US Hockey Hall of Fame Induction

The day came. Mathieu was officially inducted into the US Hockey Hall of Fame.

Very happy day for him and his family. And for me. I wiped a tear of pride. Not gonna lie.

Here's his official profile at the US Hockey Hall of Fame.

You can watch his induction speech.

Here are a bunch of links to read more:


US Hockey Hall of Fame induction news

Well, three years is a long enough hiatus, eh? I've been meaning to write something for awhile, but, well, haven't. Today makes a good day to post something, though.

USA Hockey announced today that Mathieu Schneider will be inducted into the US Hockey Hall of Fame! Fantastic and well earned honor. He's got good company, as the 2015 induction class includes also Angela Ruggiero, Chris Drury, and Ron DeGregorio.

See the official announcement and listen to the conference call with the honorees at the official website.  And mark your calendar for the official ceremony: December 17, 2015.

Congratulations Mathieu!


Mathieu trivia

This little nugget came from Jen, a sports historian and phenomenal resource for hockey trivia, via Twitter this morning:
On this date (February 16) in 2001, #LAKings Mathieu Schneider became the first defenceman in #NHL to score against all 30 teams.
How cool is that?

If you are wondering, the last of the 30 teams was the Minnesota Wild. And the point was a power play goal (assisted by Ziggy Palffy and Luc Robitaille). The three players later connected again, with Mathieu  adding an assist (with Ziggy Palffy) on a Luc Robitaille power play goal.

Note: I'm guessing that means all 30 teams that were in the league at that that time. The teams have changed since then. I wonder if he ever scored against the Winnipeg Jets 1.0?


Mathieu talks about the Alumni Game

I feel bad for missing this earlier! (I'll admit, I ran across it while watching B-Rad's beauty game winning goal last night)

Here is Mathieu talking about his participation in the alumni game at the Winter Classic.

It's a great video. He seems so light and relaxed. About a minute in, him talking about Eric Lindros sounds like how my friends and I were talking about Eric Lindros.


Road Trip to the 2012 Winter Classic and NYC

For the past few years, I've made a point to go on a hockey road trip. I pick a new city and go to catch a game in a different arena.  (Last year was Pittsburgh; the year before was Dallas)  When my favorite active player Brad Richards signed in New York, I was excited at the prospect of heading back to that great city for my annual road trip. When the Winter Classic was officially announced to take place between his Rangers and the Flyers in Philadelphia, I day dreamed about being able to double dip with that game and one at MSG. I went ahead with plans to go to New York City the first week of January. I didn't really think that I'd go to the Winter Classic, but it never left my head.  Fast forward to mid-December. I signed in to Facebook one morning, and the New York Rangers posted a link to sign up for a chance to buy tickets to the Winter Classic. It said that tickets would be available on a first come, first served basis. The message was posted "4 seconds ago." I paused for a second thinking, why bother? But, "4 seconds ago." Those were good odds. I clicked the link and filled out the form. The confirmation said I would be contacted the next day by a ticket representative.

The next morning, my phone rang at 7am. I'm not a morning person. Not in the slightest. I was not happy. But I looked at my phone, and it was a 212 area code. My heart leaped. I was convinced it was a call to say, "sorry, all gone." Nope. I was one of the lucky ones to actually get tickets. Wow! While not cheap, it was an amazing opportunity. January is our rainy season in California, so I really doubt a Winter Classic will ever be able to be held out my way. Plus, Mathieu was playing in the Alumni Game, and it would give me a chance to see both of my guys play in the same weekend (which, if you remember was a chance I had dashed by Dave Tippet in Dallas a few years ago. I'm still mad).  It was all too good to pass up, so I bought the tickets.

Leading up to departure, I had reservations. What was I doing? It was such a big deal. I'd be gone for so long. I was traveling alone. I needed to find someone to go to the game with. The cost was adding up. The night before I left, I was more anxious than excited. I resolved to just go with the flow, and make the most out of anything.  

