‘Todd Crocker’s Blog’ Posts

Photo courtest Christian Bonin / TSG Photo

Urgency is never hard to find in the playoff word search. In a five game series you could capitalize it and underline it and it likely wouldn’t be enough. This is what the Marlies face in the first round. Their sense of urgency must be peaking because they face a team they have not beaten this year. The Marlies were only swept twice this season. The Syracuse Crunch managed it in a two game set and these Milwaukee Admirals that they face in the first round of the Calder Cup ...

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It’s a good bet that you haven’t heard of Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evans the mountain climbers. They were a part of the team that ascended Mount Everest in 1953. They achieved an excellent climb and for a short period of time they had been higher than anyone in the world. A few days later two other members of the same team started out in the early hours of May 29th.  By noon Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay were at the top of the world and were forever ...

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Timing. It is everything in the world of AHL team pictures. You can’t show up the day before…though for the Marlies there was no shortage of trying…you have to be with the team the moment they snap the photo. Now whatever happens to you after or before matters very little. For all of history, a hundred years from now when they look at the photo on the walls of whatever rink they’ve built, you will have been on the team.

Take Jerry D’Amigo who has been instrumental ...

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Science is to academics what baking is to cooking. When you cook, you can add a little of this, a little of that and maybe come up with something interesting. When you bake, there is only following the recipe. IF you want the cookies to look and taste like the cookies in the book…you need to follow the recipe. This kind of rulemaking applies to a lot of science. There is no room to discuss how two negatives make a positive…it is just the rule. Creative people will ...

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When something becomes very complicated there are always people willing to create a correlation that simplifies it so everyone might understand it. Often times, of course it becomes so simplified that people misconstrue what the original intent of the information was. Take the Big Mac index; originally created by The Economist newspaper to help people understand worldwide currency value. It has been hijacked by commentators the world over to show how expensive goods and services might be in another country.

The Marlies have an abundance of Macs. Anywhere else all these ...

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Toronto was vastly different landscape in 1964. Do you remember? The Gardiner Expressway was finished and traffic was eased through downtown coming in and out of the city. Do you remember? The skyline was telling tales of things to come but it was still dominated by the Royal York Hotel. You remember.  The Cork Room served a mean dinner for under five bucks.  Is it coming back? Water fountains,  lumbering streetcars, a busy industrial waterfront…and a phenomenal junior team in the Marlboros.

Likely there are a lot of you who don’t ...

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What did people conclude prior to 1913 when events happened causing other events to unfold? That was the year Max Bodenstein first put together the idea of chain reaction. While his thoughts ran more toward molecules than social miscues and diplomatic tension it did give a name to something that will continue to happen year in year out in the hockey season. Trade deadline.

The AHL dressing room is a microcosm of the greater world of hockey.  There is chatter, possible combinations, quizzical looks, plenty of posturing  and there is kidding ...

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At the Outdoor Game morning skate

At the Outdoor Game morning skate

The painter Claude Monet, as he progressed in the mental side of his art, began a series of paintings that recorded the same subject at different times of the day. A kind of time lapse before that particular photographic trick was possible. What Monet was doing was illustrating that small changes make you appreciate something a little bit more than you otherwise might. His paintings of Haystacks or Water Lilies are remarkable enough by themselves but next to each other you are able to ...

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There is a social embrace that isn’t proven but is solidly followed, that we need to give kids roots. We need to provide stable, never changing environments for them to get to the top and get the most out of their childhoods and hockey development.  They need consistent friends right beside them that they can call on for life. The idea is that there needs to be a sameness to inspire greatness. That this is so false it is amusing doesn’t seem to change our thinking on it.

“I ...

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In the commercial world of growing almonds, which happens mostly in California, farmers can’t just plant a bunch of almond trees and cross their fingers hoping everything goes well. The first thing they do is graft an almond tree to a peach tree. This process creates a hardier, more durable, more disease resistant version of the almond tree that means it has a greater chance of success to bear fruit. Everything the farmer does after that is really fine-tuning but this step is absolutely necessary for ...

