Interviews with NHL players

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Prentiss Hockey Performance in Darien, CT is fast becoming an off season training mecca for NHL, AHL and US National team players.  Structure and commitment are key to staying in top form, but a few NHL players took time out to answer some questions about summer, from two 8 year old player-fans…

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Rivas Christian

Stretch It Out Baby!

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A conversation with Tampa Bay Lightning Pain Management Practitioner Christian Rivas.

While Christian works with professional hockey players on and off season, his perspective on preventative measures and treatment of sports injuries can be appreciated by players of all ages and the moms doing the real “heavy lifting” !

By definition, most injuries occur when your body is put in a position that it does not want to go in, with the most common of hockey injuries being a groin strain and shoulder injury at the collegiate and pro level. According to Christian, groin injuries correlate to the lower back, while the majority of shoulder injuries occur as the result of a hit and/or in combination with a neck strain.

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Our journey to Europe

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It’s time to start organizing and packing for our journey over to Europe. Of course packing has been in the back of my mind since May but now that it’s July, I need to get serious. Though I’m not going to start doing anything quite yet, I have started making several “To Do” lists. We’ve already decided that my husband will take the majority of our things when he leaves at the beginning of August. This is great for me as I will only be responsible for a suitcase and the dog when I leave at the end of August. My big project for the month of August is to pack our condo that we are renting for the summer and move everything into a storage unit. I get a little queasy thinking about packing up a house while I’m 6 months pregnant but I’m going to enlist my family and friends for help. I’m sure they can’t wait :) My goal for the next month is to organize all of our belongings so when it is time to move, the transition will be relatively smooth.

Some tips I’ve learned from talking to seasoned Hockey Wives that have traveled to Europe:

  • Less is More! I’ve been doing the hockey thing for three years now so I know what I will wear and what I won’t. I know for a fact that I don’t need 10 “going out” outfits. I do have serious packing restrictions this year so I will be smart.
  • Pack in hockey bags as opposed to suitcases. You can fit much more and try to get away with the 50lb weight restriction.
  • Bring comforts from home. I want Europe to feel as close to home as possible so I will bring some of the things I love. Even though these items may be available in Germany, I don’t want to take any chances.

I plan on bringing our UPPAbaby stroller with us. We will either check it as “checked” luggage or ship it to Germany. We will bring some baby clothes, probably for the first month, and then get everything else we need for baby in Germany. Since I’m a first time mom, I have no idea what I will need. While doing baby research I came across a great blog with a newborn baby checklist. It’s broken down into 6 sections that detail the item, recommended brands, and tips. I’ll definitely be using this and hopefully others can benefit from this helpful checklist as well!

Download: New Baby Checklist

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Lotion with SPF 15

The PERFECT summer product

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Hip Hockey Mom Approved

Hip Hockey Mom Approved

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Lotion with SPF 15… This is a major multi-tasker (which all Hockey Moms LOVE). Palmer’s has made the tri-fecta of body moisturizers: super hydrating, smells delicious AND SPF15 – what’s not to love ?! Pick up the lip balm as well ! Find at Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, and


A New Set of Wheels

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I’m in the market for a new set of wheels. It’s not a car, as most would think, but rather a baby stroller! I started my research a few weeks ago as I wanted to be well versed and educated on the subject. Who knew there was such a wide variety of brands and styles? Between the jogger, umbrella stroller, travel systems, and the double, my mind is spinning. The myriad of options on the market has made this once thought of simple task to become tedious and overwhelming. Because this piece of gear is an every day necessity, I’ve taken on this task very seriously. The one piece of advice that’s been mutual among all my mommy friends has been to invest in a good piece of gear. All have said its best to spend the extra cash now on one very good stroller rather than purchasing 5-10 different kinds as my baby grows from newborn to toddler. I’m taking this advice to heart as I’ve prepared myself to spend hundreds of dollars on this one item that once would have went to a weekend getaway with my husband in my pre-baby life.

My main necessities in a stroller include safety and functionality. With the upcoming move and many unknowns we will be facing in Germany, I need something practical, functional, lightweight, and versatile. I need a stroller that can fold up easily, as we will be toting it on trains, planes, and buses. I need something that I can easily navigate on cobblestone streets, steep stairways, crowded pathways, and packed hockey arenas. Adjustable handlebars would be a perk to make up for the height difference between my husband and myself. I’m looking for something that has a bassinet attachment for my sleeping newborn at hockey games as well as a stroller that adapts to car seat standards in both Germany and the U.S. Though my needs may be more specific than most, I’m determined to find the perfect buggy.

