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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Slap Shots: Now that's a road trip
By DAMIAN CRISTODERO, Times Staff Writer
Published November 4, 2007
Thirty games in 30 days in 30 cities. That's the plan of Orlando's Steve Williamson, who watched Game 9 on Day 9 Saturday in Phoenix.
His favorite venue so far, Montreal's Bell Centre.
"The atmosphere," he said, "was absolutely electric."
Williamson, 49, an original Lightning fan and former season-ticket holder, said he spent "48 hours with a spread sheet and pen and paper" trying to make the trip work.
After realizing he had just one Lightning game in the mix, he went at it again and now will see seven Lightning road games. The trip, which began Oct. 26 in Detroit, ends Nov. 24 at the St. Pete Times Forum, where the Lightning faces the Devils.
Williamson said he is "pretty good at finding good deals on airfares and hotels" and figures the trip will cost "less than $10,000."
He said a number of opposing fans who heard about his trip have given him tickets.
"The difference between fans in each of the arenas is very unique," Williamson said. "But I'm seeing enthusiastic fans everywhere."
Follow Williamson's trip at 30gamesin30nights.com.
Who needs a tooth fairy?
Brent Burns describes himself as a "goofball," so it didn't surprise anyone the Wild defenseman realized he left his fake tooth on the team's charter plane to Denver.
Burns told Minneapolis' Star Tribune he put it in his pants pocket while eating on the plane. A flight attendant found it between the seats, which led to this conversation between Ryan Stanzel, the Wild's team services coordinator, and the hotel concierge:
"One of our players actually left his fake tooth on the plane. Uh, can you hook me up with a cab from the airport just to bring me a tooth?"
The newspaper reported the delivery cost Burns $46 plus tip.
Not even a bathroom break
There were no fireworks the first time Oilers GM Kevin Lowe and Ducks GM Brian Burke were in the same building, though the Edmonton Journal reported security guards were posted between their suites.
Burke has been critical of Lowe since Lowe lured restricted free agent Dustin Penner away from the Ducks with a five-year, $21.25-million offer sheet.
As the Journal reported:
"Both GMs studiously avoided each other sitting in suites in the press box that were side by side. ... They didn't leave their boxes even once during the game. No bathroom breaks, no food runs. They were sending out for pretzels and popcorn."
To the rescue
Former Lightning defenseman Nolan Pratt was in an odd position Oct. 27, when his Sabres tryout was held at the St. Pete Times Forum before Buffalo faced Tampa Bay.
"It's kind of ironic that they're here," said Pratt, who also worked out for the Sabres before their Oct. 26 game against the Panthers in Sunrise.
"It just kind of worked out that way. I flew into Fort Lauderdale Thursday and I'm back here cheering for another team. It was different, that's for sure."
Pratt, 32, signed a $550,000 deal with Buffalo, which was short-handed on the blue line after an injury to Dmitri Kalinin.
The deal interrupted Pratt's plan to play in Russia.
"That's where I was at up until Thursday morning and this opportunity arose," Pratt said. "This is obviously better for myself and my family, my little girl, my wife. I didn't want to have to go over there until I absolutely had to."
He said it
"I agree I was the jumpiest. But that's what happens when you have to lead the pack. I got scared first because these guys are hanging on my back, seeing what's going on. I get jumpy and these guys react about it, laughing at me. But if they were man enough to lead the pack, they would be saying different stories." - Blues enforcer D.J. King in St. Louis' Post-Dispatch after he and several teammates went to a Halloween haunted house.
Odds and ends
What is the Flyers' problem? First it's Steve Downie, then Jesse Boulerice, now Randy Jones rings up an opponent with an illegal check. How about the league getting tough with that team? ... The Buffalo News reported that entering Saturday, the Sabres, at 1-2, were the only team with a losing record when scoring first. It is 4-4-1 when scoring second. ... Ottawa's 10-1 start is a franchise best. The 2005-06 team was 8-2. ... Fredrik Modin's back locked up so badly during Thursday's Blue Jackets game, three teammates had to carry him to the dressing room. He was, as one player told the Columbus Dispatch, "airlifted."
Times staff writer Joe Smith contributed to this report.