Hello there my beautiful Crash The Net groupies!

I have decided to extend my Movember posts into the month of December or as my friend Tyler likes to call it “Decembeard”. Although the fundraising efforts of “Movember” are over as of tonight at midnight I feel there are still many stories that need to be heard. Some of which will make a grown man cry. Since I didn’t have as much time as I thought to do all 30 stories in the month of “Movember” you will get to see them through out the month of “Decembeard”. Thank you for your patience. Who knew being an Assistant Manager of a retail store during the holidays would be so time consuming? ;-)

Here’s a link list of the past Movember Blogs :)

Movember Madness

MOVEMBER TRIBUTE TO BRANDON DAVIDSON

MOVEMBER TRIBUTE TO KEVIN THOMAS NEFF

MOVEMBER SALUTE TO PHIL KESSEL

MOVEMBER SALUTE TO MARIO LEMIEUX

MOVEMBER TRIBUTE TO TONY CICCARONE

MOVEMBER SALUTE TO JOHN CULLEN

MOVEMBER TRIBUTE TO BLUE JACKETS #3

MOVEMBER SALUTE TO JASON BLAKE

MOVEMBER SALUTE TO SAKU KOIVU

MOVEMBER TRIBUTE TO LOUIS SCHMITZ

 

This year I was helping raise money with the Columbus Blue Jackets to help put an end to cancer. Please considering donating here. There is still time. Every penny helps.

Peace, Love, and Prayers

Elaine Grace <3

 

 

Every town has a legend. The type of person people talk about for years to come. The type of person who is oozing with so much greatness you can not help but become a better person. For the town of Farmington, Minnesota Louis Scmitz is that legend.

Louis Schmitz helped start Farmington’s first youth hockey league.  He also created the first girls hockey program three decades before it was recognized at a high school level . Not only did Schmitz create the program he also coached the girls for several years. Through out the course of his life Schmitz was inducted into two different hall of fames (Women’s Hockey Association Hall of Fame; Farmington High School Athletic Hall of Fame) and won four awards (Farmington citizen of the year, WCCO Good Neighbor Award, Don Clark Award, and the President’s award from the Minnesota Amateur Hockey Association.) As you can see Louis Schmitz was a man of legendary proportions. Unfortunately like all men who lead extraordinary lives they have a tragic ending. Thanksgiving weekend 2011 Louis Schmitz was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Schmitz was able to make it through Christmas and say goodbye to his loved ones before his battle was lost on December 29th.

 

This year the Columbus Blue Jackets are raising funds for the fight against cancer. Please considering donating here. Every dollar helps put an end to cancer. If you don’t have the money to spare please spread this story around and help keep this man a legend.

 

 

At the beginning of the 2001-2002 season Saku Koivu boarded a plane and headed towards Montreal for the start of training camp. While on the flight Koivu began to have stomach pains. Shrugging the pain off he reported to practice where the symptoms became worse. Koivu talked to the team doctor and on September 5th was hospitalized. A biopsy surgery revealed that Koivu had a tumor and malignant cells in his abdomen. The doctors originally diagnosed him with stomach cancer but changed the diagnoses to non hodgkins lymphoma. Before the start of chemotherapy Koivu asked the media to respect his privacy and leave him alone. On April 9th 2002, Koivu returned to the ice where he was greeted with an 8 minute standing ovation from the crowd. The Canadians won that game and then went on to beat the #1 ranked Bruins in the first round of the playoffs.

 

If it wasn’t for costly cancer treatments Saku Koivu wouldn’t be alive today. Please consider helping the Columbus Blue Jackets  in the fight against testicular cancer and donating here. Every little bit helps make a difference.

 

 

Three games into his first season with the Toronto Maple Leafs Jason Blake was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia. Through the next 79 games not only did Jason battle cancer he also battled depression. Telling reporters that he just wasn’t into it anymore.”It was just really difficult to comprehend the magnitude of it. I tried my best to move on and played 82 games, but deep down inside it took its toll on me. Physically, I lost 12 pounds in the first month on the medication. I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t a great person to deal with and I wasn’t always the best teammate over the years.” Even through all of this Jason was able to score 15 goals and 37 assists. At the end of the season Jason was awarded the Bill Masterton Trophy. He currently plays for the Anaheim Ducks.

