Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Voice of Sport at The Hockey Writers: My Interview With AHL Veteran Bryan Helmer

TVOS with Bryan and the Calder Cup
As the month of November ends, the last place AHL veteran Bryan Helmer expected to be was at home waiting for a contract offer. On the verge of several milestones, the three-time Calder Cup champion  is staying positive as he faces several difficult decisions regarding his hockey future.

Read my interview with Bryan Helmer at The Hockey Writers

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Voice of Sport at The Hockey Writers: Lanny McDonald Interview - Ask the Alumni

Photo courtesy of NHL Alumni Association
My first guest for the "Ask the Alumni" series at The Hockey Writers was Hockey Hall of Fame member and Stanley Cup champion Lanny McDonald. Hockey fans were invited to send in a question for the hockey legend - here are your answers...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Voice of Sport at The Hockey Writers: 1,000 Career Points for Alex Kovalev

The Season of milestones continued for the Ottawa Senators last night, as Alex Kovalev reached the 1,000-career point plateau. With a goal and an assist in a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings, Kovalev joined teammate Daniel Alfredsson in the exclusive 1,000 point club.

Read about Kovalev and his milestone at The Hockey Writers

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Voice of Sport at The Hockey Writers: Difficult Week For The Ottawa Senators

The Ottawa Senators struggled through a difficult week, as they carried heavy hearts into three road games after the death of assistant coach Luke Richardson's daughter. With losses in Philadelphia, Carolina, and St. Louis, the Sens must attempt to regroup in time for Monday's home game against the Los Angeles Kings. Ottawa was outscored 17-4 in their last three games.

Read about the Ottawa Senators and their difficult week at The Hockey Writers.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Montreal Alouettes Ready For Eastern Final Showdown With Toronto

This article was first published in the November 17th edition of Main Street Week and is reprinted here with permission from the editors. Drop by Main Street Week News to have a look at a great community newspaper or sign up and have Main Street Week delivered right to your inbox.

With a 12-6 record and another East Division title on their resumé, the Montreal Alouettes earned a week off in the first round of the CFL playoffs. While the Alouettes took care of their bumps and bruises, and any nagging injuries from a long season, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (9-9) and Toronto Argonauts (9-9) battled for the opportunity to advance to the Eastern Final and a showdown with Montreal at the Olympic Stadium on November 21st; the winner advances to the 98th Annual Grey Cup in Edmonton, Alberta.

The Alouettes were solid defensively this season, stopping the running backs of their opponents on a regular basis; allowing the fewest rushing touchdowns of any team in the CFL and less then 100 rushing yards against per game. Statistically, they were not as good defending the pass, only Hamilton allowed more passing yards per game then Montreal, but the Alouettes led the league in interceptions with 25. They may give up yards through the air, but they find a way to steal the ball back. In the CFL, winning the turnover battle often results in victories.

Despite the absence of Anthony Calvillo for several games this season, Montreal ranked second in the CFL in total net yards, field goals, passing touchdowns, and most importantly - total points scored. Calvillo missed two games with a bruised sternum, but still passed for almost 5,000 yards and 32 touchdowns, with only seven interceptions. Once again, he is a nominee for the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player Award.

As previously mentioned, the Tiger-Cats and Argonauts met at Hamilton’s Ivor-Wynne Stadium last Sunday (November 14th), with the Argonauts winning a close game by a 16-13 score. Coming off a 3-15 season last year, the Argonauts have struggled offensively, but they remain a dangerous opponent for Montreal. They are very good at returning kicks, giving themselves great field position when they start on offence, and their run game is dangerous; Cory Boyd finished second in the league in rushing with 1,359 rushing yards.

In his first season in the CFL, Toronto QB Cleo Lemon struggled in the pass-oriented league, but the good field position from kick-off returns and Boyd’s rushing abilities helped the Argonauts overcome any deficiencies in Lemon’s game. The Toronto QB passed for 3,433 yards but threw only 15 touchdowns and racked up 19 interceptions. The Alouettes defence will be looking to pick-off his errant passes, and knowing that Lemon has struggled as a passer, they can concentrate on stopping the running game.

