It’s been a while since I contributed something around here, and it’s time to get off my butt. So here’s a hodgepodge of my random hockey thoughts of recent. A potpourri, if you will.
Good local hockey history
If you haven’t noticed, Art Thiel’s crew at Sportspress Northwest has been running an excellent series about Seattle hockey history. They’ve published three of six planned articles. Check them out below. We are making arrangements to have Art join us for a Seattle Sin Bin podcast, hopefully next week.
“Foyston’s popularity stemmed from his exceptional scoring and playmaking for the Seattle Metropolitans, who battled for the Stanley Cup three times between 1917-20, and was enhanced by Foyston’s personal interaction with fans. Off the ice, he owned and operated a high-traffic butcher shop in the Pike Place Market through much of his nine-year playing career.”
“Winners once and vexed twice, the Metropolitans and their barber pole uniforms now amount to a quaint curiosity at best, an insignificant relic at worst. But had the Metropolitans not simultaneously collided with the vile side of Mother Nature and a U.S. military snafu, history might have a different story to tell.”
“Born in 1881 (exact date unknown) in St. Mary’s, Ontario, Linton Muldoon Treacy grew up mainly playing hockey and lacrosse. When, in 1909, it was time for Treacy to make a living, he moved to the Northwest to pursue a career not as a hockey or lacrosse player, but as a professional boxer.”
Words cannot express how grateful I am for Doug Mellon and the team of hockey writers he has brought to our table. These people are putting in serious work and doing so with focused determination.
I’ve been blogging for years about arenas and the pursuit of winter sports, be it the NBA or the NHL. Now that we’re finally starting to see some milestones reached and hurdles cleared, I have had the unexpected experience of running out of things to say. I’ve looked at a lot of blank screens with blinking cursors.
While I regain my writing legs, it’s comforting to know that we’ve got people that can do way more than just help carry the weight. They can help us build for the bright future that we finally face.
Major kudos to them.
I’ll just leave this here.
John Barr has too much time on his hands
Don’t get me wrong. No one has worked harder to bring the NHL to Seattle than NHL to Seattle founder John Barr. He’s a great dude, and I can’t begrudge him for taking a break to bask in all of our recent good news. But seriously. Meticulously Photoshopping Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan into one of his selfies? Time for a new project, John.
Vegas setting a high bar
In the pursuit of an NHL franchise, Las Vegas has been setting a high bar for Seattle to clear. First, they built an arena on spec before building on spec was cool. Then, they had a wildly successful season ticket drive to prove to the league they could make it work. As if that weren’t enough, when it came time to apply, they actually applied for and won expansion.
In Seattle, we finally have an on spec arena approved, are in the process of applying for expansion, and are soon to begin a season ticket drive. Let’s hope we execute on all three as well as Vegas did.
Now that the Golden Knights have taken the ice for more than half of their inaugural season, we can definitively say they are still setting a high bar for us. Possibly, too high. Vegas is currently in first place in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference with a 35-14 record. They look to be headed for the playoffs. They might even do some damage when they get there. This is unprecedented success for an expansion franchise in any sport that I can think of.
Frankly, if David Bonderman and Jerry Bruckheimer can build a franchise even half as well as was done in Las Vegas, we will have a very successful team.