We bring you SummerScribes this week from a secluded 24 acres deep in the Adirondacks of New York State, where the low temperatures this weekend may start with a 4.
Back by popular demand
The Aeros have added another Street Fleet event, which will correspond with the Sugar Land Aerodromes Hockey Equipment Sale/Trade on Saturday, Aug. 28, from 1-5 p.m. Street Fleet will be out there with drinks, chips and ice cream, plus street hockey.
Griffins get a toughguy
For those who wished Grand Rapids would play a more physical game for the past few seasons, your wish was just granted. The parent Red Wings this week signed noted tough guy Peter Vandermeer, who has averaged 5.5 penalty minutes per game in his career and led the AHL with 398 PIMs in 2003-04. The Griffins, meanwhile, ranked near the bottom of the AHL last season with less than triple Vandermeers career average (16.0). Heres to Derek Boogaards first showdown with Vandermeer, who is one of six hockey-playing brothers and was Kirby Laws teammate the last three seasons with the Philadelphia Phantoms.
Champs lose their captain
For the second time in as many seasons, the defending Calder Cup champion will lose its captain. Ray Schultz, who helped Milwaukee win the title in June, joined Wade Flaherty and Curtis Murphy by leaving the Admirals. They signed with the New Jersey Devils and the Albany River Rats.
Weve all had almost two weeks to sit back and fully reflect on the AHL schedule, which gets under way in less than two months.
Most coaches will tell you they want to spend a lot of time on the road early, as the Aeros will do by playing a stretch of 13 out of 15 games on the road. Prior to that, four early home games will help Houston get some jitters out at home before embarking on some long road trips.
The six-game trip October 29-November 6 will be fun and should show fans early what kind of gusto the Aeros have. The two games in Edmonton are followed by a 2,600-mile trip to Hartford, Conn., for a game 36 hours later against the Wolf Pack. The November 1 game in Hartford will be at 11 a.m. (et), meaning a red-eye flight out of Edmonton Saturday night and a lot of time spent napping Sunday.
Remember this guy?
A few editions back when we ragged on 10 of the hottest OHL prospects from the early 1990s for not living up to expectations, deep in the back of our minds we hoped that it would help us track down one of the guys.
The plan worked.
We got an email from Jerrett DeFazio last week, and hes not a bust by any stretch of the imagination. He never made it to the NHL, but hes now marketing and fund development coordinator for St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia (accessible on the web at www.goxgo.ca). DeFazio reports that St. Francis has the No. 1 alumni in the country.
DeFazio is happy to report to others that an education is just as important as hockey when growing up.
"In the hockey world it can end anytime for various reasons, he told SummerScribes. I realized this and I realized that the NHL was not a guarantee for me, so going to University allowed me to play a high level of hockey while putting a degree in my back pocket. As a result I went on to play some minor pro after I obtained my degree, and when I was ready to enter the workforce the degree set me up for life outside of hockey.
If anyone else knows how to reach any of the other nine players mentioned in the July SummerScribes, drop us a note.
End of the line in St. Johns
It was a sad day last week in St. Johns, as the Maple Leafs officially announced that the team will be moved to Toronto to begin the 2005-06 season. Newfoundland is a great place to visit, but not many visiting teams liked that trip in the dead of winter, combined with it being nearly 3,000 miles away from teams like Houston, San Antonio and Utah. So, the Baby Leafs and the Big Leafs will be playing in the same city starting next October.
Pens lose another member of the family
Just a year and a handful of days after Herb Brooks was killed in a car accident, the Pittsburgh Penguins saw another former coach die in a car accident. Late Sunday, Ivan Hlinka, set to skipper the Czech Republic in the World Cup, died in his native land.
Chilly a great candidate
Stay tuned to your e-mail in the coming weeks about the latest presidential candidate Chilly! Chilly will have the county clerks office at the October games to register people to vote. Stay tuned, and remember to Vote K-9 in 04!
Get your tickets, get your red hot tickets
Now that the schedules our, we urge those of you with partial season ticket plans to call the Aeros office at 713.974.PUCK to select your games. We are also starting to schedule group outings. Also, its not too late to become an Elite Fleet member and secure a ticket for all 40 games.
Congratulations to last weeks trivia winners, who correctly stated that Martin Biron is the only NHL goalie besides John Davidson to wear No. 00. We gave away a pair of 2003 Calder Cup champion posters because we thought one of the respondents had an unfair advantage he was at The Aud in Buffalo the night Biron debuted.
So, congratulations to Andrew Jubert from Buffalo and Cynthia Lopez from Webster.
This weeks trivia.
What goalie has lost to the Aeros more times (13) than any other? This weeks winner gets an Opening Night lineup card (featuring Freddie Chabot and Lane Lambert) from October 6, 2000, the Aeros last year in the IHL. Send responses here.
The last word
Anyone else think the Summer Olympics are a farce compared to the Winter Games? Last I remember, when a figure skater fell, points were taken away. Watching gymnastics this week, it appears as though the more jelly-like your landings are, the better. Plus, as much as NBC has been playing up table tennis and badminton, curling beats them both!
Director of Communications