Today’s #CBJ Community Spotlight shines on our resident photographer and glorious beard owner, Ken Falk (@derdrache / @CBJBeard). I first met Ken at one of my 1st period intermission TweetUps. I’m still not 100% sure he knew who I was at the time but he was very welcoming and friendly and talked to me like I’d always been there. He’s also an excellent photographer and his photogenic beard has made its way into almost every #CBJ fan’s twitter avatar at one time or another.
Who is Ken? In his own words:
My name is Ken but for as long as I can remember, DerDrache is what I’ve used. I’ve also been known to respond to Ghengis, The Beard or Professor Lube on XBL.
I’m an avid #CBJ fan since day one. I grew up in Columbus in a Red Wings house but rebeled by being a Penguins fan. This was during the days of Lemieux, Jagr, Tochhet, the Samuelsons and I loved it. As a kid I was thrilled with Columbus got an ECHL team in the Chill and went to as many games as I could convince my dad to take me to. The announcement that Columbus was going to be awarded an NHL team was a dream come true as I had embraced hockey as much as a kid in the suburbs of Columbus could have at the time which basically meant street hockey as this was pre-Chiller days. I will admit that I did mourn that we were not to be the Columbus Mad Cows but I eventually got over it.
About me now: Aside from the #CBJ, I keep myself entertained by playing guitar, photography and video games. I’ve been lucky enough to marry the most amazing person I’ve ever met (@googlit) and turn her into a hockey fan. We were married under the Union Station Arch across the street from Nationwide Arena. We have an awesome pup named Lord Stanley that has yet to meet someone who isn’t his best friend. I work for a local software company that is housed in the Arena District. Hooray for free parking for #CBJ games!
On to the questions!
The easy questions:
1. Favorite #CBJ player & why:
This one is ever changing but I’ve got to give it up for Jack Johnson. The guy has got a natural swagger that more of the team needs. I can’t help but be impressed with a guy that puts in 30 minutes of ice time in a game and would probably put in more if given the chance. For our club to turn around we need more guys like JMFJ who are chomping at the bit to get on the ice and make a difference.
2. Favorite non-#CBJ player & why:
Rick Nash This is a tough one but I’d have to go with Mario Lemieux or Patrick Roy. Both of them had that spectacular ability to assume total control of a game when their team needed them most. I’d love to see someone of that caliber on the #CBJ.
3. Favorite #CBJ moment:
It’s been oft repeated but game 4 vs. Detroit. I have never experienced electricity like that at any sporting event before or since. I can barely comprehend what it will be like when we win a playoff game at NWA. I expect tears of joy and people in the fetal position rocking in the aisles.
4. Favorite general hockey moment:
5. Team you would root for if #CBJ had never existed (not moved):
Most likely the Colorado Avalanche or the Blackhawks.
6. Favorite non-#CBJ jersey (in general, not that you own):
Some tougher questions:
7. What are your expectations for the #CBJ in the next 1, 3 and 5 years:
Next year’s objective for me is all about building a team that plays with consistency and establishing a core that we can build around of hungry, self-driven players. In three years, anything less than a playoff appearance is unacceptable. In five years we should have won at least two playoff series.
8. If you were GM of the #CBJ, who do you draft at second overall & why:
Nail Yakupov. I’m convinced he’ll still be available. Not only is he a dynamic player that can make an immediate difference, he’s the kind of personality that fans will latch onto and embrace. With the high likelihood that Nash will be moving on, this is something the fan base will desperately need. He’ll also offer the best post-game interviews since @commie22 wore the CBJ sweater.
9. Would you rather see the #CBJ be more competitive next season but miss the playoffs or get another high draft pick & why:
More competitive but miss the playoffs. I’m consistently amazed and impressed with the number of butts in seats at NWA for games when you consider what our fan base has had to endure. It’s nothing short of remarkable. That said, I don’t think the organization can endure another season like this one, even if it leads to a high draft pick next year.
10. Can you list something(s) that you like and something(s) you’d like to see changed with the #CBJ community:
Things I like: The #CBJ community has some very knowledgable passionate fans that can provide some great discussion/debates on any given day.
Things I dislike: These discussions/debates often implode upon themselves and become counter-productive when people don’t see eye to eye. Can’t we all just get along? Also, puck bunnies. Gross.
11. Who are 5 #CBJ twitter accounts you think more people should be following?
@bunktuzzi44 – Bunk oozes pure awesomeness. He just needs to step up his CoD game.
@SirChadleyOC – Offers great perspective with just the right amount of snark sprinkled in.
@TheCoachUB – Regular contributor on TheUnionBlue.com. Offers absolutely top-notch articles and insight.
@DennisTFP – Writer for TheFourthPeriod that actually acknowledges the CBJ’s existence and all-around great dude.
@cbjbeard – Don’t know much about this guy but damn he’s awesome.
12. Any shout outs you want to give or blogs/twitter accounts you want to help promote?
Drop by TheUnionBlue.com if you haven’t already. Some awesome blogger content as well as a great forum for all of the best CBJ discussion. Anything from current roster to AHL to prospects as well as social meetups.
13. Any final thoughts… on anything?
I know it’s easier said than done but it’s time to put last season behind us and look ahead to what is being put in place and start getting excited. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t learn from last season, we just need to respect that what’s done is done and things literally can’t get worse. We’ve got some strong prospects in the system and a new coach at the helm that showed an ability to hold down a lead late in games and one of the strongest defensive corps that we’ve ever seen. If we can back them up with a solid #1 netminder, I think our forwards will begin playing more confidently and aggressively and goal scoring production will increase. Adding a dynamic young athlete like Yakupov wouldn’t hurt either. Keep Calm and Carry the Flag.