May 23rd, 2015
On the 21st episode of the show, Ryan Johnsen
of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets calls in.
Johansen, who will turn 23 this summer, was drafted 4th overall in 2010
by Columbus, and just completed his 4th season with the club, and It
was arguably his best yet. He hit career highs in assists, points, and
short-handed goals, and was also not only elected to the NHL All-Star game, but
voted the game’s MVP to boot.
We talk about his pseudo “feud” with his brother Lucas, as Ryan’s alumni WHL
team the Portland Winterhawks was amidst a battle with the Kelowna Rockets in
the WHL’s western conference final earlier in May, which ultimately was won by
Kelowna, who also went on to sweep the Brandon Wheat Kings in the WHL final, and are now
competing in the 2015 Memorial Cup tournament in Quebec.
We talk about how Ryan is using his experience in climbing the hockey ranks
to the NHL to show his brother the way there, but at the same time how Lucas is
committed to getting there on his own accord. We also discussed his decision
making process of declining of a full-ride NCAA scholarship to play in the WHL
en route to the NHL, the taxing nature of 82 NHL games on the body and what he
does in the off-season to recuperate.
Ryan and Lucas’ brotherly dynamic was featured in an article I wrote for the
Kelowna Daily Courier on May 4, which includes quotes from Lucas. If you’re
interested in reading that, click here to read the story.
We also brought up the Blue Jackets’ frustrating, injury prone season and how
frustrating that was to go through in the Blue Jackets’ dressing room, how it’s
been for Ryan to play in the city of Columbus through his career, how he’s come
to eclipse former Blue Jackets stars like Rick Nash, Jeff Carter, and Marian
Gaborik, his thoughts on team veterans like newly named captain Nick Foligno
and others that have helped show him the ropes in the league, and the direction the John Davidson and
company now have the franchise steered in.
round out the conversation, we also discussed the IIHF World Championship
tournament, why many NHL players decline it each year, why he declined his
invitation this year, and whether he’d play next year if Columbus finds themselves
out of the playoffs or eliminated early next season.
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May 2nd, 2015
In our 20th episode, host Dave Cunning sat down with 6'5" Australian defender, Aleksandar Jovanović, from Jeju United FC. Aleks is playing his third year of pro soccer in Korea, after previous stints in Australia, Thailand, and Serbia -- where he holds citizenship thanks to his family roots.
In the interview, Aleks discusses playing on a team where virtually no one else speaks English and other cultural challenges of living in Korea, the performance expectations placed upon import players, how the K-League stacks up against other pro soccer leagues, how many languages he speaks, Jeju United's recent coaching change and what they need to do to become a Asian Cup qualifying team this season, his goals and aspirations for the team and himself this year, and lots more.
April 7th, 2015
Host Dave Cunning traveled to Seoul, South Korea to talk with Jim Paek for episode 19. Paek is the first Korean born hockey player to not only play in the NHL, but to win the Stanley Cup, which he did twice with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1990's. After transitioning into coaching after his playing career concluded, Paek coached the Grand Rapids Griffins to a Calder Cup title, and was recently named head coach of South Korea's national team, and will guide the Koreans into the 2018 Winter Olympics.
During the interview, Jim spoke about how he's perceived in Korea's hockey community and his desire to improve hockey in his home nation, the freedom he has to make team decisions, his Korean skills, the language barrier, and how he works through communication issues on the team, the use of foreign born naturalized players to better South Korea's chances and the pros and cons of that approach, the pressure and expectations for the national team that his resume brings, how the team can compete against the world's best nations in 2018 while currently ranked two divisions down from their level and the fairness of them being in the tournament, how hard it was to make it to the NHL as a Korean and how he got there, playing with Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky, playing under Scotty Bowman and working with Mike Babcock, what he learned from them, returning to the NHL as a coach, juggling being a husband and parent while being continents away from his family, and he makes a verbal commitment to help hockey grow in Jeju!
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February 21st, 2015
19 season NHL veteran and 3 time all star Bernie Nicholls returns to XP PSP for episode 18. He and host Dave Cunning discuss the All Sports Market Free App (the new sports stock market app Bernie is helping develop and promote), the world of sports gambling and what sports are easiest/most difficult to fix, the LA Kings waiving Mike Richards and whether we will see him in the NHL again, Bernie's thoughts on the Slava Voynov legal situation, who the Kings should trade for prior to the NHL trade deadline to hopefully improve their chances of making the playoffs, why he engages social media more so than many older generation athletes, whether he wants to resume coaching in the NHL again, and a whole bunch more.
