Saturday, January 28, 2012

Steel City on Ice / FanAttic is NOW ...

Rant Sports

Again, I'm asking all my TSCSF / SCoI followers
to make another / final switch WITH ME ...
the blog has moved to the Rant Sports blog and
Rant Sports

PLEASE BE SURE TO FOLLOW ME on TWITTER (@steelcitysports) and

(as always)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

IF YOU LIKE The Steel City Sports Fan (Penguins Edition) ...

Steel City on Ice

I'm asking all my TSCSF followers to make the switch WITH ME ...
the blog has moved to the FanAttic Network and
is NOW ...
Steel City on Ice


(as always)

Friday, October 28, 2011

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

Sidney Crobsy recorded his third career hat trick against the Montreal Canadiens 

the Penguins tied a franchise low with 11 shots with just three in each of the first and third periods (they lost to San Jose 2-1)

Sidney Crosby earns his first NHL hat trick against the Philadelphia Flyers

Penguins re-introduce the skating Penguin logo to the team jersey and suffered the largest margin of defeat at home when they lost to the New Jersey Devils, 9-0. Devils forwards John Madden and Randy McKay scored four goals each and tied records for most goals by a player in a game against the Pens.

Pittsburgh scored five power-play goals against the Calgary Flames (tying a team record for power-play goals in a road game)

Mario Lemieux recorded his 33rd career hat trick (against New Jersey Devils Martin Brodeur)

Ron Francis scored his 1000th NHL career point against the Quebec Nordiques

Pittsburgh ends a club record of 211 games without being shut out losing to the Washington Capitals by a score of 8-0

facts obtained from PITTSURGHHOCKEY.NET

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sidney Crosby Press Conference Set for Wednesday - Steel City on Ice

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

the Penguins obtained Gregg Sheppard from Boston in a three-way deal (Pittsburgh sent Jean Pronovost to Atlanta, and Atlanta sent Dick Redmond to Boston)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

The Pittsburgh Penguins obtained Wendell Young and a seventh round choice in the 1990 NHL Amateur Draft from Philadelphia for a third round choice in the 1990 Entry Draft

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hockey Is Approaching: Penguins Rookie Tournament and Training Camp

Yesterday was the first real sign that the upcoming hockey season is quickly approaching.  The Penguins announced information for this year's Rookie Tournament and the report date for the start of training camp.

As of right now, there's not much in the way of Penguins training camp other than the players will be reporting on Tuesday, September 16th.  Pittsburgh will be release further details prior to opening.

From September 9th - 13th, Pittsburgh prospects will be in Oshawa, Ontario participating in the 2011 Rookie Tournament at the General Motors Centre along with prospects from the Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks, and Ottawa Senators. 

  • Saturday, September 10th at 2:00 PM
    Pittsburgh VS Ottawa
  • Sunday, September 11th @ 7:00 PM
    Pittsburgh VS Toronto 
  • Tuesday, September 13th at 2:00 PM
    Pittsburgh VS Chicago
For those of you interested, you will be able to watch or listen to the games:
All three games will air on Penguins HD Radio (WXDX FM HD-2 and streamed live on Steve Mears and two-time Stanley Cup champion Phil Bourque will broadcast the action. Full tournament coverage can also be found at
For a roster of Penguins prospects participating and further information, VISIT THE PENGUINS OFFICIAL WEBPAGE.

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

Pittsburgh Hornets* owner John Harris began talks with the Norris family, owners of the Detroit Red Wings, to begin an ownership transfer.

*Pittsburgh lost its only professional team in 1929 when the Pittsburgh Pirates moved the franchise across the state to become the Philadelphia Quakers. The Yellow Jackets returned to Pittsburgh in 1930 after Roy Schooley re-acquired the team.  They were later purchased by Pittsburgh theater chain owner, John Harris, in 1932.  On October 4, 1936, the Detroit Olympics were sold, moved to Pittsburgh, and were re-named the Pittsburgh Hornets (originally, the Hornets were the minor-league affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings who won the Stanley Cup in 1936 with Don Aurie on that team).

