September 18 Winterhawks Weekly

 When it comes to the narrative surrounding Opening Night Friday (presented by Pacific Office Automation), it’s all about who might not be here. We have eight players off at NHL camps (a ninth drafted player, Blake Heinrich, didn’t go due to injury), and Josh Hanson is injured.

So yes, there will be more fresh faces this weekend than a new season of The Wire.

But it would be a mistake to dwell on who’s not here. The Hawks have gotten used to playing shorthanded before. Whether it’s players off at NHL camps, international tournaments or emergency NHL call-ups, the team has always responded.

Besides, there’s on upshot to all these new players: nicknames! Seriously, a few of the newbies have names tailor-made for great monikers. Check these out:

Colton Veloso-Raptor (Credit Todd Vrooman for that one)

Michael Bullion-aire

Nick Heid-and-Seek

Blake Heinrich Maneuver (also the name of one of Interpol’s better songs)

Brendan De Jong and the Restless (Works best knowing it’s pronounced de-yung)

And my personal favorite… Jack “Flaman Moe’s”

Typically, hockey nicknames just add an “-er” or “-ie” to the first or last syllable of a player’s last name. Burkie, Pricer, etc. But right there are six home runs (I’m not apologizing for Bullionaire). If Todd Vrooman doesn’t refer to every Jack Flaman goal on the air as a “Flaman Moe”, or a great Blake Heinrich goal as a “Heinrich Maneuver”, then I’m telling Chipotle not to sell him burritos anymore.

At any rate, it’s time for a new hockey season. Yeah, a few guys are gone. And yeah, those guys combined for over 300 points last year. And yeah, there are league All-Stars among the group. And yeah…uh, wait…look, Friday night, just after 7 p.m., a new season starts. Let’s enjoy it.

This Week in Mail:

Thanks for the question, Jaime.

The easiest way to look at it is this: each team has a 50-player protected list. That list includes players on the current rosters, players the team has drafted playing in other leagues to gain experience before joining the WHL, or undrafted players the team has scouted and like enough to want to make sure no other team can sign them.

Essentially, being on a team’s protected list means no other WHL team can acquire that player except through trade. That said, the list is fluid, players can be dropped and added throughout the season.

Todd and I had a debate in the office the other day that we decided to carry over into a podcast. Below we debate the concept of momentum in hockey:

YouTube Clip of the Week:

When you work in sports, one of the greatest fears is a game presentation element gone wrong. It’s an awful feeling- someone trips stepping onto a carpet, or a microphone isn’t working, or an anthem singer brings out a stand-up bass- the situation starts falling apart fast and the best you can do is try to salvage it.

It’s even worse knowing that moment is likely to live on forever on YouTube. So it’s with a “there-but-for-the-grace-of-God-go-I” feeling that I share this clip, but it’s one of my favorites. From the reaction of Billy the Marlin in the bed of the pickup truck to the groundskeeper with the defeated look of a man knowing this is about to be his problem, it’s fantastic. Hopefully somewhere, Marlins staffers are sitting around laughing about this one.

Winterhawks Weekly brings fans an inside look at the team. Your weekly contributors will be Hawks play-by-play voice Todd Vrooman, PR Director Graham Kendrick and Community & Events Coordinator Lesley Dawson. 

This week’s edition comes from PR Director Graham Kendrick.

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