Turns out, I had nothing to worry about. This trip turned out to be almost too spectacular for words.  As per my usual recaps, here is a bullet list of highlights:
  • Attended the Alumni Game, and watched Mathieu play in one more game. Other highlights were seeing Bernie Parent put on the old mask and play goal and Eric Lindros and John LeClair connect for a goal. And Eric Desjardins is still amazing.
  • Rang in the new year with good friend Joe, and a ton of NHL legends. Mark Messier, Brian Leetch, Mark Howe, Stephane Matteau, Eric Lindros, Ron Hextall, John Vanbeisbrouck, Jeremy Roenick, and Mike Richter were all at the hotel bar toasting to midnight. Not everyday I get to say "Happy New Year" to Hall of Famers.
  • Observed the nuttiness that is the Mummers Parade down Broad Street. 
  • Ate an authentic Philadelphia cheesesteak. (Walked 4 miles round trip for it. Totally worth it!)
  • Took in some of my country's history by visiting Independence Hall (where the Constitution was signed), the Liberty Bell, and the final resting place of Benjamin Franklin.
  • Ran up the Rocky steps.

  • Noticed that Philadelphia has a massive number of statues. On top of their buildings, in the middle of the street, in parks. I saw statues of famous people (Washington, Penn, Rocky) and by famous people (Rodin).
  • Watched an outdoor NHL hockey game with 46,000 people on a freezing cold evening. It even snowed for awhile. 
  • Saw my favorite active player score the GAME WINNING GOAL at the Winter Classic. Luckily it stayed the game winner despite a penalty shot awarded to the Flyers with just seconds to go. I thought it would surely be tied after that. Henrik Lundqvist, you amazing goalie and beautiful (BEAUTIFUL!) man!! 
  • Took a subway full of Philly fans after the game and survived. Luckily, I had no problems. but I saw some nastiness here and there. Just enough to confirm the reputation of the fringe.
  • Saw a piece of Einstein's brain at the Mütter Museum.
  • Took my first ever real train ride, from Philly to NYC. Amtrak isn't really a big thing in California, so I've only really been on subways and light rail.
  • Slept under the shadow of the Empire State Building.
  • Spent an entire day in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and saw an unfathomable volume of priceless art and artifacts. 
  • Walked across the Brooklyn Bridge.
  • Saw the famous Christmas tree and Rockefeller Center all lit up.
  • Bought fabric for new pillows at Mood (Project Runway fans will get the significance).
  • Saw a Gutenberg Bible and the original Winnie the Pooh character dolls at the New York Public Library.
  • Attended a hockey game at the famous Madison Square Garden. The Rangers won in overtime. B-Rad had a goal, but it was later determined to be tipped in front. Assist... Goal... it's still a point. 
  • Attended said game in the presence of the 42nd President of the United States of America, Bill Clinton.

The atmosphere, the penalty shot with just seconds to go, the game winning goal scorer, the snow... the Winter Classic couldn't have been any more perfect. The great people and great places I was lucky enough to be surrounded with the whole time made the whole trip one of the best experiences ever. I'm still trying to absorb it all. 

And to think, I was worried it would be a waste of time and money!

Note: A big shout out to Sarah D. for all of her help and guidance around her native Philadelphia. Having a local give me the real scoop on the city made the planning so much easier.  Another big shot out to Joe, for being my NYE buddy and train travel companion. And super, giant shouts go out to Cathy and Kate for all that they did for me, from being my "dates" to the games (respectively), to all of the directions and help around the city. And of course for letting me crash on their futon for a night. 

Also, if you like looking at other people's vacation pictures (I do; but I know I'm weird), here are the links to my Facebook albums:

Winter Classic and Philadelphia



Winter Classic Alumni Game

Recall a few years ago, what has now become my annual hockey road trip, I went down to Dallas to catch a couple of Stars games. One of the games was against Phoenix. I was so excited at the prospect of seeing both of my favorite active players in the same game. Alas, Mathieu was scratch. Then, a few weeks later, I wasn't able to get last minute tickets to see Phoenix play in San Jose. I missed my opportunities to see my favorite player of all time in one last game. 

When Mathieu was announced as a member of the New York Rangers team at the Alumni Game before the Winter Classic, I thought, hmm... what if. Long story short (and explained in a post to come later), December 31 I found myself in the outfield watching my one last Mathieu game.

