Arizona Coyotes – Coyote on the Rocks

Throughout the year, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the National Hockey League (NHL), discovering the best and worst each team has to offer in a variety of subjects. We will also feature a drink based off the franchise. Today, we venture to the hotbed of hockey that is Arizona. While checking out the Coyotes operation, we must be mindful of the franchise’s past in Winnipeg as the first incarnation of the Jets:

Establishment Story: On July 1, 1996, the Winnipeg Jets became the Phoenix Coyotes, moving their operations from the frozen tundra to the desert. The original plan was to relocate to Minneaplos-St. Paul, but the new owners couldn’t arrange an arena lease, so Phoenix became the destination. A fan vote was conducted to name the team, with Coyotes being the winner over Scorpions.

Stanley Cups: The Jets/Coyotes franchise has never appeared in a Stanley Cup Final (the oldest team to have not made the Finals), let alone won the championship. The deepest the team has ever gone in the playoffs was the Western Conference Finals in 2012. It should be noted, the Jets were extremely successful during their stint in the World Hockey Association (WHA), winning the Avco Cup three times during the league’s seven seasons of existence.

Celebrity Fan: The ‘Godfather of Shock Rock’ Alice Cooper has long been a fan of the Coyotes, being an Arizona native since he was a teenager. The team has even given away Alice Cooper bobbleheads as a fan promotion in 2012. Cooper can often be spotted at games or rocking the classic Kachina-style jersey. Goalie Mike Smith even had Cooper painted on the back of his helmet in 2015.

Alice Cooper

Super Fan: Any supporter of the Coyotes has to be considered a super fan, no? Seriously, though, Leighton Accardo was a 9-year-old Coyotes supporter who sadly lost her 18-month battle with cancer in late 2020. Prior to passing, Accardo played youth hockey in the Arizona Kachinas program and was signed to a one-day contract by the Coyotes. On that night, rather than drop the puck for the ceremonial face-off, the youngster actually took the draw.

Mascot: Howler the Coyote (full name Canis Howlus Maximus) debuted in 2005. He wears jersey number 96, representing the year the team arrived in Arizona. Also, rather than have a captain’s ‘C’ on his jersey, Howler has the letter ‘M’ for mascot. Howler is best known for being a great drummer, joining area bands during Coyotes Foundation charity events.

Tradition: The White Out began as a Jets ritual, but carried over to Phoenix when the franchise relocated. It began in 1987 to counter the Calgary Flames ‘C of Red’, as the Jets were facing the Flames in the playoffs that season. Winnipeg swept the series and fans hoped the White Out would continue to bring good luck. In Arizona, lyrics to the Wang Chung song “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” have been altered to “Everybody wear white tonight” in marketing campaigns.

Appearances in Media: There are a couple documentaries feature footage of the original Jets. This includes Sel8nne, about the career of Teemu Selanne, and Death by Popcorn: The Tragedy of the Winnipeg Jets, covering the rise and fall of that franchise. The title comes from an incident in the 1990 playoffs, when the Jets were on the verge of finally defeating the Edmonton Oilers, until a fan threw popcorn on the ice, causing a long delay and changing the momentum of the game and series in the Oilers favour.

Howler

Events/Scandals: When the Coyotes selected Mitchell Miller in the fourth round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, they didn’t realize the firestorm they were about to set off. According to a report weeks later in The Arizona Republic, Miller had been found guilty in 2016 of repeatedly bullying a developmentally disabled African American classmate. The Coyotes renounced the draft pick as a result.

Rivalry: Aside from brief flirtations with rivalries, the Coyotes greatest battle seems to be against financial stability. For a time, the Coyotes most hated opponents were the Los Angeles Kings, based on their heated 2012 Western Conference Final series. When the franchise was based in Winnipeg, perennial Smythe Division leaders the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames provided the team with many great clashes.

Tragedy: While playing with the Tucson Roadrunners (the Coyotes minor league affiliate), captain Craig Cunningham suffered a cardiac arrest prior to puck drop on November 19, 2016. It took 83 minutes of CPR to keep Cunningham alive. Due to the incident, Cunningham’s lower left leg had to be amputated because of an infection that followed circulation issues. No longer able to play, Cunningham was offered a pro scout position with the Coyotes.

Player Nicknames: The Coyotes greatest legacy on the game of hockey may be some of the nicknames the team has been responsible for over the Arizona/Winnipeg existence. Some include Finnish Flash (Teemu Selanne), Bulin Wall (goalie Nikolai Khabibulin) and BizNasty (Paul Bissonnette). A few others to be considered include Ducky (Dale Hawerchuk), Rhino (Zac Rinaldo), Goose (Alex Goligoski) and Stinky (Christian Fischer).

Arizona Coyotes

Line: When superstar Bobby Hull was joined by European imports Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson to form the Hot Line, the unit dominated the WHA. They played together for four seasons, winning two Avco Cups, before both Hedberg and Nilsson joined the NHL’s New York Rangers. Perhaps the greatest compliment of the trio came from Edmonton Oilers GM Glen Sather, who said he used the Hot Line as a template for building his 1980s dynasty teams.

Captain: Shane Doan spent his entire career as a member of the Coyotes. For 13 of those 21 seasons, he served as the team’s captain. At the time Doan retired in 2017, he was the longest-serving captain in the NHL, providing the Coyotes franchise with some semblance of stability amongst all their other issues. Doan’s jersey was retired by the team in 2019. He recorded 402 goals and 972 points over 1,540 games with the club, all franchise records.

Enforcer: Kris King’s tenure with the franchise spanned both the Winnipeg and Phoenix incarnations of the team. Originally brought in to provide protection for the likes of Teemu Selanne and Keith Tkachuk, the ‘King of Pain’ recorded 762 penalty minutes and 71 fighting majors over his five seasons with the club. King was awarded the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 1996, given to an NHL player who has made significant contributions to their community.

Family Values: From 1993 to 1996, brothers Darryl and Darrin Shannon played together for the Jets. Coyote lifer Shane Doan had the pleasure of being part of the team’s draft table when they selected his son, Josh Doan, 37th overall in 2021. Josh was born and raised in Arizona, as his father played two decades with the franchise. Brothers Philip and Henrik Samuelsson were members of the organization at the same time, while dad Ulf was a former assistant coach.

Shane Doan

Returning Players: Radim Vrbata had three tenures with the Coyotes. He first played for the club for the 2007-08 season. He split the next campaign between the Tampa Bay Lightning and two teams in the Czech Extraliga, before returning to the Coyotes for five seasons. After a two-year stint with the Vancouver Canucks, Vrbata once again called Arizona home for a year. He finished his career with the Florida Panthers, retiring in 2018.

Short Stint: Coming out of the 2004-05 NHL lockout, legendary scorer Brett Hull joined the Coyotes. His dad’s #9 jersey (retired when the team was in Winnipeg) was unretired, allowing him to wear it. However, just five games into the season, Hull believed he could no longer play at the level he expected of himself and abruptly retired. He had recorded only one assist in those contests.

