Man Of Biosteel: In Memory Of Emery
Every year hockey hardos across the globe have to endure a period of purgatory. August can be a long month for hockey fans. Starved for action on the ice, fans may seek their fix through social media highlights of NHL studs ripping up pro-am leagues across North America, such as "Da Beauty League" in Minnesota founded by the 2016 NHL All Star Game MVP, John Scott.
However, in the final week of August, fans are treated to one of the most elite groups of players from the Greater Toronto Area battling it out for the Ray Emery Cup, formerly known as the Bio Steel cup. Paying tribute to another tragic story the hockey community witnessed this year, losing former Stanley Cup champion and two-time Bill Masterson trophy recipient, Ray Emery, at the young age of 35.
Hockey analysts and experts have wondered for decades how this surplus of talent, year after year, comes out of Ontario. Especially in recent years.
Is there something in the water?
Yes, about 2 scoops of Biosteel.
Biosteel is a sports recovery drink founded in 2009 by former Maple Leafs strength and conditioning coach Matt Nichol. A beverage that has rapidly grown in popularity among athletes and has wiped Gatorade off the shelves (RIP Gatorade 1965-2015).
Popular among male athletes but certainly not limited to them. Biosteel athlete Brooke Henderson is a major ambassador for the brand, raising awareness for the juice as she raises her trophy and Canadian flag last week at the Canadian Womens Open.
Although, the Biosteel camp is restricted to current NHL players and prospects, the Biosteel team consists of athletes such as Ezekiel Eliot, Dennis Shapovalov - who is currently in the third round of the US Open, and for those who are familiar - Wayne Gretzky.
The camp kicks off with a draft by the team captains who assume the role as head coach as well as GM. Enemies were made and friends were lost, as captains like Tom Wilson decided to pass on his two teammates he hoisted the Stanley Cup with this summer.
But when you're 220 pounds of twisted Biosteel and sex appeal you can get away with that.
Followed by the draft, the camp begins with rigorous workouts on and off the ice at the historic St. Mikes College, with a series of competitions.
The camp is headlined by Connor McDavid and Tyler Seguin, who appropriately met each other in the finals for some of the most intense 4 on 4, non-contact, summer shinny in existence. And despite being the best player in the world and currently the highest ranked player in the upcoming NHL 19 game at a 94, McDavid still fell short in a 4-3 loss to Team Seguin.
Segs opened up the scoring in this 20 minute match with a team that included St.Louis Blues Rob Fabbri, and Anaheim's Brendan Montour, who both followed up on Tyler's opening rip. But Team Nurse responded with 3 unanswered tallies from Connor, Montreal's newly acquired Max Domi, and Washington's Brett Connolly. Going into the final minute tied, in a packed barn of young hockey fans, this game needed a hero. Cue Ryan O'Reilly of the St.Louis Blues who raced down the ice with a speedy McDavid back-checking. Ryan snipes the eventual game-winner with 21 ticks left on the clock and Team Seguin raises the cup for the 4th time in 5 years. The NHL may belong to McDavid now, but camp belongs to Segs.
Tom Wilson, who continued to stir the pot throughout camp, was frustrated with his team's semi-final result. He threw the pink drink at one of the refs to express his displeasure and other teammates threw towels on the ice during a questionable puck-over-glass call.
But as Tyler points out, in about an hour these guys will get over the loss and will all meetup in the evening for one last hurrah on their final weekend together.
So lock up your wives and daughters, men of Toronto.