Sunday, April 26, 2009


This is going to be a little different than most of my other blogs. It’s still hockey but it’s not a humorous short story. Rather it’s informative because lately I’ve been requested by my friends at myspace to provide some input on tryouts for Junior A teams.

First of all, I need to clarify that I’m not affiliated with any “real” junior hockey team. The Norris Nightmares are a fictitious junior team that I sometimes write about. The Outlaws are a real team that plays in a men’s/senior beer league but I often horse up what I write about them. In the day, they played two seasons in semi-pro leagues where I coached them to winning seasons but never, unfortunately, champions (Runners up – but who remembers that shit, ehh?) as we had been for several seasons when I still played with them.

So for those of you that have asked about junior hockey teams I have composed a list that I extracted from the USA Hockey website. To reiterate, I also, at this time have no affiliation with USA Hockey. I have been a registered player and coach, but again that was in the day. Those of you that are willing to do more with your computer than dangle on myspace can google this information yourself. I have googled the heck out of the list since the first time I published this on myspace and have now included website addresses and the team’s resident city. As a matter of fact I don’t include any details about teams and tryouts and highly recommend that you do further investigations on your own and do them soon because signups are going on and tryouts will be this summer. Each team has it’s own website but I can’t vouch for any of these teams continuing operation into the 2009-2010 season. You’ll have to determine that. Additionally, I want to emphasize that USA Hockey’s junior leagues are developmental leagues. In many cases you can’t advance from Junior C to Junior B (or B to A, or Tier-II A to Tier-I A, etc) without invitation and even then, exceptional success in tryouts.

Ok, so you love hockey, but you don’t play and you don’t have easy access to see a live NHL games other than on TV. Well these Junior teams may be playing a lot closer to home, and I’ve got to tell you – its some damn good hockey. Look-them up. They may be in playoffs right now and as much as you’d enjoy the game, these teams could use your support.

The listing is only for USA Hockey Junior Teams. Canada and other nations have their own junior leagues and you should also investigate those. Many of you have been playing Midgets and now are looking for a place to continue your quest at a higher and older aged competitive level. You might even want to start thinking about this if you’re still playing Bantams. I don’t want to, in anyway, discount the great high school programs that many states have nor the terrific teams that the NCAA ices at the college levels. In the day, Tier-I Junior A was the only way into the NHL. That is not the case so much today. I’m not sure what the rules are these days but in my day if you played scholastic sports you were not allowed to be on club teams additionally nor were you even allowed to be coached out of season. “Oh my, how things have changed!” to quote my honey, Mrs. Wheats. Ehh?

You’ll notice that some clubs ice teams at various levels and in various leagues.

So here we go starting with three leagues and their teams in Tier-III, Junior C:

Southeast Junior Hockey League:
Atlanta Knights – – Atlanta, GA
Charleston Wolverines – – Charleston, SC
East Coast Eagle Major – – Cary, NC
East Coast Eagle Minor – – Cary, NC
Hampton Roads Whalers Major – – Chesapeake, VA
Hampton Roads Whalers Minor – – Chesapeake, VA
Space Coast Hurricanes – – Rockledge, FL
Tampa Bay Bolts – – Tampa, FL

Great Lakes Junior Hockey League:

Motor City Chiefs – – Farmington Hills, MI
Michigan Ice Dogs – – Plymouth, MI
Michigan Mountain Cats – – Grand Blanc, MI
Tri-City Ice Hawks – – Midland, MI
Illinois Frontenacs – – Fairview Heights, IL
Danville Inferno – – Danville, IL
Jr. Huskies – – Romeoville, IL

Continental Hockey Association – Selects:

Buffalo Stars – – Cheektowaga, NY
Jersey Wildcats – – Wharton, NJ
Jr. Predators – – Long Island, NY (area)
Metro Fighting Moose – – Brooklyn, NY
Philadelphia Jr. Blazers – – Bethlehem, PA
Pittsburgh Jr. Penguins – – Pittsburgh, PA
Tri State Selects – – Oaks, PA
Virginia Express – – Woodbridge, VA

And here are the leagues and teams from Tier-III, Junior B:

Metropolitan Junior Hockey League:

