Westbound and down

If you find a black wallet with no money, no credit cards and no pieces of I.D. on a street, sidewalk or dumpster around the city, it likely belongs to Dump (aka Mike).

No sense re-living the gut-wrenching details of why he left his wallet in the vehicle overnight (crime prevention 101), why the vehicle was unlocked overnight (flicking the power window switch does not guarantee security) and why some numbskull picked that particular cul-de-sac to inflict so much pain and suffering (two hours on hold with the bank).

That’s how the 2019 Great Canadian Road Trip to Regina began for Dump and Chase (aka Jay) on Thursday morning. An early start was shot to smithereens as Mike cancelled credit cards and made arrangements to get a new one for the weekend six hours away at the NHL’s Heritage Classic outdoor game between the Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames. He’s got cash stuffed inside a birthday card envelope, and he’s carrying around his passport (not required at the Saskatchewan border).

Gratefully, we arrived safe and sound late in the afternoon, swung by Brandt Centre — home of the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League — to pick up our media accreditation and then crossed the street to Mosaic Stadium to sneak a peek at the dolled-up home of the Roughriders. No such luck. All doors to the temporary rink were locked to outsiders, so we’ll have to wait until the clubs test out the surface Friday night.

We fully expect to generate some material this weekend for a future installment of D&C, while avoiding any time of petty thefts in the process. Wish us luck. For now, enjoy the stuff we cobbled together from the hockey world over the last seven days.

Pre-game warmup

It’s a trend we’re starting to see across the NHL – morning skates are going the way of the dodo bird.

Jets coach Paul Maurice recently spoke about the matter, saying he doesn’t believe they necessarily serve a purpose and he’d rather get more out of actual practice days than game-day dress rehearsals.

Fair enough. Safe to say that when the concept first started, players didn’t always keep themselves in the pristine shape most do these days, and there were definitely cobwebs from the night before that needed to be worked out.

Now we all know Maurice is fairly eloquent and has a way with words, but nothing that came out of his mouth on the matter could compare to the brilliant way Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan explained his disdain for the tradition.

Anyone out there suddenly have a hankerin’ for ham?


Speaking of coaches with memorable things to say, allow us to introduce you to Petter Lasu Nilsson.

Safe to say the bench boss of Luleau of the Swedish Hockey League thought the men in stripes had done a less-than-stellar job during his team’s game that night.

Specifically, he didn’t like a goal that had been overturned due to goalie interference, and wanted everyone watching at home to know it.

The end result was a truly epic rant that should go straight to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

We’re guessing Nilsson’s a little lighter in the wallet after that, but from where we stand, it was well worth it.

First period

From an all-timer interview with an irate coach to an all-timer interview with an adorable young hockey player.

A recent “Mite of the Night” feature from the Washington Capitals, in which they briefly chat with a kid who played during the intermission game, took a series of unexpected turns.

Rather than the usual shy, perhaps somewhat awkward reaction you often get in these things, little Jackson came firing on all cylinders and quickly became the highlight of the night.

From his goal-scoring description to his tarantula named Michael to the lessons everyone should take away from the game, we think Jackson has a pretty bright future no matter where life happens to take him. 


The Anaheim Ducks made sure to welcome back legendary forward Teemu Selanne to the Honda Center last weekend, and it came as a shock to the former Jets sniper.

During the Ducks’ battle with the Flames on Sunday, Anaheim’s in-house production crew panned the crowd for a Teemu Selanne Look-Alike Cam segment and, naturally, flashed the face of the Finnish Flash on the Jumbotron.

Selanne catches a glimpse of himself as he’s stuffing food into his mouth and then recoils in mock horror at being caught on the cam, before grinning for his adoring fans. 

Some fans weren’t convinced, figuring the hall-of-famer had a doppelganger. Come on, folks. There’s only one Teemu!

Second period

It’s an age-old tradition among pro athletes: you want to take an already-spoken for number? You’re going to have to pay.