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Busy Off-Season for Pittsburgh's James Neal

Let's hope that James Neal's off-season is an indication of what kind of season he plans to have with the Penguins come this September / October.  He at least appears to have the best intentions for working hard to make it a great one and it would seem that his move to the Pittsburgh organization along with the possibility of playing alongside one of the Penguins stars like Sidney Crosby may be the big motivation he had been lacking in Dallas.  One thing is certain, he's definitely serious about off-season training and maintenance which not only encompasses his work-out regime, but also diet and nutrition with his continued work with former NHLer (and Penguin player) Gary Roberts. 

Roberts is known for his no-nonsense attitude both on and off the ice (as well as a no wheat, sugar, soy, or processed / packaged foods diet) that allowed him to return to play 11 more years in the NHL after his retiring at age 30 then moving on to retire again at the age of 43.  The strict diet consists of a 26-item list that includes goat’s milk, sunflower sprouts, mung beans, salba, chia and hemp (mung beans, Adam Gretz of CBS Sports' Eye On Hockey Blog reminds us, are "very nutritious, but they smell like death" according to Creed Bratton of 'The Office').

This passion and attention to detail for training and nutrition has made Roberts a much sought-after trainer by a number of professional hockey players according to NBC Sports' ProHockeyTalk.

And most of Neal's hockey-related conditioning activities this summer has included [some form of] Gary Roberts.  This can only be a good sign for things to come this season.

"Last Rep NHL Day at the Farm" (August 17th)
James Neal was among a few of the NHL players attending this training session.  Last Rep is a company that creates a training mix made from organic ingredients (that come from The Beretta Family Farm).  And "NHL at the Farm" is when they get together at the farm to train (photos courtesy of Last Rep; see Neal below with his Pirates hat again!).

NHL BioSteel Camp (week of August 22nd)
BioSteel (known by many hockey players as the "little pink drink") is a high performance sports drink used by top athletes and "quickly becoming NHL players' drink of choice."  It was developed by former Toronto Maple Leafs trainer, Matt Nichols.  According to an interview with James Mirtle, Nicols recently reported that BioSteel is being used by close to half of the NHL.

With a good product and production, good PR must follow for success.  In addition to word of mouth among the players, Nichols and Gary Roberts have organized a camp for a few of the top hockey players in the league, including Neal, for the second consecutive summer.  A total of 20 stars and an additional 16 of the league's top hockey prospects participate in a rigorous week-long camp focusing on strength training and drills.  This year's camp was sponsored by Last Rep which was mentioned earlier in this post.

The group was divided into two teams based on who each players trainer typically is and ended the week by competing against each other in a scrimmage (the goalies in attendance weren't associated with either team - Steve Mason, Eddie Pasquale, Thomas McCollum, and Malcolm Subban - PK's younger brother):
  • Team Matt Nichol
    Mike Cammalleri, Tyler Seguin, PK Subban, Paul Bissonnette, David Clarkson, Andrew Cogliano, Matt Stajan, Daniel Winnik, Raffi Torres, Ryan Ellis, Nik Antropov, Brendan Smith, Mike McKenzie, Greg Stewart, Jay Harrison, Tyler Cuma, Jason Wilson, Nail Yakupov, Alex Galchenyuk
  • Team Gary Roberts
    Steven Stamkos, Stephen Weiss, Wojtek Wolski, Jeff Skinner, Steve Downie, James Neal, Cody Hodgson, Chris Tanev, Peter Holland, Spencer Abbott, Cameron Gaunce, John Mitchell, Mike Neal, Brandon Burlon, Ethan Werek, Chris Terry, Matt Beleskey
Similar to the growing popularity of the drink itself, the camp is becoming pretty exclusive as there is currently a waiting list (the players actually pay $10,000 to attend).  But, as far as former Penguins enforcer Paul Bissonnette is concerned, it's well worth it!
"I think these guys are paid about $10,000 a summer," Bissonnette said of the training staff. "You think well that's a lot of money, but it's an investment. Because if you put an extra five goals in, you're going to get way more than an extra $10,000 on your contract.

