The 10 Most Fascinating NHL Teams of 2013

It’s been an eventful 2013 for the National Hockey League, which opened the year in January by resolving a lockout and conducting a shortened 48-game regular season, followed by a remarkable Stanley Cup playoffs and NHL Draft. Between the opening of the new 2013-14 season with all of its outdoor games and the anticipation leading up to the 2014 Winter Olympics, there have been plenty of interesting story lines for hockey fans to dig into this year.

But which NHL teams have drawn the most interest from US internet surfers? Using data from Google Trends, here are the 10 most searched-for teams from the year gone by:

#10 – Buffalo Sabres

Buffalo Sabres jerseyNew owner Terry Pegula has set the Buffalo fan base abuzz with anticipation given all the free agency moves and trades the team has conducted over the last couple years, and 2013 was an eventful one for the Sabres. Longtime head coach Lindy Ruff was fired in February, forwards Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek were traded away, and the team continued to struggle in the standings, all of which drew attention from hockey fans.

What really pushed Buffalo on to this list, however, was the debut of their new third jersey, roundly criticized as one of the most spectacularly awful hockey sweaters in recent memory.

Next: #9 – A Star is Reborn

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“Behind The Moves” book review: A unique look at NHL general managers

Can you name the only general manager in NHL history to win a Stanley Cup with more than one team?

Probably not, and that’s just one example of how GM’s labor in relative obscurity in the National Hockey League.

Players’ and head coaches’ accomplishments are well-known and celebrated, but how much do we really know about the way GM’s work, and what the members of this elite group really say about each other? A fantastic new book, Behind The Moves, gives you a look into the world of the NHL General Manager…
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The Business of Sports: Comparing the NHL to NFL, NBA, MLB & more

How does the National Hockey League stack up against the NFL, NBA, MLB, and other major sports organizations? How does the sports industry break down in terms of how many people work in various aspects of the business? The answers might surprise you.

If you like the infographic that follows, make sure to use one of the buttons at the top of this post to share it via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and more!

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How to properly fit a hockey helmet

Isn’t it worth a few moments of your time to help protect yourself or your young hockey player from a severe brain injury?

Chris Clark demonstrates the proper fit of a hockey helmet - snug, with the chin strap tight

Now THAT's a nice, tight chin strap. (Photo credit: 5of7)

Hockey helmets are perhaps the single most important piece of protective hockey equipment, but all too often, they aren’t used to the best of their capabilities. They sit too loosely on a player’s head, or the chin strap dangles far lower than necessary, allowing the helmet to fly off in the event of a collision, just when it’s really needed most.

So make sure to review the following video, for a few invaluable tips on how to make sure your hockey helmet fits correctly. [Read more...]

2014 NHL Winter Classic puts the spotlight on Ann Arbor, a great American hockey town

With the recent announcement that the 2014 NHL Winter Classic will be held at Michigan Stadium between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs, the spotlight of the hockey world is going to shine on a tremendously underrated hockey town in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Whether you’re a hockey player young or old, male or female, a complete rookie or grizzled veteran, or like to play indoors vs. outdoors, Ann Arbor has something to offer for everyone. [Read more...]

Chicago Blackhawks-style Reebok ZigLite NHL running shoes

Chicago Blackhawks Reebok ZigLite NHL Running ShoesRunning shoes are always a great gift idea for the active Chicago Blackhawks fan in your life, and these Hawks-themed Reebok ZigLite NHL running shoes are a perfect way to combine personal development with the pride of being a fan of the 2013 Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. Although, who’s kidding, they’re also a great way to invest in your own health & well-being, too!

HockeyMonkey Coupon Code: Now through April 28 2014, save 10% on ALL ORDERS using coupon code EASTER10!

There’s a tremendous motivational boost one gets by bringing your pride in the Blackhawks to your exercise routine. While pushing hard through the tough miles and stretching your own personal boundaries, it can help to visualize some of your favorite Hawks like Jonathan Toews or Patrick Kane fighting their way through the opposition on their way to a highlight-reel goal. [Read more...]

Train like a champion with Boston Bruins ZigLite NHL running shoes from Reebok

Boston Bruins Reebok ZigLite NHL Running ShoesOne popular gift idea for the active hockey fan in your life is a new set of training shoes, and these Boston Bruins-themed ZigLite NHL running shoes from Reebok are a great way to combine personal development with the pride of being a B’s fan.

But hey, there’s nothing wrong with getting some for yourself, too! After all, a great pair of training shoes is really an investment in your own health & well-being. You’ll get more out of your workouts, which leads to exercising more often, which leads to better performance… it’s the foundation of a virtuous cycle that builds upon itself. [Read more...]

