Monthly Archives: June 2011
Union College is usually highlighted for basketball. However in recent years hockey has brought a lot of eyes on the town of Schenectady, NY. The past two ice hockey seasons have shown success as one of its stars is leaving Union College early to enter the NHL. Keith Kinkaid, the 2011 Ken Dryden Award winning goalie, has been signed by the New Jersey Devils.
I had the opportunity to speak with Jeff Weinstein, the Assistant Sports Information Director for Hockey, about Keith and his time at Union.
Union College has a big commitment towards hockey and the coaches and staff do a great deal of scouting. They often find players that are overlooked, the best kept secrets in hockey. The dedication to scouting has paid off with Keith Kinkaid. He won the starting goaltending position halfway through his first season and started the ECAC Finals against Cornell all in his freshman year. In his sophomore year he lead Union to their first NCAA Division 1 appearance – which might have raised some eyebrows for the Devils. This was Union’s first appearance in the national tournament since making the move to Division 1 in 1991.
Keith’s road to success started a little later than some. A lot of players are looked at from a young age. It wasn’t until his year playing with the St. Louis Bandits in the North America Hockey League that he began to get some attention. That year’s hard work turned a lot of heads. While with St. Louis Bandits, Kinkaid had a GAA at 1.78 and a record of 30-5-4. He helped lead the Bandits to their third consecutive NAHL Championship. Keith posted a 10-2 record with a GAA of 1.12 in the playoffs. Union Hockey became interested in Keith and the scouts and organization were able to convince him to come join the Dutchmen where his success continued.
Talking with Jeff Weinstein, I was able to find out a little more about this young goaltender. Keith has a fun personality and is always smiling but is prepared and ready for those big games. I asked more about Keith’s style of play since many fans have yet to see Kinkaid in action. Kinkaid stays in position and does not give up a lot of rebounds. Keith’s style is more of a hybrid, not a stand up or a butterfly. As a Devils’ fan this makes me believe he has a similar style and approach to our own Martin Brodeur.
Since he was able to earn a spot and lead Union to a NCAA appearance within two years, lets see how quickly we see Keith at the NHL level.
Thanks again to Jeff Weinstein of Union College for the interview and insight into Keith Kinkaid.
Before Ilya Kovalchuk was the Atlanta Thrashers’ number one pick in 2001, he played two seasons in Russia for HC Spartak Moscow. When his NHL career began he was nominated for the Calder Memorial Trophy as league rookie-of-the-year. He has since then made three NHL All-Star appearances and won the Rocket Richard Trophy as the league’s leading goal scorer in 2004.
Kovalchuk was traded to the New Jersey Devils in February of 2010 after eight seasons with the Thrashers. After multiple contract offers and some controversial deals, Kovalchuk signed a 15 year, $100 million contract with the Devils.
After a slow first half of the season, Kovalchuk started to get back on his game and lit up. He had multiple streaks throughout the season and plenty of game winning goals (9 to be exact, 50 in his entire career). It was against the Leafs that he scored a game winning goal to give coach Jacques Lemaire his 600th win. In April of 2011, Kovalchuk played his 700th career game (again, against the Maple Leafs!) and got his 700th point on the same night.
He finished his first full season with the Devils with 31 goals and 29 assists for 60 points.
Kovalchuk has played in several IIHF World Championships, the World Cup and the Winter Olympics collecting a few gold, silver and bronze medals since 2001. Playing for Team Russia in this year’s IIHF World Championship sent him home with another silver medal.
We love having him on our team and look forward to watching him keep playing in red. I like to call him Goalvalchuk, what’s your nickname of choice?
|2010-2011 Season Stats|
If you’re a Devils fan, you’ve got more reason than ever to be proud of our organization. This week, the Devils and The Prudential Center were honored by the Environmental Protection Agency for their food collection program called “Rock and Wrap it Up.”
According to NJ.com, our home away from home is the only arena in the nation that provides food pantries with donations after every single event. Through this program, all untouched, prepared food is collected and distributed to various charities including Mount Vernon Missionary Baptist Church in Newark and St. Philomena’s Church in Livingston.
