Updated: May 25, 2016




By Gary Norris Gray-BASN-Staff Reporter and Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor – in – Chief


(Editor’s Note: This column was prior to Game Six of the series between the San Jose Sharks and the St. Louis Blues, where San Jose ascended to the Cup final. MLI)


PHILADELPHIA PA  AND OAKLAND CA (BASN): In 2016 there will be two Goal Brothers playing for Lord Stanley’s Cup. The winner will have his name on it because each of the four remaining teams has a ‘Goal Brother’-(BASN name for Black players) on the ice in the conference final.


This is the first time in National Hockey League history that there has been a Black player on each participating team. The preseason picks are now on the golf course watching the Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues. The players they’re watching are Joel Ward, J.T. Brown, Ryan Reaves and Trevor Daley, this year’s Goal Brothers.


The Washington Capitals (the 2016 President Cup winner) and the Anaheim Ducks (top team in the Western Conference) were the two disappointing teams of 2016. Both were expected to challenge for Lord Stanley’s Cup. The Pittsburgh Penguins and the upstart Nashville Predators put an end to that with series victories over Washington and Nashville respectively.





Joel Ward- San Jose Sharks-In the NHL, being called ‘Mr. May’ is a good thing; and Joel Ward who wears number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson, came from the Washington Capitals after clearing waivers in Nashville. He has become the table setter at HP Pavilion.


Ward, a right winger, became the unofficial quarterback of the Washington defense and they went to the playoffs seven straight years. Number 42 continues to hit critical goals at critical times. Moving to the west coast did not change his approach as he scored the game winning goal against his former team the Nashville Predators in a 5-2 San Jose victory in the Western Conference Quarter Finals.


The San Jose Sharks moved on to the Western Conference Finals and the St. Louis Blues. Both teams are striving to get to the Stanley Cup Finals. For the Sharks it will be their first time ever in the Cup Final while for the St. Louis Blues, it has been over 40 years; somewhere Jacques Plante and Red Berenson are smiling.   Ward has 15 goals and 26 assists in 59 career playoff games. He’s averaging a point a game – 1 goal and 5 assists – in six playoff games this post-season. When he played for the Predators, Ward scored 7 goals in 12 playoff games in 2011.


He is a playoff scoring machine and his versatility allows him to play defenseman in a pinch.


So the San Jose Sharks will continue to profit from number 42.   Ward gave the Boston Bruins nightmares in 2012 wearing the Capitols jersey with his winning series goal from the point. That was a searing rocket shot into the net. Ward still gets the un-welcome mat at laid out for him Boston’s TD Gardens every time he steps on the ice and that winning goal was four years ago. Last year he gave New York Ranger fans heartburn when he beat the self appointed ‘King’ Henrik Lundqvist, goalie for the Blueshirts with another slap shot from the point with one second left in a second round playoff game.


Ranger fans are not happy with Mr. May.   The mindset of the San Jose Sharks defense has changed since Ward put on the teal jersey. The team has played better and defended the goalie; players are paying attention to their assignments on the ice.   When number 42 reaches the point position on the ice, watch out the lamp might be turning red with another San Jose Shark goal.










J. T Brown- Tampa Bay Lightning- J.T. Brown is the son of Ted Brown from High Point, North Carolina and he played for the Wolfpack of North Carolina State and also played for the Minnesota Vikings(1979-86). So J.T. grew up in a sports family and had the support to play hockey.   As a right winger in college Brown was a member of the NCAA – All American team in 2011 while starring for the University of Minnesota – Duluth.   Brown’s first trip to the National Hockey League in 2012 was sensational when he got an assist in 4-3 overtime victory over the Winnipeg Jets in 2012 and caught the eye of General Manager Steve Yzerman.


Mr. Brown became known as ‘Brownov’ as he was placed on the Tampa Bay Russian Line of Vladislav Namestnikov and Nikita Kucherov.   He wears number 23 in honor of his father and is one of the fastest skaters on the ice and the Pittsburgh Penguins are finding that out in the Eastern Conference Finals. This is his best year in the NHL with scoring 8 goals and 14 assists but that is only half of the story his speed sets up other players in the offensive zone to finish the play with the puck in the net.  SPEED KILLS- that saying also applies in hockey.




WILLARD REAVESRyan Reaves- St. Louis Blues- Is the son of Canadian Football League Winnipeg Blue Bombers star power back Willard Reaves. This is a very big man just like his father and nobody on the ice messes with him because they might be headed for a smack down on the ice.   Reaves had a great debut in 2011 with scoring two goals and two assists in 28 games.



The St. Louis Blues recalled him in 2012 and he once again showed scoring promise still being classified a rookie scored three more goals and one assist. He is a space eater and an  enforcer in that he can be a physical presence without being a liability on the ice a la Dustin Byfuglien. He will put you into the boards if needed and blocks many potential scoring chances by the opposition. This year 2016 was his best as he played all 81 games scoring six goals and six assist.


Reaves has been a pest for the San Jose Sharks because he seems to be blowing up Sharks scoring chances.   This is a future star in the NHL if he is allowed to play his way.





TRAVOR DALEYTrevor Daley-Pittsburgh Penguins- In his final year as captain with the Sault Ste. Marie (Soo) Greyhounds, Daley found himself the victim of a racial slur – called a Nigger by his former Coach and General Manager, former NHL goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck. The team rallied around Trevor but Daley quit the team. When the great Bobby Orr (Daley’s agent) screamed on his worthless ass, Vanbiesbrouck gave some lame – ass explanation about how he always grew up saying that shit – but it only delayed his eventual resignation.


Daley then returned to the team to finish out the 2002–03 season.     Daley played the majority of his career with the Dallas Stars as a first pair defenseman, and has always been exemplary in the ability to play stay-at-home or join the rush in odd-man situations as a potential offensive force.


In one of the worst trades in NHL history the Stars shipped him to the Chicago Blackhawks for Patrick Sharp and Stephen Johns. The Hawks get the better half of this deal but did not stay with Daley because they had plenty of defensemen in The Windy City.   Daley would move on to the Northeast in 2015 and the defensive line in Pittsburgh…he is also one of the fastest defensemen in the league and he starts the offensive serge from the goal mouth. Daley has 16 assists playing only half of a season in the Steel City.   The Sault Ste Marie Greyhound experience prepared him for the mental toughness playing in the National Hockey League as all Black players endure playing the fastest game in the world.


The 2016 season will prove to be the year where the quality of play has bailed out NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, who we can say from all accounts, is a very fortunate man. We’ll elaborate further in our next PBros report.


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