Alternate NHL Playoffs – Who’s in and who’s out

By Adam (@ElSeldo)

Previously on The Bloggers Tribune, I’ve pushed the idea of seeding the Ontario Hockey League 1-16 for the playoffs, instead of by conference. This is because the West usually has the stronger teams, and some teams have been knocked out a round or two earlier than they should have (poor Erie Otters).

There are many good reasons why the NHL would never seed 1-16; television schedules travel from east to west coast for multiple rounds, lack of rivalry creation (to drive ratings), but imagine a #16 team upsetting things on their way to the Finals. That would be a great story.

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The Worst Mascots in the CHL

By El Seldo (@ElSeldo)

Earlier I showed you who I think the best mascots are in the Canadian Hockey League. This was mostly based on looks because I have only really interacted with the best mascot in the CHL, Bones of the Niagara IceDogs.

Today though, today we need to take a look at the mascots that would send even the most diehard mascot lover running away….

Stormy/Spyke – Guelph Storm

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Stormy is the clown bear, Spyke is the dreadlocked stripe socked tornado. I, for one, do not want to hug a natural phenomenon that kills thousands of people per year.

Stormy just…gives me the creeps. It looks like it just walked out of a low budget soviet era eastern european kids show. This could just be me, but these two are not my bag.

Scorezy – London Knights

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Your mascot has a paunch, London. All that fancy money and you couldn’t afford a mascot who’s in shape? Look, I’m not one to talk, but if I were a Queen I would not pick a guy who’s bursting out of his armour to defend my honour.

Maybe you should sell more fake game-worn jerseys and buy a new mascot costume.

Buzz – Sarnia Sting

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Here’s one bee I wish was dying at an alarming rate. Why so angry, why the Klingon like ridges? Just because the logo is angry doens’t mean the amscot should always be scowling. Enjoy the game, sheesh.

Chuck – Kitchener Rangers

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Why is Mike Babcock the Rangers mascot?

This is just the first of a few one this list, but don’t make humans your mascot. They almost always look creepy or horrifying.

Unless it’s the Human Being:

Sly – Charlottetown Islanders

charlottetown

He is for sure going to eat that old man. Like a true predator he picked out the old and weak to devour. I would have much preferred an anthropomorphic potato, but that would have only worked if they had accepted my submission for the team name: The PEI Fightin’ Ice Taters.

Huge opportunity missed.

Wild Willie – Moncton Wildcats

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DO NOT MAKE YOUR ANIMAL MASCOTS LOOK REALISTIC.

This is a combination of cheap knock off looking, horrifying and stoned. The whiskers make him look like he’s falling apart. Mascots should be cartoonish Moncton, come on.

Lappy – Rouyn-Noranda Huskies

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If this is how someone thinks a husky looks, yikes. If the mouth were closed it may be endearing, but those fangs are sending a message I don’t think the Huskies meant to send.

Digger – Kamloops Blazers

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Looks like someone has been taking the teams name too literally. What is Digger supposed to be, anyway? A dog? A….puppet of a dog?

Shivers – Kootenay Ice

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Shivers just wants you to remember one thing: Don’t you put it in your mouth.

Rroary – Medicine Hat Tigers

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Roary isn’t that bad, I just hate that it’s name starts with two R’s

Hal – Halifax Mooseheads

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Is this a Haligoonian? Should everyone from Halifax look like this?

WHY ISN’T YOUR MASCOT A MOOSE?

Sarge – North Bay Battalion

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The one that inspired all of this, the potato-headed faux-human that is Sarge. Why? Why is this a thing? Even Boomer would have been a better idea than this thing.Is it supposed to be Stan Butler? If it is, this all makes sense.

Boston Raider – Prince Albert Raiders

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Why? Look, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over my decade son this planet it’s one thing. DON’T USE OTHER CULTURES AS YOUR MASCOT. I get it, Raiders, you’re thinking Lawrence of Arabia, strong, adventurous, brave, but…sigh. Even the Oakland Raiders just used a football playing pirate as the mascot.

The worst part? It was introduced in 2014. TWO-THOUSAND-FOURTEEN.

The reasoning the team gave:

At the time, a spokesperson with the team said the logo was worn on jerseys from 1982 to 1996 and later returned as a third jersey in the early 2000s. It was also a shoulder crest on the Raiders jersey from 2010 to 2013.

“The Prince Albert Raiders won a Memorial Cup in 1985 and fans identify with the logo worn at the time. It’s synonymous with the success and winning of the franchise,” Amber Pratt said in an email.

Oh, tradition. Thankfully the mascot was also benched in 2014 because IT’S TWENTY-FOURTEEN. Technically it shouldn’t qualify for this list, but I wanted to point out how terrible it was.

