Une conversation avec Clint Malarchuk

Salut aux amateurs de hockey et bienvenue au Vegas hockey Podcast! La première baladodiffusion était en l’honneur de Clint Malarchuk! https://soundcloud.com/vegashockeypodcast/clint-malarchuk
Il y a eu beaucoup de réactions favorables suite à cette diffusion. Plusieurs nous ont écrit pour nous parler de leur propre situation quant à la venue d’un club de la LNH. Que ce soit Seattle, Québec ou Las Vegas. Mark and Tom sont favorables à la venue de toutes ces villes et vont tout faire pour mousser la candidature de chacune d’entre-elles. Loin d’eux l’idée de favoriser une ville au détriment d’une autre. Toutefois, soyez avisé que si vous décidez de dénigrer la candidature de Las Vegas, il est fort possible qu’ils réagissent ! 😉
Pour la première baladodiffusion, leur invité était un vétéran ayant œuvré 10 ans dans la LNH, Clint Malarchuk. Il fut rencontré à l’occasion du lancement de son livre. Clint a joué dans la défunte Ligue Internationale de hockey (LIH) pour le Thunder de Las Vegas au milieu des années 90. Nous remercions grandement Clint d’avoir pris de son temps pour échanger avec nous. Son livre est intitulé « A matter of inches, or how I survived in the crease and beyond » mais au Canada le titre est « The Crazy game », publié par Triumph Books. Dans ce livre on y décrit notamment sa vie composée de troubles obsessionnels compulsifs, d’anxiété et de dépression qui ont failli lui coûter la vie. Nous ne pouvons que le remercier de sa générosité, franchise et humilité pour discuter de ces sujets si délicats.
Que ce soit comme joueur, assistant-entraîneur, entraîneur ou assistant-directeur général ses réflexions à propos de ses années dans la LNH avec les Nordiques ou dans la LIH avec le Thunder vous réservent des surprises!

En voici quelques extraits:
“Les gens me demandent souvent si ce fut thérapeutique pour moi d’écrire ce livre” – Clint
« Oui. Toutes ces années à se cacher derrière un masque étaient difficiles mais c’était rendu une seconde nature pour moi. » – Clint
« C’est une maladie et non une faiblesse et il y a de l’aide disponible »- Clint
« On me demande souvent si le hockey à Vegas pourrait être un succès et je réponds oui »- Clint
« Vegas EST un marché de hockey » – Clint
« Les gens qui venaient aux matchs n’avaient pas eu des billets gratuits du Casino, ils voulaient voir des matchs de hockey. Il y avait de l’ambiance »- Clint
“Bob Strumm est un gars que je vois impliqué dans cette franchise » – Clint
“Les gens de Québec étaient des maniaques de hockey et ce fut une magnifique expérience à cet endroit, ceci étant dit, Las Vegas aussi”- Clint
« Je crois vraiment que Las Vegas peut-être une ville de hockey »- Clint
« Québec est sans aucun doute une ville qui mérite une équipe »- Clint
“Il y a toujours eu de bonnes foules et de bons partisans à Vegas. Ils vont supporter une future équipe de la LNH»- Clint
Ceci n’était que de courts extraits de cet interview! Vous devrez écouter le prochain 25 minutes de cette conversation avec Clint Malarchuk pour en apprendre davantage! Venant d’un gars ayant gravité environ 35 ans dans le hockey, qui a joué à Vegas et à Québec, son opinion sur un groupe d’inconditionnels pouvant exister a son importance pour mesurer l’intérêt et le support qu’obtiendrait cette ville.
Je vous suggère d’écouter l’émission, plusieurs éléments intéressants s’y retrouvent! Si cela vous intéresse, vous pouvez également vous inscrire en appuyant sur le bouton « subscribe » pour être certain d’être avisé des prochains épisodes!
Merci à tous ceux qui sont entrés en contact avec nous dernièrement! Ce n’est qu’un début et on espère que vous ferez partis de l’aventure! N’hésitez pas à nous écrire!
Mark et Tom
The Vegas Hockey Podcast
@VegasHockeyPod

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Western Conference Finals Preview

Hello hockey fans, welcome to the blog! In this issue of the Vegas Hockey Podcast Blog, Tom and I look at the  Western Conference Finals, break them down, and pick the winners. After Mark went 10-2 through the first two rounds and Tom is sitting nicely at 7-5, you might want to listen to the show on iTunes before heading to the window to place your series wagers, that is, if you live in Nevada.

