Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Gear Review: ITech Youth Hockey Kit

A few weeks back, I signed my son up for hockey skating and ordered some gear for him. Trying to keep it simple and cheap, I bought the ITech Youth Hockey Kit. Unfortunately, it is VERY cheap. The pants and shin guards were decent, the shoulder pads were acceptable, but the gloves and elbow pads were junk, with little protection. Not recommended unless you are completely strapped for cash and you just cannot afford to spend any more money. For my son's safety, I ordered several quality levels up and probably spent twice as much, but it's cheap compared to an emergency room visit.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Event: Kinetic Grand Championship

Formerly known as the Kinetic Sculpture Race, the Kinetic Grand Championship is a 3-day race along California's northern coast from Arcata to Ferndale. Racers compete for glory in all variety of people-powered kinetic kontraptions, pedaling along roads, the beach... even across the Humboldt Bay! This year's event take splace on May 23, 2009. Check out the galleries for some amazing contraptions!

Gear: Hockey Jersey #43

At the last game, I finally got my jersey, and it's #43, which is my age, so that is really cool. I looked at the A to Z of Hockey website, and discovered that the following have worn the same #:

Mikael Andersson
New York Islanders 1999-00
Jeff Batters
St Louis Blues 1993-94
Bob Beers
Boston Bruins 1989-91
Ken Belanger
Toronto Maple Leafs 1994-95
Maxim Bets
Anaheim Mighty Ducks 1993-94
Martin Biron
Buffalo Sabres 2001-04 & 2005-07Philadelphia Flyers 2006-08
Dennis Bonvie
Edmonton Oilers 1994-95
Philippe Boucher
Los Angeles Kings 2001-02Dallas Stars 2002-04 & 2005-08
Patrice Brisebois
Montreal Canadiens 1990-04
Paul Brousseau
Florida Panthers 2000-01
Benoit Brunet
Montreal Canadiens 1988-89
Ryan Caldwell
New York Islanders 2005-06
Ryan Callahan
New York Rangers 2006-07
Jan Caloun
San Jose Sharks 1995-96Columbus Blue Jackets 2000-01
Matt Carkner
San Jose Sharks 2005-06
Andrew Cassels
Montreal Canadiens 1989-90
Denis Chervyakov
Boston Bruins 1992-93
Jeff Daniels
Pittsburgh Penguins 1991-92
Xavier Delisle
Tampa Bay Lightning 1998-99
Nathan Dempsey
Toronto Maple Leafs 1996-02
Murray Eaves
Detroit Red Wings 1989-90
David Emma
Florida Panthers 2000-01
Leonard Esau
Quebec Nordiques 1992-93
Tomas Fleischmann
Washington Capitals 2005-08
Bryan Fogarty
Quebec Nordiques 1989-92
Kyle Freadrich
Tampa Bay Lightning 1999-00
Don Gibson
Vancouver Canucks 1990-91
Ravil Gusmanov
Winnipeg Jets 1995-96
Scott Hannan
San Jose Sharks 1999-00
Jay Harrison
Toronto Maple Leafs 2005-07
Darren Helm
Detroit Red Wings 2007-08
Matt Hervey
Boston Bruins 1991-92
Matt Hussey
Detroit Red Wings 2006-07
Ric Jackman
Boston Bruins 2001-02
Al Iafrate
Boston Bruins 1993-94San Jose Sharks 1996-98
Tim Jackman
Los Angeles Kings 2006-07
Lars Jonsson
Philadelphia Flyers 2006-07
Lukas Kaspar
San Jose Sharks 2007-08
Pat Kavanagh
Vancouver Canucks 2000-01
Ladislav Kohn
Detroit Red Wings 2001-02Calgary Flames 2002-03
Jason MacDonald
New York Rangers 2003-04
Mike MacWilliam
New York Islanders 1995-96
Bill McDougall
Detroit Red Wings 1990-91
Jeff McLean
San Jose Sharks 1993-94
Bjorn Melin
Anaheim Ducks 2006-07
Joe Murphy
Boston Bruins 1999-00
Jaroslav Obsut
St Louis Blues 2000-01Colorado Avalanche 2001-02
Serge Payer
Ottawa Senators 2003-04Florida Panthers 2005-06Ottawa Senators 2006-07
Byron Ritchie
Florida Panthers 2001-02
Jean-Yves Roy
Boston Bruins 1996-98
Martin Samuelsson
Boston Bruins 2002-03
Tommy Sestito
Columbus Blue Jackets 2007-08
Wade Skolney
Philadelphia Flyers 2005-06
Dan Smith
Colorado Avalanche 1998-00
Yan Stastny
Boston Bruins 2005-07
Mike Stuart
St Louis Blues 2003-04 & 2005-06
Mike Stutzel
Phoenix Coyotes 2003-04
Tomas Surovy
Pittsburgh Penguins 2002-04 & 2005-06
Chris Taylor
New York Islanders 1995-96
Darcy Wakaluk
Phoenix Coyotes 1996-97
Mike Weaver
Atlanta Thrashers 2001-03Los Angeles Kings 2005-06
Ray Whitney
San Jose Sharks 1991-92
James Wisniewski
Chicago Blackhawks 2005-08
Vitali Yachmenev
Nashville Predators 1998-03
Libor Zabransky
St Louis Blues 1996-98
Thomas Ziegler
Tampa Bay Lightning 2000-01

James Wisniewski, who played for the Hawks, but was traded to the Ducks this year, was a player I enjoyed watching.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Book Review: George Plimpton's "Open Net"

Yesterday, I finished reading George Plimpton's (1927-2003) great account of his participatory journalism with the Boston Bruins, Open Net (1985: Norton, NY). I've always enjoyed his sports writing and this book on hockey in the majors really rang true. Self-deprecating, a fan at heart, and digging out the strange and funny historical stories, this book makes me want to step in front of an NHL slapshot, just to hear it whistle past my ear into the goal. Definitely recommended!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Injury: Hockey

Last week, during our skills and drills session, while scrimmaging 3-on-3, I felt a twinge in my back, but continued playing. Monday I could barely move. I hope to be well enough for skating class on Saturday, but don't know. I'm off painkillers and can move around pretty well, so I've got my fingers crossed.

I haven't been running at all, but once the back clears up, I'm going to start again. I've changed my work schedule so I go in later and, now that the weather is better, it will be nice to get out before jumping on the train.

Hockey Camp: Minneapolis, MN

I signed up for a summer adult hockey camp to take place in Minneapolis, MN at the end of July (see website). I'm really looking forward to it for many reasons. 4 days of nothing but hockey means I'm guaranteed to improve at least part of my game in some manner. I've never been to Minneapolis and we're skating on the Minnesota Wild practice ice, so there is always a chance we'll meet some NHL players. Don't know what they do during the summer.

Running, Skiing, and Endurance Sports - Patagonia.com

REI: Gear for the Great Outdoors

UnderArmour - I WILL

Outdoor DIVAS - Adventure Gear for Active Women