Atlanta Knights - – Atlanta, GA
Binghamton Jr. Senators – – Chenango Bridge, NY
Central Penn Panthers – – Lancaster, PA
Charleston Wolverines - – Charleston, SC
East Coast Eagles - – Cary, NC
Florida Eels – – Fort Myers, FL
Hampton Roads Jr. Whalers - – Chesapeake, VA
Hartford Jr. Wolfpack – – Cromwell, CT
Jacksonville Ice Dogs – – Jacksonville, FL
Junior Titans – – Farmingdale, NJ
Long Island Royals – – Syosset, NY
New Jersey Rockets – – Newark, NJ
New York Saints – see – Monsey, NY
NJ Renegades – – Flemington, NJ
North Jersey Avalanche – – Hackensack, NJ
Northern Cyclones – – Hudson, NJ
Philadelphia Little Flyers – – Aston, PA
Philadelphia Jr. Flyers – - West Chester, PA
Portland Jr. Pirates – – Saco, ME
Space Coast Jr. Hurricanes - – Rockledge, FL
Suffolk PAL – – Hauppauge, NY
Tampa Bay Bolts - – Tampa, FL
Team Carolina – - Indian Trail, NC
Troy Eagles – – Troy, NY
Valley Forge Minutemen – - Oaks, PA
Walpole Express – – Walpole, MA

Empire Junior Hockey League: -

Apple Core Minor Jr. B – – Long Beach, NY
Bay State Breakers – – Rockland, MA
Boston Jr. Bruins – – Framingham, MA
Brewster Bulldogs – – Brewster, NY
Bridgewater Bandits – – Bridgewater, MA
Buffalo Stars - – Cheektowaga, NY
Capital District Selects Minor Jr. B – Troy, NY
Elmira Jr. Jackals – – Elmira, NY
Fitchburg NE Huskies – – Tyngsboro, MA
Green Mountain Glades – – Essex Junction, VT
Jersey Wildcats - – Wharton, NJ
Maksymum Jr. Hockey – – Rochester, NY
New England Jr. Falcons – – Enfield, CT
New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs – – Hooksett, NH
NY Jr. Coyotes – – Massena, NY
Pittsburgh Junior B Penguins - – Pittsburgh, PA
Salem Ice Dogs – – Saugus, MA
South Shore Kings – – Foxboro, MA
Syracuse Stars – – Dewitt, NY
Tri-State Selects - – Oaks, PA
Valley Jr. Warriors – – Lawrence, MA

Continental Hockey Association – Premier –

New York Apple Core - – Long Beach, NY
Frederick Freeze – – Frederick, MD
Jersey Wildcats - – Wharton, NJ
Mass Maple Leafs – – Raynham, MA
Metro Fighting Moose – – Brooklyn, NY
New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs - – Hooksett, NH
Pittsburgh Jr. Penguins - – Pittsburgh, PA
Philadelphia Jr. Blazers - – Bethlehem, PA
Springfield Jr. Pics – – Springfield, MA
Virginia Express - – Woodbridge, VA

Here are the leagues and teams in Tier-III Junior A:

Western States Hockey League: -

Bay City Bombers – – Lakewood, CA
Capital Thunder – – Roseville, CA
Colorado Outlaws – – Windsor, CO
Dallas Hawks – – Addison, TX
El Paso Rhinos – – El Paso, TX
Phoenix Polar Bears – – Phoenix, AZ
San Antonio Diablos – – San Antonio, TX
San Diego Gulls – – Escondido, CA
Texas Renegades – – North Richland Hills, TX
Tulsa Rampage – – Tulsa, OK
Valencia Flyers – – Valencia, CA

Northern Pacific Hockey League: -

Billings Bulls – – Billings, MT
Bozeman Ice Dogs – – Bozeman, MT
Butte Roughriders – – (problem with this site) Butte, MT
Coeur d’Alene Lakers – – Coeur d’Alene, ID
Eugene Generals – – Eugene, OR
Helena Bighorns – – Helena, MT
Missoula Maulers – – Missoula, MT
Puget Sound Tomahawks – – Tacoma, WA
River City Jaguars – - Beaverton, OR
Rogue Valley Wranglers – – Medford, OR
Tri-City Titans – – Pasco, WA
Yellowstone Quake – – Cody, WY
Seattle Totems – – Shoreline, WA

Minnesota Junior Hockey League: -

Granite City Lumberjacks – – St. Cloud, MN
Hudson Crusaders – - Hudson, WI
Minnesota Flying Aces – – Little Falls, MN
Minnesota Ice Hawks – – Rochester, MN
Minnesota Owls – – Isanti, MN
Minnesota Wildcats – – Maple Grove, MN
St. Paul Lakers – – Edina, MN
Twin Cities Northern Lights – – Bloomington, MN
Wisconsin Mustangs – – Spooner, WI

