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A Swinging Start to the Season

The "Swing Like Happy Gilmore Contest" should start 2009-10 with a bang.

Tuesday, 08.25.2009 / 9:43 AM ET / Bish's Blog
By John Bishop  -
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A Swinging Start to the Season
3:27 p.m.
More on Lucic
Although it paints the big man as somewhat of an underdog, Donna Spencer of The Canadian Press had an interesing piece on Milan Lucic posted over at

The six-foot-three, 230-pound forward is known more for his battering-ram style of play than his speed and finesse.

Lucic won't be encouraged - in fact he'll be discouraged - from putting another player into the boards at Pengrowth Saddledome.

The 21-year-old from Vancouver will have to show other aspects of his game if he's going to play for Canada in the 2010 Olympics in his hometown.

"I'm not really a guy who beats guys one on one dangling on the ice,'' Lucic admitted Monday upon his arrival in Calgary. "I've got to show I can keep up with the pace."

Watch Lucic's arrival at camp, here.

1:18 p.m.
Lines from Day 1 of Canada's camp

CTV's Eric Duhatschek wrote about Canada's first day of Olympic Orientation Camp:

Babcock largely played mix-and-match with all his players. Even ones that would naturally be paired as a unit (the Sharks' Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau; the Senators' Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley; the Flyers' Jeff Carter and Mike Richards) were all put on separate units.

Richards played with Heatley and Brenden Morrow; Jonathan Toews centred Martin St. Louis and Simon Gagne; Jordan Staal was between Andy McDonald and Shane Doan.

For the second group, Thornton centred Eric Staal and Corey Perry; Lecavalier was between Milan Lucic and Carter; Jason Spezza had Patrick Marleau and Dan Cleary on his wings; while Derek Roy was out with Ryan Smyth and Patrick Sharp.

"What we tried to do was put together some combinations, but we're also very cognizant of the fact that, on Day 1, we wanted to give everybody an opportunity," Babcock said.

Lucic - Lecavalier - Carter. That's a pretty decent line. Dontcha think?

11:02 a.m.
While I have the excuse, I have been "researching" the Happy Gilmore Swing and I came across this article by Bill Pennington of the New York Times.

Apparently, on an recent episode of FSN's "Sport Science," pro golfer Padraig Harrington actually shows that he can gain 30-yards on his drive and increase his club speed by seven mph using a running start a la Mr. Gilmore.

However, Pennington also reports that the golfer doesn't use it in tournament play because he is afraid it would hurt his accuracy.

However, Pennington writes "But, hey, if he was down two strokes late on a Sunday and really had to bust one on a long par 5 to make eagle, why not, right?"

Good stuff. Enjoy the article and the FSN piece on YouTube. BTW: the video is a pretty good tutorial for all of you who want to be "Happy" on the 1st.

10:04 a.m.
Did you see this?
I have to admit, I am a terrible golfer and I definitely fall into the "good walk spoiled" side of any debate over the links.

However, I must say that I hope to be able to cover the "Swing Like Happy Gilmore Long Drive Contest":

On Tuesday, September 1, from 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. fans are invited to join Boston Bruins Milan Lucic and Tim Thomas in the Boston Bruins Foundation's "Swing Like Happy Gilmore Long Drive Contest" at Golf Country in Middleton, MA (160 South Main Street, Middleton, MA 01949). All proceeds from the event will benefit the Boston Bruins Foundation. Lucic and Thomas will serve as the celebrity judges in the contest. READ MORE.

Running around the TD Garden this morning I have also ascertained that appearance will be a mitigating factor in the judging. So if you can swing and look like our fabled favorite hockey player turned golfer -- do it!

Morning reading
Thomas an easy choice for Team USA netminder  (J. Beattie,
For Ward, Walker punchlines replace “The Punch” (C. Alexander, Raleigh News and Observer)




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