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Commodity trading isn’t a difficult concept to understand but it has a level of prediction that encompasses so many variables you wonder how they ever negotiate a price for orange juice, wheat, oil or corn three months ahead of time. In 1864 the world’s first futures exchange in Chicago was set up, merchants were attempting to ensure that there were always buyers and sellers for commodities, thereby gaining a better idea of what they should dig for, grow or refine.  It wasn’t about setting price so much as was and ...

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Being separated, during the outdoor game, from my perch atop the game as the Marlies’ broadcaster gave me ample time to use my eyes to see the part of the game that I think all fans want to touch. The side of the game that is…human. These are my observations as I drank in the excitement of the day and days leading up to it..

The Coats. A few days before the game Henning Aagard–Svendson told me to come visit him after practice. Lending on ...

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Stuart Percy heads up the ice during a September exhibition game.

 

The world over, business schools espouse ideas about how to effectively manage corporate governance. At Harvard where Veritas (truth) is the motto, they thought up case studies as a way to expand the minds of students. Closer to home, Schulich School of Business balances a quantitative approach with management skills. Rotman at U of T leaves business out the title and goes with simply management as their selling point. Whatever eager MBA hopefuls hope to gain they should also study the style of the Stuart Percy School.

“Work hard, have fun…even ...

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Recently I had what seemed like a pretty funny idea. The Marlies were in Texas and I had Drew MacIntyre, on camera, talk about some interesting and obscure facts about Texas (there are a good number of them, like the ranch that is as big as Rhode Island) and I was going to have the rest of the team simply say ‘Texas is really big.” It was a bit of nod to the idea that we seldom know much about the places we visit but it also landed ...

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Scientific theory isn’t likely what you think it is. We’ve become so used to detective shows offering us crime theories that we forget what the word means to the people who use it accurately.  It is akin to the word moron, which was a medical designation that quite quickly became derogatory slang. Real theories aren’t just some notion or gut feeling. Science theory explains things like gravity, relativity, motion, evolution. It carries the credentials of what we know so far about something is the accepted truth until, and this is ...

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Rod Serling is likely never going to be remembered in the world of writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald or Ernest Hemingway but it is likely you’ll recall his work more than you will the other two. Serling’s words still bring about half raised eyebrows and narrow looks. “You’re entering another dimension. A dimension not only of sight and sound but also of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of the imagination. At the sign post up ahead, your next stop, the Twilight Zone.”

Serling ...

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In commemoration news, a splinter news category if ever there was one, the Los Angeles aqueduct turned a hundred years old this year. This piece of remarkable engineering moved water over the desert to the folks in L.A., who turned an outpost into one of America’s most incredible cities. Moving resources around to create strength and viability is a precarious game. It likely means you are also weakening the place you are moving that abundance from.

“I didn’t see a problem with it. You take the pass on your backhand. Not ...

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When the Panama Canal was finished in 1914 it was never even a thought that one day it wouldn’t be big enough. Although everyone knew the laws of displacement quite well, no one could foresee that one day ships would be so big that, as the Canal neared the million ship mark, they would have to make it wider.  And now there is word that a company out of China wants to make another bigger canal just up the road in Nicaragua. Is bigger always the answer?

 

Jamie Devane is one ...

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The Marlies turned ten on Tuesday night in Utica. Ten is a terrific time to look at accomplishments. There isn’t any need to write a memoir with that many games in the history books but it’s a nice number to draw some thoughts out about this team and why it is having some success.

“We need to get those dirty areas of the ice and play a simple game, we can’t play too complicated. When we do that we fail.” If you tune in regularly to the website or the broadcasts, ...

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When Bat Masterson, the frontiersman, (and former sports columnist of the New York Morning Telegraph) roamed the American West he wrote many stories and columns and coined a few turns of phrase. One of the terms he used was gunfighter or gunslinger. Masterson was one and soon after it became common knowledge that these folks had to be quick on the draw. With a 50% failure (complete failure) on every draw, it meant that the job didn’t last long and that success followed young hands or experienced eyes.

In ...

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