Sunday, January 30, 2011

Running a Hockey Team

On most days i kick myself wondering why the heck did i ever start a hockey team , i mean it is cool and all but it is a tremendous amount of work . I was just sick of being lied to by other teams i had played for , and i didn't want to hurt myself again playing for another bunch of assholes .

Don't really want to swing off topic too much as this is more of a positive post .... i mean it starts off dark and gloomy but stick around , it gets nicer :) .... i am not going to moan about some jerk or this or that what i do want to mention is how starting a hockey team has built my own little community . The team we were supposed to play bailed out last night so we had an elaborate scrimmage with some random players we put together with the help of our league . Our game started and about 10 minutes in i look over my shoulder and see Rob Trick trying to get into our room.

Ok so a few weeks ago Rob put his hockey equipment out in his backyard and some low life stole his gear !! He showed up to hockey that night and sat on the bench .... yeah i know doesn't that suck . The Ghetto Blasters as a collective all pulled together and got all of our old and spare equipment together to get him onto the ice , so i knew when i saw him he was there to play hockey . Next thing you know he was stepping on the ice very awkwardly , looking weird in his new pieced together set of hockey equipment HAHAHA . It must have felt really weird for Rob in all this new (used) equipment ....for now it will do until Rob can get his own gear together .

Running a hockey team is mostly a pain in the ass , but last night when i got into the dressing room after our ice time and Rob stood up and thanked us all it gave me a much better perspective on things . At that moment i finally realized that we had become like a small community , it is a very comforting feeling knowing that we are all there to help each other when in need . Today i wake up and i can say that i am proud to be running the Ghetto Blasters more than ever and it is not because of a win or a trophy , it is because i know i am running a hockey team full of great people !

I really want to thank all the guys that pitched in for Rob , we actually have enough to donate to our league too just in case someone ever forgets their equipment !

Saturday, January 29, 2011

the things one must do .... :(

Yeah i know i haven't posted any blogs in like a week or so , by now you have given up on reading my blog haven't you ? ....oh well , today i am up really sadistically early and i have to go to work uggg . It is Saturday just having my morning cup a tea ;) This week i picked up some work working in the stage hand business thanks to a friend of mine that plays hockey in my league ....shameless plug goes out to Snap Hoek !

Lately i have been watching over my aeroplan points hoping the ultimate flight pops up to use my points as basically you don't just find a flight and use your points , no no no . They list the flights with the seats available for them , all flights have a cap on how many freebies they give out ( this is what i assume ) . This morning i already checked it and there is a flight that could just make me happy enough . Forgot to mention this is for Hawaii ....

The most commonly asked question to me when someone finds out about all my travelling is " what do you do for a living to afford all of this ?" ..... hahahaha, i work ... i don't go out wasting my money here at home really being picky about when i go out which is not very often . You see i don't really think it is as exciting to go downtown get wasted and come home the next morning . With that $150 or so for 1good night out approx. i keep in my pocket , if you imagine 10 nights like that off and you have a flight to Europe :) another 10 and you have spending money for a month ! I find it much more exciting to get drunk in a foreign country where i have no comprehension of the language and try to find my way home .....

Really hoping that today work goes by FAST ! Have a good weekend .

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Josh McKarney

Just like every season so far i have had people drop out at the last second , or a month in when i return from my trip ....great guys , you know who i am talking about if you are reading this ! The constant struggle to find players to play for the Ghetto Blasters continues , it is really hard to find a good guy that will be a good dressing room presence and a good player at the same time .

Luckily we have a few scouts on our team particularly Chad Dobbin. Chad brought us our latest addition right before Christmas ( yes i said Christmas ) ....enter Josh McKarney . Now when Chad brings me a player i usually have enough trust to know that he is not bringing us a lemon , but this time he was bringing us an American guy ???? From Florida ??? yeah hockey is flourishing down there , and in my spirit of having foreigners join our club i welcomed Josh with open arms .

Right off the bat i could see that Josh would be a great fit with the team , he is a bit younger than most of us which means a + on the enthusiasm side ! Our first icetime with Josh was in an exhibition game and Josh was willing to play anywhere ....amazing . Another utility player . Now i don't mean to knock any American hockey players as i know that there are tons of amazing hockey players down there , i was just a bit surprised that we were getting a Floridian ( that might i add can play hockey :) . Josh has played 3 games for us so far and that is why i don't have any pics to post of him , but i am sure that he will be Ghetto for a long time coming . As of now Josh is probably hopping on a plane to head back to Toronto to play hockey for us ! like i said the kid has alot of enthusiasm , with comments like " i never thought i would be into hockey so much again " , this after a tough loss last weekend to a rival team .

