A few tips if #ThrowTheSnake becomes a reality

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Obviously, I’ve had plenty of fun with the red-hot #ThrowtheSnake meme today, as you can see from this post and my brief history of odd things fans enjoy throwing on the ice. But – as much of an uncontrollable locomotive of a meme monster as its become – I have to admit that much of what I was writing was in jest.

Yet, it seems like the idea has a chance of becoming more than just a flash-in-the-pan for its creators Chemmy (of Pension Plan Puppets) and (and Phoenix Coyotes blogger) Travis Hair. Travis Hughes of Sports Blog Nation (the network Hair’s Five for Howling belongs to) states that the movement might indeed result in an actual (OK, plastic) snake being thrown. Hughes shares some more thoughts on the meme’s popularity and just how “real” it is getting.

And from there it took off. 39-plus re-tweets. The number one trending topic in Canada. It took on a life of its own, getting to the point where Travis himself didn’t even know what was going on. Slowly though, it’s actually becoming a serious thought. Travis’ wife chimed in via an email to him supporting the idea, calling it his “cultural obligation”, “an opportunity to make a tangible impact” in a city with a “weak fan culture.”

From there, the planning actually got going, with fans from several teams chiming in about getting rubber snakes shipped to Arizona in bulk. Could it actually happen? Could a little thought, started as a joke, turn into a tradition in the the Desert?

If Hair and Co. do plan to act on such an awesome idea, I have a few suggestions. These suggestions are made with the overly ambitious idea of handing tons of them out to fans in mind – not just throwing one on the ice – by the way. (Obviously taking things a little further.)

Slap your logo(s) on it: Casual fans might not know about your blog right now, but if they know the source, that will go a long way in winning some well-deserved readers.

Make them cheap (or better, free): Obviously, that’s the tricky part. Earlier I discussed attending a Texas Brahmas game with Tapeleg in which we threw soft Brahmas when the team scored a goal. The key was that the cute little things were cheap.

They better be soft and easy to throw: Don’t make the mistake of giving noodle-armed (or worse, cannon-armed) fans something hard to throw. As the guys at Hockeenight told me, the Chicago Blackhawks handed out construction helmets one night in which a Chicago player scored a hat trick. As you can imagine, the situation was a bit … nerve-wracking.

Follow those three steps and you could be onto something ingenious. Good luck Travis and Co. We could be all be privy to a true moment in Twitter-fueled history. God help us all.

Canada scores five unanswered in 5-1 rout of Team USA at Worlds

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Team Canada’s veteran lineup was too much for the young Americans to handle today in Saint Petersburg, Russia, where the Canadians rolled to a convincing 5-1 victory as the preliminary round of the World Championship got underway.

The United States actually opened the scoring, on a first-period, power-play goal by Patrick Maroon. But Taylor Hall quickly tied it, and soon after that, Brendan Gallagher gave the Canadians the lead. Matt Duchene, Boone Jenner, and Brad Marchand added the insurance goals for Canada.

Keith Kinkaid was in goal for the Americans, Cam Talbot for the Canadians.

Auston Matthews logged 16:56 in ice time and registered three shots for Team USA, who play Belarus tomorrow.

The Canadians are off until Sunday, when they’ll take on Hungary.

Rangers’ Lindberg has hip surgery, will need six months to recover

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 10: Oscar Lindberg #24 of the New York Rangers celebrates his second goal of the game at 5:12 of the first period against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Madison Square Garden on October 10, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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The New York Rangers announced this morning that forward Oscar Lindberg has undergone a “successful simultaneous bilateral hip labral repair.”

That’s a long way of saying he had hip surgery.

The Rangers say the expected recovery time for Lindberg is six months, meaning the 24-year-old is likely to get a late start to next season.

In 2015-16, his first full season in the NHL, Lindberg had 13 goals and 15 assists in 68 games. However, he was a regular healthy scratch down the stretch.

“I thought Oscar was playing well,” head coach Alain Vigneault said in March. “But when Rick Nash came back, we had 13 healthy forwards. It’s just the way it slotted out.”

In the playoffs, Lindberg dressed for just two of the Rangers’ five contests (Games 4 and 5 versus Pittsburgh).

Related: Rangers sign Lindberg

Report: Wild talked to Crawford, Boucher about head coaching gig

Guy Boucher
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Of all the available coaching gigs, Minnesota’s seems to be the most muddled right now — there’s still no word on the status of interim bench boss John Torchetti, and GM Chuck Fletcher has reached out to both Randy Carlyle and Bruce Boudreau.

Now, the Star-Tribune is reporting Fletcher has also contacted another pair of veteran coaches: Marc Crawford and Guy Boucher.

Crawford, fresh off a four-year stint in the Swiss League — where he coached coveted draft prospect Auston Matthews in Zurich — is gunning for an NHL return, and would even accept an assistant coaching position to get his foot back in the door.

Related: Marc Crawford coaching in Detroit? Hey, could happen…

Boucher, also coming off a stint in the Swiss League, wants back in the NHL as well. He was in the running for a pair of gigs last offseason — Toronto, which ultimately went to Mike Babcock, and New Jersey, which ultimately went to John Hynes.

An interesting wrinkle with the Wild’s coaching search? Per the Star-Tribune, it sounds like coaches might be asking as many questions of Fletcher as Fletcher is of the coaches. The longtime GM has come under fire recently for the club’s current roster makeup, which forced owner Craig Leipold to give Fletcher a public vote of confidence during the playoffs.

Caggiula expected to sign shortly, Canucks could be front-runners

during the championship game of the 2016 NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Championships at Amalie Arena on April 9, 2016 in Tampa, Florida.The North Dakota Fighting Hawks defeated the Quinnipiac Bobcats 5-1 to win the national title. Getty
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College free agent Drake Caggiula is expected to pick a team shortly, possibly even today.

The University of North Dakota winger had originally shortlisted six teams, according to a report. Those teams were Philadelphia, Edmonton, Ottawa, Vancouver, Chicago and Buffalo.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie said this morning on Edmonton radio that the Canucks are “maybe” the front-runners to land the 21-year-old. Vancouver signed Caggiula’s teammate, defenseman Troy Stecher, a couple of weeks ago, and Caggiula’s linemate, Brock Boeser, was drafted by the Canucks in the first round last year.

Recently, Boeser told Postmedia that he was trying to convince Caggiula to sign with Vancouver, where there will be plenty of opportunities for young forwards in the next couple of years.

If it’s not the Canucks, McKenzie said he’s heard the Oilers have a “puncher’s chance” of getting Caggiula.