Hockey, Writing, and Knee Injuries — Welcome to My Week

Hockey Returns to Ontario (California) Tonight!
Hockey Returns to Ontario (California) Tonight!
The Good: Tonight is Opening Night for Ontario (California) hockey. Hubby, Son and I will be on the red line in the second tier seats. I look forward to seeing the new AHL players (some of whom we may have seen before when they were in the ECHL.) I also look forward to seeing the team mascots (New? Old with new logo? The front office isn’t telling.) And of course I look forward to our boys stomping the snot out of the similarly-upgraded Bakersfield Condors. Go Reign!

The Bad: Writing has not been happening. That will change in November, if not sooner. But definitely in November.

The Ugly: Before we left for our trip to New England, I had hyper-extended my left knee. The left knee was in bad shape to begin with, as I have no anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) due to an old ice skating injury. And of course I haven’t had the good sense to stay off it. I’ve danced on it (twice!), trekked through airports and department stores on it, and generally abused it. It is enjoying its revenge, which will probably get worse what with climbing to my seat tonight. And no, I haven’t had the sense to see a doctor about it, either. Right now I am sitting at a desk at Kleverdog, with my foot up on a filing cabinet, overdosing on ibuprofen. I intend to spend a week getting Hubby and Son to fetch and carry for me so this thing will actually heal a bit.

Ontario (California) Hockey Update 

So–some of my questions have been answered. 

  • There’s the new Reign logo on the left. It’s a rework of the Kings’ logo from the 90’s. Now when I get mail from the Reign, I wonder why the Kings are sending me stuff. There is, alas, no dragon to be found on it. 
  • It certainly looks like the new management knows it has a good thing going in the Reign sales department. All those competent account managers look to be staying on, for now. 
  • Ticket prices have gone up, but only slightly. Management is going to great effort to retain season subscribers–i.e., us. 
  • No word on our mascots, yet. However, every bit of old Reign regalia is 50% off in the team store. All the fans are stocking up on “vintage” jerseys, hats, and blankets. 

I suppose I must wait until October to find out about mascots. Meanwhile, our boys are doing their best to bring one more ECHL Pacific Division banner to the Citizens’ Business Bank Arena before they leave us for New Hampshire. 

GO REIGN! 

Change Comes to Ontario (California) Hockey

ECHL logo for Ontario Reign -- soon to be gone forever
ECHL logo for Ontario Reign — soon to be gone forever
I’ve blogged before that the Hubby and I have season tickets to the Ontario Reign. Now, change is coming to the hockey club, and I am one of the few fans who seems to dread it.

Background: The Reign are an ECHL minor league club, two levels below the NHL. The next level up is the AHL, whose players often are called directly to the NHL. The Los Angeles Kings are affiliated with both the Reign and the AHL Manchester Monarchs.

Long story short, the Monarchs are moving to Ontario and the Reign to Manchester because that’s how the Kings want it.

The name will stay the same; we will still have a team called the Reign. The logo will change. The top executives, the coaching staff, and the players will swap cities. Many of the “new” players will be familiar — after all, the Monarchs team is where our improved players have gone. Most of my fellow fans are delighted; we will get to see a higher level of play. But I still have questions:

  • Will the excellent sales and support staff stay?
  • Will we still have the Dark Knight and Blaze the Dragon as our mascots?
  • Will there still be a dragon on our logo?
  • Will the ticket prices go up?

Stay tuned…

Hockey Madness

2014-06-11 13.59.34

I may as well quit trying to even pretend to focus on writing today.

The Kings might win the Stanley Cup!

Two years ago, Los Angeles made a sacrifice to the Hockey Gods, which they found acceptable – the Sandley Cup, a sand sculpture put in place in front of Staples Center. No such sculpture arrived this year, sadly, so I sacrifice my weekly blog post.

We are the Kings of the ice
We have a goalie named Quick
And he is
We have a defenceman named Doughty
And he is
We are as strong as the Santa Ana winds
As enduring as the mountains
As tough as East L.A.
Like the earthquake we bring all to their knees
The City of Angels sneers at the Big Apple

GO KINGS GO!

