Six Tips for Perfecting the Handstand Push-Up

Looking to spice up your push-up routine? Why not try flipping them on their head–literally–with the handstand push-up. This topsy-turvy move is the perfect way to up the ante in the gym, but proceed with caution when attempting these upside down push-ups. We talked with John Warnek, Head Coach and owner of Iron Cross Athletics in Phoenixville, PA, to get some advice on improving our handstand push-up technique and tips on how to ease into this advance exercise.

“If you tell someone that’s strong enough to flip up to the wall and get their head to the floor and come back up, they’ll do it,” Warnek said. “But there are definitely ways to make this easier and make it more efficient.” Here are six tips for perfecting your handstand push-up technique.

Know the Basics

Also known as a vertical push-up or the inverted push-up, handstand push-ups test an athlete’s strength and balance. The upside down move begins in the handstand position, with the heels of your feet resting against a wall. “Basically, you kick up to a wall, you get your body nice and rigid, you lower your head to the floor, and then you press back up to the top,” explains Warneck. While traditional push-ups support approximately 70% of your body weight, handstand push-ups lift nearly your entire body weight.

Focus on Your Shoulders

“The first thing to talk about is shoulder positioning,” Warneck stresses. “What a lot of people try to do is like a straight line–hand, head, hand in a straight line. What you actually want is more of a triangle. I get my fingers pointing toward the wall and when I get up there, I’m going to try and twist my elbows so the inside of my elbow is facing the wall and the point of the elbow is facing back into the room.”

Crossfit Handstand Good vs Bad Form

Suck It In

While handstand push-ups rely heavily on triceps, shoulders, and deltoids, this move cannot be executed properly without engaging your core. Knees should be bent slightly to get your feet to the wall, but your back should not be arched drastically. Ensure your core is tight and your stomach is slightly concave.

Get Mobile

Shoulder mobility is key in executing handstand push-ups. Before flipping upside at the gym, run a simple test to check your shoulder mobility: Stand with your back to the wall, pull your shoulders back, and raise your hands up. You should be able to stretch your arms back to the wall. “You’ll see a lot of people, especially guys who have been bench pressing all their lives, they lost a lot of shoulder mobility,” Warneck reveals. Work on your flexibility, especially in your shoulders, before attempting handstand push-ups.

Pump It Up

Having the balance and strength to kick up to the wall and hold yourself upside down is only half of the battle. You also need to be strong enough to lower your head to the floor and raise yourself back to the starting position. It’s important to build the strength necessary to complete the upside down push-up move. To build strength, “we have you do shoulder presses usually with dumbbells or a bar,” Warnek describes. “Still trying to stress all the same things: To create the hollow body position, elbows out front, shoulders pulled back.”

Practice Makes Perfect

Handstand push-ups aren’t easy, but there are simple things you can do to work your way up the wall. Practice holding the handstand position against the wall and slowly add in lowering-and-raising targets with the help of coaches. Warnek also adds, “Somebody who has never kicked upside down… we have them go headstand first, then we get two people on either side and actively lift them just to make sure they can support themselves upside down. Then we can work on kicking up.” Lastly, Warnek suggests “regular old push-ups on the floor” as a good step towards getting strong enough to do handstand push-ups.

Originally published at http://www.wodlounge.com/tips-perfecting-handstand-pushup/

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Dapper Duffels: Picking the Duffel Bag

The gym isn’t a fashion show. You don’t need to be the best dressed to get the best workout, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid upgrading your look. No need to toss those old college t-shirts you love to lift in—polish your work-to-gym-to-weekend-getaway ensemble with the perfect duffel bag.

We’ve compiled a list of the five most handsome bags—from casual to chic.