Central States Hockey League: -

Chicago Force – – Rolling Meadows, IL
Cincinnati Queen City Steam – – Cincinnati, OH
Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks – – Strongsville, OH
Dubuque Thunderbirds – – Dubuque, IA
Flint Junior Generals – – Flint, MI
Grand Rapids Junior Owls – (problem with site) - Byron Center, MI
Metro Jets – – Waterford, MI
Motor City Chiefs – – Dearborn Heights, MI
Peoria Mustangs – – Peoria, IL
Quad City Express (now Flames) – – Davenport, IA
St. Louis Junior Blues – – St. Louis, MO
Toledo Cherokee – – Toledo, OH

Eastern Junior Hockey League: -

Apple Core - – Long Beach, NY
Bay State Breakers - – Rockland, MA
Boston Jr. Shamrocks (now Philadelphia Revolution Jr. Hockey Club) – – Warminster, PA
Bridgewater Bandits - – Bridgewater, MA
Capital District Selects – Troy, NY
Green Mountain Glades - – Essex Junction, VT
Jersey Hitmen – – Wayne, NJ
Jr. Warriors – – Haverhill, MA
Junior Bruins - – Framingham, MA
New England Jr. Falcons - – Enfield, CT
New England Jr. Huskies - – Tyngsboro, MA
New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs - – Hooksett, NH
South Shore Kings - – Foxboro, MA
Syracuse Stars - – Dewitt, NY

Atlantic Junior Hockey League: -

Binghamton Jr. Senators - – Chenango Bridge, NY
Boston Jr. Bulldogs – – Salem, NH
Hartford Jr. Wolfpack - – Cromwell, CT
Laconia Leafs – – Laconia, NH
New Jersey Rockets - – Newark, NJ
New York Junior Bobcats – – Syosset, NY
North Mass Cyclones – – Hudson, NH
Portland Jr. Pirates - – Saco, ME
Philadelphia Little Flyers - – Aston, PA
Philadelphia Jr. Flyers - - West Chester, PA
Walpole Express - – Walpole, MA
Washington Jr. Nationals – – Arlington, VA

Here’s the Tier-II league and teams:

North American Hockey League –

Alaska Avalanche – – Wasilla, AK
Albert Lea Thunder – – Albert Lea, MN
Alexandria Blizzard – – Alexandria, MN
Alpena Ice Diggers – – Alpena, MI
Bismarck Bobcats – – Bismarck, ND
Fairbanks Ice Dogs - – Fairbanks, AK
Kenai River Brown Bears – – Soldotna, AK
Mahoing Valley Phantoms – – Boardman, OH
Marquette Rangers – – Marquette, MI
Motor City Machine – – Wyandotte, MI
North Iowa Outlaws – – Mason City, IA
Owatonna Express – – Owatonna, MN
Springfield Jr. Blues – – Springfield, IL
St. Louis Bandits – – Chesterfield, MO
Topeka Roadrunners – – Topeka, KS
Traverse City North Stars – – Traverse City, MI
USNTDP – USA Hockey’s US National Team Development Program – U17 and U18 – see
Wenatchee Wild – – Wenatchee, WA
Wichita Falls Wildcats – – Wichita Falls, TX

And last here is the Tier-I league and teams:

United States Hockey League -

Cedar Rapid Roughriders – – Cedar Rapids, IA
Chicago Steel – – Bensenville, IL
Des Moines Buccaneers – – Urbandale, IA
Fargo Force – – Fargo, ND
Green Bay Gamblers – – Green Bay, WI
Indiana Ice – – Indianapolis, IN
Lincoln Stars – – Lincoln, NE
Omaha Lancers – – Council Bluffs, NE
Sioux City Musketeers – – Sioux City, IA
Sioux Falls Stampede – – Sioux Falls, SD
Tri-City Storm – – Kearney, NE
Waterloo Blackhawks – – Waterloo, IA

So that’s about it my friends. I hope that you find this information helpful and I expect everybody trying out for any of these teams to be skating hard and walking with wood.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Yesterday was Easter and the last games of the 2008 - 2009 season have now been played and the lineup for the Stanley Cup playoffs have been set.

Now this won’t make everybody happy including me but ….