When looking ahead to the Eastern Final, there are two important factors to consider. One is the fact the Alouettes are moving indoors to the Olympic Stadium. With an expected crowd in the 50,000 range, the stadium is going to be loud, which will be a huge advantage for Montreal. Another factor that could work against the Alouettes was the final two weeks of the CFL schedule. The final two games of the year were against Toronto and that provides the Argonauts with plenty of video to review and create a new game plan as they try for the upset in Montreal. Of course, it works both ways; Montreal has plenty of video on the Argonauts too.

It should make for an exciting Eastern Final, with the winner heading to Edmonton to face the winner of the Western Final, either the Calgary Stampeders (13-5) or the Saskatchewan Roughriders (10-8). The Alouettes look poised to be in their third consecutive Grey Cup game, they lost to Calgary in 2008 and defeated Saskatchewan in dramatic fashion in 2009. In the CFL, anything can happen, and it usually does - it looks like we are in for a tremendous finish to the 2010 season.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A TVOS Exclusive: Evil Ray Halladay's First Ever Interview!

MLB pitcher and best selling author Dirk Hayhurst (The Garfoose) warned us many times of the existence of “Evil Ray Halladay” and yet many chose to disregard Hayhurst’s warnings, until Evil Ray appeared on Twitter one fateful July weekend.

On Twitter, Evil Ray’s location states that he is “Behind you in the shadows”

His bio read like this - “I’m the guy that will punch you in the face if you don’t stop reading this. Or, if you’re the bleeding heart sissy type, I'm an orphan that needs money.”

Possibly the evil clone of a certain MLB pitcher, Evil X-Ray Halladay finds great joy in spreading his evil ways and tormenting friends and fans of Hayhurst, known as Garfooslings. It appears that I have earned a special place on Evil Ray’s long list of enemies for being a faithful Garfoosling and daring to ask for an interview; that simple question several months ago has changed my life!

Much Like Garlic Wards Off Vampires,
Cute Animal Pictures Keep
Evil Ray Halladay Away
Since July, my newspapers have been disappearing, replaced by poorly spelled warnings, written in crayon. Beavers covered in maple syrup have been thrown at my house. I hear mocking laughter coming from deep within dark alleys. Can I say for sure it is Evil Ray - no, I cannot, but it certainly fits his modus operandi.

He originally agreed to an interview in July, informing me we were to meet in an abandoned Lucky Charms factory. It was a trap; Evil Ray ambushed me, pelting me with blue diamonds, green clovers, and purple horseshoes for hours, until I passed out from the marshmallow beating. Plagued by nightmares from that experience, I still have the marks to remind me of Evil Ray’s evil ways.

Since that time, I have made several trips to Russia, attempting to track down any of the original scientists that are responsible for the creation of Evil Ray. The journeys have been costly and dangerous, but for my own peace of mind, and the desire to track down Evil Ray on behalf of my readers, I have continued.

To protect myself, I have spent countless hours training an elite force of ninja-penguins the subtleties of kung-fu fighting and placed a letter outlining all that I have discovered about Evil Ray in a safety deposit box, to be opened if I should disappear. For example, did you know that pictures of cute, baby animals apparently have the same effect on Evil Ray that garlic does on vampires?

While an interview with this mysterious evil clone would be one of my greatest achievements, it is also my worst nightmare come true. Last night, all those fears and a few new ones were realized - Evil Ray “decided” it was time for the interview.

Walking down the street, surrounded by my kung-fu master ninja penguins, someone, or some evil force, emerged from behind me in the shadows. I regained consciousness in an abandoned Frankenberry factory. My elite force of ninja penguins were nowhere to be found, yet a wonderful aroma filled the air, and Evil Ray continually offered me “Antarctic Chicken Burgers” and “Antarctic Chowder”...