"And it's a write-off, which helps out, too."
Of course Neal didn't totally eliminate fun (or charity) from his summer.

On July 2, 2011, James was one of a handful of NHLers who were paired up with a pro-angler and took part in the annual Fish TV Celebrity Showdown.  The charity fishing tournament raises money for the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation and was held in Palmer Park, Port Perry ON.  I am loving the Pirates hat which shows just how proud / enthusiastic he is to play for Pittsburgh.


Neal took some time to discover social media.  By now most of you probably know that he's on Twitter (@jneal_18).  It was THE talk for a while ... he went "live" on August 12th ... and it IS legit (alot of the NHL players already on Twitter are following him and even Talbot said so!)!!  He's pretty Twitter-saavy already ... he posted a few pics (one below)!

James Neal is on the far right
(with the bluish / gray checkered shorts)
Last August 18th was the inaugural game for this golf tournament that raised $25,000 for the "Jump Start" at the Wooden Sticks Golf Club in Uxbridge, Ontario.  A few of the other players from last year's tournament include Steven Stamkos, Steve Downie, Michael Del Zotto, and Stephen Weiss.
“Hockey is a passion of mine and playing in the NHL for over 21 seasons has provided me with many great opportunities.  Now retired and a local North Durham resident, I have been given an opportunity to help provide local children the chance to discover their passion for sport through Jumpstart.  Please join my friends and I for a great day of golf, while supporting Jumpstart North Durham” ~Gary Roberts

Monday, August 29, 2011

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

Free agent left wing Reid Simpson signed with the Penguins

Mario Lemieux announces that he will take a one year medical leave of absence

Penguins head coach Bob Johnson is diagnosed with brain tumors and has emergency surgery that night

Friday, August 26, 2011

Own A Piece of 'Slap Shot' History

Ask any hockey player or fan what their favorite hockey movie is and they'll most likely say, "Slap Shot." The movie, released in 1977, was written and produced by Nancy Dowd and inspired by her brother Ned's experiences playing for the minor league hockey team, Johnstown Jets (which was portrayed by the fictional team, Charlestown Chiefs, in the movie). It was mainly filmed on location in Johnstown, Pennsylvania (my hometown), but there are a few scenes that were also shot in Hamilton and Syracuse, New York.

In one of the last scenes of the movie, as the city of Charlestown celebrates the Chiefs' victory with a parade, player/coach Reggie Dunlop (played by Paul Newman) along with two other characters in the movie (Ned Braden played by Michael Ontkean and Braden's wife, Lily, played by Lindsay Crouse) are seated on top of the back seat of a sleek 1967 Lincoln Continental convertible.

Yesterday the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat reported that the owner of this very car, 95-year-old Karl Scott, Jr., is putting it on the market. Scott, a resident of the Presbyterian Home in Johnstown, suffered a stroke back in April and can no longer drive. So you could be the next proud owner of this piece of cult classic memoriabilia for the fair asking price of $18,000. The convertible which Scott believes will appeal to both automobile collectors and movie buffs alike has only 84,000 miles and features "suicide doors" that open in opposite directions. It has a leather interior and Scott has kept it in decent condition by only driving it on special occasions.

According to automotive expert and commentator of the Discovery Channel's "Mecum Auto Auction Muscle Cars & More," John Kraman, it's not easy to estimate the value of the car or what it would go for at auction, but it has very little to do with the fact that it was featured in a major motion picture and more to do with the condition of the automobile itself.

But how can you put a price on nostalgia?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

VIDEO: Kris Letang Training

These videos are courtesy of the Adrenaline Performance Center in Montreal where Letang is currently getting ready for this upcoming season (it's pretty impressive stuff) ... the guy helping him train is the owner of the training center, Jonathan Chaimberg, who has this to say about Letang, "Also a big welcome to NHL all-star Kris Letang from the Pens. He's already a stud. After a summer of training he will be a monster."

