Imagine four weeks of acupuncture, saunas and hot tubs. There are yoga, Pilates, meditation and tai chi sessions, too. And don’t forget the massage therapists, stretch therapists and chiropractors at your disposal. Oh yeah, and sleep, lots of sleep. It’s mandatory.
Sounds like a blissful all-inclusive vacation, doesn’t it? Except there’s no mile-long white-sand beach or five-star hotel. No sun tanning, sipping margaritas or napping on lounge chairs. Just a gym and a long summer of training ahead.
When NHLers start training in the off-season, they don’t begin by pounding out squats, deadlifts and bench presses. Heck, they usually won’t lift anything for three or four weeks. After eight months or more of hockey, they’re so beat up that strength and conditioning coaches like Matt Nichol and Ben Prentiss spend up to a month just rebuilding their bodies. All those massages, yoga sessions and therapists are just part of the initial process of taking these broken-down jalopies and turning them into finely tuned machines again.
The Washington Capitals have signed right winger Justin Williams to a two-year contract worth $6.5 million and for a team that has seen its offense evaporate in the most crucial games of the year lately, the guy they call ‘Mr. Game 7,’ seems to be in the perfect spot.
By Carter Brooks
Long after the playoffs have ended, the Winnipeg experience lives on.
Deafening, comical and impactful have been three words commonly used to describe the crowd at MTS Centre. No other venue in the NHL comes close to the fan support offered on any given night or afternoon when the re-branded Winnipeg Jets host their opponents.
The Chicago Blackhawks celebrated their third Stanley Cup in six years on home ice this past Monday, but there were only two losses away from suffering their first final defeat of the current era. Had those two losses come at the hands of the Tampa Bay, it would have been the Lightning, not the Blackhawks, who had a bevy of new merchandise revealed to celebrate a Stanley Cup victory.
Now, thanks to SportsLogos.net’s Chris Creamer, we have a look at what, exactly, that gear would have looked like. While much of it is similar to the Blackhawks championship attire – the color scheme and logo, really, are the only differences on many of the items – one shirt in particular does stand out:
That’s right: we were this close to having a shirt that said, “Party in the Bay,” on it. Instead, we got Chicago’s “Windy City Celebration” and “WINdy CITY” merchandise. While both decent, there’s something great about picturing a Floridian Stanley Cup celebration. And maybe, finally, if the Lightning would have won the Cup, they would release the mock-third jersey shirts that has palm trees on it.
There’s more than that, though. There are hats, towels, magnets, flags, can sleeves, license plates and plaques. All of them, made for a Lightning Stanley Cup victory and all of them never to see the light of day on the NHL store.
Because of the time it takes to produce apparel such as this, usually the league has much of what they wish to have ready for the teams premade for the celebration should either team capture the championship.
The Chicago Blackhawks just celebrated their third Stanley Cup victory in six seasons in a Thursday night parade. And while the beautiful red, white and black jerseys of the Blackhawks has become one of the league’s iconic sweaters, thanks to an outstanding new graphic, you can check out the threads they wore all the way back in 1934 when they won their franchise’s first Stanley Cup.
On the chart, excellently put together by Chris Creamer at SportsLogos.net, you can see every single jersey that was worn by each team, including the variations in exactly what the Cup itself looked like. Complete with shoulder patches, Stanley Cup final patches, embroidery (such as the year 2000 patch the Devils wore) and more appear on the graphic. Take a look: Read more
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman stood there at center ice on Monday night, assuming his usual pose beside the Stanley Cup and made a very bold statement.
“Well Chicago, that’s three Cups in six seasons, I’d say you have a dynasty,” he said to more than 20,000 rabid Blackhawks fans, so happy with another title they almost forgot to shower Bettman with the boos he’s accustomed to during the ceremony.
That remark immediately leads to a lot of debate amongst hockey fans, but there’s very little argument that he’s wrong. The Hawks are a modern-day dynasty.
The word “dynasty” in a sports context will always be subjective. What it implies is a continued dominance over a long stretch of time, and really, dominance is sort of relative to the competition. It’s relatively easy to be dominant when there’s only five other teams, but kind of hard when there’s 29 others in a hard-cap league.
Looking at the current competitive balance of the league and what Chicago has done against it in the Kane-Toews era, it’s difficult to call it anything but dominance. Read more
Oh, the power of technology. From the files of “how cool is this?” comes a 26-billion-pixel photo taken at Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final Monday night.
So what do 26 billion pixels get you? The ability to zoom in on virtually every person and thing in the United Center. If you went to the game, you can find yourself. You can explore the whole thing for hours thanks to a cool tool set up by NHL.com and Blakeway Panoramas. Check it out right here.
The site lets you tag friends (or yourself) and sets up a “Stanley Cup hunt,” burying the Holy Grail somewhere in the photo. The closer you get to finding it, the more the crowd cheers.
It feels a lot like a Where’s Waldo? photo, doesn’t it? In honor of that, I dare you to find the following in the photo:
The Chicago Blackhawks celebrated their third Stanley Cup in six years in front of an estimated two million fans over a parade route that culminated at Solider Field. The images captured yesterday show the Windy City knows how to party like few others.
Fans gather early at Soldier Field to get a good spot at the Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Championship Rally. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Members of the Chicago Blackhawks parade through downtown on a double-decker bus. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)