Super-charge your game with the Easton Stealth RS

How many times have you come back to the bench frustrated after having a golden scoring opportunity fire wide of the goal, or get a prime chance right there in the slot, only to flub the puck meekly into the goalie’s pads?

It’s easy to beat yourself up over those moments, replaying them in your head and thinking about what you might do differently if given a second chance. I know I’ve done it many times myself! While hockey players know that they should put frustration behind them and focus only on the task at hand, it’s just human nature to try and avenge those mistakes. [Read more...]

How to clean your hockey equipment

One of the most consistent questions I see out there related to hockey gear is how to keep your equipment clean – besides the need to eliminate “The Stench”, that foul, uniquely characteristic odor which emanates from gloves and other equipment that has sat in your bag for too long, there are also safety issues to consider. Damp areas with stagnant air are perfect breeding ground for all sorts of nasty bacteria, which can lead to serious health issues if left unaddressed.

So what we’ll cover here is what you’ll need to do on a game-by-game basis, along with the occasional cleaning job. For each of those, we’ll talk about the bare minimum requirements, a recommended solution, and the prime choice for those looking for the best solution. [Read more...]

4 Great Hockey Training Resources For Skaters And Goalies

As we approach the end of hockey season, it’s time to think about off-ice hockey training, and getting yourself organized with the proper program and equipment to both get the best results, and help protect yourself from injury. Don Cherry made this point on the opening of the February 5, 2011 edition of Coach’s Corner on Hockey Night in Canada:

Hockey Training Programs

Hockey Speed and Power by Kevin MeihmOne such product is Hockey Speed and Power (regularly $69.99, now on sale for $47) by former NHL player Kevin Meihm, which features programs tailored to various age groups (8-11 year olds, 12-14, and 15 to adult). It’s a comprehensive system developed over his 15 years of professional hockey experience, and his post-playing career as a strength and conditioning coach. The program itself is based on one he developed for the OHL’s Belleville Bulls, which has fostered future NHL players like Montreal Canadien P.K. Subban and Jason Spezza of the Ottawa Senators.

Top Secret Off-Ice Hockey Training by Brandon NauratoAnother interesting offering is Brandon Naurato’s Top Secret Off-Ice Hockey Training ($97), a complete system that covers both in- and off-season training, along with a nutrition guide specifically designed with the hockey player in mind. One innovative feature here is the series of videos that you can access on an iPhone or iPod Touch, which demonstrate the various exercises involved, so you can make sure you’re doing them properly, wherever you are.

Premier Hockey Training by Chris CollinsChris Collins’ Premier Hockey Training ($87) starts from a different premise, with the very first module being an assessment of your individual physical condition, so you can get started by addressing your specific weaknesses, rather than use a generic program. Besides providing information on conditioning, strength training and nutrition, this plan also addresses recovery time, which is an essential concern for hockey players who often have to play multiple games or practices over the course of a weekend, and want to play as strongly at the end as they do at the beginning.

Hockey Training For Goalies

Rapid Response Goalie Training by Maria MountainGoalies, too, have their own specific needs, so there’s another set of tools recommended for you keepers. Rapid Response Goalie Training, created by fitness professional and goaltending specialist Maria Mountain, consists or workout routines which typically last 20-40 minutes, are done 2-4 times per week, but will help develop the strength, flexibility, and explosiveness that are uniquely required of goaltenders. It includes a nutrition guide, over 2.5 hours of workout videos, and of course the Rapid Response Training Manual, which covers everything you need for a goaltender-specific training program to both improve performance and help avoid injury.

Start becoming a stronger, faster hockey player – today!

These days, hockey players can’t be content to simply show up in the fall and expect to work themselves into shape; if you want to stand out from the pack, you need to come into camp ready to compete. My favorite example there is Nashville Predators forward Joel Ward, who came to camp in September 2008 as a 27-year-old career minor leaguer with all of 11 games of NHL experience. He jumped the line to earn a regular job, however, becoming a fixture in the lineup over the next three seasons, and now faces free agency this summer after leading his team in scoring during the playoffs. The turning point was that training camp performance in 2008 when he won that NHL roster spot that didn’t seem like it was ever going to come.

It’s nice to want to develop your athletic abilities and skill set as a hockey player, but going about it on your own isn’t just going to deliver sub-par results, it can be dangerous as well. Make sure to check out Kevin Meihm’s Hockey Speed and Power, Brandon Naurato’s Top Secret Off-Ice Hockey Training, Chris Collins’ Premier Hockey Training and/or Maria Mountain’s Rapid Response Goalie Training, to give yourself the best chance to have a productive off-season. The great thing about all of these resources is that they are available for immediate download, so you don’t need to pay for shipping or wait for a package to arrive in your mailbox. Choose the program you like, make your purchase, and get started on becoming a better ice hockey player right now.

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