PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Even if you’re one of those cold souls who think that playoff beards are played out – really? – this story should warm your heart a bit: the Washington Capitals’ (copyrighted!) Beard-a-Thon raised more than $30K for the American Special Hockey Association. (Capitals)
Want to get your mind blown a little bit? Check out these photos of young and very young Mike Babcock. (BarDown)
Former WWE star CM Punk’s passion for the Chicago Blackhawks is no secret, but you can find out more about his fandom here. (The Hockey News)
Alex Killorn believes that his mom is more impressed with his degree than his NHL career. Well, it is from Harvard. (Tampa Bay Times)
More on Joel Quenneville’s decision to go with “fresh legs.” (CSNChicago.com)
The “ripple effect” of Babcock’s contract. (Sportsnet)
Clearing the defensive zone might not be so clearly beneficial. (Jen LC)
The Bruins got haircuts for a good cause today.
The cause was not fashion.
Via The Boston Globe:
At the fifth annual “Cuts for a Cause” charity event, 17 members of the Bruins got their hair cut and heads shaved to raise money for the Boston Bruins Foundation and Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center.
This year’s event raised over $58,000 for the cause.
Shawn Thornton, Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Nathan Horton, Milan Lucic, Adam McQuaid, Chris Kelly, Johnny Boychuk, Jordan Caron, Torey Krug, Mike Mottau, Daniel Paille, Benoit Pouliot, Rich Peverley, Tyler Seguin and Dennis Seidenberg – every single one of them deserve kudos for participating.
That said, a shaved head isn’t nearly as embarrassing as it used to be. In fact, it’s not embarrassing at all. Which is why the scene in Police Academy where Cadets Copeland and Blankes “take it all off” is lost on so many young people.
Anyway, so instead of just walking away with a shaved head and looking like a million other guys on the street, B’s forward Brad Marchand took it up a notch.
It’s not clear whether Marchand plans to keep the haircut, but if he’s looking for an unbiased opinion, we hear Al Iafrate thinks it looks sharp.
It’s the end of the run for the Florida Panthers. No, they’re not going anywhere other than perhaps the playoffs, but their blue third jerseys are being worn for the final time today against the Islanders.
As George Richards of On Frozen Pond hears from Panthers star forward Stephen Weiss, saying goodbye to the blue jerseys won’t be too difficult.
“We’ve been doing good in them, but I like the red ones better,” said Weiss, noting Florida has won the past three games in the third ‘Sunday-only’ jerseys and are 4-2-1 in them this season.
“They’re alright. But they aren’t the most intimidating things around. It is what it is. We wore them for a few years, now we’re moving on.”
It’s not all snark for what was ultimately a very ugly and pointless jersey, the Panthers are doing something good with them by conducting a silent auction during the game for the blue nightmares and giving the money to the Panther Foundation for pediatric cancer.
Giving up the shirts off your back for kids with cancer? That’ll play. If that doesn’t warm your heart, then we need to have a sit-down discussion about life.
Technically, you could probably say that fans engage in “Twitter battles” during every game of the season. In fact, people who hold a rival team in particular distaste rarely let the league’s schedule makers determine when they’ll launch their insults. Sometimes the results are charming and amusing; other times it gets ugly or downright creepy. Then again, that’s the danger and delight of the Internet: it opens up all kinds of avenues – not all of them are good, though.
Hopefully the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers will bring out the best in their fan bases this afternoon, though. The two squads are encouraging fans to participate in a “hashtag” battle on Twitter, while at least one of the teams will make sure that a local charity is the biggest winner. Here’s a quick rundown of the setup, via the Kings:
- Fans can enter a tweet that includes one of two hashtags: #GoLAKings or #GoNYRangers.
- Fans who use the #GoLAKings tag will be entered in a drawing to win a free round trip ticket via Delta Airlines. (Delta will fly anyone to one of their destinations in the United States or Canada.)
- The Kings will donate $1,000 for every 5,000 tweets to the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles.
It’s unclear what the Rangers are doing for fans who go in their direction, but it’s likely that charitable organizations would benefit from their side as well. (Feel free to share the Rangers’ plans in the comments.)
In the spirit of the situation, it would be ideal if fans kept their tweets clean. Example: avoid controversial subjects like the two franchises’ battle to land Brad Richards and stick to common ground issues, such as communal mockery of Sean Avery.
Anyway, it’s a great way for the two teams to promote a game that will take place at unusual time for casual fans while also generating charitable donations. Much like the Washington Capitals teaming up with the Pittsburgh Penguins to benefit the families of the Lokomotiv victims, it’s fantastic to see “opposing forces” come together for great causes.
Normally, a Washington Capitals-Pittsburgh Penguins game urges the use of negative words – it isn’t rare to see the word “hate” thrown around. The two teams probably won’t engage in a group hug on Oct. 13, but there should be an atmosphere of somber positivity during that regular season game.
The two squads announced that the game will usher in a joint effort to benefit the Lokomotiv plane crash victims’ families. The Capitals and Penguins will wear commemorative patches on their jerseys (see: this post’s main image) to honor those lost in that terrible tragedy. Players will autograph those sweaters for NHL.com auctions that run from Oct. 13 through Oct. 27. TSN reports that remembrance bracelets will also be sold to benefit the families.
It’s a fantastic idea that certainly must stem in some way from the fact that both rosters include prominent Russian players. The Capitals feature stars such as Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin while the Penguins boast Evgeni Malkin – just to name the clubs’ biggest stars from the hockey hotbed.
Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero captured the mood appropriately.
“We compete against each other hard on the ice, but off the ice we all are part of one big hockey family,” Penguins General Manager Ray Shero said. “Many of our players had friends on the Lokomotiv team. All of us in hockey were touched by this tragic loss. We just thought the Oct. 13 game was a unique opportunity for our two teams to work together to raise money for the children and families of the players, coaches and staff who lost their lives.”
Hopefully other NHL teams follow the Capitals and Penguins’ leads by finding creative ways to raise money for the many people whose lives were impacted by that awful accident.
(Patch image via Pittsburgh Penguins.)