 

Everlane The Weekender Duffel in Blue Everlane The Weekender

Just like its namesake, The Weekender duffel bag is flexible, fun, and irresistible. This waterproof canvas bag is ideal for commuters or folks on short trips—it fits perfectly under Amtrak seats or in overhead compartments. Its casual colors combined with slick leather detailing will get you from the office to the gym to the beach in one weekend flat. everlane.com, $95

Birchbox Topo Design Duffel Bag Topo Designs Duffel Bag

This world is tough, but this classic duffel can handle it. Complete with a Cordura shell, Topo’s classic bag survives everything from a jostling morning commute to the airline’s baggage carousel. A waterproof interior will keep your stinkin’ wet gym clothes isolated from the outside world, and a seatbelt-grade detachable shoulder strap gives you extra flexibility when lugging this duffel all around town. birchbox.com, $129

FORUCK Mil Kit Bag GORUCK Mil Kit Bag

There are pretty overnight bags and there are gritty gym bags, then there are GORUCK kit bags. This bag is for the heavy packer—we’re talking helmet, survival gear, and ammo. You don’t need to be a paratrooper to appreciate this military-grade quality pack. Made in the USA, GORUCK’s kit bag is waterproof, has 84 liters of space, and features tons of interior and exterior pockets for all the small things. goruck.com, $195

Task Jackson Duffel Bag Trask Jackson Duffel Bag

We know you train dirty in the gym, but that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate the finer things in life. Hidden inside this handsome wool duffel bag is stinky gym gear soaked with an hours-worth of sweat, but the outside world only sees antiqued brass hardware and a beautifully traditional design. Perfect for work and weekend jaunts, even better for tricking your colleagues into thinking you’re sophisticated. nordstrom.com, $625

Moore and Giles James Club Bag Moore & Giles James Club Bag

Ditch the dowdy duffels, and pack this smart leather bag with all your weekend essentials. It might not appear to be the kind of bag you’d schlep to the gym, but with a water-resistant interior, the James Club Bag will keep your workout gear from stinking up the place. Zippered pockets keep your phone and wallet safe and snug, while a removable shoulder strap makes carrying this sleek duffel a breeze.mooreandgiles.com, $615

Originally published at http://www.wodlounge.com/picking-duffel-bag/

Paleo on the Page: The Best Books to Fuel Your Paleo Diet

Whether you’re just starting to dip your tastebuds into the Paleo Diet, or are so engrossed in ancestral eating that you’ve recently moved into a cave, cracking open a Paleo cookbook or two can only improve your nutritional happiness. From Paleo Diet guides to eating for athletes, this collection of seven mouth-watering cookbooks will get you in the kitchen and on the road to Paleo satisfaction.

 

The Paleo Diet Recipe Book Paleo Recipe Book

This massive tome is an excellent resource for everyone—from beginners to ancestral eating experts. Jammed between its covers are more than 350 recipes, eye-popping photography, and basic information vital at any stage of the Paleo Diet. The Paleo Recipe Book’s 8-week meal plan is a great starting point for Paleo rookies, but veterans can also find inspiration in this extensive Paleo guide. paleorecipebook.com, $27

 Paleo Hacks Paleo Food Guide Paleo Hacks

PaleoHacks.com’s active community message board is like having hundreds of Paleo Diet experts constantly on call. Want to learn how to thicken gravy without flour or cornstarch? PaleoHacks has the answer. Want to know where to buy bear fat in British Columbia? Strangely enough, more than one member of the Paleo Hacks’ community can point you in the right direction. Along with an active message board, PaleoHacks has also published six Paleo guides and cookbooks. Paleo Hacks books cover everything from recipes to meal plans to Paleo guides for dining out. paleohacks.com, $37

 Your Guide To Paleo Your Guide to Paleo

Armed with the proper knowledge, the Paleo Diet can be simple and irresistibly delicious. Your Guide to Paleo introduces the reader to Paleo’s basics by covering  foods to eat and avoid, how to cook, and the best ways to live the Paleo lifestyle. This Paleo guide not only spells it out for you, but also brightens the page with colorful illustrations. yourguidetopaleo.com, $23

 30 Day Guide To Paleo Primal Palate

Written—and taste-tested—by a Paleo-loving couple, Primal Palate is an interactive website where hungry cavemen can find recipes, meal planners, and three Paleo-inspired books. Newbies can turn toThe 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking, while experience ancestral eaters can find Paleo party inspiration in Gather. Primal Palate’s first book was a collection of 200 recipes ideal for any Paleo kitchen. primalpalate.com, $29