Pulled out the old LA jersey for the occasion

It was a fun outing, and not exactly a hugely competitive affair. It started off like a game played in quick sand. But it was fun to watch, and all of the players raved about how fun it was to play. I don't have much to add to the volumes already written about the game, but I'll say that a year and a half out of the game, and he still looks the same. I could spot him as soon as he jumped on the ice.The smile was ever present. And for 2 hours, everything felt right.


My wall

A new season always feels like a new start. There are many things I need to start freshly.

This blog is one. This will be the second season without Matheiu, and I still don't know what to do with this blog. I could just turn it into random musings, but that would require me to have random musings. I'll get around to that eventually.

A second conundrum I have is what to do with my office wall. All of my coworkers and office mates have pictures of their kids and families and personal art on their walls. Lacking any classy art or kid pics (I keep my family photos on my phone), my wall was empty for a long time. Finally, I started putting up my favorite hockey photos. They have been quite a conversation piece.

But I need a change. Some old ones are coming down, and a new one of B-Rad in his new Rangers uniform is going up. If it's a hockey wall, Mathieu will be there. Currently playing or not. But as I took down all of the old jerseys, I was left with only one from his days with Team USA.

But he looks kind of sad in it.  I don't want that to be my signature photo; the one photo I can point out to visitors and say "that's my favorite player of all time."

But without a current team, what NHL uniform do I associate Mathieu with enough to be that signature "this is my favorite player of all time" photo? With 10 teams to choose from, it was a challenge. I went around and around in my head, and I keep coming back to the beginning.

I think it's time I cough up the $20+ and order a new copy of this bad boy:

The copy I have is my original. An almost 20 year old copy of Sports Illustrated. You can see a crease in the corner in the scan; it lived my backpack for months. I have it now in an archival-quality sleeve in a binder at home. Side note: When I first came to Saint Mary's, I saw the library had SI going back decades. Snot nosed Freshman I was, I decided to secretly tear out the cover and replace it with a photocopy (I was always too nice to outrightly steal). But you know what? Someone had already torn it out!

My greatest hockey regrets is that I never got him to sign it. I had a chance, but was too shy to ask. I never got Enrico Ciccone to sign my Tampa Bay jersey, either. Wow, I really suck as an autograph seeker.


Weird dreams

I had the weirdest, most vivid dream last night.(No, Vincent Lecavalier wasn't rearranging my furniture again; I haven't had that dream in ages. Thank goodness.)

The Red Wings were having defensemen problems. They kept getting hurt and they had no players they could call up, so they signed Mathieu to an emergency contract. The weirdest thing is he was at the game, standing in the runway between the bench and locker room wearing his Red Wings equipment under a coat, hiding it because it wasn't official yet and couldn't let people know until the paperwork was done. It was eventually official, and he was able to join the game in progress.

Too weird not to share.


The next generation?

I've been trying to figure out what to do with this blog since Mathieu retired. Still haven't decided. But maybe if I stall long enough, I can re-dedicate it to the next great Schneider.

Today in the draft of the Ontario Hockey League, the Erie Otters selected in the 10th round, 194th overall, defenseman Jordan Schneider. Ta da!  Says the team: "Has great size and projects to be a good stay-at-home defenseman in the OHL." (from Otters Hockey)

Good for him. I hope he does well and blazes his own trail, whatever that may be.


1,200 steps completed

I did it! I climbed 52 flights of stairs and survived. And I did so quicker than I thought. My official time was 20:46. I stopped for water twice and to catch my breath a couple of other times, but I did the first 21 non-stop.

It was a lot of fun (in a weird way), and I felt so good for accomplishing something. I will definitely do it again next year. And I'm setting a goal to best that time by 2 minutes.

Here is 555 California Street, also known as the Bank of American Building:

And here is the view from the top:

Big thank yous to everyone who supported me, morally and otherwise, in this challenge. It felt great to finish, and felt greater to have people care.


One step at a time...