Undrafted: Winger Doug Smail signed with the Jets in 1980, following three years at the University of North Dakota. He remained with the team for 11 seasons and holds a couple interesting records, including the franchise mark for shorthanded goals (25), while sharing the NHL record with three others for fastest goal to start a game (five seconds). He was also the first player to ever join the U.K.’s Elite Ice Hockey League directly from the NHL.

Trade: It was tough to lose the face of their franchise, but at the 1990 NHL Draft, the Jets granted Dale Hawerchuk’s trade request, sending him to the Buffalo Sabres with a first-round draft choice. In return, the Jets received all-star defenseman Phil Housley, Scott Arniel, Jeff Parker and a first-round pick, used to select future star Keith Tkachuk. Another good move was acquiring Jeremy Roenick from the Chicago Blackhawks in 1996 for a package of assets. Roenick was a splashy move for the team’s Phoenix debut.

Brett Hull

Signing: When Mike Smith joined the Coyotes in 2011 on a very reasonable two-year, $4 million deal, he instantly legitimized the team’s goaltending. With Smith in net, the franchise won its first playoff series since 1987 and advanced to the Western Conference Finals for the first time ever. Smith’s success also came on offense, as he scored a rare goalie goal on October 19, 2013.

Draft Pick: Despite a long history of poor performances, the Coyotes have never held a draft pick better than third overall. The Jets selected first overall once, in 1981, taking future Hall of Fame member Dale Hawerchuk. Perhaps the franchise’s greatest pick of all-time was Teemu Selanne (10th overall in 1988), while their diamond in the rough find would be Nikolai Khabibulin (204th overall in 1992).

Holdouts: Nikolai Khabibulin’s contract impasse with the Coyotes, following the 1998-99 season, resulted in the goalie missing almost two full years of NHL action. Khabibulin would finally be traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning on March 5, 2001, suiting up for the team twice before the end of the year. The move worked out well for Khabibulin, as the Lightning won the 2004 Stanley Cup, with him in the crease.

Buyouts: Mike Ribeiro’s time with the Coyotes was brief. Coming off a season where he scored a point per game with the Washington Capitals, Ribeiro signed a four-year, $22 million contract with the Coyotes in 2013. Following a single season, Ribeiro was bought out due to behavioural issues, related to alcohol use. Arizona paid Ribeiro $11,666,667 to not play for them, while the forward signed on with the Nashville Predators.

Mike Smith

Unique Game: For a 2006 pre-season game, the Coyotes returned to where it all began, playing the Edmonton Oilers in Winnipeg, 10 years after the Jets relocation to Phoenix. The Coyotes also opened the 2010 season with a pair of contests against the Boston Bruins in Prague, Czechia. Finally, there has been talk of the Coyotes playing an outdoor game in Mexico, which would be the first time NHL action has ever taken place in the country.

Goal: On March 2, 1993, Teemu Selanne surpassed Mike Bossy’s rookie scoring record of 53, with a goal against the Quebec Nordiques. The tally was made even more memorable thanks to Selanne’s celebration of throwing his glove into the air and using his stick as a gun to shoot it down. Selanne would finish the season with an incredible 76 goals and 132 points (also a NHL record), en route to being named the NHL’s top rookie, winning the Calder Memorial Trophy.

Fight/Brawl: An October 11, 1985 bench clearing brawl between the Jets and Calgary Flames is memorable for a couple reasons. The second period skirmish resulted in six game ejections, including Jets assistant coach Rick Bowness, who took a swipe at Flames enforcer Tim Hunter, the player thought to ignite the melee. Also ejected was Flames backup goalie Mark D’Amour, who was dressing in his first NHL game.

Injury: Coyotes star Clayton Keller had his 2021-22 season ended early when he crashed into the boards, fracturing his leg. A stretcher was needed to remove Keller from the ice, followed by surgery. Another notable injury was Jeremy Roenick having his jaw broken in 1999 by Derian Hatcher of the Dallas Stars. The blatant elbow was retribution for Roenick hitting Dallas superstar Mike Modano in the teams previous encounter. Hatcher was suspended seven games for the incident.

Teemu Selanne

Penalty: Jets tough guy Jimmy Mann was coming off a three-game suspension a month earlier for pushing a linesman, when on January 13, 1982, he left the bench and sucker punched Paul Gardner of the Pittsburgh Penguins, breaking his jaw. The attack was in retaliation for Gardner injuring a teammate just prior. For this offense, Mann was suspended for 10 games, along with being charged with assault causing bodily harm in Manitoba court. Mann pled guilty, receiving a maximum $500 fine.

Wildest Story: On December 8, 2021, it was announced the Coyotes owed $1.3 million in back taxes and they would be locked out of the Gila River Arena if the money was not paid by December 20, 2021. This was the last straw in their lease agreement with the City of Glendale and the Coyotes were forced to find a new home for the 2022-23 season, eventually coming to terms with Arizona State University to play out of their 5,000 seat Mullett Arena.

Blooper: Mike Smith was one of the best goalies in franchise history, but he is also remembered for one of the most bizarre own goals fans have ever seen. During a December 2013 game against the Buffalo Sabres, the puck launched into the air, coming down and getting stuck in the back of Smith’s gear. Smith, losing sight of the puck, backed into his own net. The tally is known today as the ‘Butt Goal’ and worst of all, it occurred in overtime, giving the Sabres the win.

Miscellaneous: During the 2003-04 season, netminder Brian Boucher recorded five consecutive shutouts, with a shutout streak of 332:01, setting modern day NHL records for both stats. The previous records belonged to Gary Durnan, who earned four consecutive shutouts and a streak of 309:21 playing for the Montreal Canadiens in 1949. The all-time records date back to the 1927-28 season, when Ottawa Senators goalie Alec Connell had six consecutive shutouts and a streak of 460:49.

Arizona Coyotes: Coyote on the Rocks

Coyote on the Rocks

  • 1.5 oz Tequila
  • Top with Grapefruit Juice
  • Splash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

This beverage is similar to a Paloma, which is among the Sip Advisor’s favourite cocktails. Some differences include the addition of grenadine and no salt for the drink’s rim. I like the double entendre this recipe conjures, as you can imagine a coyote resting on rocks or it could just be the ice filling your glass.

Anaheim Ducks – Triple Deke

Throughout the year, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the National Hockey League (NHL), discovering the best and worst each team has to offer in a variety of subjects. We will also feature a drink based off the franchise. Today, we begin this trek with a look at the Anaheim Ducks. Let’s just see how mighty they are:

Establishment Story: The Ducks joined the NHL in 1993 as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. The expansion team was born from the 1992 Walt Disney Company movie The Mighty Ducks, as Disney looked to expand into the sports ownership world. As of 2005, Disney is no longer behind the franchise and the team has dropped the ‘Mighty’ portion of their moniker, simply going as the Anaheim Ducks.

Stanley Cups: The Ducks lone Stanley Cup came in 2007, when they defeated the Ottawa Senators in five games. They reached the Stanley Cup Finals one other time, losing to the New Jersey Devils in seven games, ending their 2003 Cinderella post-season run. Despite being the Stanley Cup runner up, Ducks goalie Jean-Sébastien Giguère was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs MVP.

