all pretty much outweighed by the fact that the Canucks call Rogers home ;)

Like I said, there are a plethora of choices for drinks and food an easy walk from the arena, ranging from Vancouver-snobby to loveable dives. But last game I pre-gamed at a friend's place in Yaletown rather than at a bar, mostly because the booze is free, and Flames vs. Canucks games tend to require a healthy dose of booze. But also because Yaletown condos have views like this:
Sunset over False Creek.
Rogers has, I guess, become my home arena over the past few years, even though I loathe the Canucks to an unhealthy degree. Vancouver has a great pre-game vibe, with lots of energy in the downtown core, even for an early start game on a Sunday night in December. The walk across town is filled with people in jerseys streaming to the arena and piling into bars for beer and nachos, and it's a pretty friendly crowd, even for those of us in red. The Flames fans — and Calgary is usually well-represented — are always ridiculous happy to see each other, ducking across the concourse to share high-fives with strangers and shouting "Go Flames!" from the other side of the street while the Canucks fans remind us that our team has missed the playoffs two years running, and we ask them if they've lit anything on fire lately ;) It's a great place to be an away fan, really. (Well, except that the Canucks own the Flames. But we can hardly control that.)

Rogers has a pretty generic arena feel, though recent tributes to things like the Olympics and the Canucks' 40 years have helped. The in-game entertainment is decent, and there isn't a bad seat in the house. Which is good when you're paying $60+ to sit in the top row.

Iginla to Crosby and in plays on a loop on the concourse.
I was at the game with two ticket holders, and we had a healthy debate as to what might constitute signature food at Rogers Arena. My votes were for either White Spot burgers — White Spot is a Vancouver institution, after all — or rice bowls, because I'm not sure those are available in a lot of NHL rinks. They thought beef dips, which seemed a bit generic to me. So we appealed to Guest Services, who promptly sent us to get "the best sandwiches in the building" at a concession stand on the exact opposite side of the concourse from us...which was closed. Very helpful. And by that time we had about reached the point where I had to either feed one of my friends or send him home to bed, so we scarfed down overpriced sausages and chased them with crappy — and even more overpriced — beer.

And that beer...yuck. Luckily, Wiser's Centre Ice Grill is a full bar, and one of my friends runs a tab. It's a great place to spend an intermission, and it's possible to get up there, have a couple of drinks, and get back to your seat before puck drop. To be honest, most of the third period is a blur. Too many mystery shots during second intermission? Wiser's is also a convenient post-game meeting location when you've got friends spread across the arena. The only downside? The bartender refused to pour me a glass of water and instead gave me this:

 I'm not used to sitting up top in Rogers, but it does allow a great view of the fans streaming out of the game once the score gets lopsided, and there weren't many people in the stands by the time the game ended. Surprisingly it was the Canucks fans who were leaving, while most of the Flames faithful seemed to stick it out. Felt like the building was empty by the time the final buzzer sounded. In recent years it's become more common for Canucks fans to come late and leave early, unfortunately.

Post-game, we headed back to Yaletown, and ended up in...a couple of bars. And, in true Vancouver fashion, we ended the night at a raw bar. Because, well, why not?

FYI, raw oysters to end a night of heavy drinking? Actually pretty great.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

nyc: the nhl store boycotts cool flames stuff

this is definitely overdue (as is my arena report on MSG, i realize now) but the beauty of hitthepost is that we only write when we feel like it.... so i'm gonna try to hammer out a few entries over the holidays. starting today.

for the record: i totally understand the lack of calgary flames stuff at the NHL store on manhattan's avenue of the americas; it's not like merch sporting flaming Cs would be flying off the shelves in a market where half the shoppers probably couldn't find calgary on a map. heck, one of the ushers at the flames v. devils tilt last year in jersey asked me if calgary was in the the same league (ie: the NHL !!!), cause she'd never heard of it.... so yeah. you can definitely buy a jersey, and there are a few different options in tshirts, but what stunned me is that you can't buy a single "cool" item with a flames' logo (aside from this reebok ---avs and oilers seen in the background-- which comes in all 30 team models).

i asked an employee if there was any "good" flames merch available (maybe in the back ?) and he brought me a mug, an ugly banner thingo, a jarome action figure, and a mini-stick. just in case you thought you read that wrong, it was a shitty small mug, a banner, an iggy figurine, and a mini stick. no toques, no glassware, none of the basics, and certainly none of the AWESOME stuff:

(left: flyers zamboni nightlight !!!)
(right: habs hockey bag shaped toiletries bag/purse)

a brief (admittedly not-thorough) look over on doesn't have these items with a flames logo, either. i think it's totally bunk. the good news is that my east coast team is the rangers, and there was obviously an exorbitant amount of cool stuff with the blueshirts' logo. except i couldn't bring myself to buy any of it.... so it's not really that good news.

anyhow, it's xmastime and i would have loved it if one of my friends or family had the option of some cool flames stuff to get me. instead, i'll probably get something lame (cause that's all there is). ah, well. i've already got two signed gio jerseys so it's not like anyone could top that anyways... ;)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Happy Holidays Flames Fans.

Courtesy of my dear friends over at eBay (who I may add are the newest sponsor of my posts here at htp)...I bring you the Calgary Flames Gnome...

Just in time for the holidays, you can get yourselves (or a family member or loved one or that Oiler fan at your office who was so sure the Oil had turned the corner this season) one of these interesting pieces of Flames merchandise. It's not really clear to me what this gnome is used for but it seems to be some sort of garden item. Duh...who doesn't know you're supposed to put gnomes in your garden...especially ones wearing Flames jerseys that appear to be on fire. I'm sure they're supposed to scare rabbits or some sort of vermin away from eating those prized carrots you've been growing for the past few months. Anyways, Travelocity has nothing on this particular bearded little man and your neighbors will be soooooo jealous. Here's the of the time I've drafted this post, there are two available for $24.95 each plus $4.99 shipping ($30.58 CAD). You know they're gonna get snatched up fast (stocking stuffer for sure) after this post goes live so here's the link...

Happy Holidays Flames Fans!

blogger meetup: DECEMBER 23 !!

(darren helm as todd bertuzzi. editor's note: i'm now in love with darren helm)

hey, remember last year when we held a blogger meet-up at schanks north (cause steinberg was working the game and had to be there) on december 23rd, and the flames beat dallas and then the entire season started to turn around ? yeah, well we're doing that again and hopefully it'll spurn the same results (though a playoff finish, would be nice this year, thank you very much).

where: schanks north, 103 crowfoot terrace NW calgary
when: december 23rd, 2011 8:00pm
who: flames v. canucks
why: to hang, chill, watch, cheer, drink, and have fun with some of your calgary flames blogger brethren. also ? why NOT ??!

i'm fairly certain that the guestlist will be decent. i'll be there, for starters. i know Pstein will be there cause he gets paid to. hitthepost sometimes-blogger mikeH will be there, and jazzyV from M&G. if any of kent wilson from flamesnation, hayley from M&G, and our very own duncan are in town, they'll show up for sure. maybe dph will come if he can free himself from the new family. newsboy says he'll make the effort from mackenzie town (hopefully he brings the wife cause she's outrageously hot), and wilhelm from edmonton has pondered the journey.... are YOU coming ?!?