He would not leave the shadows; mocking me from the darkness instead, with incoherent rants about Hayhurst and his Garfoose. He would not speak to me for the interview - insisting that the conversation would happen via email from across the room. Being the evil clone that he is, after a three-hour interview/interrogation, Evil Ray smashed my computer to destroy all the evidence of our conversation.

Franklin L. Llama
TVOS Computer Expert
For the past twelve hours, my brigade of llama scientists have worked on repairing the destroyed computer, attempting to recover any evidence of my conversation with Evil Ray. What follows is all that is left of my encounter with Evil X-Ray Halladay... I have looked into the eye-patch of evil and survived...



A worldwide TVOS exclusive, I present my conversation with EVIL X-RAY HALLADAY: Tales of Survival!

TVOS: So Ray, I would say thank you for meeting me, but I know that being polite would only fuel your anger, so I will skip the formalities. I have often wondered, what is your favourite Boy Band? After all, Boy Bands are an evil curse on the world; you must love one of them...


Evil Ray: My favourite Boy Band is Lady Gaga. Don’t try and tell me she’s not really a man, or at least both. Look at those cheekbones, look at that manly strut. I’ve sold enough orphans on the black market and had to have enough underground surgeries to avoid the authorities to know a faker when I see one. Every time I hear her talk about her Disco Stick, I shudder.

My number two choice would be Menudo.

TVOS: Hmm, some very fascinating insights... Tell me this Evil Ray, What is your favourite kind of evil? The Cobra Commander “take over the world” type or the Megatron “destroy the world” type? Perhaps you have created a completely new level of evil? What kind of leader will you be if you achieve world domination?

Evil Ray: These guys have it all wrong. You don’t want to take over the world, or destroy it. Obama tried one, BP tried the other and now everyone hates them. People always blame their problems on someone else, and that someone else is whoever is in power. I prefer the kind of evil that lets me take, swindle, cheat, rob, and kill, but then the people get mad at someone else for not being able to stop me.

TVOS: Your perfect brother Roy (the fact that Evil Ray is related to a certain MLB pitcher is still unconfirmed I should add), achieved perfection on the mound, a no-hitter in the playoffs, and another Cy Young Award this season. Did you call to congratulate him or did your evil and anger reach new heights as the spotlight shone brighter on your brother?


Evil Ray: Everyone wants to talk about his no hitter. Yeah, well, that’s all fine and dandy if you’re into baseball, which, unfortunately most of the idiot population of this hemisphere is. He’s the champion of hard work and how it pays off. Well I’m here to tell you that only morons work hard when I’ve lived a life of comfort stealing from other people’s accomplishments.

Besides, who’s to say I haven’t accomplished something. I put the first recorded ferret in space. I have my poster up in 36 different states and 14 countries. I have connections with people who can get you anthrax and plutonium—that kind of success doesn’t come over night, thank you very much.

TVOS: Is there any truth to the rumour I just made up that you and Triple H will headline Wrestlemania, taking on Dirk Hayhurst and The Garfoose in a no DQ, steel cage, tag-team match?

Evil Ray: I can neither confirm nor deny that, since I’ve already started placing my bets. However, I can confirm I hope the imbecile Hayhurst and his stupid spotted fleabag get their ******* kicked.

TVOS: The Garfoose seems to kick your a** on a regular basis; are you scared of him?

(Editor’s note - after I asked that question, the computer recorded approximately 25 minutes of extreme language and profanities, too evil for anyone to hear without losing their minds - we lost one llama scientist to madness, I cannot risk the same for TVOS readers!)

Evil Ray: I’m not scared of anyone! Not you, not Roy, and not that mangy stuffed animal Hayhurst talks to before bedtime. And the tales of my ass getting kicked are greatly exaggerated. The first time, I wasn’t ready, plain and simple. The second time, I slipped. Number 3-10 came when I was fasting for religious reasons, and therefore not at full strength. Then I had a series of colds, viruses, and arthritic flare-ups. Recently, I did manage to step on the Garfoose’s tail. It was an evil step. Very evil.