With my list of needs in hand, my stroller search has led me to two options. The Bugaboo Cameleon and the UPPAbaby Vista. They are both considered to be baby stroller travel systems because they are made up of a frame that can be used with various car seats, a removable bassinet and a removable pushchair. I’ve talked to several mothers and read reviews and I’m leaning toward the UPPA. The UPPA is less expensive, folds up easier, the tires cannot be popped, and it can easily convert into a double. Besides from these features, both strollers are very similar.

The stroller purchase will be made right before we leave for Germany so there’s still time to change my mind. All in all though, I think I’ve decided. Hello UPPAbaby!



Support spinal cord injuries research

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Hip Hockey is proud to have our first public appearance in support of The Big Assist in Darien, CT on July 13th ! Hosted by Ryan Shannon of the Ottawa Senators, players from the NHL, AHL and collegiate levels play to benefit the Obie Harrington-Howes Foundation which supports spinal cord injuries research. A fantastic night of hockey for a great cause !

Beginner Hockey

Play Like a Girl!

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I grew up skating on the lake next to my home, so naturally I wanted my children to skate as well. When my daughter turned five, I brought her to our local rink to let her see a figure skating class. Ten adorable girls twirled around the ice, dressed in pink and sequins – I was sure she would be hooked. As the girls got off, two boy’s ice hockey teams came roaring onto the ice. They were yelling and laughing and one boy even shot a puck so it hit the glass right by our faces. As I started to hurry my daughter away, she stopped and said “Mommy, I want to do that!”

What?! Are you kidding me?!

“No, no!” I said, “don’t you remember the pretty white skates, the pink outfits?” But she insisted – and the rest is history.

Ten years later, she’s done it all. Boys teams, girls teams, prep school teams, high school teams, spring teams, festival teams, development camps, games across the USA, Canada and China – and she even won the most elusive prize of all, a Tier 1 National Championship. (Yes! Really!, but more on that in future posts!)

People ask me all the time why I would let my daughter play hockey. Well… besides the fact that she loves the sport, she’s good at it and it makes her happy, I guess it’s a fair question as it’s not a traditional girl’s sport. I really have a lot of reasons.

First, hockey is a true team sport and it’s great for young women to learn that they have to rely on each other to be successful. Second, we spend countless hours in the car driving to and from ice rinks so my teenager and I get some real quality time together. Third, it’s a great emotional and physical outlet – girls need this as much as boys do – maybe more so. And, finally, as a competitive hockey player, a diligent student and a social girl, my daughter has really had to learn to prioritize her life.

The first letter from a college coach arrived yesterday (gulp!). She has three more years of high school, however, her dream of playing college hockey is becoming more real. I hope you will check back to learn all the tips, tricks and hard work that have gotten her to this point. Girls hockey is very exciting and has nuances that differentiate it from the boy’s version – I look forward to sharing what I’ve learned with you.

Living and Breathing Hockey with a Baby on the Way

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The summer is flying by and hockey season is just around the corner. Pre-season will be here before we know it. Summer training has been underway since the beginning of May. I envy the willpower it takes to get up every morning to lift at the gym and then skate in the afternoon. There was a VERY short break between the end of the season and the start of summer training. I’m chalking it up to the enthusiasm and excitement we are feeling about going over to Germany next season. While the European season does start much earlier than the NHL and AHL, I was a little surprised as I am in lazy summer mode due to the little peanut growing in my belly. I’m taking full advantage of the cravings and naps that are consistently calling my name. I’m just about 18 weeks pregnant and getting very excited. There’s so much to do this summer that I never had to worry about in the past. My usual summer hockey reservations consist of adjusting to life in a new city and going through the process of meeting new friends, but now I have to do all that and prepare myself for life with a newborn.

Everyone has been asking whether the baby will have dual citizenship. According to the laws in Germany, a child born in Germany to non-German parents is not considered to have dual citizenship unless at least one parent has lived legally in Germany for at least eight years prior to the birth, or at the time of the birth that parent had a permanent residence permit. We do not fit into either of those categories so baby will not have dual citizenship. Aside from the baby excitement, I’m also trying to acquire the necessary paper work needed for our dog to get over to Europe safely. It’s a bit overwhelming considering the dog needs more paperwork than I do and it all needs to be fulfilled within 10 days of our departure.

Through all the anxiety and drama I constantly remind myself how lucky I am to be in the position I’m in. Not many people have the opportunity to live in Europe and explore a new culture. Though some may think that my husband has the hard job, training and being ready to play, it’s my responsibility to make sure everything else is figured out; that is just the life of a hockey wife.

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