 

This year I am working with the Columbus Blue Jackets to raise money for the fight against testicular cancer. Please take a moment and considering donating to the cause here. Every dollar helps.

 

 

Close your eyes and picture the city of Dallas at night, what do you see? I’m betting many of you pictured the green lights outlining downtown’s Bank Of America Plaza – the tallest structure in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Like green stars aligning in perfect constellation to form an imposing, towering force. I think you know where I’m going with that.

How important is a team uniform? Some may argue not very, but I would argue against that. Of course winning is always number one – but a team’s uniform is as important as one’s family shield and becomes the color of the very blood that pumps through the veins of every die hard fan. My blood has been green; gold; and various degrees of black for darn near 30 years now and I’m not about to go for a transfusion.

Almost instantly after the Stars current RBK uniforms were introduced in 2007, the groans began. In going for a simple; modern yet classic look – they traded in eye-popping and unique for dull and boring. While both home and away uniforms lack color, having a simple wordmark across the chest in favor of a symbol has only added to the blandness.

Since Tom Gaglardi was introduced as the team’s new owner one year ago, uniform talk has only accelerated. Going by what Mr.Gaglardi has said in interviews, it seems a new look is immanent indeed. But how new are we talking here? Many different rumors about colors have been thrown around – from a more throwback North Stars-type look, to a complete color overhaul with colors like navy blue; red; and silver being thrown around.

A big decision lies in the hands of the powers that be and in the end, Mr. Gaglardi. Lots to consider here, and I would put the following at the forefront:

Tradition

There’s been template alterations over the years, and we saw the North Stars “N” converted to the current ST/\RS symbol back in 1991. We saw a slight change in the shade of green; yellow has turned to gold; and we’ve even seen the dominant color go from green to black. Through the alterations, there isn’t one uniform or symbol in franchise history that doesn’t have both green and yellow/gold – whether the jersey itself is dominated by green or dominated by black – the scheme is involved in every single uniform since the birth of the franchise back in 1967. We’re not as entrenched in history as the original six teams for the obvious fact that we haven’t been around as long, but we’re “The Next Six” and make no mistake, this franchise has a long standing identity in the hockey world and a stranglehold on a great color scheme to work with. To those who wish to argue, refer to the jersey plaque above and then get back to me.

Uniqueness

Since the Hartford Whalers moved to Carolina back in 1997, the only teams to even use green in their full-time uniforms at all have been Vancouver (green and blue) and Minnesota (green and red). Blue is currently used in 15 of the 30 NHL franchises color schemes, while red also makes its mark on exactly half of the entire league. The only color combination the league has ever seen that was remotely close to the one synonymous with the Stars was that used by the short lived California Seals. Do we want to blend in, or would we rather standout?

If it aint broke

Does the traditional color scheme truly need an overhaul? Or is it just something to do for the sake of it? I can see if the Stars were a team like say the Phoenix Coyotes, who once sported one of the worst looking uniforms in the history of hockey itself. In a case like that, there’s a definite need to do something drastic. But the fact is, there is no need for anything drastic where the Stars colors are concerned.  If you go back to the greener star template they introduced in their Cup winning season of 1999, as well as the sets they wore as the North Stars back in the late 1980′s and early 1990′s, this franchise has sported some of the most popular uniforms in NHL history. When you can make even fans of other teams go out and purchase your jersey, that’s when you know you have a winner.

Give em what they want

When the North Stars switched to predominantly black uniforms in 1991 after 24 seasons of kelly green, it was at a time when black uniforms were a popular trend in sports. The market was ready for it, as evident by the through-the-roof sales of the Los Angeles Kings black and silver. It seemed as time went on though, fans were ready to see a greener, brighter version. When the star patterned third was brought out in the Cup winning season of 1999, they were an absolute hit and even became the permanent road uniform for the playoffs. The following season saw a home version of the uniform added and the new permanent look was a homerun.

But alas, Reebok took over and the template for that jersey was apparently “impossible”, so Stars brass came up with the boring color-less uniforms we’ve been complaining about for the last five seasons. It seems the more the team has gotten away from a traditionally colored, brighter looking Stars uniform (Mooterus included), the more fans yearn to see that reversed. If you’ve scoured the net at all the past couple years, it seems to be what most Stars fans are wanting to see – a brighter, greener, traditionally colored uniform.  And other than winning, nothing builds a better relationship with fans better than saying to them, “You matter.”