Listen, tradition or no, taking a minority group and making them your mascot to dance for you is just…not cool. I wouldn’t be cool a mascot of a pale freckled red haired goober with thick glasses named “Gingy”, so I’m not going to do that to anyone else.

Thomas Hawk – Shawinigan Cataractes

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WHAT THE SHIT. WE JUST WENT OVER THIS.

The Cataractes were named for the waterfalls that are in the city. For years their logo was a simple C, or a flying C depending on when you look at it.

Then, in 1998, the team jumped on the “Using First Nations as a mascot” bandwagon (1998? Really?) and swapped the logo to a Native head in the C, then the full blown ‘Warrior’ logo we see now.

Why did they do this? I have no idea. There’s no reasoning on their website. There’s nothing in their wikipedia page. Googling it shows no answers. It’s jsut one of the mysteries why they’d make this move. Oh well, atleast they got rid of the ‘Flying Indian’ stature that would soar over the ice after each goal.

Oh yeah, that was a real thing..

UPDATE: They did bring the statue with them, it just doesn’t fly over the ice anymore.

WTF.


I apologize for the nightmares you’ll all have over the next few days, but bad mascots awareness needs to be made.

 

 

 

The Best Mascots in the CHL

By El Seldo (@ElSeldo)

Mascots are the best. If you are one of those people who absolutely refuse to even smile at a mascots wacky antics, then this post isn’t for you, but then again fun isn’t for you either.

I’ve always been a mascot fan, one of my earliest, foggiest memories is meeting Toronto Blue Jays mascot BJ Birdy at a St. Catharines Blue Jays (former Toronto Blue Jays single A affiliate) game when I was 3 or 4. Sigh. I miss having that team here.

Trips to Disney are never complete for me unless I harass a character with my fanyboy squees of delight, my last trip was highlighted by meeting Stitch and him trying to eat my nieces stuffed giraffe.

Of course, this carries over to the CHL games I’ve been to. Bones, the Niagara IceDogs mascot, is one of the best I’ve seen live. His ability to get under opposing teams skin is so good Stan Butler of the North Bay Battalion threw a hissy fit and refused to ice his team until Bones was removed the arena (he has someone ejected from every game in Niagara).

Seriously, Stan Butler is a giant baby.

Anyway, back on track, I’ve compiled my list of the best CHL mascots you can find. It’s not in any particular order, except the last one, it’s the best. In the next post we’ll see the worst of the worst of the mascot world.

Shooter – Erie Otters

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He’s an otter, which in itself is awesome. Everyone loves otters and they managed to make the mascot look like the logo, but not making it look incredibly angry or scary, which is key. Those yees though do give the impression he’ll mess you up if need be. I give Shooter 3/5 squeezes.

Charlie Horse – Barrie Colts

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A horse in a kilt. The kilt puts Barrie Charlie over Swift Current Charlie (yes, their mascot is also named Charlie Horse). Barrie Charlie is also taking his job a little more seriously than SC Charlie, so he gets the nod here. Charlie gets 2/5 squeezes, because I’m wary he’ll kick me in the junk if I approach from the wrong angle.

Tirobut – Drummondville Voltigeurs

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While a Lion isn’t a soldier as the logo depicts, it’s a better choice than a potato headed humanoid mascot they could have chosen. He gets 4/5 squeezes, and they’re hard ones too because I won’t be able to understand what he’s saying when he complains. His slightly googled eyes and stuck out tongue really help his case here.

Bomber – Windsor Spitfires

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I saw him and my mind went right to the story that he’s a 1930s/40s actor who used to star in World War 1 films and is now out of work, and he talks like Phil Hartman in this sketch. One of the very few human mascots that isn’t horrifying, and that’s an accomplishment. My only complaint is that the Spitfires were fighter planes and his name is Bomber…this is a Senator/Centurion situation.

I wouldn’t squeeze him, but I would salute him.

Farley – Calgary Hitmen

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Those cheeks are so fuzzy  I want to squoosh them. Farley is also the mascot most likely to get his own panel at a Furry convention. Farley is pretty foxy if I may say so.

Flying Wolf – Sudbury

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Okay, not a mascot in the strictest sense of what we’re going for, but having the wolf soar over the ice howling after each Sudbury goal is amazing, and I’m happy to say I’ve seen it in person.

Mortimer J. Moose – Moose Jaw Warriors

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When in doubt, give someone the middle initial J. Mortimer is a kinda weird name, but when it’s alliterative it works just fine. Morty is the namesake of the city the team plays in, and thankfully they didn’t go full Cleveland with the mascot.

He looks like a fine moose and thankfully they made his antlers small and manageable.