 Paleo in a Box Paleo Diet in a Box

Paleo Diet in a Box is more of a masterclass than a simple book. This program is a six week online nutrition training system geared towards athletes who are looking to get faster and stronger through diet. Nutritionist and strength coach Justin Lord directly connects the Paleo Diet to physical performance as he walks students through strategies for eating clean, matching nutrition to specific fitness goals, and how to accelerate fat loss. Paleo in a Box is delivered in videos, audio MP3s, and PDF downloads over the course of six weeks. paleodietinabox.com, $291

The Paleo Chef - Summer Eats Mary, The Paleo Chef

Penned by a personal Paleo chef and lifestyle coach to the stars, this digital cookbook is a collection of 16 elegant eats and 15 tantalizing cocktails. Chef Mary wrote this cookbook to remind ancestral eaters that the Paleo Diet is not an end to fancy dishes and cheers-worthy libations. This e-cookbook includes recipes for Pomegranate Pork Belly and Lavender Honey Bee’s Knees cocktail—hungry yet? paleochef.com, $20

 1000 Paleo Recipes 1000 Paleo Recipes

Claiming to be the biggest collection of Paleo recipes on the planet, this e-book will tempt your taste buds with easy and delicious step-by-step recipes. Over the course of several months, you’ll receive 250 recipes at a time, giving you bite-sized chunks of the massive collection to explore. 1000 Paleo Recipes cover everything from breakfast to dessert and chicken to smoothies. 1000paleorecipes.com, $27

Originally published at http://www.wodlounge.com/best-books-fuel-paleo-diet/

A Grooming Guide for the Ruggedly Handsome Athlete

Fact: It is possible to be both manly and use moisturizer. This is the definition of ruggedly handsome—a man who knows his way around a WOD but still manages to get his hair to look effortlessly cool. We’ve compiled six additions to your gym bag that will make your transition from workout to the street as good looking—and simple—as possible.

Raw Materials Sport Soap Raw Material Sport Fix Soap 

This black soap not only cleans up grime, but also prevents you from getting stinky again throughout the day. Its odor-fighting properties are powered by mineral-rich activated bamboo carbon, while acai berries protect from free radicals, and shea butter moisturizes your skin. getrawmaterials.com, $10

 Jack Black Face Buff Jack Black Face Buff 

Your pores may be small, but they can filled with a surprising amount of dirt. Daily face wash isn’t enough to rid your face of all the nastiness—that’s where facial scrubs step in. This Jack Black Face Buff has menthol to help wake you up in the morning, and Vitamin C to slow the signs of aging. getjackblack.com, $18

 Bull Dog Skin Care Bulldog Original Moisturizer 

Wrinkles may not be your main concern in the gym, but there’s no harm taking a simple step to stop them in their tracks. This moisturizer is jam-packed with essential oils and vitamins, while skipping parabens and artificial colors. This daily moisturizer keeps your skin soft and slows premature aging. meetthebulldog.com, $11

 Ernest_Supplies_Cooling_Shave_Cream Ernest Supplies Cooling Shave Cream 

Taking its inspiration from hair conditioner, this all-natural shave cream eliminates razor burn with soothing oils and is low-lather ensuring a close shave. Jojoba, macadamia nut, and babassu oils condition your beard and skin, while menthol and eucalyptus oil provide a moisturizing cool. ernestsupplies.com, $25

 Hanz_de_Fuko_Sponge_Wax Hanz de Fuko Sponge Wax 

Your hair doesn’t need to be perfectly coifed all the time, but a little product goes a long way to achieve an effortlessly cool look. This hair wax skips the glossy look of gel, but gives you the hold and pliability to style your locks any way you wish. Lightweight and organic, this product thickens your strands and adds a matte finish to your do’.hanzdefuko.com, $17.50

 smoke-perfume Smoke Perfume 

The finishing touch of any grooming regime is an irresistible scent. This fragrance is inspired by New Orleans’ late night jazz scene, with vetiver grass providing an earth base and slightly spicy overtones. Smoke Perfume is an artisan scent created with essential oils in the French Quarter, and proves that being tough doesn’t mean you can’t smell awesome. smokeperfume.com, $65

Originally published at http://www.wodlounge.com/grooming-guide-ruggedly-handsome-athlete/

What to Pack for a CrossFit Competition

There’s nothing like a little friendly competition to raise your spirits and get you pumped up about CrossFit. But don’t forget it’s still a contest, and last minute nerves can have you rushing out the door and leaving important supplies behind.

