Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Crosby Pictures of the Week

First off, let's give a little "background information" about these pictures.  Yesterday, Sidney Crosby along with a few other Pittsburgh players (Paul Martin, Jordan Staal, and Max Talbot were the only others I saw pictures of) were in Cannes, France aboard the Jetèe Albert Edouard yacht to attend the film screening and after-party for "Trophy Wife."

Now ... is it me or have the Penguin players (especially Sid) hit Hollywood status??!!! I understand that this is off-season and that they should be able to do what they want in their off-time / personal lives; however, it's not sitting well with me.  Am I the only one with this response?

I mean, it's getting a little "trashy" even.  Why do hockey players need to attend Cannes Film Festival and / or openings of films?  I don't get the connection here.  The Kentucky Derby was a little bit of a stretch, but the Mint Jubilee benefited cancer research, so I could understand that.  A film screening IN Cannes ON A YACHT?!!  Why - what purpose does it serve the hockey / NHL community?!!  To me, it's just getting a bit ridiculous especially since none of us (including Crosby) know whether or not he'll be cleared to play ever again.

LET'S PLAY HOCKEY, BOYS ... not schmooz it up with all the stars in Hollywood!!

Oh well ... today's post are "pics of the week" and not a soap box, so ENJOY (but feel free to post your opinion if you feel the need especially since I felt the need to get things off my chest - I welcome feedback!)!!!

TOP: Paul Martin, Jamie-Lynn Sigler (Sopranos), Sidney Crosby, Jordan Staal
LEFT:  Michael Saylor (entrepreneur), Sidney Crosby, Voula Duval (film's director), Paul Martin
RIGHT: Voula Duval (film's director), Paul Martin, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Sidney Crosby, Jordan Staal

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Untimely Death of Ranger Enforcer Boogaard

Graphic courtesy of ESPN
UPDATE: In reading about Boogaard, I've learned more about the situation.  The New York Post is reporting that Boogaard got permission from Rangers management a week prior to the end of the NHL season to exit early and "receive counseling to help him deal with unspecified issues."  NYP learned that a few weeks prior to his death he began counseling with the NHL / NHLPA Substance Abuse & Behavioral Health Program.

The NYP further reports that Boogaard had an unremarkable season prior to sitting out after suffering from a concussion in a fight with Matt Carkner of the Ottawa Senators on December 9th.  The Star (Toronto) spoke to Boogaard's close friend and fellow [former] NHL heavyweight Georges Laraque who told them Boogaard had been cleared from that injury and back training.  There is no evidence that this could be a cause for his death.  Larague planned to do some fight training with Boogaard this summer to help him get ready for the next season. 
“He felt a lot of pressure and he was obviously really frustrated with his last fight that caused him a concussion, and that’s why he really wanted to come back stronger than ever,” said Laraque in a phone interview. “He’s the toughest guy in the league, right. There’s pressure that comes with that. But he was ready to take it.”
Today, Laraque dedicated a 42 km run to Derek then set out to "re-tweet" all the touching tributes posted on Twitter for him.
Here's our Montreal-New York team mission accomplish for everyone, Derek I did all the 42km for you!

This has been news for a little bit today, but it's the first time I've been online and Twitter was just overwhelming with tweets about the death of NY Rangers enforcer, Derek Boogaard.

I was shocked as I'm sure everyone else is.  Boogaard was found last night in his Minnesota apartment by his brothers, Ryan and Aaron.  There has been no further information about his death and early reports say that an autopsy is being conducted but the results will not be released for at least two weeks.

He is survived by two brothers, his sister Krysten, and mother and father (Joanne and Len).  He was only 28.

“Derek was an extremely kind and caring individual,” said New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather. “He was a very thoughtful person, who will be dearly missed by all those who knew him. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and teammates during this difficult time.”

Michael Russo of The Star Tribune's "Russo's Rants" blog (Minnesota) spoke to Derek's brother, Ryan.  He told Russo that his parents have donated Derek's brain to Boston Univeristy researchers who are studying CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) in athletes.  CTE is a progressive brain disease believed to be caused by repetitive trauma to the brain, including concussions or subconcussive blows.  Ryan went on to express the Boogaard family's appreciation of all the support:
"Our family appreciates everybody's calls and condolences," Ryan Boogaard said.
"Derek loved Minnesota. He loved it here. That's why he made it his place in the summertime. He loved the fans here. He loved playing in that building. He just loved everything about Minneapolis.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Boogaard family, the Rangers organization, and the entire NHL community.

