This Brings Back Memories...

Last Friday, in a 7-4 win over the Laredo Bucks, the Missouri Mavericks donned the original red and grays of the Kansas City's last semi-successful hockey franchise, the IHL's Blades.  The jerseys were auctioned off after the game, with a portion of the money going to Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City.

The throwbacks look pretty true to the originals (except the number and name text looks a little bit off), and it's good to have a team in the city that can relive a part of Kansas City hockey past.  Here are a few photos for comparison.  I imagine this is what the Blades jersey would look like if they were still around and went retro with a "modern look" like oh so many American sports franchises.

Here are the highlights from the other night, if you care to see more shots of the jersey.  Just imagine you are in Kemper Arena with twenty-seven other people in the upper deck.  Ah, memories...

Featuring the 2011-12 Mavericks Commercial

There is a new Missouri Mavericks commercial making its way around the local TV channels.  And here it is:

It seems like a pretty simple, straightforward marketing campaign.  The National Anthem in the background is a nice touch.  Though, I can't help but wonder WHAT REASON ARE THEY HERE?!?!?  I keed, I keed.

Denied reasons include:

The players featured are, from left to right:
G: Charlie Effinger
I'm certain that is F: Ed McGrane
F: Sebastian Thinel (SEABASS!)
F: Carlyle Lewis
D: Mike Wakita
I think it's D: David Pszenyczny.  He has kind of a blank stare thing goin' on.

A little new guys mixed in with the Mavs vets.  Another nice touch.  Bravo, Mavs marketing team/ interns.  

Also, here is a good read from LA Kings blog Mayors Manor challenging the idea that KC is not a hockey town.  This was written before the exhibition game this fall, but it's still relevant nonetheless.  (I will do my best to post more articles when they are still in mint condition, which is about two minutes in Internet-time.)

Mid-December Kansas City Hockey Related News Report

There are an awful lot of honkeys in this picture.  (Screen cap via)
Just a reminder that the hockey version of the Border War continues Friday, January 20th, 2012 at the Independence Events Center (home of the Mavs).  I cannot promise the hockey will be top notch Division I caliber stuff, but I can promise a good time will be had by hockey fans, Mizzou fans, Kansas fans, and all sports fans alike.  Go here to get tickets.

Also, there is speculation that Craig MacTavish, the current head coach of the AHL's Chicago Wolves (the Mavs affiliate), is a possible candidate for the recently vacated Los Angeles Kings head coaching position.  His only head coaching gig in the NHL was with the Edmonton Oilers from 2000-09, going 301-252-47-56 and losing to Carolina in the 06-07 Stanley Cup Finals.  He is in his first season with the Wolves, and as of this date he is 11-9-4.  He currently coaches two-way Mavs Charlie Effinger, J.P. Testwuide, and Dustin Friesen.  He is also the last player in the NHL to play without a helmet.  Just thought you should know.

Oh yeah, by the way, Mavs goalie extraordinaire "F-bomb" Effinger was called up to the semi-big leagues the other day.  This means the Mavs will once again use their insurance policy, Gerry Festa, in net for the time being.  Brian Mahoney-Wilson will also see time between the pipes.

Hey, how about some NHL stuff?  Sure, why not.  Continue...

Recently, the NHL mulled over an idea to realign the current divisions and conferences setup instead of moving a few teams in the wake of the Atlanta-to-Winnipeg relocation.  You may have heard a lot about this already.  If not, I encourage you to peruse this article from  Basically, the NHL will operate with four geographic-based division/conferences, two with seven teams and two with eight teams.  The top four teams of each div-con will make it to the playoffs, facing off in the first two rounds and then filtering into a final four semi-finals of teams that do not see much of each other.  There are some schedule balancing things in there too, and the article does a good job of explaining how that works.  You may ask, "Why does this matter to Kansas City?"  Well, the optimist in me would love to show you.  Plus, who doesn't like to look at maps???

Let's imagine, "pretend" if you would like, that Phoenix relocates to Kansas City.  Well, according to CBC Sports, KC continues it's role as outcast.