First up, we look at the Western Conference where the Anaheim Ducks take on the Chicago Blackhawks. This series looks to be a long, physical battle of attrition, especially if the Ducks are to prevail. We agree that if the Blackhawks are to advance to their third final in five years they will need to control tempo and keep the puck moving North and South, especially through the neutral zone.  If the ducks strong young defenseman can hold the blue line and make the Hawks dump and chase, that bodes well for the south landers. With home ice, they should be able to match up early in the series, and put heavy bodies on the Chicago forwards from the opening face off. Anaheim’s defense also chips in on the score sheet, tallying up 29 points in only 9 games played in this years playoffs. They sport solid +/- numbers, allowing only 2.00 goals against in the playoffs. Continuing with the stingy defensive scheme, the Ducks are killing penalties at an 87 percent clip.

The Blackhawks defense starts with Duncan Keith. Playing over thirty minutes a game, scoring at a point a game clip, both his post season goals were game winners. The first one coming in Game one against the Predators, the other in the series clincher. Also leading the team with a +10. He is having a Conn Smythe type playoff run. The rest of their D corps needs to step up now that Michael Rozsival is done for the season. Coach Q will have his hands full slotting defenseman in to replace his 17:26 of ice time after Keith. He might have to give Kimmo Timonen more ice time, something he has been very hesitant to do. Their 2.80 goals against In the playoffs is the worst of the remaining teams, and their penalty kill is an atrocious 72 percent. That alone could be their undoing against the Ducks if it isn’t fixed fast. Their overall +/- isn’t near what the Ducks are, with Oduya bottoming out at -5 and 6 other players under water. By contrast the Ducks only have 2 players under the even mark, with Matt Beleskey at -2 the low man. None of their defenseman are carrying a minus rating into this series. The Ducks defense carries a clear advantage.

Looking to the forwards, first glance would favor the Blackhawks. Elite level skill in Jonathon Toews, Patrick Kane, and Marian Hossa have carried this team to the Conference Finals for the third year in a row. Kane is leading the way with seven goals and thirteen points and Toews is right behind him with eleven points and seven assists. Patrick Sharp is also having a nice playoffs with four goals and five assists. Their power play is hitting at a nice 20 percent clip. They will have to shoulder the burden because after them and Duncan Keith’s points they drop off pretty quick. The Hawks only have seven  players with 5 or more points, while the Ducks have twelve. In fact of all the other forwards, only Brandon Saad has more than one goal, including Hossa, Brad Richards, and Kris Versteeg. More will be needed if they hope to match the Ducks.

On the Ducks side, the scoring comes from everywhere, averaging 3.89 goals a game, the highest left in the playoffs.   Their power play is hitting at a thirty one percent rate. Thirty one. Starting with Corey Perry, his fifteen points,(7G 8A), leads the playoffs. Getzlaf has twelve points, Jakob Silfverberg has eleven points, Ryan Kesler has nine, all at a point a game or higher. Their third and fourth line guys like Tim Jackman and Richard Rakell continue the hit parade that is started right at the top. Right now, the Ducks forward group is playing with chemistry that will be very hard to stop.

The goaltending in this series is difficult to judge. On the Blackhawks Corey Crawford is a Stanley Cup Champion goaltender. Hoever, he has only started six games in the playoffs while the “backup” Scott Darling has started four. Both goalies have been pulled during the playoffs. While Coach Q has settled on Crawford for right now, Darling has better numbers than him, sporting a 2.21 GAA to Crawfords 2.6 and a save percentage of .936 to Crawfords .916. The Conference Finals are not the time or place to be unsettled in goal. The other teams that were shuffling goalies like Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, are all off for the summer.

Frederick Andersen has played all nine games for the Ducks, and has looked very sharp. He is 8-1 with a stellar 1.96 GAA and a save percentage of .925. He has answered the question of wether he was ready for playoff hockey with flying colors.  I give the checkmark to the Ducks.

The coaching edge has to go to the Blackhawks. Coach Quenneville is a Champion twice over and has proven himself in the regular season and the playoffs time and time again. Coach Boudreau has proven his merit in the regular season with a Jack Adams and three Presidents Cups, but this will be his first trip out of the second round. This is the time to shed the regular season system tag. Show me don’t tell me Coach B.

