Tag Archives: Kelly Cup

Friday Links

After that little let-down in Greenville, I’m feeling a little blah about the Blades at the moment. It’s not quite Blades January losing streak blah, but it’s getting close.

- You know what’s not helping? The freaking Solar Bears signing another NHLer. Fun fact: an NHL grinder is an ECHL top liner.

- I checked Elite prospects to compare (just for fun), and decided to share the depression inducing numbers with you:

If I have to cry, you all have to cry with me

- In case you were wondering, those two games belong to Brayden Irwin. Congrats Slim.

- I think we all need some cake now.

Canadiens Hockey Cake [side view]

- This shirt feels very appropriate now. It really is all Gary’s fault.

- This isn’t hockey related at all, but I figured if cake and mocking t-shirts didn’t cheer you up, bubble wrap might just be the answer.

- The tweet of the week was a hard choice. So, I went with a hat-trick of awesome:

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- A person I can only assume is a giant idiot jerk looking to profit off of a jersey auctioned off for charity has put Mike Brennan’s Military Night jersey up on eBay. My list says it went for $500. Pay anything more than that guys, and you’re allowing someone to make a profit and get the tax write off.

- Your Wikipedia hockey page for today: Checking

- Kitty time? Kitty time!


Opening Night

After what seemed like an eternity, the night we’ve been waiting for is finally here. Obviously, our wait for the season to begin can’t compare to our wait for the Kelly Cup. But, it was still long and miserable.
Unlike a lot of hockey fans, we’re lucky the lockout came. For at least the next few days (or weeks, or months) we get to see a majority of the guys that won us a Kelly Cup. It’s safe to say that a majority of them don’t belong down here. They have proven they have skills to be playing in the AHL. But fate is odd, and we get our boys back for however long people see fit to argue about what millionaire deserve a few extra million more than another. We get to see our guys take the ice in the blue and green once again.

And it feels good.

So tonight, remember, you are a fan of the Florida Everblades. It doesn’t matter if you were one of the original season ticket holders or someone who just joined up right before the final game of the playoffs. We’re all Everblades fans. Bring your signs, crazy wigs, cowbells, and any other crazy thing you can think of. Tonight is not a night to be modest or subtle about your love for this team.
Tonight is the night to celebrate their accomplishment and our commitment. Be loud, be proud Blades fans. We deserve this.

Wow, that was really to serious guys. Please enjoy this kitty as an apology.
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It’s Finally Here

  We’re skipping the usual Friday Links post to bring you a special post featuring Chelsea’s writing and my photos, a one two punch of mind-blowing blog-nificence to celebrate the long dull off-season finally being over.
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The morning has dawned on the Everblades first preseason game. The long summer is over, the ice is set and the Florida Everblades are set to take on the Orlando Solar Bears. 
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Four years ago I stopped by the Everblades training camp for the first time. I had just transferred down to Florida from Connecticut and I was still looking for my place in the universe. I sat alone in the main arena as the players took the ice and I had a moment of well being surround me.
 
I’m not an athlete, I can’t skate to save my life, but hockey is my home. I’ve since decided to work in hockey and have gotten to experience some great moments. Walking into an empty arena with the hum of the air conditioner and the subtle (not subtle at ALL) hockey smell is soothing.
 
As I made my yearly trip to training camp I saw some differences from previous years. This year I wasn’t the only one sitting in the stands. There were Everblades t-shirts and sweaters with little kids trying to peak over the glass. 
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There also weren’t many players on the ice. The AHL training camps over lapped with the ECHL this year. The early days of training camp brought back Everblades favorites and regulars like Mathieu Roy, Matt Marquardt, Trevor Bruess and long time emergency back up Brian Markowicz.
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The ‘Blades affiliates sent reinforcements yesterday. The Kelly Cup squad is reassembling with the additions of David Rutherford, Joe Sova, Matt Beca, Pat Nagle and Bobby Raymond. There are several newcomers for the season including goalie Rob Madore. 
 
