#1 ighth spot by skipper Joe Torre in the 2006 ALDS, or flirting with female fans during a 2012 ALCS in which he hit .dddddddddd von jcy123 15.03.2018 05:11

When the NHLs 31st franchise opens its inaugural season in 2017-18, bringing in a new era for hockey in Las Vegas, Bob Strumm will be there. And there wont be a greater authority in the building that night when it comes to Las Vegas hockey.As the general manager of the Las Vegas Thunder of the now-defunct International Hockey League, Strumm oversaw what was, until the NHLs expansion announcement on June 22, hockeys golden age in Sin City. For six seasons during the 1990s, the Thunder blended star power with distinctive Las Vegas flair. And as with the city itself, anything could -- and often did -- happen.We finished first in our first year in the IHL and the third year we finished first overall, said Strumm, who was the Columbus Blue Jackets director of pro scouting for 12 years. We didnt win a championship but we had some great teams and great players and great personalities.The team was the brainchild of the father-son duo of Hank and Ken Stickney, who made their bones owning several successful minor-league baseball teams. Selling Vegas to hockey players was easy, but building the franchise wasnt, especially considering Nevada had just a single ice sheet when the Stickneys were awarded their IHL franchise. Located at the Santa Fe Casino, that ice served as a practice facility, offering players free breakfast and quality slot machine time. After UNLVs Thomas and Mack Center was retrofitted to accommodate hockey, the Thunder were a Vegas favorite.They treated us like we were [players in the] NHL, said goaltender Clint Malarchuck, who played for the Thunder from 1993-1997. I was up on a billboard in lights at the Showboat Casino. On weekends wed get 10,000-12,000 fans.That fan turnout provided a great home-ice advantage. But there was also the added value of playing in a city with countless late-night distractions.As a local team, you hope the visiting team does go out and have some fun, said defenseman Kerry Toporowski, a fourth-round draft pick in 1991 of the San Jose Sharks who played for the Thunder for parts of the 1993-94 and 1994-95 seasons. I definitely remember guys saying, Hey, take it easy on me tonight. It was a rough one last night.A veteran of 338 NHL games, Malarchuk was among the Thunders first star players before assuming coaching and front-office roles with the franchise. But he wasnt the only name player drawn to Las Vegas. Several established NHLers joined the Thunder as full-time players, including Sergei Zholtok, Randy Burridge,?Pokey Reddick, Jim Kyte, Paul Dipietro and Greg Hawgood. The Thunder even had a Gretzky --?Brent Gretzky, Waynes younger brother who was a third-round pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1992 and played a season for the Thunder.When NHL stars were embroiled in a bitter holdout, it didnt take long to convince them to join an independent pro team in Vegas. During their respective contract squabbles, for at least a few weeks, Alexei Yashin, Curtis Joseph,?Petr Nedved?and Pavol Demitra all brought star power to the team. Even trailblazing womens goaltender Manon Rheaume played two games for the Thunder.It seemed like there was always a big name, Malarchuk said. A lot of it was the way we were treated. Bob Strumm was the mastermind behind getting big names.Strumms shrewdest move might have been signing top prospects from Eastern Europe. Just a few years after the Berlin Wall fell, Strumm signed Czech star Radek Bonk. Despite being only 17 and unfamiliar with Western culture, Bonk became an instant star before being taken third overall by the Ottawa Senators in the 1994 NHL draft.Vegas is a good spot for scouts to come and watch games, Strumm said. And we had lots of scouts at the games. It certainly brought a lot of attention to our team. And the kid handled it terrifically. He played well.With Bonk setting the precedent, other prospects came to Las Vegas, including Ruslan Salei and Robert Dome, who were each drafted in the first round after developing with the Thunder.For all that star power, the real attraction might have been Vegas itself. When it came to marketing the team, there was no shortage of local color in the arena. We said yes a lot, unless it was illegal, Ken Stickney said. We pushed the edge on just about everything. The focus was just on having a good time. We wanted to win, we wanted to lead the league in scoring and we wanted to lead the league in penalty minutes every year.Accompanied by lasers, smoke and the sound of AC/DCs Thunderstruck, the Thunder entered the ice through a giant slot machine. A marching band often paraded across the ice during breaks in play and groups such as the Village People performed during intermission. A former semi-pro player who had adopted a new Vegas career as a celebrity impressionist occasionally sang the national anthem ... as Neil Diamond.When Malarchuk had his number retired, the team brought a horse onto the ice as a gift for the lifelong ranch hand.Naturally, the team partnered with several local businesses, including a couple of prominent gentlemens clubs, which often resulted in dancers from these establishments attending games. When the women were shown on the Thomas and Mack scoreboard, the capacity crowd would go wild. Except for the time when one dancers attempt to execute a sultry maneuver resulted in her throwing out her back and being taken out of the arena on a stretcher.Probably the only time I went down to ice level, other than to argue with the referees, was to watch the bikini contest, Strumm said. I cant say any more than that.With the Thunder contending with a tricky arena lease and other IHL teams joining the American Hockey League, the party ended in 1999. (The IHL folded two years later.) But not everyone left town.Malarchuk still lives in Northern Nevada while Reddick has spent years developing hockey around Las Vegas. Burridge and Strumm still live there and two former players, Rod Buskas and Jeff Sharples, got pilot licenses and gave tours of the neighboring Grand Canyon before becoming commercial airline pilots. Darcy Loewen and Ken Quinney work as firefighters in the area.There have been times weve ended up on the same calls. Its funny, Loewen said. You just kind of bump elbows and give each other a little wink, a little smirk and carry on about your business.Led by Strumm and some of his former players, there should be a healthy Thunder contingent in attendance when the NHL comes to Vegas in 2017. Theyll no doubt be thinking about how they were the citys original hockey stars. Cheap MLB Jerseys Authentic . The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Lions have not announced the hiring, which was first reported by ESPN. Lombardi, the grandson of former Green Bay Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi, has been an offensive assistant on Sean Paytons New Orleans staff since 2007. Daniel Norris Jersey . Jon Montgomerys gold medal in skeleton at the Whistler Sliding Centre and his subsequent auctioning off of a pitcher of beer in the village square elevated him to folk-hero status. http://www.cheaptigersjerseys.com/?tag=cheap-alan-trammell-jersey . 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In the Bronx, the only numbers that truly count come in October.For Alex Rodriguez, who won two MVP awards with the New York Yankees -- and put up mind-boggling regular-season stats, albeit with the aid of performance-enhancing drugs -- his struggles in the playoffs, combined with his continuous off-the-field scandal, largely defined his career in pinstripes.While A-Rods home run heroics helped propel the Yankees to a 2009 World Series title, more was expected, and his no-shows in other series earned him a reputation -- deserved or not -- as a choke artist. Whether it was getting banished to the eighth spot by skipper Joe Torre in the 2006 ALDS, or flirting with female fans during a 2012 ALCS in which he hit .dddddddddddd111, and the Yankees were swept by the Detroit Tigers, the stigma of being a postseason failure stuck.Is it fair to judge his playoff performance so harshly? We compared A-Rods numbers to some Yankees greats of the past. 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