BBG&CS: Blue Moon, Rajala’s Situation, Helmer, Torts, Stretch, and Team Spirit Burgers

Oklahoma’s Blue Moon on August 20th:

“There are two definitions for blue moon. One defines it as the second full moon to occur in a calendar month. Usually, we get just one full moon per month. The last one was August 31, 2012, and the next one will be July 2015. However, Tuesday’s blue moon is a “seasonal blue moon”, meaning it’s the third of four full moons in a season.” — via KOKH-TV and photo courtesy

| Toni Rajala’s situation offered “No Good Solution”

“Craig MacTavish isn’t purging the system of everybody under 6’ – keen observers will recall the signing of Andrew Miller, a player the Oilers’ Twitter account originally listed at 5’8” before hastily changing that to 5’10”. In a summer where a bunch of depth players were cleared out, 5’9”, 165 pound Mark Arcobello landed another contract. So that’s not it – and those who want to see all the small skilled prospects purged from the system had better keep their knives sharp because MacTavish has added those kinds of players and will doubtless continue to add those kinds of players when it makes sense to do so.” – via Jonathan Willis at

Several other articles on Rajala deserve recognition as well today: Neal Livington’s excellent article Toni Rajala – Realization That Sometimes NHL Isn’t For Everyone (Even the Good Ones) here at Tend the Farm; and Bruce McCurdy’s Edmonton Oilers Release High-Scoring Prospect Toni Rajala (via Edmonton Journal) and his Twitter reactions to Rajala’s departure.

| Bryan Helmer recounts his 20 years of professional hockey with friend Andrew Rodger:

“I couldn’t even believe I was going to a New Jersey Devils training camp to be honest with you,” Bryan reminisced. “To get sent down to Albany, it was the River Rats back then, and becoming a professional hockey player was a big thrill. I can still picture the day I signed the contract. I was so excited!  My signing bonus was $2,500 and I thought it was a million dollars,” he continued. “I didn’t know at the time how much other guys made and I thought that $2,500 to sign your name on a piece of paper was quite a thrill!” via Andrew Rodger, at the NHL Alumni Association

| The Spengler Cup Teams have been announced: Genève-Servette, Rochester Americans, HC Vitkovice Steel, Team Canada, HC Davos and CSKA Moscow were officially announced as participants at the 87th Spengler Cup, held in Davos (SUI) from 26 to 31 December 2013.

“This year, CSKA joins the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League, HC Vitkovice of the Czech Extraliga and Geneve-Servette and Davos of the Swiss National League A. Defending champion Team Canada, which was able to recruit several locked-out NHL players last year, also returns to Davos.” — via Ria Novosti at; see also

| In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, or vacationing in Bali and missed the news, the new sparkly 2013-14 AHL Schedule has finally arrived!

 The American Hockey League today released the complete schedule of regular-season games for the 2013-14 season, the league’s 78th year of operation. The season, comprising 1,140 games, begins on Fri., Oct. 4 and concludes on Sun., Apr. 20; each of the league’s 30 clubs will play 76 games, 38 at home and 38 on the road.” – via

| Corey Pronman’s Top 10 Prospects for 30 NHL teams is currently in progress. If you have not browsed through the team listings and rankings, take a look! Here is his review of Oklahoma’s Matt Donovan (NY Islanders):

 “Year in Review: Donovan was one of the top scoring defensemen in the AHL in his second pro season. He started off the season with average play, but was good from midseason on.

The Good: Donovan is a talented player with a lot of offensive tools. He has the ability to make really flashy and significant plays, as he has top-end puck skills, good vision, and is also an above-average skater. Donovan moves the puck well, can lead a rush, and can be a good quarterback on the power play.

The Bad: Donovan has been used in tough defensive situations, but he can still have notable defensive lapses. He also has a tendency to take ill-advised penalties.

Projection: He could be a quality second pairing defenseman” — via Corey Pronman at

| John Tortorella talks Roberto Luongo and his family’s Beverly Hillbillies cross country trip with their dogs: 

About Roberto Luongo: “I’ll tell you, from talking with him he has told me he is working very hard as far as conditioning and getting ready for this season. He knows there is a lot of talk and probably a lot of questions coming his way with how it all unfolded here. I think he’s prepared for that and the bottom line is he told me “I just want to play.”

And about his dogs: “Four big dogs, four great dogs. Wherever we go, we don’t fly. We have a van, a conversion van that we bought and it’s like Jed Clampett and the Beverly Hillbillies going across the country. You’ll hear us wheeling in there towards the end of the month when we pull in with our van.” — via Brad Ziemer at the

| NHL Analytics & the Minnesota Wild:

 “The Wild are private about their inner workings. All requests for comments and information on analytics were funneled to Fletcher, and he provided only a short interview. If the Wild have a competitive advantage with their analytics, they don’t want anyone to know.

“I think it’s developed over the last couple of years in every sport,” Fletcher said. “I would assume most teams would use analytics in their decision-making process. We’re always looking at stats and numbers and looking for ways to make better decisions, whether it’s signing players to contracts or how we draft players or how we sign free agents or how we value players. It’s part of everything we do.”

As in determining what players are worth?  “Absolutely.” — via Chad Graff at

The NHL still wrestling with expanded video replay:

“ … there will be a new use of replay in the NHL this coming season. All four-minute high-sticking double minor penalties will be reviewed to verify that the perpetrator’s stick actually made contact with victim’s head. That’s hardly as sweeping as baseball’s plan that will, by some estimates, make 89 percent of all plays eligible for review. But for the NHL, there is still something significant in the small step it is taking. It’s actually a bit of a milestone.”  – via Stu Hackel at

Sonic Burgers with Team Spirit! – Available only in select locations — “Oklahoma City, Ardmore and Lawton with either an OU or OSU logo; a Smokehouse Cheeseburger will be served in Tulsa, with the same logo options.” — p.s. GO POKES!

“Starting Monday, Oklahoma City-based Sonic Drive-in will be serving new cheeseburgers stamped with an edible logo of a local college football team, including the University of Oklahoma Sooners and the Oklahoma State University Cowboys. The burgers have local flavor, too, like hardwood-smoked barbecue brisket atop the patty.” — via

| Iowa Wild’s inaugural Ice:

| C.J. Stretch with Teemu Selänne – the Legend – at the Fedorin Cup in Anaheim Saturday evening. Great photo, C.J.!

You know that place in The Daily Oklahoman? The one between Big Game & Club Soccer? That’s where you may find some Barons coverage. For the rest of the news, check out BBG&CS every weekend.  —