• Shreveporttimes.com • Weather • Calendar • Jobs • Cars • Real Estate • Apartments • Shopping • Classifieds • Dating

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

My NHL All-Star trip; we'll miss Don McKee

One story I forgot to tell you about was my trip to the NHL All-Star Game last week. I rode over to Dallas with Forbes MacPherson and the two Sutherland boys. I met my wife, Kelly, in Dallas (she was there for work) and we also picked up Forbie's wife, Amy, and their son Owen.
Forbie's cousin, Sid The Kid (Sidney Crosby) left them tickets and my buddy Andy McDonald left me tickets.
We met Andy and Sidney afterwards and we were hanging out with Teemu Selanne. We all went to the Ghostbar in the W Hotel in Dallas. It was unbelievable.
I went up to buy a round as Andy and Selanne went to grab a table. I wanted to get the first round, so it was about 7 or 8 drinks. I knew it was going to cost me a you-know-what load of money, but I got up there and the lady said, 'This is all comped." I was like "Thank God." It would have been a $90 tab. I would have had to be playing in the NHL, not the CHL.

Anytime you know someone that's doing well for themself, you're always happy for them -- especially someone you played with an they are in the same profession. I'm really happy for Andy. The thing is, he worked hard to get there and he deserves it.
He won the "fastest skater" in the skill competition and wanted me to try and find some sponsors for him.
He said, "You have any connections or what Rusty?"
It was a blast. Teemu was hilarious -- a jokester.
Hopefully I'll see Andy when he wins the Cup. Maybe we can bring both Cups out for a party.

We play Odessa tonight and it's really sad what happened to Donny McKee -- especially the way it happened. He's been such an influential figure in the CHL. He actually came up with the playoff format this year.
Hopefully he'll find another spot to coach in this league. He's definitely deserving. He's a great coach.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Trouble at IHOP; finally a day to recharge

We've been gone only a day, but it's already been an interesting trip to Texas.
We had a 7 a.m. bus Sunday. Most of us went right to the bunks and slept all the way to Dallas, where we stopped to eat. Zirny didn't even get up to eat, that lazy bum! He wanted to save money he said. Yeah right!
We had some trouble at IHOP. Musky and Forbie didn't have their meals come out on time, so we had to wait for them. That delayed the bus.
Musky ate his food within 9 seconds of when he got it. He inhaled it. There was just so many of us, it wasn't easy.
We were about a half-hour late. It was OK. Guys know sometimes that's just a part of it. You play long enough, you're going to see everything in this league.
Today was basically a travel day. We woke up a little later. Adam Hanna lost his wallet so we had to go try and find it.
Some of the guys went to a movie and some just went back to the hotel.
For me, today was a day of me getting my hockey schools organized. We're shooting for Shreveport (a hockey camp, a lacrosse camp and an all-sports camp), Tyler, Dallas, Chicago and Canada. Joe Ori is helping me with the one in Chicago. Wheels (Fairbarn) and his fiancee will help me with the one in Dallas and Tim Hill helps me with the other camps.
Today was a day to recharge the batteries. There are a few guys with some bumps and bruises -- we need the rest this time of year because we still have a lot of hockey to play. You have to take care of yourself.
Musky is really good about this. He's been around and he's played, so he knows it's very important.

I heard about the fight in Corpus and it was interesting to see Kris Mallette get a 5-game suspension. I almost went into the penalty box once and the league told me I'd get 5 games. I guess they were right. Glad I didn't do it.
Nice to see my buddy Ron Vogel in net and fought Eric Marvin. I'm going to check out the video on youtube, I'm sure it's there.