Warning: Off topic post. =P

As someone who is both lazy and health conscious, I'm a big fan of the little things you can do in daily life to help stay fit in this increasingly sedentary world. Parking in a spot far away from the door of the shopping center. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Walking to get donuts instead of driving.

Going back to that stairs thing...

I grew up in a hilly area, so climbing is second nature. Add to that being impatient and an unfortunate getting-stuck-in-the-elevator-with-my-5-year-old-nephew incident, and I'm always taking the stairs. I trudge up the stairs at work, joking it's the Saint Albert Hall Stairmaster. Even when I went on a cruise, I always took the stairs. Up to 8 flights at a time.
My nephews vs. the stairs of Davidson Way
(one of Oakland's many urban pathways)

While I may be lazy, sometimes I take on a little something extra. Just to challenge myself. So when I heard about the Fight for Air Climb, a fundraiser for the American Lung Association, I was interested. It is a race to the top floor of the tallest building around here: San Francisco's Bank of America building. Via the stairs. Fifty-two flights. Almost 1,200 stairs.

So guess what I signed up to do? And tomorrow is the big day. I'm not in it to win it, but I'm in it to do it. Training for this event has made me so aware of my own abilities and health. I'm so lucky to have both. So anyway, in case anyone sees this, and wants to support the cause to help the American Lug Association help other people be as lucky, the fundraiser continues until April 1.


Wish me luck!


Mathieu's take on the NHLPA and head injuries

Mathieu was thrown into the mix quickly in his new job. A week or so in, and he's already facing the CBC cameras to share the NHLPA's take on the renewed interest in head injuries in the NHL.

Here is the video of his interview with Elliotte Friedman: http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/Sports/CBC%27s_Hockey_Night_in_Canada/Inside_Hockey/1239560253/ID=1839605580

Some choice quotes, culled from various places because I'm a crappy transcriber:
  • "I think the players' biggest complaint would be consistency. You want to see, I think, penalties kinda across the board for whatever type of player is being disciplined." (from Montreal Gazette)
  • "The one thing that (the Chara hit on Pacioretty has) done, it's certainly brought a lot of attention to the fact that we need to look at certain changes in our game and that conversation and that process has begun." (from Montreal Gazette)
  • "The biggest difference, and again this is what we're hearing back from the guys, is that the guys are bigger, stronger, faster. Maybe it's calling the rules that are in place now differently. Allowing for more holdups, more interference. I don't want to see things like hooking creep back into our game, but maybe we can have more picks. To slow the game down, as much as a lot of people might not want to do it, that could be the right thing to do at this point." (from Montreal Gazette)
  • "You get the general feeling guys seem to think that there hasn't been anything malicious. The main difference now is you have guys who are 6-4, 6-5, 230 pounds, moving at high speeds. That's when you're going to get big collisions. (from the Sporting News)

Despite my weak skills, here is one I did transcribe myself, because I didn't see it elsewhere, and I thought it was an important one. 
  • "I would like to see a coach, a trainer, a general manager, look at each situation, and treat it as though 'what would I do if this was my son.' Even if you were able to sit on the bench and say 'I'm fine, I'm fine, I can go right back out,' which I have, and I know a lot of players have, that's just the way things were... knowing what we know today I would feel very uncomfortable to let a teammate or myself or a friend go back out on the ice in those situations"
I was disappointed that I missed seeing one the greatest players in the game play when I was in Pittsburgh; I was also disappointed that a week later, my favorite player still playing missed a game in San Jose because of lingering effects of taking a lazy elbow to the jaw. But my cold heart smiles because those fleeting disappointments mean that those men, and those men's families and teams, have gotten over the "be a tough guy" stuff and recognized the seriousness of their injuries and the need to take a lot of time to heal the most important part of their bodies. That gives me great joy.

But boy is there a loooong way to go still. From the NHL dismissing the Chara/Pacioretty incident as a "hockey play," to the "Big Hits" highlights shown during TV timeouts in arenas (half of which show hits to the head), the "head shot" debate is going no where as long as there are still those who don't recognize the lifelong, life altering effects of traumatic brain injuries, and the role we each play in making sure we don't have a part in inflicting that on a fellow human being in the name of entertainment.