— Update 6/17/14 —

The Kings won the Stanley Cup on Friday! In the words of the beer commercial, it’s only weird if it doesn’t work.

Beaver Cup XXVIII — CalTech 8, MIT 4

The victorious CalTech alumni graciously let the MIT team crowd in on the sides for the group photo.
The victorious CalTech alumni graciously let the MIT team crowd in on the sides for the group photo after the game.
It’s taken me since May 10 to get to the point that I could write about this year’s Beaver Cup.

True to form, the MIT Alumni Club didn’t publicize the annual contest between the MIT Alumni Hockey Team and the CalTech Alumni Hockey Team until the week before the game. I don’t know if this is because the game time and location just aren’t settled until then, or for other, darker reasons. In any event, I scrambled to arrange my schedule to attend with Hubby.

The first hint I had that Mother Technology’s Sons might be in trouble was before the first puck drop, when an MIT team member looked up at us two sixty-ish, out-of-shape alums and asked, “Does either of you skate?”

Ahem. We cheered every goal by MIT in L.A. style, waving our cardinal red accessories. We disparaged CalTech’s goals with raspberries twice as often, darn it. And at the end, CalTech took possession of the Cup for the coming year.

Oh, well. There’s always next year.

Where is the Beaver Cup?

imageHockey season is drawing to a close. Both my favorite major league team, the Los Angeles Kings, and my favorite minor league team, the Ontario Reign, will be going to the playoffs shortly.

But I’ve heard nothing about the true pinnacle of the hockey season — the Beaver Cup. This is the roughly annual meeting of the MIT alumni (yay!) and the CalTech alumni (hiss!) hockey teams to vie for nerdly glory.

I was expecting an announcement by now in the alumni newsletter, but I’ve heard nothing. Nothing! And this while the NHL and the ECHL are pimping their playoffs as hard as they can.

Can it be that there will be no Beaver Cup game this season? Or will the alumni newsletter announce it less than a week in advance, as they did last year?

Even if the Kings win the Stanley Cup, or the Reign the Kelly Cup, I will disappointed in the hockey season if I miss the Beaver Cup.

Outdoor Ice Hockey in Southern California

20131218-154416.jpgDear Lord, what are they thinking?

I understand the reasoning behind the NHL Stadium Series. NHL brass, NHL players, Canadian fans, and northern USA fans all grew up playing outdoor ice hockey. They’re nostalgic. The NHL is betting on that nostalgia, and on the fact that the teams they’ve selected for the series sell out their indoor arenas regularly. Surely, they think, between longing for the Good Old Days, and pent-up fan demand, we can sell out these huge stadia at unreasonable prices.

This reasoning has worked well for the Chicago-Pittsburg game, which is already sold out. None of the others has sold out, yet. I can’t say whether the Los Angeles-Anaheim game will sell out, but it will do so, or not, without me.

I looked into buying tickets, as I haven’t seen an NHL game in quite some time. I was thinking that seats might be less expensive in order to fill such a large venue. Instead, I got a nosebleed looking at the prices. They are more expensive than seats in Staples Center, for crummy Dodger Stadium seats where you’ll need the Hubble Telescope to see the game. So, I should pay more to see this game… why?

Nostalgia for outdoor hockey? I’m a Southern girl. Ice is what you put in tea. I can’t help thinking that much of the Southern California fan base sees the terms “outdoor” and “hockey” in the same sentence and asks “Why?”

And oh yes, there are significant weather challenges for outdoor ice venues here in Los Angeles. January has its occasional sunny days where the temperature rises past 80F. Alternatively, it could be raining. Not snowing, raining. It’s the rainy season here.

They better have some darn good refrigeration under that rink, or the Kings and the Ducks will be playing water polo.

Meanwhile, I will enjoy watching Kings prospects on the Ontario Reign play hockey indoors, as God intended California hockey be played.

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