Milwaukee Admirals’ special event is anything but a bummer

Adam Proteau
Milwaukee Admirals logo

Every time you think you’ve seen it all when it comes to minor professional hockey promotions, some bizarre event – such as the the one in 2011 when the ECHL’s Bakersfield Condors held a Charlie Sheen Night – comes along to change your mind. And every so often, a minor pro hockey promotion comes along that makes you wary about seeing it at all.

Such was the case Thursday night when the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals announced that, in an effort to raise awareness for men’s health, the team’s vice president of Business Development Mike Wojciechowski would undergo a live prostrate exam during their game this coming Saturday against the Rockford Icehogs.

I know, I should’ve asked you to prepare yourself to hear that type of news. Read more

Hamilton Bulldogs hope to raise $50,000 for fallen soldier’s son

Ken Campbell
Courtesy Hamilton Bulldogs

As people lined four deep through the streets of Hamilton last month to honor one of their own, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo’s casket was en route from the funeral home to the church in a procession that included Cirillo’s family at the front of it. As that procession made its way past the FirstOntario Centre, Hamilton Bulldogs president Stephen Ostaszewicz was struck by the gravity of it all.

Cirillo was the young man who was killed the morning of Oct. 22 as he stood on ceremonial sentry duty at the Canadian National War Memorial in Ottawa. The shooting and subsequent attack on Parliament Hill stunned the nation, but it hit the closely knit city of Hamilton particularly hard, something Ostaszewicz witnessed first hand when he saw Cirillo’s five-year old son, Marcus, walking in the procession.

“I watched him march in the procession with his grandmother and his aunt,” Ostaszewicz said. “And a lot of the people here, both on the Global Spectrum side and the team side, were touched by it.” Read more

Riley Dunda out to prove everyone wrong on road to recovery

The Hockey News
Riley Dunda (Glen Cuthbert)

By Glen Cuthbert

When Riley Dunda received a tweet from his favorite hockey player, naturally he was excited. He just wished it were under better circumstances.

The tweet was a message of support from Mike Richards of the Los Angeles Kings, wishing him a speedy recovery and letting him know that Richards and the rest of the Kings were thinking of him. Riley, an 19-year-old Jr. A forward with the Hamilton Red Wings, is recovering from a stroke he suffered in early May, one that set in motion a chain of events that left his family marvelling at the amount of support from the hockey community. Read more

Firing of Nazi sympathizer coach raises questions about social media

Ken Campbell
Chris Sandau (Photo via Twitter)

I can honestly say I’m not sure how I would react if I found out that someone coaching my son was a Nazi sympathizer and Holocaust denier who confined his opinions to social media and never brought them into the dressing room or on the ice.

But I do know I wouldn’t want a guy like Christopher Sandau around my kids. Now I have to wrap my head around whether or not it’s fair to think that way. It’s certainly the safe way to think and that might provide the answer right there.

The North Delta Minor Hockey Association in British Columbia, however, was not near as non-committal. It recently fired Sandau from coaching two teams in its rep program over “disturbing” social media posts from Sandau. The 33-year-old Sandau, who played six years of fourth- and fifth-division pro hockey in Germany, had a Facebook page that has since been taken down that was a shrine to Nazism and Adolf Hitler. In an interview with a local newspaper after he was fired, Sandau essentially denied the Holocaust ever happened, saying “these people were not that evil,” and that those in concentration camps were bald because of a “brutal lice infestation.”

When you see the actual material on-line and listen to Sandau justify his stance, it’s impossible to defend his views because they’re indefensible. This is clearly not a guy most people would want to invite for dinner and some casual conversation. But here’s the thing. The guy never breathed a word of it to his players or any of the families with whom he worked. The organization fired Sandau after being alerted to the posts from a concerned parent who came across them. Read more

ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones go all-out with five specialty jerseys for 2014-15

CC

If you’ve ever felt like wasting away in Margaritaville, Feb. 27 is just one of the days that the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones wants to see you at the U.S. Bank Arena.

Cincinnati, like many of the other franchises in the ECHL, knows that part of running a successful minor-league hockey franchise in a tough market is appealing to the masses with fun, themed jerseys and special event nights. That’s why the Cyclones have released specialty jerseys and game-day giveaways or events for five separate nights this season: Read more

11-year-old Japanese hockey star will put your hands to shame

Jared Clinton
Aito Iguchi

Before they were stars, the likes of Sidney Crosby, Nathan MacKinnon, and, now, Connor McDavid were all labeled the same way. They were prodigies, waiting to explode onto the scene.

It was somewhat expected, however. North American kids excelling at a largely North American game isn’t too shocking. But this is.

Take a look at Iguchi Aito, the 11-year-old Japanese hockey prodigy, who plays like a man ten years his senior: Read more

Junior team set to host wacky “Political Loser Night”

Ryan Kennedy
Waterloo's Tyler Sheehy

Politics are serious business in Iowa and this year’s mid-term elections are no exception. An estimated $85 million was spent in the state for the senate race alone, most of it from outside groups. It’s been a nasty atmosphere for campaigning and even featured one candidate who bragged about her hog castrating skills.

But the United States League’s Waterloo Black Hawks are hoping to bring folks together with “Political Loser Night.”

Read more

Help Jack Jablonski create the world’s largest stick-tap

Jared Clinton
JablonskiCover

It’s a sign of respect, appreciation, and a cheer for those who get back up from injury. In leading the world’s largest stick-tap, Jack Jablonski hopes to capture one of hockey’s greatest traditions to lead the charge in support and awareness for those looking to recover from spinal cord injuries.

Jablonski, who turned 19 on Oct. 25, was left without the use of his arms and legs by a hit during a high school hockey game when he was only 16. After the diagnosis came, the outpouring began. From Wayne Gretzky to Pavel Datsyuk, the well wishes rolled in. All the while, the young Minnesota native believed he could, if he truly worked for it, get back on the ice. Read more