I've been looking at the rosters for the ice hockey competition at the Sochi Olympics and realizing that I've had the opportunity to photograph a lot of these guys in the AHL and a few more in the NHL. I've had a great relationship with the Grand Rapids Griffins, which started via their amazing social media presence. A big thanks goes out to my friend John VanderHaagen and several other Griffins social media staff who have helped me out along this journey. This journey has taken me to some fantastic places as I've shot not only in the Griffins home at VanAndel Arena in Grand Rapids, but I have met them on the road in Cleveland and most recently during the Calder Cup Finals in Syracuse New York. My connections have also given me the opportunity to photograph the Griffins Alumni in Detroit at Joe Louis Arena, ECHL games in Orlando and Las Vegas and another NHL game in Tampa.
Just looking back at the Calder Cup Finals featuring the eventual champion Griffins versus the Crunch reminds me of how luck I am. Here is Ondrej Palat (Czech Republic) living up to the Syracuse Crunch name in the corner. [Left] Here is a shot of the Calder Cup Playoffs MVP Tomas Tatar (Slovakia) getting double teamed by a pair of Syracuse Crunch players, who are really taking their team name to heart. To say that the Calder Cup Finals between the Griffins and Crunch was a physical series would be an understatement. These teams were definitely the best of the best and neither one wanted to give an inch. [Right]
Here is Gustav Nyquist (Sweden) sealing game one of the Calder Cup Playoffs with an empty net goal. [Left] The War Memorial was a unique and really cool place to shoot a hockey game, what a great experience. [Right]
I made the most out of my one opportunity to shoot Griffins Alumni and regular Wings during a Red Wings game at Joe Louis Arena. I managed to capture [clockwise from upper left] Howard(USA), Datsyuk (Russia), Kronwall (Sweden) and Zetterburg (Sweden).
Stoppage of PlayDetroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard (35) holds onto the puck and protects himself from St. Louis Blues center Chris Porter (32) during the game between the Detroit Red Wings and the St. Louis Blues at Joe Louis Arena on April,07,2013. Photo: John Kosak Pavel DatsyukDetroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk (13) watches the play during the game between the Detroit Red Wings and the St. Louis Blues at Joe Louis Arena on Sunday April 7, 2013 (Photo: John Kosak)
Niklas KronwallDetroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall (55) waiting for a faceoff during the game between the Detroit Red Wings and the St. Louis Blues at Joe Louis Arena on Sunday April 7, 2013 (Photo: John Kosak)
Wrap AroundDetroit Red Wings left wing Henrik Zetterberg (40) is pursued around the net by St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (27) while St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott (1) watches during the game between the Detroit Red Wings and the St. Louis Blues at Joe Louis Arena on April,07,2013. Photo: John Kosak
Oh yes, I've been a lucky man. I've got lots more where this came from. Feel free to click on the pictures and go to the galleries where you see all the pictures.