Friday, October 30, 2009

Feature on Dani Furlong

This is my feature that was published in The Metropolitan:

When one envisions hockey many stereotypes come to mind of Canadian boys beating on each other over frozen water. However, when one meets Metro hockey's one female on-ice representative, forward Dani Furlong, many stereotypes are broken. Coming from Tampa Bay, Florida where her father worked for the Lightning of the NHL Dani grew up playing hockey with her two brothers starting at age five. Her last experience with coed hockey was when she was 14. From then on Furlong has played exclusively on women's teams. 

"(Men's hockey) is a little faster and more physical," Furlong said.

Though standing at 5'3'' Furlong is not afraid of the physical play to the surprise of some of her teammates. She plays primarily forechecker on the checking line.

Furlong plans applying her experience with Metro to play division one women's hockey at Northwestern University. She was originally recruited for Northeastern* out of high school. In high school her hockey resume includes playing for a boarding school in Massachusetts and winning a national championship in 2003. After deciding nursing school wasn't for her she moved out to Colorado to pursue a career in sports journalism. She is currently works with the Met report. 

"I did not know one person out here," Furlong said.

However, quickly made friends with her teammates and is treated as one of the guys.

"She's the best girl on the team!" Forward Dan Golden joke during an interview.

At first she said some of the guys were a bit more careful around when playing with her but that quickly went away by the second day of tryouts. During games the players on the other team don't really treat her much differently.

Though a female hockey player from Florida might be a surprise, the most impressive thing about Furlong is her style of play and not her biography. She is widely considered to be one of the smartest hockey players on the team. 

"We have a had five girls tryout out for the team before but in those cases it was clear that none of them would be able to make it," said head coach Ryan Callahan. "She's smart and plays the game very well."

Though the team was originally mum on whether or not Furlong would making the final roster assistant coach Curtis Duffus knew she would make the final roster.

"I am personally very impressed and surprised," said Duffus. "She handily made the team."

After making the final roster Furlong has not been a disappointment. The checking forward has two assists and three games.

*Made a mistake on the published version that Furlong politely corrected for me. The incorrect version says Northwestern.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Good article on the Broncos salary cap

I really don't know much about football and my knowledge of the salary cap structure in the NFL is really limited. Basically, I'm just a casual football fan. Anyway this is a great article on the Broncos cap space. I definitely think it is worth your time.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Avs/Wings game thoughts

Good win for the Avs though I have a lot of concerns about the defense and the refereeing in this game.

Why can the Avs not clear the puck out of the zone? If Budaj was playing this game would be over. Craig Anderson bailed out the Avs on this one. Anderson is the top goalie in the league right now. How long Anderson can keep this going is going to be a question mark. However, goalies do tend to be late bloomers so there's a good chance the Avs got a steal in signing him.

Still I don't care how good Anderson is no goalie should be counted on to make 48 saves a night. The Avs need to get more shots. Anderson has already played 11 games in a row. He's going to break down if the Avs can't clear the zone and get some offensive pressure.

Probably the most surprising thing about this game personally was Paul Statsny's eight penalty minutes. Not sure that last tripping penalty was a dive or not but that might have been a questionable call. At least Statsny sealed the deal with the empty net coming out of the box.

In the end though, the Avs got the win. I still can't believe how hot the Avs are so hot at the start of this season. If you said to me 2 months ago the Avs were 8-1-2 in their first 11 I would have thought you were crazy.

Friday, October 23, 2009

NFL expansion

With the Patriots Bucs game in London coming this Sunday there has been a lot of talk about an expansion team in London. I have to admit that I'm a little shocked there is so much talk about a London based team since well London is pretty damn far.

Though the NFL would be the only American pro-sports league that is theoretically capable of playing games regularly in London since they only play once a week.

Additionally, I rather see teams in LA, Vegas, Mexico City or Toronto before London. If the NFL wants to expand into a foreign market I'd say expand into Mexico or Canada first. If the NFL really wanted to expand in Europe then why did it end NFL Europe? (Answer: it was loosing $30 million per season).

I would like to put some more research into the issue but just off the top of my head here's a better idea for an international expansion of the NFL:

1) Expand or relocated teams to LA, Vegas, Mexico City and Toronto.
2) Bring back NFL Europe as a minor/developemental league similar to baseball or hockey.
3) Shorten preseason and have preseason played exclusively outside the US. Possibly against NFL Europe teams.
4) Expanded the regular season to 18 games. Each team plays twice internationally. Most games will be held in the UK or Germany though a game in China, Tokyo, or Australia would be interesting.

Again just purely an idea. Not sure how many readers I have but I would love comments.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

KHL expands west?

So The Hockey News has a report that the KHL is planning on expanding the rest of Europe.

I actually think this would be very exciting. Yes, it would be nice to have all the best players in one league still as an economics, sports, international relations nerd this would be a lot of fun.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I'm back

Ok every now and then I get a little flaky. I admit it but now that I'm back into sports writing for my college paper you'll see a lot more of me. Also, hockey season is starting. I got a really terrible fantasy team so I'll be talking a lot about that. All my goalies are from Florida and Tennessee that's all I have to say about that.

By the way, is there anyone else out there who is shocked to see the Broncos 5-0 and the Avs are 4-1-1? I sure am.

Anyway, Metro hockey's home opener is this Friday so I'll post a rough draft of that story. Some exciting stuff this year. A girl made it to the final roster. She is very good and is quite deserving. Feature on her will be posted soon. Plus, later this year there will be a game at Pepsi Center which should be quite exciting. I still want a job with the Avalanche and can't seem to find one maybe that will be my chance to introduce myself a bit.