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

The One With Josh Ciocco



My favourite comment of yesterday didn’t come on the blog, but courtesy my fiance.  I was grabbing a quote for an upcoming article via text from a guy I respect and admire, and she dropped:  ”Did you just send a smiley-face to Bill Guerin?” on me.  Man, when you put that in context, it really does sound inappropriately fruity.


UAA jersey were style at it's finest. I just love 'em.

UAA jerseys were style at it's finest. I just love 'em.

Commentor “Mike” asked a question about gear, to which I responded that a few of my thoughts on gear (on style, really), can be found here from about ten days ago on  After explaining to him that I wasn’t a “gear bitch”, the term used to refer to guys who always need their gear fixed, new, changed or something, our trainer (PD) from college backed me, and the rest of my college class up here (especially Mark Smith, right Peeds?  That guy would’ve used a field hockey stick if that’s what you gave him.)

In keeping with the style and gear theme, the following is a great comment from a former teammate in Josh Ciocco.  But first, let me give a you quick bio on the guy:

Josh and I were both right wingers in Vernon.  Josh was probably the toughest 5’10″ (generous?) hockey player I’ve ever played with, and he could play the game too (in fact, if I recall, you didn’t love the fighting part?)  I was probably the softest 6’2″ (generous?) hockey player you’d ever seen, but I could play too (thank god).  The University of New Hampshire liked us both.  They flew me down to tour the campus.  Apparently, for their right winger spot, they wanted 5’10″, tough and talented, as opposed to 6’2″, talented and deathly afraid of violence (nah, it’s cool man, we almost made the frozen four in Alaska too, enjoy the scholarship).

Making the cage cool is like making a seatbelt cool - thus, style is tough in collge.

Making the cage cool is like making a seatbelt cool - thus, style is tough in collge.

{Semi-tangent here, for Josh – the one game they came to watch us both, I hit you with a breakaway pass in overtime for the game winner (lacrosse play), and you had a scholarship there within weeks. The “donate” button is on the right.}

He became the captain there (oooo congratu-frickin-lations), played pro, blah blah.  Where this is headed, is that it’s nice to find a good bitching partner.  There’s a bitching club on every team, really.  They get really big when the coach is an ass, or the team is losing.  It’s cathartic, like therapy.  And Josh and I could bitch like no other.  In fact, when we met in a pro game four years later, we went out and did the exact same thing.  But anyways, here’s how the world of gear and style went down at UNH:

“At UNH, my roomates and I played bad style poker for like, three weeks. We would play blind hands of poker, if you won, you were out, the last one in, or the “loser”, would have to have some sort of bad style in practice the next day. We would have one loser for each game, and we would play multiple games for bad style. You hit the nail on the head with most of them, but these were the topics we went with…Tape your tuuks black, Full tuck on the jersey, neck guard or turtle neck, socks pulled over the heels, klima tape job on the stick, and no tape on sock-shin pads so they’re falling all over the place. Sometimes there would be multiple losers, im laughing here picturing Jacob Mcflikier take to the ice with black tuuks, a fully tucked jersey, and socks over the heels…..On a side note, you know how you write notes on the whiteboard to the trainer and sign your number under it? example, “Can I please get a new stick, thanks, 14″ I used to love writing the note, “can I please get a neck guard for the game tomorrow, thanks, “someone elses number” good times.”

That was a priceless move, the requesting of something for someone else.  “A smaller cup, 18″ or for a right-handed linemate who can’t score “left-handed stiff-flex Sakic curve, 17″.

And last, from the Ciocco files, a testament to both of our getting older (and his getting whipped):

I love animals.  I frequently run animal pictures on my blog.  Josh’s girlfriend’s dog (why aren’t you two crazy kids married yet?  Would you ask her that for me?) is in a cute contest, and is giving the money to charity.  Something about fighting animal cruelty, I forget.  Rest assured it’s a real one (or maybe it was “the human fund”…).  Third prize is $500, second is $5,000, and first is A MILLION STUPID CUTENESS RELATED DOLLARS.

