Archive for December, 2008

Frosty’s Best of Hockey Media . . .

December 31st, 2008

Yes, believe it or not this picture is of Sportsnets personality  former NHLer Nick Kypreos. This was way back in his years in Hartford playing for the Whalers. Kypreos known as “Kipper” in hockey was once a big time scorer in the OHL. Then was drafted and at some point turned into a meat and potatoes type of player. Kipper ended up retiring from hockey as a Toronto Maple Leaf tough guy which helped propel him into the job at Sportsnet. He was very unpolished when he first started out but there is no question the reason we are starting with Kipper is he has developed into the players “Go to Guy” and the fans/viewers best choice to get the goods on hockey.

Players trust Kipper an ex player and straight up guy that still backs the NHLPA Union there is no question about that. I for one like to watch and listen to Kipper straighten out mouth pieces like Bill Watters on hockey related business to do with the players and the Union.

Kipper is not afraid in the studios of  Sportsnet or  590 The Fan Radio to get his nose dirty sticking up for players on issues to do with contracts and management issues. But Kipper tells it like he Sees it which you cannot deny is a quality in the media that is lacking.

So the best in studio personality simple there is no question is Kypreos. Kipper works Hockey Central and also works on radio on the best radio noon hour show on hockey in Toronto. You can catch this either on TV Sportsnet or radio on the The Fan 590. This is a must listen to show that has excellent interviews with hockey people every weekday. The Host on both Hockey Central on Sportsnet and The Fan is Daren Millard. Millard who seems to be some sort of recreation goalie who Kipper loves to make fun of mixes well with Kipper and the two have good chemistry . So the best radio/TV weekday hockey show to tune into is Hockey Central.

Sportsnets other personality that deserves mention for writing or blogging online is Mike Brophy. Brophy is tight with Chris Pronger so basically anything he says about him is tainted but he does offer solid opinions on the game. Brophy worked for the Hockey News for years as a columnist before joining Sportsnet full time. I  dealt with Brophy over the years and he doesn’t bullshit like the majority of other print media in the game.

TSN’s Bob Mckenzie who worked as editor-in-chief for The Hockey News for 9 yrs before jumping to television as a studio Analyst. Mckenzie has always had inside scoops and on his speed dial are agents , managers, he can find out trades and contract numbers before they are public. They say years ago he worked very hard at this and now has settled into his regular gig on TSN. Mckenzie teamed with former Sportsnet host and employee Darren Dreger are pretty knowledgeable hockey media people. They certainly stick their nose in and push for the answers to questions on fans mind in the game. They are worth the watch there is no question about that.

TSN also has Gino Reda, a long time employee who has ran the gantlet at TSN, from Sports Desk to  Hosting and now  his own show ” That’s Hockey”. Reda’s show is on usually before NHL games weekdays after TSN’s Sports desk. That’s Hockey is a must watch to get caught up on the every day movers and shakers in the NHL.

Saturday’s Hockey Night in Canada comes on at 6:30pm, Sportsnets show Hockey Central is a must watch at 6:00pm. Again as mentioned previous with Kypreos and Millard as Host they bring you some great direct hockey knowledge with a good spin from Kipper. Neil Smith appeared on the show last week and the instant chemistry between the former GM of the NY Rangers and his former player Kipper was great. This should be a regular event if they can get Smith to do it, he was an added plus and as a former GM, he has great insight to the every day happenings in the league today. Smith a Stanley Cup winner with the Ranger is a thoughtful intelligent hockey guy.

Obviously it’s a Canadian institution to watch Saturday night Leafs games and for the real hockey fan the 2nd Western game too. I for one was hoping that TSN was able to steal away the rights to HNIC Saturday games because of the way they broadcast their own games.

So I have given you the Best of some of TVs  personalities but let’s go over some of the others worth mentioning on different networks across the board.

First off on Sportsnet, Gord Stellick is a witty guy that has good one liners at times that offers any panel he sits on something worth hearing. The former Leafs GM and now The Fan radio personality has always been a fair guy. Doug Maclean is a good listen because he’s funny and lets face it he has coached and managed in the NHL  so has experience. He is from Newfoundland,  I still hear his accent which makes me laugh, he interviewed fellow Islander Dave Cameron who coaches in the OHL the other day at the World Jr’s and it was priceless. Maclean can be heard weekdays at 2pm on sports radio The Fan590. I pay zero attention or don’t care who is leading these type of ratings wars. If I like a guy and think he is knowledgeable I will listen, but its not hard to see why The Fan590 ratings are better than the rest every year.

The Score has Steve Kouleas who Hosts Hardcore Hockey at 6pm on radio/TV and then again at 11pm weekdays. Kouleas is hyper for the fans and is seriously a knowledgeable cat with some strong  opinions on the game. This guy knows his stats on the game no doubt.