(you should)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

pocket gaudreau hits the dome !!!

pocket gaudreau watches the flames beat the avs 3-2

pocket gaudreau looks for the fleury banner

stay tuned for the continuing adventures of pocket gaudreau...

the pocket gaudreau project

in conjunction with arik from M&G, i present to you: the pocket gaudreau project. born out of pure flames-loving giddiness and a penchant to over-adore prospects ( MIGHT have been involved...), arik and i stumbled on this bit of fun during my sojurn at his pad in puerto rico last month. why ? because the flames blogosphere needs a mascot, and because john gaudreau (drafted 2011, 4th round, 104th overall) is unquestionably the CUTEST !!!
my backyard, december 8, 2011

anyhow, it goes like this: when/if you receive the pocket gaudreau in the mail, you must take some photos of him travelling gnome prank style before sending it on. if you would like to participate in the pocket gaudreau project, you can email me or arik your street address (,, and we'll try to get the cuddly little guy headed your way... please email one of us when/if you find the lovable wee dude in your mailbox so we can track his journey. i've definitely got enough of the current nerdy blog buddy mailing addies to get this party started....the adorable mini fella's making his first trip to the 'dome tonight (along with the inaugural game for the signed gio captain jersey) and then he'll be off to the warm beaches of aguadilla.

and, john ---if you're reading this ? i'm sorry about the harassment you're gonna get from your teammates forevermore...


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

arena report: first niagara center

first thing's first. buffalo gets a bad rap...

after attending the nov3 game at the joe louis, my buddy zak and i packed up the car and took off on a mini roadtrip: via fort erie through canada to the peace bridge into buffalo to catch the flames play the sabres nov4. i never consulted a map on this beforehand (even though the plan had been in the works for eons), so i was somewhat surprised at the distance and route. but no matter, we got there and only fought like a married couple for the last hour-or-so.

admittedly, i can be difficult. i'm pretty sure zak's a saint. ;)

we started at the pearl street brewery for a pregame pint. zak had some kind of gouda soup that looked amazing (when you mix two of the world's most wonderful things, cheese&soup, how can you go wrong??) but i opted to wait for the arena snack... pearl street brewery is awesome, and about a block and a half from first niagara, so we were obviously surrounded by blue sabres jerseys. still, there was the occasional spot of red (mostly IGINLAs but the occasional FLEURY and one, special, solitary GIO retro captain jersey). flames fans represent.

our seats for the game were by the glass and we got a good close-up look at enroth's heroics and karlsson's height. it was nice to see reggie front and centre, too, and i think we were on the telly once or twice. the arena itself is on the newer side, like the excel or the prudential, with a nice windowy & wide open concourse. i wasn't such a big fan of the green floors, though, and i couldn't come up with a good reason why they'd do that. it was also quite a massive leap from the more storied, older joe louis we'd been to the night before... still, we found and photographed their mascot, sabretooth, whilst on a beer run (we were slamming labatt king cans, since our "good" beer options were non-existant).

the arena snack was a bit tougher to find. most people suggested hotdogs or nachos (the nachos actually looked DAMNED fine, with rice and other interesting toppings ---see them in the background) but the information booth dude pointed me towards the fried bologna sandwich. it was essentially a 1/2" thick slab of grilled hotdog meat with fried peppers and onions and topped with fake cheese; SO wrong but actually not that bad tasting.

midgame, i hit the ladies and the girl in front of me had a signed tyler myers jersey. it was rad, but i couldn't help but notice that myers had signed a little extra something that i can only assume is 100% legit (and 100% embarassing):

postgame i met a dude in the concourse sporting a giordano jersey. he REALLY liked the gio captain model and wanted to take some pix of it, then surprised us with the fact he was gio's first cousin and invited us to meet the man himself. the whole giordano mafia was there; gio's bro, dad, uncle, and cousins since the rink is only an hour from toronto. i got the captain jersey signed (gio says sheepishly, "oh, i don't know about that" but his pops looked pleased as punch!) and nabbed some killer photos of this episode, but they're not for public consumption.

after the game, we went bar hopping. first we went back to the pearl and sampled the don cherry cherry ale. generally, i'm not a massive fan of fruity beers but i really enjoyed this one. honestly. probably one of my favorite pints ever (next to the left hand sawtooth i had in NYC, but that's a whole other story). from there we cabbed to cole's up elmwood, but the kitchen was closed, so we ate wings at some other fast food type place, witnessed a Tbone car accident, hit mcgarrett's for a laugh, then the blue monk for some local brews (where we met clutterbuck's cousins), then we cruised down to allentown and tossed back many a brew at hardware. *sigh* it was a fun night but ohmygod i couldn't deal with a 4am last call on a regular basis.... ;)

the moral of the story: buffalo's a pretty fun town.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Arena Report: Nationwide

Columbus probably isn't at the top of anyone's list of place to take in an NHL game. It's a non-traditional market with a perennially struggling team. Getting there is a pain in the ass: the return trip from Vancouver required 28 hours of travel, five airports, and six flights. And what is there to do in Columbus? (Aside from hang with good friends, of course?) Enough to keep me busy for a few days, it turns out.

Columbus has got a pretty great zoo — complete with otters — some kick-ass locally-made ice cream, and of course, The Ohio State University. It'd be pretty impossible to overstate the importance of OSU to Columbus. At least 1 in 10 of the people I saw out in public were decked out in OSU gear. The Buckeyes stores are ubiquitous, massive, and carry everything from the official OSU candy (George, you'd love these; they have the perfect ratio of chocolate to peanut butter) to underwear to expensive jewelry and signed merchandise. The campus is huge and gorgeous, and as an institution inspires impressive loyalty from the populace.

Loyal locals are an owner's dream, but Columbus's struggles as a hockey market are well-documented. And really, who can blame the fans? One post-season appearance, in which they were swept, in 10 seasons leads to a lot of empty seats. I was on hyper-alert for any hint of a hockey fan. I zeroed in on the guy in the Blue Jackets coat when we grabbed breakfast at Panera one morning. Another in a Jackets t-shirt at at the OSU arena. A hockey equipment store in the northern 'burb where I was staying. And...that's about it.

But we hit the (one and only) hockey bar in Columbus on Saturday night, and lo and behold, shortly after the 8pm puck drop the place filled up. R Bar was standing room only by second intermission and, while there were more than a few OSU-clad fans, the vast majority were in Jackets jerseys. They wore hats and scarves and screamed at the TV. Drinks were decent, our server told me to help myself when I asked if I could have a Blue Jackets pint glass, and there was Leafs graffiti in the bathroom. Just like home... ;)

Game day was the Monday to start a holiday week in the US, so I guess it's not surprising that the announced attendance, just over 11,000, was an exaggeration. Still, it boggles me that you can pick up row six seats for $25 on game day.

Not bad for the "cheap" seats.
There were maybe 30 people watching the warmups (which may explain why there was a close-up of me on SN), and lots of empty seats. This was my first game in a non-sellout building, and it's...different. The crowd was quiet, and it felt really tiny because the stands in Nationwide aren't very steep — it creates a cavernous, empty feel. But there are some definite benefits to a small crowd. I never once waited in a queue for the toilets. During the second intermission, I used the bathroom, went back to my seat to finish a drink, trekked back to the concourse for more beer — where I made friends with the guy in front of me by chatting about how the Jackets can strengthen their fanbase (winning was the consensus) — and was still back in my seat before puck drop. Sorry, wi, I skipped out on the food of choice (which is a "cheese coney," basically a chili cheese dog. And since I don't like pie, I'm sure you can all guess my feelings on that). But the beer...

