George Parros has been something of an on-going meme here in Snowman land: Princeton, NJ high school and Devils youth player, stache, good works, answer to a trivia question, and a talent deserving wider recognition. Today, he announced his retirement, nine seasons, five NHL teams and one Stanley Cup after leaving Tiger Town. He holds the distinction of being the first Princetonian with his name on the Stanley Cup (trivia question) and is solid proof that sometimes you adapt your skills to the situation. He did more for local charities and the literal face of hockey than many, and whatever scoring touch he lacked on the ice he more than compensated for with his active and thoughtful representation on the NHL player’s association, including a critical role in resolving the last labor mess.
Locomotives all around for Parros.
Movember is an organization that raises awareness for men’s health issues, particularly prostate cancer. As part of their efforts, they sponsor a mustache growing contest as a way to garner funds, “change the face” of men’s health issues, all under the mashed-up banner of Mo (stache) and the month of November.
Snowman and Tiger favorite George Parros of the Anaheim Ducks, wielder of a big stick but bigger stache (the Ducks sell fake Parros-staches in the concession areas), shaved his trademark non-playoff facial hair for Movember. Just another reason to like the guy.
Thanks to Wally McDonough for this one.
Last night was possibly the first time two Princeton University hockey alumni have scored goals in the NHL on the same night. Darroll Powe scored for the Flyers (his second) and George Parros picked one up for the Ducks (unassisted, his first of the year) on a slick breakaway off of a blocked shot. (NHL video link)
It’s also something of a banner year with five former Tigers in the league. In addition to Powe and Parros, Jeff Halpern (2 G 1 A) is skating for the Canadiens, blueliner Mike Moore just played his first game with the San Jose Sharks, and Kevin Westgarth has skated seven games for the LA Kings.
Hip, hip, tiger, tiger, biscuit, basket, boom, boom, bah, then cue Muse’s Uprising.
Princeton senior Cam MacIntyre was signed by the San Jose Sharks today. He’s off to the little Sharks in Worcester, MA, and it remains to be seen how he’ll recover from a senior year that left him watching the game from the stands, injured, more than playing on the ice. But he joins former teammate Kevin Westgarth in the AHL, and I’m thrilled that the Sharks want to place a bet on him. Since Jeff Halpern re-ignited a Princeton presence in the NHL, it seems like there’s at least one player a year who makes the jump from ECAC to AHL to NHL: Chris Corrinet (Capitals), George Parros (Kings, then Ducks), Westgarth (Kings), Mike Moore (Sharks), Darroll Powe (Flyers), and now MacIntyre.
Also signing an AHL contract this week was Tiger goalie Zane Kalemba (Norfolk Admirals). Most of these guys weren’t drafted; they are being signed as free agents so that the clubs can get a look at them and let them mature even further as players.
I broke down and ordered the NHL Center Ice package tonight. It was actually a Facebook conversation with a co-worker that convinced me it was worth the $172 for the next six months, or as he put it, less than the cost of going to two games. My interest started with a sincere interest in seeing Mike Cammalleri, Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez take on the Bruins tonight. What I got was a lingering taste of the seven-plus years Mrs. Snowman and I spent in the Boston suburbs, channeling NESN on a 17-inch TV. It’s still NESN carrying the Bruins home game, but it’s in HD — a little bit of old school Boston sports mixed with geographic diversity. Given that all of the out of market games are redirections of local coverage, I’m looking forward to getting to know the broadcast voices of the Lightning, Canadiens, Ducks, Hawks and perhaps the Flyers, as I follow some brand name as well as lesser-known but fun to watch players (Halpern, Powe and Parros, along with Madden, Toews, Gomez, Cammalleri and Gionta).
Snowman favorite George Parros picked up his first of the year, ending a 21-game stretch without a goal that extended into last spring. It was a weird night, including a goal that Joffrey Lupul put in off of the glass stanchion near the blue line.
Minor disclaimer: Just got back from vacation, after a wickedly rough December, which is why the blog has been quiet and my loud Devils thoughts have remained unvoiced. But lots of time in airports, airplanes and transit gave me reason to catch up on The Hockey News back issues, and spurred me to capture some of not so quiet thoughts that resulted.
Case in point, that of course starts with another disclaimer. I am not a fantasy hockey player, nor do I play one on TV, nor does anyone have me in their asthma league fantasy team (sorry if that one made you puke a bit). But I think I now have the perfect counter-indicator for fantasy players: The Hockey News. It’s not quite as bad as the Sports Illustrated cover curse but it’s up there.
Marty Brodeur on the cover early this year: I didn’t even finish the issue before Marty was clutching his torn tendon. That was the early warning indicator for me, the beacon that perhaps THN was so out of phase that it could be the anti-news source.
