HockeyTradeRumors In Northern Italy Part I

Hello hockey fans! Welcome to HTR’s Olympic coverage in Torino, Italy.

This is mikster, and as I promised you…. I will be giving you all the good information about Torino and Italy. This is Part I, and it’s all about ice hockey.Benvenuti!

I have been so thrilled to write about Torino 2006. This is where my family is from, pretty much. I take real pride in my country where I was born and raised. Though I am a born Roman, my blood is still very Northern Italian.

The first thing I would like to show you is the map of Northern Italy with its hockey clubs. This is from the Web site of Bolzano Foxes, where Jaromir Jagr played for a few games.

Torino, as you see, is in the Piemonte region. About half hour from Torino is a very small city called Biella, where my family used to live. Watch out, though, people from Biella have a rivalry with the Torinesi, especially in soccer. Biella is in favor of Juventus FC, as many of you may know about that team (I’m a big Juve fan), and Torino has its own soccer team which is not in Serie A this year.

Here is a little historical fact. The Torino soccer club (Grande Torino) used to be a dominant team in the 1940’s. But in 1949…one of the worst tragedies in history of sports occured when the team’s flight from Lisbon to Torino crashed and all of the players died. The players are remembered at the Basilica di Superga, a very beautiful basilica. Here is a link to check it out, in English as well.

Before I go further, though, I would like to have this special edition in honor of my grandfather, Pietro Masserano della Marmora. This guy remains a hero for me even though I never got to meet him. Believe it or not, he played some hockey! And on my grandmother’s side, there is Swedish blood. No wonder why I got to love the game! But this man was brave, smart, and all about class. A successfull neurologist who was just a young kid studying medicine in his early college years during World War II, where he and his family hid two US paratroopers in the attic of their castle-like mansion. Biella was a small town back then, and the Nazis suspected where American soldiers could be hidden. Not only did he cure and cared for those two great soldiers, but he was tortured by the Nazis in front of his family. Yet he refused to speak. As a Thank You, he was given a beautiful Willys vehicle with the big white star on the hood after the war ended. Great man, did a lot of good things…unfortunately passed away too young and well before I was born.

This one’s for you nonno!

Italian Hockey

Hockey was presented in Italy in the early 1900’s…guess where? In Torino. But, only by the early 1920’s did hockey gain some popularity where in 1924 the first hockey team was in Milano (Milan). And, only in the 1950’s and 60’s did it gain more ground in other parts, such as Cortina and Bolzano. Originally, the real league started with eight hockey clubs, and a few years ago in 2000/2001, a 9th club was added in Milano, but did not last long as it folded.

In Italy, championship winning titles are called scudetti (skoo-deh-ttea). The leader in scudetti is HC Bolzano with 16 titles and right behind them is Cortina with 15. As stated earlier, Bolzano is where Jagr played in 1994-1995 for just 6 games, yet scored 16 points.

The Eight teams are:

Bolzano Foxes

HC Fassa (Tony Amonte played for this club)

HC Milano Vipers

HC Asiago (Tony Tuzzolino currently playing, and where Cliff Ronning played)

HC Pustertal Wolfe/Lupi (Wolves)

HC Alleghe (Bruce Cassidy, former Washington Capitals Head Coach played a few seasons there)

SV Ritten

SG Cortina (David Jensen who played for the Caps and Whalers. Ron Flockhart, who was a popular Flyer in the early 1980’s.)

Amazing how some players found their way to Italy. Who would have ever thought that Cliff Ronning, Tony Amonte, and a little bit of Jaromir Jagr would play in the Italian hockey league? During the lockout season, Jamie Lundmark played some time for Bolzano, while Rico Fata also spent his time in Asiago. Peter Schaefer of the Ottawa Senators played for Bolzano as well.

It is a place where you can enjoy life and play hockey.

This is why I think it is just a matter of time before things pick up in Italy. It took some time with Switzerland. Austria is picking up somewhat. Soon it will be Italy’s turn and the Olympics could increase the interest of the game that we love the most. It will never be a big sport in Italy. Soccer and basketball dominate. But, things could get quite interesting in a decade.

Italy could have had a good future with an Italian Canadian whose brother currently plays with the New York Rangers. The brother, Steve Rucchin, the man who could have led Italy in hockey prgrams, Larry Rucchin. It is sad to use the past tense with Larry, because it is unfortunate to say that he passed away in 2002 after a two year fight with colon cancer. He was just 35 years old. He contributed with the Italian National hockey team, and once was face to face with his brother Steve. Larry as Azzuro, Steve in Canadian Red.

I found this link:

If you scroll down you will find a sketch of Larry Rucchin, two actually, and one with his brother.

The Rucchins originated from Milano. Who knows, maybe one day after Steve Rucchin retires, he may go to Italy to coach the national team. I sure hope so!