This is Merlin the Puggle:

You're the one who wanted "my dog is in a cuteness competition published, not me.

You're the one who wanted "my dog is in a cuteness competition" published, not me.

If you think he’s cute, and I do, follow this link and give him your vote!



19 Responses to “The One With Josh Ciocco”
  1. JD says: much can style affect your opinion of a player of a player eh? You know how in junior there are always guys the coach brings in periodically – not in a trade or anything public – that just kind of show up one day at the rink for practice. We had a guy one time who strolled out on the ice using a Sher-Wood 5030 wood twig, black Tuuks on the old school Bauer 30-30′s (the ones with the orange stitching on the boot), and one of the old Itech visors that was screwed into the helmet and snapped on the sides (you know the ones) – and this was in 2005. You can imagine how fast the whole team, after literally laughing out loud, wrote this guy off as not even a 5th liner. Turns out, after a couple games (and a set of gear from the team), he turns out to be not a bad player. But I always wonder if those guys with terrible style look noticeable worse to Joe Blow in the stands, or just the guys that playing who are so in tune with what constitues bad style. P.S. – in midget I used to rock white tape on my socks (red and white striped as it was). Stick tape doesn’t stretch through the course of a game like sock tape does and keeps things a little tighter. Buuuuut, it does look bad, and later I figured out I could just re-tape every period and avoid the noisy stick-on-sock result.

  2. Josh Ciocco says:

    Hopefully today is that day all the girls read the site and the guys dont… its friday, guys are drinking beer today right? no? shit.

  3. jtbourne says:

    Its absolutely amazing how much style can make a player look good/bad. Coaches see it, and it affects team decisions, I know it does. There’s always that player that has been good everywhere he’s ever played, but something… just… looks… off (a bad visor can write-off ANYONE – I’d pay for Malkin to wear a new one).

  4. jtbourne says:

    Hahahaha…. yesssss.

  5. JD says:

    This gets Geno 10 more points a year – easy.

  6. Mike says:

    Thanks for the response Justin. Do you think visors should be mandatory in the NHL? I vote yes.

    Puggle?? ummm….no


  7. jtbourne says:

    Niccceee, I didn’t even realize that had happened!

  8. Neil says:

    I don’t know if it was a regional thing but growing up in Kelowna minor hockey, it was impossible to get credit for being good no matter how many goals you scored unless you were rocking the silver gretzky easton aluminum, the Tackla (?) shorts, and.. memory is fuzzy…. 242 Tacks?? Throw a half-tuck in there for good measure (looking at you, SDC!).

  9. MJ says:


    How about the Cooper-All’s. Long pants!!!!! That would be rockin’ at practice. I used to wear those when I was younger liveing in Northern Ontario. That’s Awesome!!!!

  10. PVeltkamp says:

    The turtle neck is all kinds of wrong. Can someone please tell this to Plekanec. Correct me if I am wrong but I think once upon a time the colored tuuks were all the rage, black and blue. I know I used to have black ones on my Bauer 2000. Looking back though someone should have stopped anyone from using them. Google an old picture of Gretz, he has the blue ones on and it just looks BAD.

    Update on the stick tapping, one response on my hockey pool msg board. And he said it is douchey but…. if it works once in a while why the hell not. Sounds like a fence sitter to me.

  11. minnesotagirl71 says:

    JD – if I represent “Joe Blow in the stands” I can’t ID who has terrible style and who doesn’t. I thought I was pretty observant – I can’t believe all the things that you guys mentioned that I have never noticed! (I need to watch for those.)

    I notice who wears a visor and who doesn’t, who keeps their chin strap fairly tight and whose is dangling three inches below their chin. I noticed that the inseams were torn out of Brent Burns pants. A google search informed me that he does it on purpose. Looks like he’s wearing Boogard’s hand me downs but the flash of thigh when he skates past is well worth it!