When you look at this year only, the Ducks have been on a mission. They are playing a tighter defensive style than ever before, but have not struggled to find scoring all through the lineup, like their neighbors to the north,the Kings have. This year they make it back to the Finals, in six games.

Thanks for stopping by to share a few minutes with us. You can reach us at VegasHockeyPodcast@Yahoo.com with all your questions, complaints, and comments, we read them all so thanks for doing it !!!

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Q and A with Mr. Bill Foley

Hello hockey fans and welcome to the blog! Today we are going to relay to you all that went down at last Tuesday’s meet and greet with Mr. Bill Foley. 920 AM’s Brian Blessing hosted the event along with The Game Sports Bar inside the Suncoast Casino. On hand representing The Game was Mike Lewis, and a great host he was. Especially with more people there than probably should have been!

Brian led off with some background on Mr.Foley, about how he grew up playing hockey in Ottawa when he was five years old with his USAF Dad stationed there. By now, everyone knows he spent time in Texas as a child as well, (wait, hockey doesn’t work in… oh sorry, never mind, lol)  He graduated from West Point too, so thank you Mr. Foley for your service to our country.

Then Brian started talking hockey to the overflow crowd. He said they couldn’t talk specific numbers but noted that NHL Commissioner Bettman had spent the Lion’s share of his time the night before in Winnipeg talking about how “Very, very impressed” he  was with the Las Vegas ticket drive and that the model for success as a new franchise was in Winnipeg. Brian thought it was extremely telling that during the first playoff game for the Jets 2.0, that the Commish spent so much time on Las Vegas.

Mr. Foley: Absolutely, he and Vice-Commissioner Daly have both been very supportive and positive of the work we’ve done, the further we go along with the ticket drive, and the founding 75, that I believe we are on the one yard line here with this whole thing.

Brian Blessing: The story came out yesterday saying that if a team is awarded to Las Vegas, we might have to wait until 2017-18 to begin play. People felt a little chicken little maybe, but it’s not a bad thing really, you’ve proven your point, we’d like to play in 2016, but it’s in the league’s corner now.

Mr. Foley: There’s no question we want to play in 2016, but with so much left to do with all the hiring left to do, the General Manager, the scouting and development staffs, starting a whole other franchise with the minor league team and finding a place for them to play, that we could really use the extra time. I need to be patient because I don’t want to rush things and bring a loser in here.

Brian Blessing: You have talked about your goals with the franchise and with the expansion draft and the depth of talent coming through the Junior ranks and into the Amateur Draft, that you think you can be competitive very quickly.

Mr.Foley: Yes I’ve said our goals will be playoffs in three years and a Cup in Eight.

That last answer brought loud cheers from the crowd and then Mr.Blessing opened things up to questions from the crowd. Here are the highlights.

Guest: What are you going to name the team..

Mr. Foley: The season ticket holders will get to submit their favorite names, and then the top ten most popular names will be voted on. But I hope you guys will let me have at least ONE veto vote if I just really don’t like the name.

Loud laughter ensued..

Guest: What about the team colors?

Mr. Foley:  Well I kinda like Black,Gold and Gray,.

Take note those are the West Point colors.

We at The Vegas Hockey Podcast reported that Live on Twitter, so we will take credit for breaking that bit of news first. Then we got to ask Mr.Foley a question.

VHP: With yesterday’s announcement concerning the 2017-18 timeline, how do you maintain the momentum you have created during another year of waiting, if the reports are true?

Mr:Foley:  Well, what we have to do is stay active in the community and in the media with you guys making sure everything we do and every hire we make from the GM, to the Scouting Staff, when and where the minor league team is going to play, when the expansion draft will be, that we keep communicating with the fans what’s happening and i think those are some ways to keep this thing moving ahead.

Then Mr. Foley introduced the crowd to Murray Craven, 20 year veteran of the NHL and adviser to the ownership group. Murray played twenty years in the NHL with the Flyers, The Canucks, Whalers, Blackhawks and the Sharks. He played in 1,071 games totaling 759 points. He added another 118 playoff games, tallying 70 points and reaching the finals three times.  His latest contribution to the Las Vegas effort was to tour the under construction arena, specifically the locker rooms, according to Mr. Foley.  Mr. Craven then redesigned the rooms to be NHL ready when the time comes. With Murray that night was Rod Buskas, also a long time NHL player. He spent his 11 years in the league with Pittsburgh, Vancouver,LA, and Chicago. He finished his career playing with the Las Vegas Thunder in 93-95. He said he loves it here and he came for a year, and never left. We hope that both Murray and Rod, with his previous experience playing here in Las Vegas and both of their long NHL histories find a permanent home with the brand new Las Vegas NHL franchise!