The fact that you are on a plane right now , rushing back to play for the Ghetto Blasters is enough reason for me to write a blog about you . Tonight you are playing D , see you at the rink .

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Passion or Insanity

Being a goalie gives me many excuses to be a lunatic. On the ice i don't consider that my actions are of a lunatic , it is passion :) You are probably wondering , what did Adrian do this time ? Well ....this past weekend the Ghetto Blasters had a big tilt against a team that we have had some good battles with . The league we play in is a very super clean hockey league so when 2 teams get together like we did , the refs usually don't know what to do with us .

I spoke to the other teams rep yesterday and they loved the game too , it was a hard fought battle , end to end action , big saves at both ends , lots of puck battles ....for both teams it was a great fun played game .Unfortunately we had this new ref that basically wanted us to play the game he wanted us to play and we didn't so he gave us tons of penalties , at the same time yelled and some of our players on way to box . The guy was a world class ref in his own mind , but he sucked !!!! Giving us a slashing penalty for tapping other players sticks , calling goals after pucks hit me in head , and the kicker .....he calls the winning goal with 30 seconds left with the net off !!!!!!!

Alright so maybe the goals off my head are at the discretion of this "ref" ( this guy should not be reffing ) ,but when he called that penalty for "slashing" with under 1 minute left in the game is when i really knew this guy just wanted us to lose ..... i mean you don't call a penalty that controversial with so little time left in the game !!!! Does anyone reading this understand the concept here ? Am i the only one that would think that a ref calling a really bad penalty so late in the game is basically trying to change the course of the game ? I would hope most of you understand what i am getting at .

So the winning goal happened with 30 seconds left. Easy Company was buzzing the net and our D was having a tough time getting the puck out , someone dislodged the net as i felt it hit my pad and immediately put my glove (left) hand up to signal to ref while trying to pull post back on with blocker ( right) hand. During all of this they squeezed a puck between my legs , immediately after calling goal this ref in question skates to the timekeepers box to report score. Well this is when i lose my noodles ...PASSION .... skate over to the ref and ask him why he called it a goal when the net was off. He apparently saw me pulling the net off with my hand is what he said !!!! yeah when i was trying to put it back on while waving my hands in the air and yelling , so the guy basically changed what he saw to make it right i guess . He then continued to tell me that he can't call back all the goals i let in and that i should try stopping some of them . Now i was shaking with fury ( passion ) and i told him look and skated to the net and tossed it ! This guy just wanted to give the W to the other team so he called the game with 30 seconds left . I tried breaking my stick and threw a couple things and did some steamed up yelling ( no cursing) . I told the ref i hope he never refs one of our games again and he said he hopes he doesn't ref in our "shitty league " again . I hope that our league sees this ! GTHLA !!!

All in all i put on quite the show ( passion ) , so in the aftermath i have had to apologize to the convener (the league ) and my teammates , also calling the other team to commend them and apologize for my "passion "LOL ...they totally understood . I will try not to do this again , but it is hard to maintain in a game that even the other team is telling the ref that their own goals should be disallowed . I don't know this refs name but he goes into my top 10 worst refs of all time list along with that guy in Singapore that called a bunch of bad calls . Hopefully i don't fill out the list some more in my next game , or i might really lose it ;)

What can i say .... i am a goalie

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Jordan Toms

Better known as Jordy OR Brett Hull . Prior to this season i met Jordy working on a small movie up at Ranger Lake ( Sault Ste. Marie ) . Jordy is a grip and i am a PA in the film industry so we were bound to meet . Immediately we got along talking hockey and whatnot so i asked him what his plans were for the season and i found out that he played for another team . He then asked what the cost would be and was quite happy to join us after finding out that our league was much cheaper .

Jordy joined the club while i was away in Europe and apparently struck a chord from day 1 by walking in with a case of beer . Very smart man ! Instant friends LOL ... now i have to let you all know that the picture above is one i snapped while we were working so it does not truly show you why we call him Brett Hull , he really does look like him HAHAHA. Jordys charisma is truly the key , having a guy like him on our team has been such a plus .

