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What’s in a Name?
January 22, 2009 | Filed in: AHL, Callups, da b'ars

I have yet to figure out the officializing process on hockey nicknames. Obviously some of them come from a player’s given name, but even then there isn’t usually an official press release on what someone goes by.

Case in point, Alex Ovechkin has suddenly lost the “E” on the end of Ovie this season. Sure, “Ovi” and “Ovie” would be pronounced the same way, but somehow, “Ovi” just seems more like we’re talking ovaries than “Ovie.”

And who could forget the storm of controversy last year when everyone started freaking out that Evgeni Malkin’s nickname “Geno” from “Eugene” should actually be spelled “Gino?” At least there Malkin finally put it straight on an official website. Geno it is.

On the Bears you have the standards that fans know: Andrew Gordon goes by Gordo, Dean Arsene is well known around town as Deano, Daren Machesney is “Cheezer” or “Cheese” and Grant McNeill gets shortened to GMac, not to be confused with Chris MacAllister from last year, who was, at 6′7, “Big Mac”.

There are those who are obvious if not immediately known. Patrick McNeill gets stuck with “Patty,” Simeon Varlamov has been referred to as “Varly” and Oskar Osala is just “Os” (or once in a while, unfortunately, “The Big O”)

But every once in a while, John Walton lets slip another few. From the team’s escapades trying to find food in Norfolk, we also meet Greg Amadio as “Ammo” and Keith Aucoin as “Coiner.” We’ve also been reminded recently that Alex Giroux is “Rooster,”

No word yet on what Alzner’s been called either in Hershey or in DC. After Tim Leone’s expose on how he obviously always wanted to be a hurling star perhaps O’Alzner is appropriate?

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