Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Next, Next One?

John Tavares and Steven Stamkos are tabbed to be the next big hockey stars to come out of Canada....following the likes of Gordie Howe, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, and Sidney Crosby...just to name a few.

There has been some debate over which one of Tavares and Stamkos is the better player. I didn't really know much about either of them so I decided to take a closer look.

John Tavares (from Hockey Canada)
Was granted ‘exceptional player status’ by the OHL in the summer of 2005, allowing him to be drafted as a 14-year-old...Because of a late-1990 birthdate, he is only eligible for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft … Named CHL and OHL Player of the Year in 2006-07 … Finished second in OHL scoring, leading the league with 72 goals … Set an OHL record for most goals in a season by a 16-year-old … CHL and OHL Rookie of the Year in 2005-06 … Scored first goal on his first shot, shorthanded, in his first OHL game vs. Kingston … Enjoys playing video games ... Favourite NHL player: Mike Modano … Favourite band: Bon Jovi ... Favourite TV show: Sanford and Son

Steven Stamkos (from Hockey Canada and
Sarnia’s 1st pick, 1st overall, in the 2006 OHL Draft … First overall pick in the 2008 NHL entry draft to the Tampa Bay Lightning ... Ranked second in the OHL with 58 goals in 61 games played in 2007-08 ... Played in OHL All-Star Classic and was named MVP of Team West Conference … Named OHL Scholastic Player of the Year … Named as best stickhandler and best shot in the OHL's Coaches Poll … Favourite NHL player: Joe Sakic … Is a multi-sport athlete, having played baseball, lacrosse and soccer … Has won an Ontario championship in every sport he has played.

So which one is better? I've got no idea.

Here is a comparison of their stats in junior hockey (stats from the best hockey stats site on the net

Looking at the numbers Tavares is an easy choice. He's almost a year younger and he out produced Stamkos by 29 points this past season. But according to TSN seven out of ten scouts said they would rather have Stamkos right now.

"It wouldn't be fair to say scouts are concerned that Tavares' skating, deemed to be average at this point, will prevent him from becoming a big-time NHL scorer, but compared directly to the dynamic skating of Stamkos, the scouts who slotted Tavares at No. 2 did say it has to be a factor."

So the experts say one thing and the numbers say another. When I started this article I figured that Tavares would be the clear choice but after reading up on them, at the very least, it's a much closer battle.

If I have to choose.....I guess I'll go with....Tavares. How's that for commitment? As long as the Leafs don't get him at next year's Entry Draft I'll be happy.

Want to see how Stamkos' and Tavares' junior stats stack up with some of the greats? Below is a selection of some of the greatest junior seasons recorded....and a few more average junior seasons by players who turned out to be some of the greatest.

My favourite on the list has to be Patrice Lefebvre. He is the all-time career points leader in the CHL with an incredible 595 points in four seasons. After junior he wasn't drafted by an NHL team and went to play in Europe. He did get a surprise call up with Washington when he was 31 and played 3 games with the Capitals...10 years after his success in the QMJHL! His lack of opportunity definitely had something to do with his size...he was listed at only 5'6 and 160 lbs!

Name---------------- League Year Age PTS PPG
Mario Lemieux------- QMJHL 1983 17 282 4.03
Guy Lafleur--------- QMJHL 1970 18 209 3.37
Stan Drulia--------- OHL 1988 20 145 3.09
Guy Lafleur--------- QMJHL 1969 17 170 3.04
Patrice Lefebvre---- QMJHL 1987 20 200 2.86
Wayne Gretzky------- OHA 1977 16 182 2.84
Stephan Lebeau------ QMJHL 1987 19 188 2.81
Mario Lemieux------- QMJHL 1982 16 184 2.79
Brian Propp--------- WHL 1978 19 194 2.73
Pierre Turgeon------ QMJHL 1986 17 154 2.66
Eric Lindros-------- OHL 1990 17 149 2.61
Brian Propp--------- WCHL 1977 18 182 2.60
Alexandre Daigle---- QMJHL 1992 17 137 2.58
Mike Modano--------- WHL 1988 18 105 2.56
Sidney Crosby------- QMJHL 2004 17 168 2.55
Rob Schremp--------- OHL 2005 19 145 2.54
Dale Hawerchuk------ QMJHL 1980 17 183 2.54
Denis Savard-------- QMJHL 1979 18 181 2.51
Patrick Kane-------- OHL 2006 18 145 2.50
Theoren Fleury------ WHL 1987 19 160 2.46
Doug Wickenheiser--- WHL 1979 18 170 2.39
Sidney Crosby------- QMJHL 2003 16 135 2.29
Rick Vaive---------- QMJHL 1977 18 155 2.28
Denis Savard-------- QMJHL 1978 17 158 2.26
Joe Thornton-------- OHL 1996 17 122 2.07
John Tavares-------- OHL 2006 15 134 2.00
John Tavares-------- OHL 2007 16 118 2.00
Bobby Orr----------- OHA 1965 17 94 2.00
Vincent Lecavalier-- QMJHL 1997 17 115 1.98
Mike Modano--------- WHL 1987 17 127 1.95
Steve Stamkos------- OHL 2007 17 105 1.72
Bobby Orr----------- OHA 1964 16 93 1.66
Vincent Lecavalier-- QMJHL 1996 16 102 1.59
Bobby Orr----------- OHA 1963 15 72 1.29
Bobby Hull---------- OHA 1956 17 61 1.17
Gordie Howe--------- USHL 1945 17 48 0.94
Maurice Richard----- Never played in Junior
Howie Morenz-------- Never played in Junior

Friday, August 1, 2008

ProStars - Hall of Fame

Today we're happy to elect another member to the exclusive "Waikiki Hockey - Hall of Fame". The lucky recipient today is the 1991-92 cartoon starring Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky and Bo Jackson...ProStars:
For those of you that haven't had the pleasure of seeing an episode of ProStars you really missed out. It was originally intended to air on ESPN but soon after it's creation NBC realized the awesomeness of this show and put it into their vaunted Saturday Morning time slot. Remember how in the 1990's kids actually got up early to watch their cartoon's...not like these spoiled punks today with their Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon.

The show stared Jordan, Jackson and Gretzky as three part time athletes - part time superheroes who help children in trouble, protect the environment and junk like that.

Each of the stars had their own unique (and unexpected) character trait:

Jordan was the brains of the operation. He had many little contraptions to assist in the ProStars' crimefighting and in every episode he advised children of the importance of studying Mathematics and Science. Sounds like "His Airness" to me.

Jackson was the muscle of the group. In the opening theme, he was shown using a giant tree trunk as a baseball bat. He would also find as many chances as possible to reference his famous Nike advertising campaign "Bo Knows...".

But the most odd character of the three was definitely Gretzky's. He was the comic relief of the squad (if you've seen the clip that this website was named after you'll realize that comedy is not what's great about "The Great One"). Also, Gretzky for some odd reason constantly had the munchies in each episode.

The three heroes lived with 'Mom' in her gym, which was also the ProStars headquarters. Mom was a older jewish lady who invented little gadgets to help the ProStars with their adventures. Make sense?

Here's a blow-by-blow of one episode.

The actual athletes (well only Jackson and Gretzky...Jordan must have been busy) introduced each show with questions from kids, an important lesson or the moral of the story but none of the celebrities provided their own voices for the animated segments of ProStars.

I remember liking this show a lot...which is a lot disturbing for me since I was 16 at the time. I'm hoping I had a well developed sense of kitsch value by that time. I can also remember buying the ProStars cereal because Wayne Gretzky was on the box. That cereal was lacking in the little sugar marshmallows department though.

I searched high and low for some footage of an episode but to no avail. Instead, I present you with the theme song from the show. Welcome to the "Hall of Fame" ProStars!

20 Ways to Die Trying to Dunk a Basketball

Thanks to a Waikiki Hockey regular, for passing along this very Waikiki Hockey-esque link.

Number 1 is a bit of a let-down but there are some classic videos in there.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Manny being Los Angeles?

Yahoo and ESPN (among many others) were reporting that Manny Ramirez was very close to being dealt to the Marlins. From the Yahoo article:

"The current parameters of the trade have Jason Bay and reliever John Grabow coming to Boston, Marlins outfielder Jeremy Hermida and two prospects heading to Pittsburgh and Manny plus a prospect going to Florida."

The deal wasn't yet finalized, as Peter Gammons reported, but it sure sounded like something was going to happen before the trade deadline. I couldn't see the Sox letting the deadline go by with Manny still being a member of Red Sox nation.

Yahoo is now reporting that the Red Sox-Marlins-Pirates deal fell apart at the last minute but like we thought, the Sox we're not going to keep Manny around after the circus that's been created. is reporting that:

The Red Sox traded embattled slugger Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers late Thursday afternoon. Jason Bay is headed to Boston as part of the deal, has learned. Pittsburgh gets pitcher Craig Hansen and outfielder Brandon Moss, both from Boston, as well as third baseman Andy LaRoche and right-handed pitcher Bryan Morris from the Dodgers. It looks like Manny is now headed to Los Angeles, with only minutes remaining before the trade deadline.]

I still think this is a very bad move for the Sox. After the season, I can see moving Manny. He's a headcase, we get it. But he's still impossible to replace in that lineup. Here's what Manny's own manager, Terry Francona, had to say on the subject on July 27th to the Associated Press:

"I'd take a guy that's hitting .500 that's miserable as opposed to a guy that hands out bouquets to his teammates and is hitting a buck 45."