They sell local microbrew in Nationwide, from Columbus Brewing Company and Great Lakes Brewing, among others. It's not cheap, but arena beer never is, and it was worth the extra dollar or two to avoid the Bud. And like I said, no queue :)

They have their own strange rituals at Jackets games. The crowd tried to get the occasional "Let's go Jackets!" going, but after the first one to start the game, they never got any momentum. Later, a few loud patrons went with "Let's go Clitsome!" and, when that died off, "Get some Clitsome!" which lasted even less time. Sorry, wi ;) After Columbus's third goal, everyone in the place stood up and started chanting "CHILI!" in what was the loudest goal celebration of the night (Apparently a ticket stub gets you free chili at Wendy's if the Jackets score three or more in any game.) No one sings along with Locksley after a goal. Maybe they're still getting used to a new goal song? Or maybe they're just recovering from the cannon. Because the Jackets have a CANNON! And while I heard it too often for my liking on Monday, that's pretty cool :)

(Thanks for inviting me to join the team, wi. I'm very long-winded, so I hope you aren't regretting this already ;) I even have an anti-Canucks post all ready to go in my head week or something.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

hit the post grows again !!!

without consulting my hitthepost bretheren, i've opted to grow the brand yet again by inviting our favorite flames fan from canucksville to join us in the blogging arts.... (hey, it's not like any of duncan, mikeH, jafi OR myself write anymore anyways).

so, sarah ? welcome. write as much as you want, sister.
make us look bad.

PS: we are gonna kill the SHIT out of the arena reports and all sorts of flames-related baking.


Monday, November 21, 2011

arena report: the Joe

three months ago, my friend zak took a trip to detroit. amongst the decay and hardships of the rustbelt, he felt an underlying potential and a true sense of community, and that the city's eventual rebirth would be something truly incredible... he wanted to be a part of it.

within weeks he had an immigration lawyer, a house, and season tickets to the red wings.

november 2nd, i flew into windsor and made it cross-border on public transit's "tunnel bus" in one hour flat. i would've been quicker, but the homeland security agents were (to put it simply) a bunch of fucking douchebags. i don't think they bought my "i'm going to catch the flames play the wings" story until they saw the gio captain jersey in my suitcase.... ;)

the thing with detroit is that it has a pretty bad rap. i'm not saying that there aren't areas to avoid, and i'm not suggesting that there aren't sweeping changes that need to be made or that entire neighbourhoods shouldn't be torn down, but i think zak is onto something. there's a certain optimism in the air and the bittersweet smell of opportunity...

the flames seemed to notice, too, as they took to the ice at the Joe with reckless abandon and a rarely-seen ferociousness, and came away with two well-deserved points. like the city, the redwings fans were hopeful yet beaten-down; acutely aware of the grim desperation of the team's current losing record.

we pre-pre-gamed at the legendary marge's earlier in the day, then we pre-gamed at detroit's anchor bar, and even hit the post (yeah, we did) just before puckdrop. postgame, we wandered to tommy's and had a pint with tommy himself. at the rink, you can get a black and tan for under a tenner, and why wouldn't you !?! who wants to drink bud or molson or labatts when you can get a serious arena pour:

as for the arena snack, well there was lots of talk of the coney island dog being a big draw in hockeytown, but i had myself a little caesar's pepperoni and that certainly felt right on the money. for those unaware: mike ilitch started the pizza company in metro detroit (garden city) in 1959, and used $8mil of his fortune in 1982 to buy the redwings (and the tigers, but this column is about HOCKEY).

[editor's note: i had a great pic of my pizza, the black&tan and the ice surface / lower bowl of the Joe, but i lost my camera in NYC. i apparently lose cameras. it's my "thing"].

the rink is old and storied and dark and, like the other aging arenas in the league, feels like it's all just metal-wrapped concrete. the rafters are dripping with championship banners and the concourse boasts some pretty cool statues (ted lindsay stands out, here) and the pillars are "camouflaged" with player photos that can also be used to recall your section ---i used joey macdonald to find my seat after a quick run to the restroom during a tv timeout.... and while most of the newer league venues have painted their concourses in shades of butters (excel ctr) and creams (prudential), the wall colour of choice in motown is black. hm. go wings.

anyhow... it's a pretty incredible joint, i gotta say. you sortof have to see it to believe it....

Friday, October 28, 2011

proof positive that the flames mgmt reads htp

how else can you explain my two favorite players on a poster together ?! ;) seriously, though. gio: get some sleep. mickis: you're lucky you're swedish, bro, cause the euro-mullet doesn't work on a lot of people.

speaking of mickis' hair: let's all hope he goes as dracula for hallowe'en cause that widow's peak is DYING to be the centre of attention... ;)

not sure about you but i can't WAIT to see who gets to eat popcorn in the dome rafters tonight, cause it ain't gonna be roman horak. i'm sure if glenX is healthy he'll draw back in, in lieu of a defenseman (though, i gotta say: dressing seven D, when only 3 are any good, seems like a bang-up idea to me).

i'm headin outta town for a par-tay. wish me and my hangover luck !

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

sam roberts hearts the habbies

just quick: i met sam roberts tonight (see above). he loves the habs and is a good dude. also ? his sax player is awesomer than awesome but doesn't care for hockey. no matter. he would not have partaken in the gang-sign habs (left) v. flames (right).

i think the sam roberts band is taking on the red deer rebels tomorrow am. hilarious for all parties. wish i was gonna be awake before 9am.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

a love letter to the new york rangers

dearest rangers:

it's no secret that i'm smitten with you. i find you so... intriguing. if i'm honest with myself, i'll admit that i do love you... just a little bit....

i've been saying for years (much to everyone's chagrin) that you're my east coast team. it all started when jfj shipped immonen, kondratiev & a pick (korpikoski) your way in exchange for brian leetch on deadline day in 2004. hey, it doesn't hurt that new york is one of the best towns on the planet, that MSG has a storied history, that your fans still make fun of denis potvin, and that your lundqvist is a looker. when i went to a subway series game in 2005, you gave me a bracelet with your name on it ---a much nicer gift than anything the flames ever gave me. honestly.... how could anyone NOT find you beguiling !!!

the move you pulled last night showed me, maybe for the first time, that you really care. i'm so flattered. i mean, i presume that you made the canucks look bad for MY benefit, and i imagine that you made the home fans jeer their starting 'tender just to make me smile. oh, rangers.... (*swoon*) you're just such a FLIRT !!

i should point out that i don't think much of your coach or your GM, and you DID harbour sean avery for years.... all forgiven, of course, when i think about how you turned our prusty into a real man... we agonize about his absence sometimes, but we're really proud of what he's done for you.

look. this is really hard for me to say, rangers, but... can you please go easy on my one true love tomorrow ? they've been having a tough time lately, and are feeling pretty bad about themselves. i KNOW they know how much you mean to me, and i really think it would lift their spirits if you could let them get a goal or six past your king. also, if you could keep your big guns from putting any kind of real effort up, thereby letting kippy get the dub, i'd appreciate it immensely.