This interview is over!!!!


...And just like that dear reader, my time with Evil Ray Halladay had mercifully ended. While it is an encounter with evil that I can never forget, there is more to his story and I will continue my quest to solve the Evil Ray Halladay mystery.

A very special thank you to Dirk Hayhurst for risking his own well-being to help set up the Evil Ray Halladay interview - If you have not visited Dirk’s new-look website, I highly recommend you drop by for a visit! I also suggest you pick up a copy of his book “The Bullpen Gospels” - it is an open and honest account of life in the minor leagues and the man beneath the uniform; it is an amazing and thoroughly entertaining book.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Voice of Sport at The Hockey Writers: Carolina Hurricanes Forward Tuomo Ruutu

Photo by Clydeorama on Flickr
The Carolina Hurricanes are within striking distance of a playoff position and second line center Tuomo Ruutu is a key part of the organization's solid foundation.

With Ruutu on the second line, Cam Ward in goal, Eric Staal leading the way as the Hurricanes captain, and the sensational Jeff Skinner emerging as one of the league's top rookies, the Hurricanes are set to be playoff contenders for years to come.

Read about Tuomo Ruutu at The Hockey Writers

Photo by Clydeorama on Flickr

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Voice of Sport at The Hockey Writers: Senators Give Full Support To Richardson Family After Tragedy

With permission from the NHL, the Ottawa Senators flew home from Philadelphia last night to join assistant coach Luke Richardson and his family for a special Celebration of Life, to honour his daughter Daron.

Hockey fans are encouraged to make a donation to the Royal Ottawa Foundation For Mental Health - Youth Program and they are invited to the special event, which will be held at Scotiabank Place on November 17th at 10am.

The full article is posted at The Hockey Writers and includes donation info and phone numbers for teens in trouble in Canada and the United States.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Send In Your Question For Georges Laraque - The Hockey Writers - "Ask the Alumni"

Working with the NHL Alumni Association, The Hockey Writers has started an exciting new feature - "Ask the Alumni".

Readers now have the opportunity to be part of my interviews with members of the NHL Alumni Association and see their answers in articles posted at The Hockey Writers. We are pleased to announce that our next guest for the "Ask the Alumni" series at The Hockey Writers is Georges Laraque!

We are accepting your question for Georges Laraque until November 28th, 2010 at thwnhlalumni@gmail.com

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Voice of Sport at The Hockey Writers: Senators Struggling Against The NHL's Elite

Photo by TVOS
The Ottawa Senators are winning their games against the teams in the lower part of the NHL standings, but when it comes to taking on the NHL's elite, Ottawa has struggled this year. Heading into an important 5-game stretch against the Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers, Carolina Hurricanes, St. Louis Blues and LA Kings, they need to find some consistency.

Read about the Senators 6-2 loss against the Vancouver Canucks and their struggles against the NHL's elite teams at The Hockey Writers

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Award-Winning Author Don Reddick And "Killing Frank McGee"

A portion of this article first appeared in the November 2010 edition of Main Street and is reprinted here with permission from the editors. Drop by Main Street Week News to have a look at a great community newspaper.

Every November 11th, we honour and remember our soldiers, men and women that have sacrificed so much, allowing us to continue to live in a free and democratic society. There are many accounts of these sacrifices, but one book that captures the pain and terrible losses of war is award-winning author Don Reddick’s Killing Frank McGee.

Frank McGee is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and played with the famous Ottawa Silver Seven; a team that dominated the early days of hockey. Many consider McGee to be one of the greatest hockey players that ever hit the ice. In Killing Frank McGee, a work of historical fiction, Reddick chronicles McGee’s life and death from the point of view of his coach, Alf Smith, and a young private in the Canadian Forces in World War I - William Kinnear.