Francona is smarter than I thought.

Things have gotten messy between Manny and Boston. Here was his response to the Marlin trade report in the ESPN article:

"The Red Sox did the same with guys like Nomar Garciaparra and Pedro Martinez, and now they do the same with me. Their goal is to paint me as the bad guy," Ramirez added. "I love Boston fans, but the Red Sox don't deserve me. I'm not talking about money. Mental peace has no price, and I don't have peace here."

Things never used to be like this. Manny used to be happy in Beantown. He won World Series in 2004 and 2007. He took home the series MVP in 2004 and even invited Red Sox fans to come back to his place for drinks after the parade. He even used to talk to the media. Gasp!

Sure his defense was a bit of an adventure, but when you have a player that can hit the game winning HR you forget about what happens in LF. Boston will miss Manny.

You want something obscure don't you? Well you're at Waikiki Hockey so you are in the right place.

How about Manny as a muppet with an Italian acccent?

Not bizarre enough for you? How about this then? Where to people come up with this stuff?

Wouldn't an Dodger - Red Sox final have a bit of intrigue now?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


In 1995, the X Games took the Olympic concept to extreme sports like snowboarding, skateboarding, BMX, etc. The Games have grown consistently and are now shown on ESPN and big three network NBC.

In 2001, Vince McMahon and NBC developed the idea for the XFL with the slogan: "It's real football". Apparently, "real football" means no roughing penalties, trash talking announcers, scantily clad cheerleaders and nicknames on the back of jerseys. The XFL had 14 million viewers in their first week but their rating plummeted in the following weeks and the league folded after only one season.

In 2002, Spike TV (or TNN as it was called then) aired the first season of a sport called Slamball. Think basketball + football + trampolines. It's was designed to be a real life video game and it really delivers. Slamball was starting to build up a bit of a following but the sport was folded after two seasons. Don't worry Slamball fans, the sport is making a comeback in 2008.

The next "X" sport has arrived and it looks to be the worst idea since Tom Smykowski came up with the "Jump to Conclusions" mat in Office Space. It's called Xtreme Baseball and doesn't have any big hits, cheerleaders, or loud music. What does it have? Two baseball games happening at the same time on the same field. Wow...that does sound EXTREME!

It actually sounds pointless and ridiculous to me. Thankfully, this "sport" is so stupid that it's likely we've never hear of it again:

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Get yer kit off...

Since we deal with all things obscure here at "Waikiki Hockey" it was only a matter of time before we delved into the bizarre world of streaking. Since the TV networks don’t show streakers for worry of promoting the behaviour we don’t have a lot of experience with them. I haven’t really paid streakers much thought and I haven’t been ‘lucky’ enough to be at a sporting event where a streaker did their thing. But the first question that comes to my mind is why would somebody risk fines, imprisonment, social out casting, and ridicule for a cheap laugh? I went to Wikipedia for some answers and they had almost 4,000 words on streaking. Seriously, four thousands words on streaking! Who are the people going to Wikipedia and updating the streaking page? Anyway, a fellow blogger, Greg, has kindly summarized the wiki-novel so we'll use all his hard work:

  • First streaker was in 1804, he went onto be a US Senator
  • College students really like to streak
  • Term "streaking" was first used in 1973
  • Streakers are telling us to lighten up and not take life so seriously
  • Enjoy the streakers doing what they do.
There you go. Who would have thought you would learn something here at Waikiki Hockey?
But you’re not here for a history lesson. You’re here for some hard-core nudity…right?

Hockey – Streaking on ice...there’s something magical (and cold) about it.
Football – My favourite part of streaking is the takedowns. This one doesn’t disappoint. The guy gets belted so hard he can hardly walk afterwards. Speaking of walking, it’s very rare (and not very pleasant) to see a streaker not at full running speed.
Soccer – I wouldn’t think streakers come up with a plan. But if this very poor quality video is accurate this girl must have been pretty happy with the way things turned out with her streak.
Cricket – The gentleman’s game offers up these three classics from Australia. Terry Alderman embarrasses himself, Greg Chappel embarrasses the streaker, and Andrew Symonds embarrasses the Australian rugby team:

It’s not just the team sports either:
Horse Racing, Curling and Snooker also make the cut. Even the Oscars have had a streaker!

After all this ‘research’ I still think streaking depends entirely on one thing. Alcohol. What percentage of streakers do you think are sober? My guess….0%. Your drinking buddies convince you it’s a good idea and next thing you know your getting hammered to the ground by a security guard.

I suddenly feel so dirty.

Brew Crew...

It's not often that you see a headline like this. Even for "The Onion", that's some pretty bizarre stuff.

Lately there's been a more svelt member of the Brewers on my mind. I'm talking about the player who is third in the league in HR's and is on a big time tear right now...13 for 22 with 5 HR's and 10 RBI's in his last 6 games! The Brewer in question is 24 year old hitting machine Ryan Braun.

