Thursday, February 27, 2014

Site Update


It has been a very long time since I last did anything with the site. Unfortunately, many things have come up since last season that have needed my attention and have taken almost all of my time away from keeping up with offseason news, team updates, and attending games. 

Now I know it's too late for me to do anything this season, but I do want to get back into this, even with a month left into the season and playoffs a good possibility, YAY!. First, I'll start by updating everything in the site to reflect everything up to this point cause you know, nobody wants to remember last season.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

2013 Wishlist

So we all now have seen what hockey can be like in Orlando. We have endure a full season of the new Solar Bears and unfortunately, broke our two team streak of championship appearances in the inaugural season. We're now in the offseason, and if there's one thing people absolutely love to do, is give a laundry list of suggestions, demands, and all types of pleading and begging to have their own wants and desires. People went crazy when they announced the Turner Cup banner unveiling while they turned into rabid dogs on how the teddy bear toss was done. It's not a bad thing really, some people actually have some good ideas and want to feel they have a voice. I have been to a good number of games throughout the season and have watch some road games (online). I saw what did well, and what they can consider for the next season. Based on what I have observed, let me be one to show you my list of stuff. You can agree on all, part, or none of it at all; or, you can add to it.

Have real player intros 

Though they only started doing it last week, one of the things that really bugged me was when the PA was announcing the starting lineup, yet the whole team was already out. Guess it must be habit when the PA calls a name, we instinctively look towards the tunnel to see said player. It doesn't have to be flashy like it was on the first game, but a starting lineup intro where they come out as they are called would be nice.

Casual dressed game staff

Ok, yes it is after all, a business, but do you all have to look like corporate stiffs? Shouldn't the in-game entertainment crew (WAIT! That brings me to my next suggestion...)

An in-game entertainment crew

Sure you have Shades, but you can do better, check that, Shades can do better, I'll get to that in a bit. I've noticed watching road games hype guys going around the stands and interviewing fans during puck stoppage in order to get the fans more involved, whether it's trivia, prizes, or just crowd rallying. They do have the intermission games, which is good, I'll give them that. Even if it's just one or two people, that could be your whole crew. Plus, you need someone to be Shades' voice, which brings me to...

Improving Shades

How often do you see Shades? (jumbotron sign holding doesn't count) Don't let Shades be afraid of the light, have him out more, get him involved with the game. Let him paw on the glass and "intimidate" the other team. Let him wreak havoc in the stands, silly string screw around with opposing teams' fans, steal their left shoe. Also, take that hula-hoop out of Shades, he's too fat, which contributes to the limitations of the costume. Ultimately I would bring back the old Shades that's skating around RDV, but it's embarrassing how many other ECHL mascots look better than the current Shades and are more involved in the game. I see them more watching road games online than I see Shades at the game. Shades still looks better than Greenville's mascot only because there should never be human mascots ever, but fat Shades would still not compare to the other divisional mascots unless he looks near anything like his old self. One more thing, teach Shades to skate, the one time he did he fell to his knees. (Oh, that was planned? Well he fell at the perfect time). They have a whole skating rink for him to practice, I'm sure he can use it during team practice or even during public skates. Don't you want to see him come out onto the ice waving that big flag after a Solar Bears win? So let Shades train from the best, let him watch videos of SJ Sharkie, Louie, Stanley C. Panther. Oh, they're NHL mascots? Well then, check out Marty the Marmot, he was in the ECHL a couple years ago, currently is in the WHL, and is a sick dancer. Don't lose faith in Shades.


When the season began, the PA guy was horrible, took too long for the goals and penalties; often having to correct himself. If I hadn't already knew most of the hand signals, I'll be looking around too wondering what the calls were. (Here's a list on what some of those signal look like) But as the season went on, he did get better at it. Not much more from here other than continuing familiarizing the calls and the AV people showing more replays.

Warmup Music

Simple, change it. It's normal to hear what's hot on radio, but do they really have to play Kesha, Dragonette, and Flo-Rida at a hockey game every time? Play something more in the line of what we hear in the game intro, something to pump up the team during warmups. If you really need to play that kind of music, play it during the opposing team's intro.

Better job in game updates

I'm not at every game, nor do I watch every game online, but when I do, I do my best to update what's happening as it's happening. The Solar Bears have a Twitter page exclusively for game updates, but they're not real time. Yeah, yeah, you got Bobby Steel Mill, but there have been times where 740 is broadcasting something else because the feed is out, or you're at the job and can't really have any attention-grabbing noise, that's where the Twitter feed comes in, or Facebook if you prefer. I'm sure you're already updating from a computer, if I can sort of do it from my phone, you can it better than me.

And last but not least...

I know there are people new to hockey, but this part is a little more in the common sense area. Every time the Solar Bears post a photo while on the road, you all go "ha ha, look at their empty stadium." You fail to realize that the photo was taken during WARMUPS! Although most teams don't average 6000/game, most fans don't come early enough to watch WARMUPS. Those that do, 90% are instead using that time to get food and chat with others on the concourse. I don't want us to be dubbed the Oakland Raider fans of the ECHL. Not saying we should be soft, but think before trash talking and don't be oblivious if we're losing big and keep saying the other team sucks.

I thank you for enduring my long laundry list, if you couldn't hang the whole time, you're not ready for the offseason. Whether or not we see the team take any of these measures in mind will be seen. I know I'm not the only with a laundry list, make your own here or send it straight to team management. The more they hear from the fans, the better chance they'll listen. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Let's Pack it up for Next Year

The last nail seems to have been placed for Solar Bears season.
Whether you are the optimist, the pessimist, or the realist, the news coming out of Solar Bears camp is not something any fan wanted to hear. The news has only made the road even tougher, and made the playoff chances even slimmer. However, the roster moves made yesterday should be setting the groundwork for next season.

Mathew Sisca going on IR for pretty much the rest of the season severely cripples their playoff hopes. After taking a beating in the last game, the team's points leader was slow to get up. It turned out to be serious enough to warrant a trip to the IR with only 13 games left in the regular season. There is speculation that Sisca was only put on IR since playoffs became out of the question and that it would be best to let him heal through the offseason.

Another sign that the season is gone are the deadline trade made. Ryan Ginand was traded to division rival Gwinnett Gladiators. Ginand was a solid player while he was on the ice, he was able to get his shots in and made good passes to teammates. The Bears also traded away James Reid to Evansville. Reid got the short end of the stick again. It happened in when he was in Alaska and again yesterday, he got hurt and was getting outperformed by two other goaltenders. In the Ginand deal, the Bears are getting promising skaters in TBA 1, TBA 2, and TBA 3. Yes, we won't know who those three players Gwinnett will send us until after the season. As far what Evansville will give us, perhaps a "Thank You" card.

Should be Bears somehow make the playoffs, there will be no doubt that they will make it to the Kelly Cup Finals only because of how hard in road and rest of the season looks like; having to face right now playoff bound teams in 12 of the next 13 games would be the best crash course in defeating the best, but let's keep it that their road record speaks for itself. Just throwing something for the optimist fans out there. At least it really won't be a rebuilding season next year as long as the Bears are able to keep the same core of players and attract some snipers and defensive talented players. They'll have a year under their belts and will be better suited to break in the new guys to build in some early chemistry.

Friday, March 1, 2013

I Have You Now

It feels like you can never figure out this team. One day, you're mad and then they slowly wave the hand around and you forget all about it. Ryan Ginand came back from Houston earlier this week, so it meant that someone had to stay dressed like a sir, that being Sgroi. "Voltron" Hetenyi once again showed us he may not stay long. It seems like he knows how to use the force to the fullest, slapping the puck 30 feet in the air or mysteriously forcing the forwards to completely miss an open shot. Plus, whenever the Solar Bears need a quick boost, he just needs to tap his stick on the ice three times and the magically play better.

Sevs had a great game, despite being crushed on the board and taking a skate blade to the face, he was still able to be the only one score the entire game. The captain was quiet in this game and the defense is slowly learning how to play defense. Guess that's what playing the trap allows: an easier way to play keep-away.

The sweaters they put on looked pretty sweet. Besides the old school ones, they may the best one they decked out all season. Seeing Darth Vader working some dark side magic in bringing Alan Bester for a cameo (not really) was pretty cool. I kind of find it sad that I saw the Star Wars characters way more often than Shades tonight, maybe that's why Darth Vader was choking him in the beginning.
If it wasn't for the fact the Voltron recorded the first shutout for the Bears in the ECHL, this game would probably have been a bit of a snoozer. Yes, there were flashes of excitement and the force wouldn't allow us to feel bored, but hey, we won, and they didn't play gangam style.

(But Seal, they did play the harlem shake)