So in the spirit of the season here are the three things you should know about tonights game:
1. Which mascot would win in a fight?
It’s Swampee versus a polar bear in sunglasses. While polar bears are ferocious, Swampee is an alligator on ‘roids. I may be biased, but I’m giving this round to Swampee.
John Muse
 
2. Don’t forget the goalies.
It’s easy to talk goals and hits, but don’t forget the goalies. Last years playoff MVP was goaltender John Muse. While his play was superb, so were his idiosyncrasies and routines. Watch the warm up and see what you learn.
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3. Say cheese!
Take pictures. It really is an experience and you never know what gems you’ll produce. You’ll also be able to get up close and personal in Breakaways after the game. Let the guys eat, but they’ll stop by and say hi and take photos. I hear Rutherford had his teeth replaced this summer so he’s ready for the camera.
It should be a good match up with the resurrected Solar Bears. Don’t expect perfection, the preseason is a place of learning and experimentation, but do expect a good game. The Everblades almost always deliver.

So Your Team is Locked Out: Florida Everblades 101

Also known as: Your hockey team is locked out and you desperately need a hockey fix. Unfortunately, you live in South Florida so the Juniors or the AHL are not really options. Also, everyone knows the Solar Bears suck so you decided to back a winner.I know you guys, it sucks more than biting your tongue… after you’ve already bit it twice before. I’ll miss my trips to Sunrise and Tampa more than anything. However, it’s not as though hockey season is a total wash for me (or you). Florida happens to be home to two minor league teams, the Florida Everblades (yay!) and the Orlando Solar Bears (boo!).I might be biased toward the Everblades, my hometown team, but they really are better (and they don’t wear a hideous color like teal). Since I’m going to assume you’ve decided to make the wise decision and back a winner, I’m going to give you all the best tips and tricks you’ll need to be the very best Everblades fan you can be.

First, some important links:
- A quick look at some basic Blades info.
- The team’s website.
- The arena’s website.
- My list of Everblades players (current and former) on Twitter.
- Basic info on the ECHL from Wikipedia.
- More from HockeyDB.
- The Leagues website.

Next, logistical stuff:

- The Arena is located just off of I-75 (so close you can actually see the arena from the Interstate). It’s about a two and a half hour trip from Tampa or Sunrise, and I recommend getting off at exit 123, Corkscrew Road. It’s the quickest and easiest route and reduces the amount of mind-numbingly stupid traffic.

- The arena sits right next to a large outlet mall, and many choose to park there, eat and then walk to the arena. I’m sure some people park there to save themselves the $5 charge for parking too.

- There are plenty of food stands in the arena. The stands are operated by local groups (youth sports teams mostly) that get a cut of the profits from their sales during the night. They sell typical arena food as well as some more unusual fare, wraps, make your own nachos, etc.

- There are plenty of restaurants nearby as well. On top of the restaurants at the nearby outlet, there are also many located in Gulf Coast Town Center and a bit further away at Coconut Point, and several chain and fast food places in between.

- There are also plenty of bars for post-game fun around. Any regular Blades fan under 50 could probably recommend a good place.

- Just like any place in Florida near an Interstate exit, there are tons of hotels nearby so it should be pretty easy to find one.

Also, there are also plenty of touristy things to do if you want make a mini-vacation out of your visit here.

- Ive already mentioned the excellent shopping opportunities so, no need to repeat myself.

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-I recommend Sanibel /Captiva island for the natural beaches, National Park, and low-key atmosphere (there is a toll to get to the island and into the national park). Ft. Myers Beach and Vanderbilt Beach are nice as well, but get a little congested and hard to navigate.

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-If you like a bit of history, you have to check out Koreshan State Park to hear all about the zany cult that used to call Estero home. You can also check out the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in nearby Ft. Myers, and maybe check out the downtown River District while you’re there.