On the day of a CrossFit competition, your mind should be focused on deadlifts and not the tape you forgot at home. Keep your head in the game by using this comprehensive list to pack for the big day.

WARM­-UP GEAR

While some competition runners may provide small warm-up areas to CrossFitters, it’s a huge risk not packing the supplies you need to warm-up your body properly. A simple jump rope is all you need to get your heart pumping before the competition, and a yoga mat is ideal for stretching.

  • Jump rope
  • Yoga mat

COOL DOWN GEAR

A CrossFit Competition may not be a regular WOD, but be careful not to stray far from your routine. Cool downs are vital for recovery, so remember to pack all the essentials you may need to stretch and knead your muscles after an intense day of CrossFit.

  • Foam roller
  • Lacrosse ball
  • Compression gear


CLOTHING AND SHOES

Typical CrossFit competitions last all day, almost guaranteeing that you’ll be nice and sweaty half way through. Stay comfortable and dry by packing extra clothes to change into midday, and try slipping on sandals between workouts to give your toes some breathing room. Keep in mind that game day is not the day to break in a new pair of shoes. Pack comfortable pairs of Oly shoes and flat shoes to switch between heavy lifting WODs and Metcon WODs.

  • Oly shoes
  • Flat shoes
  • Sandals
  • Shirts (2)
  • Shorts (2)
  • Socks (2)
  • Hooded sweatshirt – it can get cold, plus you’ll want to stay warmed up
  • Head bands or bandana
  • Plastic bag for wet clothes
  • Towels
  • Post­-competition street clothes – for an after party or just to slip out of those stinky clothes.

TOILETRIES

The key to succeeding at a CrossFit competition is to always be prepared. Think of all the basics you use daily and be sure you have them packed for game day. Competition runners will sometimes have gym staples lying around—such as tape or first aid kits—but there are no guarantees, always bring essential toiletries and first aid supplies with you.

  • Tape
  • Chalk
  • Scissors
  • Hair ties
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Body soap
  • Chapstick
  • Hand sanitizer
  • First aid kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses

FOOD AND WATER

Concessions are common at CrossFit competitions, but never guaranteed or healthy. Pack food and water to stay fueled up over the course of a long day. Seal various snacks into small plastic bags for convenient bites between workouts.  If you’re able to pack a small cooler, whip up some chicken salad for a more substantial lunch. Water is vital, so bring a lot of it—don’t assume cold, clean water will be on hand at the competition.

  • Water
  • Shaker bottle
  • Pre­ and post workout supplements
  • Electrolyte replenishment: Coconut water or Gatorade
  • Snacks: Fruits, trail mix, protein bars
  • Plastic utensils
  • Napkins

 

MISCELLANEOUS

Staying comfortable and relaxed can go a long way on the day of a CrossFit competition. Bring your own chair to rest your weary bones between workouts, and pack a distraction or two to help ease your mind—an iPod with your favorite music or a great book.

  • Cash
  • Camera
  • iPod and headphones
  • Portable folding chair
  • Bug spray

Originally published at http://www.wodlounge.com/what-to-pack-crossfit-competition/

7 Steps to Eating Like a Caveman

Although the Paleo Diet may seem like another trendy weight loss plan, this lifestyle has its roots not only in the Paleolithic Age, but also in science. The Paleo Diet was first popularized in the 1970s by gastroenterologist Walter L. Voegtlin. Voegtlin argued that humans are “carnivorous animals” who would benefit from a diet similar to our Paleolithic ancestors—foods rich in protein and fat with very little carbohydrates. Since Voegtlin’s revolutionary theory, thousands have decided to endorse and partake in more caveman-friendly fare.