Back to his hockey efforts , at the moment he has already popped in a couple goals . We are hoping for more out of him , but couldn't have asked for any better as he is willing to play any position which makes him a great utility man . In my mind the utility player can be the most important player ! Having a guy say , yeah i will play D is such a key for me . Tonight is a big tilt against a team we have faltered against recently ...maybe tonight is the night that our utility man will shine . I am gonna go out on a limb and say that he scores the winner tonight , no pressure bud !

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ze Germans Are Coming !

Rainman All-Stars ( Cortina Champs 2010 )
Hahahaha.... so as of now i am finding out that 2 of my teammates seen above are coming to Toronto :) , end of February . Not too sure if the wild man holding the big trophy in the picture is coming ( Rainer ) but i do know that Alex and Melanie are coming . 2 of my favorite defense , these 2 were very critical in our championship run in Cortina and i was planning to see them next year in Cortina but thankfully they have surprised me by telling me they will be coming here :)

Melanie was the only female at the Cortina tournament !
 There is only one problem , they are coming the one week the Ghetto Blasters don't have a scheduled game . So since i like to organize hockey SOOOO much , i am going to hopefully get our friends The Animals to come and play us again . Then i have to find ice time and ask our favorite ref Brian Spencer if he would want to ref the game .... and hopefully get a timekeeper that will show up this time !

Alex was our on ice Captain !

Maybe i mentioned this before but i will go the extra mile to make my overseas hockey friends feel comfortable and get the opportunity to play in actual games while here . Sometimes i wish that i played in actual games everywhere i went ( understandably sometimes it is not possible ) so when you ( whoever is reading this ) want to come to Toronto , let me know , and if we don't have a game i will do my darnedest to get us one ! Alex and Melanie will get their fair share of hockey while they are here .... i promise :) See you both at the end of February .

Friday, January 7, 2011

Overseas Friends

Running a hockey team in Toronto and having a plethora of hockey friends is really cool ! Guys are always coming here to play hockey and we ( Ghetto Blasters ) always seem to have space for them to play . Obviously i never will invite 16 skaters , keeping it at a max of 15 the moment we have 13 full time skaters , and around 5 subs . For some reason i seem to be always flirting with 10 skaters , this is where my friends from overseas come in !

Last summer was our first official season that we played , and starting the year we had 15 full timers (full team ) then we had to remove a couple and a couple quit :( ,going into the season i knew that Jack could not commit full time so in comes Andi Tanzer . Our first international official member of the Ghetto Blasters . Andi comes to Toronto for around 1 month every summer to play hockey as they close all rinks in Germany at this time and it gives Andi a good excuse to come watch some NHL hockey and Blue Jays baseball games . He will be returning this year , and we are looking forward to adding him onto our roster again !

At the end of the summer i got a message from one of my overseas friends letting me know that 2 Malaysian guys were coming over to practise here and were looking for a team to play with . It was hard for me to get them in for the summer as we were in playoffs ( roster freeze ) . So i got them in for our winter . I had never seen or met Yap Eu Jin or Gary Tan , but we have an open arms policy to internationals . I personally think it is a treat for myself and my teammates to play and get to meet these great people that love the same sport we do ( shedding tear , don't laugh ! LOL ) .

Gary Tan is the captain for the Malaysian National Hockey Team . Some of my friends in Kuala Lumpur had given me a heads up that Gary is a bit of a hotshot ;) .... i don't believe this. Gary has been nothing but gracious and has been very keen to pick up on the way we play hockey here . He has alot of skill and has shown it from day 1 , tomorrow is his last game with us and he will be missed as we have counted on him to score goals and play strong offensive hockey . I can't forget to mention Yap Eu Jin ( Eu Jin ) , who is also on the Malaysian National Team . Eu Jin plays defense and is actually quite tall , good in corners using his size . We can all tell he is having a tough time holding back with the contact as we play in a non contact league and internationally it is obviously contact .... or at least i think so ? ( leave a comment guys if it is not ) This weekend we will saying our goodbyes to these guys as they are heading over to the Asian Winter Games to compete for their national team .... good luck guys , and keep it Ghetto !

