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Saturday, January 30, 2010


Since today is Saturday, I thought I would sneak by another post by a similar name.

Was browsing the list of events across the country as we celebrate Hockey Weekend here in America. You, too can download the Excel spreadsheet of events at the official site, hockeyweekendacrossamerica.com. But in particular, I was glancing at some of the events in the 'non-traditional' hockey markets. Living in one of these NHL cities below the Mason Dixon line, I am always interested to see what various communities are doing to promote the game to the kid who may become the next Sydney Crosby...or Tyler Myers (who began playing as kid living in Houston, TX.)

Many of today's festivities offer free rink time for kids of all ages to try hockey (with loaner equipment) at no cost to the parents across the country. Other events are sponsored games or other activities designed to promote and honor the game of hockey in the local community.

For example, in Coral Springs Florida the Florida jr.Panthers are honoring the Big Panther's goalie coach, Robb Tallas for which the description is, "...will celebrate one hack of a goalie coach!!!"

Now that's either a brilliant miss on the spell check or just brilliant.

As for introducing the game to tomorrow's legends; one of the biggest participants each year for the weekend celebration is the Phoenix Coyotes organization. Yes, that outlaw of the NHL, the 4th-overall-in-the-West Desert Dogs who some believe don't deserve a team, are doing what they can to grow the fanbase as well as the talent pool and celebrate the Great Gift of Canada itself.

You can view the gaggle of fun events from their press release on the 18th here but the highlight is today's 24 hours of free hockey at Jobing.com Arena.

The first game in the 24-hour period begins tonight at 8PM ET (6PM local) as the 20-8-2 'at-home' Coyotes host the rarely seen, but truly hockey-legendary, Broadway Blue Shirts. At the NHL game's conclusion, fans can stick around (or show up at any time afterward, including the wee hours!) for any or all of 15 more games.

Desert mirage? Perhaps. A hockey oasis? More likely. In your face, Space Coyote.

Seriously, when you can camp out in a new NHL arena and watch high-school teams (they're prob. up anyways) from 2AM thru 4.30AM battle it out on the Big Barn's ice and then end the sojourn with a tilt between Coyotes and NHL alumni...and all for free...I'm gonna label that a big 'good on you, Southern Hockey Team'.

There will also be Adult League games, Midget U-18 and U-16, Bantam, Peewee, Squirt and Mite hockey games played in the 24-hour span. See the complete schedule at the Coyote's site here.

And if you live in the area, get ye to the games tonight/tomorrow! That sounds like so much free fun and hockey goodness I hope the northerly neighbors can call themselves green with envy.

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