Warning: ini_get_all() has been disabled for security reasons in /home/optimumc/public_html/wsaigosports.com/wp-includes/load.php on line 1040
Warning: ini_get_all() has been disabled for security reasons in /home/optimumc/public_html/wsaigosports.com/wp-includes/load.php on line 1040 NHL: Patrick Kane breaks Hall of Famer Bobby Hull’s consecutive games scoring record – WSAIGO Sports
AMERICAN forward Patrick Kane increased his point streak to a franchise record 22 games as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Winnipeg Jets 3-1.
Kane, the first overall pick in the 2007 NHL entry draft and three-time Stanley Cup winner, earned an assist on Artemi Panarin’s empty-net goal with 106 seconds to go in the third period to maintain his point streak.
The 27-year-old Kane surpassed the franchise record set by Hall of Fame left winger Bobby Hull, who recorded a point in 21 straight games during the 1971-72 regular season.
Kane has 237 career goals but is a long way from Hull’s franchise record of 610. With 16 goals in just 26 games, Kane is on pace to become the Blackhawks’ first 50-goal scorer since Jeremy Roenick scored 50 in 1992-93.
Marian Hossa scored a goal and collected an assist while Teuvo Teravainen and Panarin also scored for Chicago.
Chris Thorburn scored the lone goal for the Jets. The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for Winnipeg.
Kane started the season under a cloud of mystery after The Buffalo News reported in early August that he was the subject of a sexual assault investigation by the New York state police.
Last month, the police announced Kane would not face charges, saying there were “inconsistencies” between the evidence collected and the woman’s account of what happened.
Usually the worst thing a team CEO can say is that the coach has his full support.
But this NHL boss has delivered a simply stunning spray to his two best players, calling them “f***ing horse-s**t”.
The remarkable comment was part of a story on The Athletic and comes from Dallas Stars CEO Jim Lites.
His ice hockey side sits fourth in its seven-team division after 38 games of the regular season; a position he and team owner Tom Gaglardi are not happy with.
Lites told The Athletic that Gaglardi texts him “WTF” five times a game.
“He’s pissed,” Lites said. “And you know what it’s about.”
“They are f***ing horse-s**t, I don’t know how else to put it. The team was OK. But (Tyler) Seguin and (Jamie) Benn were terrible.”
Seguin and Benn are two of the team’s biggest names, with Benn making $US13 million this season (the third-highest salary in the NHL) and Seguin recently signing an eight-year, $US78.8 million contract extension.
“We are a stars-driven league, and our stars aren’t getting it done. It’s embarrassing, and no one writes it. Write it!” Lites said.
“These guys are not good enough. They’re not good enough for me, they’re not good enough for the owner, and they’re certainly not good enough for the general manager, who I can’t speak for, but it’s not good enough for the job he’s done.
“But we’ve had meeting after meeting after meeting. The accountability on the ice is not there. These guys were signed to big contracts because they were the third- and sixth-leading scorers in the National Hockey League over the past five years.
“They get their money, we expect them to not be outplayed every game we play in. And if they were as good as they’ve been in the past we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”
Having ranked in the top five for scoring in the NHL in recent times, as mentioned by Lites, Benn and Seguin are 57th and 67th respectively this season.
This all came after Stars coach Jim Montgomery told the team on Thursday (US time) he was “f***ing embarrassed” at the moment with his side.
“(Benn) the leader of the team, he stirs the drink, but he’s not doing it,” Lites said. “He’s got to get it done.”
“He’s (Seguin) hitting posts, ‘wah-wah.” That’s what I say about hitting posts. Get a little bit closer to the action, actually go to the spot where you score goals.
“He doesn’t do that, he never does that anymore. He used to be a pest to play against, people hated playing against Tyler Seguin, they don’t anymore.
“These guys have been great players, but we are 40 games into this season and they aren’t getting it done. We are going to sleepwalk to another 14th place from the bottom and miss the playoffs.”
The Chicago Blackhawks released a statement after a video surfaced showing the team’s mascot, Tommy Hawk, body-slamming and punching a fan who provoked him in the concourse of the United Center one night earlier.
