Looking back on the 2009 calendar year, it's safe to say that, once again, hockey played a major role in our lives. From attending NHL games to ramping up another blog to watching Colin grow as a hockey player, hardly a week went by -- even during the summer -- when hockey wasn't a part of the picture.
Want to know something? I wouldn't change a thing. Well, on second thought, maybe a few instances:
~ I wish the Tampa Bay Lightning were much more competitive. It's difficult wrapping one's arms around a team that is so maddeningly inconsistent. Too many times, after yelling myself hoarse with encouragements to play more aggressively and stop playing a perimeter offense (Sound familiar, Rick Tocchet?), I've left the St. Pete Times Forum well beyond frustrated.
~ Despite my intentions, working this blog continues to be more of a job than a hobby. And, really, after five years, I'm running out of things to pass along. Thankfully, though, Moody and Al, Hound Central 5.0's top-shelf correspondents, have stepped up, offering different voices and perspectives. Without them, and the faithful readers who stop by, I would've pulled the plug after Hound Central 4.0. For that, I'll continually offer my gratitude.
~ More than anything else, though, it's my inability, based solely on my work schedule, to take a bigger role in Colin's hockey career. It goes far beyond missing too many practices and games, too. Like most other hockey dads, I've love to become a youth hockey coach, learning through USA Hockey training how to instill not just my knowledge, but my passion for the game.
It's a fairly significant week, as far as we're concerned, because we'll reach, barring an unforeseen calamity, another milestone -- 2,000 autographed pucks. With only eight pucks remaining, we'll cross the latest threshold with either the Boston Bruins or Montreal Canadiens.
But, really, our hope is that it happens Monday and it's Boston's Patrice Bergeron, who, all of you should know by now, is Colin's favorite NHL player, signs the milestone puck. We'll pass on other opportunities -- be they cards, photos or other pucks -- just to make it happen.
That's what I call extreme cherry-picking. And, no, I won't lose a wink of sleep over it.
5 Big Sigs
Beyond the obvious (see above), here's what we'll also try to add this week from a pair of Original Six teams:
~ Bruins goalie Tim Thomas on a 2010 Winter Classic and USA pucks as well as a pair of 8x10s;
~ Bruins captain Zdeno Chara on a 2010 Winter Classic and Slovakia pucks;
~ Bruins center Marc Savard on a 2010 Winter Classic puck;
~ Montreal defenseman Andrei Markov on a Quebec Citadelles puck; and
~ Montreal winger Mike Cammalleri on a Montreal Canadiens puck.