Chicks and Sticks

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Cosmetics bags aren't typically associated with professional hockey. (Colostomy bags, maybe.) But in the latest phase of the St. Louis Blues' marketing reinvention, the team is handing out make-up parcels to women who enroll in the "Ladies & Left Wings" hockey clinic, to be held January 31 at the Scottrade Center.

In October we wrote about the Blues' outside-the-penalty-box attempts to woo back fans after seasons of lockout ('04-'05) and ineptitude ('05-'06).

The team still stinks, and so far the public-relations gimmicks have been geared toward men -- flashier scoreboards, for example, and ice girls.

Two months into the season, the team has begun courting the fairer sex.

"It was an idea we had to get women more interested and involved in hockey," says Renah Jones, the team's community-relations manager. "It will definitely be a learning experience and a social experience."

For "Ladies & Left Wings," former Blues tough Kelly Chase will present a classroom-style seminar on the basics of the game, followed by on-ice demonstrations from fellow (as yet unspecified) alumni. "The ladies will sit in the stands," Jones notes.

Also part of the fun: A silent auction for items like spa packages. Also appetizers, hot chocolate and wine. The wives of coach Mike Kitchen, general manager Larry Pleau and team president John Davidson will be on hand to help corral the estrogen.

Jones says the event is targeted to casual fans and "hockey moms" and that, to her knowledge, no NHL club has done anything like it. She adds that the Ice Girls will not be attending.

Tickets are $50 and can be purchased by calling 314-622-2524 or e-mailing [email protected]

-Ben Westhoff

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