January 31st, 2015
Warrior Hockey's Brand Manager, Keith Perera, calls in for episode 17 to talk about Warrior's generous equipment donation to the Jeju Islanders Hockey Club in Jeju, South Korea last year, the evolution and maturing of Warrior's products, the difference between marketing to hockey and lacrosse players, the role social media plays in product sales and brand loyalty, the hockey equipment business, Warrior's presence in the NHL and other hockey leagues, what guys like Dustin Byfuglien and Ryan Smyth request from them, why the Oilers and Sabres are so bad and how to fix them, and a whole bunch more.
December 30th, 2014
In episode 16, former WWE Intercontinental Champion, WCW Heavyweight Champion, NWA Heavyweight Champion, founder of TNA Wrestling, and founder and president of Global Force Wrestling calls in to talk all things GFW, to promote NJPW's Jan 4th PPV event Wrestle Kingdom 9, and to discuss his wrestling career.
We talked about which performers and promotions will fly under the GFW flag, which Japanese talents to watch for new NJPW viewers, GFW competing with WWE, Vince McMahon, concussions and guitar shots to the head, Jeff's Christian faith, and even dipped into the infamous No Mercy 1999, Bash at the Beach 2000, and David Arquette as WCW Heavyweight Champion incidents, and a whole bunch more.
October 9th, 2014
In episode 15, Dave and Harold discuss the legal trouble that NFL players have found themselves in this season and whether or not it's hurting the league at all, and former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader Candice Carr calls in to talk about her cheerleading career for arguably the world's most popular and recognized cheer squads, as well as to give her take on the lawsuits brought against NFL teams recently by the cheerleaders of the Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, and Oakland Raiders.
Candice is now the owner of Social Photo Booths in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Be sure to check them out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and their website socialphotobooths.com.
March 26th, 2014
He may not be a household
name just yet, but San Jose Sharks defenseman Matt Irwin may work his way into
your mental NHL player directory yet. Now in his second NHL season, the 26 year
old British Columbian is continuing a trend from his amateur career that has
seen his point totals, ice-time, and contributions to his team’s success
dynamically increase every year.
Irwin spoke with me at
length about his long road to the NHL and what he’ll have to do to stay there,
the tough decisions he was required to make and small window of opportunity he
had to live out his dream, past teammates that helped get him where he is now,
current ones that help make him better, what the San Jose Sharks will have to
do to win their first Stanley Cup, what it takes to be consistently inserted
into a lineup full of Olympians, All-Stars, and Stanley Cup champions, and
Click here to read the written version of this interview on The Score's Backhand Shelf.
Click here to follow Dave on Twitter.
March 7th, 2014
Larry Fisher from the Kelowna Daily Courier called in for episode 13 to debrief all the action from the 2014 NHL trade deadline. We talked Martin St. Louis for Ryan Callahan, Roberto Luongo to Florida, Gaborik to LA, Ryan Miller to Buffalo, Jaroslav Halak all over the place, Vanek's path to Montreal, Edmonton's moves of Hemsky and Bryzgalov, the non-moves of Brodeur and Kesler, and we both pick our winners of the day.
Follow Larry Fisher, XP PSP, and host Dave Cunning on Twitter.
March 1st, 2014
Justin Bourne from The Score dropped by for episode 12 to debrief the Sochi 2014 Olympic hockey tournament with host Dave Cunning, and discuss it's implications on the NHL moving forward. We talked about Canada's route to gold, USA's fall from grace, Backstrom's Olympic suspension, how it affected Sweden's outcome and why team doctors weren't regulating his intake better, whether Canada's win justifies all the heavily critcised roster adjustments the coaching staff made, who steps into Steve Yzerman's role next Olympics, who Canada would send if the NHL chose not to participate in the 2018 Olympics, what the alternative to the Olympics as a best-on-best tournament would be, how John Tavares' Olympic injury affects the decision for the NHL to return or not, how it affects the Islanders going forward this season, how Olympic performances affect NHL players finishing their NHL season, and more.
Follow Justin Bourne, XP PSP, and Dave Cunning on Twitter.
