Connors to the rescue; South Dakota Legion finds a way

Here are some local and regional tids and bits for the pre-Memorial Day week:

Over the weekend it was announced the New England Senior Hockey League was folding – in part due to the pandemic – leaving a lot of hockey players and teams out of luck, having already paid dues. But according to a WCVB-Ch. 5 report, the Power Play Hockey League may rescue some of those teams.

Who founded and runs the PPHL? Why, none other than Nashua High School South-Pelham Kings head coach Shawn Connors.

Connors started a three-team adult league out of Hudson in 2014 and, incredibly, has created an adult hockey league empire throughout New England. There are multiple leagues in multiple facilities in New Hampshire and Massachusetts under the PPHL umbrella. The CEO of PPHL? None other than one Shawn Connors. Wow. There’s a staff in place, division heads are hired, and any expansion leads to more jobs.

Who knew?

“Between the great business friendships, new staff members, and new incoming players, the word of the Power Play Hockey League is growing at an astronomical pace with no ends of where it will move next,” it says on the PPHL website. That’s for sure. Shawn Connors, hockey czar.

Sad to see the death of former CBS NFL Today broadcaster Phyllis George, who was a pioneer in her field. But many of you old enough may remember when George was married to former Celtics owner (and future Kentucky Governor) John Y. Brown. George, as legend has it, had a fascination for the scoring talent of New York Knicks center Bob McAdoo, who was on the back nine of his career. During the 1978-79 season, she was said to have convinced Brown to trade – over the vehement protests of one Red Auerbach – three first round draft picks to the Knicks for McAdoo. McAdoo was an absolute bust in Boston, spending half a season with the team before moving on and bouncing around the league. He did, however, find a home for four years with the Lakers’ “Showtime” teams, 1981-85. But George was not exactly popular with Celtics fans back then.

South Dakota is said to be the birthplace of American Legion baseball, and interestingly enough, there will be so-called Legion baseball in that state this summer.

Huh? Well, remember, the National Legion governing body said it would not endorse or sponsor any Legion programs. But there was nothing to stop states or, as we know in the local efforts to still play, individual teams from still playing without the Legion umbrella.

Evidently South Dakota, according to published reports there, found a way to still stay under the Legion umbrella – the state, not national, Legion umbrella – as state Legion officials there gave their programs the thumbs up. Interesting.

It was no surprise that Richard Seymour won the fans vote for the New England Patriots Hall of Fame. Seymour was a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame last year and will eventually get in there as well. It just doesn’t seem like Bill Parcells will ever win a fans vote, not only because of his controversial departure to the Jets in 1997 but also because a lot of voting fans aren’t too familiar with what he did to change the Patriots’ culture. Plus there will be a wave of players from the dynasty soon to be eligible and take that limelight.

Sure, Seymour didn’t exactly leave on his own terms, being traded to the Raiders, but his selection high in the first round in the 2001 draft – many wanted receiver David Tyrell to be picked – signaled the Patriots rebuilding from the inside (lines) out under Bill Belichick.

“There were no Super Bowl talks at that time,” Seymour said this past week. “We were just trying to go out and win games and we strung enough together and before you knew it, we found ourselves in a really good spot and we capitalized on it throughout the playoffs.”

Seymour had his ups and downs with Belichick and was dealt to the Raiders in 2009, but said he has a good relationship with the architect of the Patriots dynasty and spoke of a warmer side.

“That’s just the business side of the NFL,” he said. “I don’t have any hard feelings or anything like that. … Coach Belichick, he would always send Christmas gifts to the kids and little things like that.”

Like we said earlier, who knew?

Tom King may be reached at 594-1251 or tking@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow King on Twitter (@Telegraph_TomK).