Sunday, November 30, 2008

INTRODUCING a New HftL Contributing Writer (the blog's very own hockey coach / mom)!!

I'm sure a few of you remember Teri from one of the comments she posted on the blog a few weeks back in which she refers to herself as "the ultimate hockey mom." In that same comment, she offered her knowledge and said to ask if we ever wanted to know anything about hockey, so I took her up on her offer and thought it would be perfect for her to be part of our new feature "Hockey 101 with HftL" (which is the little "twist" I referred to)!!

I have been involved in hockey (watching, playing, coaching, being hockey mom) since 1964 (yeah, I'm that old). I grew up running the halls of Olympia Stadium with the Howe kids. If you want to know anything about the game, just ask. At this point I now billet 2 AAA, Midget-Major players that my son (who is almost 25- 5 1/2 weeks younger that Talbot) coaches. I will DIE watching a game if I have MY way!!!

So today marks our inaugural post of the long-awaited "Hockey 101" as well as Teri's first post with us. It's an amazing article that truly explains everything you ever wanted to know about face-offs (we'll all be experts now thanks to Teri!)!!

Hockey 101 with HftL's Very Own Hockey Coach: FACE-OFFS

Face-offs. They are so brief but in a game that is becoming more and more about puck control, they can be the difference between winning or losing. For many of us, the ritual of the face-off can be a bit of a mystery. One of the biggest mysteries is why a linesman will wave a player out of the face-off circle.

First of all, as we know, every game and every period starts with a face-off at centre ice. This is the only time you will see the senior referee drop the puck. Every other face-off during the course of the game will be orchestrated by one of the linesmen. The linesman controls the timing of the drop while, at the same time, trying to assure the face-off is fair to both players involved and that is the key. The face-off should be fair to both players and there are very specific rules regarding how a player taking a face-off must conduct himself as well as how the other players line up.

Some of the rules governing face-offs have changed in the last year, but these rules have remained the same:

When the faceoff takes place in any of the end face-off circles, the players taking part shall take their position so that they will stand squarely facing their opponent's end of the rink and clear of the ice markings. The sticks of both players facing-off shall have the blade on the ice within the designated white area. The visiting player shall place his stick within the designated white area first followed IMMEDIATELY by the home player.

However, no player is above cheating to win a face-off, and there is no shame in that. The two things players do most to get an edge are in how and when they put their sticks down and how they position their feet.

The visiting player is supposed to put his stick down first; yet, if you watch Sidney Crosby, he will put his stick down first even when playing at home. Does this work to the other players advantage? Not necessarily. You can actually have the advantage if you can put the stick down and bring it back up again all in one motion. This is because the player with his stick up has the advantage in leverage and can either hit the puck itself or use his stick to knock the other player's stick out of the way.

Another way a player might cheat is by how he positions his feet. While the rule says the player must be standing squarely on the marks or, if at the face-off spots in the neutral zone, squarely facing his opponent, you will rarely see this happen. Players will angle their feet to give themselves the advantage in leverage. Which way they angle their feet will depend on where the face-off is taking place (defensive vs. offensive zone), whether he is pulling the puck back or sweeping it to the side or pushing it forward and by which of his hands is dominant.

But how does a linesman decide when to kick a player out of the face-off? Well, if the linesman feels that a player is blatantly cheating, he can order him out of the circle. When this happens, any team-mate (with the exception of the goalie per rule 76.1) may move into the circle to take the face-off. You will rarely see a defenseman take a face-off but it is not against the rules. During particularly important face-offs, such as in the defensive zone when protecting a one-goal lead, a coach may opt to put two centres on the ice so that if one gets dismissed, there is another "specialist" available to move in and take the face-off (why only centres generally are trained to take face-offs makes no sense to me - when I coached all my players practiced taking face-offs). Now, the decision that a player is cheating is really pretty arbitrary. Yes, there are rules governing the player in the face-off situation but, as anyone who watches face-offs pretty closely (or even not so closely) it looks like the linesmen could spend a LOT of time kicking people out.