if it helps at all, i'd be willing to meet up with hank tonight (even if he insists on wearing his fedora/tracksuit combination) to discuss any possible hurt feelings from you being my second favorite ---i can't help it that the flames are and will always be my soulmate... failing that, i'll swing by for a visit in november, maybe on the 6th when you play the jets. i'll cheer for you and yell "potvin sucks." promise...

much, much love --

Friday, October 14, 2011

why they will sell less beer at the dome (and other presumptions)

when i first saw the video of the bottoms-up pouring system (above), i thought it was pretty neat. kindof like the way i think that trick photography is neat, that having gio's lady follow htp on twitter is neat, that shadows looking like jim morrison are neat, that cats that bark like dogs are neat.... y'know: super deadly cool for a minute or two and then kinda just part of the fabric of life, filed in the "yeah, i've seen that" category.

i went to the 'dome for calgary's preseason tilt versus the dirty greasers a few weeks ago, and i have to say i was excited to test the bottoms-up system and the current on-tap selection of everyone's favorite americanized brew. the verdict: HUGELY disappointing.

1. budweiser is kinda gross. no way to sugarcoat that fact.
2. (and this is the kicker) the bottoms-up cup cannot rest on your lap/armrest as the precious amber liquid will continually leak out the base. i put it down for a brief instant on my knee and was left with a big, wet ring. infact, i found that my beer-holding hand was wet for the entire duration of my refreshment. i'm quite sure that four or five bevvies would result in pruney fingers....

i do understand the cost-savings in having little-to-no spillage in foam (aka: head) form and therefore i can acknowledge why the org would want to install such a system. i will also point out that i am not the voice of the masses, and perhaps there will be MORE beer sold this way.... but i will drink the tallboys from the vendors ONLY and will not sully my hands or clothing with the draft version... which has historically been my staple.


in other news, i'm going to detroit to watch the flames v. wings tilt on nov3, then i'll travel to buffalo to watch my boys take on the slugs (i'll take a moment in the parking lot to mourn where andrew ference got his face proverbially spit on by the club, leading in no small part to the +/- 10 no trade clauses the team currently boasts).

and finally, who's comin' to hudsons tonight to have a pint with me and my bloggy bretheren ? i've got $150 in winnings to spend cause i made mark giordano look like chuck norris.... everyone's invited.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

htp Goes eBay Hunting.

So the mediocrity of the Feaster era has officially started. How about the season opener last night!? Exactly what I expected from an organization that did not make a concerted effort to hire the proper general manager to right the ship. Damn...I promised myself I wouldn't rant.

Well contrary to wi, my absence from htp this summer has been self imposed. I struggled a lot this summer (pretty much from the moment it was made official that The Feast would no longer be "acting") to come up with entries that wouldn't be filled with pessimism and anger at the fact the Flames won't be competitive for the next few seasons. And around August I became positive again to an extent or at least hopeful for the season but I still didn't think I would be able to write something that just wouldn't eventually turn into an angry rant (See Langkow trade. It really is hard to stay positive.). I guess I had a form of angry blogger's block...something like that...until I realized that people come to htp for the lighter side of Flames hockey....and Flames fans would probably come in droves to this site this season (especially after watching last night's debacle).

Well then, regardless of the product that is put forth on the ice, the Flaming C and everything it stands for is something that unites us all as Flames fans, right? (Take a trip to wi's living room and you will know what I mean) And examining how the Flaming C is used and incorporated into society (such as a birthday cake...remember that one?) is probably something that would enlighten Flames fans and htp readers. SOOOOO....I went hunting on eBay for the wackiest, innovative, humorous, original, unique, legendary, practical, cool, ironic, and effective uses of the Flaming C and will be presenting them to you in my posts this season. This kind of writing should be angry rant proof. Afterall, if you like what I present to can buy it...or bid on it...I mean what other Flames blog provides you with such opportunties?

So here we go...I give to you the Calgary Flames Musical Baby Crib Mobile...

Yes, for those of you that have babies...introduce them to the frustration that comes with being a fan of an organization who's owners are absolutely inept at hiring competent hockey ops people. I'm actually upset that my parents didn't hook me up with one of these when I was a little guy. I do recall I loved my is one of the few things I remember from being a baby. Mobiles are cool generally...but this one is that much more cool because it has a bunch of bears dressed in Flames jerseys with helmets and hockey skates on. Badass. It plays a song called "Hockey Lullaby", which seems like an oxymoron, but I'm imagining it as some sort of a soothing version of the Fuldans or Barbra Streisand by Duck Sauce. By the way, could you imagine this thing with a bunch Jokers hanging instead of bears...? Ok...that would defeat the purpose...we don't want to scar or scare the babies...we just want to make them Flames fans. Anyways, it's a pretty cool mobile and apparently it is easy to assemble and adjust. The one down side to this product is that Canadian residents need to pay $25.00 USD in shipping, whereas American residents get free shipping. Ouch. That might be a deal breaker. (I'm assuming here that there are more Flames fans in Canada than the US...just a guess based on experience.)

If you're interested in buying this baby gadget, it will cost you $31.99 USD...but you won't have to resort to eBay auction bidding tactics since it's available as a Buy It Now (for those of you not familiar with how this works, Buy It Now is exactly what it buy it now at the list price, no questions asked). As of the drafting of this post, there are still 2 mobiles available. And now for the moment you've all been impatiently reading for....the link to the item...

You'll thank me later. ;)

Friday, October 7, 2011

hitthepost loves Gio

Hi all,

I decided that since WI is off in a trench someplace in Medicine Hat, maybe I would fire off my first post for the 2011-2012 season with this piece of wonderful news which we have been expecting around here for ages:

Donning the 'A'
Flames honour heart-and-soul Giordano with an 'A'

Who needs the effin' draft?  Not Gio.  Send him to Siberia, see if Gio cares.  Not bloody likely.  Dump him out in front of a goalie who only stops 9 out of 10 shots while he's on the ice.  Doesn't matter to Gio, he'll just invent a new position and play goal himself ("New Age Defenceman™").

I hope I can gush enough to come close to something representing WI's Gio-crush.  The guy has rapidly become a core member of the team leadership and I don't think anyone doubts the skills (anymore).  As a team over at hitthepost, we have always been happy to champion Gio, sometimes going to extremes.  All this is why I can say that we are not surpised, but definitely happy that the recognition is going to the right dude.

If there is one thing I'm looking forward to watching on the ice this season (and actually, there may only be one thing), its going to be the continued development of Gio in to a world class d-man.  Gio, you may have become the "alternate" on the ice, but here at hitthepost you definitely wear the "C".

