Subscribe to Bourne's Blog Grab My Feed!Subscribe to Bourne's Blog Subscribe to Comments

Hatred From the AHL On Down




My apologies for not getting a blog up yesterday – the sad reality is, it could be happening a bit more often over the next month.  I expect to slow down to a Down Goes Brown posting rate (poor), minus his level of quality (amazing).

Tomorrow morning at 6:00 AM, I’m heading back to God’s Country (the Okanagan), which is at the front of a busy travel month for me, and um, I don’t own a laptop.  Seriously.  I use the one my fiancee got as a gift for getting through grad school, and I’ve almost run this thing into the ground.

Sooo, I’ll be on my parents computer in the mornings when I can, and if I can plunk out an entry or two during our fantasy camp from The Cove Resort, I will.  Just know that our event is sponsored by Okanagan Spring Brewery, and they donate 60 DOZEN beer (for four days & 35 guests), soooo, those entries may not be of the utmost quality.  Moving on.


I refuse to discuss any more Ilya until something discussable happens.  Discuss.  Or wait, I mean, don’t discuss.



Here’s something we can all enjoy: 

Justin Bourne’s (Non-NHL) ”I Hate That F**king Franchise” List

Hmm, this seems like a good way to ensure I never get hired by the following list of teams and lose a few fans.  Nice idea for a blog, a-hole.


Basically, this idea came from some light-hearted Twitter banter, where I bashed a certain BCHL team and got some playful responses.  I mean no harm, loyal fans of stupid hockey teams, this is just in fun.  I probably hate your team because they were good and tough to play against *eye roll*.  Or maybe for actual reasons.  Anyway, whatever they are… each league, lets have it!

League: KIJHL

(For the unenlightened, that stands for “Kootney International Junior Hockey League”, Jr. B.  Yes, “International” because Spokane, Washington had a team.)

Bourne’s Highlight: I played for the Osoyoos Heat as a 17/18 year old, and led the conference in scoring, finishing second in the league behind Andrew Ebbett.

Team(s) I hate: Castlegar Rebels, Beaver Valley NiteHawks

I hated Beaver Valley for a number of reasons (they were good, had some 20 year old kid that had a wife/kids/killer-slapshot/beard/job/mortgage/bad-attitude, and OH, they spell their name “NITEHAWKS”), but they can’t TOUCH Castlegar in the hate department.

The year before, my Midget AA team played and beat Castlegar in the provincial finals (wwwwhat’s up), and the games against them had been crazy intense.  Of course, most of the kids from that team were good enough to make their local Jr. B team the next year, so it felt like I had compounded hate. 

And, it went downhill from there – I got jumped like Bertuzzi did Steve Moore the last game of the season, before we played them in playoffs.  Then in playoffs, they made it their mission to break either my hand or wrist, which they succeeded at (thumb).  I played the rest of the series with a thick aluminum stick so I couldn’t feel the puck. I HATE YOU CASTLEGAR, and it was a pleasure beating you AGAIN that season.

League: BCHL

(For the unenlightened, that’s the “British Columbia Hockey League” – the “J” is long gone in the name. Records are held there by Paul Kariya, Brett Hull and many other huge names.)

Bourne’s Highlight: BCHL Championship boyyyyy, 02-03 Vernon Vipers

Team(s) I hate:  Chilliwack Chiefs, Trail Smoke Eaters, Merritt Centennials

In reverse order:  I hate you, Chilliwack Chiefs, for meeting us in the finals two years straight.  I hate your lineup: three lines of studs (Tambellini, Van Der Gulik, Gauthier etc.) and one of thugs (who knows).  I hate your rink with the six-feet-high no-give concussion boards, the gladiator feel of the lowered ice surface, your fans, your logo, everything.  Chilliwack smells.

I hate you, Trail Smoke Eaters for oh-so many reasons – your stupid Flyers-colours, your “broadstreet bully” style of play, your atmosphere-less barn, and the six hour bus ride we would take to go play you ON THE SAME DAY.

But most of all, I HATE YOU, Merritt Centennials.  Honestly – this was originally going to be a top-five list of my hated teams from different leagues, and you had number one sewn up EASILY. 

Your f**king candle lit arena that you kept at zero degrees KELVIN. 
Your tiny arena. 
Your thuggish, useless teams. 
The gorgeous town of Merritt. 
Your raucus, garbage-throwing, fan-fighting, heckling fans. 
Luke Pierce. 
That time our coaches met in the hallway during the game to fight so both our teams ran back there and we had a WWF brawl-for-all in the hallway while 3500 fans stared at empty benches. 

The list is near-endless.  But there is one thing I liked:  I liked knocking you out of playoffs in the first round back-to-back years.  That was fun :)  

 League: WCHA

Bourne’s highlight: Making the Final Five at the Xcel Energy Center as a freshman, leading our team in goals one year, points another. 

Team(s) I hate: Wisconsin Badgers, Alaska Fairbanks

I have a love-hate with most WCHA teams.  I loved almost all of the college towns, I loved playing in front of big crowds, I loved the history, all of it.  And in fact, the team I hate the very most – even ahead of North Dakota, Duluth, whoever – would be one of my top places to be a student at.  No, not Minnesota.

Cheese-eating Wisconsin, man. 

Your stupid Mike Eaves attention to defense and detail.  Your support of Nick Licari’s knee wrecking “submarine” bullshit.  Our playoff battles.  Your commitment to the hack-and-whack.  Your good goaltending.  Your recruiting advantages.  I love your arena, fans, and of course, Madison – but everything about the actual hockey program can stuff it.

AMENDED: I initially left UAF (Alaska Fairbanks) off this list, probably because I’ve tried to kill the brain cells that ever documented the days of my life spent in that city (wait, Google Analytics just told me that’s not a smart joke to make.  Um, I just forgot). 

Point form reasons to hate UAF:  The name “Nanooks”, the city managing to be colder/darker than Anchorage, their insistence that placing 9th in the CCHA would have them anything other than last in the WCHA, that it took til my senior year to win a Governors Cup against them even though my shootout miss as a freshman probably cost us one, and a million other frustrating, stupid reason.  Y’know, like the sign in their arena that says ”Get ready for 60 minutes of GLACIAL PUNISHMENT!’  …..WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?

League: ECHL

Bourne’s highlight:  Back-to-back conference finals, making the all-star team, triple-overtime winner in playoffs against Fresno.

Team(s) I hate: Most of them

First off, it doesn’t help that over parts of three seasons, I played on three of the teams in a five team division.  Sooo most of my hatred is centered around that.  I probably played about four teams from the other huge conference, so I’m not fit to speak on who’s hateable in the East.  But for me….

I hate a s**tload of teams.  Stockton, Bakersfield, Fresno when it existed, not-the-towns-but-the-teams in Las Vegas and Victoria (two great cities), and for my brief experiences against them, Elmira.

But here’s the tough part:

When I was just outta college, the Idaho Steelheads wanted me to finish the season with them.  I said no, and went with the Alaska Aces so I could finish school.  We promptly flew to Boise, and I watched Jeremy Yablonski and Matt Nickerson rack-up 23 games in suspensions against us.  Then we played them in round one in playoffs, and lost a vicious, physical series.  I HATED them.

Then I played in Utah, where Idaho was our direct rival.  So I HATED them more. 

I love Boise as a city (honestly).  I love the rink there.  I love their fans.  But naturally, I had reason to hate their team.  Then, at the start of season three, they traded for me.  I promptly tore my ACL and ate a slapshot, then spent three months on the couch healing as a fringe member of the team. 

So for all the things I like about Boise (people, place, arena etc.)…. I still harbor resentment against that franchise.

League: AHL

Bourne’s highlight: Playing my best game in Lowell on a night I actually needed tickets for family, scoring in Albany, playing with guys that are currently legit NHLers, everything that goes with being a taste away from the NHL.

Team(s) I hate: Albany River Rats

In my brief few months in the AHL, I managed to get stuck playing in Albany four times, against Trevor Gillies and the rest of their crew.  Combine that with the fact that I was trying to be a more physical ”role player” to stick, in that rink, with all the pleasantness of Albany in February, and I’m as attracted to that organization as I am to Al Roker.  Great name, River Rats, stay hot.  Who’s your affiliate, Carolina?  What a privilege.


Ahhh, feels good to get all that hate out before the weekend!  That was fun (and all in fun, folks, all hockey communities have good things about them).  Hope you have a great weekend!

*Coming soon: List of franchises I love – here’s lookin’ at you, Gophers.  Wow, writing that just cost me friends.


27 Responses to “Hatred From the AHL On Down”
  1. Liviu says:

    No mention of UAF? All those Governor’s Cups we won when you were there and not even a word? I get it. Ignorance is the worst kind of hate, right?

  2. camcharron says:

    I’ve never been to Merritt, but I go through it once a month. I still hate it.

    Although it IS a gorgeous town.

  3. jtbourne says:

    Liviu – Wow, my goodness – I’ve fixed things, and included you guys now. If there’s ever a spot UAF deserves a shout-out, its in this entry :)

  4. crushasaurus says:

    I was that kid that opposition teams waited for outside the rink.

    I played for one year only (broke my neck skateboarding when I was 13) on a team of thugs, and thus had a free pass to park myself in front of the opposing goalie and just jab my stick backwards every so often. No one did anything during the game, but they’d wait in the car park and just start throwing shit at me.

    Seriously, I taught Alexandre Burrows everything he knows.

  5. crushasaurus says:

    Oh, and I played in what was voted the 6th shittest town in the United Kingdom.

  6. minnesotagirl71 says:

    You might lose friends for loving the Gophers, but you just gained a ton of friends in Minny for your sports hate of the Badgers.

    Chilliwack is the name of a town? I thought Minny had some crazy names….

    That was actually a fun read – you unleashing years of sports hate!
    Happy Friday!

  7. RR24 says:

    I think it’s official that every hockey player has played/with against every other hockey player in the world through 2-3 degrees of separation.
    I was at the Kimberly Dynamiters camp as a 15 year old the year before that bearded daddy monster got traded to BV. Unreal sight seeing him on a line with another kid on the team, who was about 5’3. Dusty Roe I think was his name.
    Did you ever look up in the stands while playing Kimberley/BC and see his kid wearing his jersey? So funny.

  8. Kyle says:

    Justin, could you fill us all in on the WWF brawl-in-the-hall?? I was at that game and to this day still do not know what happened back there!! Oh and you forgot Chief Wannawin as a reason to hate Chilliwack, maybe fill your readers in on that story, cause that is my favorite BCHL memory.

  9. JIllian says:

    Just so you know… everyone in the ECHL hates Elmira. We especially hated their coach, Steve Martinson. And I am sure that Malcom Cameron will continue the legacy of hatred toward Elmira by all other teams in the ECHL.

  10. JohnB says:

    I believe that Albany is moving to Charlotte to be closer to the Hurricanes.

    I saw Burrows in his rookie year in Greenville, SC. Within 10 minutes of hitting the ice for the first time during training camp he got in a fight. He was known as the mouth that roared.

    Oh, and Greenville has a new team this year. Johnstown Chiefs relocated to Greenville.

  11. Char says:

    The Albany River Rats are no more, alas. Carolina has moved its AHL franchise to Charlotte. New Jersey has moved ITS franchise (Lowell) to Albany. And renamed them the Albany Devils. How boring. :-(

  12. Hooks Orpik says:

    Loved the vitriol that jumped off the screen. HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE!

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’mma go put some more water in Yabos’ momma’s water bowl.

  13. Deirdre says:

    I was introduced to hockey by the Adirondack Red Wings – 45 minutes up the pike from Albany. Wanna guess where my hockey-hate landed?

    Of course the best part there was that the baby Wings barely made it to the playoffs most years, but generally won the games against Albany!

  14. Sherry says:

    Very entertaining read today Justin! So entertaining, that I am going to send the link to others, some of whom don’t even reach your unenlightened criteria above – it’s just that good. :)

    Have a great weekend folks!

  15. Jay Douglas says:

    hey JT:
    I live in Kelowna after growing up in Toronto,but most recently lived in Vegas for 10 years until the real estate market crashed. I’m so glad to be out of the desert. By the way despite its claim-the Okanagan ain’t no real desert.
    How come you left “Gods Country” to live in the desert SW?
    Phoenix is fine in the winter but their summers are even hotter than Vegas. And the winters in the Okanagan while gray, are not frigid-by Canadian standards,especially like your Dad’s Saskatchewan.

  16. jtbourne says:

    Jay – Good question. The fiancee is an Occupational Therapist, and the US pays far more than Canada. Woulda sacrificed $20K in a year where my income is patchy at best. Plus, cost of living is like, 50% less here. Soooo, wanted to live somewhere new, and all-cold places (Alaksa) were out, so let’s try the opposite!

  17. SDC says:

    Shout-out to my most hateds: Kimberely Dynamiters of the KIJHL (threw paper dynamite sticks on the ice after every goal, played like a bunch of dirty hacks, and beat us in Game 7 OT of playoffs in 01/02. Die Dynamiters Die), and NAIT Ooks and Mt Royal Cougars of the ACAC (just dirty and miserable to play against, always). This blog reminds me of a little something I wrote a while back….

  18. SDC says:

    the difference between you and I though is that you don’t hate the actual cities too, but I do.

  19. P. D. says:

    Yessss! GLACIAL PUNISHMENT!! It really doesn’t make any sense unless they are warning you to get ready to be crushed very very slowly. Hahaha… It only sounds cool when said in the Strongbad voice btw. Which JTB would do every time we looked up at the sign and laughed about it. FYI, they still rock that sign. God that place sucks.

  20. Suze says:

    When Fairbanks changed their name to UA, we UAA fans started calling them UA_ (UA Blank). It has caught on and now most USCHO posters refer to them in that manner. I jokingly said they changed the name because UAA kicked the “F” out of them. (There were several years when UA_ couldn’t do anything against UAA, and we took full advantage of it!).

  21. Jace says:

    I’m an ECHL fan as I’m a season ticket holder for the Reading Royals (and thanks for not saying you hate us) but I do think just about everyone who follows ECHL hates Elmira, unless you live there or play for them. As a side note, you mentioned your fiancee is an occupational therapist. Great career! I’m an occupational therapist–have been for 11 years and absolutely love what I do.

  22. BSU09 says:

    Hey Bourne

    Long time reader. Loved your hatred list for the WCHA! I think people would love to have more insights from you on the happenings in college hockey. Your insights on what you think about the recent WCHA expansion, (thankfully not having to try to get to Bemidji State!), rule changes, more things you’d like to see in college hockey, etc.

  23. Dougie says:

    I was always the guy in Chilliwack s**t-talking the visiting goalie in the corners. We had us some good teams in the old days of the Chiefs. We lost the Chiefs to Langley when the WHL came to town, our team is still in the building phase but we’ll get there again. I don’t know how the Surrey Eagles didn’t make your list, I’m sure you played at the same time as Nesbitt, the golden gloves boxer who skated on his ankles and played 3 meaningful minutes a night.


  24. jtbourne says:

    LOL, DOUGIE! That’s you? I was gonna write about how big cracks glass panel means their fans could heckle us and I wanted to stab them in the with my skate between whistles. Great job buddy. Also: Cheif Wannawin for the assault charges! I have to write about our trainer beating him up soon (unless that court case is still open!)

  25. Speedy says:

    that glacier punishment sign still cracks me up everytime i go up to that dump to watch the seawolves. Btw Justin, how come u didn’t include Mankato in this list?

  26. Dougie says:

    I haven’t heard much about the case lately, so it should be fair game to regale us with the story.

  27. Austin Olsen says:

    Love the KIJHL ref, nice bourne

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!