Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ye Olde Bodycheck Magazine

I wouldn't say I'm a candidate for that Hoarders show just yet, but my wife keeps telling me I have way too much crap, and occasionally I'll pretend to sort it all out which basically consists of me opening a box and finding incredible stuff I haven't looked at in ten years and vowing to never throw it out while my wife drops f-bomb after f-bomb on me as I cower in the basement.

And recently I came across a small bundle of those old Bodycheck magazines, which was the official publication of the Ottawa Senators in the early years published by Jim Steel and had local trivia whiz Liam Maguire as one of their main writers. I believe at one point it was distributed by the Ottawa Citizen but was discontinued sometime in the mid to late 90's only to be resurrected some years later as a playoff-only magazine. To be honest, it's near impossible to find much info about it but if someone can fill me in on the history I'd like to hear it. (You can view a complete 2008 version here).

With the Senators about to embark on their 20th NHL season and planning a series of heritage events (including a jersey that they cruelly did not reveal at today's press conference), here's a quick look back at some of the more garish and dated highlights of the Bodycheck mag that filled the gaps in our Senators knowledge before the internet made us all a bunch of jaded know-it-all's.


A cover from Alexei Yashin's rookie season in 93-94 which shows Mark Messier about to spear him in the groin. True story: I used to collect Yashin hockey cards almost exclusively and during the late 90's I lived in Toronto for a few years and became a regular at Legends memorabilia shop on King Street. I became pals with the guys working there but they used to tease me mercilessly for being a Yashin collector but I remained defiant, saying Yash was going to be one of the best players of his generation. Now those cards are completely worthless and I wonder if those guys still think back and have a good laugh at how much money I dropped on those damn things.

How many of you actually remember Dave Hannan? He played only 34 games for the Sens in 97 but was a bit of a big deal in town for a while because he won a Cup with Colorado the year before. The designer got a little cheeky there with the crooked K.

Before the Team 1200 (and its predecessor OSR), the games were on CFRA. Very strange to see the Expos and Rough Riders logos here. This town used to be a hardcore Expos/Rough Riders zone.
Back in those days the big prize among players was getting involved with a car dealership (as this beauty Mario Lemieux ad can attest). In fact, it's still a big thing today too.

Jacques Martin knew a hell of a lot about golf in his days with the playoff challenged Senators. That joke was super-lame and way too easy. I apologize.

Dave McLlwain deep into the early 90's Garth Brooks inspired look. He actually had a great season in Ottawa when he scored 43 points in 66 games in the 93-94 season and was one of only a handful of players to play for both the Leafs and the Sens (try and name the others). He ended up playing pro hockey until 2009 when he finished up in Europe. Not a bad career at all.

Bodycheck always had the full page posters which were on the walls of many a kid in the mid-90's. Can you believe how young Wade Redden looks here?

Bodycheck was not known for its wit but this pic gives a cool view of what it was like to play NHL hockey in the Civic Centre with that big half-wall on one side of the rink. I'm sure guys like Jeremy Roenick just loved to play against someone like Daigle. Total bloodbath.

Even Peter Sidorkiewicz had endorsements in this town. It's hard to explain just how excited this town was in 1992 to have an actual NHL hockey team again. Sylvain Turgeon was treated like a Hall of Famer wherever he went.

More Yash. Someday the Sens will wear a version of this sweater again. Mark it down.

And finally, the obligatory photo spread of the fans. Guess which photo should have been left on the cutting room floor? Or at least had a bra photoshopped in. Seriously, that's nasty.


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Anonymous said...

For all the jerseys that have popped up over the last 20 years, that white jersey that Yash is pictured wearing, is hands down the best looking jersey of all. On top of that, all the greatest moments in franchise history were captured in that jersey, in my books (First game in 1992, clinching the first playoff appearance in 1997, Aflie's goal against Buffalo in 2007).

phil said...

brendan bell comes to mind as a guy who played for us and the leafs..

Anonymous said...

Can't we get some love for a Mr. Martin Gerber. He also played for the Leafs

Jeremy Milks said...

The one that no one ever gets is Bill Berg.

Anonymous said...

I used to get Bodycheck magazine at the little convenience store in the Novotel...used to work a security guard next door at 25 Nicholas (oh he stories and shenanigans I could tell, including starting a riot at a rival building) and they always had a pile of Bodycheck magazine. The owner of the shop was a conspiracy-minded Asian-Canadian and there was always a pile of the magazines that would never she'd give them away. I had a ton of them at some point...testament to Ottawa's cheapness, that we won't buy a magazine (or anything)if we could get it for free.


Anonymous said...

Think Don Beaupre and Rhodes played for both, and Gary Roberts almost did...