BBG&CS: Cornfields of Iowa, AHL Schedules, Omark, Beards and Choochoo

| The growth of hockey in the cornfields of Iowa — the Iowa Wild:

“In hopes of pushing hockey’s agenda for growth in Iowa, a big push was made this past season when it was announced that AHL hockey would once again return to the Hawkeye State in form of Minnesota’s minor league affiliate, the Iowa Wild.  Heading into their inaugural season, the Wild will look to avoid the fate of the AHL’s Iowa Stars and later Iowa Chops who were never able to get a foothold in the Des Moines community.” — via

| Sports teams social rankings — hmm … there are some problems with this list:

“Much like other big businesses, sports franchises must leverage digital technologies – mobile, social, cloud and big data – to humanize their brand and connect to their audiences. Technologies like high definition television, increasing tickets prices, and uncertain macro-economic conditions means that sell-out stadiums may become a rarity for most professional teams.” – via

| The convoluted making of the AHL Schedule:

“Once teams put in their narrative, the league starts plugging in dates and routing teams on a giant board.  Then teams have individual conference calls with the league to go over their narrative. “They’ll ask you about three-in-threes,” Abbott said.  “They’ll ask you about the travel.  They’ll ask you about playing the same team twice in a row at home.  Some teams are very particular about those issues.  We’re concerned about our players’ safety first and foremost but beyond that, if we play Providence two nights in a row at home, that’s not a big concern of ours.  Some teams don’t like that.” – via

| In case you missed the news, Linus Omark is BACK!

“It’s up to me now. I don’t expect anything to be given to me, but if I end up (in Oklahoma City), I’m going to work hard down there and, hopefully, that will give me a chance later on,” said Omark. “I’ll do my best to get up to the NHL again. It’s hard to get ice time, (but) I’m going to have to play hard. I’m more mature now. […] I had a good year last year. I played big minutes and, when you play a lot, you grow as a player. I think I’m smarter with the puck now. I don’t throw it away as often. I’m heavier too, but we’ll see. I think I’m stronger, it’s just too early to say.” – Joanne Ireland, Edmonton Journal

| Andrew Ference — pro-environmentalist hockey player:

“The thing about athletes, and the reason they are playing sports professionally, is that we’re really good at being selfish and very single-minded about what we want to accomplish. The vast majority of athletes have blinders on,” says Edmonton Oilers defenseman Andrew Ference, a 15-year NHL veteran and Stanley Cup winner, while speaking at a conference of the Green Sports Alliance in New York City. Ference, an Alberta, Canada native, can say that because he is among those who defy the mold. A lifelong environmentalist, he led the creation of a carbon neutral program for the NHL. It allows players and teams to purchase carbon offsets to counteract their traveling footprint. National Geographic did a series on the “eco-warrior” last year.” – via Co-Exist

| The NFL settles a concussion lawsuit — will this happen in the NHL at some point in the future?

“It was announced on Thursday that the NFL had tentatively settled its consolidated concussion lawsuit with thousands of players turned plaintiffs for $765 million. That’s a number that sounds much bigger than it actually is; it’s a bargain that the league will see as a major coup, both in the short term and the long term. If any concussion litigation was going to stop the league in its tracks, this case was the one. The NFL is no doubt letting out a long, deep sigh of relief.” — via

| Prepare for Movember, dudes!

“You might want to take it easy with that five-blade razor, bros. A new study boldly trumpets that men with scruffy facial hair are considered significantly more attractive than their beard-deficient brethren. At least on the surface, the findings bolster the notion that dudes like Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal take their handsome-powers up a notch with a bit of well-kept stubble.” — via

| Jonathan Cheechoo is now Choochoo?

– 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.  –