As soon as the line change procedure has been completed by the Referee and he lowers his hand to indicate no further changes, the Linesman conducting the face-off shall blow his whistle. This will signal to both teams that they have no more than five (5) seconds to line up for the ensuing face-off. At the end of the five (5) seconds (or sooner if both centers are ready), the Linesman is supposed to drop the puck unless:

  1. One or both centers are not positioned for the face-off
  2. One or both centers refrain from placing their stick on the ice (yeah, right - that's why Max Talbot got left looking stupid during a faceoff when the linesman dropped the puck when Max had his back turned as he was telling the other players where to stand),
  3. Any player has encroached into the face-off circle (obviously this rule is one that is pretty much ignored),
  4. Any player makes physical contact with an opponent, or
  5. Any player is in an off-side position
This is when the linesman is supposed to kick the centre out of the face-off circle, prior to dropping the puck.

In the last two minutes of regulation time or any time in overtime, the linesman will still blow his whistle to initiate the face-off, but the time limit will not be enforced whoever the linesman.

If a center moves too quickly prior to the face-off or if the puck is dropped unfairly, this is considered a face-off violation and play will be stopped for a new face-off. If the same team commits two face-off violations during the same face-off, a bench minor penalty for "Delay of Game – Face-off Violation" will be assessed to the offending team.

So face-off violations are classified as:
  1. Encroachment by any player other than the center into the face-off area prior to the puck being dropped. Players on the perimeter of the face-off circle must keep both skates outside the face-off circle (skate contact with the line is permitted). If a player's skate crosses the line into the face-off circle prior to the drop of the puck, this shall be deemed as a face-off violation. A player's stick may be inside the face-off circle provided there is no physical contact with his opponent or his opponent's stick.
  2. Encroachment by any player into the area between the hash marks on the outer edges of the face-off circle prior to the puck being dropped. Players must also ensure that both of their skates do not cross their respective hash marks. Contact with the line with their skate is permitted. If a player's skate crosses the line into the area between the hash marks prior to the drop of the puck, this shall be deemed as a face-off violation. A player's stick may be inside the area between the hash marks provided there is no physical contact with his opponent or his opponent's stick.
  3. Any physical contact with an opponent prior to the puck being dropped.
  4. Failure by either center taking the face-off to properly position himself behind the restraining lines or place his stick on the ice "properly position himself behind the restraining lines" shall mean that the center must place his feet on either side of the restraining lines that are parallel to the side boards (contact with the lines is permissible), and the toe of the blade of his skates must not cross over the restraining lines that are perpendicular to the side boards as he approaches the face-off spot. The blade of the stick must then be placed on the ice (at least the toe of the blade of the stick) in the designated white area of the face- off spot and must remain there until the puck is dropped. Failure to comply with this positioning and face-off procedure will result in a face-off violation.
  5. Players who are in an off-side position for the ensuing face-off will be warned once in the game by the Referee. This warning will also be given to the offending team’s Coach. If they violate the other team's territory again their team will be assessed a bench minor penalty for delay of game.
I hope this clears up any confusion regarding what appears to be players dismissed arbitrarily from face-offs. While it isn't entirely arbitrary, the rule book does state that the decision to dismiss a player is left entirely up to the linesman.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Game Pics (Pens vs. Sabres - 11/28/2008)!

HftL reader, Shannon, was at the Penguins game against the Buffalo Sabres last night and was nice enough to send along some pictures to share with all of us.

THANKS, Shannon!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Malkin's Latest Interview (11/26/2008)

I'm lovin' the longer hair, Geno!! And I'm lovin' the English -- you gotta adore this cutie!!

The Steel City Sports Fan (Penguins Edition)

I just wanted to take the time to mention that both Kena and I have other, more - uh, "serious" [or not so serious according to Kena] blogs!! HftL started out as a feature of my original Pens blog called "The Steel City Sports Fan (Penguins Edition)" and it's posted on the sidebar to the left, but I wasn't sure how many of you knew (or noticed) that. I figured that you guys are such avid hockey fans, you would also enjoy reading this blog as well (if you don't already). It's actually the first blog I ever wrote (and continue along with HftL).

Its has all the latest new, rumors, and of course, my own personal opinion about our wonderful Pens!

Kena's blog, "Girls Are Real Sports Fans Too," covers several different sports and not just hockey (thus, the name) from football, hockey (especially the Dallas Stars - her favorite), to NASCAR.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

FINALLY -- Video of Curry Getting Creamed!!

BIG THANKS to HftL reader, Molly, for sending a link to the YouTube video of John Curry getting a towel-full of shaving cream in the face from Eric Godard while being interviewed by Dan Potash after the game!!  No secret this time -- Godard IS the culprit!!