Here’s the latest: December 1 issue, page 8, the bi-weekly “plus/minus” roundup of who’s on the wax and wane on the icy plane — and you could have made serious ground up in your league by shorting the printed word. On the plus side: plaudits for Roberto Luongo, who then began fighting off injury as well. On the minus side: cross-bow shot at Patrik Elias, asking how he turned into “only” a 20-goal scorer post lockout. No sooner did the ink dry on this one than Patrik ran up a 10 game point streak and is bumping up against 20 goals before the halfway point in the season (to be precise: 17 goals in 37 games, putting him tied for 17th in the league). Perhaps they meant “top 20 goal scorer” and not just “20 goal scorer”?
It’s not so much the lack of timeliness in reporting here; it’s the complete lack of journalistic effort. “Do the work,” as critic-owner Mark Cuban would say. Elias missed the first half of the first post-lockout season recovering from a bout with Hepatitis A; last season he played more center than left wing and was involved in enough line combinations that you needed a periodic table of the Sutter elements to figure it out. Hard to score goals when you aren’t sure if you’re play making, checking, shooting or figuring out a new coach and system. If you want to make this section interesting, how about offering some insight into your comments, so perhaps those of us who actually follow the sport (and the players mentioned) can grasp some of the underlying rhyme even if it’s lacking in reason?
If THN wants to pick on someone’s lagging production in front of the net, how about Gomez? THN would no sooner pick on the Rangers and their staff than it would endorse George Parros as a good role model.
I think I’m starting to enumerate the reasons I should not renew my subscription to The Hockey News – aside from reporting that redefines “timeliness” the same way my health care provider does, they seem to carry grudges from year to year. Latest example comes from the December 19th issue, page 19, in the Player Poll section examining whether the league should crack down on head contact. The grab picture above the text: personal favorite George Parros finishing a solid check against a Blue Jacket. It’s a horrible choice of picture for as many reasons as there are points of view in the head shot debate: At 6′ 5″, Parros is simply bigger than a lot of guys he’s going to check, so naturally he comes up higher with his arms. THN has routinely called Parros out in any discussion of fighting and enforcers. Do they just enjoy picking on Parros in the face of so many other examples that might emphasize their shots at head shots more clearly – say, Chris Simon or Todd Bertuzzi?
Personal opinion: if the NHL wants to cut down on head contact, they need to reach down to the junior, high school, midget and bantam levels, working with USA Hockey and the IIHF, to clearly establish “rules of play” that clearly draw lines between a sloppy check (or a size mismatch) and a potential injury-causing play. They did it for obstruction, which has more shades of gray than the Wall Street Journal’s photo reproductions, so head contact shouldn’t be such a tough call for officials or the press. The number of high hits I’m seeing in youth hockey this year is staggering — and they remain uncalled, while obstruction penalties are at least following the spirit of USA Hockey’s guidelines for improved play flow.
But back to Parros for a minute. Reading materials less known for their NHL astuteness have done a great job covering his career, including this piece in USA Today. When “the nation’s newspaper” gets a better bead on your poster child than you do, get worried. What’s even more telling is how USA Hockey, the bathroom reader that arrives monthly to anyone registered as a youth player in the US, portrayed Parros last summer: as intelligent, focused on youth sportsmanship, and generous with his time and funds. Parros and his trademark mustache graced the cover doing something good. What a concept. When the media holds up role models – and tells kids what we expect of them, what makes them heros in the statistical categories that don’t result in hardware but hard-earned appreciation, then it’s encouraging the right debates.
It’s been a great month if you follow the exploits of former Princeton Tigers in professional sports. George Parros, former captain of Princeton’s ice hockey team (and NJ high school standout) became the first Princetonian to win the Stanley Cup. He joins a reasonable list of Ivy Leaguers on Lord Stanley’s Cup, including Canadian politician Ken Dryden (Cornell).
Earlier this week, another Tiger tale emanated from another post-graduate first: Padres pitcher Chris Young was voted to the MLB All-Star Game, riding a wave of fan interest, local support, and mlb.com’s inclusion of on-line and SMS tallies. Young is the first Princetonian to make an All-Star team, and only the sixth Ivy League graduate to be given the recognition. He joins some heady company, as the first Ivy All-Star did his undergrad work at Columbia, then went across the East River to play for the Yankees: Lou Gehrig.
Kevin Shattenkirk, former New Jersey Devils Youth Hockey Club player, and sometime Boston University Terrier, was drafted 14th, in the first round, by the Colorado Avalanche. Way cool stuff. Perhaps Colorado has a quota on former Jersey boys: they picked up NJDYHC alum George Parros last year on waivers, but then made him just Ducky in a trade with Anaheim. To maintain their token Jersey limit, they started skating former Devils D-man Ken Klee. If Shattenkirk makes the big club, does someone else from Jersey have to ask “What exit?” on their way out of the locker room?
Perhaps it’s me, but I think having one round of the draft on Friday night is dumb. It’s not like they are going to get whopper TV ratings if it was broadcast in the middle of a Saturday afternoon, but it does crimp the style of some of the clubs (like the Devils) that would have draft day parties. Nobody is going to show up for 30 picks (especially when the Devils have none of them). Last year I ended up doing some shopping in the Devils surplus and locker room clean out extravaganza, and I got a cool poster that doubled as a rain hat when thunderstorms blew in.