Monday, October 3, 2011

okay fine. i'll write. ;)

so here's the thing: i've been busy.

i realize i haven't written a whole hell of a lot in the past few months, and i chalk that up to being pretty flat-out with work, my brother's wedding, my cousin's wedding in NYC, tiny holiday-type trips to toronto (twice), NYC, montreal, and a shit-ton of time in medicine fucking hat. ;) i've re-connected with old, old friends and pretty much fallen in love with my posse (aka: the screaming denzels), with whom i celebrate friendship day once a week, when possible. so here's my thoughts from the past few months, possibly even in chronological order:

1. development camp

historically, i've prided myself on being the only person in the flames' blogosphere without a 9-5 job and thus the only person in the flames' blogosphere with the ability to show up most days during the july prospect camp. not so, this year. i guess i'll hand the figurative torch over to jazzyV who attended more, wrote more, interviewed more, and cared more than this girl. i blame both work and my advancing age. but i digress.

i only got to go once this year, and had to play a little hooky that day ----i told my boss i needed an oil change (which i did), and he didn't seem to mind, so i took the afternoon off. ps: i have a killer job. ;) anyhow, after picking up some important work-related paperwork in the beautiful NE suburb of temple, i grabbed a sub & poutine from king of subs (btw: FUCK YEAH) and boogied over to the ol' don hartman for the afternoon sesh. jazzyV cabbed it over from westwinds station cause we couldn't figure out where the hell it was so I couldn't pick him up.... anyhow, walking into the sportsplex, i was reminded of that time i saw noodles in the entranceway... was that REALLY four years ago !? wow....

first thing's first: jay feaster and his cronies (read: conny) were suitably situated in the snack bar. part of me wanted to sit down and eavesdrop but really i just wanted to hang rinkside and chilly whilst watching the babies play. to be entirely honest, nobody really stood out to me, though i'd expected to see pretty awesome stuff from brodie and max reinhart. i guess you can't base an entire farm of prospects on watching a 45 minute practice... ;)

2. the tim erixon debacle

so the org couldn't sign a kid who didn't want to be here. hm. i think the scariest part is that the kid didn't want to be here because he was leery of getting a shot in the bigs (because calgary never promotes their chirruns). too fair, if you ask me. i wouldn't want to be a flames' prospect, either. not with the logjam of useless veteran 3rd/4th liners and the surplus of mediocre defensive prospects. it's kindof outrageous.

reading deeper into this, you have to wonder if calgary doesn't have a problem signing guys, full stop. there MUST be a reason (beyond sheer lunacy) that feaster has been doling out the no trade clauses like candy at hallowe'en, even though he swore he wouldn't. there MUST be a reason it takes five suits (edwards, king, feaster, holditch, conroy) to sign a non-franchise guy like curtis glencross. a reason brad richards turns down an eight figure contract. it reeks of "bigger issues" and is superconcerning at the very best. i wouldn't imagine this tim erixon situation will be the last time a kid thinks re-entering the draft would be a better option, career-wise. sad.

3. the overabundance of defensemen

i'm not sure exactly what the org was thinking, building a defensive corps of 12 potential big-club blueliners including jaybouw, gio, sarich, hannan, babchuk, smith, butler, henry, mikkelson, negrin, brodie, and breen. hahahaha remember when the flames went to the cup finals with a bunch of replacement level dudes ? yeah. the current incarnation is built for that exact situation. TWELVE !!? whoah. we're gonna win the cup twice this year.

i started writing this three weeks ago so i'm gonna post it now, even though i'm not TOTALLY done my summer sum-up. this is enough for the moment. perhaps there will be a part deux at some point later this week.

until then, enjoy what's left of first nations summer. it's bloody hot out there.


Monday, August 29, 2011

the real giordano photoshop contest winner

earlier in the week, flamesnation put together a mark giordano photoshop contest and it looks like yours truly is in good shape to win the bartab from hudsons. the reason i'm gonna take the title ?

1. gio IS chuck norris
2. i learned photoshop for that stupid contest
3. awildermode didn't submit this:

so, to my very special friend in cali, whom i've never met but i know is kickass, who i stood in line for 3 hours at a book signing for, who drives a delorean, and if i ever need a place to crash in redondo beach (?) i know i'm golden: you are the uncontested winner of the never-announced hitthepost mark giordano photoshop contest, and someday you'll do me the honour (yeah, with a U) of allowing me to buy you (many) pints.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

how is it possible that i never knew about this ?

it seems that last april, a bunch of the baby flames (aka abbostford HEAT) shaved their heads to raise money for cancer research. no real point other than there are some kickass photos here that demonstrate why john armstrong (pictured) is still an asset to the team (or at least to the girls who like the team), why chris breen should never sport a chelsea cut, and jimmy canaryshirt should never smile.

i actually attended a session at prospect camp before shipping out to the middle of nowhere for the better part of three weeks, and one of these days i'll post my (limited) thoughts on the day. it includes a trip to alberta king of subs, finding feaster miles away from the ice (in the snackbar, no less), and my thoughts on breen in an on-and-off ice capacity.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Canucks Ego Alert

I know I've been absent around these parts, but now that we're into the offseason, there isn't really much to talk about.  Sales of bottled Luongo Tears are not nearly where I expected them to be.  I suspect Bobby Lu has granted someone else access to the formula for sodium chokeride.

As it is, I have something to share today.  My ex-brother (I say "ex" due to the Canucks ball cap in the pic below) was down in Vegas for the NHL awards.  Good times were had, including partying with Roenick, meeting Danielle Sedin, playing slots with Dale Hunter, and hanging at the club with Corey Perry.  Plus, this little bit of gold from the pool at the Palms.  (I blank out his face mostly to save you from his ugly mug, but also because his kids might have to live with this shame some day.  And I really love the nephews.)

Note the highlighted area on Kesler's perfectly sculpted shoulder (What can I say? The guy is effin' ripped).  Here's the zoom:

Really Ryan?  A Superman shield with a "K"?  I was so surprised that I assumed this was some sort of temporary douchebaggery, so I looked it up.  Verification here and here (and if anyone ever repeats that I punched "Ryan Kesler naked" into Google image search, I'll rip out their throat).  I know that the innertubes are a big place and I am not the first to notice this, but I think it deserves to be shown again.  What an amazing display of egotism.  I fully expect him to get "Ryan Kesler is AWESOME!" tattooed across his back.  Fuck me.

Go Flames!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

a love letter to robyn regehr

my dearest reggie:

it is with both great sadness and overwhelming joy that i write to you today, because i've been informed that the biggest decision of your life has fallen into your hands. i understand you've been asked to waive your no trade clause with the calgary flames (the only nhl team you've ever really known) in order for them to send you to the buffalo sabres. you are incredibly fortunate to have your choice of fates, reggie, and i trust that you're giving it the mulling-over of a lifetime...

here's the thing: i know it's buffalo, which kinda sucks. but they do have the anchor bar and the original wingnight. admittedly, that's about it --but their hockey team has a lot of potential and a world-class coach, and i would imagine that might be a refreshing change for you... plus i'd bet a ton of dough you'll get paired with tyler myers and he's a pretty solid, punishing up-and-comer. i bet he'd learn a lot from you, and i bet it'd be swell to leave some legacy behind in the next few years before retiring (which obviously ain't gonna happen in calgary since they'll never bring any kids into the top six). plus you got your boys monty and leo there to welcome you to the fold... it wouldn't be all bad !!!

it IS a lot further from home, and from REAL home in saskatchewan. it's a lot further from roughriders games but they only really play a month into the hockey season anyways. you could still attend in the offseason...