3. Phoenix: The NHL wants to keep the Coyotes in Arizona and will likely adopt the "Atlanta timeline," ie. waiting until the last possible minute before announcing any move. It's been reported the four potential sites are Seattle, Las Vegas, Quebec City and Kansas City. (Technically, the league can't talk to another city until Jan. 1). If it is one of the first two, the team wouldn't have to switch conferences. If it's Quebec, you're looking at the Montreal grouping. Kansas City? No idea.

Let's have a look-see, shall we?

Here is the proposed realignment:
Pittsburgh is highlighted because they are upset about something or another...I don't care and neither should you.
Here is a scenario with the city of Kansas City in the mix:
There, I fixed it.
The whole problem with rearranging teams has to do with rivalries being destroyed, reiterating the fact that Detroit could essentially be placed in any one of these divisions (let that be a lesson to all of you; if you are good at something, others will consider you their rival).  If Detroit must remain a Western team in the div-con of Chicago and Minnesota that will henceforth be known affectionately as the Big Ten, then Nashville or Columbus could be bounced to an Eastern division (possibly Toronto and Montreal's, thus helping their attendance issues), or KC could just be a lone wolf out west, staying in the same division and basically solving nothing.  Or be an independent.  But no, Quebec City will get their precious NHL team back because of snow and tradition or some such nonsense.

If you need a better visual, well, here you go:

An Unexpected Twist in the Struggle for Leadership of the Kansas City School District

(Kansas City School Board office door bursts open)
Mayor Sly James:  Alright, enough wankin’ off! I’m in charge here!
KC School Board Members:  Umm... what?

Mayor James:  You ethics hating curmudgeons have brought enough bad press to this district with your negativity and unwillingness to cooperate.  You’re just as bad as a gun-toting urban teenager dropped off at the Cinemark Palace by his absentee parents to see the new Muppet movie on a Friday night.  You people disgust me, so I’m taking over.

KC School Board Members:  Umm... no.

Mayor James:  What, you don’t think I can make better decisions than this MENSA meeting?  I cleared the riff-raff out of the Plaza.  What have you done lately other than drive a superintendent out of town and cause the district to lose accreditation?

KC School Board Members:  None of what you just said is necessarily true...

Mayor James:  Are you calling me a liar?  No one calls the Sly One a liar!

KC School Board Members:  Mayor James, we would be more than happy to work with you if the opportunity presents itself.

Mayor James:  Oh, so you’re going to play that game, eh?  Well, it looks like you have left me no choice.  If you won’t listen to me, then it’s time to bring in the big guns, the folks who really know how to run things.  Boys get in here!

(window on the opposite side of the room slowly opens and two men slunk into the room)

Mayor James:  Quiver at the sight of management genius Tim Leiweke, and his, uh, his loyal, umm, co-worker?  Umm, oh, how about, “Hockey Hall of Famer” Luc Robitaille!
Tim Leiweke:  WHAT UP BRAHS, AND LADY BRAHS!?!  Speaking of lady bras, I have a trophy case full of those in my Learjet if anyone wants to check ‘em out.  All shapes and sizes.  I don’t discriminate!

KC School Board Members:  What are they doing here?

Tim Leiweke: I’m here to fix your crappy school system and teach you people how to make money.  No one knows how to make money off of strange and questionable business practices than me.  I own the Los Angeles Galaxy!  I make Mark Cuban look like the old lady from Titanic!
Luc Robitaille: From what I understand, that is what Mr. Leiweke intends to do.  Or so I’ve been told.  I can't comment on his Mark Cuban comment, though.

Mayor James:  You listen to these gentlemen.  They know what they are doing.  Mr. Leiweke, please gives us your idea.

Tim Leiweke:  Okay, here we go.  AEG buys all the schools in the district, then we build one massive, all-purpose school downtown.  Then, to make some money, host about sixty events per year.  It’s a great idea, AMIRITE.  I mean, love it, or loooove it?

KC School Board Members:  What would we do with the rest of the schools?

Tim Leiweke:  I don’t know.  Leave them to decay.  What the hell does it matter?  We’re making money aren’t we?