Adventures in Pittsburgh

A few years ago, I thought, what's the point of being young and single f you don't randomly decide to get up and travel somewhere just for the hell of it. Montreal was my first trip with that in mind. Last year, I went to Texas. I mean, why not go to Texas to watch hockey? This year, the destination was Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A friend of mine had recently relocated to the Steel City, and with someone I know there, what better time to visit a new place... not to mention, catch a hockey game.

To save big long paragraphs, here are my usual bullet-point highlights of my latest adventure:
  • Got stuck on the highway for 6 hours in an unexpectedly heavy snowstorm.(It took as long to drive the 15 miles from the airport to my friend's house as it did to fly from California)
  • Brushed snow off of a car in the middle of a highway.
  • Shoveled snow from a driveway for the first time ever.
  • Built a lot of snow people.
  • Made snow angels

  • Rode the "T"
  • Went up the Duquene Incline to see the views of the city.
  • Walked across the Fort Pitt Bridge
  • Learned all about the city's (very) early history at the Fort Pitt Museum

  • Happened upon the San Jose Sharks' hotel, made obvious by the autograph hunters parked outside. We felt like creepers so we didn't stop.
  • Saw Jamal Mayers in a Starbucks (I wished him luck in the game, and he said thanks. Then he paused a second, and said "do you really mean that." I had to explain that, yes, I'm a Sharks fan from the Bay Area.)
  • Ate at Primanti Brothers.
  • Drank a lot of Yuengling.
  • Saw James Neal and Matt Niskanen play their first games as Penguins. (They were traded while we were laid over in Chicago; they're flight came after ors and was diverted by the storm that stranded us on the road)
  • Watched the Sharks win in overtime over the Penguins at the Console Energy Center. It is an amazing arena. The Igloo looks cool from outside, but I think the CEC is a vast improvement inside.

  • Met Mario, Suzi, and Adrienne, some awesome Twitter peeps!
  • Saw the many amazing dinosaur skeletons at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.
  • Viewed some very interesting art and sculpture at the neighboring Museum of Art.

I'm really disappointed that both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were still out with their injuries. I would have loved to see them play live in their home arena (something I've yet to see anywhere). But I left a lot of things undone, so there will be a "next time" for me and Pittsburgh.

Note: There are not enough words to thank Corey and her family for EVERYTHING they did for us during our stay. Look up "amazing people" in the dictionary and you will see them. Just amazing. So thank you thank you thank you!!


Twitter battle royales

A couple of days ago, the one, the only Brad Richards joined Twitter, seemingly with the sole intention of chirping back and forth with teammate Krys Barch. Their interactions are quickly approaching Logan Couture and Devin Setoguchi levels of teammate awesomeness.

You'd think tonight's return of Alex Ovechkin, who resurrected his own Twitter account, dead for 2 years (or since the Caps PR guy stopped ghost tweeting for him), would be the Twitter moment of the night.

Nope. Even B-Rad's self-deprecating, preemptive big teeth joke doesn't qualify. Rather, longtime NHL Twitter star and superstar bench warmer Paul Bissonnette again holds the honor with this picture posted from a dinner out with some Coyote teammates at Katsuya in LA.

Barch served it up, and B-Rad returned fire. A BizNasty chirp? Ball's in your court, Mathieu "Schnieder."

P.S. Brad joined Twitter. Enrico Ciccone has been on for awhile. Two out of three of my guys. Tick tock Mathieu. I'll offer lessons! ;)

P.S.S. Oh, and for what it's worth, I have a BizNasty claim to fame. I was his "hero" for finding him the ugliest PT Cruiser ever in the parking lot at work: http://twitter.com/#!/BizNasty2point0/status/24993344641. I might put that Tweet in my promotion dossier along with recommendation letters from faculty and a dean.


Getting some props

Yesterday, Mike Cammalleri gave Mathieu a bit of a shout out via his Twitter account:

In English and French, oooo fancy. I'll even ignore the spelling error.