I don't know why number 8 doesn't get as much attention as some of the other young stars. The typical excuse is he plays in Wisconsin, but that hasn't hurt Brett Favre's publicity lately. Maybe it's because he's not built like a prototypical power hitter but neither is this douche and he still gets a bit of attention.

Braun has continually crushed major league hitting since his debut in May 2007. The recent struggles of fellow phenoms Jay Bruce, Hunter Pence, Alex Gordon, etc. have shown us how rare finding a player of Braun's calibre and consistency really is.

This guy should be an ESPN darling and mentioned in NL MVP talk:

Maybe that's the problem....Braun is too nice. People only pay attention to the bad guys. He could lie (I hope) and say he used steroids...that really seems to be getting people in the papers nowadays. Or he could hook up with Angelina Jolie (after the twins maybe?) to make the super couple Braungelina?

The best idea might be for Braun win the NL MVP.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


We don't see much hockey in American pop culture which has led to very few movies with hockey content. A search on gives 332 movies, tv shows or video games with "hockey" as a keyword....but that number includes Don Cherry complilations so the number is actually much, much lower. So it's not that big of a debate on the best one of all time.

You'll notice the lack of the Mighty Ducks franchise on this list. Any hockey movie that includes something as ridiculous as the flying "V" or knucklepuck (shudder) has no business on any list.

Also, we realize Miracle is probably considered a pretty good hockey movie in some circles but we just couldn't get into it.....maybe you need to be an American to appreciate Kurt Russell as Herb Brooks.

In our research we came across this by some guy: "Anyone see MVP (Most Valuble Primate) about the monkey that plays hockey? I didn't get to see it, no theatres around here would show it." What do you know. Somebody actually wanted to see that movie ... Wow!

On to the no particular order:
Click on the movie title for a classic clip from the flick

Strange Brew - It's all about Rosy the Rose. You know a Bob & Doug movie had to have some hockey in it.

The Running Man - "Hey Killian, here is Sub Zero, now...plain zero!" Classic Arnie. There were four gladiators that Arnie had to take care of and one of them was a sumo hockey goalie with a razor sharp stick....the hockey fraternity has to be happy with that.

Mystery, Alaska - It's not a very exciting movie but at least hockey is the actual focus of this movie. It is very possible that this movie is to blame for turning Aussie Russell Crowe into a Leafs fan. Poor guy.

Youngblood - A skilled player needs to show he has heart to make the pros...throw in a love story (with the coaches daughter, of course) and you've got a very common movie formula. It's really on the list because Dean Youngblood is a damn cool name and it has loads of "funny even though they are not trying to be funny" moments.

Swingers - This very small scene of this great movie perfectly illustrates how many of us spent our entire teenage years. Stars Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn were also in the greatest sports movie of all time.

Wayne's World - massive hockey fan Mike Myers has to be on this list somewhere. He always seems to work hockey into his movies, even if it's something small like Dr. Evil and Mini Me wearing Leafs jerseys, or his new movie The Love Guru (which looks awful, by the way). But the best hockey moment Myers has given us is Wayne and Garth playing the Canadian pastime of road hockey in Wayne's World (Je suis désolé, c'est en français) throw in a reference to Tim Horton's and you've made many hockey fans happy.

Dumb and Dumber - This movie has nothing to do with hockey as you may realize. But it does contain possibly the best performance by a hockey player in a movie. Boston's favourite son Cam Neely turns in a tour de force performance as Sea Bass. He also appears in "Stuck on You", "What's the Worst That Could Happen?" and "Me, Myself and Irene" but he'll always be Sea Bass to us.

Happy Gilmore - The few scenes of the movie that have Happy playing hockey are extremely entertaining. Would have been nice to have a bit more in the movie focussing on Happy's failed hockey career but we'll take what we can get. Extras points because, according to, Joe Sakic was one of the skaters in the try-out scene.

But the best is easily...
Slap Shot - Real life minor league players the Hanson Brothers (although only two were actual brothers) ended up being the unexpected stars of this classi. The Hansons' cult following can still be seen to this day. They have been over-exposed the last 10 years which kinda ruins the original in some small way. Sometimes you just wish the original was left to be, but then things like this and this get made. Even still, the original Slap Shot is a work of sport movie art. Made in 1972, it set the standard for movies like Major League and countless others. From Denis Lemieux to Dave "Killer" Carlson to player-coach Reg Dunlop (played by Paul Newman) the movie is filled with excellent characters some of who can actually act.

Think we forgot something? Leave a comment and tell us. We'll definitely add to the list if we get enough interest.

We still can't believe that the road hockey scene from Wayne's World isn't on YouTube (in English anyway). That needs to be fixed ASAP.