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Hockey legend Gordie Howe dies at 88

Legendary hockey player Gordie Howe has died. He was 88.

Howe, known as "Mr. Hockey," was born in Canada and played 26 seasons in the National Hockey League, 25 of those seasons with the Detroit Red Wings.

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Howe set many records during his lengthy career, including being a 23-time NHL All-Star. He was the recipient of the NHL Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.  

Howe is the only player to have actively played the sport professionally in five decades and technically, stretched his playing time to six decades when he signed a one-game contract with the Detroit Vipers of the IHL in 1997.

According to WWJ, Howe suffered a significant stroke in October 2014. He received stem-cell treatment in Mexico as part of his recovery process.

Fans took to social media to pay their respects.

<iframe src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/fans-remember-hockey-legend-gordie-howe/embed?header=none&amp;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/fans-remember-hockey-legend-gordie-howe.js?header=none&amp;border=false"></script>[View the story "Fans remember hockey legend Gordie Howe" on Storify]

Vincent Lecavalier retiring after 17 years in NHL

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Los Angeles Kings forward Vincent Lecavalier still plans on retiring this summer after 17 seasons in the NHL, The Associated Press reports.

The 36-year-old, who was the No. 1 draft pick in 1998, spent most of his career with the Tampa Bay Lightning, winning the Stanley Cup in 2004. He also was awarded the Maurice Richard Trophy for being the league's top goal-scorer in 2006-07.

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But things changed in 2013 when he signed with the Philadelphia Flyers, where he struggled. According to the Sports Quotient, he appeared in only seven games this season and said he planned to retire before he was traded to the Kings. There, he did well, with 10 goals and seven assists.

"I always had that confidence deep down that I could still do well, so it was great," Lecavalier said.

The Kings' season ended last week with a first-round playoff loss to the San Jose Sharks.

"It was a great team, and I know they're going to win again, just by the way they act and by the leadership group and the talent they have," he said.

Lecavalier said he plans to head back to Tampa with his wife and children. 

Read more here.

Hockey fan scores $100K shot at game

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A lucky hockey fan with good aim left $100,000 richer after Thursday night's Solar Bears game.

Nick Giovaneilli was picked out of 8,000 fans to hit a puck into the goal through a tiny hole, 115 feet away. 

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Giovaneilli nailed the shot. The Solar Bears mascot, Shades, gave him a big congratulatory bear hug. 

The Solar Bears won 4 to 3 against the Florida Everblades in overtime.

The Solar Bears are part of the ECHL,  a mid-level professional ice hockey league.

 

Malfunctioning escalator sends hockey fans tumbling, causes pileup

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A malfunctioning escalator at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia unexpectedly sped up while people were traveling to a lower level of the building.

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The glitch happened Saturday night after the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Ottawa Senators.

Cheering hockey fans were exiting the building and using the escalator when the staircase suddenly started to accelerate.

People were thrown from the speeding escalator and crashed into each other as they reached the bottom floor. Some jumped over the side of the escalator. 

"(The) escalator got a little excited about the Flyers win too," Meghan McGreevy wrote on Facebook after posting a video of the human pile-up. 

Fortunately, no one was seriously injured.  

Ike Richman, owner of the Flyers and the Wells Fargo Center, issued a statement to WVIT:

“We immediately closed it down to protect our patrons and notified the operator. We are working with the operator on investigating this incident. We did not use that particular escalator during (Saturday's Philadelphia 76ers) game. We expect it to be working in time for Tuesday's Sixers game, which is our next event.”

Escalator got a little excited about the flyers win too...#flyers #philadelphiaPosted by Meghan McGreevy on Saturday, April 2, 2016

New York Rangers help fan get a date to prom

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A New York Rangers fan enlisted the help of his favorite NHL team Monday night to get a date to prom.

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The fan, identified by the Rangers as Vinny, wanted to take a girl named Catherine to prom. During Monday's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, he held a sign that said “Zucc! If you give me your stick, she'll go to prom with me!”

He was asking for help from Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello. The player didn't disappoint. He signed his hockey stick and gave it to Vinny.

“Have fun at prom,” he wrote. “Treat her right!”

<script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&amp;version=v2.3";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script>A great night gets even better for Vinny and Catherine thanks to #NYR Mats Zuccarello! First they get the stick pre-game then Zucc signs the stick and sign!!Posted by New York Rangers on Monday, February 29, 2016

After the Rangers beat the Blue Jackets 2-1, the team shared news of the successful matchmaking attempt on social media.