There is one more video (a short :48 seconds in length) ... CLICK HERE to view!!  And ONE MORE HERE (THANKS Holyroller17!)!!

It's making me more anxious for hockey season to start!!

Cooke "Throws" First Pitch at Altoona Curve Game

Altoona, PA is home to the Altoona Curve and a little over 50 miles (45 minutes) away from where I live.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend this game even though I had originally planned to, but luckily for me (and the blog), my friend Laura who lives near Altoona was there and kind enough to share her story and some pics!!

Hi Steel City fans! I had a great opportunity Monday night to meet Matt Cooke, as he was doing an autograph session in my hometown during the AltoonaCurve game. I arrived at the ballpark at 6:00, ready to run to a spot in line. By the time, I got to the autograph line, I’d estimate there were about 900-1,000 people in front of me. The game started at 7:00 with Matt and his son Jackson throwing out the first pitch of the game by way of slapping a puck into a net.

Matt quickly made his way to his table to begin signing autographs for his scheduled 90-minute session. While waiting, I got out of line to go take pictures because I was afraid it would be dark by the time I got to the table, if I even got to the table at all due to the line.

As we were almost to the table, a security guy passed us and I asked if we would make it through the line considering Matt had already been signing for over 2 hours. The security guy replied, not to worry, that Matt had already agreed to sign for anyone who was in lineand waiting. He also said that he estimated there were about 1,500 people in line that night.
Finally, after a 3-hour wait, I made it to the table. Matt was so incredibly generous with his time, making sure to autograph each person’s item and pause to allow them to take pictures with him.
When the game ended a half an hour later, there was still a line of people waiting to get through to meet Matt. I’m not sure what time he finished autographing, but my best guess would be around 10:00 or even later.

Say what you want about him on the ice, but off the ice, he seems like a great,stand up guy!

Many thanks to Rob Eagan, the GM of the Altoona Curve, the rest of the Curve organization, and the Penguins organization to plan such a wonderful night for all of us fans in Altoona! Hopefully this opportunity will continue for many summers to come!
Cooke and his wife, Michelle
courtesy of Trib-Review
MANY THANKS to loyal follower, Laura H., for sharing her story and pictures with us!!

Also, for those of you who were unaware like I was, that Cookey's wife was seriously ill last season (and was near death), CLICK HERE to read Rob Rossi's article about his family's ordeal this past season around the same time he was going through the suspension ordeal for "illegal" hits.

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

the Civic Arena roof opens to the theme song from Space Odessy when the Pittsburgh Phantoms play the Minnesota Arctic Blast (it was the first time the stainless steel dome was opened for a professional hockey game)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Let's Shift Focus on Crosby from Negative to Positive

I really don't want to give all these reports about Sidney Crosby any power / control - there's been too many and too much with lots of contradiction.  The truth is, I just don't want the time come to pass where my fear becomes reality: he will never be the same despite when / if he returns and neither will hockey.  And that's the last thing I'll try to say until training camp starts.

Around the same time that the Pens released the "latest" information on Crosby this evening, "The Globe and Mail" posted an article about him with an entirely different twist and a positive spin.

In the midst of the uncertainty surrounding Crosby's progress and all the rumors that have come about because of it, he continues to live his life and just be Sidney Crosby.  He took the time out of his off-season to call Matthew Mancini, one of five [Canadian] winners of Wind Mobile’s Best Conversation Ever competition. The competition gave all five the opportunity to speak to the "person of their dreams" while donating $100,000 to the Canadian charity of that person's choice.  Mancini chose to speak to Crosby and Crosby requested that the donation go to the Sidney Crosby Foundation.
But even this feel-good story touched on the current hot topic on Crosby and his progress with one of the questions Matthew asked him (perhaps shedding some new light on the subject):
Matthew wore the light blue jersey Crosby was wearing when he was injured earlier this year, a sign of solidarity with his favourite player. His concern also led him to ask a question that has been on many people’s minds lately: “How are you feeling?” 
Crosby told him that he misses being out on the ice but is doing well and looking forward to playing again this season.
To read the entire article, "Rehabbing Crosby chats with 11-year-old cancer patient," CLICK HERE