That's not the only place he was getting mentioned in positive ways be former colleagues. Craig Conroy recently retired from the NHL as a member of the Calgary Flames. Reflecting on his career, he offered this bit about his first training camp after being drafted by the Canadiens:

"The one guy that helped me the most would be Mathieu Schneider. I mean, he was a guy that I knew even before I got there; our dads are good friends and I know his brother really well. So I think coming in, he was the one guy that kind of brought me along, made me feel comfortable and really took care of me. It's weird, with all those good guys on that team, and everyone was great to me, but I thought Schneider really helped me. (from the article posted by the Montreal Gazette)

It's nice that all these years later, he is still remembered fondly for helping out the younger player (even if, in this case, Conroy isn't that much younger). It is something that I've heard said about him many times over.

[by the way, special thanks to longtime blog reader REK for prompting me to get off my butt and post this story]


Official announcement of the new job

The official announcmenet of Mathieu's new job from the NHLPA is posted on the associations website: NHLPA.com

Says Mathieu:
"Now that my playing career is over, I’m very excited to have the opportunity to continue to work on behalf of the players. I plan on drawing from my own understanding of the NHLPA and the game to help ensure that the players are educated on all matters relating to the Association and the Collective Bargaining Agreement.”

I guess that's his official retirement announcement, too.

I'm biased of course, but I think this is a very smart appointment. Mathieu knows his stuff about the league, and is respected by his player colleagues.


Yay! Mathieu has a new job. As expected he'll be working with Donald Fehr in some NHLPA capacity.

I'm in a Starbucks in Pittsburgh, PA, waiting for the Pens/Sharks game, so I'll update the blog when I get back to a computer.


Happy Groundhog Day!

I hear the little marmot DIDN'T see his shadow this morning. I'm sure that is a welcomed sign for midwesterns and east coasters being hammered by snow yet again. An early spring, starting, say around February 20th would be great. I'm freaking a little bit about my upcoming trip to Pittsburgh. A Californian in western Pennsylvania? It might be ugly.


Still number one in my heart, and in stats for now

I work at a college that has a 4-1-4 schedule. That is, in Fall and Spring semesters, students take 4 classes, and they take a single class in that weird month between. As a student, I liked JanTerm. It was intense fitting a semester into 4 weeks, but the course offerings were interesting and not the standard Fall or Spring semester classes.

Now as a I librarian here, I'm not a huge fan. It is regular school, so we offer full services. But half the students are on travel courses abroad, and the other half have very little research or hardcore studying to do. Thus, my Monday night shift at the Reference Desk is D-E-A-D.

I've caught up on professional readings. I've written a book review for a scholarly journal. I've gotten my in-box to almost 0 (it feels weird to be empty, so I always leave a few). What else is there to do?


This is a screen shot of wallpaper on my phone.

It is one of my favorite pictures. Though I'm not a fan of having a Red Wing jersey on my phone, it is the one photo I've seen of my two guys together. It's symbolic, too. Mathieu up front, B-Rad (close) behind.

A few weeks ago, I reminisced about Mathieu's 200th career NHL goal. The impetus of that was Brad Richards having scored his 200th career goal. Obviously, being a forward, it is expected that B-Rad will have higher offensive totals that Mathieu., though he has yet to over take Mathieu's totals. As of this moment, head-to-head, Mathieu still leads in all statistical categories.

Not for long, though.

At his current offensive production pace, B-Rad will surpass Mathieu's career goal total (223) in 31 more games, assist total (520) in 58 more games, and overall NHL career point total (743) in 49 more games.

Not sure if I should break out champagne for that, or huddle in a corner and cry.

But Mathieu can be assured he will never give up the lead to B-Rad in at least one statistical category: penalty minutes.  With 173 PIMs under his belt (or, an average of .23 minute per game), B-Rad would have to go full Enrico Ciccone for a few years to best Mathieu's 1,245 career minutes in the box.

Despite it all, that photo, a snapshot frozen in time, says what my heart knows. Mathieu is always first.


A new job?