Celebrity Fan: Emilio Estevez, star of The Mighty Ducks movie franchise as coach Gordon Bombay, is a fan of the team his movies are responsible for. Estevez often makes appearances in the Anaheim crowd when the team is in important situations, such as the Stanley Cup Finals. From time to time, Estevez also supports the team on his social media accounts.

Emilio Estevez

Super Fan: Given the Ducks beginnings as a popular movie franchise and its Disney connection, fans of the team stretch far and wide. Season ticket members of the club are known as the Orange Alliance. Among the diehards is Ned Marr, who can be easily recognized for his face and head paint (he’s bald after all), which he first donned during the 2013 playoffs. His popularity even led to appearing in a Papa John’s commercial.

Mascot: Wild Wing made his debut with the rest of the team in 1993. His name was picked through a fan vote and he wears the number 93, referencing the franchise’s founding year. In a case of fiction-inspiring-reality-inspiring-fiction, the character of Wildwing Flashblade from the Mighty Ducks cartoon series is based on Wild Wing the mascot. The Ducks very first game featured a secondary mascot, nicknamed The Iceman, but the electric guitar-playing hype man disappeared soon after.

Tradition: Through all incarnations of the Anaheim franchise, Fowl Towels have been a popular fan item, with folks at games waving the towels to cheer on the squad. The towels were originally white, but are now orange, matching the team’s home jerseys throughout the years. Some Ducks supporters also use duck call devices to root on the club.

Appearances in Media: The team’s logo and jerseys appeared in the aforementioned Mighty Ducks movie franchise, as well as its spinoff cartoon series. The reboot TV series Mighty Ducks: Game Changers has included cameos from current Ducks players, such as Trevor Zegras, Troy Terry and Max Jones. Lastly, in the first season of TV show Boy Meets World (a Disney production coinciding with the Ducks inaugural season), main character Cory Matthews wears a Mighty Ducks jersey.

Mighty Ducks

Events/Scandals: Bob Murray’s run as the Ducks GM both began and ended abruptly. He took over the role in November 2008, when previous GM Brian Burke suddenly joined the Toronto Maple Leafs. Murray’s term ended almost exactly 13 years later, when he resigned while under investigation by the team for an alleged history of verbal abuse to players and other staff members.

Rivalry: Fellow California-based teams, the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks, are natural rivals to the Ducks. Anaheim’s feud with Los Angeles is dubbed the Freeway Face-Off. Despite the animosity between the teams and fan bases, the two squads have only met in the playoffs once, with the Kings winning the 2014 series in seven games. The teams have also faced each other for the 2007 NHL Premiere from London and the 2014 Stadium Series at Dodger Stadium.

Tragedy: There are no direct tragedies associated with the Ducks, but fan favourite Ruslan Salei, who played in Anaheim for nine seasons, was among the 44 killed in the September 2011 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team plane crash. The Belarussian was drafted by the Ducks ninth overall in 1996 and once held the franchise record for games played by a defenceman. Salei’s popularity led to the Honda Center, Anaheim’s home arena, being nicknamed ‘The House that Rusty Built’.

Player Nicknames: Corey Perry’s style of play has earned him two nicknames, one on each end of the spectrum. The first, Scorey Perry, was earned for his scoring prowess, including the career-high 50 he potted in 2010-11, earning him the Rocket Richard and Hart Memorial Trophies. The second, The Worm, comes from Perry’s knack of irritating his opponents.

Corey Perry

Line: Speaking of Corey Perry, his long-time partnership with Ryan Getzlaf led to a lot of success for the Ducks. The duo played together with Dustin Penner as the Kid Line/PPG Line and with Bobby Ryan as the RPG Line. Another very successful pair for the team was Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne. Their most notable third linemate was Steve Rucchin, a rare player to come to the NHL from the Canadian Interuniversity Sport route.

Captain: Ryan Getzlaf played his entire 17-season career with the Ducks, serving as captain from 2010 until his retirement in 2022. He holds the franchise record for most games played (1,157), points (1,019) and assists (737). Getzlaf was twice nominated for the Mark Messier Leadership Award, but failed to win the trophy. In retirement, Getzlaf is still an active member in the Anaheim community.

Enforcer: While I’d love to put the Bash Brothers (Fulton Reed and Dean Portman) here, from D2: The Mighty Ducks, the honour has to go to Todd Ewen, who holds the franchise records for penalty minutes in a season (285) and in a period (37). Sadly, Ewen commited suicide in 2015, aged 49. He had been suffering from depression for years, with chronic traumatic encephalopathy from his years as a fighter perhaps contributing to his death.

Family Values: Brothers Scott and Rob Niedermayer not only got to play together on the Ducks for four seasons, they got to share winning a Stanley Cup together. It was Scott’s fourth championship – following three with the New Jersey Devils – and Rob’s first. Scott was the team’s captain, while Rob was an alternate. After Scott finished his lap around the ice with the trophy, he passed it to Rob, which Scott described as a highlight of his career.

Ryan Getzlaf

Returning Players: Defenseman Francois Beauchemin had three stints with the Ducks. He was first traded to Anaheim in 2005, being part of the 2007 championship squad. Beauchemin joined the Toronto Maple Leafs as a free agent in 2009, but was traded back to Anaheim in 2011. His final tenure with the team was for the 2017-18 season, which he announced would be his final campaign, retiring as a Duck.

Short Stint: Dany Heatley’s NHL career wrapped up with six games as a member of the Ducks during the 2014-15 season. While playing for the Ducks minor league affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals, Heatley was traded to the Florida Panthers organization, but didn’t get into any games with them, instead playing for their minor league team, the San Antonio Rampage. Heatley then retired from hockey after a season in Germany.

Undrafted: Chris Kunitz was signed by Anaheim as an undrafted free agent in 2003, following being named a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, given to the top NCAA men’s hockey player. He was actually lost to the Atlanta Thrashers on waivers in 2005, but reclaimed weeks later by the Ducks. Kunitz would go on to be a member of the 2007 Stanley Cup championship team.

Trade: Acquiring superstar Teemu Selanne and pairing him with Paul Kariya was one of the greatest moves in Ducks history. To nab Selanne, the team had to part with two former first round picks in Oleg Tverdovsky and Chad Kilger, but it was certainly worth it. Selanne would return to the club later in his career and be part of the franchise’s only Stanley Cup victory. Selanne holds many of the Ducks offensive records, including regular season goals, power-play goals and game-winning goals.

Teemu Selanne

Signing: The signings of Scott Neidermayer and Teemu Selanne (returning to the club) following the 2004-05 NHL lockout, would eventually lead to winning the 2007 Stanley Cup. On the flip side, the signing of Todd Bertuzzi in 2007 to a two-year, $8 million deal was eventually bought out after one season, as the Ducks had players like Corey Perry they needed to resign and were tight against the salary cap.

Draft Pick: The Ducks first ever player selection, Paul Kariya at 4th overall in 1993, was a very good one. Kariya became the face of the franchise for its first decade of existence, with his jersey number retired by the team in 2018. The 2003 draft also yielded great results, with Ryan Getzlaf (19th overall) and Corey Perry (28th overall) being chosen. The pair were integral to the Ducks 2007 Stanley Cup win.

Holdouts: When Paul Kariya’s first NHL contract expired in 1997, he and the Ducks failed to agree on a new pact. This led to Kariya missing the first 32 games of the 1997-98 campaign, prior to inking a two-year, $14 million deal. The holdout meant Kariya, a Japanese Canadian, was absent from the lineup as the Ducks and Vancouver Canucks played a pair of games in Tokyo to open the season.

Buyouts: It came as a bit of a shock when Corey Perry was bought out by the Ducks in 2019. Sure, his production had dropped in recent times, but he’d been with the franchise for 14 years. Another interesting case was that of defenseman Simon Després, who was let loose in 2017, with four years remaining on his contract, due to concerns over his concussion history.

Paul Kariya

Unique Game: Aside from the above-mentioned games against Los Angeles (2007 NHL Premiere from London and 2014 Stadium Series) and the Ducks travelling to Japan to open the 1997-98 season against Vancouver, the team has also played in destinations such as and Finland and Sweden (versus the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers, respectively), for the 2011 NHL Premiere. Their contests in Tokyo were the first NHL games outside of North America that counted in the league standings.

Goal: Trevor Zegras is known for his high skill level and many highlight real goals. These include his lacrosse-style tally and batting out of the air a Sonny Milano alley-oop pass made over the net from behind it. Zegras’ flair for goal scoring led to him being invited to the 2022 NHL All-Star Game as a special guest to compete in the Breakaway Challenge. He was also made the cover athlete for the NHL 23 video game.

Fight/Brawl: A rather ordinary December 2001 game between the Ducks and the Calgary Flames took a turn late in the third period, when the teams took turns taking runs at each other’s goalies. The result was the last minute and a half featured constant fights off of each faceoff. By the end of the game, only one substitute player remained on each bench, with 309 penalty minutes recorded. A number of players were suspended or fined in the aftermath.

Injury: During the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals, Devils defenceman Scott Stevens caught Paul Kariya with a crushing open ice hit that knocked the Ducks superstar out cold. In the days before concussion protocols, Kariya would return to the game just minutes later and even score a goal. Sadly, in 2011, Kariya would be forced to retire due to post-concussion syndrome and many point to this hit as one that contributed to Kariya’s issues.

Trevor Zegras

Penalty: During a March 2008 game against the Vancouver Canucks, Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger stomped on Ryan Kesler’s leg after the two had become tangled up. While the NHL originally let the incident pass unpunished, further video evidence resulted in an eight-game suspension for Pronger. Although Kesler wasn’t injured on the play, many thought the punishment was light, compared to Chris Simon’s 30-game suspension for a similar incident earlier that season.

Wildest Story: In the summer following Anaheim’s Stanley Cup triumph, Edmonton Oilers GM Kevin Lowe signed emerging forward Dustin Penner to a five-year, $21.25 million offer sheet. Ducks GM Brian Burke responded in the only way a responsible GM should, publically criticizing and name calling his counterpart. This led to the challenge of a barn fight, where a Lake Placid venue was even chosen, before NHL commissioner Gary Bettman stepped in and made sure the bout didn’t happen.

Blooper: Mascots can sometimes be put in dangerous situations, all in the name of getting fans riled up. For the Ducks 1995 home opener pre-game show, Wild Wing was to leap over a wall of fire. While rehearsal apparently went smoothly, when it came time to perform the act live, the mascot fell directly onto the flames. Thankfully, Wild Wing wasn’t harmed in any way and was back to interacting with fans quickly.

Miscellaneous: In the early years of the franchise, Mighty Ducks merchandise sold more than all other NHL teams combined. This was assisted by items being sold at Disney theme parks and in Disney Stores. With Disney World being located in Florida, it’s likely Mighty Ducks items sold better there than their expansion cousin Florida Panthers could ever have imagined for themselves.

Anaheim Ducks: Triple Deke

Triple Deke

  • Muddled Cuccumber
  • 1.5 oz Gin
  • 1 oz Watermelon Liqueur
  • Garnish with Cucumber Slices

This cocktail is an homage to The Mighty Ducks movies, particularly the first film, when the triple deke move is used throughout. The recipe called for Watermelon Syrup to be used, but I elected to add some Watermelon Liqueur to the mix.

Baby Beverages #3: Future Fan

Last week, Mrs. Sip and I took Baby Sip to her first Vancouver Canucks NHL game. I went into the occasion with some apprehension, worried she would get fussy and cause a disturbance to the fans seated around us – and by she, I mean Mrs. Sip! *rimshot*

My biggest concern going in was that the goal horn would blast (unfortunately, a relative rarity during this Canucks season) and the little one would freak out and force an early end to the evening. I had seen this play out earlier in the team’s campaign, as a family sat in front of me. Before I could ask how old their baby was, a goal was scored; mom, dad and baby left their seats… and never returned.

Hockey Fans

We arrived a little late to the contest, thanks to a last minute poopy diaper and issues with our baby carrier, so as we checked in our stroller with guest services, the Canucks already tallied a goal. This was a good first test to see how Baby Sip would react and while she definitely noticed the horn and accompanying cheers, her little headphones helped in blocking out enough noise that she didn’t react much at all.

As we waited for a break in action to take our seats, the Canucks scored again. This time we were closer to the action and still, Baby Sip seemed mostly unfazed. Six minutes into the game, the team added yet another tally and this was the true test, as fans celebrated all around us. Well, Baby Sip is a cool cucumber and while her eyes lit up, she never fussed once over the volume. In fact, she seemed to be taking in the whole experience, dazzled by the lights and probably wondering why sounds were muffled.

Of course, we always had a bottle at the ready if she started to squirm. Mrs. Sip finished the bottle we brought with us during the first period and I took over with a new bottle in the second frame. Then, Baby Sip fell asleep and stayed that way on me for the final half of the game, including through the Canucks sixth goal and eventual victory. All in all, a pretty uneventful first visit to Rogers Arena, from a baby perspective.

Life Bottles.jpg

For others thinking of taking their baby to a Canucks game, there are a couple things you need to do: At any guest services kiosk, you can pick up a first game pin and certificate as keepsakes. I’m sure other teams have similar programs, so make sure you pick up whatever is available. It should also be noted that every staff member we encountered was very helpful and happy to see a baby attending their first event.

We have no concerns anymore with taking Baby Sip to future games. Of course, she could act completely different for round two, but as with the Canucks this season, we’ll take the wins when they come!