… here are my predictions for the best hockey has to offer in the playoffs:

First Round:

Capitals win vs the Rangers
Penguins win vs Flyers
Devils win vs Hurricanes
Bruins win vs Canadians

Blues win vs Canucks
Sharks win vs Ducks
Redwings win vs Blue Jackets
Blackhawks win vs Flames

Second Round:

Devils win vs Capitals
Bruins win vs Penguins

Sharks win vs Blues
Redwings win vs Blackhawks


Bruins win vs Devils

Redwings win vs Sharks

Stanley Cup Finals:

Bruins win vs Redwings

Yup – I just feel that it’s the Bruins’ year!

I’ve got to tell you that I really got to see more televised hockey this season than any ever before in the past. I’ve seen just tons of NHL games, college games, high school games, AHL and even ECHL games. It’s been a real blast but I of course attribute this good fortune to the fact that I’ve been unemployed since October of 2008. Damn, nearly the entire season, ehh. I missed a little bit recouping from my fool-ass brain injury but otherwise I just got to see a shit load of hockey this year.

I’m of course hoping to land a new job real soon. Ahh yup. And you know if that happens then I’m gonna miss a bunch of the Stanley Cup Playoff games. Well, I’d certainly rather have a job though. But hockey rules, and you know that as well as the fact that I live it.

Those of you that keep track of me know that I travel to California on occasion, right? Back in late March I lined up several interviews for companies that have their headquarters in the San Francisco Bay area. All of them possibly good opportunities that would mostly keep me close to home here in the back woods but with some amount of travel as may be required because of the job responsibilities. So I’m hoping for some good luck out of this. Shit, I’m hoping for good luck for anybody that is looking for a job right now. The whole world has kinda soured if ya know what I mean but I’m sure we’ll pull out of it soon.

You followers also know that when I travel that I like to stop in to local rinks and see what kinda shinny they got going on or how their youth teams are faring. It’s always fun to meet new pucksters and their friends and families. This trip was no different as I was able to set aside a bit of time to visit the rink in Oakland.

It’s a fairly modern facility located on 18th Street in Oakland. Goes by the name of the Oakland Ice Center and seems to have some hockey affiliation with the San Jose Sharks and two other rinks; one in San Jose and one in Freemont. All three of these cities are on what they refer to as the eastern side of the Bay Area. I checked out what all they have going on here and was really quite impressed for a California rink. They’ve got an in-house league (Sharks Ice), a traveling club team – the Outlaw Bears, a high school league and an adult league with teams of the usual various names but I thought that these were a bit interesting: Puck Pigs, Skateful Dead, Cross-Czechs, and Gang Green.

They’ve got two ice surfaces here – one NHL size and one Olympic size. Dressing rooms, pro-shop, snack bar; you know, the usual fare. But I’ve got say again – I was impressed.

I stopped by mid-morning on a Tuesday and was expecting to find only figure skaters on the ice. Exactly! That’s all that was going on when I arrived, but by the time I checked out the facility, sipped on a coffee and reviewed some of the league and team stats things had begun to change.

Private figure skating sessions had ended on the NHL rink and pucksters loaded down with their gear started showing up. I figured that it was maybe a session of lunch-time pickup getting ready to get underway so I thought I’d stick around to watch and chat up some of the players. I went back to the snack bar and got a slice of pizza. Whoa dogs – that’s some tough stuff to eat – I think it was leftover from the night before and was just put under the warming lights. Oh well it was chow and job interviewing had taken a bit outta me and I needed to re-energize a bit.
Now this was really strange, because I’ve never seen it with pick-up before, but two refs and two lineman came out on the ice first. They skated around a bit and then went over to the penalty box where a crowd was gathering off of the ice. I hadn’t noticed but there were a bunch of suits over their and a video crew with, what I could see, at least two cameras. Curious I moved over closer from the end boards to the sin bin and noticed that several of the dudes in suits were displaying embroidered NHL emblems on their jacket pockets.

Interesting, ehh.

On a previous visit to California I ran into Apple bigwigs testing the I-Puck along side Zamboni testing the Zamboomba. What a hilarious mess that was. I was wondering though “Could I be onto something as controversial again”?

Curious and as forward as I am I walked up to one of the suits and introduced myself.

“Hi, I’m Jasper Wheats, world famous hockey blogger. What’s going on here?”

The dude shook my hand and said, “Howdy mate, I’m Rup Iverson, NHL rep – Enforcement Technology.”

By this time players were coming out on to the ice and all of them were stopping by the penalty box and were signing in or something.