I believe this is the jumbotron video that Lauren was referring to in her game summary that I posted on Monday.

GOOD STUFF - ENJOY, ladies!!

Sidney is very practical in his thinking.
I recently read an article on the Penguins webpage in which Sidney made the following statement (which is the basis my reason this week).
“You don’t want to waste any games. People don’t decide to go to work three days out of seven. I don’t think it’s fair for us to show up three out of four (games). You have to show up. You owe that to your teammates and the team in general, and to the fans. There’s no excuse for that.”


"Hockey 101 with HftL" -- our newest feature is ready to go and we added a special twist, so you'll want to be sure to visit us on Sunday to find out what it is!!

"Bad Boys of Winter" -- Kena and I have decided to start another new feature where we cover the NHL's "bad boys." They're badasses on ice, but we love them and we're dedicating a whole post / feature to them!!

HftL SURPRISE -- You won't want to miss this, so stay tuned (it's not definite at this point, but it will more than likely be posted towards the beginning of the week)!!

As we already mentioned last week (but it's SO WORTH REPEATING!), each Wednesday for the entire month of December, Kena will be dedicating her "Hotties of the Western Conference" posts to her favorite team (in addition to the Pens, of course!) -- the Dallas Stars!

Since I get so many requests to post blogs and fanfics (not to mention some of the great ones I come across myself), I decided to dedicate part of "Freaky Fridays" to a featured Blog and / or Fanfic. Although "Freaky Fridays" may be posted more frequently, the featured Blog and / or Fanfic posts will only be once a month. After the post has been up for a week, the link will be moved to a new HftL Blog / Fanfic list page.

AND Since this IS "Hockey for the Ladies," this is only open to blogs / fanfics authored by LADIES (sorry guys - if there are any that read this blog - HftL is not discriminating, but considering the subject matter of this blog, it's only fitting that it features blogs / fanfics by other females BUT IF YOU WISH TO SUBMIT your blog or fanfic, I will be happy to exchange link with you on my other blog, The Steel City Sports Fan (Penguins Edition)).

"HOCKEY for the Ladies!"

GRAPHIC made especially for me by KENA!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Hotties of the Western Conference: Eric Brewer (St. Louis Blues)

It's hard to find folks who truly appreciate the hotness of the “position” (minds out of the gutter, ladies) of defense [I think it's more like, 'get your mind out of the gutter, Kena!']. However, if you're looking for really intensely attractive hockey players, it's an area you had best not neglect. This week I am offering for your viewing pleasure one Eric Brewer. Star defenseman of the St. Louis Blues and owner of one of the sexiest smirks in the NHL.

IMPORTANT HOCKEY STUFF: He is Captain of the Blues. Yes, I know, the Blues. (who incidentally haven't exactly been stinking the place up so far this year), but since he's a D-man, we'll give him credit where credit is due (and my aunt's friend works for the Blues, so I can't be too hard on them). Sometimes defensive contributions don't show up on paper. Yes, I know, saves and blocked shots, but still. He's definitely no slouch. So far this year, he's been doing his share of scoring. Tell me you wouldn't want this guy [VIDEO] on your team (Stud). Ha, I won't believe you. He's played on a Canadian World team that won the World Championship and was also an alternate Captain on that team (I might be wrong on this, but I think I've got it right). He has 200 career penalty minutes as a Blue. He also leads the Blues in TOI (Time On Ice) averaging 24 ½ minutes per game (Stud). He was a first round draft pick of the NY Islanders.

THE REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF: Uh, oh, yes. I was distracted there for a minute. [ah - Kena, you crack me up!] Defenseman! 6'3” 222lbs. (swoon) Blue eyes and really dark blond/light brown hair. If you have been reading this feature for any length of time, you have already figured out that I have a preference (or weakness if you prefer more honesty) for blond hair. [that really doesn't take too long to figure out, little Ms. Kena!] But I'm going to say it again, just in case you all have forgotten - he's a defenseman which in and of it's self contributes significantly to the hotness factor. [you got that right!] A defenseman who can score and I DO mean that just in the hockey sense (although he could score with me, with very little difficulty as well [quit laughing Stephanie]). To me he looks like he'd be a perfect casting addition to the “I'm too sexy” video as he's perfected the “sexy smirk.” He also has a very intense on ice presence (I like to believe that this carries over to “other nocturnal activities” but I could be wrong). Another suggestion offered to me was that he looks like he belongs in one of those razor commercials where the men are shaving (BUT do we really want him to shave? Uh, jury's still out on that one...)

