Thursday, March 1, 2012
Thursday Morning Cupcheck - An Evening with the Stars
This is what happens when you mix the Dallas Stars, Ice Girls, and an open bar.
Good morning, hockey fans! Last week we exposed the lies the NHL doesn't want you to know. This week, rather than argue with the worst hockey mind in history over an allegedly controversial hit, it's time to kick back, put our feet up on a big trophy labeled "8TH SEED" and sip fruity girl drinks through bendy straws.
Or, we can party with the Stars!
First, a disclaimer: I'm not now, never have been, and never intend to be a journalist. I may write about hockey, heavy metal, ghost hunting, and potential nuclear threats — and maybe even a well-received dark fantasy novel or two — but none of that really qualifies me to wear a little slip of paper in my fedora with the word "PRESS" on it.
Remember that what you are about to see and laugh at is the product of a Dallas Stars fan. I've had the chance to sit up in the press box at the AAC once before, for one of the most exciting Stars games in recent memory. The experience sucked. The press box is quieter than a tomb. It was like staring at the peeling yellow wallpaper in the waiting room at my little sister's two-hour long ballet practice all over again ... except that this time, I couldn't cheer when Mark Fistric rallied the Stars from down 0-3 with a series of thundering bodychecks in the second period.
That said, I was given the opportunity to slap that fedora on my head and head out to the Omni Hotel in downtown Dallas Monday night, to hang out with the Dallas Stars. I got to interview Steve Ott, Kari Lehtonen and Glen Gulutzan, and successfully made them all laugh at least once. I was nervous as hell with Ott — who had found out just three hours earlier that day that he wasn't getting traded to the Canucks, Flyers, or Maple Leafs — because I've been following him since his days in Windsor, but he turned out exactly as you'd expect: a friendly, fun nice guy (ladies...?). Here's the interview with Otter:
Interview: Steve Ott
I tried to goad him into taking a minor penalty at the end there, but he wouldn't bite.
Next up was Lehtonen, but unfortunately, because he's so laidback and soft-spoken, the audio is pretty much inaudible. However, I was able to snag a few gems with the very talkative Glen Gulutzan:
Interview: Glen Gulutzan
Once the interviews were over, everyone retired to the ballroom where we were treated to a runway show, with each Star accompanied by a towering bundle of sticks in a short black skirt. Darryl "Razor" Reaugh's introductions were epic, and mostly unrepeatable on a family-friendly internet.
Following that ... it was time to partay.
The rest of the night my friend and cameraman Mike B. hunted down Stars for sport, said things to them they probably couldn't hear over the blaring dance music, and took embarrassing pictures. Here's a quick recap of the night, complete with tidbits that may or may not interest hardcore Dallas fans.
Mike Ribeiro was totally pimped out. All the Stars were wearing these picnic-table-pattern shirts for some reason, but Ribs just made his work. He also had the strongest handshake of any Dallas Star, quite surprising for the man "with the softest hands in the league."
Ah, yes. My hero. Fistric was/is an absolute mountain of humanity. I'm 6'8, 345 pounds, and, as you can see, he absolutely dwarfs me.
This is Mike with Sheldon Souray, who, like Ott, was not traded for picks or prospects (then went out and had himself a hell of a game against Pittsburgh). He was very glad to still be a Dallas Star, and, unsurprisingly, constantly surrounded by a gaggle of silicone-puffed Dallasettes in skirts jacked up to their waists.
Razor was in full-on Nick Winters mode all night. Whatever the hell is going on in this picture is entirely his idea: He wanted to "strike a pose like we're sealing the deal."
The secret is out: I've always wanted to be an Ice Girl. Here I am after getting an impromptu lesson from Kaime on the "Ice Girl Pose." I pretty much nailed it.
New owner/cavalry-coming-over-the-hill Tom Gaglardi was awesome. Here I'm asking him what he's planning on doing to put himself in the same company as other larger-than-the-sport DFW owners like Jerry Jones and Mark Cuban. Tom said he'll rip the refs (finally!) sometime soon, possibly in the playoffs. Also, he's a hell of a checker.
By far the funniest Dallas Star, Nystrom was on his game Monday night. When we asked him how it felt to score against the Wild (the team that unceremoniously dumped him), his response was almost orgasmic. I told him I'd like to see him in a Dallas uniform for the next five years, so he told me to go tell GM Joe Nieuwendyk that. So I did. (10% commission and finder's fee, please.)
As the night was winding down I snagged this photo op with Stars legends and future/current Hockey Hall of Famers Jere Lehtinen and Joe Nieuwendyk. Of course the first word out of my mouth upon meeting Lehtinen was "SLAYER!!", and Joe N had some interesting, unrepeatable things to say about the trade deadline (let's just say he wasn't a fan when he was traded to the Devils on deadline day 10 years ago, and wouldn't wish it on any of his players).