KC School Board Members:  Isn’t that kind of unethical, not to mention pointless?  I mean, we already have the school buildings; we just need to find a way to get on stable footing and provide the local children and their parents with reliable schools and a good education.

Tim Leiweke:  Provide for the local what?

Mayor James:  Mr. Leiweke, I’m not sure that particular model will work for what we are trying to do.

Tim Leiweke:  Okay, okay.  I understand.  You want a viable anchor tenant too.  I hate to tell you that things don’t work like that, but you’re too lame to understand that anyway.  But, because you farmers seem like nice people, here’s another idea.  We turn the schools into prisons...

Mayor James: Oh dear...

Tim Leiweke:, while you already have about 180 events...

KC School Board Members:  You mean school days?

Tim Leiweke: Sure, “school days.”  Personally, my marketing team would call them an All-Day Education Event presented by Live Nation and Perceptive Software.  It’s just makes better business sense.  But, whatever.  Who am I, except the mastermind behind bringing the NFL back to LA.  KNEEL BEFORE MY ABILITY TO PERSUADE IMBCILIC CITY ADMINISTRATORS!
Mayor James:  (Hesitantly) *cough* Could you please continue, sir...

Tim Leiweke:  So, we host prisoner events in some schools: recreation time, exercise, arts and crafts, etc.  Then we close down several other schools and convert them to prisons to house the prisoners during their “non-event times.”  That should round out the remaining 185-ish days or so that nothing happens at the schools that remain open.  Plus, this will help with your prison overcrowding issue.

Mayor James:  We don’t have overcrowded prisons.  But we do already have dangerously overcrowded schools.

Tim Leiweke:  What kind of city is this?  Where I come from, prison riots happen on the reg due to overcrowding.  Everything about this place is whack.

KC School Board Members:  Excuse me, Mr. Leiweke, but all of our district schools are surrounded by neighborhoods.  Won’t putting prisoners in the schools cause outrage among neighbors and the property values of the surrounding areas to plummet?

Tim Leiweke:  Surrounding areas?  Who cares!  We are talking about the profitability of the schools, not the homes or businesses around it.  Geez, you people have a lot to learn about property management.

KC School Board Members:  Anything to add, Mr. Robitaille?

Luc Robitaille:  Kansas City’s a great place.  Who wouldn’t want to go to school here.  But you have to have someone who is willing to fill the buildings.  Not saying that we will do that, but some local folks have to step up and do what’s right.

Mayor James: What does that even mean?

Tim Leiweke: Man, that old raisin lady mayor was ten times cooler than you, Sly Fox.  You know what, I can really feel the bad vibes in here, and they’re killin’ my buzz.  I’m going to bounce and let ol’ Lucky do damage control.  Peace.

(Leiweke jumps out the window, gets on Learjet, and flies away to undisclosed location where the media can’t find him).

Mayor James: Well that was unexpected.  Mr . Robitaille, can you give us any more insights or ideas?

Luc Robitaille: AEG does not necessarily have all the answers.  Facility ownership is a tricky industry.  You cannot make everyone happy.  But I can assure you Tim Leiweke cares about Kansas City.

Mayor James:  Okay...

Luc Robitaille:  Although, his plans must be kept secret.  Even I do not know what they are, nor can I give any useful comments pertaining to anything. 

Mayor James: Pardon me for asking, but, what do you do again?

Luc Robitaille:  I don’t have enough information to answer that question for you at this time.

Mayor James:  Uh-huh.  Man, I give up.  This did not go as I had planned.  Luc, they’re all yours.

(Mayor James leaves and gets into a limo chauffeured by Mark Funkhouser).

KC School Board Members:  Mr. Robitaille, after reviewing what you and Mr. Leiweke have told us, we do like your ideas, but we have about one-hundred small changes that we would like to see made to them.  Nothing major, just think of it as death by a thousand little cuts.

Luc Robitaille: I don’t want to give you the impression that we will make changes.  That is something that you must do yourselves if you really want to get something done.

KC School Board Members:  You know what, I think it would be best to have the State run the district...

s/t to Big Daddy Drew for inspiration