Check out this interview [VIDEO] and rate the cuteness factor for yourselves. I've been sold on him for a long time. But I'm not sure how good a sales(wo)man I am. Or is he for sale? (Humm, I might want to rethink that last question.)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Crosby Pictures of the Week

I couldn't decide on pictures this week (between sweet action shots of the game last Saturday and those giving a good shot of his handsome face), so I decided to post all of them as Pictures of the Week!!
And you do notice which one of the four are biggest, don't you?!!

Our Boys are Wonderful On and Off the Ice!

Yesterday afternoon, Brooks Orpik, Kris Letang, and Eric Godard handed out turkeys, and bags of potatoes & carrots to underprivileged families in the Hill District. This was the second year that the Penguins organization and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank joined together to provide food to those less fortunate.
“It humbles you a lot,” Orpik said. “You’re a lot more thankful than you usually are. These are people that have a lot less than us and appreciate it a lot more than we do. It reminds you, especially at this time of year, not to take anything for granted.”
This is the stuff that makes me proud to be a Pens fan because our players are not only good on the ice, they're just as good [hearted] off of it as well -- what a great bunch of guys!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! Enjoy the video (make sure to listen for Letang saying "Happy Thanksgiving" to everyone he hands a bag of carrots to -- TOO SWEET - he seems like such a gentle soul)!!!

Hockey to the Max (11/24/2008)

HftL reader, Traci, was nice enough to send me a link of the most recent "Hockey to the Max" segment on Savran on Sportsbeat yesterday which she recorded and uploaded to YouTube to share with all of us.

THANKS a bunch, Traci!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Unsung Hottie - Mark Eaton

This one comes by request (anything for my readers)!!

You don't hear alot about Mark Eaton let alone that he's a hottie, but I guess that would make him "unsung" in alot of different aspects since he's an important part of
the team's system (even though he's been a healthy scratch the last few games).

One of the things I like alot about Eaton is that he's American. There aren't many of them in the NHL, so they're automatically a favorite of mine if they've been born and raised in the good ol' USA!! He's from Wilmington, Delaware and played hockey for one season at the University of Notre Dame.

He's a gentleman and won an award for playing as such during his 1996-1997 season in the USHL by winning the Curt Hammer Award for most gentlemanly play. I believe he's married and has 2 kids (4 and 7 months), but I haven't been able to find much more on that. In fact, I couldn't find alot on him, so this post

Pittsburgh vs. Vancouver (from LUXURY BOX Seats)!

HftL reader, Lauren, was fortunate enough to attend last Saturday's Penguins game against the Vancouver Canucks (in LUXURY BOX seats, no less) and she was nice enough to send along a few pictures as well as her very own game summary to share with the rest of us.

ENJOY (and thanks again, Lauren, for sharing)!!

Lauren, her sister, brother-in-law, and brother

My dad’s company insurance is through Highmark (a major sponsor of the Penguins) and his Highmark rep was the one who invited us to sit in their box!It was definitely an experience I will never forget!

Sitting in the box was surreal – I’d always dreamed of what it would be like, and it pretty much met all my expectations! At one point, Ryan Whitney walked right by our box on his way upstairs to the press box, but we were all had our attention directed towards the ice (by we, I mean my siblings and I).

One of the highlights of the day was meeting Iceburgh! I’ve been to tons of Penguins games over the years, but today was actually the first time I got to meet and get my picture with Iceburgh! I noticed a big group of kids walking toward the elevator at one point, and I immediately thought those kids had been Sid’s special guests and that Iceburgh had paid them a visit! I don’t know if that’s really the case or not, but I like to think it is!

The fight 25 seconds into the game was great!!! I hadn’t seen any good fights lately (I was still at class when the Gronk dropped the gloves a few nights ago) and this one was definitely one for the books! Too bad it cost the Cookie Monster a game misconduct L Hearing John Barbaro list off all the penalties was kind of amusing.

I was very sad that I wouldn’t get to see Fleury play, but I was slightly consoled by the fact that I was going to get the rare opportunity to see Roberto Luongo play in person – I’ve heard so much about him and the Pens don’t play them often. Unfortunately, he suffered an injury early in the game and had to be helped off the ice by his teammates.

