Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Uruguay + Ice Hockey = ????

Basically i know my dates , still have to book flights but there are some grey areas in between .... i am trying to book everything based on keeping everyone in my travel group together . There may be some discrepancies but nothing major . Andi is not too intrigued about travelling to and from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas by ground vehicle ( bus or car ) as it is about 10-12 hours to travel and he is looking to fly from another city in Chile whereas i feel as though it is important that we go to Ushuaia and pick some guys to join our team in Punta Arenas travel with them there and back ... since they are coming to play with us we might as well have fun on the way there and back too :) ... i can't blame the Tanzmanian Devil for not wanting this so he might go one way on his own and myself and Timo will tough it out travelling both ways .

This may loosen up some time and actually based on Andi's flights we might have time to go to Montevideo, Uruguay .... we have seen a web page for an ice rink at a mall there . And on the web page it advertises ice hockey lessons !!!! Is anyone reading this in Uruguay ???? if so can you put me in contact with whoever knows or is in charge of this ??? It would be unbelievable if we can add Uruguay to our trip since we are right there pretty much , such a short trip from Buenos Aires !!! I had asked my friends in Argentina to look it up but haven't had any success from that :(

Now i do know that there are some falsely advertised websites around the world and the picture they have of ice hockey on this particular page shows 2 guys with no equipment on , but they have sticks and skates on ... so is this real ?

Here is the link :

If anyone can help get me in touch with whoever is organizing it would be greatly appreciated ... there is always the chance i just show up there with my gear in hand LOL ... probably better to have organized a skate beforehand ... i don't wanna have another Slovenian experience ( Ljubljana ) it would be a shame to spend another day begging to get on the ice ..... 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Its' on !

So its' gonna happen :P i am going to South America this summer !!! Impatiently i have been awaiting the federation making its decision for their tournament in Ushuaia and finally they have made their public announcement ( which i hope they don't change ) the dates fit for Timo , Andi and myself , well Andi will have to leave a day or 2 before the tournament ends but at least we will all get to compete in it ! 

The tournament is from July 17-23 and Timo must leave to go back to Germany from Toronto on July 26th so it is perfect as we will travel to and from Toronto together . I have to get my passport renewed and start working on getting my visa for Brazil as i will fly there first . Last night i was having a couple beers with my buddy Mike and he mentioned the Confederations Cup which will be in Brazil ... final is in Rio when we are there so we are looking at getting tickets :) Also have to book flights still LOL ... so much to do before i head out there .

I will have to figure out which dates we can play in Rio and then everything is pretty much settled aside from travel from Ushuaia-Punta Arenas and back . Punta Arenas will be awesome too we will play in the 1st ever Southern Zone Cup there as the Ghetto Blasters :) looks like we will get a bunch of press down there as they are going to make this event as big as they can . We will have a couple Argentine and Chilean skaters join us to make fill out our team ... it is a 3 on 3 rink so should be fun ! I am really hoping our host there Alejandro puts a concert on for us as he is in a Bon Jovi tribute band  .... how much fun will that be ? drinking listening to my hockey buddies sing Bon Jovi songs LOL ... i can't wait . 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Plans on Hold ...

Welcome to the wonderfully stressful world of trying to organize a crazy trip including 3 countries with 3 tournaments !!! Our friends in Chile are really really eager to have myself and my 2 travelling buddies visit them and enter a team into their inaugural tournament ... the Southern Zone Cup ! This is huge for them as we will probably be the first to visit them for hockey ... they just got an arena and are just fighting their hardest for sponsorship and funding to make this work ! They are really pushing to make this event big :P

The first tourney we will visit is in Rio de Janeiro , which the organizer is very relaxed and has not been pushing for a date . They are setting up a mini tourney for us there with local teams and are putting us into a nice hotel there also , its gonna be pricey in Brazil but the bottom line is staying somewhere safe ...if we have to pay premium money for a safe residence then i am all for it ! Obviously i don't wanna break the bank but the bottom line is safety over there .... i have heard some horror stories as i am sure most of you have heard the same .

The BIG tournament that we are dying to go to and the original reason we started to talk about going to South America is the one in Argentina .... this is the tournament that can't give us a date ! And the other countries are put on hold organizing theirs ... obviously they are not happy and we are not exactly pleased that we can't get a straight answer from them , but we are willing to wait . The problem is the more we wait the more the flight goes up , if it gets to a certain point we will have to cancel ! We don't want this to happen so more then likely we will wait 2 more weeks and just pick our own dates .... i am not a fan of doing this because more then likely we will miss the tournament that we originally wanted to go to so badly . So hopefully we pick our dates and they work with ours ... if not oh well we tried ....

keep your fingers crossed , hopefully they can decide on a date in the next 2 weeks :) 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Red Light Commercial

So as you all know roughly a month ago i was telling you all that i was going to be in a commercial . I signed a contract and was not allowed to speak about it until it was released and last week it was released during the Super Bowl . It was a Budweiser Commercial .... the guy in the picture above probably looks really familiar to most of you , he is Paulo Colaiacovo ...his twin brother is ex Maple Leafs defence man Carlo Colaiacovo . 

The shoot day was odd to begin as we were told we would have to be there on ice at 8 or 9 am , i can't remember . I woke up too late for the apparent time for the shuttle pick up at Sherway Gardens so i started to drive out to London on my own , then got a text about half an hour into my journey finding out we were meeting at Shane's place at 11 AM and had to be there for 1 pm .... ARGH ! so i turned around and sat in traffic for over an hour :( went to Shane's and waited for the rest of the hockey team/cast to show up . 

