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Tag: Thericknash

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Hockey superstitions & how Rick Nash got his 61…

Somewhere on the Eastern shore of Japan Whether you believe he’s one of the greatest players in the game, or just another guy rotting away in a cursed rink down in Ohio, it doesn’t change the fact that, to our generation of hockey fans, #61 will always be synonymous with Rick Nash. However, you may be surprised to learn that Mr. Nash’s iconic number came from superstitious origins.

To me the story of #61 is common knowledge. I remember Thericknash, as he’s better known in the Psycho Universe, being asked about this during an interview back in his OHL playing days with the London Knights. But I started wondering today how many of you, the Rick Nash fans of his NHL career, actually know this story as well. Is it common knowledge to all Rick Nash fans, or did this interesting bit of sports trivia get lost over the last 12 years?

First of all I should say that I’ve always been a huge fan of Thericknash… in more ways than one!! I’m also lucky enough to boast that I was front row for the last game ever played at the old London Ice House. It was a second round playoff game six versus the Erie Otters and Thebradboyes. It was also #61’s last game in the OHL, and, I should add, he scored his last OHL goal RIGHT in front of me complete with modest ‘celey!’ Yeah… Huge Rick Nash fan over here.

However, prior to his short two season stay in the OHL, Thericknash was not the #61 we all know him to be today. He was actually lucky #13. I suppose this story always stuck with me because I, too, wore #13 while growing up, if I could get my hands on it, that is. Often the #13 option was mysteriously absent during number selection, and I would have to go for second choice #8. But enough about me, when a fresh faced, 16 year old Rick Nash entered the London Knights organization as a rookie back in 2000, the Hunter brothers, Dale and Mark, forbade him from selecting his usual #13. The Hunters were superstitious and wouldn’t allow any player to play on their team wearing such an unlucky number. Unfortunately for Thericknash, his second choice #16 (with his birthday, June 16th, the likely origin for that one), was taken by veteran OA, Ryan Held, who would later go on to a storied career in the Central League. So, as you may have already guessed, Mr. 61 simply flipped around the digits of his second favourite number. What did you expect? No self-respecting forward would wear #31!

It’s difficult to try to imagine Rick Nash wearing any other number, but it’s fun to speculate on the career he could have had as one of the few players that dared to be #13. Did the superstitious Hunters save him from obscurity by forcing him to choose another number? Would the evil forces behind #13 have prompted Florida to change their minds about swapping picks with Columbus during the 2002 NHL Draft in Toronto (to the benefit of one Jay Bouwmeester)? I guess we’ll never know.

I suppose we are all a little superstitious with our hockey teams. Whether we eat the same thing on game day, or simply refuse to send our jerseys into the wash. Even I’m superstitious about what bridge to the US I cross prior to my road trips. Plus there’s that whole wearing red thing. Anyway, I’ve always found it interesting that one of the iconic numbers in the NHL today was also born from superstition. And that’s the end of my story… Sorry if you’ve heard it already.

P.S. Congratulations to the London Knights for making it to the 2012 OHL Western Conference Finals. Unfortunately my boys, the Kitchener Rangers, are going to be handing out severe ass rapings at the John Labatt Centre Thursday night! You’ve been warned! ;)

Top Photo: Thericknash during my Blue Jackets adventure in Carolina last season. Great seats. Great view! I love BJs! ;)

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Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Carolina (Day 3): It’s pronounced, “Thericknash.” (BlueJackets@Hurricanes)

Remember when the boys were all electric…

Raleigh, NC Breakfast was more delicious than usual on game day, and no, it wasn’t because of the sweet tea. Many of the more “go-getter” type Blue Jackets had joined us for the surprisingly good hotel buffet. One particular Columbus boy caught my eye, or rather, his back side did. A certain Marc Methot has a butt that won’t quit (FIVE DOLLARS)! I had to restrain myself from pulling the old pass-n-squeeze as he lingered next to our table each and every time he reloaded his plate – thank God that boy has a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge…appetite! I don’t know what it is, but defensemen always do EVERYTHING better!

Which brings me to my next point: Columbus is a HOT team! I’m not sure if it was the fact that it was 26oC in Raleigh, but Bambi had definitely come out of hibernation, and was on the prowl. Luckily for her, man-candy such as (but not limited to), Antoine Vermette, Sami Lepisto, and Thericknash were slow moving targets roaming the hotel grounds.

Speaking of Thericknash… I always have a good time when I’m at a Blue Jackets game. I have a lot of memories from back in my younger Catholic school girl days that involve TRN. Oh, by the way, there are only two The’s in my repertoire of hockey players: Thericknash and Thebradboyes. Both were boys I had a she-boner for when they played junior. I actually was at TRN’s final game in the OHL when London was eliminated (4-2) in the second round of the 2002 OHL playoffs to none other than TBB’s Erie Otters. It was also the final game played in the old London Ice House before the Knights moved into the John Labatt Centre. I remember TRN got a goal in that game and he celebrated right in front of the glass where we were sitting – fond memories. I also remember how he got down on one knee in defeat after Erie had successfully managed to advance to the third round (and later the Mem Cup) – sad memories.

Thericknash was also featured in a lot of the “spicy stories” I think I told you about. My friends used to write notes and draw pictures for me during class in grade 11 that would always feature junior hockey players in some way. I remember one about TRN that was QUITE graphic –there was a diagram and everything! TRN was, after all, a member of the Sexy Seven that year, too. A list that also included current NHLers: Tim Brent, Dan Paille, Stephen Weiss, Steve Eminger, and a certain Nashville player that shall not be named! TRN was also the reason I met my first jock sniffer, which came in very handy when I was writing Down the Rabbit Hole. These two no-name league hockey players were sitting next to me at a Jackets game in Toronto, and one of them was bragging that he had messed around with a girl that had “dated” Rick Nash. The other guy was impressed, but still felt it would have made a better story if his teammate had actually nailed her.

Anyway, back to the game. RBC Center was my 25th NHL arena visited, and now that I’ve been there, I really regret putting it off as long as I did. The weather was great, the boys were jumpable, and most importantly the locals were hockey fans. Heading down to a “southern market” I kind of figured that the support for our game would be minimal. Sure, you will always find fans at the games no matter where you go, but what got me about being in Raleigh was that I could walk down the street and civilians would actually prompt intelligent conversations about the NHL. It was very impressive, and part of me was really pulling for them in the game that night, but the other part of me, the same part that was wearing the Leafs t-shirt, needed the Canes to fall to the Jackets to keep Toronto’s playoff dream alive. Luckily the Blue Jackets snapped their losing streak that night. Unfortunately, the Rangers also won.

After the game, we hit the town for a post-game celebration. The “mexidog “ that Michelle had ordered at the rink, and that one of the Blue Jackets’ trainers was eye-fucking, was unsatisfying and we were both starving. A couple sweet teas later, and it was time for bed. We finally both got a full night’s sleep for the first time in days. The following afternoon it was more than an effort to pull ourselves away from the beautiful North Carolina weather. I will definitely be back to Canes Country next season to see one of my teams play!

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