Alex Eberhardt celebrating with our championship trophy in Italy
Looking forward i am hearing rumours of a couple other German friends that might be joining us late in February . Alex Eberhardt who i played with on a championship team in Cortina d'Ampezzo,Italy this past September , he is an AMAZING defenseman and i will be super happy to put his name on our roster ! The bigger rumour for me is that my German brother Rainer Schmid might come as well , that will make things alot more fun ....i can't wait to introduce this guy to the Ghetto Blasters! Most of them will meet him in Tachov,Czech Republic in 2012 as he is the tournament organizer there .

If any of you readers are ever passing through Toronto and are looking for a team to skate with then contact me .

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Remainder of England 2011

The last couple days in England were really really quiet .... it seems that everyone was sick , or hungover , or broke. So there was no big last hurrah or anything , we just kinda left quietly unnoticed . Basically after my ice time with the Ice Hawks all i had was to go watch a brilliant football match ( AFC Bournemouth vs. Brentford ) with Bournemouth winning 3-1 ....end to end action. After that i had to dry my gear .

Yes that is my gear hanging beside a bomb shelter !

practise with Ice Hawks

The last day in England was basically spent running around Ringwood looking for chocolates ( Galaxy ) and crisps ( Walkers) to bring home , along with some alcohol to add to my liquor cabinet collection ! Too bad i did not do this the day before as there was a 3% VAT increase the last day we were there :( , so everything went up in price . I did not get to properly say goodbye to anyone there as they all were out of commission ( hope you all get better ) . All in all England was very quiet and relaxing , i would really like to thank Snowy,Izzy and the kids for being UNBELIEVABLE hosts !!!! Stuart Girdler ( Ice Hawks ) for getting me on the ice .....hoping to get a full write up on them asap . And i would love to thank our New Year's Eve hosts Keith & Lou for an unforgettable evening of laughs . I hope to see you all sooner than later , and hopefully that rink in Bournemouth will be ready so next time the kids can come watch and maybe learn how to play hockey .

My next trip is to Hawaii , i will be booking my flight in the next week. Lots of stuff to do between now and then . Today i might run down to my favorite flag shop to add St. George to my collection ! No not the Union Jack , this was England !

Monday, January 3, 2011

I Can Finally Say I Have Played Ice Hockey In England !!!!!

Yesterday started off with a good breakfast and then we were off to Bournemouth to try to give the children a lesson in ice skating . It was not cheap , but was totally worth it . We all had a good time , aside from my complaining about the stupid rink guard that told me that taking pictures was a health and safety hazard and made me put it away ..... yeah you ask why is it a hazard? i asked too...." it is a rule just follow it " . 5 minutes later he ran over Kathleen skating backwards , not soon after he ran over another person....i wanted to slap the little punk , but i kept my cool and just laughed and clapped my hands when i saw him hit the ice LOL! The craziest part is health and safety does not worry about putting around 75 people on a rink the size of the neutral zone in hockey , or the fact that they had the lights turned off .... they have alot to learn over here .

As for the children ( Jack and Faegan ) , they actually gave a good strong effort out there . Even when their feet started to hurt they kept on trying . Now i am not a teacher nor am i qualified in any way but i was there none the less trying to show them how ....really i think that skating is something more of a natural thing like riding a bike , can't really be taught but can be learned ;)

Finally we ordered up some yummy Chinese food here in Ringwood had a good meal and then i had an illness scare ! Apparently the swine flu hit town before i got here and Snowy has been wrecked with it . I had a bit of a cough and took a quick nap ( before we headed out for hockey ) When i awoke i think the adrenaline took over and regardless it was a false alarm as i am feeling fine at the moment . So off we went to Basingstoke to meet up with Stuart Girdler and the Ice Hawks . Now Stuart has promised to send me a little rundown of the team so i can let you all know about them ( also if you are ever around this part of the world and want to play hockey you can always contact him !) , so when i get a minor history lesson on the team then i promise to report it to you all !!!

