Monday, February 28, 2011

Living Vicariously Through Visitors

Today my good friends from Germany are heading to New York City .... i had such a good time with Alex & Melanie this past week and i will really miss them :( . The other day i mentioned to my girlfriend that i feel like i am travelling when i am hosting people here... it keeps me busy and is alot of fun running around showing other travellers things to do , places to eat , and everything related to hockey in my home ...Toronto !

Over the weekend Alex & Melanie became Ghetto Blasters with 2 games ....Saturday night we had a 10 PM game vs. Easy Company . This season we have played alot of games against this team and have had no luck ..... Saturday was no exception as they scored a couple of lucky goals in the first period to go up 2-0 , we outplayed them and pressed hard all the way until the end... with a power play late in the third , i left my net for a 6th attacker . Six on three and Easy's goalie was standing on his head , this gave us the chance to get more bodies to the net . Alex got the puck on the point and blasted a shot which was deflected in to break the egg shell ... we ended up losing 2-1 but played a hard entertaining game , then went to the Midpoint and got totally demolished HAHAHA..... when i left Alex was dancing around to the hip hop music that is dj'd there on Saturday nights ! Melanie was working on her drink and i stumbled my way into Dave McCarthy's car for a safe ride home ( thanks Dave ) .

Sunday ( yesterday ) we had a game at noon .... good thing Chip lives across the road , some of us left our gear there . As usual i had to go early to get everything together ... basically dragged all the bags into a room from across the road then filled water bottles , got some snow in a bag for beer and answered a ton of last second phone calls and texts . We played a team in an exhibition game i had set up , organizing a referee ( thanks to Brian Spencer ) and a timekeeper ( thanks Keith ) renting ice time and finding a team to play .... originally the Saturday game was booked for the week before but was changed on us after booking this game .

All i have to say is that we had a good game and i would like to thank the Dirty Grips for coming out ... unfortunately for the Grips we won 7-0 . After the game we basically had a 2 hour dressing room party in which some of the other team even joined us , we had way too much beer LOL ! and Prosecco :) Afterwards we went to the Rhino for a bite to eat and went on our separate ways .... Today i have to work , but it is a prep day .... driving my own car . I might try to sneak some time to say bye to Alex & Melanie ...either way if i do or don't i will miss them .

If i don't see you guys today , have a safe flight to NYC ... have fun and be safe there , go for that skate in Central Park on Tuesday afternoon and i will see you both in Cortina D'Ampezzo in September to defend our championship . It was so much fun having you there , and if anyone else reading this wants to come here for some hockey just give me a holla . Like i mentioned in a few of my blog posts we have open arms to our foreign friends playing hockey all over the world in our little Ghetto . Peace Out !

Friday, February 25, 2011

Couple Days of Planning and trying to be a good host ;)

The last couple days have been pretty awesome !!! Picked up Alex & Melanie ( my friends from Germany ) and wanted to take them for some shinny .... we stopped by the Mastercard Centre around the corner from my house so i could show them where the Toronto Maple Leafs practise and what do you know !!! The Leafs are on the ice , we stood there for a good half hour watching them go through their drills . Melanie snapped a ton of pictures and the three of us really lost track of time watching these amazing hockey players showing their skills.....after that i took them up to Etobicoke Ice Sports , it was just the 3 of us .

Grabbed a couple pucks and we just messed around for just over an hour . Before getting on the ice i told them how Mitch Pohl ( coach of Waldkraiburg team and ex DEL player ) made a bet with me that he could score 4 out of 10 shots on me and i beat him so he had to do push ups on the ice. Well i was kinda lolly gagging out there and Alex came up with the idea of having a competition for lunch .....if Alex or Melanie scores 5 goals first whomever wins and if i stop 10 breakaways i win .....well i got to 10 before either of them got to 2 :) .... and we went for lunch at Island Foods ( Caribbean ) and i introduced them to Roti which they loved !

Yesterday they came by and i took them out to a greasy spoon in my neighbourhood The Lucky Dice .... we had bacon and eggs ....well they had a bigger meal with pancakes which they enjoyed and went off on their way to Niagara Falls for the night .... will probably see them tonight possibly for some shinny hockey . So in the meantime yesterday i got onto helping plan my trip to Hawaii and Europe for later on in the year .

Basically yesterday morning on Facebook The Toronto Maple Leafs page posted something with a URL for a blog on hockey in Croatia written by a Leafs fan . I read it and contacted the person ( Mislav Jantoljak ) and we chatted online for a while ! He gave me a couple emails and some helpful websites to play hockey there if i make it there in September ( which i hope to but plans change ) . Then contacted Tim Dyer and we chatted about our trip to Hawaii and he came up with a poster to put out ..... i can email it to you if interested , or you can check out ! Basically i put the word out to my teammates here and we have a couple bites , one which i am almost sure will come with confirmation coming today ..... hoping it is a yes !

