Duncan Keith: What’s your goal
This season, the Blackhawks have released a new series of commercials called #WhatsYourGoal, where Chicago players help make the dreams come true for a few special fans this season. Duncan Keith stars in the latest episode, where he meets a young girl named Cammy who cannot walk or speak who’s dream is to score a goal with her favorite Blackhawks’ player, Keith. We think there might have been some dust in the room when we watched it, because we definitely teared up a little while watching it. Check it out.
You Can Play turns three
You Can Play organization celebrated its third anniversary on March 5 and made two big announcements on the same day. The organization, founded by Patrick Burke, Brian Kitts, and Glen Witman, aims to end homophobia in sports by promoting a culture of acceptance led by the tagline ‘If you can play, you can play.’ On Thursday, YCP announced the addition of two new women to its executive team, Anna Aagnes and Jillian Svensson. They also announced that they recently received an award from the Arcus Foundation for 100,000 dollars in order to fund the organization’s progress.
Another KHL coach is angry at a referee
Last week, we brought you Mike Keenan yelling at a referee in the KHL. This week, it’s a case of deja vu as we take you back to the Russian league to a game between Barys Astana and Avangard Omsk. Nik Antropov, formerly of the NHL, speared Chad Kolarik, who may or may not have embellished a little. When the refs chose to penalize Omsk for interference, but not for Antropov’s spear, the coach for Omsk, Raimo Summanen, got a little upset. Apparently, this isn’t Summanen’s first disagreement with some referees.
Put me in, coach!
The Florida Panthers are currently fighting for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but they ran into some difficulty in Thursday night’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Their starting netminder, Roberto Luongo, was hit up high with a puck and injured, so he was replaced by backup netminder Al Montoya. All was going well until the third period, when Montoya attempted to make a save and injured himself in the process. Panic ensued as the Panthers tried to figure out who could replace Montoya. They quickly signed their goalie coach, Robb Tallas, to an emergency contract. Luongo, who had been getting his shoulder scanned at the hospital, rushed back to the arena and-well, things got a little crazy. Long story short, Luongo ended up going back in to finish the game, but Florida ultimately ended up losing 3-2. But Panthers fans can now join in on the fun if they want: the team is hosting a “Goal of a Lifetime” contest where one lucky fan can win the chance to serve as the team’s backup goaltender during a practice.
Dreams do come true: NHL trade deadline wish becomes reality
The trade deadline ended on Monday, and while most fans were hoping for their favorite teams to either make a trade or stand pat, there was one little girl in Minnesota who was praying for the Wild to make a trade. Jordyn Leopold, daughter of then-Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jordan Leopold, wrote a heartfelt letter to the Minnesota Wild coaches asking for them to trade for her dad. Jordyn and her family live in Minnesota, but her father lived and played in Columbus, which Jordyn said was very hard for both of them. Like all of the best stories, this one had a happy ending when Minnesota acquired Leopold in a trade for a fifth-round draft pick in the 2015 draft. Jordyn’s next letter? A thank you note to the Wild.
Alex Tanguay plays 1000th NHL game
Our milestone this week takes us to Colorado, where Alex Tanguay was honored on Wednesday night for playing in his 1000th NHL game. Originally drafted by the Avalanche, Tanguay’s career has taken him to Calgary, Montreal, Tampa, and back to Calgary before he finally returned to the Avalanche again this year.
Soccer players try to play hockey, fail epically
Sometimes it’s easy to watch professional ice hockey players and forget how difficult it is to actually skate. Luckily, we have the Southampton FC players to remind us. The soccer team had some time off recently in Switzerland, so their coach decided to take the team skating at the nearby ice rink. The result, as you might expect when you put soccer players on a sheet of ice, was predictably hilarious, seen in the video in the link below.
KHL trick shot goes wrong
We’re talking a lot about the KHL today, but that’s because they’re so great it’s impossible not to. During a 6-0 romping of Dinamo Minsk, Jokerit’s Linus Omark, formerly of the Edmonton Oilers, decided to take an opportunity to try and score a highlight-reel goal from behind the net. He managed to get the puck on his stick, then lifted it off the ice lacrosse-style and tried to bank it off of the opposing netminder’s back. It didn’t go in, but hey, give Omark an A for effort.
Boston and Montreal face off for Clarkson Cup
It’s the beginning of March, and those of you who follow women’s hockey know that that means it’s time for the Clarkson Cup playoffs in the CWHL. This year’s final is between the Boston Blades and the Montreal Stars, and will be broadcasted live on Sportsnet at 2 p.m. Eastern time in Canada and is also available on a livestream you can purchase on the league’s website. The battle is sure to be entertaining, with Charline Labonte and the Stars looking to slow down Brianna Decker and the Blades.
ESPN gets World Cup hockey rights
Finally, on the business side of hockey this week, ESPN signed an official deal with the NHL for the rights to broadcast the World Cup of Hockey that will be held in 2016. ESPN, notorious for its lack of hockey coverage, won the rights in America while Rogers Sportsnet and TVA Sports will be handling the event in Canada. The hopes are that the partnership will elevate the game of hockey on a higher platform in the US and attract more attention to help continue the game’s growth.