Also on The Score must watch TV is “Cabby on the Street” His real name and I only know this cause I researched it is Cabol Richards. Go figure I’ve known this guy as Cabby for so long  I started to think that’s what his mother must have named him. This guy is great, he has travelled to Stanley Cup victories, gotten interviews with all the best players, and has even then gone with guys to bring the Cup back home to their hometown parades. I know most of the personalities I’m talking about one way or another from my time in hockey. But this is one guy that I would do an interview with but I have never got to know him.

Also at the Score is Gerry Dee, who does interviews with players, on the street questions and give aways on camera that are good TV. Not sure what this guys background is either comedian or whatever but he is good television. He and Cabby have some sort of challenge between them right now going on that I wish I wasn’t so busy to watch, but my wife will PVR it for me. These guys earn their paycheques from the network on the lighter side of sports.

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Frosty’s Best of Hockey Media

December 31st, 2008

Yes, believe it or not this picture is of Sportsnets personality  former NHLer Nick Kypreos. This was way back in his years in Hartford playing for the Whalers. Kypreos known as “Kipper” in hockey was once a big time scorer in the OHL. Then was drafted and at some point turned into a meat and potatoes type of player. Kipper ended up retiring from hockey as a Toronto Maple Leaf tough guy which helped propel him into the job at Sportsnet. He was very unpolished when he first started out but there is no question the reason we are starting with Kipper is, he has developed into the players “Go to Guy” and the fans/viewers best choice to get the goods on hockey.

Players trust Kipper an ex player and straight up guy that still backs the NHLPA Union, there is no question about that. I for one like to watch and listen to Kipper straighten out mouth pieces like Bill Watters on hockey related business to do with the players and the Union.

Kipper is not afraid still in the studios of  Sportsnet or  590 The Fan Radio to get his nose dirty sticking up for players on issues to do with contracts and management issues. But Kipper tells it like he sees it which you cannot deny is a quality in the media that is lacking.

So the best in studio personality simple there is no question is Kypreos. Kipper works Hockey Central and also works on radio on the best radio noon hour show on hockey in Toronto. You can catch this either on TV Sportsnet or radio on the The Fan 590. This is a must listen to show that has excellent interviews with hockey people every weekday. The Host on both Hockey Central on Sportsnet and The Fan is Daren Millard. Millard who seems to be some sort of recreation goalie who Kipper loves to make fun of mixes well with Kipper and the two have good chemistry . So the best radio/TV weekday hockey show to tune into is Hockey Central.

Sportsnets other personalities that deserve mention are writing or blogging online is Mike Brophy. Brophy is tight with Chris Pronger so basically anything he says about him is tainted but he does offer solid opinions on the game. Brophy worked for the Hockey News for years as a columnist before joining Sportsnet full time. I have dealt with Brophy over the years and he doesn’t bullshit like the majority of other print media in the game.

TSN’s, Bob Mckenzie ,who worked as editor-in-chief for The Hockey News for 9 yrs before jumping to television as a studio Analyst. Mckenzie has always had inside scoops and on his speed dial are agents , managers, he can find out trades and contract numbers before they are public. They say years ago he worked very hard at this and now has settled into his regular gig on TSN. Mckenzie teamed with former Sportsnet host and employee Darren Dreger are pretty knowledgeable hockey media people that certainly stick their nose in and push for the answers to questions on fans mind in the game. They are worth the watch there is no question about that.

TSN also has Gino Reda, a long time employee who has ran the gandlet at TSN from the Sports Desk to now Hosting  his own show ” That’s Hockey”. Reda’s show is on usually before NHL games weekdays after TSN’s Sports desk. That’s Hockey is a must watch to get caught up on the everyday movers and shakers in the NHL.

Saturday’s Hockey Night in Canada comes on at 6:30pm, Sportsnets show Hockey Central is a must watch at 6:00pm. Again as mentioned previous with Kypreos and Millard as Host, they bring you some great direct hockey knowledge with a good spin from Kipper. Neil Smith appeared on the show last week and the instant chemistry between the former GM of the NY Rangers and his former player Kipper was great. This should be a regular event if they can get Smith to do it, he was an added plus and as a former GM, he has great insight to the everyday happenings in the league today. Smith, a Stanley Cup winner with the Rangers is a thoughtful, intelligent hockey guy.

Obviously it’s a Canadian institution to watch Saturday night Leafs games and for the real hockey fan the 2nd Western game. I for one was hoping that TSN was able to steal away the rights to HNIC Saturday games because of the way they broadcast their own games.

So I have given you the Best of some of TV’s  personalities but let’s go over some of the others worth mentioning on different networks across the board.