- There’s also other things like manatee tours (or visit the park), fishing charters, kayaking tours, swamp tours, etc (basically all the outdoorsy water related stuff you’d expect down here).

- If you’re coming from the East across Alligator Alley you should check out some of the Seminole Tribes attractions.

- The Red Sox and Twins call Ft. Myers home for spring training (if, god forbid, the lockout lasts that long), and a few other MLB teams are in nearby cities. The Ft. Myers Miracle also play minor league ball at Hammond Stadium.

But enough of that, the real stuff you need to know is how to fit in with your fellow Blades fans, and all the secret tips and tricks, right?

- Obviously, wearing anything blue or green is a safe bet. They will be throwing free Everblades t-shirts into the crowd like any respectable team would. There is one pro shop, located between the recreational rinks and two stands selling team branded merchandise. There is also a table with all the marked down merchandise next to the box office. I’ve picked up some cheap jerseys there.

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- We started throwing plastic alligators on the ice after wins during the playoffs (much like your rats Panthers fans). Lord knows if we will be allowed to keep that tradition up, but the team did start selling gators at their stands, so maybe we will be allowed to keep the tradition as long as the Blades are making a profit.

- There really aren’t any bad sight lines that I know of. Some seats in the middle of the corner rows are weirdly smaller than the others. Club level seating and below have cushioned seats with cup holders. Anything above club level is hard plastic with no cup holder.

- I’ve found all the ushers to be nice and very helpful. They’re pretty good about enforcing arena rules too.

- Along those lines: you are not allowed to pound on the glass, you can not set your drinks on the boards if you’re in the first row, and they are pretty strict about enforcing seating.

- You might want to bring a cowbell (or buy one at the souvenir stands). Yes, we are those kinds of fans, but now you are too.

-  Appropriate moments to ring your cowbell: Killed penalties, powerplays, goals, great saves… you know what? We really just ring those things any time we’re given a reason. Maybe you should take an aspirin before the game.

- Our mascot is Swampee, he’s an oddly muscular alligator. He’s not bad as mascots go and he loves getting his picture taken. Yes, we have ice girls. They’re called the Everbabes. They used to do dance numbers but didn’t last season. No idea if they’re bringing that back or not.

- Puck drop is usually at the time listed. with warm-ups being a half hour before puck drop. You are allowed to be down by the ice during warm-ups. The guys last season were pretty good about tossing pucks to kids once the majority of warm-ups were over.

- I’ve had no issues using my DSLR and 200mm lens in the three years I’ve been taking it to games and I’ve seen video cameras out as well.

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- The following players are considered gods within Germain Arena: Tom Buckly, Reggie Berg, and Ernie Hartlieb. The first two have their numbers retired. Ernie’s will be retired this season. Any Everblade who has made it to the NHL is also pretty well respected.

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- It’s also pretty fair to say that all the players (and the coaches) from the Kelly Cup winning squad are beloved as well. Specifically Brandon MacLean (the player who scored the goal in overtime that won the Blades the cup), John Muse (the MVP and major reason they won), and Mathieu Roy (the team’s captain).

- After goals, the team plays the always classic “Rock and Roll part 2″ by Garry Glitter. We then chant “We’re gonna beat the heck out of you! You! You!”.

- Both the fan club and youth teams raffle off Blades goodies during games. The fan club usually has a signed jersey, stick or photo at their tables. Though they like to mix it up and sometimes and give away really unusual stuff. The youth teams usually have a game worn jersey. They don’t usually appear on weekdays (it is a school night), but are easy to spot on Friday and Saturday games walking the concourse with a parent and a sign. The raffle tickets are drawn at the end of the second and announced during the third.

- Like any good fan base we do not like our division rivals, and games against them (especially Greenville and Gwinnet) can get pretty rough (and rowdy). The Orlando Solar Bears are new, but I’m sure they’ll be just as hated, if not more so.