Sports is filled with examples of this happening, usually when a new, veteran player joins a team and the digits he’s worn forever are on someone else’s back.

And while negotiations are usually kept top-secret, every now and then a story emerges of what it took to get the deal done.

And sometimes, the tales are absolutely gold.

Such was the case this week of Florida’s Frank Vatrano, who has worn No. 72 for quite some time but suddenly had competition when the Panthers inked free agent goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who was also No. 72 with his former team, the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Turns out Vatrano had a hilarious price that Bobrovsky was willing to meet. 

Sure, watches are nice and wine is fine, but we here at D & C believe the burger was the ultimate difference-maker.


We’ve been pretty up front about our fondness for Gritty, the Philadelphia Flyers, lovably, furry and freakish mascot.

We’ve featured him in pretty much every edition of Dump & Chase since he was first unleashed upon the hockey world at the start of last season.

That said, our affection has a limit, and it’s nowhere near the level of this particular fan, who let the whole world know just how much of a mark Gritty has left on him.

Literally. 

A little bit tough to stomach, don’t you think?

Third period

Brad Marchand has been called a lot of things in his career: A terrific goal-scorer. A skilled play-maker. A strong two-way forward. A pest. A weasel. A licker. And many other things not fit for print in a family-friendly publication.

Well, perhaps it’s time to add one more title to the long list: a ninja.

The Boston Bruins forward displayed some serious evasive skills the other night after delivering one of his patented cross-checks, naturally, to an Anaheim Ducks player.

Knowing that some retribution was likely coming his way, Marchand pulled off a duck of his own and managed to avoid any contact. 

 Say what you will about the player, but that’s a pretty impressive move.


Puppies and kitties and ‘Canes, oh my!

That barely recognizable ode to the Wizard of Oz comes courtesy of Chase, basically the only thing he could think of to introduce the next segment.

The Carolina Hurricanes welcomed some new teammates to the rink earlier this week, some dogs and cats in need of homes. The animals were from a local shelter and will be featured in a fundraising calendar with several Carolina players. 

Nothing like cuddles from some furry friends to tear down the tough façade of hockey players.

Overtime

Speaking of animals, it was quite the sight at a recent Western Hockey League game between Moose Jaw and Lethbridge when the normal intermission game between pint-sized players was replaced by something a bit more pre-historic. 

And no, as some wiseacres have suggested, this is not what the Winnipeg Jets depleted blue-line looks like these days.


You know the old saying, “When it rains, it’s pours.” Well, that was literally the case the other night inside the Staples Center in Los Angeles as the Kings were set to hit the ice. 

Who knew you needed an umbrella to cover an indoor hockey game?

Shootout

We’re blessed to work with a very special group of people at the Free Press. There are some long, tough shifts but we always play as a team. The bond between Jill Wilson and Al Small is proof of that.

Al really needed a kidney. Jill really needed her close friend around. You see where this is going.

If you haven’t read the remarkable tale, please take the time right now by going to the story here. It will make your day. For those of us who know and cherish these two terrific people, it made our year.


We’re all about having fun around here, not to mention paying tribute to some of the good guys in the game who bring the joy level to those around them.

Devan Dubnyk, step right up.

The Minnesota Wild goaltender took a seat earlier this week during a game in Montreal, with fellow netminder Alex Stalock getting the starting nod.

Cameras caught the 33-year-old having some fun with a young Canadiens fan who was quite taken by his unique mask.

Dubnyk then earned plenty of stick taps from us by allowing the youngster to even try it on for a few seconds.

Well done!


Got a suggestion for a future edition of Dump & Chase? Let us know about it.

mike.mcintyre@freepress.mb.ca and jason.bell@freepress.mb.ca

And follow Dump & Chase on Twitter.

Mike is @mikemcintyrewpg, while Jason can be found @WFPJasonBell

Your weekly trip around the world of hockey.

Want to receive this as an email?

View original article here Source