So that wraps up the Q and A with Mr.Foley edition of the blog. Thanks to all you listeners and readers who keep reaching out to the show. You guys are awesome, and we have met some great friends right here in Las Vegas too! Keep it up, we answer everything ourselves, so no matter what, you know you are hitting us direct. You can follow us on Twitter , and listen to the show on Soundcloud or ITunes. One honorable mention of the week. Stephane, from Quebec, has reached out to the show and offered to translate our blog into French for all the French speaking hockey fans out there! How awesome is that??? We have titled the page The French Connection, after the great Buffalo Sabres line of yesteryear. So if you speak or read French share the link to that page here on the blog and spread the word. Thanks Stephane, you are the best!!!

Welcome to The Show!

Hello hockey fans, and welcome to The Vegas Hockey Podcast! Since publishing our first episode featuring special guest Clint Malarchuk, https://soundcloud.com/vegashockeypodcast/clint-malarchuk  the feedback from everyone has been great. Many of you have reached out to engage us in some great conversation about the NHL expansion possibilities in Quebec, Seattle, and right here in Las Vegas. Tom and I hope any city that wants an NHL team gets one, and you won’t see or hear us discrediting any other city or fan base just to make a case for Las Vegas. if our city is attacked, however, we will defend her with vigor, so let it be known the gauntlets will be thrown down! (GoodWill Hunting reference) lol

In our first Vegas Hockey Podcast show, we interviewed ten year NHL vet Clint Malarchuk about his new book and his time spent playing hockey here for the IHL Las Vegas Thunder during the mid 90’s. The conversation was amazing, and we can’t thank Clint enough for taking so much time out of his schedule to spend with us. His new book, his first, A Matter of Inches, How I Survived in The Crease and Beyond, or in Canada the title is The Crazy Game, Published by Triumph Books, details a lifelong struggle with OCD, anxiety disorders and depressions that nearly killed him. His openness and humble frankness when talking about these sicknesses he dealt with is not to be missed. His reflections about his time in the NHL with the Quebec Nordiques and later, with the Las Vegas Thunder as a player, Assistant Coach, Head Coach and Assistant GM will definitely surprise most hockey fans!  Here are some outtakes from the show:

People ask me if it was therapeutic to write the book, and no, it was almost counter productive in some ways.-Clint

Yes, masking all those things I was going through was difficult, but it became almost second nature.- Clint

It’s a sickness and not a weakness and there is help.- Clint

I’m often asked if Vegas could work as a hockey market, and my answer is yes.- Clint

Vegas is a hockey market.- Clint

The people there weren’t there on casino ticket giveaways, they were there to see Hockey… The arena was alive.- Clint

Bob Strumm would be my front man right now… It’s a no brainer to have Strummer involved in a Vegas franchise.- Clint

The people in Quebec were huge hockey fans and it ended up being a great experience there.-Clint

I really think Vegas is a hockey town that needs to tapped by the NHL.- Clint

The thing with Quebec is, it’s a sure go there.-Clint

Quebec was a great environment, but with that being said, so was Vegas.-Clint

In Vegas we had great crowds and great fans.-Clint

They will support a team in Vegas.-Clint

Now, I’m not here to give the whole thing away, you will have to listen to the podcast for the other 25 minutes of our talk with Clint, but as you can see, the content comes across as amazing. Coming from someone with 35 years in and coaching pro hockey, and who played in Quebec and Las Vegas, his opinions on the Las Vegas fan base should speak to the question of “interest” or “support” in our city, quite powerfully.

Give the show a listen, lots of good stuff in there. If you like it, please hit the subscribe button, as there are lots more episodes to come! Thanks again to everyone who has reached out to the show with all the positive feedback, it’s been great speaking and tweeting with you all, keep those cards and letters coming, and if you tweet the show, and we might use your tweets in a future segment!!!

Mark and Tom

The Vegas Hockey Podcast @VegasHockeyPod