Basically, the Paleo Diet promotes fat—and not carbs—as the body’s biggest source of energy. Our ancestors had easy access to meat, and seasonal fruits and veggies. More relaxed Paleo eaters also say small amounts of dairy are fine. The biggest no-nos on the Paleo Diet are saturated fats, wheat, refined sugar, and almost all packages and processed foods. The best part? Bacon has the Paleo Diet’s seal of approval!

As you embark on your Paleo adventure, it’s vital you have tools to ensure success. You’ll need a map, a compass, and beef jerky for the road. Here are seven resources to guide you through the first weeks of your brand new Paleo lifestyle.

1. Get Paleo’s Story Straight: As you dive into the world of Paleo, it’s helpful to understand the history and science behind the lifestyle. Luckily for us, people like Dr. Sarah Ballantyne (a.k.a The Paleo Mom) and Robb Wolf have created foolproof guides to Paleo eating. Check out the Paleo Mom’s simple starter guide. Or, if you want a shorter explanation, look no further than Robb Wolf: What is the Paleo Diet.

2. Learn the Paleo Food Pyramid: Without a proper understanding of what is and is not allowed on the Paleo Diet, a trip to the grocery store can be daunting. You might know the rules, but seeing a complete list of foods that have a caveman’s stamp of approval is incredibly useful. Check out The Ultimate Paleo Guide and Paleo Plan for comprehensive (and super easy to understand) lists of ancestral foods.

3. Tune in to YouTube Channels: YouTube has more to offer than just adorable videos of puppies. Experts and enthusiasts alike create and post Paleo-focused videos on YouTube. A YouTuber simply known as PaleoDiet posts videos about the history and science behind ancestral eating. YouTuberSexyPaleoFood posts videos about the Paleo lifestyle, cooking, and basic tips and tricks to maintaining a Paleo diet.

4. Let Recipe Blogs Make Your Mouth Water: The internet has easily eclipsed cookbooks in recent years. Food blogs are all over the web, and the Paleo Diet has inspired many cooks-turned-bloggers to post irresistible Paleo recipes for the world to try. Nom Nom Paleo is written by Michelle Tam who includes eye-catching step-by-step photographs with each recipe. Sarah Fragoso over at Everyday Paleo posts lifestyle pieces, awesome recipes, and food photography so delicious you can almost taste it. Find a Paleo Diet food website that makes you hungry! Visit it frequently to find new recipes and to stay inspired.

5. Build a Meal Plan: As you become accustomed to your new Paleo lifestyle, picking the right foods will be second nature. But as you get started with the Paleo Diet, having a structured meal plan may be beneficial. Caveman Strong offers Paleo eaters a two week plan which includes meal ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Robb Wolf also offers up basic meal plans for everyone from Paleo rookies to endurance athletes. You can check out the meal plans here.

6. Adopt the 85:15 Rule: Nearly any Paleo eater will admit that kicking processed carbs was the hardest step towards a healthier lifestyle. While the Paleo world is bursting with mouthwatering bites, the siren song of pancakes at Sunday brunch or a slice of pizza during the hockey game can be impossible to resist. Fortunately, it’s possible to maintain a healthy Paleo Diet and still sink your teeth into jam-slathered toast… occasionally. Many experts recommend the 85:15 Rule: 85% of the time you’re strictly Paleo, 15% you enjoy non-Paleo food. This rule translates to 2 or 3 “cheat meals” each week, or even an entire cheat day every 1-2 weeks.

7. Start Fresh: It won’t be easy, but purging your kitchen of non-Paleo food will help you totally commit to this caveman diet. As you sort through your fridge, you’ll most likely toss expired mustard you didn’t know you had, but you’ll also learn exactly what kind of strange ingredients and chemicals you’ve been ingesting for years! Read each label, recycle what you can, and breathe a sigh of relief once your kitchen is Paleo-friendly.