Rup hands me a business card and says “This was all hush-hush until the GM’s meeting and since you’re here I figure the cat’s outta the bag. Ehh?”

Not wanting to act like a stupid shit I said, “Ahh yup,” in as a commanding voice as I could.

I dawdled a bit and lazily started to say, “Soooo …” expecting him to cut me off, which he did – the prideful bastard.

“Wheats, I know your shit. Its good stuff. Ya don’t mind me calling ya ‘Wheats’ do ya? Well you know the big discussion coming outta the GM meeting was fighting. That’s my bag. I led the Norse league two years in row for penalty minutes and fighting majors. Unusual for European hockey but I just love to mix it up. After I quit playing I migrated to Canada end got myself a degree in human psychology. Coached a bit at junior level then moved into a back office position with the NHL. They said they could use somebody with my education and background.”

This guy is on a high horse so I let him continue talking.

“Ya see Wheats, Bettman more than anybody wants to abolish fighting in the league. Between me and you he’s a wimp and would probably drop from just a feigned punch. But anyway the GMs just want fighting controlled a little better. They realize that it adds to the package when a fan pays to watch a game and also that a good donnybrook can ramp-up a team’s play during the course of a game. But what the GMs are afraid of is that with the salary cap and all, well some of there top notch high priced players can’t afford to be injured in a little fisticuff. If ya catch my drift.”

I returned, “Yeah I getcha. The big buck owners don’t want their stars being sidelined because they’re the main draw. Right? But that’s why teams carry enforcers, ehh.”

“Right, right! That used to be the case. I mean did ya ever see Gretzky without McSorely? Right. Used to be the case I’m telling you. But now days the stars are just as willing to mix it up as anybody else. And this scares the owners and it trickles down to the GMs. They’ve got to somewhat obey their masters ehh. Don’t want to be kiss asses but money talks and bullshit walks, Wheats. You know that.”

I’m getting this but what I’m not getting is how this mid-day skate is going to remedy this managerial situation. So I say “Cool!” to keep him on the hook and nudge some more. “So how’s this work, Rupster?”

“Whoa, Wheats! I go by Rup. That Rupster shit makes me sound like some sort a punk kid. Lets keep this clean, ehh!”

The dude is full of himself. “Sorry. So go on Rup.”

“Some of the big horses have come up with some ideas and we’re trying one out today. Ya notice that all the players are signing releases over there? Well these guys are local pickup/beer league players noted for rough stuff and they’re each getting paid a couple hundred bucks to play today with instructions to play as crazy as possible. Elbows, boarding, high sticking, hooking you name it. We expect that the gloves will get dropped with regularity throughout the skate. We’ve got actual NHL on-ice officials that will blow whistles to stop play upon an infraction but no actual penalties will be called. We want the play intense but somewhat controlled. All of these guys jumped at the opportunity to play in this game this afternoon because they’re all pretty frustrated from sitting in the box so much during their regular league games. Wheats, you’re gonna see some old time hockey this afternoon.”

“Ok, ok,” I say, “so the test is letting these boys play but lots of whistles? Doesn’t seem to be much of an idea.”

“Nah Wheats. Here’s the drill. And all these guys know it and that’s why they sign the releases. Once a fight breaks out the linesmen will come into break it up as usual. But the refs are packing dude.”

“What ya mean Rup?” Now I’m lost. Are these refs carrying guns or something?

“OK, let me explain. See that belt the ref is putting on? It’s got a power pack for a taser that is strapped to his wrist and index finger kinda Spiderman style. When he extends his arm micro switches are turned on that activates the system and when he blows his whistle the taser fires in the direction of the pointed arm/index finger. The taser system has an audio pickup tuned to the officials’ whistles that activates and fires the propulsion subsystem within milliseconds. We zap the fighters and the fight ends. Simple as shit ehh. I don’t know why we didn’t think of this sooner.”

“I think that the idea is crazier than radioactive moose dung, Rup. But what’s my opinion count for anyway? I just happened upon your little exercise and probably shouldn’t be here anyway. I think I’ll go sit in the stands and watch your ‘controlled’ game. Thanks for the info.”

“Just don’t get in the way Wheats. I’ve got a lot respect for you and what you’ve done for the world of hockey. So I sure as shit don’t want you to get mixed up in the nastiness on the ice. I’m sure you could hold your own with these boys; but just the same I don’t want you to get hurt. Ha-ha! Sit back and enjoy the show.”