if you decide to stay in calgary, i would be more than happy to watch you railroad the sedins and ales hemsky through the duration of your contract. there will never be anything quite like your tunnel of doom, and i'd be perfectly content to watch you run clinics on it through the next few years. realistically, though, you'll never be paired with anyone good enough to watch your back in the dome, and the D will never be good enough to win games when none of your teammates can score....

the choice is really yours but i can't imagine any good reason why you'd stick around, other than the presumed fact you've made some damn good friends in calgary. but think about it: andrew ference made some good friends here, too, but that guy won a stanley cup. maybe it's a sign from the hockey gods when you realize that he was traded after a game in buffalo....

anyhow, i want you to know this: you have been the best interview on the flames for a decade. you were the handsdown winner of the sideburns contest, and you're the most honest of the bunch; a charismatic yet crotchety beast... i think you would have made as good or better a captain than iginla, and would probably have led the team to greater victories. you were my favorite defenseman until gio came along (sorry bud, but i love gio) and i wish you the best of luck with the rest of your career, no matter where you choose to go. like the guys who left before you (ference included), i will cheer you on regardless of your jersey.... and finally? i want to thank you for playing your best and your hardest for this team through the good years and the bad. and if you ask me, you were worth theo fleury a hundred times over...

much, much love and all the best,

Saturday, June 18, 2011

bottled luongo tears: an htp original

hitthepost writer, mikeH, came up with his multi-million dollar idea during last year's playoffs, and figures he's pretty close to retirement now that he's developed a prototype:

(for the visually impaired:)

Directions: Add liberally to your cocktail to generate a smug sense of self satisfaction. Use plenty, there's more where these came from.

Ingredients: Fraser River water, sodium chokeride, hair gel.

cost will be based on demand. please leave your order in the comments section.


Friday, June 17, 2011

yet another reason to *loathe* the pink jersey

i still can't believe that vancouverites trashed their city (and each other) under the pretense of losing a championship hockey game... it really adds a little punch to the term "loser."

this might be a good time to point out that there are ever so many "canucks fans" who really only fly the green and blue for a split second every year when the team makes the post-season. this year, unfortunatly, when it looked like the dirty nucks would take the prize, it was probably these same ignorami (i'm looking at you, nathan kotylak, you unbelievable, utter moron) who decided the best way to console themselves would be to give the city a darned good reason to raise taxes... i suppose by tarnishing the reputation earned during the 2010 olympics, they did take the heat off of the fact that their hockey team took the night off on wednesday. thank god for small miracles, or whatever, i guess...

i do still know some folks that i feel awful for. even though a few pints and a first round win brought the goad out in goad, i still can't help but sympathize for a life-long team supporter who was so thoroughly devastated by the series' outcome that he sullenly described to me what it's like for a diehard fanbase to have such an unfortunate pedigree in playoff losses: "i would even say there is no fanbase more knowledgable in losing than our shitty, carburning, halfwit fans." as a true lover of the game, his team, and all that goes with it, it must be devastating not only to deal with the on-ice misfortune, but the realization that you're being represented by a horde of cretins...

while i like to boast that when calgary went down after the '04 run there was nary a fistfight on the redmile (just a LOT of bare chests), i'm not dumb enough to think that there weren't more extenuating factors that led to the difference beyond my belief that most canucks fans are simply awful... first is the fact that the "red mile" was a seven-or-so block stretch of the same road and therefore radically more simple to police than an entire downtown area. secondly, the city of calgary didn't put up a bunch of large screen tvs and encite the townsfolk to gather in droves without the proper amount of law-enforcing presence. and thirdly: the '04 flames were a mötley crew of nobodies and replacement players, led by a charismatic captain, a hotter-than-hot goalie, and the surliest coach in history. they weren't ever supposed to make it that far... the '11 canucks, alternately, were the best team in the league by a significant margin during the regular season, and were far-and-away the favorites to take home lord stanley's prize. the difference lies in expectation; while the flames fought to the bitter end, the fans were happy to have had the run. the canucks, on the other hand, fostered enormous feelings first of entitlement, and finally disappointment. a far more incindiary mentality, in my opinion...

anyhow, what's done is done. the draft is next up and i'm off to the big smoke then the big apple. it doesn't look like i'll be around for prospect camp this year, which is a drag, but i look forward to a blogger meet-up in ---let's say--- mid-august ? we can catch up then and discuss hockey at the time of year it's least in our minds....


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

so long, wallin.... *heart*

i came on here planning to reference a whole bunch of stuff i've said historically on the subject of niclas wallin, but it turns out i never wrote about it.... *typical* ... which means i can only really say "i toldya so" to the handful of people i've discussed it with in person: niclas wallin retired today, which makes my prediction [that he would throw in the proverbial NHL towel at the end of this season, returning to sweden] totally (though admittedly obviously) accurate. it also means that the cupcakes i made to celebrate his last game (referenced on twitter @hitthepost, may 24) will now be remembered for all-time as bittersweet....

happy and sad simultaneously...

not surprisingly, he will return to his homeland and play hockey for luleå HF, which is appx 30 kms from his hometown of boden in sweden. it sounds like he'll be named captain, too, so that's rad for a dude who was totally loved and will be sorely missed by his teammates... a seriously great guy all-around.

best of luck to the guy they call the big swede. i hope your new nickname is as awesome....

Sunday, June 12, 2011

not happy about this omen

i happened across it on my run yesterday, and even went so far as to call it a doomstone today...


(but good for you, goad).

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Vote of No Confidence.

And so it begins. The ineptitude and managerial ridiculousness that made the Calgary Flames an irrelevant bottom dweller in the late 1990s and early 2000s is back in full effect. And I've come to the conclusion that it didn't just arrive over night, it's been brewing for years, it was just shrouded in playoff appearances. But Flames fans, do not kid yourself, this organization is about as Mickey Mouse as it gets today and the trade of Tim Erixon is clear cut evidence that it is.

I've restrained myself over the last weeks to come on htp and draft up my assessment of the Flames hiring Jay Feaster as full time GM. My opinion on the matter is very simple and does not need to be elaborated on. It's a horrible hire and one that will set the franchise back for years to come. Feaster's hiring, qualifications, pros (not many at all) and cons, have been well documented by htp's friends over at FlamesNation so I won't be chiming in with my take. But I will say this, there is a reason the guy couldn't get a hockey job in the years after he was let go by the Lightning. Curious what he was doing during that time, read this. It speaks for itself.

Anyways, I'm my opinion the recent (forced) trade of Tim Erixon speaks volumes to who's currently running the Flames organization. It is an absolute vote of no confidence in Feaster in Ken King in Craig Conroy in whoever else you want to insert here. And yes it comes off as arrogant and egotistical from a young Swedish prospect who hasn't proved anything beyond some solid play in the WJC. But you can't take away the fact that his father played in the NHL and is well aware of how things run in NHL front offices. Had Erixon's circle of advisors (if I may call them that) really believe the Flames organization was going in the right direction they wouldn't have requested what they did. In the end, its not like Calgary is some dreaded place to play...the reason Erixon didn't want to sign with the Flames was because of his lack of confidence in the people that run the team.

