Good gracious. If you're a hockey fan (like me) it's been nothing but bad news when it comes to the NHL lockout that seems never-ending. Unlike NBA and NFL fans, most of which never truly believed their seasons were in jeopardy in 2011, NHL fans are more than aware that there's a very good chance this thing could cost us the season.
We've been here before on multiple occasions and have lost a good portion of two prior seasons and entire entire year to lockouts—and that's just in the last 20 years. But it's not all bad news for those of you who love NHL hockey and hot girls.
Despite the season being in question, all of the Ice Crews have held auditions and have their rosters in place when and if the season ever starts. So, that's the good news. The bad news is that most NHL Ice Crew websites are woefully under maintained (Capitals) if they exist at all (Flyers, which have some of the hottest Ice Girls in the league, but not a site to speak of, for shame.).
Thankfully, there are a few good samaritans out there who have their collective crap together, technologically speaking, so I can bring you some of the best photos from Ice Crew tryouts. It'll help us get through the lockout together.
Lightning Fun Fact: Japanese businessman, Takashi Okubo, who owned the Lightning from 1992-1998, never attended a single game and only met with Commissioner Gary Bettman once.
There has to be a happy medium between that hands-off management style and whatever hell-bent on failing micromanaging style the Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has developed.
Blues Fun Fact: Hall of Famer Brett Hull holds the Blues single season record for the most goals. In 1990-91, Hull scored an epic 86 goals, which today still remains the third most in NHL history.
Blues Fun Fact: Mad Men actor, and American treasure, Jon Hamm is one of the Blues' biggest fans. He's a regular at games, he's often decked out in team merch, and he even makes tribute videos on YouTube.
Oilers Fun Fact: The Oilers are one of the most storied franchises in the history of the NHL, with some of the most passionate (to put it mildly) fans. So, public speculation about a relocation to Seattle was guaranteed to send the entire city into a frenzy.
And that's exactly what happened in September 2012. Oilers ownership was likely just using the rhetoric as a bargaining chip to get the city to pay for a new arena, but it promoted widespread civic outrage.
Both the mayor of Edmonton and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman had to step in to calm the salty locals.
Panthers Fun Fact: The legendary Pavel Bure, whose career was cut far too short by injuries, was finally elected to the Hall of Fame in 2012. Bure only played three seasons for the Panthers, but he had one of his career seasons in Miami and led them to the playoffs.
On a completely unrelated to hockey note, but related to Pavel Bure, Pavel's brother Valerie is married to Candice Cameron, who played DJ Tanner on the family sitcom Full House.
Lightning Fun Fact: The man behind the Lightning mascot “ThunderBug” was fired in January 2012 after an altercation with a Boston Bruins fan that involved silly string.
When I first read the headline, I thought it was an Onion article. It was that funny.
Oilers Fun Fact: Apparently there are so many blogs dedicated to the obsessive coverage of the Oilers that they collectively have their own name: The Oilogosphere. Honestly, I can't speak to quality of coverage or even the number of actual blogs out there, but journalists in Edmonton seem pretty insistent about their awesomeness.
This whole thing even has its own Wikipedia page. Then again, my butt probably has its own Wikipedia page at this point.
Predators Fun Fact: American Idol winner Carrie Underwood is one of the Predators biggest fans. The country cutie has a special place in her heart (at least for now) for the Preds because her husband, Mike Fisher, plays for the team.
Underwood does her best to make it to as many regular season games as possible with her busy schedule, but never misses a playoff game.
Lightning Fun Fact: The Lightning are one of eight teams across the four major U.S. pro sports with a name that does not end with an "S." Sounds crazy, but it's true.
Teams outside of the United States are far more likely to have names that don't end in "S." This is actually a fun party game to play with your friends if you all like to drink and are easily amused.
Islanders Fun Fact: In order for the New York Islanders to even come into existence in 1972, Roy Boe, Owner of the Nets, had to pay a $4 million territorial fee to the discontent local New York Rangers.
Islanders Fun Fact: Kevin Connolly, best known as the diminutive E from HBO's Entourage, is a lifelong Islanders fan who can often be spotted near the front row at the Coliseum.
Oilers Fun Fact: I kinda thought that the whole hockey card thing was just something for little kids and that the bottom had fallen out on the market awhile ago, in terms of value for these things. But, apparently there's at least one NHL card that is worth more than the paper its printed on: Oiler grey Wayne Gretzky's rookie card.
In 2006, the card sold for an epic $80,000 to someone who must be The Great One's greatest living fan. How much do you want to bet that guy is buried with the card?
Bruins Fun Fact: When the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011, veteran Mark Recchi was part of a championship team for the third time in his storied career.
The first two came with the Penguins two decades prior, meaning that many of his teammates were either in diapers or not even born the first two times Recchi hoisted the cup.
Lightning Fun Fact: Red Wings legend Steve Yzerman spent 22 seasons in Detroit as one of the most dominant forces the game has ever seen. But this Hall of Fame center eventually had no choice but to call it a career in 2006.
Well, at least in terms of his playing career. Yzerman was hired as the general manager of the Lightning in 2010 and, in just two years, became a transformative figure within the organization.
Oilers Fun Fact: Wayne Gretzky was named the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Decade in 1989, beating out Joe Montana and Magic Johnson. A couple of badass names he beat out handily.