Wooly Bully – Red Deer Rebels

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Wolly Bully is a fine looking mascot, a fearsome creature that thankfully was made into a friendly, cartoonish costume. It’s also good he doesn’t mind wearing a picture of hs skull on his chest. Makes him more badass, like a prairie pirate.

Poke Check – Saskatoon Blades

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You could go two ways with a sasquatch mascot, thankfully Saskatoon did it the right way. Blue skin, fluffy white fur, and big wonder-filled eyes makes Poke Check (the name needs work) a great mascot.

It’s just too bad he’s been pulled out of his natural habitat, but their original idea for a mascot, ‘Stabby’, an anthropomorphic sword, was rejected.

Marty – Victoria Royals

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I know he’s a marmoset, but he looks like a cuter version of Shooter the Otter, and this is more than enough to put him on the list.

Winger – Tri-City Americans

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My favourite of all the Eagle mascots US based teams use, Winger is the pompous bravado-filled air force pilot stereotype we all know. He poses with his fans, and assume the team is based around him. He’s Sam the Eagle’s less modest cousin.

Bones – Niagara IceDogs

Niagara IceDogs mascot Bones waves to fans and parade goers during the Niagara Falls Santa Claus Parade on Nov. 14. Scott Rosts/Staff Photo

Come on, you think I’d name anyone less? When it comes to rubbing your butt on the glass beside the opposing team’s bench, dumping popcorn on away fans, or making the children and the Prime Minister squeal with delight, there’s no one better out there than Bones.

 


There are the best mascots the CHL has to offer. Offended I didn’t mention your team? Tough beans, tell them to step up their game.

 

 

The Peterborough Petes are Threatening Relocation. Where Could They Go?

By ElSeldo (@ElSeldo)

On Wednesday November 23rd, Peterborough Petes president Dave Pogue said “The Peterborough Petes are in such financial trouble they could go broke in four years…if that keeps up, he said the not-for-profit team would deplete its reserves – and it would have to be sold. That could potentially mean the Petes leave the city”

The Petes are looking for more money out of the Peterborough Memorial Centre, which is currently owned and run by the city of Peterborough. Essentially they’re asking the city to bail out their hockey team.

This is a common tactic used in sports when they want some of that sweet, sweet public money. The Niagara IceDogs unofficially used this tactic before the Meridian Centre was built. In a now-removed post on Yahoo! Sports, the headline barring the threat “No new arena? No IceDogs says owner”.  The article specified Chatham, Ontario as the possible location. In fact, Chatham is a very popular pawn in the public money game. The Erie Otters, Plymouth Whalers both used the city as a relocation point, and even the Hunters – now owners of the London Knights – were looking at buying and moving a team into the area.

Of those teams only one eventually moved; the Plymouth Whalers became the Flint Firebirds two years ago. Plymouth wasn’t without a team very long, the USNTDP moved into their rink and there’s even a bid in now to host the IIHF Women’s World Championships there.

Erie is still in Erie, the IceDogs remain in St. Catharines, shiny new arena in hand, and Chatham has yet to commit to the idea that they will not spend the tens of millions of dollars to renovate an existing rink or build a new one.

Belleville was missing it’s team until the Ottawa Senators stepped in and announced plans to move the Binghamton Senators to the old Bulls stomping grounds. Hamilton was always in the mix and now they have those Bulls in Copps Coliseum. Even Brampton filled the hole of the Battalion with the Montreal Canadiens ECHL team.

So, if the Petes are threatening relocation, we need to see if it’s a possibility, with the two most popular names now out of the picture. They can’t return to their pre-Peterborough home, because the Rangers are in Kitchener now. Below I’ve quickly listed the communities I though about possibly hosting an OHL team, or have been linked to the OHL, AHL, or ECHL, or have hosted a team in the past. I’ll look at a few factors, such as arena needs, population, and travel times.

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Saving the best for last: OHL playoffs need to be fixed

By El Seldo (@ElSeldo)

The last time I spoke about the OHL it was on realignment. I was looking at the current odd divisions we have in the East, with Hamilton sitting with Ottawa, Kingston, Peterborough, and Oshawa. The Bulldogs have to drive through another division to get to their opponents, and that’s just silly. The best idea was to drop divisions entirely and split the league into East & West Conferences, for travel needs.

After that smart decision, I wanted to tackle the OHL playoffs.

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OHL Realignment: When will it happen?

OHL re-alignment is needed.

When the Belleville Bulls announced they were moving to Hamilton after the 2014/15 season one question everyone had was: what division will they play in?

The easy answer that the OHL took was “the same one”. That’s how we had the Hamilton Bulldogs play in the OHL East division, while teams farther east than them (Niagara, Sudbury, Mississauga, Barrie) all played in the OHL Central division.

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