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I’m Going Going, Back Back, to Cali Cali



Thanks a million for all the tips yesterday, that was a SUPER productive comment section for me.  As it stands right now, I’m in no rush to charge for any content, so until further notice, relax and enjoy, and I’ll try to find ways to make this site more attractive for you and your hockey brethren.


Well I’m using the collective power of your genius minds….

One of the segments in my show is going to be a “beer league tips” section, that, without being condescending, tries to give little tips that can help rec guys and gals out.  Stuff like we’ve discussed on the blog – gap control, stick-on-puck for defenders, etc. 

So, I ask you – is there anything in particular you feel like you’d like me to cover?  Episode one while have a slapshots and shot-blockers segment, if all goes according to plan, so don’t pick that one.


Okay, let me bust out some thoughts quick before I take off on my trip:

The Lebron thing – the guy was an unrestricted (key word) free agent, wanted to win a ring, and chose a team he knew was going to be stacked.  If it wasn’t for his stupid management and dumb ESPN special, I’d find it hard to be remotely upset with the guy for leaving Cleveland.  Of course, those things did happen.  So focusing on the actual signing….


What more did he owe his home town?  He gave them SEVEN YEARS of his career and they failed to surround him with a cast of players you could call anything better than okay.  As has been well covered, it was the way he went about the free agency period that made this so miserable for everyone.  Lord knows he lost a lot of everyone’s respect, but I just don’t think we can hate on the decision.

For those people who say “you don’t see Kobe acting like this” (and there’s not many of them, since most people are informed), lets not forget that when things got rough for Kobe, he demanded that he or Shaq be traded immediately.  And he was under contract when he drove O’Neal out, unlike Lebron who just picked a better team in free agency.  As I saw someone tweet yesterday, we love our superstars until they act like superstars.

I don’t want to come off as a Lebron defender, cause he’s been a horrible, insufferable douche, I’m just saying – had he just picked Miami without the hoopla, people in Cleveland would still be pissed, and I don’t think he owes the city anything more.  It’s like George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life – can the guy just get outta Bedford for a few years?  Most kids at least move cities for college.


"'Yes.' We'd 'like' to 'sign' Ilya Kovalchuk."


I feel like free agency is like moving into a new place – you put all this time, effort and money into it until you sort of get comfortable, then you hit a wall and never finish the job.  My apartment is MONEY, like fully moved into, only we never got around to making the guest room all decorated.  And, since we’re comfortable now, we just leave it.  Garth has stopped decorating the guest room.  Finish the job my good man…. frankly, the living room’s not looking so hot either.



Doing my first podcast with my college roommate of yore, Charlie Kronschnabel, and a few hours of shooting each day (including a midnight on-ice shoot Sunday), so I won’t be blogging til Tuesday.  However, I am a tweet machine, as you know, so you can follow me that was at


It’s the weekend!  Hope it’s a good one folks.  Let me know if you have any ideas for the show!


29 Responses to “I’m Going Going, Back Back, to Cali Cali”
  1. Kelly R says:

    I think for the segments on rec league hockey (which I’m really looking forward to as a captain of a rec league team), it’d be super helpful if you gave examples of quick easy drills that will help teach the skill du jour of the segment.

    You rock.

  2. ms.conduct says:

    I’m so glad you got over your paranoia about “over tweeting.” Bring it on.

    And good luck with the filming. I’m sure there’s a goalie segment right?

    Call it “8 Minutes for Ms.Conduct”? Heehee… ;)

  3. paul says:

    Quick Lebron hit JT…You said it yourself after moving to AZ, you shoulda went to ASU and played club instead of fraking Alaska…

    So Lebron got the ‘if I could do it all again’ thing with Free agency. Except after spending 7 years in Cleveland, he said Miami, South Beach, hanging/playing with my buddies, why not? Given he was a complete douchenoozle the way he made his choice but still I can’t fault the guy. That right there is a great life decision, close to being on par with quitting pro hockey and becoming a blogger and moving to Arizona.

  4. Mike P says:

    Lets see tips for beer league. Position…position…position.. It gets really frustrating. Even if your playing your position, some teammate schmuck is cherry picking for the puck. If I am mucking along the half boards to get the puck. I am not going to pass it to you just standing at center ice. I worked to hard for you to be lazy.