Friday, May 13, 2011

HftL's 2011 Hockey Cup of Hotness

It's that time of year again!!  This poll went over so well last year that OF COURSE I decided to bring it back again this year (and keep it running for as many years as HftL's is in existence!)!  So this will be the 2nd annual Hockey Cup of Hotness (if you're new to HftL or you need to jog your memory, CLICK HERE and HERE for more info!)!!

HftL wants to know which of the four teams left in the playoffs (Canucks, Sharks, Lightning, Bruins) should win HftL's "Hockey Cup of Hotness" this year?  Which of those four teams is deserving of a title for having the best looking / hottest players??  Last year's WINNER was the Chicago Blackhawks who also happened to win the Stanley Cup. 

TELL HftL ... poll opens today and will end when the last team standing raises that glorious silver trophy!!!  And please keep in mind, ladies, that this has NOTHING to do with who you think will win the Stanley Cup and has EVERYTHING to do with which team you think is the hottest / best looking!!! ; )  If you feel like elaborating on your choice, you can do so in the "comments" section, but the poll will stay in the column along the left side of the blog!!

VOTE AS MUCH / AS MANY TIMES AS YOU LIKE (but make it count and don't try to fix things ... be fair!)!!

So start voting for the hottest team, ladies!!!  HftL IS COUNTING ON YOU!!! : )

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rest In Peace "Cotton Candy Man"

By now you have all heard the sad news.

Picture courtesy of PPG
If you've ever gone to a Pens game, you probably became pretty familiar with a particular vendor sprinting up and down the concrete steps of the Igloo pedalling cotton candy.  He is known by many nicknames depending on which Pittsburgh sports event you attended (I've always known him as the "cotton candy man," Steelers fans know him as the "Coke-here guy," and Bucs fans called him "lemonade man").  His real name is Kenneth (Kenny) D. Geidel and, unfortunately because of his recent death, yesterday was the first time I actually learned his real name and the fact that he had a wife and four children.  He was a husband, brother, and grandfather.  He was just a regular guy.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Dejan Kovacevic wrote a really nice article / obituary that honors Mr. Geidel and is featured in today's paper.  According to the PPG, Mr. Geidel fell ill on Sunday while working at the Bucs game and died the next day due to complications with an intestinal infection.

David Morehouse, Penguins CEO and president, had this to say (click HERE to read the brief article posted on the Pens webpage):

“Ken provided great service to our fans and was part of the fabric of a Penguins game at Mellon Arena or CONSOL Energy Center,” said David Morehouse, CEO and president of the Penguins. “The history of Pittsburgh sports is unique because it includes not just great players and coaches, but also memorable vendors and ushers. Ken was part of that history. We extend our deepest sympathy to his family.”
To say he was unique is a little bit of an understatement.  His style of selling cotton candy (and other merchandise at the Bucs and Steelers games) was no doubt what made him stand out.  "Cotton candy heeeeeeeere!"

He will truly be missed among Pittsburgh sports fans and there's no doubt that a void will be felt the next time any of us attend a Bucs, Pens, or Steelers game - he definitely added to the entire game atmosphere and your experience attending any sporting event in Pittsburgh.  He will forever be a part of Pittsburgh sports history.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Geidel family.  Rest in peace, Mr. Geidel (I will fondly remember you as the "cotton candy man," but I'm glad to know your name).

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Crosby and Neal Pictures of the Week

We all know that the off-season means it's pretty slow with pics; HOWEVER, this past week there were a few events that helped in that department with Sid and Nealy.

Nealy, of course, was invited to play with Team Canada at this year's IIHF Championships.  The tournament runs from April 29th - May 15th and there have been games daily with 15 countries taking part.  Team Canada is doing pretty well and so is Neal (he scored the GWG for them last week to advance the team into the quarterfinals)!  So his pics this week come from the IIHF games.

And as for our incredible captain, he seems to have scored himself an invitation to the 2011 Mint Jubilee (a prestigious charity event held on the eve of the Kentucky Derby to benefit the fight against cancer) and was hob-knobbing with all kinds of celebrities like Jennifer Tilly, Mike Chiasson (below, left), and the Mint Jubilee co-founders Chris Thieneman and Tom Thieneman (below, right).