In the video, the man appears to try to attack the mascot, who then lifts the man into the air and slams him to the ground before landing several blows while other fans watch nearby.
NHL mascot fights fan
“We are gathering the facts and will have no further comment at this time, pending our investigation,” the Blackhawks said in a statement published by the Chicago Sun-Times.
No one was in custody as of Saturday night, according to the Sun-Times.
Police confirmed that a “male was performing as a team mascot” when another man started punching him in the face and put him in a headlock.
Police said the attacker was between the ages of 18 and 20, about 5-foot-5 (165cm) and 160 pounds (72.5kg).
The incident took place during the Jets’ 4-3 overtime win over the Blackhawks on Friday night.
The new Flyers mascot had just destroyed the set of the “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”
Within seconds of being unleashed, he headed straight for Questlove’s drum set and started tossing his sticks across the room. As Fallon and Ricky Gervais attempted to dance to Boyz II Men, the bizarre, orange, bearded, googly eyed creature cut in and started an all-out brawl with the two comedians.
Later, as he left 30 Rock in full costume and headed to his chartered helicopter — yes, a mascot for a hockey team had his own helicopter waiting for him — the all-seeing eyes of TMZ had caught wind of his location. They chased him down the street, screaming his name:
Within three days of his creation, Gritty had become a sensation. But where did he come from? And what the hell is he?
Before he was hockey’s most talked about personality since Wayne Gretzky, he was an idea that started in the Flyers’ marketing department. At the 2016 All-Star weekend festivities, the Flyers were one of two teams in the NHL — along with the Rangers — who didn’t have an official mascot. Every year, the weekend features the NHL Mascot Showdown, which pits each team’s mascot against each other in a friendly competition.
As one of the three teams that was unable to participate (Al the Octopus, the Red Wings’ mascot, is not costumed), the Flyers felt it was time to develop a mascot that could go toe-to-toe with their rivals’. But in regards to what he would look like, the answer wasn’t obvious. The Flyers were uninterested in exploring their flying theme. Nor did they want to channel their “Broad Street Bullies” nickname. They wanted to do something wildly different.
“We wanted to be all-in with this mascot,” said Sarah Schwab, 31, the Flyers’ director of marketing and communications. “We wanted to make a statement.”
And make a statement they did. After commissioning more than 100 different artists and reviewing countless sketches, they landed on the prototype that became Gritty. Created by Pennsylvania artist Brian Allen, Gritty was concocted as an “amorphous monster creature,” according to Schwab.
“We had a safe version that was light and friendly and the typical kid-friendly mascot — not to say that Gritty isn’t kid-friendly, because he is — but we wanted something that was going to stand out from the crowd,” said Joe Heller, 35, the Flyers’ VP of marketing and communications.
“We want fans to high-five him. We don’t really want fans to hug him. His name is Gritty for a reason.”
The Flyers rolled him out Sept. 24, revealing him in a menacing photograph set against a pitch-black background. They also tweeted a now-viral 30-second video that saw Gritty skating out in front of flashing neon lights, shaking his belly and rolling his googly eyes over a jarringly intense electronic song.
The internet was frightened. Memes ensued. John Oliver, Stephen Colbert and “Good Morning America” all took notice. CBS Sports called Gritty “pure, unadulterated nightmare fuel.”
“None of us really thought that his look would be so much the focal point of the backlash,” Heller said. “We thought it would be, ‘We don’t need a mascot.’ Looking back, the black backdrop that he took the photo in front of, that probably wasn’t the greatest choice.”
“That was probably some of the nightmare fuel,” Schwab added.
But it quickly became apparent that he was more than that creepy photo. He had a personality that few mascots in the history of sports could match. Gritty’s personality exploded onto the worldwide stage on a whirlwind first day.
The antics started in his first hour of existence. In response to Gritty’s photo, the rival Pittsburgh Penguins lobbed up a “softball,” as Heller put it.
“Lol ok,” the Penguins wrote in response to his photo. Gritty fired back.
“Sleep with one eye open tonight, bird.” The post was retweeted over 4,600 times.
