Wednesday, September 24, 2008
In between driving from rink to rink this weekend, Hockey Mom was able to connect with Hockey & High Heels author Lisa Ovens for Part Three of our interview:
Q. When can we expect to see Hockey & High Heels 2?
It’s pretty much finished, but not quite in the can so to speak. There have been delays, but I am really hoping to get it out there before the end of this season. It’s loaded with fun because having fun with hockey is what H&HH is all about. Book one was my rookie year, so book two is my sophomore effort. I do take up playing ice hockey so I’ll be talking about that. But it does have some edgier bits. It’s balancing the serious with the giggles. And if the seeding of playoff teams and the Brady Bunch is any indication of how I view the game of hockey at times...
Q. Can you share some of the experiences you’ve had with female fans across North America? Who are some of most enthusiastic fans you’ve run across?
I have been so lucky to meet some fantastic female NHL fans over the years, and I can say with confidence that they are all equally enthusiastic about their teams and the game in general. And these women are also some of H&HH’s biggest supporters so I am really lucky and thankful. I am always impressed by the number of women who travel with friends and family to see their teams on the road. I have too many stories to share, but I do include some of them on my website’s Hockey & Heels Events for Women section, and in some of the columns.
But I should tell you about a WHL hockey team, the Everett Silvertips (Everett, WA.) There was no hockey in that town until the Silvertips came along in 2003. I appeared at their 3rd annual women only event in 2006. These events played a big part in educating hundreds of fans about the game. When I was there, the coach at the time, Kevin Constantine, shared hockey anecdotes and fielded questions for three hours and these ladies asked him EVERYTHING. It was such a fun environment. At the end of the event I did the book signing and met such lovely women season ticket holders, especially the elders – these ladies just love their team; they said the boys are like their grandsons.
Three weeks later I went back for a Vancouver Giants/ Silvertips game –and I was blown away. We were in our Giants colors and walked into what could be considered a hostile environment, and I loved it! The marketing department had cultivated such a hard core, loyal fan base in just three short years. They ring cowbells in Everett, and have about 7000-8000 (capacity) people in there for every home game, and practically every one of them rings a cowbell. It was insane! About three months after that game, the NHL Draft was in Vancouver. I was sitting there watching Wayne Gretzky make his first selection for the Coyotes, and he announces Peter Mueller, of the Everett Silvertips. I practically jumped out of my seat from this roar erupting two sections over, and there I see, like a half of section full of Silvertip fans cheering, clapping and clanking the cowbells. They made the trip to send the kid off. Sweet!
Q. Where can we find you at H&HH events during the 2008-2009 season? What new teams would you like to visit or help start Hockey & High Heels events?
My goal is to visit every NHL team eventually. There are always going to be some teams that have seen a drop in ticket sales, and they are looking for new ways to invite people back to the arena, or to entice new and casual fans to take a closer look at the game. Out of the teams that haven’t had an H&HH event yet, I would like to visit the Nashville Predators, Detroit Red Wings, and Carolina Hurricanes this season. For teams that have already adopted this type of event, I’d like to visit the Washington Capitals, Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars this season. Now I have talked with some of the above mentioned teams, and I am also talking with teams in other leagues. Time permits me to do only so many per season, so hopefully I’ll have some confirmations to report soon.
Q. Who are your favorite players in the game today?
Well, I used to like Mats Sundin. Ha ha! From the youth movement, I am a big fan of Milan Lucic of the Boston Bruins. I followed his junior career in Vancouver, including the Memorial Cup and the Super Series. At times, during the Habs/ Bruins playoff series, Lucic appeared to not only put the team on his back for his shifts, the dude managed to reach through the TV and grab some of us folks at home and take us along for the ride, too.
I like the Sedin twins, because of their “twin powers”. Last season, they had what became known as “The Shift.” It was something to marvel and can be seen on You Tube. I have many fond memories of the “twins at work” over the years, and I hope the Canucks keep them around after this season. To name a few more, I also like Shane Doan, Markus Naslund, Jerome Iginla, Martin St. Louis, Mattias Ohlund, Sergei Zubov, Nicklas Lidstrom and Roberto Luongo for saving my home team’s collective butts over and over again. Oh, my favorite pest: Jarkko Ruutu!
Q. Who do you think will be some of the top teams in the NHL this year?
In the East, two teams that will feed off of last season’s success will be the Capitals and the Penguins. The Caps now know they have to hang around longer at the post season party, and the Penguins now know exactly what it will take to beat a top team like the Red Wings. The Canadiens will be good, but I think they should be aware of who is behind them in the standings at all times, and if it is an obsessed group of Senators, look out. Hopefully the 100th anniversary doesn’t put the Universe out of wack for the Habs.
Dallas will feed off of last season’s success and remain strong despite Zubov’s recent surgery and Boucher’s sore foot. The Red Wings love the top so they’ll be there too. As far as the Northwest goes; the way this scrappy division is, it won’t be decided until the last game in April.
They might not be at the top, but I really hope the Coyotes do some damage in the Pacific Division and make the playoffs. It’s about time for that, and they might have most of the right pieces to accomplish it. I confess: I am a closet Coyotes fan. I’ll be a season ticket holder there one day. All that sunshine AND hockey? I dare to dream.
For the token over achieving team this season, I am going to pick the Canucks to be that team. Yes, I am really being optimistic on that pick. What else can I do here people?
Q. Finally, which team do you think will win the Stanley Cup in 2009? Do you think the Red Wings will repeat?
Oh those Red Wings. During the playoffs I wrote a piece titled Wing Envy. I think everyone suffers from it, even just a little bit at times. It’s hard to not pick them to repeat. The team is stacked: from the management and the players, all the way down to the little Crazy Bread truck on the concourse of The Joe. Yep, stacked and tasty! The only thing that I can think of that would affect the Wings Universe is the fact it was so easy for them to land Marion Hossa. I don’t know what this means...it’s just a feeling I have...maybe it’s some sort of side effect of the Wing Envy thing...
Well, Hockey Mom, I really want to thank you for getting in touch, indulging me and giving me an opportunity to talk about hockey and my particular involvement in this business. You asked me some questions that no one had asked me before, and I love that. And I hope your readers have enjoyed this interview, too.
We are but a couple of weeks away from puck drop to another nine months of obsessive hockey fan behavior and I want to wish everyone a safe, joyful and exciting season.
P.S. For all you new and veteran gal fans, or even guys looking for a fun gift for your hockey-loving wife or girlfriend, Lisa is offering a shipping special on single copy sales of Hockey & High Heels (just in time for the season)!
To order the book please visit www.hockeyandhighheels.com.
Happy Hockey everyone!