Originally published at http://www.wodlounge.com/7-steps-eating-caveman-starter-guide-paleo-diet/

Photos: Adirondack Phantoms End Hershey Bears Six Game Win Streak

The Hershey Bear’s six-game winning streak was brought to an abrupt halt on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, when they dropped 4-1 to the Adirondack Phantoms. The two hockey clubs faced off on Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA—home to the Phantoms NHL affiliate, the Philadelphia Flyers. Forward Matt Watkins buried what would be the Hershey Bears sole goal late in the first period. Coming off a three-game losing streak, Phantoms goaltender Cal Heeter stopped 27 of the Bears’ 28 shots on goal. Tyler Brown, Tye McGinn, Ben Holmstrom, and Jason Akeson were the four Adirondack players to light the lamp at Saturday’ game in Philly.

Click through the slideshow to check out photographs from Saturday’s game at the Wells Fargo Center.

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Annie Erling Gofus writes for Olympus Athletics. Follow Annie on Twitter (@AnnieErGo) or email her at annie.erling@gmail.com.

Originally published at http://beyondthebenches.com/2014/02/04/adirondack-phantoms-end-hershey-bears-six-game-win-streak/ 

Rules for the Road: 10 Tips for Visiting CrossFitters

Luckily for the wandering CrossFitter, there are thousands of affiliate gyms across the world—more than 5,000 are located in the United States alone! You can’t travel far without stumbling across a local box that has the resources you need to train, but also a whole new code of conduct to abide by. With help from CrossFit Coach and frequent explorer Ryan Engelhardt of CrossFit Kennesaw in Marietta, Georgia, we’ve compiled a list of ten simple rules traveling CrossFitters should follow.

1. PLAN

Once your vacation is planned check out map.crossfit.com to find the nearest box. Get to know the gym through online research—explore the website, read about the coaches, and check out any photos they may have posted. Most importantly, note the gym’s hours and class schedule.

2. LEARN THE RULES

Some boxes may have a code of conduct listed on their website or inside the gym, but rules can also be passed along to members via word of mouth. If you don’t see rules posted, ask. Inquiring about the law of the land is not only a sign of respect, but will also keep you safe.

3. WHEN IN ROME

Remember that you’re in someone else’s house, so don’t insist on acting like you’re at home. Coach Engelhardt gives this example: “Just because everyone warms up barefoot in your home gym, doesn’t mean you should walk around barefoot in a gym you’re visiting.” Upon arriving at the gym, take a moment to observe your surroundings to find clues about the gym’s culture.

4. CALL AHEAD

If you’re a more advanced athlete and are working with a coach on a specific training schedule, it’s best to give the gym you’re visiting a heads up. Call ahead and ask if the gym has any open hours and then explain your training regime. Most boxes will be happy to accommodate you as long as they know what to expect.

5. BE FLEXIBLE

If you don’t have a specific training schedule and simply want to drop in on a scheduled class, be flexible. The WODs at the gym you’re visiting may be much different from the WODs at home. Ask questions if you’re confused and enjoy a break in your routine!

6. BE PUNCTUAL

Show up early for scheduled classes to give yourself plenty of time to meet the coaches, learn the rules, and understand the workout. Walking into a class late can leave a bad first impression with the gym you’re visiting.

7. TAKE ADVICE

Always defer to what the coach is telling you, unless you’re being directed to attempt something dangerous, then use common sense. Coach Engelhardt explains, “If a coach tells you, “I’d like you to reduce the weight you’re lifting, because I don’t like your form,” do it. Even if your coach at home approves.” It’s important to respect the coaches on site.

8. RELAX

Coach Engelhardt reminds us, “ego is an athlete’s worst enemy.” Visiting a new gym and checking out stronger, more advanced athletes may inspire you to push yourself too far. Take a deep breath and remember you’re off home turf before attempting to break any local records. “Sometimes a vacation is a good excuse to get some rest in,” adds Coach Engelhardt.

9. ENJOY YOURSELF

Your gym can start to feel like a second home, so visiting a strange box can be nerve wracking. Remember to enjoy yourself! Visiting distant CrossFit gyms is an excellent way to connect with fellow athletes and shake up your routine.

10. SAFETY FIRST

In addition to learning the rules, it’s also important to be aware of your own capabilities before squatting at a different gym. “I would caution beginners who have not completed an introductory course at their home gym,” warns Coach Engelhardt. Learning CrossFit techniques and lifts is best done at your local gym, and not at a strange box while on Spring Break.