I promise I'll be back in the morning to discuss our game with Odessa and the loss of the Jackalopes coach Don McKee.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

An All-Star day I'll never forget

The goal was awesome, espcailly doing it in front of all our fans. Playing in something like this is an honor. There aren't too many times an All-Star Game comes to Shreveport -- to play in the first one is great.
I was tickled.
I wanted to score, but I just wanted to have a good time. That's what an All-Star Game is all about -- just having fun and not giving too many secrets away.
The best moment I will walk away from the All-Star Game is going to be the reaction I got when I skated out onto the ice for introductions, plus the whole All-Star festivities including the banquet.
Another thing I'll remember is when Roy Lang from The times called me to tell me I made the team -- I'll always remember that.
It's been an experience you just can't buy.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday off day; Colorado's streak

It’s a rare Friday off for us, but I’ve been busy today.
I just got back from doing a bunch of radio interviews over at Clear Channel. It was fun and they are always great for the team.
I’m kind of upset because the Anaheim Ducks are in Dallas – and we played a rare Thursday night game. My buddy Andy MacDonald had four assists in the game against the Stars. He was in my wedding two summers ago.
As far as Friday night goes, I’m going to take it easy and get ready for Saturday’s game.
It’s going to be a big one and I’m sure both teams are excited because both teams are on top of their game right now.
I didn’t know until Roy Lang told me, but the Eagles (if they win tonight against Memphis) could match the North American professional hockey record of 17 straight wins against us.
You’re going to get the both of best teams. We don’t want to be that team in the record books, but we have to go out there and play our game. We can’t worry about any records, we just have to work hard and do what we have been doing.
I’m a little surprised they have been able to do this without Greg Pankewicz, but they have a good coach there. They have a good program and they always seem to do well. He’s not the only guy on the team. But once they get him back, that’s going to make them even better. That’s tough to comprehend.
I think they’ll have last year’s playoffs in the back of their mind, but we have to do what we did then -- that’s outworking them. They do cycle the puck well, so you have to play very good defense. They are very opportunistic and a lot of guys with a lot of talent.
Thursday’s win was the best hockey we can play, but Joe Ori and Chris Abbott carried us. That seems to be the way it’s been going – when a couple lines are struggling, another one picks it up. One that hasn’t scored in a while will score.
We’re getting production from everyone. I remember when we won in the past, that’s the way it was – everyone was producing, not just one or two guys.
I saw I got a B- in the paper today. My reaction is that the grade should have been lower.
I’m not having a good year, but it’s coming around. I’m not making excuses, but I think injuries had something to do with my poor start.
It’s starting to finally feel better, so that’s good.
One last thing. While we play Saturday night, the Saints will be on and I’m cheering for them. Go Saints!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The New Year

Happy New Year, sorry it's been awhile, things have been pretty hectic around here.
I am looking forward to the All-Star festivities next week. Our fans our certainly deserving of the game and it sounds like there are so many things for everyone to do. The fan-fest will be a first and will give all an opportunity to meet every All-Star.
As far as my selection, it's a great honor to play in the game, especially considering it will be in front of so many friends. I would like to thank everyone who has offered their kind words over the past few weeks.
I would like to thank Dodge for sponsoring the event. The Mudbugs’ front office, including Jason Rent and Tim Hill are working non-stop to make sure the event is a joy for all.
There is no truth to the rumor I’m going to drop the gloves in the game. But if the opportunity arises, you never know!! Haha. No, I am so thrilled to be a part of the contest. I just can’t wait.

Tomorrow's game against Youngstown will be our 32nd of the season, thus marking the halfway point. This weekend is one of our biggest tests of the season. Colorado awaits Saturday.
We played the SteelHounds once already and lost 3-1. Chris Richards and Jeff Christian are the top two scorers in the CHL and its due to their great chemistry and the fact they are very opportunistic.
Colorado enters this weekend with a 15-game winning streak and again appear to be the top competition in the Northern Conference.
In order to have a successful weekend, we have to continue what we've been doing -- keep it simple and play good defense. The offense will take care of itself.

Last night at the CenturyTel Center was a blast. Nearly 100 people attended the Hockey 104. It was an absolutely blast and a great success.
I would like to thank the boys for their help and, of course, coach Scott Muscutt.
We certainly look forward to Hockey 105.

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to blog at a much better pace, so be prepared for a lot more updates.

Have a great new year and hope to see you at the CenturyTel soon.