Since its inception in October of 2010, the Rock and Wrap it Up program has collected nearly 10,000 lbs of food and helped reduce its carbon footprint by an estimated day’s worth of Turnpike traffic!
Next time you come out to a Devils game (or come to enjoy one of the many other events being hosted at The Rock), you can feel great knowing that our organization is raising the bar in terms of community service!
Congratulations Devils! And congratulations Prudential Center staff on your outstanding achievement!
Summer is in full swing and although I’ve been busy with my horseback riding, I still find myself looking forward to the fall and Devils hockey! Every day I take a look around at all the memorabilia I’ve collected and it reminds me of all the fun I’ve been having the past few seasons. I’ve got some pretty unusual items. Everyone knows I’m a huge Devils fan, so I end up with lots of Devils related “stuff.” Naturally, I’ve got a couple of favorites.
One gift, a giant red pig with horns, ended up being passed around the Player’s Award Ceremony back in March, and is now protected by a custom glass case. When my family had the case made, the people we ordered it from were curious as to what we were putting in such an oddly sized display case. Since they plan to update their website and wanted to show other potential customers their products, they asked if we minded sending them a photo that they could share. So we did! The company’s employees enjoyed the photo and were extremely interested in our story about the “Devil Pig.” We pretty much had an entire “what the heck IS that?” discussion via email!
Another unusual item in my collection of “stuff” (and one of the most thoughtful gifts I’ve ever received) came from my boyfriend at Christmas. He knows I love my horses and my Devils, and I go out of my way at every opportunity to combine the two. One Halloween at a horse show, I dressed my horse as a referee, while I dressed as a Devils player (and we were featured on the Devils Army submission page proudly showing off our costume!). The following year, I had my father photograph my horse and I galloping around a field in Devils gear (also showcased here and on the Devils Army Blog!). Well, this summer, thanks to my boyfriend, my horse and I get to ride in style in a one-a-kind “Devils Cavalry” saddle pad! He picked out the pad, came up with the idea and had it specially embroidered. Naturally, it’s one of my favorite pieces of riding gear!
That all being said, the discussion with the custom display case company, and my saddle pad being something I think is unique, got me thinking about all the neat things other fans may have collected over the years. So, what’s your favorite or most unique item in your collection? Leave a comment and submit your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins are fighting for the Holy Grail, the Stanley Cup. Whether you have a rooting interest or not you can not deny that this series of games is always the most exciting to watch. The Devils Generals are hosting a viewing party to watch Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
This Saturday at 8PM, join us at Hells Kitchen in Newark for some hockey and sangria. It’s walking distance from that place we call home (The Rock!) and home to many pre-game parties and events during the regular season. Of course there will be drink specials and giveaways so be there!
Here’s what you need to know:
Saturday, June 4th @ 8PM
- Happy hour drafts
- $15 pitchers of sangria
- $28 bud vessels
- $4 lemon drop shots & $3 bomb shots
Easy, right? RSVP on Facebook or comment to let us know you’re coming along!
The Atlanta Thrashers were sold to True North Sports and Entertainment. True North’s purchase of the team has been announced and the team will be moved to Winnipeg, Canada. The announcement was made at the MTS Centre in Winnepeg where the team will play after the sale is approved by the NHL Board of Governors in mid-June.
The Jets played in Winnipeg until 1996, when the team was relocated to Phoenix. After the Coyotes announced plans to stay in Phoenix for at least one more season, True North successfully acquired the NHL’s other misplaced southern US franchise.
The Jets moved out of Canada when the Canadian dollar was worth roughly 73 cents American. With player salaries paid in American dollars, but all ticket, merchandise, and other purchases made in Canadian dollars, relocation to the US made sense despite the loyal fan base. Hockey teams with small arenas were not profitable in the 1990s. Now that the two countries’ dollar values are nearly equal, Canada appears to be slated to get another team back. They also have a new arena that currently hosts an AHL team, Manitoba Moose.
The franchise’s leading scorer is our very own Ilya Kovalchuk. He had 328 goals and 287 assists for the Thrashers from 2001 to 2010, where he averaged better than a point per game.