Nerds on Sports Where nerds are talking about sports!

February 12, 2008

FAH-Q

Filed under: NCAA — Tags: , , , , , , , — Perich @ 8:00 am

Nerds on Sports correspondents Serpico and myself watched BC win a nail-biter in overtime, 6-5, to take the Beanpot from those upstarts at Harvard. Watching hockey in that quiet interlude between the Super Bowl and the start of spring training inspired us to post some frequently asked hockey questions (FAH-Q).

Q: Why does the NHL draft work different from NFL or NBA drafts?

Serpico mentioned that John Muse, BC’s frosh goalie, started this year only because BC’s prior goalie was drafted straight out of BC. In the NHL, players can be drafted while still in college … but they get to complete their education and then play. “What a remarkable system,” I said. “Why can’t football or basketball work the same way?”

We came up with two theoretical answers:

(1) Despite its violence, there’s less chance of career-ending injury in a year of hockey than a year of football. No team would be willing to waste a draft pick on a running back who could easily snap an ankle in week 9.

(2) Multiply that by the many millions of dollars that basketball and football are worth. Hockey’s popular, I guess, but it’s not the same kind of business. Franchises can only afford those kind of risks in the NHL. And maybe lacrosse.

Q: Is a zamboni technically a ‘vehicle’?

Apparently not:

A judge ruled the four-ton ice rink-grooming machines aren’t motor vehicles because they aren’t useable on highways and can’t carry passengers.Zamboni operator John Peragallo had been charged with drunken driving in 2005 after a fellow employee at the Mennen Sports Arena in Morristown told police the machine was speeding and nearly crashed into the boards.

Police said Peragallo’s blood alcohol level was 0.12 percent. A level of 0.08 is considered legally drunk in New Jersey.

Peragallo appealed, and Superior Court Judge Joseph Falcone on Monday overturned his license revocation and penalties.

In other news, at least one citizen of New Jersey named “Falcone” is on the right side of the law.

Q: Why is the Eastern Conference Championship called the Prince of Wales Trophy?

Even the most dabbling of sports trivia fans knows that the NHL trophy is known as “Lord Stanley’s Cup.” But why is the Eastern Conference Championship – which the Bruins haven’t won since 1990, I might add – known as the “Prince of Wales Trophy”?

The easy answer is because Edward VIII, Prince of Wales donated it to the League in 1924. British royalty has had an odd fascination with the game of hockey for more than a century, starting with Governor General Stanley’s creation of a “challenge cup” for the best amateur Canadian ice hockey team in 1893. The cup followed the National Hockey Association when it merged with several other leagues to form the NHL in 1917. When the teams were originally divided up, Boston (and the Northeast) played in what was called the “Wales Division.” Hence the cup’s name and origin.

Q: How’s Richard Zednik doing?

After taking a skate blade to the carotid, Florida Panthers player Richard Zednik was rushed to Buffalo General Hospital*. He’s stable but shaken. The Florida Panthers’ organization would like to thank the medical staff at Buffalo General, the Buffalo Sabres organization, the staff at HSBC stadium and all the loyal hockey fans who kept Zednik in their thoughts.

Q: Does Harvard even have a mascot?

Harvard’s mascot is The Man, an officer in full riot gear. His only known cheer is to glare through a tinted visor at the opposing team’s bench and ominously thwack a baton into his open palm.

Q: Is the Beanpot a big deal in Boston?

Let me put it this way: I saw more people scalping tickets outside a non-conference hockey rivalry than I did at the Celtics game I went to a month ago – and unlike Harvard, the Celtics are doing well. As Serpico put it, the Beanpot brings together four Boston area schools all within a thirty minute train ride of each other. That’s classic rivalry fuel. See it if you can – it’s a hell of a thing.

Also: let’s go Eagles.
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* They were playing in Buffalo; this wasn’t an oblique attempt to prolong his agony.

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