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Goalies, Facial Hair and Heroes –Cagle

January 2012
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In the movie “Field of Dreams,” Archibald “Moonlight” Graham described his 15 minutes of fame in professional baseball as “...like coming this close to your dreams, and then watching them brush past you like strangers in a crowd.”

Well, at least Archie Graham had the opportunity to play an inning in the outfield for the New York Giants just after the turn of the 20th century. Paul Deutsch didn’t even make it to the national anthem after being signed by the NHL’s Minnesota Wild as an emergency goalie on Nov. 23.

But it’s doubtful that his dreams were shattered: Deutsch spends much of his time running a screen printing shop in a St. Paul, MN, suburb. At age 51, the NHL dream had long since set sail for a guy who hadn’t played in a competitive league since the Carter Administration. However, Deutsch was roughly 10-15 minutes away from dressing for the Wild.

For those unfamiliar with pro hockey, teams will, from time to time, sign an emergency goalie in case of an injury to the starter or backup netminder (NHL rules do not allow teams to sign players with pro experience). The Wild lost backup goalie Niklas Backstrom for the Thanksgiving Eve game and, since there was no guarantee that minor league recall Matt Hackett would make it to the arena in time, in stepped Deutsch.

No, Deutsch wasn’t discovered by a scout or player. He is a good friend of a former Wild assistant coach and has been used as a fill-in at Minnesota practices. So, when Backstrom couldn’t answer the bell, Deutsch was summoned. He even participated in pregame warmups.

With the crazy holiday airline scenario, and his flight not scheduled to arrive until 6:30 p.m., Hackett was almost certain to miss the start. Cue “Vesti La Giubba” as Hackett arrives just minutes before the 7 p.m. puck drop. Deutsch was scratched from the game.

It wasn’t a total heartbreak for Deutsch. He watched the game from a suite along with members of his daughter’s under-14 hockey team, which Deutsch coaches. The team outing had been scheduled previously, and what a story it would have been for the girls to tell everyone that their coach was needed to play.

OH, CANADA!: Hats off to the Kempenfelt Group of Barrie, Ontario, which did its part to support prostate cancer awareness by matching 25 percent of all donations received by its employees in Movember. No, that’s not a typo—the month was November, but Movember is a “moustache-friendly fundraiser” for prostate cancer.

Kempenfelt Group assembled a group called the “hairy printers,” with each member challenged to raise at least $200 to go toward fighting the No. 1 cancer that afflicts men. As of its latest tally, “hairy printers” had raised nearly $3,300.

Movember, a global initiative that traces its birth to Australia in 2003, had raised $176 million prior to this year, including an all-time high of $76.8 million in 2010. Participants enter the month of November clean-shaven, then grow and cultivate their “Mos” to raise money and awareness of prostate cancer.

To find out more about Movember, visit us.movember.com.

HEROIC HELP: Rounding out our theme of all things Canadian is a marketing stroke of genius, courtesy of Etobicoke, Ontario-based Printer Gateway. Its owner, Brian Armstrong, was looking for a solution to combat major U.S. trade printers that, he contends, are selling at wholesale prices in the Canadian market. Plus, he was battling alleged unethical business practices within Canadian trade shops.

Well, who better to turn to for help than a super hero?

Richard Comely, the artist behind Captain Canuck, sought out the printer to produce a special edition of the comic book. Armstrong and Comely pooled their talents to produce the “100% Canadian Super Power Team-Up” marketing campaign. Printer Gateway churned out 30,000 copies of the 81⁄2x11˝ foldout brochure, and it became an instant hit. Comely also signed copies of the brochure at Graphics Canada last November.

“I’d been talking to (Comely) about market conditions,” Armstrong explains. “It was kind of organic, not planned. The response has been phenomenal; far better than I ever expected. We’ve gained exposure from local media, not just the trade press. I’ve received e-mails from across the country, all positive.

“Every once in a while, you strike a chord,” he adds. “It spoke to the right people, I guess.”

Armstrong’s campaign is not a slight to U.S. printers per se, but more of a stance against trade printers that sell directly to customers. Who can blame them for asking customers to “stand proud and support Canadian companies” in a competitive climate?

Besides, someone has to battle Harold the Hickey, who threatens to ruin every signature. PI

 

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