May 30 – Jet Fuel

Franchise Faces

With the recent controversy over the Washington Redskins team name, that got me thinking long and hard (heh, long and hard!) about franchise monikers and where they came from. Today, I want to look at teams that share a common name. In that process, we’ll decide which team lays claim to the name based on factors such as years in existence, success, superstars, etc. Of course, teams that leave one city and relocate to another, playing under the same nickname, don’t count. This also applies to minor league teams that share their affiliates handle. So, on with the list:

#5: Cardinals – St. Louis (MLB), Arizona (NFL)

Bird species are a popular name for teams in all the major sports, but Cardinals is the only one that is shared by two franchises and this duel isn’t too hard to sort out. The St. Louis club has existed for over 130 years, known as the Cardinals since 1900. In their long history, they have won 11 World Series Titles, 19 National League Pennants, and 20 MVP awards. They even have 17 Hall of Fame players to their legacy. Arizona, on the other hand, has enjoyed far less success, although they were also established over 100 years ago, even playing for a time in St. Louis. Their only championships came long before the modern day NFL, in 1925 and 1947. Winner: St. Louis

Cardinals

#4: Oilers – Edmonton (NHL), Houston/Tennessee (NFL)

Currently, both teams are trying to work their way out of the basement of their respective leagues, but this battle isn’t close. The Oilers success in Edmonton in the mid-80’s, led the town to call itself the ‘City of Champions’! Hell, they struck more riches than a prospector, with signing the legendary Wayne Gretzky and drafting future Hall of Famers like Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Paul Coffey, Grant Fuhr, and Glenn Anderson. The NFL Oilers moved from Houston to Tennessee and don’t even exist anymore, dropping the moniker in favour of calling themselves the Titans. Winner: Edmonton

#3: Jets – Winnipeg (NHL), New York (NFL)

Both teams have tasted the heights of success, but have also suffered crushing defeats – let’s call them crash landings – during their existence. Heck, this is Winnipeg’s second go-around with an NHL franchise, the first time ending with the club’s departure to Phoenix, where they were renamed the Coyotes. But there were better times in the 1970’s, when Winnipeg dominated the World Hockey Association, winning three Avco Cups and showcasing ‘Mr. Hockey’ Gordie Howe. New York also enjoyed success in 1968-69, winning their lone Super Bowl and displaying their own superstar, quarterback Joe Namath. Winner: New York

Jets

#2: Rangers – New York (NHL), Texas (MLB)

The New York squad is a member of the Original 6 NHL clubs and that holds a lot of weight in hockey circles. That said, the Rangers are the team I hate the most thanks to the childhood disappointment of watching them defeat my Vancouver Canucks in the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals. I have to be impartial, though, and acknowledge the storied history for New York, including four Stanley Cups. In Texas, the Rangers have existed since 1972, having moved from Washington. They have yet to win a World Series, losing back-to-back championship seasons in 2010 and 2011 (ironically, to the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants, also on this list). Winner: New York

#1: Giants – San Francisco (MLB), New York (NFL)

Both franchises have won championships in recent years, but San Francisco has strung together three World Series titles in the last five years, earning the distinction of being a dynasty team. On top of that, the baseball club has a long history that transferred over with them, following the team’s move from New York in 1957, where they were the original Giants of the Big Apple. That’s not to take anything away from the football squad and their own storied existence, winning eight league championships, including four in the modern era. This was a tough race to decide, but history always wins out. Winner: San Francisco

Super Saturday Shot Day: Jet Fuel

Honourable mentions include the Kings (Los Angeles (NHL) and Sacramento (NBA)); the Lions (Detroit (NFL), B.C. (CFL)); and the Panthers (Carolina (NFL), Florida (NHL)). Surprisingly, no NBA teams made this list and only the Sacramento Kings share a nickname with another pro squad. It’s also interesting that three different New York teams share their name with another franchise.

Flavour Revolution – Maple

Canadian Chauvinism

Maple is a cultural icon of Canada, whether you’re talking about trees, syrup or anything else. We put it on everything, including in booze. Hell, the maple leaf is even featured on our country’s flag, giving us one of the most unique banners in the world. With national pride in mind, here are some of Canada’s greatest patriots and icons:

Don Cherry

Cherry has about as many detractors as he does fans, but one thing everyone agrees on is that ‘Grapes’ is a staunch supporter of Canada, its hockey players, its military troops, and its national sport. He may go about this the wrong way sometimes, such as questioning the heart of European players, for example, but his heart is usually in the right place. The guy practically bleeds red and white maple leafs, which is sometimes hard to detect given the distracting nature of his wardrobe!

don-cherry-back

Bret Hart

Wrestling is full of patriotic characters, but you don’t see too many Canadians waving the ol’ red and white maple leaf too wildly. Bret Hart, however, along with his Hart Foundation stable, ventured on a unique storyline in 1997, where he criticized the United States and the fans that called the country home. This made him wildly popular in Canada and vehemently hated south of the border. For the rest of his career, Hart always wore Canadian pride on his sleeve and cemented his legendary status.

Wayne Gretzky

Among many great athletes, ‘The Great One’ is Canada’s most iconic and not just because he played the country’s national sport. Gretzky’s influence spread throughout the world and he can be credited with the rise of hockey’s popularity as a sport, not only across the southern United States, but also in many other countries across the globe. Gretzky represented Canada on many occasions, perhaps most notably as part of the management team that brought Olympic hockey gold back to the country after 50 years.

The Beaver

Ah, the majestic beaver… and let’s be clear, the Sip Advisor is actually talking about the noble dam-building animal. The North American beaver has found its way to being featured on the nation’s five-cent piece, the country’s very first postage stamp, and beaver sculptures can also be found adorning the Canadian Parliament Building. Canada also has a number of other creatures that are culturally appreciated, including Canadian geese, loons, and Canadian horses.

gratuitous beaver shot

Molson Canadian Beer

The country’s national beer might not be much to brag about, in comparison to craft beer options across the nation, but it’s still something to be more proud of than Budweiser, Coors, and many of the other beverage options our continental neighbours seem to be so satisfied with. Molson Canadian has a brewing tradition that dates back to 1959 and for many young Canucks, is the first beer they ever enjoy. The Sip Advisor is one of these people and I am forever grateful for my earliest suds.

Tim Hortons

Nothing is more Canadian than donuts! Others would insist that the company’s coffee be included as part of the national identity combo, but not the Sip Advisor. Tim Hortons has grown across the country and even into other parts of the world. With products ranging from donuts to Timbits (donut holes), as well as sandwiches, soups, muffins, cookies, and everything else in between, Tim Hortons is one international contribution that can be enjoyed across the globe.

Poutine

Canada can’t be given much credit for creating items that have taken over the culinary scene, but poutine is one thing we devised and have shared – to great success – with the world over. You can’t go into a pub nowadays without the place having at least one poutine dish on their menu. Even most fast food chains, such as McDonald’s and Burger King, have made the creation available for eaters on the run. Add some bacon (preferably Canadian) onto the meal and you’re ready to gorge!

Flavour Revolution: Poor Sap

Poor Sap Martini

  • 2 oz Whiskey
  • 1 oz Maple Liqueur
  • Splash of Grenadine
  • Dash of Bitters
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

As a whole, Canada isn’t necessarily known for staunch patriotism… unless we’re talking about hockey and then it’s time to knuckle up. Many of our homegrown stars leave the country and never look back, trying to remove every hint of their Canadian ancestry. You will often hear debates over whether a celebrity is Canadian or not or the statement “I didn’t know he was from Canada.” The same can’t be said for the above entries.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
With three ounces of liquor, this is a strong martini, but the taste is pretty solid. Of course, I used a Canadian Whiskey (Crown Royal) for the cocktail. I might have slightly overdone it with the Bitters, but it all depends on your taste preferences. All in all, a good drink.

