Crunch Gorilla

“Al the Ice Gorilla” is on thin ice with the Syracuse Crunch


So we were reading this story about the Syracuse Crunch declining to renew their AHL affiliate agreement with the Anaheim Ducks, and it was all very boring until we came to this part:

Regardless of whom the Crunch partners with next season, the team will likely have an entirely new look. [Owner Howard] Dolgon said plans are in the works to revamp the team’s jerseys, colors and perhaps even replace mascot Al the Ice Gorilla.

This got us curious – why would the Crunch want to replace their mascot? And then we found out. It’s because Al the Ice Gorilla looks like this:


Can only imagine the brainstorming that went into the creation of Al the Ice Gorilla.

“We need a mascot to entertain the kids.”

“Hmmm…what about a gorilla?”

“A friendly gorilla?”

“No, a psychotic gorilla.”


Report: Kings, Richards nearing settlement

Mike Richards
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The Los Angeles Kings and Mike Richards may be nearing a settlement in their dispute over Richards’ terminated contract, TSN’s Bob McKenzie is reporting.

You can read the report for all the details, but we’re sure curious about this part:

If a settlement is reached, there’s no word yet on what salary cap penalties the Kings would still face. There’s bound to be something, but not likely as onerous as the full value of Richards’ contract, which carries with it a cap hit of $5.75 million. If there’s a settlement, Richards would undoubtedly become a free agent though there’s no telling at this point what monies he would be entitled to from the Kings in a settlement.

The issue here is precedent, and what this case could set. The NHL and NHLPA can’t allow teams to escape onerous contracts through a back door, and many are adamant that that’s what the Kings were attempting to do in Richards’ case.

Bettman to players: Don’t screw up ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ with drugs

Gary Bettman
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The NHL wants to take an educational approach — not a punitive one — to deter its players from using illicit drugs like cocaine.

“My interest is not to go around punishing people,” Bettman told Sportsnet today.

“My interest is getting players to understand the consequences of doing something that could jeopardize this great, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that they’ve been given, to play in the NHL.”

While some players have expressed surprise at hearing that cocaine use is growing, the anecdotal evidence of substance abuse has been very much in the news, from Jarret Stoll‘s arrest to Mike Richards’ arrest to, more recently, Zack Kassian‘s placement in the NHL/NHLPA’s treatment program.

“We don’t have the unilateral right to do things here. We need the consent of the Players’ Association,” Bettman said. “It’s not about punishment. It’s about making sure we get it to stop.”

Related: Cocaine in the NHL: A concern, but not a crisis?