A Foot In The Crease to Conclude

As announced on Episode 8.2, after eight seasons and what will be 300 shows, we have arrived at the difficult decision to conclude the A Foot In The Crease podcast with one final episode once the Maple Leafs’ season ends. It is not without great consideration and an element of reluctance that we have come to this decision but ultimately, we feel it is the correct and appropriate decision to be made.

To serve our many loyal listeners that we have been lucky and fortunate to have acquired throughout our run to the level that you have all become accustomed – and to the level you all deserve – a time commitment is required that neither Jeff nor I can any longer promise to keep consistently as a result of our expanding time commitments due to career and personal obligations. We do not want to erode the quality of the product that we have tried so hard to establish by continuing at half-effort. So it is for that reason that we have decided to bring an end to the show.

When we developed and began this show back in the summer of 2005, to say that it would span eight years and 300 episodes – the longest running hockey podcast that we have come across – is something I don’t think we would have believed. But it is due to the remarkable and frankly overwhelming response that we have received from listeners throughout the show’s run that kept it going. To all of you who corresponded with us and came to rely on our show, our most sincere thanks for making us a part of your weekly schedule. It exceeded our wildest imagination.

We would like to offer our deepest gratitude to all our listeners for providing the fuel that drove the show forward since 2005.

We have loved each and every moment of everything that this show has meant to us and have been truly honoured to serve you. Looking forward to making it a grand conclusion with one final episode in the spring.

Sincerely,
- Dave McCarthy and Jeff Hume


Episode 8.2

Thank You

Ahead this week on AFITC, a third of the way through the season and the Maple Leafs find themselves in a playoff spot. And they didn’t even trade for Roberto Luongo. Surprised? Shocked even? We’ll answer that question as well as look at why things have gone right, if it’s time to change the perception of the Leafs goaltending and what to do with a glut of defensemen.

Back Checking gets the Listeners voice onto the program as we check in with some emails and tweets. The Gong Banger is along as well later in the segment to ring in another Troubling Fact of the Week.

Rigamarole wraps the program as well with a look at arguably the biggest question that Dave Nonis and company will have to answer in the coming year. Also in this episode, we’ll make an announcement about the future of the podcast. You know “the nobody on the ice until the zamboni doors are completely closed” rule in minor hockey, well it doesn’t apply in the NHL. This is Episode 8.2 of AFITC.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Canada Should Expect Gold, But Never Assume It

The World Junior Hockey Championships have become a Christmas holiday tradition in Canada that captivates the nation and draws massive viewership ratings, even at 4AM, on TSN. Tell me something I don’t know, you’re thinking right? But it really is remarkable when you think about it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love any excuse to stand up, wave our country’s flag and get behind something, not as individuals but as one collective nation coming together where it truly does seem like you can feel the energy from coast to coast. But there is an inherent flaw in our mindset for this tournament that gets revealed when, as we saw this morning, things don’t necessarily go as planned.

A large majority of Canadians who become rabid, crazed junior hockey fans at Christmas, cheering on Team Canada with the type of energy and passion that we see reserved for so few events, watch nary a game of regular season junior hockey – be it OHL, WHL, or QMJHL. For two weeks of the year, junior hockey is everything; for the other eleven and a half months, it holds niche interest at best. There are very few examples of sports which can so easily reach both extreme ends of the support spectrum. Continue reading


Episode 8.1

The Pickle Guy

It’s the season eight premiere of AFITC on the day the NHL season was supposed to begin. But alas, the memories of 2004 turn to the reality of 2012 as NHL arenas again sit dark with yet another lockout in our midst. The owners, the players; who’s right this time around? What makes this time different than 8 years ago? We’ll answer these questions along with a host of other lockout topics in the Redline Report.

Back checking brings your voice onto the program as we check in with some contributions from listeners about their thoughts on the lack of NHL hockey. Wrapping the segment, the Gong Banger rolls in to ring in a Troubling Fact of the Week.

Are you feeling lost, forlorn, aimlessly wandering about with nothing to do without NHL hockey? Rigamarole will wrap the program with some ideas as to how you can fill that deep void the NHL has left for you.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Episode 7.39

A Little Bit Of A Maelstrom

Ahead this week on the program, Season 7 of AFITC comes to an end as we look back at the first week of free agent frenzy (?) in the NHL. The Leafs make some minor moves while the Minnesota Wild went wild luring Zach Parise and Ryan Suter with massive money deals. How does this shift the balance of power? Is spending out of control? What does this mean to the Leafs? We’re all over it in the Redline Report.

Back Checking comes your way next. We turn to you for Listener Contributions through Twitter and Email and welcome the Gong Banger in for another Troubling Fact of the Week.