I climbed up into the stands and by than the game got underway. Rup hadn’t been kidding about the expected rough play. This was some good shit my friends. Rough and tumble hockey the way it was meant to be played. But in my mind its just a dabgone shame that if a fight breaks out that someone’s going to get zapped.

It wasn’t long before we had some action. One guy got hooked on an open ice breakaway (ok almost a breakaway) and at the following faceoff after the whistle the two decided to tangle. The linesman let them go for few seconds and then jumped into as normal to break it up. The ref lined up pointed his arm and finger, rather than raising it, and blew his whistle. He either missed his mark or was too far away because the fighters kept going at it. The second ref then came in close and zapped one of the guys. Since by then the guys were almost bear hugging the charge from the taser went though both of them and they dropped like stiff legged GI Joes and commenced to shake mildly about on the ice but then got up quickly and started at it again.

At that point the cardboard pizza I had eaten decided to come back up. This was ugly in a way and didn’t seem to really work the way Rup said it was intended. I didn’t like it. Not one bit. Finally they broke it off with the help of the linesmen.

After a few seconds some EMTs, that I hadn’t noticed previously, came out on the ice to check the fighters’ vitals, I guess.

Both refs went over to the penalty box and were each refitted with replacement wrist apparatus. Apparently the system was modular for a quick changeover of the wrist remote. Somebody must have thought ahead about this. Any duration to changeover would be a detriment to the game – kinda like a TV timeout.

Play got underway again and it continued at its rough pace. I’m still thinking that this isn’t such a good idea when Rup comes jogging up into the stands with a clipboard in his hand.

He sits down beside me and boasts “What ya think of that Wheats?!?! Wasn’t that something?”

“Ahh Rup! That had me tasting my lunch twice. I’m not so sure that this is such a good idea,” I responded feeling sick again.

“Oh don’t tell me you can’t stomach this action. I’m sure that there’s more to come.”

A little bit later a fracas broke out in the crease and slot area. Normal pushing and shoving like you’d expect. Four, five maybe even six guys going at it some.

Both refs move up close and both of them have their arm extended and whistle to their mouths. Or so I thought. Finally a whistle blows and the bundled up bunch of guys don’t pay any attention and keep at it. But the craziest shit in the world is that one of the ref’s went down and he’s vibrating like Linda Blair in the Exorcist just to the left side of the net.

I tossed my cookies in a split second and Rup was up and on the run. Next thing I see is he’s flat footing it across the ice and sliding into the group of players and drops to his knees like a trainer over the downed ref. The EMTs follow but at a much slower cautionary pace to aid this zebra down on the ice.

The vibrating stops. They give the ref oxygen, put him on a flatboard and take him off the ice.

Rup gets back off the ice and goes to talk with the suits. A bullhorn gets pulled out and whoever’s behind it announces that “That’s it for today boys.”

I get up to leave cuz I’m not feeling real good now and Rup catches up to me at the bottom of the stairwell.

He says “Wheats, I’m sure you’re going to write something on this so I want you to get it straight what just happened. The ref that went down for some reason had the remote for his taser attached to his whistle hand and brought it up to his mouth. When the other ref blew his whistle it fired right into his cheek. Zapped the holy fuck out him and also cut up his face. He should be ok because these things are de-tuned a bit from standard issue units that the cops use. But I don’t know for sure, we maybe don’t have these puppies set strong enough to be the deterrent that we want on the ice. It sure zapped the fuck outta the ref but didn’t do as much as we wanted to the players. Oh, and I forgot to mention this earlier but each of these players had to have been zapped before to qualify for this skate. As crazy as it sounds, none of them had to volunteer to be zapped. They all said that they had been zapped a time or two previously by the Oakland PD. Some of them said that they had been tasered right out in the parking lot here while chugging beers after a skate. Maybe they’re sort of immune to the charge. I don’t know.”

I started heading for the door and told Rup that I hope he gets it right but that I still didn’t feel like it’s the best thing to do to the game of hockey.
Rup grabbed my arm and spun me around. “Wheats, I know what your thinking. But there’s a lot of money in this. You’ve got my card. If you think of anything that might work that the GMs, owners and even possibly Bettmen would be interested in then give me a call or shoot me an email. I know that you’ve got lots of connections and are well regarded in hockey circles worldwide. Your input would be great.”

With that he shook my hand and bid me goodbye with one of my own lines “Wheats, your walking with wood, man, your walking with wood.”