Everything is good and i am really looking forward to this weekend .... we are going to show our German friends how we party in the Ghetto !!!  Hopefully you all have a great weekend too ;)

Monday, February 21, 2011


Travelling excites me almost as much as hockey .... they are pretty much equal , something else that excites me is having friends i have met playing hockey overseas coming here to Toronto . Alex and Melanie will be here on Tuesday , as it stands i am not working ( surprise, surprise ) so i will try to do my best to be a good host !

Not too sure if they have been here before but i am really looking forward to playing ALOT of hockey this week :) Received their itinerary the other day , but it is kinda open so i am assuming they want me to fill it with hockey , which should be no problem at all . I have had problems in countries trying to get on the ice ,  but there is a big difference when a country has 1 or 2 rinks and Toronto itself has over 100 indoor arenas and probably over another 150 outdoor rinks or skating pads . Probably the first stop for both of them will be to see my friend Luke Attard . Luke works at Source for Sports , i played hockey with him for our Multicultural League team Malta , he is another crazy Malteser ! Whenever i go overseas i always go to see him , to get gear for my friends that i go to play hockey with ....Alex and Melanie will meet him .

They will also get the chance to play 2 games for the Ghetto Blasters this weekend , Melanie will be the first female to play for our team ! Quite the honour ..... it is too bad that  i don't have any team tshirts to give them , but i am sure i will see them later on this year in Cortina,Italy to defend our tournament championship . Pretty sure i am not working tomorrow so i will probably go to greet and pick them up at the airport , with a couple beers in the car for their reception :) ...

This is going to be a good week of hockey .... i can't wait !

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Not Much Going On ....

somewhere outside of Fussen on side of road

Bored.... so am i . The winter blahs are about and i can't get enough ice hockey , in fact i could us MORE ! Ghetto Blasters have a bye week due to schedule changes that leave us with a league game next week instead , on a weekend that i have already booked an exhibition game due to it previously being a bye week :)

This past week has been super stressful ! To the point that i even had this super headache that made me cancel shinny outings this week ( sorry Rizzo ) . Rizzo is super ghetto , not a member of the club but he should be . He is an artist that Rosey Larose knows ( yeah that rhymed ) . Rizzo got a bunch of tickets to enter for a shootout at the Air Canada Center gave a few out to LaRose and BLAM they both win ! So they are going to have 2 chances at scoring on an ex NHL goalie ( pretty sure Grant Fuhr is one of them !) . Basically i wanted to help them out with their shootout skills and went out once with Rizzo .... i hope they both do well ! LaRose should be sporting our Ghetto jersey , i hope he gets some pics .

dazed and confused in Prague ...Slavia Praha
Anyhoo it is Saturday BORNING sucks , watched the sports loop about 4 times now . If you have read this before you would know by now that i am a super early riser . Got a little off topic on this one didn't i ? You are probably wondering what my stress was from ..... entering a hockey team into a tournament past deadline with players that i haven't collected money from yet that i have to cover with cheques that i am waiting for ( yes my own money ) . I love my team but i hate the responsibility of having to cover for people ... and no i don't blame anyone for anything , this is something i chose to do. It is an addiction that i can't kick .

Have a nice Family Day Weekend here in Canada ( or maybe just Ontario ) LOL !

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Vengeance is Mine

This past weekend The Ghetto Blasters played The Flying Burritos ..... the Burritos are my old hockey team , you can only imagine the excitement going into this game . We had played them early last year in a couple exhibition games which were both tie games , but that was when i first scratched a team together and now we are much more refined .

There is more to this , and there always will be as i am still friends and hope to stay friends with most of the guys on my old team .... all was quiet leading up to the game , no facebook comments , no trash talk , kinda like the calm before the storm . Some of these guys play for another team as well which we had a rough game against so i am not sure if that had a hand in the eeery silence prior to game time . I was pumped and my team knew it .

Before game time i picked up Iain and drove over and we obviously chatted about this being a game i wanted to really win . We got to the arena early ( as usual ) so i could fill water bottles and get our room , etc.... said hello to some people at the rink and entered the room . The one thing i was worried about was the game getting out of hand ( physically ) , our league rewards teams for not getting penalties with a half point and rewards teams that get over an average of 5 minutes a game with being ejected from the season at playoff time :(

Right off the bat we scored , and we scored ALOT ! 6-0 after first period . On a personal note ( not that my blog is not personal at all LOL ) i don't like it when my team lets up , bad habit to pick up .....i told the team at the bench to keep it up but they decided otherwise and we let them back in the game with a quick goal to start the second . Right back down the ice and we made it 7-1 .... eventually we went on to win 8-3 . Best part of it all was that we did not get a penalty and the Burritos only got 1 , very clean game . Now i am not trying to take anything away from the Burritos performance out there when i say we let up abit . They played really hard and had a short bench ....good game guys !

This vengeance thing seems to fuel me though , now i have beaten my old team ....last year we put my team before that to rest in a tournament , now there is this team in another league that i used to play for . Hmmmm wonder how i can get a game against them ?