  5. Andrew says:

    As a longtime reader, I’m ridiculously excited about the beer league tips. I would be interested if you have any tips for getting position on a defender in front of the net for a screen/scoring opportunity. As a smaller forward, I tend to get washed out a lot in front of the net and in behind despite a lot of time in the gym.

    Of course, anything at all will be monumentally helpful. Really looking forward to the shot block stuff.

  6. Jeremy says:

    How about covering how to clear the front of the net effectively without resorting to cross checks. Or at least neutralizing a forward without doing things that refs hate.

  7. James says:

    Joe Maurer was drafted 1st overall by the mid-market Minnesota Twins, his hometown team.

    He could have played his contract out, become an unrestricted FA, and let the Red Sox and Yankees get into a feeding frenzy and throw crazy money at him.

    But, Joe did the LOYAL thing and took a huge contract, but not as big as he likely would have gotten as a FA, to remain the face of his hometown franchise.

    LeBron is no Joe Maurer.

  8. KarenfromRochester says:

    I don’t have a problem w/ LeBron deciding to go elsewhere, since he gave Cleveland a chance. 7 years is long enough to determine if your employer is going to fulfill their part of the bargain and build a winning team. Seems like Cleveland was just enjoying the gate receipts that LeBron helped increase. I do, however, have a big problem with the way he handled this. It was a complete douchy way to handle it and it’s why I can’t stand this sport as a professional sport. As I said yesterday, when is he going to start asking people to kiss his ring? Have fun in California!

  9. brian says:

    Charlie Kronschnabel?
    Small world – he played for my Reading Royals!
    Say hello from a season ticket holder.

    Beer league tip = power play
    Specifically, where do you start?

    We concede so many more than we score that I seriously talk about whether we can decline.

  10. minnesotagirl71 says:

    Re show – have fun, be casual, talk like you write. (Don’t go all uber-professional on us now, Bourne.) Your format and personalities of you and your guests will make it fun to watch for those of us non-hockey players amongst your readers/viewers.

    Re Lebron – get your ass on the court and act like a superstar and I’m fine with that. It’s when they act like divas and primadonnas off the court/field/ice that makes me nuts. (Are there words for male versions of divas and primadonnas??)

    Who’s Garth? Was he responsible for the gecko invasion that we saw in one of your video posts?

    All us Minnesota kids know that Joey Mauer is our home grown, pure as the driven snow, Baby Jesus of baseball. (Anyone seen his Kemps commercials with his mom? How cute can a grown man be??) I’m thrilled that he stayed with the Twins – I think they threw plenty of money at him to get him to stay. But I don’t think you can fault Lebron for leaving the hometown team in the hope of winning the big game.

  11. griddle says:

    any tips for rec league goalies?

    where you headed in Cali? if you’re in Long Beach area, hit me up and I’ll buy you a beer or five!

  12. kev says:

    rec league tips: how about where to shoot on goalies? a little while back you had a nugget on how lefties have an advantage on goalies because when the goalie goes down butterfly, there’s a natural opening in the blocker side area. i never knew that before. i think most of us rec leaguers just skate down, keep our head down, and wing the puck hoping it finds daylight. what do you look for and how do you pick your spots to shoot on a goalie?

  13. Steve C. says:

    Hey….same as “griddle” except I’m in OC.
    You’re probably going to be in HollyWeird/Studio City/Burbank?

    RE: The “Big Show”:
    I know we’ve covered some of these here, but how about an equipment segment?
    Skates (brand, fitting, sharpening, laces)
    Sticks (brand, length, curve, taping)
    New products?

    Also, how about a “Viewer Question” segment.
    You can solicit questions in the blog.

  14. Christianson10 says:

    @ Andrew…. Watch what holmstrom does…he gets in format of that net, plants his feet with his stick on the ice, and takes a horrible beating from every defenseman but he keeps doing it because it’s the only way he can score goals and it helps his team haha…just plant your feet at the crease and keep your stick firm on the ice for someone to pass to for a quick tip…

  15. mikeB says:

    kev – I know it may seem repetitive, but watch the game. A lot. Get down to ice level on warmups of the best hockey you can find and watch the goal scorers. They always have their head up and looking off the goalie.

    Also never have the puck directly in front of you while challenging a goalie or dman, its a dead giveaway that you are trying to beat them one on one, and not shoot. Stick to the side and remember, your eyes don’t need to see the back of the net only your stick does, which is much lower and to the side of you.

