BACK AT IT

With an apparent end to the nightmare that was the 2004-2005 NHL season nearing, I would like to issue a formal statement, challenging all hockey fans to return to our game, to abandon the feelings of frustration and bitterness towards the NHL or NHLPA, and to once again be excited about the future of the greatest game on ice! I wrote this article to inspire some conversation that, to be frank, has been missing from this site for quite some time. Let’s talk hockey!

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With the upcoming season approachiing as quickly as the end of the CBA negotiations, I grow more and more excited with the passing of each week when I think about the amazing talent that we will have the opportunity to watch in four short months. The passing of the guard from Gretzky, Hull and Messier to Nash, Thornton and Heatley is almost complete. The NHL will have a new identity when hockey returns, and it could not have come at a better time.

As fans, we are so thirsty for our game to be free from the clutching and grabbing, and the mundain defensive strategies that won championshps for New Jersey and awarded such success to leser-talented teams like Minnesota in past years. Although little light has been shed on the exact avenues by which the NHL will address this problem come next year, I am just going to go by faith that things will be better.

Rick Nash, Joe Thornton, Ilya Kovalchuk, Dany Heatley, Sidney Crosby, Jeff Carter, Marian Gaborik, Sergie Samsonov, Alex Svitov, Vincent Lecavelier, Simon Gagne, Alex Tanguay, Eric Staal, Nathan Horton, Stephen Weiss, Alexander Frolov, Ryan Getzlaf, Joffrey Lupul, Martin St. Louis, Jerome Iginla, Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeny Malkin, Marian Hossa, Marcel Hossa, Anthony Stewart, Jason Spezza, Corey Perry, Trent Hunter, Eric Fehr, Brad Richards, Gilbert Brule, Danny Syvret, Carlo Colaiacovo, Tuommo Ruutu, Shea Webber, Dionne Phaneuf, Barrett Jackman, Eric Brewer, Wade Redden

Take a look at this list. Has there ever been so much talent in the NHL under the age of 30? Tell me, has there every been a time to be more excited about the NHL? As a fan of the game, I couldn’t be more excited about watching the NHL’s new guard develop and carry the NHL into it’s new identity, and to the top of North America’s pro-sports mecca.

So fans of the game, put on your rally caps, dust off the old jersey that’s been hanging in your closet for the past year, start reading your stats and studyiig up on your prospects. Soon there will be a draft, and then the NHL will return, and it will besomething greater than we could have ever imagined.

-MJ-