We carpooled and i have a little Mazda so it is best to get in the big vehicles :) i got in with Paulo ... Paulo is a now retired former pro goalie so we had a lot of good stories to share , i was particularly interested in his stint in Holland where he had some success winning a championship and some personal hardware too !!! The drive seemed short as we joked and talked about hockey the whole ride , thanks for the ride Paulo it was great meeting you . 

When we arrived i actually knew most of the people working on set there as i work in the commercial industry as well , most of them were baffled when i walked in with my gear as they probably had no clue about my goal tending ... or maybe they were just surprised i was cast as talent on their shoot , regardless it was odd for me too . We were on the ice for 9 hours with a break half way through , it was really awesome to actually skate on the ice there in London at the Budweiser Gardens , where the London Knights play ... great rink , the ice was beautiful ! 

Well i guess you all just really want to see this video so here it is .... clink the link and if you wanna crack a joke about me just leave a comment ... ENJOY !!! 

last but not least our good friend Shane Nuttley-Kirby was injured in his Crashed Ice event yesterday , i am hoping he has a speedy recovery ! Shane cast myself and the rest of the hockey team for this shoot and does a lot of great stuff in the hockey community in Toronto . Get well soon buddy ! 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Don't Cry For Me Argentina

The past week has been absolutely insane for me as i worked on a commercial shoot and i did my best to help my friends from Argentina the best i could without seeing them really , stuck on set :( 

I just wanted to recap the amazing couple weeks i have had with these amazing guys & Anita :P ... Anita & Javier stayed with me the first couple days and i showed them around but it really was mental when i was leading the whole group around ... first stop was to take them hockey shopping . I took them to Toronto Hockey Repair/Goalie Heaven and they went buck wild buying gear from head to toe it was absolutely crazy but the staff there handled it amazingly and everyone was very happy at the end of the day ... i think we were there for about 3 hours ... then we went to King Slice next door for pizza !

The next day i went out to skate with them at their hockey school ... World Class Hockey . It was fun and the instructor was good , Jules actually has a few mutual friends with me and we shared a few laughs . He really worked them hard on day 2 .... I also took the guys to Katz's Deli down the road from The Rinx which is where they had their camp . Both myself and Jules were very surprised at the skills the Argentines showed us on the ice ... they were pretty good and definitely not beginners ! So on the weekend we set up a match between Team Argentina and my team the Ghetto Blasters !

I had to get them a goalie so a good friend Aaron Brophy stepped in and he played amazing , thanks again Aaron ! We didn't have refs and i thought we beat them but someone else told me the same score but with an opposite result so lets just say it was a draw . ( actually last night we played a real game but i couldn't make it due to bad weather ) After the game i brought the guys back to my place for the Super Bowl which nobody cared about but they did gobble up all the chili and sausages i cooked and actually left me with 2 cases of beer that they hardly touched LOL . They left after the first quarter and didn't really get to see my commercial :( which i promise i will write about in the next few days !!!

Anita & Javier dropped by this week to say bye and i was very sad to see them leave , they are truly an amazing couple and i am definitely looking forward to spending more time with them in July . I know i have made some true friends for life with these guys ... I really hope the rest of my hockey family gets to meet them all some day . This trip i will be going on will hopefully bring them and the rest of my friends together in the future for some great hockey trips and tournaments .

LAST but not least ... i tried my hardest to get some media attention for these guys and got nothing at all . I am personally disappointed that not one media outlet replied to any of my emails or calls . I am guessing that it is not morbid enough to report on such a great story like this . They are still here so if you are reading this and you are in the media then do something about it , please ! I have no clue why nobody jumped all over this to put in print or on the air ???? How many times has a team from Argentina visited Toronto to play hockey ???? My guess is 0 ....

Regardless i enjoyed meeting the Argentinians and i am sure everyone else that met these guys were just as intrigued so if you didn't get the chance to meet or skate with these guys then guess what ? that is your loss ! 


Friday, February 1, 2013

Skating With Argentinians

Alright so the past few days have been hectic to say the least .... aside from work i have been taking my Argentine friends shopping for equipment and showing them around .... yesterday i finally got on the ice with them . You are all wondering can these guys skate ? yes they can ! are you surprised ? i bet you are ... i was surprised to say the least and i think their hockey instructor from World Class Hockey was totally shocked .

Most people think of Argentina and hockey and first thing that pops in their heads will be ... have these guys ever seen snow ? Yes they have some of them are actually from a city called Ushuaia which is near Antarctica ... you know that giant slab of uninhabited ice we call a continent ! yeah they see snow LOL and they see ice ... their rink is outdoors and is the only Olympic sized rink in South America . This is what i have been told , i should research it more but i do know it is biggest out of all the countries i will be visiting when i head down there at the end of June .

So yeah we had an hour and a half on the ice yesterday which might i add was hell to get to ! Yesterday we had a flash freeze and highways were closed down for safety reasons so it took me 1.5 hours to get to the arena just on time for ice , good thing the instructor was late too due to the same reasons ! When i met Jules one of the first things i wanted to talk about was getting them some press as i am still trying my darndest to get them some help with getting a zamboni or a scoreboard or some equipment shipped down ... anything ! Its really crazy , they are not looking for this stuff and are happy to continue playing the way they have to . I am the one that feels these guys should have the necessities we have !!!

Today i wrote to an old hockey acquaintance Dave Bidini to see if i can get some assistance in getting these guys some press , fingers are crossed as Dave has the same travel interests as i do ! He has travelled to a few tourneys to compete and follow up with some great books ... if you haven't read The Tropic of Hockey then head out a grab a copy . Fingers are crossed that all works out , the group went out to watch the Leafs last night and i am sure they had a good time . I will find out at the rink today :P

If anyone lives in Toronto , has the day off today and wants to see the Argentinians in action we will be at hockey school at The Rinx around noon ... i can't wait to get on the ice with these guys today again :)