Snowy drove me to Basingstoke ( i owe you !) , practise was 10 PM there and it was a 2 hour practise which meant poor Snowy had to sit in a cold rink and watch guys blast pucks at me ( no game ) ....kinda not much of a spectator thing so for that reason i am in debt to you Snowy ( THANKS AGAIN AND AGAIN !) . Got to the rink and met 2 ( blokes) that were on the team , walked me into the concession area where we just got changed there ...yes not in dressing rooms . The guys started to chat me up and Stuart introduced me . I found out at this time that i was to be the only goalie ! 2 hours of practise 1 goalie .....approximately 500 pucks shot at me , couple bruises , jelly fish legs after and to top it all off the guys made me feel at home with a pelting of skate slush after the practise ( thanks guys :) it has taken me a few years but finally i have my hockey connections in the south of England , i am sure i will be going back to play with these guys in the future . Stuart is very much into hockey as i am and hopefully we can stay in contact , it helps to have friends ! On a hockey note i did not fair too badly , aside from the fact i was DEAD on the ice after the first hour .... at the end of the practise Stuart decided to rock my world with penalty shots , yes 20 guys taking penalty shots ....i would say maybe 4 scored on me ( if you include the superstar wearing the Islanders jersey ) he was stopped and went for another go and scored. All in all the guys are pretty serious about their hockey and i was so happy to see some really skilled skaters . Obviously i wish i had a bit more time to meet and learn the guys names but i am the Travelling Goalie and i must move on (for now ) .....Tony i did not forget you , Mr. Defense ! Ice Hawks thank you so much for having me .

Unfortunately i will have to post pics later as this is not my laptop and i do not have chord to hook camera up to upload . More than likely i will have to post pics with a follow up story of the Ice Hawks .... in the near future ! Today i am up and ready to go to watch some football ( AFC Bournemouth vs. Brentford ) should be class , sitting in rowdy section apparently hehehehe.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Finally Icetime

So 2011 started off with a hangover , and a very last second change of plans....i am at the mercy of Kathleens family here :( . Yesterday i woke up thinking we were going to just hang out and relax our hangovers and watch movies , order Chinese ,etc.... WRONG ! Her cousin calls her and makes plans with her for everyone to go over there ( without asking me ) . In my hungover state i obviously refuse , and refuse , and refuse!!!!

So i did not go . And i was seriously and still am pissed off that someone is making plans for me to go see strangers in my hungover shitty state . Ask yourself why would someone do this , well she NEEDS to see these people while we are here ...  now ask me why it could not have been on 1 of the other 7 days we are here ? this i do not know , all i know is i am still a bit cranky and dying to eat ( yesterday i ate nothing ) .

Instead of going out to visit Kathleens family that i don't know , Snowy and myself went out drinking ( hehehe) met up with Parsonage and Flimmy . Went to harass another old Ringwood friend JT but he was not there , or was hiding out really well LOL. Basically i walked around town for a few hours with a bottle of wine in my hand that i still have not finished. My drinking yesterday was not that of a hardcore hockey playing booze hound .

Today we are going to Bournemouth for a pleasure skate , and hopefully i can teach the kids how to skate . Unfortunately for 1 hour with 3 adults and 2 children is costing us 37 POUNDS ....around $50 ! The kids want to skate with me and i need to limber up for tonight's training session in Basingstoke ( the big event !) I am definitely going to get as many pictures as possible , hopefully i can get some good video footage too .

Excuse me as i just woke up , it is time for coffee !

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year 2011

Yesterday was the last day for 2010 ! So far my trip to England has been absolutely AMAZING . The day before yesterday we had a nice day out going down to the beach for a quiet walk . That was basically our hangover cure .

Yesterday we started off our last day of 2010 by visiting the local skating rink . Firstly we tried to book our ice skating session ( yeah you have to book and pay to pleasure skate here ! , not cheap either .... 5 pounds ...basically $8 per person) , we did not get onto the ice as it was fully booked . So we just went to look and laugh at people trying to skate , it was quite funny . This rink was on a resort near a town  named Fordingbridge , the resort was called Sandy Balls , yes Sandy Balls LOL !

The ice there was quite mismanaged as they really had no clue how to maintain the ice , and it was extremely small .... but at least they have ice :) I kinda wish i got the chance to get on the ice , but will probably look into going to Bournemouth to skate on their rink tomorrow prior to going for my practise with the Ice Hawks .

Then i started drinking .... our New Years Eve was spent in the middle of a field ( kinda ) , our friends Keith and Lou invited us all over for a proper ringing in to 2011 . I must say that everything last night was PERFECT ! Everyone was very merry , the spirits were flowing , and i could not have asked for 2 better hosts as we were fed some great snacks as the evening went on . Not too sure how late we stayed but it was LATE LOL!  Today my hangover is being handled with some hair of the dog , just drank my last beer ....time to head over to the Co-Operative store to get me another 12 of night in the shed tonight, hopefully we get to watch the Human Centipede :)

Happy New Years to you all !