“If you go to the Hall of Fame, they have a plaque that says, ‘Frank McGee - Ottawa Silver Seven star, killed on September 16, 1916’ and that’s it,” Reddick explained on the telephone from his home in Vermont.

“I come from a big hockey town - Norwood, Massachusetts, and I grew up during the 60’s. Five guys were killed in Vietnam during that time and no one in my town can probably remember their names, but they can all remember the name of Richie Hebner (Hebner survived Vietnam and went on to have an 18-year career in Major League Baseball). I thought that it was quite remarkable that the guys that give their lives are kind of forgotten and athletes are exalted. In Frank McGee you have both of these realms come together; it is quite a story.”

“For me it became very personal. I used to deliver the Patriot-Ledger, and I actually delivered on my paper route to the Hebner household and a block further was the Fitzgerald household. Fitzgerald was one of the guys that was killed. I vividly remember to this day, when I would go collecting, they had built a shrine to their son, with a picture of him in his Marine uniform sitting on the mantle, surrounded by flowers and candles. I would find his father sitting there in the dark staring at it. That’s something that I have never forgotten.”

The accounts of Kinnear’s life in the trenches during World War I and his chance encounter with Frank McGee on the battlefields of France are incredibly moving. The camaraderie of the soldiers and the absolute horrors of war are depicted in stunning detail and realism.

Don Reddick
“I think you have to love to read in order to write,” said Reddick. “I read over 35 books about World War I. Specifically about a lot of the Canadian angles, which as an American, I didn’t know as well as I might have, so there was a tremendous amount of research that went into it. With McGee, it was even more so because I found that even his family knew nothing about him.”

“Not only did they not know how he died, they didn’t know where he died, other then that it was at the Battle of the Somme. There was a lot of mystery surrounding the guy, once I get a project I take it to heart, and I want to do a good job. I went to France and we were actually able to figure out what happened to McGee.”

“The thought behind the whole thing was that so many guys died, millions died in that war. There was a conscious effort to show the other side of it, that these were regular every-day kids that went to war and never came back.”

In telling the story of Frank McGee through the eyes of Smith and Kinnear, Reddick has created a vivid, realistic account of life in the trenches, and he received a tremendous compliment from a very knowledgeable reader.

“Books of this nature don’t make you rich and famous, so a lot of the satisfaction is in the smaller things. I received an email from a member of the Canadian Air Force and he mentioned that he thought every Canadian kid should read the book. Something like that is a bit overwhelming; to get a letter like that validates all of the work. That is a wonderful thing.”

Thank you to Don for sharing his thoughts with Main Street, and thank you to all of our veterans for their service and sacrifices. Whether it is November or July, when you meet a veteran, take a moment, shake their hand and say thank you! Have a great sports day everyone.

For more information about Don Reddick and his wonderful books, visit his website at http://www.donreddick.com/.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Voice of Sport at The Hockey Writers: Halak and Conklin Leading The Way For Blues

Jaroslav Halak (HockeyBroad/Flickr)
The best start in franchise history has the St. Louis Blues at the top of their division and the NHL. Jaroslav Halak and Ty Conklin have backstopped the franchise as the NHL's newest dynamic duo.


Photo by:
Cheryl Adams (HockeyBroad/Flickr)
HockeyBroad.com

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Two Game Suspension For Joe Thornton Was Warranted...

(Dan4th/Flickr)
In dealing with the head shot and concussion issue in the NHL, the overwhelming sentiment is that it is time for a change of attitude by the league and amongst its players. Approximately 12 games into a new season, with a new rule on “blind-side” hits in place, we are still witnessing an alarming number of reckless plays resulting in head injuries.

I have said it before, I will say it again - a concussion is a brain injury; the long-term repercussions of a brain injury is not comparable to any other type of injury in sports. The league has suspended players in the past for knee-on-knee hits, after all, destroying an opponents knee could be career ending; completely scrambling an opponents brain, well, that’s not so bad apparently...