Wrapping the program is rigamarole, this week looking at the ripple effect that could be seen in Nashville now that Ryan Suter has hit the road. This is Episode 7.39, the Season Finale of AFITC.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Episode 7.38

Consanguinity

Ahead this week on the penultimate edition of Season 7, Brian Burke waited until late in the weekend but then dropped a bomb when he announced Luke Schenn had been dealt for James Van Riemsdyk. We’ll tell you who won that trade coming up in the Redline Report. As well, the Leafs General Manager doing too much talking? We’ll tell you his latest eyebrow raising remark along with which team can least afford to move forward under their current scenario, the Leafs starting the season with Reimer and Scrivens or the Canucks bringing both Schneider and Luongo back to camp.

Wrapping the segment, we’ll follow up on a trade involving considerable consanguinity and debate whether the Penguins owed Sidney Crosby his massive contract extension. Back Checking comes your way next with Listener Contributions from Twitter and Email and close it out with the Gong Banger and a Troubling Fact of the Week.

And finally rigamarole wraps the show. This week, I’ll tell you why the Hall of Fame debate about who should be in and who should be out bores the hell out of me. They said it would be so hot in Toronto today that it would feel like oven like conditions. Well when I got home, the bread dough I’d left on the sidewalk hadn’t baked yet. This is Episode 7.38 of AFITC.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Episode 7.37

A Man of Some Fine Diction

Ahead this week on the program, if the NHL offseason was a game of musical chairs, Brian Burke might end up without a chair when the music shuts off. Lots of options falling off the table for the Leafs to upgrade so what should they do? Would you be happy with Reimer / Scrivens next season? Could Jordan Staal be in play? Should the Leafs try to move up in the draft? We’re all over it in the Redline Report.

Later in Back Checking, we tip our hats to Jake Gardiner and Teemu Selanne, check in with Listener Contributions from Twitter and Email before making way for the Gong Banger to ring in another Troubling Fact of the Week. Also in this segment, we reveal the word that was the final cut when Brian Burke was holding tryouts to fill out his team of four big words.

Rigamarole wraps the program with a look at why the wheeling and dealing has been rather quiet so far in the week leading up to the NHL draft.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Episode 7.36

I Cannot Tolerate the Grunting

Ahead this week on the program, California Dreaming, the Kings crowned in LA as the Cup heads west. Where does the Kings playoff run rank all time? How does their win affect other team’s mindsets going forward? We’re all over that to kick start the Redline Report. The Toronto Marlies made the Calder Cup Finals but the magic ended as the third round did. Swept by the Admirals but what does it mean to the Leafs future, and more specifically how will Ben Scrivens affect the Leafs goaltending.

Back Checking follows next with some bullet points from around the league, Listener Contributions from Twitter and emails from Alan and Aaron. After that, the gong banger is along with a Troubling Fact of the Week.

Rigamarole wraps the show with a look back at some of the things we learned over the last year in the NHL. Did Buzz Aldrin make history when he became the second man to step on the moon first? This is Episode 7.36 of AFITC.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Episode 7.35

Tea Business

Ahead this week on the program, nine days since our last program yet only two games in that time. The NHL’s really got to up the games to days ratio. We’ll hit on the start of the Cup Finals between the Kings and Devils. Do teams have a responsibility to play entertaining hockey at this time of year? We’ll give you our thoughts to kick start the Redline Report. Also on tap, Nick Lidstrom calls it a career. Where does he rank all time and what does this mean for the Wings going forward?

Wrapping the segment, we’ll look at Tim Thomas’ suggestion that he might want to take a year off and what the Flames hiring Bob Hartley as head coach means for their organization. Back Checking features Listener Contributions from Twitter and Email along with the Troubling Fact of the Week.

Rigamarole wraps the show with a look at the Marlies loss of Matt Frattin for the season and how it could affect the Toronto Maple Leafs next season. New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan was at game one of the Cup Finals with his wife on Wednesday. Reports tell us he was impressed with the footwork on Anze Kopitar’s game winner. This is Episode 7.35 of AFITC.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Episode 7.34

Playoff Time For The Gong Banger

Ahead this week on the program, the LA Kings are through to the Stanley Cup Finals but not without controversy. We’ll touch on the contentious end to game five of the Kings / Coyotes series, why the Mike Rupp punch on Martin Brodeur was not the smartest thing Rupp could have done for the Rangers and whether the Marlies success has you raising your expectations for the Leafs next year.

Back Checking comes your way next. We’ll feature Listener Contributions for Twitter and Email and a locally inspired Troubling Fact of the Week.

Rigamarole wraps the show with a local at how the off-ice shenanigans of Patrick Kane should start to become the problems of the Chicago Blackhawks. All that and more ahead on Episode 7.34 of AFITC.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.