April 18 – High Five

Playing Peeves

Earlier this season, the Toronto Maple Leafs got into trouble for not doing their typical salute to the crowd, following a win. They were accused of snubbing the audience that had recently gone so far as to throw jerseys on the ice, when disgusted with the team’s play. Really, it’s their fault for being Maple Leafs fans in the first place, but I digress. While I don’t have any issue with the salute, one way or the other, here are some other player traditions that should be outlawed:

#5: Staged Fights (NHL)

While this pet peeve bothers me less than others that did not make this list, I figured I’d be fair and try to include as many different sports as I could. I’m not the biggest advocate of fighting in hockey, but I do like the odd tilt, usually between two light/middleweights who are chucking knuckles for a reason. Staged fights between two super heavyweights, only fighting because that’s all they can provide to the game, is a waste of roster spots. With the demise of the hockey enforcer, this happens rarely in today’s NHL. You still see the occasional bout off the opening draw, but it’s usually based off of something that happened in the team’s last contest.

hockey fights

#4: Slapping Helmets (NFL)

Given all the concussion concerns and lawsuits being launched by former players, it blows my mind when I see entire football squads viciously slapping each other on the helmet, in order to CELEBRATE a play. Talk about friendly fire! It almost makes you wish they went back to the days of smacking each other on the ass, as all that might do, is produce a bruise. I think every football player loses credibility in the whole concussion argument, given they’re likely seeing stars after successful plays, with injuries caused by their own teammates. Hmmm, perhaps the NFL should hire me onto their legal team!

#3: High-Fives After Each Free Throw Attempt (NBA)

Okay, so the fouled basketball player steps up to the free throw line, which basically means a take-your-time, unobstructed shot from a mere 15 meters away from the hoop and if he makes the shot, everyone on his team must give him a high-five… hell, they even high-five for a missed shot! There is some debate whether the exchange of pleasantries after each shot helps keep a player loose, or disrupts their technique or needed alterations for the follow-up shot. I think the whole process is ridiculous and I think some players do as well; given there have been instances of hoop stars mocking it.

free throw high fives

#2: Elaborate High-Five Routines (MLB)

What do you do when you’re sport is slower than watching paint dry and you have to play 162 games each season? Develop an elaborate high-five routine, of course! I don’t understand why sports highlight shows are so enamored with this trend and feature the choreographed hand-slapping and fist-bumping performance in their replay packages. Sometimes the act goes on for minutes at a time and yes, I guess that does make it more exciting than the game itself. You would never see this ridiculousness in faster-paced sports, because if a hockey player, for example, tried it, they would be body checked through the boards before they could finish!

#1: Complaints About Running Up the Score

I’ve largely only seen accusations of this in football circles, but the other major leagues will take measures to quell landslide victories. In hockey, you might see the winning team rest its scoring lines, in favour of checking players, while in baseball, bunting and stealing bases may be discouraged. Basketball games are usually too close to call and in football, teams may run shorter plays and not go for big scores. The problem with this is if I paid my hard earned money to go to a contest and my team was obliterating the opposition, why would I want that experience to stop? All fans want to see the stars of the sport do what they are paid millions to do: perform at the highest level, not take a game off.

Super Saturday Shot Day: High Five

High Five Shot

  • 0.3 Grand Marnier
  • 0.3 oz Rum
  • 0.3 oz Passion Fruit Liqueur
  • 0.3 oz Orange Juice
  • 0.3 oz Pineapple Juice
  • Garnish with an Orange Wedge

I can’t believe how many of these items are based on high-fiving. Narrowly missing the list was female tennis players screaming and grunting their way through matches… although, it is kind of hot! Next up, the Sip Advisor should take a look at the greatest pet peeves I have towards sports fans. This would include such gems as dorks leaving a game before it’s over and the completely unnecessary wave.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This is actually a cocktail recipe, but was easy to convert to a shooter, since all the ingredients were in equal portions already. It’s an incredibly fruity shot, so you know the flavours are going to be nice. The booze quotient could be upped a little so you know you’re drinking a shooter, but the taste is quite enjoyable as it is.

Latvia – Siberian Sunset

Did You Know?

For a country of under two million people, Latvia has still managed to make some significant contributions to the world. Here is a collection of lesser known facts for the nation that has also gone by the names Livonia, Courland, and Lettland:

Birth of a Nation

A Latvian myth states that their national flag was created when a 13th century chief was wounded in battle and wrapped in a white sheet. Blood from his injuries made the two dark red stripes on either side of the sheet, while the middle remained clean. Another interpretation states that the flag depicts Latvians willingness to fight and lose blood for freedom and liberty. The Latvian flag is sometimes mistaken for Austria’s pennant, despite the difference in red hues.

Latvia Location

Freedom Fighters

In its entire history, Latvia has only enjoyed independence for a total of 44 years, over two stints (1920-40 and 1990-present). The country has been ruled and occupied by the Germans, Swedes, Russians, Nazis, and Soviets, to name a few. Their most recent run of autonomy began with the fall of communism. In 2004, Latvia achieved two of its greatest accomplishments as a sovereign nation, being accepted into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU).

Party Time

Latvians technically celebrate two independence days. The first, Proclamation of the Republic of Latvia, occurs every November 18th, while the second, on May 4th, is known as Restoration of Independence Day. That means double holidays! I’d be all for the Canadian government letting other nations take over for the day, if it meant a few extra days off each year!

Forever in Blue Jeans

One of Latvia’s greatest contributions to the world is something most of you might be wearing as you read this article: jeans. Latvian immigrant Jacob Youphes (known as Jacob Davis after moving to North America) created the first pair of denim workpants with his soon-t-be patented rivet, holding together Levi Strauss’ denim. The two went into business together and revolutionized the fashion industry. The orange stitching that appears on jeans is also the work of Davis.

Jeans Washed

Ice Capades

Hockey is the most popular sport in Latvia. Helmuts Balderis was the first Latvian to play in the NHL, when he was drafted by the Minnesota North Stars in 1989. Because this was the first year Soviet players were allowed to be drafted, Balderis earned the distinction of being the oldest player to ever be selected at age 36 and when he scored his first NHL goal, became the oldest player to score his first goal, at the age of 37.

Crocodile Hunter

It blew the Sip Advisor’s mind to learn that the character of Crocodile Dundee was actually inspired by a Latvian. Arvīds Blūmentāls made his way from Latvia to Australia in 1945. Once there, he hunted reptiles, studied Aboriginals and mined opals. Crocodile Dundee went on to become a smash hit film in 1986 and Blūmentāls’ home in Coober Perdy is a tourist attraction. Back in Latvia, a crocodile monument was constructed in Blūmentāls’ hometown of Dundaga.

Crocodile Dundee

Ring Bearer

Many Latvian men wear a Namejs Ring, which helps them identify each other around the world. The four braids of the ring’s design signifies the solidarity of Latvia and its citizens. The legend behind the ring is that it was worn by Namejs, leader of the Semigallian tribe, which was fighting off the German crusaders invasion of Latvia in the 13th century. He gave this ring to his son, hoping he would be recognized upon his return from battle. It is also a sign of friendship and trust.

