ATLANTA -- Back in the press box at Philips Arena here in a chilled Atlanta. The Hanson Brothers, err Jonas Brothers, just got done playing a concert for their many young fans whose rapid exit made it quite difficult to walk through the arena concourse.
The big news today is, of course, the arrival of Alyssa Milano. She is here promoting her new line of NHL gear that's designed for the female fan.
Ms. Milano was asked how she came about designing sportswear for women, and she said it came out of necessity. She was tired of going into team shops at stadium and finding only men's stuff. She wanted something more girlie, stuff in pink. When I told her I had the same problem, she laughed.
And that's my highlight of the day.
Seriously, though, she's a big sports fan, a season ticket holder to the Dodgers and a big fan of the L.A. Kings. Pre-Gretzky, she boasted to me. Seems like a nice enough person, seemed to enjoy being the highlight of the press area. She even bumped Eric Staal off NHL Network. When asked about it by Luke D. of the Raleigh News-Observer, Staal quipped "well, she is better looking than me.''
-- Am doing some hockey stuff today, talked to a number of the All-Stars not named Milano including Vinny Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Dave Strader.
NHL commish Gary Bettman is going to speak to the media here in a little bit, give us his state of the league address. That will probably be the focus of my next post.
-- Tomas Vokoun is here obviously, and spent close to 45 minutes doing interviews. Most of that time was spent talking to one guy who was a close talker. Vokoun's a pro, didn't seem to mind.
He says he's playing the second period of tonight's YoungStars game, doesn't know what he role will be in tomorrow's All-Star Game. Says he's real happy to be here although he looks and sounds pretty tired. I think he went straight from the arena to the hotel to sleep. Dude's been carrying a heavy workload for the Panthers this season.
If anyone deserves some rest, it's him.