All in all it is for good fun , i love to play people i know . It seems to add a bit of energy to the game as nobody wants to lose bragging rights . I don't wish any harm to anyone i play against but i am really really happy that we won . This weekend we have a bye week so we are planning to go out partying as a team Friday night . One of our teammates is dj'ing with Hip Hop Legend Jeru the Damaja .... if you are in Toronto feel free to join us ....the party is at Crawford ( College St. & Crawford ) hope to see you there !

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

It's a Small World After All

Recently the Ghetto Blasters had 2 guests playing with us from Malaysia ... Gary Tan , and Yap Eu Jin . Now i had never met them before , but our team here has an open door policy with players from overseas due to my love of playing hockey overseas. These 2 guys were suggested to me by a good friend in Indonesia ( Jusuf Hendrata ) .

So Gary and Eu Jin left Canada a few weeks ago to represent their country in the Asian Winter Games in Kazakhstan .... pretty cool eh ! This is where the world gets small .... after a few days they begin posting pictures of their team , and low and behold their is a familiar face amongst their coaching staff . John Kalivoda ( Johnny K ) ! I met and played on the same team with Johnny K in Europe in 2008 , when i went to Innsbruck and Bolzano . John is an AMAZING hockey player from Czech Republic .

I am wondering what kind of stories John told Gary and Eu Jin about me when figuring out our connection .... probably some funny ones as that trip was epic and filled with lots of drinking :) .... i poisoned myself on that trip with alcohol , not funny at the time but HAHA now . The Malaysians did not really get to see that side of me , while they were here i was all serious while organizing things. When i am on vacation ( hockey trips ) i tend to let loose a bit more than i do at home ;)

Alot of people ask me at home , how do you know all these people . Well once you get out there and start playing in these tournaments , the world just seems to get alot smaller fast .Everyone seems to know everyone in this world wide community ! It really is amazing , i would suggest to every one of you to get off of your ass' and go to a trip overseas !

At the moment i have my flight booked to go to Hawaii , i THINK there are a couple open spots remaining on my team . I am playing for the San Diego Nationals . If you are over 30 years old and interested in coming to Hawaii in April then contact me or leave a comment below ...... 

Now i am wondering who i will bump into in Hawaii ? Hope to see most of you there !

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Should Have Known

Lately i have focused on getting my ass out to play in this 30+ tournament in Hawaii .For the last 2 years i have been chasing this tournament after being invited to play there for this team from Germany .... So 2 years in a row i was invited by this team and both years this so called team dropped out , even this year after i told the organizer that i have friends that will join us .

Gave up on the Germans and went on my own and contacted Hawaii myself , found a team and they had problems with responding . Gave up on them and contacted Tim Dyer . Tim lives in San Diego , played against him in Fussen . Tim has alot of great ideas about making these tournaments easier to organize . Once i established myself onto a team that Tim was organizing then i get an email from the German that was originally organizing a team to go to Hawaii .... he wants to join my team now ????

I said yes , but really hesitantly ( remember this ) .... this guy was supposed to hook up good flights for all the Germans coming , but didn't . He then asks for his brother to join us , i ask Tim and he says the more the merrier . This guy is friends with a friend of mine named Timo , he sends me flight details claiming they are going to be there on this and that date , blah blah blah. I booked my flight this week ( flying business class !) just after Tim had called me from San Diego to keep the ball rolling. Tim wanted to get all my German friends emails to send team emails out .

Well unfortunately this German i will not mention returns the email with the lamest excuse i have ever heard .... personal familiar matters are keeping himself and Timo from coming ???? what about his brother ? what about the flights that were apparently booked ? Earlier i mentioned the word hesitant , well i am hesitant to believe anyone that says one thing and does another . This German guy is seriously one of those guys , this is 3 times this guy has said things that he can't back up ! He will never have to meet Tim and say sorry or give his lame explanation , don't worry dude i will cover for you LOL ....

The problem here is that i promised Tim that i had 4 German guys coming and now there is only 1 ( Andy Tanzer ) . The bonus that comes out of this all is that now i have someone to share a room with . And we are gonna have FUN !!! To the people that bailed ... just wanted to let you know that Tim put down our team deposit , i booked a flight and Andy booked his flight all based on the fact that you guys were coming . We are still going but you have to understand that giving us the shaft is not very pleasuring . I will probably never get the chance to meet this German guy to thank him personally and will probably never respond to his emails again as it is not worth dealing with someone i can't trust .

The lesson learned is .... if someone asks you to go somewhere with them make sure they send you a copy of their itinerary before you book your flight ... in this case i was going anyway so it doesn't bother me , but i am sure it bothers a few others that i might have to explain this to in person . From the sounds of it Tim has a great network of players to bring , and apparently we have quite the international cast of players coming to play for us !

Don't take it as though i am fuming pissed off , i am still floating on a cloud dreaming of sitting up in business class .... for 60 000 Aeroplan pts and $180 in taxes i am flying to Honolulu , Hawaii in Business Class LOL.