That same day, Gritty made his debut on home ice before the Flyers’ preseason game against the Boston Bruins. It did not go well.
“The first 50 feet on the ice, and he bit it,” Heller said. “I didn’t think it was scripted because it looked like he had a hard landing. Sure enough, it wasn’t. He just fell. After, he said, ‘Who knew ice was slippery?’”
Between the launch, the Penguins’ clapback and the tumble on the ice, Gritty had made more headlines in 12 hours than most mascots make in their entire existence. But he saved his best moment of the day for last. As the Flyers’ staff sat down for their press meal that night, digital media coordinator Lauren Robins, who runs Gritty’s Twitter account, had an idea.
“I was thinking to myself, he’s about to break Twitter, Twitter is going to break and it’s going to be all our fault,” Robins said. “Then I was like, oh my goodness. Kim Kardashian. Break the internet.”
The 25-year-old Robins, described by Schwab as “Gritty’s brain unleashed on the internet,” whipped up a Photoshop of Gritty’s face onto Kim Kardashian’s infamous nude Paper Magazine cover shoot.
Paired with the simple caption, “Goodnight, internet,” Robins tweeted out the photo. The image exploded overnight. As it did, Gritty completed his transformation from frightening orange oddity to full-on folk hero.
“The Kim Kardashian tweet was the turning point,” Schwab said.
By the next day, everyone knew who Gritty was. Fallon’s staff at the “Tonight Show” invited him to be on the show that Thursday, three days after he was born. The only problem? The Flyers had a preseason game the same night, and missing it was out of the question.
“Gritty is first and foremost for Flyers fans and the city of Philadelphia,” Schwab said. “There’s no way he can miss his own game because he’s gotten too big for his britches and gone out to New York.
“I walked into our COO’s office and said, ‘We’re not going to be able to get Gritty back to Philadelphia in time for the game.’ He asked if I had a solution. I said, ‘I do, but you might not like it.’”
The solution was to charter a helicopter, and the Flyers approved. Gritty escaped the TMZ reporters to a helipad in the city, where he flew from New York to Philadelphia. He got a police escort to the arena and ended up arriving early.
In the months since, the legend of Gritty has only continued to grow. Much of this can be attributed to Robins, who has turned him into the most followed mascot on Twitter. When WWE star Elias ripped the city of Philadelphia and called Gritty a “fat, ugly, googly-eyed slob,” Robins tweeted a photo of Gritty body-slamming Elias, with the caption, “Heard I got called out last night by some guy with a ponytail named Jeff.”
Gritty’s most popular tweet came two weeks ago, ahead of Time Magazine announcing its annual “Person of the Year.”
“I really wanted to Photoshop Gritty onto the cover of Time and be really forward about it, to say he should be Time’s Person of the Year,” Robins said. “Then it hit me like a train — if we switch the I and T in Time, it spells ‘It Me.’ ” (“It Me” was the caption the Flyers tweeted out with Gritty’s first official photo.) The image has been retweeted more than 21,000 times.
Gritty has even transcended the world of sports to other corners of the internet. When President Trump visited Philadelphia in October, a protester raised a banner saying, “GRITTY SAY G.T.F.O. OF PHILLY.” The image went viral, and now Antifa Gritty is all over the memesphere.
The Flyers, however, have no interest in conflating Gritty with politics.
“Gritty doesn’t know his right from his left,” Schwab says.
On Nov. 30, Gritty showed up at the Rutgers-Michigan State basketball game in New Jersey. Why an NHL mascot would be at a Big Ten college basketball game is a question in and of itself. But at halftime, there he was, fully costumed, lumbering out onto the floor with his big belly bobbing up and down.
Someone gave him a basketball at half court. He took a shot. He drained it. Because of course he did.
“So much of what happened with Gritty is completely organic,” Heller said. “There really is no script at this point.”
We know Gritty looks like a cross between the Dodgers’ Justin Turner and a misshapen carrot. We know he’s a wide-reaching internet force. We know there’s nothing he can’t do.
But the question still remains: What the hell is Gritty?