Tag Archive | "tampa bay cheerleaders"

NHL Bolts off to sizzling start

It’s early in the season but one has to think that Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman has to be a strong candidate for Executive of the Year. Yzerman, ‘went all in’ as those guys who drink energy shots might say, acquiring eight new players including Pavel Kubina, Brett Clark, Dan Ellis, Niklas Persson, Dominic Moore, and in the biggest move, Simon Gagne.

Now Gagne may currently be injured, which was a concern leading into this season, but he’ll be back. For even with the durability risk, Gagne is exactly type of player the Lightning have not had on offense, a big power forward who can hit, and score both pretty and ugly goals in front of the net. Trading Matt Walker and a fourth round pick? That’s a trade you do every time if you are the Lightning.

The NHL is a funny place. You have a Stanley Cup winner in the Chicago Blackhawks who were forced to dump a third of their roster in order to fall under the salary cap, and you have a team like the Lightning who despite missing the playoffs and not being in a traditional hockey market, behaved as if this was a Stanley Cup or bust year.

But brining those players in would have meant little to nothing had the Lightning not already had a solid nucleus to build upon. They do, with crafty veteran Vincent LeCavalier, the undersized and undervalued Martin St. Louis, who Tampa was able to re-sign this offseason, and early contender for league MVP, Steve Stamkos, who has attacked the NHL with the tenacity of Chris Berman at open buffet, posting ten assists and eight goals in his first nine games.

With Gagne and Steve Downie, St. Louis and Stamkos, the Lightning have the perfect mixture of grit and speed, size and craftiness. With strong contributors like Ryan Malone, Sean Bergenheim and Moore, the Lightning also have more than enough role players to help carry the load.

And yet the Lightning are not perfect. Only New Jersey, (yes I am the idiot who predicted they’d win the Stanley Cup) has a worse goal against average in the East than the Lightning. The Lightning, despite their depth, are also a very top heavy team right now as the first line of St. Louis, Stamkos and Downie have combined for 15 of the Lightning’s 32 goals.

This however, is only a small blemish on a team that despite having some many new pieces, is tied for first in points in the East, and is playing the type of fast, crisp hockey that the NHL should want to promote.

Judging his recent poll numbers, and looking back at their atrocious opening night, the Tampa Bay Lightning may soon also be invited by Barack Obama and the Miami Heat to speak about ‘change.’

Used with permission of the author.

Based in Washington, D.C. Michael Hoffman has covered D.C. sports for numerous publications and is the Washington Redskins columnist and Washington Capitals columnist for Examiner.com. Hoffman is also an NFL and NHL contributor to Sports Climax.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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Oilers following lead of NHL cheerleaders

Ms. Lisi Monro, a fan of the NHL Edmonton Oilers is upset that they team has decided to make the bold move to create a cheerleading squad. We’ve heard it all before. The use of beautiful women in skimpy costumes objectifies women and is offensive to fans of all genders, but mostly women.

It isn’t a novel argument. In fact it is one steeped in the era of the creation of the Playboy empire. Are we still hashing through the reason why people enjoy seeing cheerleaders at sporting events? We are in Canada, especially when they become attached to an NHL franchise. It will be a first for any team in the league located within that country’s confines.

Monro has put a petition on line to gather signatures in protest. Despite that, the team’s CEO and President, Patrick LaForge told the Montreal Gazette he thinks “a little extra spice and sparkle” will be created by a new cheerleading squad for his team.

The Tampa Bay Lightning, Atlanta Thrashers and several other teams have had ice girls in place for several years and it seems the Oilers are following their lead.

Frankly the Oilers need something to jump start the 2010-11 season. They are in last place in their division, but Ms. Monro is concentrating on keeping the ice pure so that her favorite players can spill blood on it.

Her plea is posted at petitiononline.com. It is quite formal and long, but here are the basics of what you need to know to understand her reasoning:

“We, the undersigned, believe that men AND women are Edmonton Oilers fans, and that cheer teams are perceived by some members of both sexes to be demeaning and contributing to the objectification of women.”

“We the undersigned, hold the ownership and management of the Edmonton Oilers to a higher standard, in trusting them to make decisions that will not negatively affect the experience of attending a National Hockey League game by using gimmicks and excessive in-game entertainment that would take away from the game itself.”

CEO LaForge thinks women and men who are fans of the Oilers are winners in this. “A cheerleading team is a way for the Oilers organization to stay current, and comes at the request of male and female fans. It’s an entertainment idea. I appreciate that some people can take it the wrong way, but it’s added entertainment during breaks in the game.”

As of this writing there are a bit more than 1,100 signatures on the petition, hardly enough to bother the Oilers’ management. Today, the team is hosting an open meeting to announce the process for choosing the members of the cheerleading team. Auditions are expected to begin later this week.

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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NHL Lightning Babe

It’s time to drop the puck for the 2010 NHL season and Climax Girl, Jess wants to invite you to enjoy our coverage of all the on and off ice action here on Sports Climax.

BTW, more of Climax Girl Jess can be found here. . . . .and here.

Photos by Ken Jacobs (NRV Photography) Make-up: Faces by Grace.

All photos: Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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