When I speak with current and former players, I always discuss the issue of concussions. It is an area of concern for me personally, as a sports columnist and sports fan, and it is a topic that is not going away any time soon. The main point they often stress is that very few players in any league are deliberately looking to end another player’s career. Hockey is a high-impact sport, injuries are part of the game, and they will occur on a regular basis. The fact remains though, if players are going to continue to target their opponent's head, then the league must step in; a “change of culture” is a phrase we have been hearing a lot lately.

Video of Joe Thornton's hit on David Perron

The two-game suspension handed down to San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton is appropriate. His hit on St. Louis Blues forward David Perron meets every criteria of the new rule. While I doubt that Thornton intended to cause serious injury, the fact remains, he did. The comments of his brother (who is also his agent), and the comments from the league when they upheld the suspension are what have me concerned and led to today's posting here at TVOS.

John Thornton made one valid point though - why did the league compare his brother’s hit to Nick Foligno’s hit on Patrick Dwyer, a hit that resulted in a $2,500 fine and no suspension. There is no doubt that the Foligno hit should have resulted in a similar two game suspension. When the league handed down a fine, they did set a dangerous precedent; one they could have avoided. It was early in the season - you want to send a message to the players that you will be tough on anyone that makes contact with an opponent’s head; there was your chance. Instead, the league continued with the “Wheel of Justice”, spinning the roulette wheel, where it lands, no one knows...

Video of Nick Foligno's hit on Patrick Dwyer

For the Thorntons to ask the league, “What could Joe have done differently?” and for the league to have no answer is beyond ridiculous... The answer is quite simple - do not hit Perron...

It is one thing to keep track of the players on the ice; to have someone step out of the penalty box, take several strides towards you, and deliver a check from seemingly out of nowhere is quite another story. What could Thornton have done differently? Well, he could have tried to get to Perron a second sooner and with the simple act of lifting his opponent's stick, steal the puck and create an odd-man rush in the other direction. Since Perron had already passed the puck, Thornton could have skated like hell towards his own zone and played some defence. After all, his team had just killed off his penalty; a line change would be forthcoming. To put it simply, the hit was unnecessary.

In Thornton’s defence, the hit on Perron has been legal for decades; it has been considered a good hockey play for over a century. However, with the knowledge and information we now have on brain injuries, these plays have to stop. We have witnessed the devastating effects of repeated head trauma in retired NFL players, wrestlers, and boxers; damage so severe it has led to suicides.

Think it will never happen in the hockey world... Think again...

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Voice of Sport at The Hockey Writers: NHL's Top Rookie? Carolina's Jeff Skinner...

Carolina's Jeff Skinner (VirtKitty/Flickr)
Heading into the 2010 NHL Draft everyone was talking about Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin. Twelve games into his rookie season, it is Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner leading the rookie scoring race.

Read about the seventh overall pick Jeff Skinner and his Hurricanes at The Hockey Writers

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Voice of Sport at The Hockey Writers: An Interview With Author Don Reddick

Award-Winning Author Don Reddick
In 1904, a group of hockey players left the Yukon to challenge the Ottawa Silver Seven for the Stanley Cup. Ninety-two years later, another generation of players re-enacted the epic journey, challenging the Ottawa Senators Alumni.

Award-winning author Don Reddick was part of the group that travelled from Dawson City to Ottawa and he chronicled the adventure in his book - The Trail Less Traveled.

Read the interview with Don Reddick at The Hockey Writers

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Voice Of Sport And Movember!!

This article was first published in the November 3rd edition of Main Street Week and is reprinted here with permission from the editors. Drop by Main Street Week News to have a look at a great community newspaper or sign up and have Main Street Week delivered right to your inbox.

Noticed A Few New Moustaches Around Town?
Business Garfoose And The Voice Support Movember!
Halloween has come and gone, but you may notice that several men in your neighbourhood are sporting moustaches these days. No, these newly cultivated ‘staches are not remnants from a frightful costume or a Tom Selleck look-alike contest - the calendar has turned the page to November, which means it is also Movember.

