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  • Posts Tagged ‘france’

    Nikko IceBucks 2008-09 Changes

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 September 7日 Sunday

    The Nikko IceBucks have welcomed 4 new members to the team for the 2008-09 season. 2 have passed open tryouts and they are defenceman Hiroki Iwasaki (Komadai-Tomakomai – Harrington College, Jr.A) and forward Shoichi Nakanishi (Nikko HS – Waseda Univ). And it’s good news that the team has the financial resources for 2 imports this season, and they are Eric Lafreniere (FRA-1) and his Middlebury (NCAA Div III) teammate for 3 seasons Mickey Gilchrist (AIHL Newcastle North Stars) who absolutely destroyed Aussie competition over the summer by scoring about 4 points a game to win the AIHL scoring title in only 15 games. Lafreniere and Gilchrist are both small but capable forwards and should be well suited for the less physical AL game. The Bucks have a bare minimum roster of 12 forwards, 8 defencemen, and 3 goalies, so player conditioning will be most important as any injury will be devastating to the squad.

    Pictures are small but the Nikko IceBucks have announced their new jerseys for this season

    Also, the Bucks are collaborating with Tobu railways (which connects Tokyo to Nikko), and will wear special Tobu railway uniforms against Seibu (which is sponsored by the Seibu railways). And special wrap Tobu trains will run between Tobu-dobutsu-koen and Nakameguro, starting in late September.

    Preseason finally got under way for the Bucks (latest out of the 7 AL teams) with a 1-3 loss (final goal an emptynetter) today to Seibu who went on an 11 day 6 game training trip to Bayern in Germany late last month.

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    French Baseball

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 May 17日 Saturday

    An interesting article about a minor sport in a major country, baseball in France. It kinda mirrors ice hockey in Japan where the sport’s development was largely driven by one man (now jailed Tsutsumi who supported the sport nationally through the Seibu-Kokudo group companies, otherwise hockey would’ve been still confined in Hokkaido which is very Canadian in climate). (Via Dodger Thoughts)

    Completed in 1995, practically in the center of town, the field was the country’s first artificial turf park and instantly became coveted by baseball clubs everywhere. It also was used for national championships and international competitions between high schools from all over Europe, and for soccer and other sports by local schools. Over the years it also helped increase, if only slightly, local interest in baseball and inspired legends such as Frederic Hanvi. 

    Hanvi started playing in Montigny when he was 6, and last year as an 18-year-old became the second Frenchman selected in a Major League Baseball draft after he was recruited as a catcher (called a “receiver” here) by the Minnesota Twins. (The first was Joris Bert, an outfielder drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers and now with one of their minor league teams.)

    Christophe Herard, president of the Montigny baseball club, talks proudly about Hanvi, noting that his parents and friends eagerly watch his career. He is finishing school in France before he heads off in June for training in Florida. 

    “The [American recruiters] were placing a kind of bet on him,” Herard says. “The road is still very long and tough . . . but we are going to follow him in Montigny.” 

    But baseball remains a marginal sport in Montigny. Last year the town’s gymnastics club was the most popular, with 1,100 members, followed by soccer with 850. With just 160 members, the Montigny baseball club may be one of the largest in France, but it’s still smaller here than fishing and badminton.

    Even when the championships for the top-level teams (equivalent to Class-A baseball in the U.S.) were played in Montigny, they drew only 100 people to the 230-seat stands.

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, hockey, Japan, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Quarterfinals set for 2008 Worlds

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 May 14日 Wednesday

    The quarterfinals for the 2008 World Championship in Halifax and Quebec City has been set. With the disappointing performance (combined with the ineligible German player controversy) sent Slovakia down to a relegation series against Slovenia, which it won (France, with Huet being the difference maker, won the other relegation battle against Italy.)

    Quarterfinals on 14 May are:

    Czech Republic – Sweden

    Norway – Canada

    Russia – Switzerland

    USA – Finland

    The CZE-SWE and RUS-FIN matches will be great clashes of titans, and the Swiss are always strong and can easily give the talented Russian squad a run for its money. Canada has the easiest draw, but the team only won 2-1 over Norway thanks to a last minute Nash goal, so we’ll see if Grotnes can pull off the supergoalie gig yet again. 

    Some great quotes from the Norwegians  🙂

    Even getting this far is an amazing triumph for the Norwegian national hockey program, which operates on an annual budget of less than $1-million. Heatley alone operates on an annual budget 10 times that.

    It is a team that boasts a former NHL player, 32-year-old Anders Myrvold, who last played for the Detroit Red Wings in 2004, and a collection of European professionals, semi-pros and amateurs.

    But they have, Myrvold said, a secret weapon.

    “We have Viking blood,” he said. “You know Viking blood? It doesn’t exist in Canada.”

    The players are salesmen and teachers – one for kindergarten – but mostly they are in building trades, carpenters like Grotnes, electricians and plumbers.

    “If you need anything, just give us a call,” Myrvold said with a laugh. “You can’t call the Canadian team. All they can do is play hockey.”

    Hahaha.

    Surprisingly, attendance has been disappointing, especially in Halifax where all Canada games have been held so far.

    Posted in 02_English, hockey, information, International, opinion, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    IIHF Uniform Watch

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 May 10日 Saturday

    The great, the good, and the ugly

    Canada, of course, in a money grub move have new sweaters for this IIHF 100th anniversary tournament they’re hosting at home. Other teams all have the same Nike template uniforms, which are all boring except for a couple of them. Luckily, all teams wore throwback jerseys from various eras, and they were mostly good.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in 02_English, culture, hockey, information, International, NHL, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »