Celtics CEO and co-owner Wyc Grousbeck joined Felger and Mazz Friday, defending Danny Ainge’s inactively at Thursday’s trade deadline.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while giving two thumbs up to The Lego Batman Movie after a screening with my 3 1/2 year old.
*Alex Prewitt has a profile on Anaheim defenseman prospect Shea Theodore as he waits for his time with the Ducks.
*The Vancouver Canucks have a mumps problem this season, and we continue to wonder why this is becoming an issue again in a first-world society.
*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough has Patrick Eaves dealt to the Ducks for what could be first round pick if Anaheim advances far enough through the playoffs.
*Flyers GM Ron Hextall says that Philly’s young team won’t be buying ahead of next week’s NHL trade deadline.
*Along with his “Sutter-isms”, diversity is a family value for the Los Angeles Kings head coach Darryl Sutter.
*Dave Strader gets back into the broadcast booth with the Dallas Stars, and will be a welcomed addition to the national NBC broadcast of Bruins/Stars on Sunday afternoon.
*As cold as he was earlier in the season, New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist is heating up now for the Blueshirts.
*For something completely different: Brie Larson is already prepping for her role as Captain Marvel by stepping up her game as an influence for positive change among her Hollywood peers.
It’s only a coincidence that it will air the same week that the Boston Bruins went Hollywood with their annual three-game road trip through California, but David Backes and his wife Kelly are going to get some solid TV time this weekend. The animal-loving couple are going to be featured Saturday night in the all-new Animal Planet special "Stars to the Rescue," which highlights the Backes family’s excellent work to ensure every animal has a ‘furever’ home.
The lifelong animal lovers have adopted five rescue pets that all made the move from St. Louis to Boston this summer, and launched Athletes for Animals in 2013, a non-profit organization supporting professional athletes and animal advocacy efforts. The 32-year-old Backes chose a Boston animal shelter as his first setting to meet with the Boston media this summer after signing with the Bruins in free agency, and spoke glowingly about his inspiration for marrying two of his passions: helping animals and sports.
“The full story is that in college we wanted an animal or two, but it just wasn’t responsible because we were renting and the landlords didn’t approve," said Backes, the proud owner of four dogs (Maverick, Rosey, Marty and Bebe) and two cats (Sunny, Poly). "We just didn’t really have the time or resources to support them, so we volunteered at the local shelter for the three years I was in school.
“When my wife [Kelly] and I moved to St. Louis, we wanted to connect with the community, be a part and use our voice to influence social change to do our part making the world a little bit of a better place. So we said, ‘Why not connect with the animal welfare rescue community?’
“We absolutely love doing it: Walking dogs, scooping litter boxes and cleaning kennels. Let’s use our voice to kick this off and see what we can do, and it really just snowballed from that to then trying to tie other guys into it. It’s not limited to the animal stuff, but the animals that don’t have a voice, and the kids that don’t have a voice, really tug at our heart strings. We want to help them with this blessing of a great voice we’ve been given as professional athletes, and to really use that to give them some help.”
The “Stars to the Rescue” special premieres on Saturday night at 8 pm on Animal Planet where there will be a full segment on the Backes family, but here’s a clip where Backes talks about his well-publicized involvement with a number of stray dog rescues during his 2014 Olympic Hockey stint with Team USA in Sochi, Russia.
Backes isn’t the only Boston athlete featured during the Animal Planet special as it also chronicles the stories of other well-known athletes and celebrities and the dogs they can't live without: Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, Baltimore Ravens’ Ronnie Stanley, Selma Blair, ESPN Correspondent Michelle Beadle, WNBA star Elena Delle Donne, former Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield and more. From training buddies to comforting companions, “Stars to the Rescue” shows first-hand how these celebrities first met their cute rescued canines and how their dogs have impacted and transformed their lives for the better.