Unfortunately, this is what Flames fans have to deal with. It's not going to get better anytime soon either. Just wait and see, Butter will get the axe next season when the team falls flat on its face; because for years the organization has been addressing their problems bottom up instead of top down. And I'll be the first to admit it, I was critical of Darryl Sutter but I'm starting to wonder just how many decisions he was really making and just how much was dictated to him, from the hiring of scouts and coaches to scouting and contracts. (Don't take that statement as some sort of backtracking, I am still laying a lot of the blame for the Flames' shortcomings on Daz.) We probably will never know, but we have to deduce things based on what has happened since. I've heard the rumors that Steve Yzerman turned down the GM job last year and if true, it's telling. I see them hire Jay Feaster (of all people) as an AGM when the GM is clearly on thin ice. I see them drag Feaster along as "acting" GM and then make him full time GM the same day they make Craig Conroy some sort of AGM. Then a few weeks into the job, Feaster can't lock up Erixon because Erixon doesn't want to play for them. If that's not a vote of no confidence I don't know what is. But think about it...if you were Erixon...would you want to begin your career with this organization? Think about it...

Monday, May 30, 2011

the game77 theory: an htp original !!!

y'know what drives me crazy ? stats that don't matter.

while i'm interested in hockey statistics in general (like the stuff that got me to third in my fantasy pool like G/A/PIM/SOG/Sv%), and i'm HUGE proponent of advanced metrics (corsi, qualcomp, zonestarts etc --all definitions can be found c/o behindthenet), when you watch a hockey broadcast or read pregames in the MSM, they often toss around meaningless numbers that make me want to throw things.

the one that comes to mind immediately is that the flames haven't won a game in anaheim since january 2004. that's a lot of losses, admittedly, but let's also consider that the only players who have endured the entirety of that dry spell were iginla and regehr. on the night of december 10th, 2010, when the flames rolled into the pond and every sportscaster in the universe was announcing the aforementioned seven-year win drought, mikael backlund's record in anaheim was a perfect zero-for-zero. brendan morrison's record in anaheim, whilst displaying a flaming C on the front of his jersey, was also unblemished.... as were babchuk's and kostopolous'. ultimately, the 2010 incarnation of the calgary flames had never played in anaheim as a group, and therefore (to me, anyways) the factoid is rendered meaningless...

in effort to show how thoroughly inconsequential some of these media-regurgitated items are, i came up with the game77 theory. i intend to use it as a retort to peter loubardias proving to the world that he can read the game notes, and therefore is aware that miikka kiprusoff is undefeated in the month of september against teams that wear green (or something equally insignificant).

cause here's the thing: the flames have won game 77 every year since 2000-2001... that's like 9 straight years !!! so this obviously means that they'll probably win game 77 next year, and that prospect clearly makes the data thoroughly important for mass consumption. OR, the flames are about as likely to win game 77 as they are game 76, and even mentioning the nine year run is sortof foolish...

these are the things i do when i'm bored.
see here for the actual data (and if you can't read it, i can email you a bigger version).

Sunday, May 29, 2011

separated at birth: mmm... sweeedes...

i saw the photo at left of alexander skarsgård (from true blood) and it reminded me instantly of the forsberg shot at right.

thought i'd share.

Friday, May 27, 2011

on the canucks winning the cup

i said it.
i've been quietly saying it for weeks now, but there is no point pretending it's going to play out any other way (though i'll be more than happy to be wrong !!): the hated rival vancouver canucks are going to win the 2011 stanley cup.

but here's why it upsets me the most: i don't like canucks fans. i used to say "i don't like canucks fans... save for the select few of my pals who are NOT bullies about it and THOSE guys are AWESOME and i'm honestly happy for them," when the orcas won.... but then there was that one night where that one friend said some unnecessarily vicious and deplorable words following my congratulatory message post-OT victory v. chicago... and everything changed.

i hardly slept that night.
i kept waking up with his comments in my head and i couldn't believe they were ever even imagined, much less stated, by such an upstanding dude... amazing what a few too many pints and a first round victory can do... (apologies have since been offered and accepted, cause i know he's an incredible guy, but i fear there will always be lingering sadness, on my part, that the incident even occurred).

so here are the ground rules. let's try to follow them, mmkay ?

1. flames fans and canucks fans will never agree on things NHL, so let's acknowledge that we are and will always be enemies and move on.

2. FRIENDLY gloating/ribbing/goading is allowed, VICIOUS gloating/ribbing/goading (such as that which appears on theo fleury's twitter) is embarassing and reprehensible. nobody needs to make fun of sexual abuse, child abuse, or drug/alcohol abuse (EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES), and straight up: nobody likes a braggart....

3. jealousy will occur naturally and unabashedly when one's hated rival is on the brink of a championship. let's just be respectful about it.

4. the canucks are going to win the cup. it's inevitable. i think we can all agree on this, so let's allow our canuck fan friends to be HUMBLY proud (almost lost in R1G7OT), and excessively happy. we, as flames fans, can sit back and dream about tim erixon and max reinhart....

5. canada's team IS team canada.

i remember when the flames beat the canucks in the '04 playoffs, 1st round, OT (i skipped the pixies live show at mac hall to watch game 7). my reaction to the massive victory wasn't "screw you canucks fans !" it was "OMG i'm SO excited, let's go somewhere i can take my shirt off and spend 45 minutes driving a single block !!!"**

good ? yeah ? now let's just all get along, shall we ?

**i'm paraphrasing cause i don't remember my exact thoughts, but it was something along that line i'm sure cause that's what some girls did.... more likely i was just repeating "HOLY SHIT WE FUCKING WON !!!" over & over in a trance-like state.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

i guess the green men took the night off

screengrabbed by htp buddy and steinberg bff, mitthands, during the broadcast of last night's disaster on ice (aka: game 2). uncensored version here. bummer you can't see the look on ben eager's face....

this post is for you, domebeers. ;)

Monday, May 9, 2011

monday randoms (it's been awhile)

every year around this time, FFWD magazine polls calgarians about their favorite stuff, later published as their "best of" awards. please go to ffwd's website to have your say, but here's some stuff i submitted (cause i like a theme).

ps: alex ruiz only narrowly won "sexiest woman," because i don't find matt stajan that sexy.
pps: i just wrote "matt shatjan" by accident. hilarious typo.
ppps: i entered domebeers over my own blog cause it was the only way to appease AZR for me writing "loubardias" in as the local tv personality (which was a jab, but seemed like a vicious-roundhouse-to-the-head type jab).


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

lunch and other tasty morsels for STH's

first of all, i want to apologize personally to ken king on behalf of myself and my bloggy colleagues from hitthepost who attended the season ticket holder's luncheon today and didn't speak up when asked "is there a blogger in the house ?".... people who have met me know that i'm super personable and easygoing, but in a room full of strangers i get painfully self conscious and ridiculously uncomfortable speaking out (the exception to this rule: karaoke'ing kriskross 'jump'...).

put it this way: my alias isn't walkinvisible for nothing.... but i digress

i will also point out to the masses that i don't believe we would've been persecuted by the org for being nerdy bloggers... unless a rep from domebeers had infiltrated the bowels of the 'dome on an offseason wednesday afternoon. part of me thinks kk wanted to know what a real-life blogger looks like (and part of me thinks he'd know exactly which of the 50-or-so folks we were), but he suggested that he was just curious how fast the following information would spread to the world:

there is a chance that the flames will purchase the calgary roughnecks lacrosse team.