The Highmark rep who invited us said he loved watching the game with all of us, and we would have to do this again sometime! Of course, we all agreed whole-heartedly! So, with any luck, this won’t be the last game I get to enjoy from the box!

Also, they showed a video clip that I really hope they decide to post on PensTV for everyone to enjoy. It was Dupuis, Max, and Sid sitting in the locker room and it went like this:
Max: Hi! I’m Max Talbot!
Sid: And I’m Sidney Crosby and we’d just like to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving!
Max: Don’t eat too much turkey.
Dupuis doesn’t say anything, but has this big goofy grin on his face the whole time. Sid was smiling too – a nice change from his usual serious self!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

"Hockey 101" TODAY (and MORE on Things Ahead for HftL)!!

OK - a few things have occurred since my previous post about "what's ahead" at HftL which I wrote last night (it's always amazing how quickly things can change)!!

  • It looks like "Hockey 101" is still 'a go' and I may still be able to post it today (like I said, my latest plan was quite the last minute thing and it was bound to turn out a little late), so check back today -- I can't wait to introduce our latest feature (Kena and I are really excited about it, so we're hoping you'll enjoy it too)!!
  • AND - I'll definitely be able to post the surprise sooner than I originally thought, but I'm not sure when exactly that will be -- hopefully sometime this week (GOOD STUFF, so check back)!!
  • I received a summary and some GOOD PICS from yesterday's game from Hftl reader, Lauren, who was lucky enough to be at (in a LUXURY BOX no less)!! I'll try to have that up sometime today or tomorrow, so be on the watch for that too!!

Later, ladies!!

Sid Playing Soccer!!

HftL reader, Kiki, was nice enough to send a link to the video below -- this is THE BEST 13 seconds of video I've ever watch!! THANKS, Kiki, for sending the link (you made my day)!!! ; )
ENJOY ladies!!

A Small Setback with "Hockey 101 with HftL" AND What Lies Ahead

Sorry to disappoint all of you, ladies, but we're going to have to hold off on "Hockey 101 with HftL" for another week. It seems my last-minute plans "fell through" and there's still a possibility it will work, but it's best if we wait and I promise no matter what, this feature will begin next week!

PLUS - I still have another surprise up my sleeve even though I may not be able to "spring it on you" for another week or so!!

AND since Kena is a HUGE Dallas Stars fan, we decided to make next month a "December of Stars" and Kena is writing up "Hotties" for a total of five Dallas Stars for each week in December!!

So we still have plenty to look forward to, ladies!! Make sure to check in everyday because you never know what we'll come up with next!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

MORE Project Bundle-Up!

Pens TV has another look at the Pittsburgh Penguins Project Bundle-Up outing from last Monday. It gives a little bit more coverage than the WTAE video (has more interaction with the players / kids and interviews with the players)!! Still absolutely adorable!


Help US Reach Our Goal!

Do you hear that? That's the sound of my "virtual bell" ringing.

I've joined the Penguins Team and am hosting a Salvation Army Online Red Kettle and collecting donations to help those in need this Christmas. My kettle is just like those red kettles you see when you're out shopping except that it's online. If you'd like to donate, just click on the link below OR graphic in the sidebar to the right to my personal page and help The Salvation Army help thousands of people in need.

And if you're interested, you can help with more than a donation and it's really easy. Join the Penguins Online Red Kettle Team and help ring a "virtual bell." All you have to do is spread the word and send the link to your family and friends. The money we raise will help The Salvation Army change lives, for good. If you're interested, just click on the link below OR in the sidebar to the right.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Just a short post to keep you ladies "in-the-know" with upcoming HftL posts / features!!
  • I may have something special in the works, but I won't be specific about it until everything is confirmed!! STAY TUNED - YOU WON'T BE SORRY!!
  • AND don't forget to check out HftL new feature, "Hockey 101 with HftL" which will have it's inaugural post this coming Sunday (I may decide to change the day it's featured), but in the meantime, this feature will allow us to discuss various rules of hockey or an aspect of the game so we're all better able to understand / enjoy the game (and so we're not accused of being "puck bunnies")!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

This week's reason is ALL THANKS to the Project Bundle-Up coverage!!

Crosby is GREAT with Kids!!

