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McAllister: Hockey devotees won't be shut out on the Internet
A quick prediction about the NHL season, which starts Wednesday night:
NHL.com will be the most popular hockey site on the Web.
OK, so we're not exactly going out on a cyber-limb with that one. But we do know that for casual hockey observers, the league's official site may be the only hockey dotcom they visit this season.
For more passionate hockey Web surfers, however, plenty of other sites exist to help ease the grind of the six-month regular season. Here's a few to check out:
HockeyZonePlus.com, available in both English and French, is an eclectic mix of information and commentary. You'll find the salary history of players (Ed Belfour made $120,000 in 1990-91 and $5.5 million last season) next to goalie rankings next to Red Square reports from a Moscow-based writer.
You don't expect a hockey site produced in the United Kingdom to offer substantial information, but AZhockey.com may be the definitive resource tool for hockey worldwide. Championship, cup and league winners from nearly every hockey-playing country –including Mexico and Thailand – are available, as are national team rosters dating back to World War I.
At first glance, Hockeyfights.com seems a bit antiseptic for a site focusing on the nastier aspects of the sport. But this professional-looking site does provide the necessary information to follow hockey's heavy hitters, with fight cards and fight logs being the most usable material.
Meanwhile, The Goaltender Home Page (http://ucsu.colorado.edu/~norrisdt/goalie.html) doesn't offer much eye candy, but the content is exhaustive. Detailed player bios of goalies past and present include game-by-game results from 1995 and a history of injuries, while the resource area includes a humor page and a goaltending glossary.
Fans of "Slap Shot" will appreciate the Slap Shot Tribute site (http://slapshot.20m.com/) that reads like an extension of the movie, complete with colorful, i.e. racy, language. There's commentary from sportswriter Dickie Dunn, an actual interview with Yvon Barrette (who played goalie Denis Lemieux) and an Ask Moe section.
Finally, no discussion of hockey would be complete without a reference to Zamboni.com, the official site of the ice resurfacing machine.
But after you're finished checking out the nuts and bolts of Frank Zamboni's invention, then take a peek at TheZambonis.com, the site of "North America's favorite All-Hockey band." You can access audio clips of the band playing such favorites as "Hockey Monkey" and "Hockey on the Moon."
Site of the week examines Texas-OU fare
Each week, we'll pick out a site that's either useful, unique, timely or just plain interesting. This week, in honor of the OU-Texas game at the Cotton Bowl, we've got two sites that will get heavy traffic the next few days.
Some enterprising OU students have put together a "University" of Texas site (http://students.ou.edu/L/Ryan.G.Lemons-1/texasbites/bites.htm) that includes course descriptions, an undergraduate application and an online library that asks, "How may we stifle your education today?"
Meanwhile, Longhorn fans undoubtedly will be laughing at IHateOU.com, which offers a message board, anti-OU postcards and jokes (Q: How do you get an OU grad off of your porch? A: Pay him for the pizza).
Got a cool Web site you'd like to share with Morning News readers? Feel free to send an email to email@example.com.
Just browsing ...
Checking eBay on Tuesday: Barry Bonds had more than 12,200 items listed under his name, while Michael Jordan had just under 5,900 items. But most of the high-priced items were Jordan-related, including original copies of his rookie and second-year contracts for $23,000. ... Speaking of Bonds, a visit to HomeRunRecord.com would be timely this week. The site offers a vast amount of historical data on the home run, including a homer-by-homer chart of Babe Ruth's 1927 season.
Mike McAllister, DallasNews.com assistant sports editor, writes about sports on the Internet for The News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org