Classic/throwback is in

Let’s take a lesson from the Buffalo Sabres – who traded in their traditional blue and yellow for the black, red, and grey uniforms we saw in the 1999 Cup Final (GOAL!). Eventually they heeded their fans cries and to a degree of 99%, have recently returned to their classic, timeless look – which for my money is one of the nicest looking uniforms in the league. The Philadelphia Flyers have returned to a brighter throwback looking orange, and the Edmonton Oilers have recently returned to their classic looking Grezky-era blue and orange silks after about a decade of a darker blue mixed with copper and red. Both are wildly popular and are among the top sellers league wide. The Stars dropped the ball in 2007, but the iron is still hot and they can certainly strike hard with it now.

This franchise has seen the late Bill Goldsworthy do the “Goldy Shuffle” after every goal; miracle runs to the Cup Final in both 1981 and 1991; Steve Payne score the franchise’s only game 7 overtime playoff goal; Brett Hull fire the puck passed Dominik Hasek in triple overtime for our lone Stanley Cup victory; and its greatest player ever skating around the ice in tears with the Cup raised above his head; and it all happened in different variations of green and gold.

This is indeed a turning point for this franchise’s identity. Do we group ourselves in with those teams who have traditionally kept the same basic color scheme forever and have forged definite identities in the hockey world? Or do we go the route of a team like the Vancouver Canucks – a team who truly has zero identity as they’ve swapped out colors more often than Elizabeth Taylor swapped husbands? The answer is clear to me – go with what you have right in the palm of your hands that has proved to be a winner in the past.

A bird in the hand, as they say. A green and gold bird that stands out from all the rest.

 

I’ve included a few of my favorite mock-ups. There could be  tweaks some would prefer here and there, but overall they show how much we have to work with. Personally I prefer an overall retro looking uni with our current ST/\RS symbol on the chest and green helmets, but any of these would be great improvements and are at least great jump-offs.

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading. Comments are more than appreciated. Please check me out on Twitter at travcurrie

 

 

 

Every once in a while I write a blog post about what the Columbus Blue Jackets organization has done for me. Today is different. Today I write about what the Columbus Blue Jackets did for someone else. Ryan Salmons was an avid Columbus Blue Jackets fan. During the 2008-2009 season Salmons was undergoing cancer treatments and had a chance to meet many of the players. On November 12th 2008 he was invited to meet with the on ice officials before the Coyotes game and given a special officials uniform. Salmons was then given a tour of the Columbus Blue Jackets locker room with Jason Chimera and Manny Malhotra as his tour guides. I bet you think the story ends here. It doesn’t. On March 25th, 2009 the Columbus Blue Jackets signed Ryan Salmons to a $3 one-day contract. Marc Methot even  gave up his number for the cause. Ryan even got to appear on ESPN with Jason Chimera to talk about the signing. You can watch the video here.  When the Blue Jackets made it to their first playoff appearance in franchise history Salmons was given tickets in section 103 to cheer on his former teammates. On May 1st, 2009 Ryan Salmons lost his battle with cancer. The support of the Blue Jackets didn’t stop with Ryan’s death. Not only did they come to the funeral they also provided a meal for the family to have afterwards.

The Blue Jackets may not have the best record, the most banners, or even a Stanley Cup. They do have the biggest hearts across the league. Stories like these are why I love the Columbus Blue Jackets. They go above and beyond what is required of an organization.

This year I have teamed up with the Columbus Blue Jackets to raise money to put an end to cancer.For the Blue Jackets Movember isn’t just about raising awareness. Movember is about remembering a former member of the organization. Please donate for the cause here . Most importantly spread this story of compassion around. The Blue Jackets are constantly a joke in the NHL. They are more than a joke. They are compassionate and loving. How many other organizations are this way with their fans?

