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January 14, 2009

Pete Michaud: The Admirals and Their Pets

Hello, Admirals fans?

It?s time for a new blog entry! With this edition focusing on pets, I invite you to wipe your paws, come on in and give it a read. Try to stay off the good furniture, though!

Ever since this season?s schedule came out, we?ve been looking forward to this month. With a 9-game homestand, January means very little travel. Of course, we did begin the month on the road, ringing in the new year in Portland, Maine. Portland is unique for many reasons. Among them is the city?s love of dogs. I?ve never seen so many people walking dogs through a downtown area as in Portland, regardless of the weather. It?s not unusual to see someone walking 3 or 4 dogs at once in that town. As an animal lover, it got me wondering about the pets of the Admirals. Hockey players, as long as I can recall, have been ?dog people,? but I thought I?d go straight to the players for confirmation. I?m sure I left somebody out, but here is what I found out?

G Mike McKenna has a mixed-breed (I hate the term ?mutt?) dog named Bauer (just like the hockey equipment company). At less than a year old, Bauer has lots of energy, so you?ll find Mike down at the Chesapeake dog park (at the city park, where the Chesapeake Jubilee is) sometimes letting Bauer run with the other canines.

F/D Brent Henley may be one of the league?s toughest competitors, but he has a little Pomeranian named Peanut. At least it?s a boy!

For some guys, the pets are more the wife?s or girlfriend?s than theirs. F Mathieu Curadeau also has 2 Chihuahuas, named Timmy (6 months old) and Ellie (2 years old), who are with his girlfriend back in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he played before joining the Admirals. LW Jay Rosehill has a dog he refers to as a ?Golden Doodle? (Golden Retriever/Poodle mix?) named Tucker back home with his girlfriend.

The travel and the hours spent at the rink make a difficult to keep a dog or cat in the Norfolk area unless there is a wife, girlfriend or very nice neighbor to help care for the pet. So, many of the guys have animals back home with their families.

RW Brandon Segal has 2 dogs back at home in British Columbia, Canada. They are Cockapoos named Nash & Luke. C Blair Jones has a 9-year-old cocker spaniel named Target back home in Saskatchewan. D Scott Jackson, who grew up on a dairy farm, has 2 dogs named Tundra and Shawnee keeping the cows in line back in British Columbia. D Ty Wishart also has dogs at home in Comox, BC. Ty has a German Shepard named Iona and 3 mixed breeds named Sneakers, Popcorn and Pokey.

And being a family man with a wife and 2 children, Jason Ward probably wins the ?pet lovers? award for this year?s team. Along with his wife, Kelly, and their children, Eric (age 5) and Nathan (age 2), the Wards have 4 pets. They have 2 dogs, both just puppies, and 2 older cats (ages 6 & 10).

Cat lovers are usually tougher to find in the hockey crowd, but there are some. In addition to Ward, G Karri Ramo has 2 cats back home in Finland. C Bracken Kearns tells me he is a real cat lover, although he also plans to get a dog, probably a French Bulldog, after the season.

And lastly, team captain Zenon Konopka completely breaks the mold. Zenon is allergic to dog and cat fur, so he recently adopted a rabbit, who is here in Norfolk for the season. Not wanting to waste too much time thinking of a creative name, Zenon calls his bunny friend Hoppy!

Well, that?s it for now. I?ll be answering some of your questions in my next entry, so feel free to email. Until next time?

Pete ( )

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