  12. Bob says:

    Josh Ciocco is one of the toughest players that ever tore up the ice, the net and more than his share of faces in the BCHL. In one of his first games with Vernon he took a high stick to the mouth. I believe he lost 3 chicklets on the top in the first period. He got frozen and stitched up by Doc and came back in the 2nd period without a bird cage. So now I suggest he might be a little bit tough to play without a cage, but when he says he wants to fight someone in the 3rd period… Umm, Josh, don’t know if you noticed or not but you’ve got a big hole where those teeth were and it might hurt a bit if someone punches you in the yap. I guess it was mostly frozen but still.
    Chico, you were and still are one tough SOB, even if you are all of 5’10″. Good thing you didn’t wear two different socks in practice eh?

  13. SDC says:

    Guilty as charged Corbett, I did possess a silver Easton Aluminum, Tackla pants, and some level of CCM Tacks, but I don’t remember if they contributed to the same Novice A gear setup or not. I was quite oblivious to gear style at the time, but I think I did alright with all my mid-grade equipment, most of the time. They were no match for the all-white Cooper pads, glove and blocker combo that you rocked out that year!

    I’ll humbly accept your credit for being good at that time. Maybe if I’d had red gloves and unsharpened skates one year, I would’ve made it farther! [ just jokes bourne :) ] [wait, smiley's are out? crap.]

  14. P. D. says:

    Yes Bourno your senior class was the best for not being needy. Schmoops would use whatever I gave him! His last year, his sticks came in a different length and instead of cutting them down he just said f it and used longer sticks. Plus is took him 2.3 seconds to tape a stick! Kronsch only needed his skates sharpened like 5 times a season. Loweser Beam was happy that he finally got the right order on his skates! The only minor problems I had was Andy used those bummy Mission sticks and broke 8 million of them and you went through 30 sticks your senior year….. another UAA record! Overall best class in my 5 years so far. BTW I’m an equipment manager not a trainer! Damn Canadians….

  15. SDC says:

    a fair percentage of those 30 sticks were far from unusable, and came into my possession. I’m still reaping the summer stock benefits to this day… *tip of the cap in JTB’s direction*

  16. How much did PD mess with players? I hear he recently told Clarkie that having me pimp out his twitter account on my blog would be fine. So Kevin emails me and I’m like … “ok cool. I’ll post it” … Then Backstrom nabs me at the next game and tells me this whole story about Clarkie getting his chops busted (Nils said “fined”) by everyone for doing it. I told him to stop reading my blog (it makes me self-conscious). LOL (<—– instead of a fruity smiley)

    Did you you guys read my blog when you were there? Once I said you were a better skater than your pops … and now when I read the reverence you have for his career, I wonder if you thought I was some sort of rube.

  17. Not that I’m accusing PD of “messing” with Clarkie. If he was … it’s funny though.

  18. jtbourne says:

    You know, I simply didn’t know about your blog, but had I, I definitely would have read it. Guys (myself included) are generally narcissists with time to kill when they’re supposed to be doing homework etc. I’d say once a month somebody in my house check the fan forum/chat boards on the WCHA websites and would tell the other guys something funny. They’re grossly inaccurate (and generally mean), but we always laughed. It would have been nice to get some UAA feedback. Charlie and I were convinced we were gonna be able to get Sully packed by our senior year, and tried hard to re-connect with the fans after previous teams had made efforts to actually sever the ties.

  19. My readership was substantially lower back then (50 or 60 a day). I knew Dr. Cobb was and had a sense that some parents were reading the site but I had no sense of whether players were. I think my first real solid feedback with regard to players came when Justin Johnson found me at a game and wanted to shake my hand for my “Senior Tribute” post about him. I’d imagine since you started writing you’ve had a similar experience along the same lines. I hope you have because besides the fact that you make some coin doing this such feedback is priceless. These days (400 a day) … I’m dead sure that most parents and lots of players are reading me. My self-consciousness has grown exponentially … but it’s an interesting ride.

    Hope I didn’t put you on the spot with my PD question i.e… “telling tales out of school”. Perhaps he’ll return here and straighten me out.

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!