“Catherine said yes to Vinny!” the team said on Twitter.

Watch: 28,815 teddy bears tossed on ice for charity at hockey game

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Of all sports, the atmosphere at a hockey game is arguably the most electric. 

Games are fast-paced, suspenseful and occasionally raucous because of a fight here and there. Fan engagement is at a high level because of how close seats are. And when there's a hat trick, the ice is covered in cranium covers.

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During Monday night's Calgary Hitmen game, fans only needed one goal to start flinging objects onto the ice however.

A YouTube video posted by Neil Zeller of Calgary shows 28,815 teddy bears flood the ice after after the team scored its first goal. 

"All the bears go to charity," he said.

Now that's a win.

Man snatches sports souvenir from young fan, kid's reaction is adorable

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It’s fan etiquette 101: Don’t take a foul ball (or a hockey puck) from a kid.

During Thursday night’s hockey game at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, one guy learned that the hard way.

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In the second period of the Pittsburgh Penguins versus Buffalo Sabres game, a puck ricocheted into the Sabres' bench.

Coach Dan Bylsma, who spent several seasons behind the bench in Pittsburgh, scooped up the puck and pointed to a young fan sitting a few rows behind the bench.

Bylsma tossed the puck over the glass to the little boy, who was anxiously awaiting a cool souvenir.

Then the unthinkable happened.

An adult snatched the puck before the kid could catch it!

Maybe the guy had good intentions with the puck, but come on, it was clearly intended for the kid.

The crowd at Consol Energy Center booed for quite some time as the man refused to hand the puck over to the kid.

The whole time, the young fan stayed composed and handled himself like a true gentleman.

Bylsma later made things right and flipped the kid another puck.

Then the Penguins took matters into their own hands and got the boy a Sidney Crosby sweater.

http://youtu.be/bfdAvfbM-90

Way to go, Pens! 

Tulsa Oilers 2015

Entering their 24th consecutive season as a fixture of the local sports landscape, the Tulsa Oilers announced on Monday a new campaign to support their community partners with an unprecedented commitment to service.

For the 2015-16 hockey season, the Oilers will introduce a new community campaign called the SLIC (Supporting Local Initiatives within our Community) Program.  Each member of the Oilers’ front office staff has pledged 40 hours of community service for a total of more than 1,500 hours of collective service.  Oilers’ players will also be involved in the SLIC Program which will support the following organizations:

  • Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma
  • Tulsa Hope Academy
  • Up With Trees
  • St. Francis Children’s Hospital
  • Broken Arrow Neighbors via Childers Middle School with corporate support from Whataburger
  • Salvation Army
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Many More!

Any non-profits or charitable organizations in the Tulsa area that would like to be a part of the SLIC Program are encouraged to contact Oilers’ Vice President of Corporate Partnerships, Steve Duffy, at sduffy@tulsaoilers.com.

“We are extremely excited about our new SLIC Program and the impact it will have on our community,” stated Duffy.  “The Oilers have always been actively involved in the Tulsa community and this new campaign gives us a way to our organize our efforts and inspire the city.”

The SLIC Program shares its name with Slick, the Oilers’ brand new mascot for the 2015-16 season.  Slick, a lovable, excited, and friendly character, will entertain Oilers’ fans of all ages and energize the crowd at the BOK Center.   In addition, Slick will make numerous appearances throughout the community at SLIC Program events and serve as a representative for the Oilers at schools, sponsor appearances, and fan parties.

Slick will be officially introduced at the Oilers' annual Open House which is set for October 3rd at the BOK Center.  Although Slick is looking forward to meeting Oilers’ fans and serving the community, his first priority upon arrival in Tulsa is helping to find his good friend, and current Oilers’ mascot, Sledge.  Two weeks ago, Sledge was abducted from the Oilers’ office and hasn’t been seen since.  To help locate their beloved mascot, the Oilers have launched SeenSledge.com where fans can learn more about Sledge’s kidnapping and post pictures and notes about possible Sledge sightings around town.

The Oilers’ front office staff is asking anyone with information on Sledge’s whereabouts to visit SeenSledge.com and call 918-632-7825.  Fans are encouraged to post their comments and pictures to the Oilers’ Twitter page or Facebook page and to be on the look-out for any clues that might lead to Sledge being rescued. 

Slick hopes to be reunited with Sledge in time for the Oilers’ season opener on Friday, October 16 at 7:05 p.m. against the Wichita Thunder.  For information about single game tickets, season tickets, or group tickets, call 918-632-7825 or log on to www.tulsaoilers.com.

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