Panthers Fun Fact: The Panthers have one of the more bizarre fan traditions in sports. Stemming from a 1996 incident in which Scott Mellanby reportedly killed a rat in the dressing room and then came back to win the game, fans now throw (hopefully) rubber rats on the ice to celebrate or protest just about anything.
Panthers' management has denied encouraging the rat chucking practice, but they were reprimanded by the NHL in April 2012 for selling plastic rats on site at the arena. Instead of taking their medicine like a man, the team blamed it on Devils' fans in town, accusing them of trying to make the Panthers look bad.
Lightning Fun Fact: In 2010, the Lighting beat the New Jersey Devils 4-2 in a game that was suspended for two days due to a lighting problem that ended play in the middle of the second period.
Honestly, considering hockey players penchant for beatings, that was probably the responsible choice. But it sure would have been fun to see how that all played out in dangerously dimmed lighting. "Fun" might not have been the right word to describe that; intriguing is more like it.
Predators Fun Fact: Red Wings fans have a long tradition of throwing octopi on the ice for various reasons. Predators fans have modified (see: thieved) this tradition and instead chuck catfish onto the ice for various reasons.
This is a relatively recent development, but it seems like something that could eventually pick up steam and define a franchise, particularly after a sexy blonde Preds Ice Girl made national news by skating out onto the ice and grabbed the fish bare handed during the 2012 playoffs.
New TLC show is probably already in the works: Hot Body Hand Fishin'
Oilers Fun Fact: The Oilers won the Stanley Cup in all but two years between 1983-1988, including the ’86 season when Oilers defenseman, Steve Smith, scored the game-winner against his own goalie, losing the playoff series against the Calgary Flames.
Dang, dude. That had to hurt.
Islanders Fun Fact: Despite embarrassing themselves for the greater part of the last two decades, the Islanders actually turned in one of the most dominant playoff performances in history.
In the 1981 playoffs, they only lost a total of three games on their way to beating the North Stars.
Predators Fun Fact: In December 2008, Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios, the world's oldest hockey player (who has since retired), voiced his opinions of Predators fans on a Detroit radio show—and they weren't good.
Chelios described Preds fans as "hillbillyish," "country" and "very emotional." He followed it up by complimenting their passion for the game, but it was obviously an afterthought meant to cover-up calling them a bunch of extras from the set of Deliverance.
Maybe it was a diss. Maybe it was a compliment. Maybe it was a backhanded compliment. Whatever it was, it sure didn't win him many fans in Nashville.
Lightning Fun Fact: Hockey’s most famous mullet, Barry Melrose, coached the Rangers for several years before retiring from coaching for well over a decade. He was lured back to replace the fired Lightning coach John Tortorella in 2008.
To say things didn't go well would be an understatement; he was fired as the Lightning’s coach just 16 games after his debut. One of the shortest, ugliest and most embarrassing coaching stints in history.
Bruins Fun Fact: Boston sports, overall, have one of the most vocal and impassioned fan bases in the country. Did I mention vocal? Oh, okay. Actually, I knew that I had mentioned vocal because I could read back the sentence, but felt it was worth repeating.
The Red Sox may be the big dogs in town, but the 2011 Stanley Cup winning Bruins have their fair share of celebrity fans, including: Denis Leary, Eliza Dushku, Steve Carell, Ben Affleck and John Krasinski.
Oilers Fun Fact: There is an entire Internet page dedicated to nothing but jokes about the Oilers. And, boy, are most of them dumb. The ones that aren't dumb are actually kind of offensive. I'm going to share a few, because I know you're dying to know:
Q: Why do the Oilers suck at geometry?
A: Because they never have any points.
(Um…they always have some points. Just not a lot.)
Q: How can you tell if a (sic) Oilers fan just sent you a fax?
A: There's a stamp on it!
(This guy is still seriously rocking the fax machine?)
Q: Why are the Edmonton Oilers like Canada Post?
A: They both wear uniforms and don't deliver!
(BOOM. The Oilers and the post office. Two birds, one stone)
Q: Why did the Oilers enforcer retire early?
A: He was ice fishing and got run over by the zamboni!
(See what he did there? He was calling that guy stupid and implied that he was squashed to death in a bloody mess by a giant machine in front from 45,000 fans. Nice.)
Hat Tip to jokes4.us.com for some of the dumbest jokes I've ever read.
Panthers Fun Fact: Apparently, it's not just athletes hurt by Internet "haters." In April 2012, Panthers owner, Michael Yormark, made national headlines when he mocked a Devils' fan on Twitter for having only 70 followers, insisting that meant that nobody cares what she thought.
I guess he's taking his puck and bucket full of plastic rats and going home! What a baby.
Lightning Fun Fact: Team president, Ron Campbell, was arrested and charged with suspicion of drunken driving in January 2007. He was pulled over just after midnight, near his home in Florida and was arrested after he refused a Breathalyzer test.
Campbell was basically given a paid vacation from his duties in Tampa, but eventually resumed his full role in August 2008, presumably after pretending to admit he had an alcohol problem and spending more time with his family.
I thought I'd bring it to you anyway, because I love the Redline Lady Panthers.
And since I went the extra mile for you, I hope you'll do the same for me by following me on Twitter. Remember, an eye for an eye. Wait, I'm not sure that's what that means. Whatever, please do it anyway!