We all saw how adorable he was in those Project Bundle-Up pictures (and in the next post, you'll actually get to see him in action). He's going to make a wonderful daddy someday and what girl's heart doesn't swoon over that in a guy?!!

WTAE Video of the Penguins Project Bundle-Up

OK - if you haven't seen this video yet, you're in for a treat!!

THANKS [as always] to Lauren for sending me the link!!

And I must warn you that this is just too adorable for words!! It doesn't matter whether or not you have a favorite player, you will fall IN LOVE with absolutely every player you see in this video (it's just that damn cute)!!

And Sidney fans - we all know he is good with and loves kids, but wait until you see him in action here at the beginning of the video (GREAT daddy material -- and what do you know, today's REASON #4)!!!

I know, I know - enough already, Stephanie!!! ENJOY the video, ladies!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hotties of the Western Conference: Denis Gauthier (Los Angeles Kings)

I was won over on this guy because of an appearance on (of all things) the TV Show, The Price is Right. Now, while I'm not a conneseure of television I really recommend checking out this [VIDEO] of the guys on the show. And this especially this one [VIDEO] of the Kings behind the scenes.

IMPORTANT HOCKEY STUFF: Currently he plays defense for the Los Angeles Kings. He's known for his big open-ice hits. He's a very physical, [LINK HERE] defensive player and was the Calgary Flames' first-round draft pick, 20th overall, in the 1995 Entry Draft. He made his NHL debut in 1997 and has since established himself as a powerful presence on the blue line of several teams (Flames, Coyotes, Flyers and Kings). Prior to the 2007-08 season, Gauthier was waived by the Flyers and was assigned to the Philadelphia Phantoms. He spent the entire season with the Phantoms and the following season was waived again on June 30, 2008. The following day he was traded along with a 2010 2nd round draft pick to the Los Angeles Kings for Patrik Hersley and Ned Lukacevic.

THE REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF: Guys who play like he does [VIDEO] get a special place on the “hot” list. But beyond that he's 6'2” 220lbs, of “tall, dark & puppy dog.” Light brown hair, and light brown eyes. The movie star hair matches a very mischievous grin. He played for the Philadelphia Flyers before, so maybe some of you already know (or even dislike) him but I'm not holding it against him since he plays for the Kings now. I know we all like the “bad boys” (we probably wouldn't be hockey fans if we didn't) and he's got the “bad boy” requirement well covered with [This VIDEO & ThisVideo].

And of course who doesn't love the French Canadian accent? [VIDEO]

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Crosby Picture(s) of the Week

These are recent pictures from the Penguins recent "Project Bundle-Up" shopping trip yesterday at Dick's Sporting Goods in the Mall at Robinson.

How cute is Crosby shopping with these kids (making sure that the shoes fit)?!! I included the one with Malkin because they're both just too cute (and I know a few of you are Malkin fans - this is a great one of him)!!!

ENJOY, ladies!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Unsung Hottie - Matt Cooke

Probably not alot of ladies would find one of the Penguins newer players, Matt Cooke, a hottie, but I'm always into the "bad boy" type so I was intrigued from the moment we picked him up to replace former team agitator Jarkko Ruutu (which, you may remember, is a favorite of mine) this past July.

I, myself, find Cooke attractive (aside from that tooth he's missing -- why do guys decide not to fix that?!)! But what prompted me to make him an "Unsung Hottie" is what I recently found out about him from reading the following article on the Pittsburgh Penguins webpage, "Cooke Adds Energy to Penguins Lineup."

In fact, Cooke’s three children – Gabby, Reece and Jackson – are never too far from his mind, nor his body for that matter. “A friend of ours runs a company in Vancouver that does tattooed shirts,” Cooke said. “She put my kids names on the back of my shirts because at the end of the day, that’s what everything is for. If you don’t have family, you have nothing.”

Also in the article, it talks about how he and his wife, Michelle, formed The Cooke Family Foundation of Hope in 2006 after suffering the loss of a niece who was stillborn after 38 weeks. The foundation provides assistance to "individuals faced with health, financial and emotional life changes." The foundation is only registered in Canada but they are currently in the process of registering in the US as well.

Who knew that Matt Cooke was such a family man?!! It goes to show that these guys are totally different off the ice then they are on.

“People wouldn’t necessarily know that the way they see me on the ice,” Cooke said. “I’m an old soul that way.”