First off, on Sportsnet, Gord Stellick is witty, good with one liners at times and offers any panel he sits on something worth hearing. The former Leafs GM and now The Fan radio personality has always been a fair guy. Doug Maclean is a good listen because he’s funny and let’s face it has coached and managed in the NHL  so has experience. He is from Newfoundland and I still hear his accent which makes me laugh. He interviewed fellow Islander Dave Cameron who coaches in the OHL the other day at the World Jr’s and it was priceless. Maclean can be heard weekdays at 2pm on sports radio The Fan590. I pay zero attention or don’t care who is leading these type of ratings, If I like a guy and think he’s knowledgeable, I will listen but it’s not hard to see why The Fan ratings are better than the rest every year.

The Score has Steve Kouleas, who Hosts Hardcore Hockey at 6pm on radio/TV and then again at 11pm weekdays. Kouleas is hyper for the fans and is seriously a knowledgeable cat with strong sometimes out there opinions on the game. This guy knows his stats on the game no doubt.

Also on The Score must watch TV is “Cabby on the Street” His real name and I only know this cause I researched it, is Cabol Richards. Go figure I’ve known this guy as Cabbie for so long  I started to think that’s what his mother must have named him. This guy is great, he has travelled to Stanley Cup victories, got interviews with all the best players and has even then gone with guys to bring the Cup back home to their hometown parades. I know most of the personalities I’m talking about one way or another from my time in hockey, but this is one guy that I would do an interview with and have never gotten to know.

Also at the Score is Gerry Dee, who does interviews with players, on the street questions and give aways on camera that are good TV. Not sure what this guys background is either comedian or whatever but he is good television. He and Cabby have some sort of challenge between them right now going on that I wish I wasn’t so busy to watch, but my wife will PVR it for me. These guys earn their paycheques from the network on the lighter side of sports.

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NHL New Years Eve Games & Picks : Flames Spotlight.

December 31st, 2008

Last Night’s Games on Hockey God went 6-2 with an upset in Edmonton with the 6-3-1 in their past 10 Oilers losing to the Sens for just their 4th road win of the season.

TONIGHT’S GAMES:

FLA @ NYI: Take FLA, Panthers are the come back team of the first half. Islanders struggles continue. To make matters worse Andy Hilbert and goaltender Rick DiPietro are both injured.

SJS @ MIN: Take SJS, Sharks do not blow many games and have bounced back nicely since their last loss in Dallas and now will continue in Minny against the Wild.

COL @ PHX: Take COL, Av’s have been playing very well coming off a huge 5-1 victory over the Pred’s at home. Phoenix has a decent home record but won’t be enough for the home team.

ATL @ CAR: Take CAR, Canes at home against a weaker Thrashers who traveled from Toronto late last night after losing in overtime. Canes are starting to heat up as of late under their new coach.

NJD @ DAL: Take NJD, Devils will win in this very close contest in Dallas against the Stars. This should be a very close checking game and look for it to be a low scoring game.

CLB @ ANA: Take ANA, Ducks are at home which gives them the slight advantage over the Blue Jackets who are coming off a win in L.A. Ducks are a tough team at home and will be again on New Years eve in Anaheim.

EDM @ CGY: Take CGY, Flames at home against their tough western sister usually spells for a rough and tumble game. This should be no different this time but the Flames are playing very well and should take down the Oilers on this night.

TEAM SPOTLIGHT:


CALGARY FLAMES                                                   3rd in the Western Conference

GM: Darryl Sutter                                                     36 GP 21-11-4 = 46 Points

COACH: Mike Keenan                                               12-4-3 at Home in Calgary

This team is very much a Sutter and Keenan workman like hockey club and they play a very aggressive and explosive style. They are lead by captain Jarome Iginla who has scored 16 goals for 40 points to go along with Mike Cammalleri’s 12 goals for 29 points. Todd Bertuzzi has resurrected his career in Calgary sitting in 3rd in team scoring with 9 goals good for 26 points.

Also on Defence is the younger tougher Dion Phaneuf who also is their top D in points on the team. As usual the netminding is taking care of by Miikka Kiprusoff and he has played all but 3 games this season so far and has a 902 save %. Flames are 6-3-1 in the last 10 games.

Sundin The Savior ? Canada’s World Jr Coaching . . . .

December 30th, 2008

Mats Sundin arrived in Vancouver yesterday and the players that all know him said he could play right away with the shape he keeps himself in. Is Sundin suppose to be the savior of the Canucks and bring them to the promise land and a Stanley Cup to the hockey crazed city ?

Sundin will make $5 million including a $4-million signing bonus paid in January. How’s that for half a season of work playing hockey.