Of course my dream would be to take part in Italian hockey. There are just so many things I have to accomplish before making such a dream come true. But if you ever see Peroni as part of the Italian national team, you know where he came from!

This concludes Part I of HTR’s Special Olympic coverage of Torino. I hope you enjoyed it and for all those Italian Americans/Canadians out there…. be proud of your roots. Italy is a beautiful country. A rather….small country yet with many different cultures. Every province is different. Imagine living life drinking great beer and wine (included in Part II), eating awesome food… and playing hockey. How about that?

Thank you all for reading. Part II will be all about the drinks, the food…. all the stuff to make you drool! And of course, a good talk about Olympic Hockey.

Enjoy the Olympics!


Micki Peroni


p.s. Happy St. Valentines to you all

113 Responses to HockeyTradeRumors In Northern Italy Part I

  1. STEWIE says:

    Pat Quinn is pissing me off, why isn’t McCabe on that 5 on 3, blake had five shots and not one hit the net. Quinn needs to utilize his players in the right manner!

  2. Neely4Life says:

    why, blake and Mccabe are both left handed shots, not a huge deal. They need to get Bertuzzi more into the play, and i wouldnt put Mccabe on the ice after that *****in pass at the blueline! He took a penalty which isnt a big deal, D take em, its gonna happen. But he gets back on the ice, and again, he doesnt know where to go or what to do in his own end, causes another goal.

    Then, for some f***ing reason, he makes a pass across the blueline that was obviously illadvised, and his partner was covered, against n e other team, that was a breakaway.

  3. STEWIE says:

    I didn’t mind that pass on that play, Redden was fairly open, plus McCabe was pressured by two Germans at the line. But Pat needs to utilize McCabe on that PP, he has a hard low accurate shot. Secondly, it gives McCabe an opportunity to redeem himself a little and get his confidence going. This is not a time to start teaching lessons to players.

  4. STEWIE says:

    Scrap that little note above, McCabe needs to watch the rest of the game, he has absolutely no confidence. Ill advised penalty on the German player.

  5. Neely4Life says:

    ya, and he fired about 2 one timers over the net, if he cant hit the f***ing net, and thats ur bread n butter, get him the hell away from the ice.

    And the pass to Redden was brutal, Redden was covered, and Mccabe didnt even look. again, hes gonna get burned like that against n e other team. He had a good first period, then he started to use his brain.

  6. 19AVSFANFoLIFE19 says:

    i had u at #4 though just 3 months ago u were #489435894359438943 so you made a small climb 😀

  7. 19AVSFANFoLIFE19 says:

    we may luck out and be on the powerplay the whole game and have our first unit score all the goals

    that way mccabe wont step back onto the ice.

  8. 19AVSFANFoLIFE19 says:

    did he tip it though??? no he did not he didnt touch the puck. yes he did force the shot but do i have to point out the penalties and giveaways he has had so far?

  9. STEWIE says:

    McCabe all in all had a below average day. But I think the attention were giving him is probably not fair, if we looked at Redden or Pronger through a magnifying glass, we would probably find similar problems. I can come up with a couple of plays where each of those guys had some major brain cramps. Penalties aside, cause like you said, their gonna happen, especially for defenseman, the only thing I really didn’t like was how McCABE seemed confused on his entrance into the play from the penalty box, but that in of itself was not the reason Germany scored, Canada was chasing on a 5 on 3, which you can’t do, cause it will lead to wide open areas. Perhaps that could be a reason for McCabe’s brain cramp. But I still have to disagree with you about that pass, lol. If were talking about the same one, the pass was not a big deal at all, cause Redden received it, and had some time to decide what he wanted to do with it, the only play where a pass was ill advised was from Foote, when he passed across ice, and the other defender had to rush forward to receive the pass.

  10. 19AVSFANFoLIFE19 says:

    just thought everyone should know. for team canada mccabe is either the worst in every stat or tied for the worst in every stat. 14 penalty minutes………

  11. Scruffy05 says:

    Checking to the f***ing head…. letting the german poke it through his legs then in on net… I didn’t see the whole game but what I ddi see he did NOT impress me…

  12. 19AVSFANFoLIFE19 says:

    Thank you thats 1 smart person.

  13. Flyers70 says:

    Nice work, mikster….

    Any Ron Flockhart reference is a good one. I remember “Flockey Hockey” very fondly.

    I was in Italy in October/November 2004 for 2 weeks. What a great country! I wish I had seen Turin, but I spent a few days in Rome, Florence, Venice, and Positano. The people were great, except during the the US Presidential elections, where some Italians saw fit to give me crap, but I ignored it. Florence and Venice were just tremendous. Venice is either trashy or charming, depending on your point of view (I found it charming). Enjoy the wine! Even the cheap wine in Italy tastes good….

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