Do not adjust your dials. This is not a test. There is actual Mathieu news to report. With the hiring of Donald Fehr as the NHLPA's new executive director, a lot of talk has gone into who will be his staff. One of the hiring committee members is getting some buzz as a possible person Fehr will tap:
"I know Mathieu reasonably well at this point, I've talked to him any number of times and he seems to me to be a first-rate and extraordinary individual. He certainly has an enormous amount of experience in the game and as far as I can tell has the respect of the players. He's the kind of individual that makes sense for that kind of a role. I'm not in a position today to discuss any specific hires or roles that any given individual might fill." (as reported by Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com)
Still not sure if that will happen, but keep your eyes posted. I've long thought that if Mathieu said in hockey after his playing days ended, I see in more of an "office job" than coaching or scouting. Seems like it might be something he is interested in, so we'll just have to see if it does happen.


Just because

I was organizing my iPhoto photo collections (that's what librarians do when they are on break), and I found a bunch of winners. This one warmed my heart.


Numero Cinco

I don't have anything particularly exciting to say. But this made me smile.

You know what's interesting about this? Dallas' power play stinks. Like, a lot. His stats would be insane if they could get the power play firing. Hmmm... Mathieu still needs a job...

(Also, just think of what Tampa Bay could have been. They could have had three guys in the top five. Oops. Oh well.)


On 200 goals

Let's reminisce. March 6, 2007. A lovely spring day in Detroit. (Maybe? I don't know, and I'm too lazy to go back and check the weather reports).

At 12:55 of the second period, the Red Wings break the 2-2 tie, and with assists from Robert Lang and Jiri Hudler, Mathieu Schneider scores his 200th career NHL goal. It's before the video embedding days, but there is a (grainy) video of the goal available on the game summary page: http://www.nhl.com/ice/boxscore.htm?id=2006020996.

Here is the post from this site commemorating the event (posted the following day), complete with quotes goodness:
March 7, 2007
Last night, after his milestone goal #200, Mathieu returned to the bench to be congratulated by his teammate. He was warmly greeted by Niklas Lidstrom, who scored his 200th just days earlier: "I got back to the bench and he said, 'Welcome to the club,' kid. He and I had a friendly bet with Langer at the beginning of the year; one of us wanted to beat Langer to 200, but he killed us, he got there way before both of us." Wait... "kid"? Isn't Lidstrom the kid compared to Mathieu? And more quotes post-game from Mathieu: "It's a special goal, obviously. I've been fortunate to be here on a great team, with great players, to have that opportunity. It's awful tough scoring those goals when you're on other teams. It's been a really good ride for me here in Detroit."
Mathieu had special reasons to score his 200th goal early in the game; his father-in-law sent him a cellphone message: "Get your 200th goal early because I have to watch 'House.'"
Finally, here is a clip for the scrapbook:
Schneider was the team's offensive hero in regulation, registering a goal and an assist. His goal came on a 1980s style rush up the ice. Schneider looked like he was Paul Coffey as he found a seam in the defense and jetted up the ice to score on a high wrist shot for the 200th goal of his carer. Robert Lang fed him the home run pass, but Schneider said it was Kyle Calder who created the play by getting out of the zone quickly to attract a defenseman. (from Kevin Allen of USA Today)
Ahhhh, the good old days. Despite the fact he was wearing that uniform, that video made me smile from ear to ear. I remember listening to the game via the Internet and I hopped out of my seat and squealed.

Of course, there had to be a reason this comes into my head today. A reason enough to actually get together a blog post. B-Rad scored his 200th career NHL goal last night. No end to end rush; no cutting through defensemen like a knife through butter, a la Mathieu Schneider. It was kind of a weird one. No one was sure it was actually a goal or not.

But it was:

And he was happy*:

Congrats Brad Richards. Now, only 23 more goals before you catch up to Mathieu Schneider. =)

*Yes, that's happy for him.


This makes me smile

Ok, um, it's a month into the season and this is still happening:

These stats make my head explode. In a good way:


Things I never thought I'd see:

A season with no Mathieu. Oh, and Brad Richards leading the league in... wait for it... plus/minus.  For serious. I kid you not. Here is proof:


A new season begins. A new chapter?