“I’m going to find out how he feels, what he’s been doing on and off the ice,” Coach Alain Vigneault said. “Until I talk to him, I have no idea what’s coming up here”.

“I understand the excitement within our dressing room, the excitement within the fans of the Canucks. We’ll do what’s right as far as getting him ready to come in and play. If it takes a week, it takes a week. If it takes longer, it will take longer.”

“I’m not suggesting that’s not going to happen,” Vigneault said. “I’m suggesting until I sit down with Mats and talk to him, see how he is, I can’t make that decision right now.”

With Taylor Pyatt out with a broken foot and out of the top 6 that makes it much easier for Alain to put Sundin into the top 6 smoothly without upsetting the apple cart so to speak in Vancouver.

Kyle Wellwood who played and knows Sundin well said he is ripped and in great shape and said if Mats wanted to he could jump in the line up for the next game. Sundin has a reputation of keeping himself in great shape over the last years and takes his training very seriously in the off season.

Canucks GM Mike Gillis would probally like Sundin to start on the road and get his feet underneath him before his debut at GM place. Which will be a complete zoo the night number 13 hits the Canucks ice as a member of the home team. The building which is already among the best if not the best to play in for the home team will be driven into a tizzy. Gillis will be like a proud papa that night in his box watching the action in the crowd and hopefully on the ice with Sundin.

CANADA’S COACHING AT THE WORLD JR’S

Trying not to take anything away from Pat Quinn or any of the other coaches that coached at the World Jr Tournaments over the years especially those who have won.

But Quinn unlike the coaching tandem of some of the more recent World Jr Champions New Jersey Devils and Florida Panthers head coaches Brent Sutter and Peter DeBoer respectively together brought home the Gold for Canada.

Sutter and DeBoer are known good hockey X & O’s coaches and without a doubt that would have helped bring together Canada’s abundance of Jr talent in the tourney.

Quinn as former Toronto Maple Leafs coach was known as a good veteran hard ass coach who was able to get the most out of his players because he would not hesitate to call them out.

With that said Quinn also in his last years in Toronto NEVER practiced the power play which drove the top players nuts. Quinn who is an old school type coach with major cockiness could in this short tournament still be able to push the right buttons with his young charges  in Ottawa.

Quinn has St.Michaels Majors OHL head coach Dave Cameron who is a capable coach who knows the game and I”m sure he is doing most of the ” chalk talks” for Team Canada at the World’s.

Does it really matter with the talent who is behind the bench ? Well sure the coach has to have a handle on the collection of stars and at the very least the control and jam to play in front of a home crowd and full buildings every night. But it probably doesn’t or hopefully won’t take two great X & O’s coaches like Sutter and DeBoer there to bring home the Gold this year.

We will find out how important coaching in these short tournaments really matters and in the end Quinn is a veteran coach with experience and will not fold with the pressure. But Quinn is not known as the most tactical coach and the players will have to walk the walk to win the Gold in Ottawa.

For Hockey God I”m Dave Frost

Tuesday’s NHL Games & Picks : 5 for 6 Last Night

December 30th, 2008

Hockey God once again after a perfect Sunday Night went 5 for 6 last night.

TONIGHT’S GAMES :

WSH @ BUF: Take WSH, Caps look like world beaters right now with or with out a full line up they keep on winning games. Sabres are holding onto the last playoff spot with a 17-14-5 record 10 points behind the Caps.

ATL @ TOR: Take TOR, Leafs have been dismal as of late and have decided to start Curtis Joseph which almost made me switch my choice. But sticking with Leafs who are 14-16-6 against the weak Atlanta club.

BOS @ PIT: Take BOS, Bruins lead the Eastern conference with 58 points walk into to Pens building who are a decent 11-6-2 there and 42 points are good for 7th in the conference.

MTL @ TBL: Take MTL, Habs have played well since the break on this Florida trip with an over all record of 20-6-7 will beat the improved Tampa club who are finally seeing some wins and are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games.

CHI @ DET: Take CHI, Hawks and Wings in a preview of the out door game on New Years day at Wrigley Field. The NHL must have put this game on the sked to get a hate on going between the teams for that out door game. Hawks will edge the Wings who are with out their all star D captain Lidstrom.

NJD @ STL: Take NJD, Devils have a 9-4-2- record on the road and the Blues sit 15th in the Western conference and have a rash of injuries. The Devils will shut down the Blues offence.

PHI @ VAN: Take PHI, Flyers are 5th in the Eastern conference walk into Canucks GM place who have gone 5-4-1 in their last 10. Flyers will take this close physical battle on the road tonight.

OTT @ EDM: Take EDM, Oilers are 6-3-1 last 10 , 2 points out of 8th and final playoff spot in the West. Sens are a dismal almost joke 3-11-2 on the road this season.