[ps: ken ? if you're reading ? feel free to contact me at ---i'd love to talk to you about having a fulltime flames' blogger/tweeter. i write good reports and would even promise to not swear and i'd TOTALLY use caps] ;)


here are some other things kk touched on, in the order of (my) interest:

he talked about the coaching staff evaluations, and how it led to the dismissal of mcgill, cookson, and ("uhhhhhhhh....." king's eyes close... hand goes to forhead....looks to rollie cyr for assistance...) McLENNAN. sorry to say it, noodles, but the org president forgot your name for a sec. OR, alternately, refers to you so often as "noodles" that he couldn't remember your REAL name in a formal setting.... anyhow. not much info on gilly but it sounds like cookson lost his job to some tech savvy "consultant" who will be much better at operating the new fandangled video playback equipment. also, according to king, cookson wants to be an "on-ice" coach so the non-renewal of contract (aka: firing) is really in his best interest... as for mclennan, he was offered another unnamed position with the org that king suggests is not a demotion. i was gonna inquire about it but he probably wouldn't have told us anyways since he touched on the subject in his pre-emptive opening monologue. he did, however, offer the info that noodles has until "the end of the week" to make a decision on the offer. ie: two more days. [my feeling ? he's gone.... and i'm TERRIFIED he'll resurface in vancouver... ] king also noted that they wanted a bigger "veteran coaching presence" behind the bench, which hopefully means it no longer applies to the players. my fingers are crossed for the hiring of former AHL affiliate, lowell loch monsters, assistant tom rowe. natch. ;)

as far as announcing feaster as the official GM of the team, well ---don't hold your breath. they are still "going through the process" to ensure the "right fit." from the sounds of it, they want to announce the "package" in the front office all at once and are still filling in the gaps (this may also include coaching, that was unclear). kk DID suggest that feaster was currently in abbotsford reviewing things there, and that they were allowing him to choose his own people ---such as asst. GM--- which leads me to believe the "acting" title is in name only. i think it's fair to say it's been decided that this is the guy that will run the flames' future. hmph.... king said nothing about his own position, though i don't recall him having "CEO" after "president" in his job title before...?

3. UFAs
we were told that offers are out to "more than one" of the UFA players, and that they "want to sign" tangs, glenX & pardy, and that they "like" babs, karlsson & *gasp*staios ---for the right price. he went on about how much the org believes in karlsson & thinks he can take on 22 or-so games, and he also discussed glenny's deal; noting that 29% of his output came during 13 games. while that stat is interesting, more notable is the fact that the org is AWARE of this stat, and the presumption that they're using it to lower glenny's worth. [my feeling ? he's gone.... and i'm TERRIFIED he'll resurface in vancouver... lol]. king admits to the club (*cough*darryl*cough*) having overpaid some contracts, but doesn't mention bouwmeester, stajan, jokinen, bourque, sarich, hagman, kotalik, staios, or ivanans directly. ;)

using the classic businessman runaround model, kk suggests something to the effect of "just because we have room for young players doesn't mean we will have young players on our team." he did seem positive, however, about erixon and brodie, and mentioned them plus nemisz and bouma as the four frontrunners in this capacity. he also suggested "a couple others," though i can't imagine who he's thinking of, unless they feel they want to give jon rheault an actual contract, they're wanting to skip max reinhart straight from the dub, or he's forgotten keith aulie got traded to the leafs for a sack of pucks.

- they're looking at alternate urban sites for a new arena. places they're looking ? "to the north, uhhh, east, and south.... and west." lol. best quote of the day. ;)
- the salary cap should go up next year "by the cost of one of our UFA's salary." obviously that is massively different if we're talking pardy or tanguay but some maths thrown around were "57% of the total of the new USA tv deal divided by 10." or something equally perfectly clear.
- the next new 3rd jersey will be in three years at the earliest
- they're raising the price of beer by 25cents and will experiment with bottom to top pour technology.
- the team will not be going back to PPVs (sorry, nybo) based on inferior production quality.
- coaches grade the players after every game on a 0-5 type scale, and then there was something about these numbers being plotted on a grid. inneresting.
- conny's fitting in "like a glove" in the front office. sounds like he's going hockey ops direction, is a good player-to-mgmt 'go-between,' is dabbling in player scouting, and even looking into puck technology. no doubt doing it all with that big ol' conroy smile on. ;)
- the flames foundation is returning appx 2 mil/yr to the community. kk seemed very excited about a new project that will be announced sometime in the next year or so.
- asked when they're retiring #14, kk suggested the org is moving away from jersey retirement and towards more acknoledgement-type ceremonies. ie: iggy will get retired and fleury won't. that ticks me off.
- per game playoff revenue (lost) is "north of a million, south of two."
- kk discussed traffic concerns around the 'dome on gamenights and revealed the org has hired a traffic consultant to help make improvements. he wouldn't, however, go into detail because "if it doesn't work, we'll look like idiots."

...kindof like the 10/11 season, hunh fellas ?

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Ugliest Shoes Ever.

So in an another episode of Flames fandom gone wild, I would like to introduce all of you to the ugliest shoes ever. But just because they are ugly, does not mean they are not absolutely badass. For many years, I never thought I could top the gem of a find I had found at the Puma Store on Newbury Street in Boston, circa 2006...the Puma RS 100 Gold Rush...

Those shoes epitomized a golden era of Flames hockey and have been my go to Flames games kicks since AND you could wear them in public without coming off too flash. Yes, I wore them at the Heritage Classic too...which was not a super good idea cause I froze my feet in the process...but I represented, right?

Well I've topped the Pumas, I kid you not. And it wasn't really a find...I designed them myself on Converse's website and their creation is practically legendary. I have to credit Newsboy aka James Callsen of Calgary's X92.9 FM for informing me of the ability to design the shoes at Converse, so he definitely gets a high five for helping bring these masterpieces to life. For many years I had tried to create some Flames Nike Shox on Nike ID without much success. It was just too hard to capture the spirit of the classic NHL fan gear I was trying to create. The low top Chuck T's gave me the opportunity to capture all the glory of the NHL in the 1980s while remaining elegantly tacky. It is for this reason that while I contemplated including some black (which is a color in the Flames current color scheme) as a component of the shoe, but black did not make the final cut. In honor of the Flames bringing back the retro jerseys in recent seasons, the shoes' color scheme is straight throwback. Additionally, the shoes had to evoke the essence of the Magic Man....Joel Otto...the 86 Cup Run...and the 89 Stanley Cup. Honestly the only thing missing with these shoes is a mullet or a porn-stache. Truth be told, if these shoes existed back in the 80s, someone on the set of the "Red Hot" music video would have been wearing them.

With that said, it really takes a hockey enthusiast, and not just any Flames fan, to see magnificence instead of just an ugly ass pair of shoes. Hence the reason my girlfriend, a Flames fan, gasped in horror and exclaimed "Ronald McDonald called and wants his shoes back!" when she saw them. So if you're reading this blog, I am sure you are going to appreciate the pictures below. If you don't, this is probably your first time at htp or you are just an Oilers or Canucks fan looking to troll a Flames site...because a reader of this blog will just stare in amazement at the following...

Yep...they are ugly...and they say Go Flames Go on the side...but they are definitely #winning.