 

Originally published at http://www.wodlounge.com/10-tips-visiting-crossfitters/

10 Longest Suspensions In NHL History

Hockey in synonymous with hard hits and rough play, but the National Hockey League won’t hesitate to punish players who take the violence too far. From a life ban to a 15-game suspension, here are the 10 longest suspensions in NHL history.

Tyson Strachan of the Hershey Bears fights with a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins player in Hershey, PA. (Annie Erling Gofus)

Tyson Strachan of the Hershey Bears fights with a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins player in Hershey, PA. (Annie Erling Gofus)

10. In 1955, Maurice “The Rocket” Richard of the Montreal Canadiens knocked out linesman Cliff Thompson. Habs fans protested the 15-game suspension by engaging in what would be known as The Richard Riot. This violent riot resulted in $100,000 in damage, 37 injuries and 100 arrests.

9. As Pierre Turgeon celebrated a goal during a 1993 game, Washington Capitals star Dale Hunter violently checked Turgeon. This illegal hit resulted in a 21-game suspension.

8. After leaving the penalty box to verbally and physically abuse officials in 2000, Gordie Dwyer of the Tampa Bay Lightning received a 23-game suspension. This altercation occurred during a pre-season game versus the Washington Capitals and resulted in a bench-clearing brawl.

7. In the final moments of a game against the Vancouver Canucks, Marty McSorley of the Boston Bruins hit Donald Brashear in the head with his stick. McSorley was convicted of assault with a weapon, was suspended for 23 games and never returned to the NHL.

6. Hits in the head are not tolerated by the NHL, and such a hit by Philadelphia Flyers’ Jesse Boulerice resulted in a 25-game suspension in 2007. This enforcer was also on the receiving end of violent hits throughout his hockey career. In 2003, a left hook from Dallas Stars player Aaron Downey broke Boulerice’s jaw and gave him a concussion.

5. A 25-game suspension was handed down to Phoenix Coyotes’ Raffi Torres after checking Marian Hossa in the head.

4. After engaging in a stick-swinging match that cracked Ted Greene’s skull, Wayne Maki of the St. Louis Blues was suspended for 30 days in 1969. This lengthy suspension was short compared to the consequences Boston Bruins’ Greene faced: Because of brain damage he sustained during the fight, Greene was forced to sit out the entire 1969-1970season.

3. With two suspensions in the top ten list, Chris Simon proved he had a particularly violent temper. The former New Year Islander received a 25-game suspension for slashing a player in the head, and in the following season was suspended for 30 games for stomping on an opponent’s ankle during a timeout.

2. Russian player Alexander Perezhogin was suspended from the American HockeyLeague for 89 games after slashing an opponent in the head. This vicious attack also resulted in police charges and one year of probation.

1. Billy Coutu of the Boston Bruins became the only player in NHL history to be banned from the league for life. In 1927, Coutu assaulted one ref, tackled another and started a bench-clearing brawl that resulted in his lifetime ban.

 

Annie Erling Gofus writes for Olympus Athletics. Follow Annie on Twitter (@AnnieErGo) or email her at annie.erling@gmail.com.

Originally posted at http://beyondthebenches.com/2014/02/03/10-longest-suspensions-in-nhl-history/

Nate Schmidt Talks Leaving Minnesota, NHL Goals

Post-game interviews following losses are rarely pleasant. Exhausted players anxious to mourn their defeat away from the cameras and microphones are forced by people like to me to relive an unsuccessful 60 minutes. After watching the Hershey Bears fall 3-2 to the Syracuse Crunch on December 27th, I expected a short, sad interview with a defenseman recently assigned to Hershey from the Washington Capitals. Turns out, Nate Schmidt is an exception to this rule.