In 2003, a group of men in Australia created Movember, a movement that has now swept through many countries and around the globe. Dedicated to helping raise awareness of men’s issues (in Canada it is prostate cancer), participants lend their upper-lip to charity, growing moustaches and raising much needed funds. While some men may look silly with a moustache (me for example!), the “Movember” movement in Canada raised $7.8 million for Prostate Cancer Canada last year.

According to recent statistics, prostate cancer will affect 1 in 6 Canadian men this year, making it the most common cancer to afflict men in our country; 4,400 men will die of the disease this year. While Movember participants are having fun with their new-look moustaches, the simple act of letting your “Mo” grow helps Prostate Cancer Canada develop new programs related to raising awareness, education, support for those affected by the disease, and new research focused on the prevention, detection, treatment, and hopefully a cure.

Many current and former NHL players have joined in the battle against prostate cancer. Retired NHL player Lanny McDonald and his world famous moustache is a spokesman for the Movember movement. With that in mind, The Voice of Sport has jumped on board to support this important event. My upper-lip will be a little warmer this month...

If you would like more information on Movember, or if you would like to support my moustache, drop by my website, The Voice of Sport.com for a link to my donation page and Movember Canada’s website.

TVOS and The Hockey Writers Present “Ask the Alumni”

Along with my web site and my columns here at Main Street, one of my jobs as a sports columnist is writing for The Hockey Writers.com; I cover the Ottawa Senators and the NHL Alumni for the site. It is an exciting time in my career, as The Voice of Sport, The Hockey Writers, and the NHL Alumni Association recently teamed up for a new project - “Ask the Alumni”

When our favourite NHL players retire, they may leave the spotlight of the NHL, but they never leave the hearts and minds of their fans. To help bridge the gap between hockey fans and their hockey heroes, with the assistance of NHL Alumni Executive Director Mark Napier and Media Relations Coordinator Dylan Wade, I will be interviewing an Alumni member each month for The Hockey Writers. Here is my favourite part of the project - the readers get to supply the questions.

I would like to invite Main Street readers to join in on this project - Who is your favourite retired NHL player and if you could ask him one question, what would it be? Our first NHL Alumni guest is Lanny McDonald and his famous moustache! Send me an email at thwnhlalumni@gmail.com with a question for Mr. McDonald or to suggest an Alumni guest.

That is it for this week folks - remember to support Movember and the many fresh, new moustaches that will be sprouting up this month! Have a great sports day everyone.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Voice of Sport at The Hockey Writers: Jarkko Ruutu - Super Pest or Super Hero?

Photo by TVOS
It is a season of milestones in Ottawa this year - Daniel Alfredsson's 1,000th career point, Sergei Gonchar's 1,000th NHL game, and Jarkko Ruutu's 1,000 career penalty minutes.

Every team has at least one - the third or fourth line grinder, the shift-disturber... The guy you love to hate when he plays your team, but the guy you love to have when he wears your team's uniform.

Jarkko Ruutu - Super Pest or Super Hero?

Read about Ruutu and his role with the Ottawa Senators at The Hockey Writers

Monday, November 1, 2010

Send In Your Questions For Lanny McDonald - The Hockey Writers - "Ask The Alumni"

Working with the NHL Alumni Association, The Hockey Writers has started an exciting new feature - "Ask the Alumni".

Readers now have the opportunity to be part of my interviews with members of the NHL Alumni Association and see their answers in articles posted at The Hockey Writers. We are pleased to announce that our first guest for the "Ask the Alumni" series at The Hockey Writers is Lanny McDonald!

With over 1,100 games in the NHL, Lanny McDonald is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and a Stanley Cup champion with the 1989 Calgary Flames - and he is taking time to answer your questions - so send them along to thwnhlalumni@gmail.com