    One last point, talk to your goalie, ask him if he notices anything. They are the ones stopping you and very regularly can provide insight as to what you are doing right/wrong.

  16. RewskiUVA says:

    Rec League idea:

    Breaking out successfully under pressure, specifically:

    -avoiding the dreaded sit-still-on-the-board-hashmarks and…
    -avoiding ringing the puck around to the weak side of the ice at 100 miles an hour

  17. Griff says:

    Really though, shot blocking tips for rec league? How about it’s rec league, don’t even try to block a shot unless you’re wearing goal pads.

  18. MattyJ says:

    JT, free beer in San Francisco if that is where you end up. Note, the bar ‘Hockey Haven’ has nothing to do with hockey. Our team in Oakland could use some coaching.

    I agree with Griff, this is beer league. Half the guys I play against can’t handle the puck with their head down, much less up. Best place to shoot? Toward the net. Ha ha.

    Anyway, as a defenceman I’d like to see some advice on tact regarding positioning, especially when meeting the guy coming at you one on one. Also, stuff like when you suddenly have five defencemen behind your own net, what do you do? Is it better to yell at them to get out or switch to an offensive position?

    I’d generally like to see less stuff like ‘This is what we did in the ECHL’ because generally we beer league guys suck and want advice about things we actually have the skills to do, not what we should be doing if we were professionals. :)

  19. Vek says:

    1. I love this blog because of the generally caustic writing style. Its refreshing to hear someone deservingly called a douche. I’d appreciate it if you could work the word “assmuppet” into any future articles regarding Lebron.

    2. Its too bad you aren’t in Toronto. The city lives and breathes hockey, even in the summer, and if I had a nickel for every decent local hockey writer, I’d have 5 cents.

  20. Pat says:

    You should definitely spend a rec league tip session discussing proper rec league etiquette for people who haven’t played organized hockey before. I’m envisioning something like “here’s what rec leaguers do that hockey players hate” or something like that. Just think of dumb stuff that people do on the golf course that people who actually golf can’t stand and you’ll know what I mean.

  21. nightfly says:

    Aw, what’s JB gonna tell us keepers? “Get better defensemen”? :D

    Seriously, though – you DO have a lot of goalies in here, and let’s face it, we’re not very good at this. Just tell us what you hate to see when you look up to make a play! Or maybe you can prevail upon a goalie buddy of yours to guest-star in one of these segments.

  22. Dougie says:

    Thanks man, because of the title of this post I now have Notorious B-I-G rolling through my brain at 7:00am on a Monday…

  23. Char says:

    Did LeBron James actually come out on a stage with smoke and lasers and stuff this weekend, or did I fall asleep in front of the TV and suffer some sort of Twilight zone-induced nightmare?

  24. Doogs says:

    Breakouts. How many beer league games/rat hockey do you see breakouts consisting of dudes hanging out at the far blue line with one (maybe two) defenders behind their own blue line?

  25. Four to Five says:

    Well your in Cali, you should check out AGT :]

    Oh, and I totally agree with you on James…

  26. Patrick Pryor says:

    #1 shot blocking in rec league: move so you don’t screen the goalie, he has far bigger pads.
    Advice for rec league goalies: talk to the D you can be their extra eyes, and you can direct them where you want them, however we may not listen.
    Tip for rec league forwards: don’t help the D (unless you are center) and break out across the blue line and look for a pass, not skate straight and slow and look between your legs, or stand still anywhere.
    Now that rec league Hockey is all fixed, get that Obama guy on here and i will straighten him out too.

  27. Travelchic59 says:

    I don’t get all the hate for LeBron James. I have absolutely no problem with what he did. NONE. WHATSOEVER!
    He gave Cleveland 7 years of his life. He didn’t quit in the middle of a contract or sit out a year and pout. He played through the end of his contract. HE DOESN’T OWE THEM A THING! Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn’t he a Free Agent? Doesn’t that mean you can go to whichever team you want?

    I find it hysterical that so many people who profess to have no interest in it have spent so much time commenting about it.

    Good luck in Cali, Bourne.

  28. JIllian says:

    On the rec league articles… sportsmanship! It seems as though the guys my boyfriend plays against don’t know when to just let it go and I have seen more “fights” after the game is over when everyone should be discussing who is buying the first round.


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  1. [...] Bourne’s Blog by former player Justin Bourne always has good and intriguing things to say.  His post from this past Friday is no different, espcecially the part about LeBron James. [...]

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