Nate Schmidt Hershey Bears vs Syracuse Crunch 27 Dec 2013 Annie Erling Gofus

Nate Schmidt Hershey Bears vs Syracuse Crunch 27 Dec 2013 (Annie Erling Gofus)

The 22-year-old Minnesota native has played 29 games with the Washington Capitals this season, tallying 2 goals and 4 assists. After a long stint with the Caps, the 6’0″, 194-pound blueliner has bounced back and forth between Washington and Chocolatetown since mid-December. Most recently, Schmidt was re-assigned to Hershey on January 25th. After three seasons with the University of Minnesota, Schmidt made his professional debut with the Hershey Bears at the end of the 2012-2013 season. The blueliner totalled 12 goals and 62 assists in 96 games as a Golden Gopher.

Although he’s known as a d-man with a penchant for shooting the puck, Schmidt’s most defining trait might be his ever-present smile. And with his trademark grin firmly in place, Schmidt kicked off what was, hands down, the most cheerful and least canned post-game interview I have ever conducted. Read on to see what Nate had to say about Minnesota, his first NHL goal, and teaming up with a former rival.

Nate Schmidt Hershey Bears vs Syracuse Crunch 27 Dec 2013 (Annie Erling Gofus)

Nate Schmidt Hershey Bears vs Syracuse Crunch 27 Dec 2013 (Annie Erling Gofus)

You played three years at the University of Minnesota, what made you decide to leave early?

I was an undrafted free agent, so it was kind of like being recruited for college all over again. I talked to a lot of different teams. I was thinking about (leaving) after my sophomore year, but education was huge and I know my mom would not have been very happy with me. So, I almost finished (school), I think I had about two classes after the semester left. I almost did all four years in three, but we did summer school, we were down there all year. It was kind of time. I think there were three or four of us that all left at the same time. It was kind of like a big group decision.

You were all Juniors?

Yea, I think it was myself, Nick Bjugstad, he’s playing in Florida right now; Erik Haula, he’s playing for the Wild; and Zach Budish, he’s playing in Milwaukee.

Are you happy you made that decision to leave early?

I had an unbelievable time there. I loved it, every second of college I loved. We had a great team, the school is awesome, the college lifestyle obviously (laughs). The guys who play Major Junior in Canada don’t get to experience it. It’s one of those things: I made the decision, I moved on with it, I’m really happy with where I am right now.

What was your time like in Washington?

It was good. It started off kind of slow. It was being a little a nervous at first. Just trying to get out those first game jitters, but the guys are great up there. They really brought me into the team, and (showed me) how the NHL works, and how the game is different from any other level I’ve played at. It was a great experience, and something that I can try to apply here.

(Schmidt scored his first NHL goal on December 7, 2013 against Marek Mazanec of the Nashville Predators.)

What was your first NHL goal like?

Aw, boy. It was, awww… I didn’t do a whole lot (laughs).

You’re not supposed to say that! Take credit for it!

I’ve gotta give the credit where it’s due. Marty Erat made a great play off the face-off, throws a waist-high pass to me and he sucks the guy in and I’m wide open, so all I had to do was shoot it in. And Joel Ward makes a great screen in front of the net–the goalie never really saw it. But the best part was when John Carlson almost put me in the stands after I scored. And then everyone came over with the congratulatory hug and almost threw me into the third world. It was good though.

It must have been pretty surreal in your first year of professional hockey to be able to experience that.

I would never have guessed that this year would have gone the way it has. It’s been a lot of fun.

How are you planning to continue turning heads up here in Hershey?

I’ve just got to get back to my game. The game’s a little different, and you’ve got to adapt your style to the way the game’s played…. I’m trying to hone in more on my skills I haven’t worked on in the last couple months. I’m trying to be as complete as a player as possible.

Tonight, you were on the ice pretty often with Chay Genoway, who is a University of North Dakota alum. Is there any kind of rivalry between the two of you?

He brought it up before the game! He brought up this bad chemistry right before the game started (laughs). He said, “I can’t believe this, I’m playing with…” I don’t know if it was “a bleepin’ Gopher” or what he said, I’m not really positive, but it was along those lines (laughs). He said it with a smile, I knew he was joking. But you know, it hurt a little bit.

He’s got lots of attitude.

He does, I’m telling you!

I’m glad you were able to put your rivalry aside for tonight.

He’s a great guy and I like him. (UND hockey players) are not as all bad as we think they are.