February 13th, 2014
19 year NHL veteran Bernie Nicholls joined host Dave Cunning on the phone to talk all things LA Kings, their current slump and how he'd cure it, where he keeps his Stanley Cup ring, why he declines his invites to the New Jersey Devils' alumni game every year, who should be allowed to touch the Stanley Cup, and a whole bunch more.
January 24th, 2014
Sachin and Harold return in episode 11 and join Dave in casting their Superbowl predictions, discussing how to choose a team to cheer for if you don't have one in your hometown and whether geography or national pride should play into your decision; Harold says the CFL isn't real football and discusses why he turned down an opportunity to play in the league; Sachin plays the race card concerning the Richard Sherman issue and rips Erin Andrews; and we all decide whether we'd let our kids play hockey or football knowing how what we now do about injuries, and how prevalent the risks of concussions and other injuries now are in sports.
January 15th, 2014
In episode 10, host Dave Cunning goes one-on-one with Toronto Maple Leafs/Marlies forward, Troy Bodie. A veteran of 4 NHL seasons, Bodie spoke at length about playing for Randy Carlyle, the HBO 24/7 series, fighting in hockey, being a bubble guy, outdoor games, Miley Cyrus tunes, and more.
January 2nd, 2014
In episode 9, host Dave Cunning goes one on one with Cody Almond of Geneve Servette of Switzerland's top pro hockey league, the NLA. GSHC won the 2013 Spengler Cup, and the former Minnesota Wild forward spoke about how it felt to win, where the tournament lines up with other international tournaments, GSHC's upcoming outdoor Winter Classic, and a whole bunch more.
November 4th, 2013
Panel: Dave Cunning, Harold Dale
Guest: April Whitzman
2013 MLB Fan Cave Dweller April Whitzman drops by to talk about her experience as Toronto's ultimate fan, her experience seeing the World Series played out, the continuing plight of the Toronto Blue Jays, and more. Harold chimes in to teach everyone how to pronounce "Z", and Zorro finds his way into the conversation somehow too.
October 18th, 2013
Panel: Dave Cunning, Harold Dale, Ryan Brown, Dan Nabben
In this episode, we discuss:
-Ilya Bryzgalov's free agent woes, and getting cut - whether to stick with it or pack it in.
-Tim Thomas, taking a year off and expecting to pick up where he left off; who can actually do that.
-The guy in every sport on every team that's a little off.
-Hertl's goal, "The Code", and what it means in different sports.
-The place of fighting in hockey and all sports.
-Whether the opinion of former players or analysts who didn't play holds more weight than the other.
July 26th, 2013
In our fifth episode, we discuss:
Chicago's Stanley Cup win, and winning on the road.
Sachin loses his mind and contends that the Spurs won the NBA finals.
The Luongo/Schneider debacle, Kovalchuk's NHL retirement, Bryzgalov's buyout, and the pressure of media in a big market.
Sachin and Harold hate on Dwight Howard.
Evaluating whether playing hurt is heroic or insane.
Pro players in the Olympics, and collegiate athletes making money.
Drugs in baseball.
And plenty more.
June 17th, 2013
In episode 4 of XP PSP we discuss:
-The demise of the LA Kings and the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Conference Finals, and the Hawks/Bruins Cup Final from all angles.
-steps to take when choosing a new playoff team to cheer for when yours has been ousted.
-Superstitions of fans and athletes, and how they affect performance.
-The NBA Final between the Spurs and Heat.
June 1st, 2013
In this episode, we:
1) catch up on the first two rounds of NHL playoff eliminations, previewing conference finals, and catching up on the NBA playoffs, and our predictions across both sports.
2) 8th seeds running wild in the playoffs, and the legitimacy of an 8th seeds playoff threat across sports.
3) Which sport's playoffs are the hardest to win.
4) The audacity of people calling close, low scoring playoff games boring.
5) cheering for players vs teams; former players becoming/succeeding as coaches (Roy, Gretzky), Tortorella benching Brad Richards, "contract years"....
....and plenty more.
May 10th, 2013
In our second episode, we discuss:
-The NHL playoffs; the demise of the Vancouver Canucks, and how to fix them.
-The differences between the regular season and the playoffs.
-The NBA playoffs; Jason Collins, and homosexuality in sports.
-Brittany Griner, and the prospect of women playing in the NBA, and other male dominated sports.