Happy New Year one and all!
I have to admit I've been hibernating for the past month and a half. Once winter settles in I'm one for locking the doors, lighting the fireplace, enjoying a fine red and watching absolutely nothing on television>
Since I migrated South of the 49th Parallel I have watched very little hockey as I live in the basketball mecca of the Triangle in North Carolina. With football, baseball and basketball its tough to compete for the headlines. Admittedly, the Carolina Hurricanes are the one and only professional sports team here and the organization has done a tremendous job promoting and growing the game. The crowning achievement came two years ago with a Stanley Cup.
My experience with the Canadian pastime is deep rooted having grown up and lived in Northern Alberta. My father in the early 1980's started a Junior Hockey franchise with the support of a couple of NHLers, one guy named Mark Messier (yep that fella). The franchise bloomed and won the National Championship. My father had long given the hockey club to the community after a couple of seasons of ownership.
The Fort McMurray Oil Barons recognised my fathers contribution and gave him a Championship ring. Not like a Stanley Cup ring but bares the prestige of Hockey accomplishment in the Junior ranks.
I guess where I'm going with all this is I was at a New Years party and I met a couple from Michigan, Adam a devout hockey fan and I had a great conversation about the game. I have to say I missed not watching the games and seeing the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames in the "Battle of Alberta " So, here I am two days later and I'm signed up for the Nhl Center Ice and the NHL Network. Thanks Adam !!
What was I thinking ??