The hockey season has started and life feels whole again. But a little hole is missing from my whole. No Mathieu. =( There have been plenty of seasons that began without Mathieu in the line-up: there were injuries, and that one contract issue. But never in my 17+ years of hockey fandom has an NHL season begun without Mathieu at all. I guess I knew this day was coming, but it still stings.

Now if you need me, I'll be in the corner hugging me knees, rocking, softly weeping to myself.

But wait.... what is that? Is there something to take my mind of the fading into oblivion of my favorite player of all time? Well, not really.

But it's a nice distraction.

Look who popped up as a banner cover boy. (click to enlarge for full fabulousness)

And I know it's only 2 games into the season, but ladies and gentlemen, your NHL scoring leader is...

Not sure if the last name or the goal totals bumps him down to 3rd place

But honestly, it feels kind of shallow. I've been following Brad Richards since about 1999-2000, and always knew that one day he'd carry the coveted title of Sarah's Favorite Current NHL Player1, it just seems to fast. I mean, after 17+ years of fandom and Mathieu's career being barely cold and I'm moving on already?2 It feels so... so... so shallow.

Well, while I'm feeling shallow, might as well go all out....


1 Really, I hear rookies get in fights every year, battling it out who gets to be my favorite.

2 No, I'm not moving on. I'm just bored and wanted to post something.


It's fall

Yup, it is that time of year again. Kids are settled back in school. The nights are coming earlier. The leaves are falling of the trees. Pumpkins are in the grocery stores. It was warm, then it got cool, then it got hot again (that's typical for us in the Bay Area). And I just saw a WalMart Christmas commercial on TV.

Oh yeah, and hockey is starting.

Will Mathieu be starting hockey anywhere? Well, I just don't know. I haven't posted anything here not because I abandon the site, but because there has been nothing to report. Mathieu didn't attend any training camps. He didn't announce retirement. Didn't even hear any European league rumors.  All I know is Mathieu has continued to work with the NHLPA. That's the only time I see his name.

I'll keep my eyes and ears open for anything.

P.S. I did draft him in my fantasy hockey league. I couldn't not. Even if he does retire, The Fighting Lobsters will proudly hold a place on the bench in Mathieu's honor.


It's summer

There is absolutely nothing to report, and I can't think of anything interesting to say. So...

Here is a picture of Vincent Lecavalier riding an elephant.


Off-topic: Brads abound

Not much news to report on, so here is an off-topic post for the day. I wish I could do this with a Mathieu theme, but, alas, his name is too unique. Other than the beatboxing flutist, not many other Mathieu Schneiders are making news.  But Brad Richards? Yeah, he has a lot of people with his name out there and they pop up in some of the oddest ways in my Google News alerts.  Often times giggles come in the form of major news outlets confusing Brad and Mike Richards. But some are as far from hockey related as you can get.

Here are some examples of noteworthy Brad Richards' that have popped up in my RSS feeds in the last few months:
And the winner... for some odd reason a "plastic surgery, face lift, breast augmentation" blog popped up in my reader today. The preview said there was a post about a "Brad Richards" but I didn't see anything on the site about him (whoever he is). Not sure B-Rad is or should be in the market for any facial upgrades. He's looking pretty good. (Meow!) But I do now have great mental images of B-Rad getting new boobs.

ADDED NOTE: Being a responsible professional, I was thumbing through my copy of American Libraries today and learned that the new treasurer of the American Library Association is James Neal. I'm sure this James Neal is cool and all, but damn, how awesome would it be to have James "Real Deal" Neal handling the finances of the ALA? Oh, wait, it'd be funny, but doubtful that it'd be a solid fiscal choice. He'd probably blow all our dues on chicken wings and Dr Pepper.


Another year?

Oh, and how 'bout this snipet buried in one of the articles reporting on the head shots rule:
"Schneider, a soon-to-be free agent who intends to play again next season, is one of five players on the committee this year." (from the Globe and Mail)
Hmmmm.... not sure about my feelings on that. On one hand, if he still wants to play and feels he can still keep up, good on him. And I do kind of want my farewell tour. On the other hand, really? What are the Vegas odds on another year being like last year. Or the year before. I don't know if that could end well.