- The Greenville Road Warriors, Elmira Jackals, and Kalamazoo Wings will all have an axe to grind after being destroyed by the Blades in the playoffs (they were undefeated at home during the playoffs, by the way). They swept the Road Warriors, and beat both Elmira and Kalamazoo 4-1. Needless to say, they’ll come to town with something to prove.

- After the games be sure to head up to Breakaways, the restaurant in the arena (you can also sit up there during games, but you have to reserve those ahead of time). You take the elevator across from the pro shop to get there. You can meet the players and get autographs there. It’s also open before games, but they won’t sit you if it’s close to game time.

- The players do get a post-game meal up there too. Don’t be the jerk that interrupts them when they’re eating. Just don’t. They always make time to talk to fans so you will get your chance.

- I believe there’s also an open skate held on one of the recreational rinks after games, so if that’s your thing, there you go.

That’s all the important stuff I could think of, but I’m sure I’ve missed something. If you have any questions you can shoot me an email at SwampHockey@gmail.com or find me here on Twitter.

Also, please leave any of your tips in the comments Blades fans.


YouTube Tuesday

I had hoped there would be a signing announcement today, but alas, there has been now news from The Swamp.I think this lovely video will cheer you up. Please enjoy Carrot Top sounding the siren in Vegas.I still can’t believe the Wranglers did that by the way.

The Blades went on to win that game 7-2 and even the Kelly Cup Final series 1-1. Obviously, you guys remember what happened after that. Three home games, three wins, one Kelly Cup.

I wonder how long the curse of Carrot Top will hang over Orleans arena?


YouTube Tuesday

The Everblades keep announcing signings I approve of. This week, they announced Matt Marquardt will be returning.Matt MarquardtHe was definitely my favorite trade acquisition last year. We received him from the Bakersfield Condors in exchange for Josh Van Dyk.

He ended up with 6 goals and 12 assists in the playoffs. My favorite goal from the playoffs has to be this beauty, an overtime goal in game three of the Kelly Cup Final.

Obviously, that beauty of a goal was later overshadowed by the overtime goal we’ll all remember forever, but it’s still fantastic (and proof that the Wranglers had an awful ability to make the most heinous turnovers of all time at the worst possible time).


YouTube Tuesday

Maybe it’s wrong that I’m still watching videos of the Everblades overtime goal, but you know what? If watching these videos is wrong, I don’t want to be right.I just found this one, and it’s as fantastic as all the others.

In other news, qualifying offers were announced and Coach Poss decided to come back for another season!


Friday Links

I have to admit, I almost forgot all about serving you a heaping helping or links today. Thankfully, I remembered.- An unexpected benefit to the Kelly Cup win is the amount of Blades jerseys for sale on eBay. The prices are a little higher than they’ve been throughout the last few seasons, but they’re still reasonable. Not reasonable is this shirt. This is obviously signed by players between 04-07 (those years being the time Chris Lee was an Everblade). None of them were on the Kelly Cup Champion team. I’m guessing the NHL player is Matt Hendricks. Though it could be Justin Peters, Mike Angelidis or Drew Larman. they all played in that time period. I still don’t see this being worth $90 though.- While I approve of finding new uses for old gear, I’m not sure I approve of this.- Cardiac Cane posted this great interview with David Rutherford. I particularly love the amazing photos that she used.

- How amazing is this cake?

H79 Octopus Cake for Red Wings

- Your Wikipedia hockey page- “Lisa on Ice

- I can’t tell you how much I love this sign. I really can’t tell you.

- The Tweet of the Week will be on hiatus until the season starts. I know it makes you want to cry, but hang in there, it’ll be soon.

- Did you hear the Lightning and Panthers are playing a preseason game at Germain? Because they are and I’ll never be able to stop reminding you how awesome this is going to be.

- I’m sure you guys missed your weekly kitty? Who wouldn’t?

funny cat pictures - Lolcats: I'm holding a grudge
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!


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