THANKS, Meghan H., for sending me the link to this uplifting / refreshing article!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Adams Undergoes Appendectomy, Will Be Ready for Training Camp

The Penguins announced earlier this afternoon that this past Friday Craig Adams underwent successful laparoscopic appendectomy surgery.

Adams is expected to be ready for training camp in September since his rehabilitation will last four weeks.

Friday, August 19, 2011

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

the Penguins sign free agent goaltender Dany Sabourin (who played in the ECHL for the Johnstown Chiefs which was my hometown team; the team was relocated to Greenville, SC after the 2009-10 season)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What Do You Mean Crosby Won't Be Ready for Training Camp?

I know, I KNOW ... just let me get it off my chest, OK?!!

I'm certain, by now, you've all heard about the huge Crosby buzz on the internet earlier this week created by one, single Tweet.  If you haven't, then let me explain (this will just be a review for those of us who are quite familiar [and, perhaps, tired of] the whole incident).

It was a typical Sunday evening (August 14th) until an unsuspecting Josh Rimer tweets the following:
Also hearing from 3 sources now that Sidney Crosby won't b ready 2 start season. I hope its not true because the NHL needs its best players!
Then, as you can imagine, ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE!! 

That "simple," 140-max-character tweet was retweeted 100+ times by everyone and his brother including the most informed hockey / Pens writers (i.e., my man Rob Rossi - LOL) all across Twitter in a matter of minutes.  In fact, it caused such a stir that Ray Shero himself had to schedule a media conference for the next day (and spoke to Rob Rossi who posted an article and blog post about it that same night) to calm the [Pens] masses.  The poor guy (Mr. Rimer, NHL Home Ice Producer on SiriusXM Radio) soon learned that the shit hit the fan from the frenzy he inadvertently caused ... I'm sure his thought was simply to tweet information he obtained from THREE SOURCES probably just hoping for a few more followers, but ultimately it lead to an entire controversy which some fans are still talking over and debating about.

I find the funniest thing about this is that not one thing about this whole Crosby progress fiasco had / has changed from prior to this tweet until after (and since)!  But because there hasn't been any real word on Crosby's progress up until this point (aside from that single, amateur video posted to YouTube of Crosby skating in Halifax) and everyone (both Pens faithful and Crosby-haters alike) has been waiting on baited breath for any news, a mountain was made into a mole hill.

But prior to this I was, as I'm sure many fans were, happy with just that video.  There were no conclusions to be drawn and nothing open for debate; it was just a few minutes of Crosby skating on a rink and something for us to enjoy until the hockey season starts up again.  It was neither positive or negative, but it was something and, in fact, it was at least a little more than what we had previously and it was (what all of this always has been since the moment he suffered his concussion) another step toward his return.  I was happy to know that much for the moment and not too concerned with the upcoming season (or any thoughts of "what if").

Until that [now] infamous tweet ...

But even now, I'm happy with what I know because it never really changed (the possibilities were just brought to light just a little bit too soon). 

So once again, I'll wait.  I'll wait until pre-season comes around and the guys file back into Pittsburgh for the start of training camp and then I'll begin to wonder and, maybe, worry about how Crosby has progressed and what that means for his playing or not this season.  I will also hold off on any rash judgements or needless panicking until then.  And I would suggest the same for you (not only because it's less stressful but also because both Shero and Bylsma have said they are dealing with Crosby's progress similarly); and besides, look what it did for Mr. Josh Rimer.

So take your time, Sid, but just get better - hockey isn't the same without you!