 

 

 

Long before sparkly vampires and hairy werewolves there lived an extraordinary Cullen. A man who played in the NHL from 1987-1998 for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Hartford Whalers, Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Tampa Bay Lightening. In 1991 with 94 points in the first 65 games Cullen was revered as one of the best offensive linemen for the Pittsburgh Penguins. After the greatest season of his life Cullen was tossed around from team to team. In 1995 Cullen signed with the Tampa Bay Lightening. Cullen began to flourish and helped lead the Lightening to their first playoff berth in franchise history. During the 96-97 season Cullen was tearing up the ice and leading his team in scoring all while dealing with prolonged flu symptoms. Except, it wasn’t the flu. In March of 1997 a grapefruit sized tumor was found in Cullen’s chest. Further tests revealed he had Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Just like that Cullen’s season was over. He immediately began intensive chemotherapy. By September the tumor was gone but his body was still housing cancer cells. During the new round of treatments Cullen went into cardiac arrest. It was then when they decided Cullen would have a bone marrow transplant. The transplant lowered Cullen’s immune system to the point where he could only have minimal human contact. Luckily the bone marrow transplant worked and in April of 1998 Cullen was deemed cancer free. Cullen played 8 games with the Lightening and then was sent down to the Cleveland Lumberjacks before deciding to retire. At the end of the 98-99 season Cullen was awarded the Masterton Memorial Trophy for his comeback.

Thanks to aggressive cancer treatments Cullen was able to come out on top. Please help more stories like this happen by donating to Movember here. We can help put an end to cancer one dollar at a time. If you can’t donate please spread this story of strong will and hope around. It’s the least we can do.

 

 

 

I met Tony and the love of his life, Tammy, the day after the Blackhawks won the Stanley cup summer of 2010. They were in the group that went out with us for my friend Emily’s birthday.

From the moment I met them I knew they had something special. They were unabashedly in love with each other. They gave me hope. I have never seen a couple that young who were so loving and caring. Movies and books are written about this kind of love. They gave me hope that love could be like this in the beginning and stay like that for the long haul. I had such high hopes for them. I imagined kids named after OSU greats running around their house decked out in OSU paraphernalia singing “Hang on Sloopy” at the top of their lungs.

Sadly, in 2011, the Wednesday after Valentines day Tony lost his battle with Colon cancer. My heart broke. I had only known him since June but a love like that should not end so soon. It seems so unfair. I wish they had more time together. Yet, in that short amount of time their love opened my eyes to a whole new world of how to love someone. Openly, Freely, Unabashedly, Unbiasedly, Beautifully, Non Judgmentally and Hopefully.

Cancer you did not completely win. You took away his body but his memory will ALWAYS be with us.

Please help the Columbus Blue Jackets and I put an end to cancer by donating here. If you can’t donate please spread this story around. Every deserves to know what kind of love truly exists in this world.

 

 

 

 

Mario Lemieux is one of the greatest hockey players of my lifetime. He is an inspiration on and off the ice. Regardless of the ailment Lemieux always came back stronger, faster, and with more intensity. He is a true leader.

In 1993, Mario Lemieux was diagnosed with Hodgkins disease. He missed two months of play to undergo aggressive radiation treatments. On March 2nd, 1993 Lemieux received his last round of radiation. Afterwards, he flew directly to Philly to play against the Penguins arch-nemesis the Flyers. A rare and heart warming moment occurred before the game began. The Philly crowd gave Lemieux a standing ovation. This is something that never happens for visiting teams. Even Flyers fans recognized the strength it takes to beat cancer.

Mario Lemieux didn’t let cancer slow him down. When most would rest Lemieux got right back out on the ice. He wasn’t going to let his dreams or his career pass him by. If we work together to help end any form of cancer more dreams can continue to come true.

Please take a moment to spread these stories or donate here to help put an end to cancer.

 

 

Remember, Remember the fifth of Movember.

For Phil Kessel Movember is more than mustaches and fundraisers. Movember is a reminder of his battle with cancer. During Kessel’s rookie year he was diagnosed with Testicular cancer. Most people would take a day off of work after finding out such stressful news. Phil Kessel did no such thing. Shortly after being diagnosed Kessel played in a 5-1 loss against New Jersey at home. Three days later he had surgery to remove his right testicle. Kessel was lucky. Further tests showed the cancer was confined to the removed testicle. After a two week  rehabilitation period Kessel was back on the ice and finished the season with 11 goals and 29 points. He also became the first NHL rookie to win the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.

Kessel might not have made history if he didn’t go to the doctor. Many men find out they have cancer too late. Don’t be afraid to go to the doctor. We can’t always stop cancer from taking form but we can keep it from spreading. Take a word of advice from what Kessel said to ESPN in 2006, ” If you’re not feeling well go get checked out and make sure you’re all right.”

It’s never to late to fight cancer. Please Join the Battle and donate to help put an end to Testicular and Prostate cancer here.

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