Strapped In

Another popular piece of Latvian attire is the Lielvārdes Josta, a red and white woven belt, featuring 22 ancient symbols. The belt serves many purposes throughout the wearer’s life, including being used to hang a baby’s cradle, all the way to eventually carrying and lowering a casket at the end of life. The belt is said to have special protection powers and is worn during special festivities and family events. It can also be used to identify which region of Latvia a person may hail from.

Latvia: Siberian Sunset

Dec 25

  • 1.5 oz Stoli Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Triple Sec
  • Top with Grapefruit Soda
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

Supervillain Dr. Doom is the ruler of the fictional country, Latveria, which one would have to assume is partly based on Latvia, at least by name. Thankfully, the real Latvians don’t have to deal with an evil dictator like Dr. Doom anymore and can thrive in their freedom.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
The Stoli Vodka drinks go two-for-two with this nice entry. I used Grapefruit Soda instead of juice, as I`m prone to do. The Maraschino Cherry serves as the sun streaking across the sky and makes for a nice little bonus at the end of the cocktail!

April 12 – Canuck-tini

Rebuild Realization

As the NHL season winds to a close and the playoffs are set to begin, the Sip Advisor’s team, the Vancouver Canucks only have a spring of golf tee times to look forward to. This rare occurrence over the last decade is the culmination of the squad unraveling since their 2011 Stanley Cup Final appearance, thanks to a few highly-publicized misfires. Please forgive me a moment to regionalize my work for this site, as here are the top five reasons the Canucks are in need of a reboot:

#5: Trading for Derek Roy

While some trade deadline rental deals work out and the player sticks with the team for a few seasons (ie. Chris Higgins and Max Lapierre in 2011), trading for Derek Roy from the Dallas Stars in 2013 completely blew up in the Canucks collective face. Roy never seemed to click with his Vancouver teammates and signed with St. Louis in the off-season. Worst of all, the ‘Nucks gave up some of their future in the deal, trading away defensive prospect Kevin Connauton and a second round draft pick, which was used to select goaltender Philippe Desrosiers. Only time will tell if that comes back to bite Vancouver in the butt later.

Fun for Whole Family

#4: Trading for David Booth

A former 30-goal scorer with the Florida Panthers, Booth has scored a combined total of 26 tallies in his nearly three seasons with the Canucks. While Vancouver only gave up a couple of players (Mikael Samuelsson and Marco Sturm) who didn’t seem to fit with the club going forward, Booth has never been able to live up to the expectations fans first hoped for when he came to the Canucks and has found himself frequently on the injured reserve list. Booth is certainly a buyout candidate this summer, despite his strong play to end the campaign, with one season remaining on his six-year, $25.5 million contract.

#3: Trading for Keith Ballard

Looking to beef up their options on puck-moving defensemen, the Canucks traded for Keith Ballard, of the Florida Panthers, at the 2010 NHL Draft. To land the rearguard, Vancouver gave up former first round draft choice Michael Grabner, Steve Bernier, and their opening pick of that draft, which turned out to be Quinton Howden. Grabner flourished with the New York Islanders, scoring 34 goals in his rookie season after being waived by the Panthers. Bernier is a regular with the New Jersey Devils, while Howden is now cracking the Florida line-up. Ballard was bought out in the 2013 off-season after a couple seasons of ineffectiveness and time spent in the press box.

Canucks Riot

#2: Trading Cody Hodgson

Hodgson apparently wanted out of Vancouver, but trading him away depleted a strong center ice core. With Ryan Kesler likely on his way out of town, Hodgson could have seamlessly slotted into the second-line center role that would have opened up. Getting Zack Kassian in the deal was a decent return, but he has yet to realize his full potential. Some have argued, however, that he hasn’t been given a fair chance to succeed under the current coaching regime. Hodgson, meanwhile, has put up 85 points for the Buffalo Sabres since the swap, leaving Vancouver (Kassian has 41 points in the same time) without the greatest prospect they’ve had in years.

#1: Trading Cory Schneider/Roberto Luongo

This whole fiasco lost the Canucks not only their number one netminder, but also the goalie of their future. When the team moved on from Luongo during the 2012 playoffs, I knew he was done with the squad… yet the saga lasted until March 2014 and by that time, Schneider had already been dealt. Now, the Canucks are left with two young, inexperienced and unproven tenders in Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom, while their once solid tandem wins games for other franchises. That puts a lot of pressure on the shoulders of Bo Horvat (drafted with the pick exchanged for Schneider) and Shawn Matthias (the other part of the Luongo deal, along with Markstrom).

Super Saturday Shot Day: Canuck-tini

Apr 12

  • 0.5 oz Raspberry Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Blue Curacao
  • Dash of Honey
  • Garnish with Mint Leaves

Hopefully, the Canucks can clean things up a little at this year’s draft and through free agency. Picking up a free agent goalie and trading Ryan Kesler (I hate to see him go, but he clearly wants out) for a package of assets could get this reboot off the ground quickly. I can’t help but notice that the Florida Panthers have played a great role in Vancouver’s misery and demise. That said, Florida can also be credited with the Canucks’ last ascension, when Roberto Luongo was plucked from the Southeast Division in 2006.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
After a year like the one Canucks fans just endured, downing copious amounts of alcohol is in short order. Will this shot do the trick? Well, it can’t hurt! This martini recipe comes from the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel in Vancouver and I’ve taken the liberty of converting it into a shooter. It was okay and probably makes a better martini, to be honest. You mostly taste the Blue Curacao, with a hint of the Raspberry Vodka. Much like the Canucks 2013-14 season… it’s disappointing!

Slovakia – Royal Tatrateani

Roll Call

Admittedly, I don’t know much about our next stop, Slovakia. I know a few hockey players from the European country: Marian Hossa, Zdeno Chara, and the late Pavol Demitra, among others. Aside from that, there’s not much space in me ol’ noggin’ dedicated to Slovakian culture. That said, there are a number of Slovaks who are known the world over for varying achievements. Here is a small sample of those fine folks:

The Stastny Brothers

When Peter Stastny defected from Slovakia to Canada in 1980, he became the first red curtain star player to do so and ushered in an exodus of players leaving Soviet Europe for a better life in North America. Peter and his brother Anton joined the Quebec Nordiques and were later united with eldest brother Marian, becoming only the third trio of brothers to play for the same squad. All three enjoyed successful career, particularly Peter who was a scoring phenom, notching 1239 points in 977 games. He retired in 1995 and was selected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1998. The brother’s legacy continues with Peter’s sons Yan and Paul suiting up for the Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche (ironically, the relocated Quebec franchise his father starred for), respectively. The Stastny’s are the first hockey family to represent four different countries – Czechoslovakia, Canada, Slovakia, USA – in international play.

