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…

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.

It’s Hockey Night in Ontario… California

20131012-192347.jpgIt’s preseason for ECHL minor league hockey! Here, the Ontario Reign lead the Las Vegas Wranglers 3-1.

— Update —

Ontario went on to a 5-1 victory!

I find minor league hockey in Ontario is an unalloyed pleasure. The players are young, and make up in enthusiasm what they may lack in experience. The fans are politer than those at Los Angeles Kings games (although as far as fan behavior goes, I understand that the LAPD would rather the Kings won the Stanley Cup than the Lakers, the NBA championship.) Besides…

I. Just. Like. Hockey. And I can afford a lot more live hockey in Ontario.

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