Stastny Brothers

Juraj Jánošík

Slovakia has its own version of the legendary Robin Hood and that is this man. Jánošík is said to have stolen from the rich to give to the poor… sound familiar? Jánošík even had his own collection of “Merry Men,” although I’m sure they were called something more badass than that. The vigilante met his end after being sentenced to death. Scholars have debated how he was executed with most believing he was impaled on a hook and left to die, while others theorize he could have been hanged. As it often is with legends, stories persist that he went out in grand style, ever thumbing his nose at the authorities, by jumping onto the hook, rather than accept the grace offered to him in exchange for enlisting soldiers from his able ranks. Jánošík’s fable can be found in numerous films, books and even the odd song or two.

Adriana Karembeu (nee Sklenaríková)

This one is for all my little sippers out there who love gorgeous women! “Miss Wonderbra” as the beautiful and busty blonde has been dubbed has also appeared for brands like Victoria’s Secret and Peroni Beer. The gal is smart, too. Karembeu won her first modelling contest while she was studying medicine in Prague. If the “Miss Wonderbra” moniker isn’t enough to sway you or you’re more of a legs man, it should be noted that Karembeu once held the Guinness world record for longest legs among female models at close to 50 inches. I made sure to arrange my article so that squeezing in a picture of Karembeu didn’t seem out of place!

Adriana-Karembeu

I’m not sure which structure is more impressive!

Martina Hingis

The former world top-ranked women’s tennis player entered her first tournament at the age of four. Along with her mother, the two defected to Switzerland when she was just six years old and a decade later, Hingis became the youngest Grand Slam champion of all-time, winning the 1996 Wimbledon women’s doubles tournament with Helena Sukova. Following that victory, Hingis won Grand Slam singles titles at Wimbledon and the Australian and U.S. Opens. The only major championship missing from her resume is the French Open, although she did win in doubles at the tournament in 1998 and 2000. Hingis retired from tennis in 2003, at the young age of 22. She returned to the sport in 2005 and left in 2007, being handed a two-year ban after testing positive for a minimal amount of an element in cocaine. She returned again in 2010 and still plays in the occasional doubles tournament to this day.

Štefan Banič

After immigrating to the United States and witnessing a plane crash, Banič invented the first military parachute every deployed in action. The man had so much faith in his product (an umbrella like device attached to the jumpers body) that he tested it himself, first from the top of a 15-storey building and later from an actual airplane. Once successful (you know, meaning he didn’t plummet to the earth and burst into a million pieces), Banič then did something extraordinary… he donated his patent to the United States military. His invention saved the lives of countless soldiers during World War I, but the coal miner never received much money or fame for his creation.

Slovakia: Royal Tatrateani

Royal Tatrateani Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz Gin
  • 0.5 oz Tatratea Citrus
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Agave Nectar
  • Garnish with a Lemon Slice

So, now you know a heck of a lot more about Slovakia than you did before… and really, that’s my only mission in life: to educate while getting people so blitzed they forget half the shit they knew. Full circle, my little sippers, full circle!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Mrs. Sip was kind enough to pick these liqueurs up for me for Christmas, adding a country to my 52-week tour that I did not have on my radar. We have the Forest Fruit, Citrus, and Coconut flavours, but the company also sells Peach & White Tea, Original, Bohemian, and Outlaw varieties. This martini was really strong, but grew on me with each sip. To enhance the use of the Tatratea Citrus, I selected Tanqueray Rangpur as my Gin of choice.

December 30 – Iron Man Cocktail

We’re Going Streaking

As tomorrow marks the conclusion of the 365-day cocktail project, my efforts will be included with some of the greatest streaks known the world over. In fact, it’s probably the greatest compilation ever put together in human existence… and you little sippers were all a part of history. Here are some other notable runs.

Cal Ripken, Jr. – 2,632 Consecutive MLB games

While baseball lacks so many of the physical demands of other sports (hell, players spend more than half the game simply standing around and do so little that they can sometimes play two contests in one day), Cal Ripken, Jr.’s 2,632 straight games is still an amazing achievement. The streak started on May 30, 1982 and ended on Sept. 20, 1998, as the shortstop wanted to wrap it up on his own terms and avoid any controversy that may follow in the twilight of his career.

Cal-Ripken

Doug Jarvis – 964 Consecutive NHL games

To play that many successive games in one of the most physical sports on the planet is quite the impressive feat. When that streak spans your entire professional career (from 1975 to 1987), while winning four Stanley Cups, as well as the Selke Trophy (NHL’s top defensive forward) and Bill Masterton Trophy (awarded for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey) that makes the record that much sweeter.

Brett Favre – 297 Consecutive NFL Quarterback Starts

Given how rough and tumble professional football can be, it’s astonishing that Brett Favre was able to start 297 games in a row, all while sending pictures of his junk via cell phone to select female members of team staff. Okay, so some of Favre’s shine rubbed off (perhaps bad word choice) near the end of his career, but you can’t take away the guy’s grit and passion.

Joe Dimaggio – 56-Game Hit Streak

It has been written before that the hardest thing to do in professional sports is hit a fastball. While I vehemently disagree with that assertion, I do agree that there are unique skills required to be a pro ball player and Joe Dimaggio’s streak is pretty impressive because of this. Perhaps more notable, the dude married Marilyn Monroe… not too shabby!

Joe Dimaggio

Lance Armstrong – 7-Consecutive Tour de France Victories

While Lance Armstrong’s streak of victories has since been tainted by his steroid scandal, the man competed in a world rife with cheating and he still managed to win seven straight Tour de France titles. Armstrong’s celebrity also boosted funding for cancer treatments, so regardless of his name being sullied, he still did some great things for the world.

Wayne Gretzky – 51 Consecutive Game Point Streak

Wayne Gretzky is the most prolific scorer in NHL history, putting up so many records that will never be touched. Among those, is his 51-game point scoring streak in 1983-84. The Great One averaged 3 points per game during that run and had he sat out the rest of the season after the stretch was ended, he would have still won the scoring title by 27 points!

Byron Nelson – 11 Consecutive PGA Tour Wins

Today, you’re likely to see a different leader atop the PGA Tour each week. To win 11 straight in today’s golfing world is totally unfathomable. Not ever Tiger Woods in his prime came anywhere near touching that mark. Nelson won 18 of 30 tournaments in 1945 and 52 throughout his PGA career. He also added 12 wins on other professional circuits.

A.C. Green – 1,192 Consecutive NBA Games

I think I’m more impressed with the fact the deeply religious man waited until the age of 38 to finally lose his virginity. Now THAT’S an iron man streak! Green’s foundation promotes abstinence before marriage and he was finally wed in 2002, following his playing career, which lasted from 1985-2001, including three NBA Championships.

Drink #364: Iron Man Cocktail

Iron Man Cocktail Drink Recipe

  • 1.5 oz Amaretto (I used Disaronno)
  • 1 Shot of Orange Juice
  • Splash of Grenadine

So, what’s next for The Sip Advisor? You’ll have to stay tuned for a big announcement on New Year’s Day. The excitement is palpable, isn’t it!?

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
This recipe comes courtesy of The Drunken Moogle site and while it is meant for the comic and movie character Iron Man, I think it applies here, as well. Simply place the shot of Orange Juice into the Amaretto/Grenadine Mix and slam the whole concoction back. The drink is sweet, so if you have a tooth for that, you’re in luck. Most will want to have a more tart taste mixed in, so this cocktail doesn’t work for all.