The Year Everything Changed

What a difference a year makes.

Today marks the one-year anniversary of in it’s present format. In one year, HTR’s readership has risen by almost a factor of ten, going from 3,000 to 25,000 daily, according to the site’s operator, TradeMan. Today I will recount some of the greatest memories in HTR’s rise, and here’s hoping more great memories come around.1. Leaf fans comments

Of all the memories I’ve received, the comments of the Toronto Maple Leaf fans have received the most votes. According to some HTR users, they’re completely moronic and always seem to be WAY too biased in favour of Toronto but…can you blame them? The Leafs probably have the most fans of any team in the league (maybe save for the Montreal Canadiens), and because of that they have far more “fanatics” (if you will) than other teams, but if you looked closely, you’d find that each team PROPORTIONALLY has the same number of smart fans and “fanatics”. So, thus, the Leafs have more fanatics because they simply have more fans than everyone else in the league.

Okay, that’s the math section for today- I’ll leave the rest for Project_Infinity (I think he’s a math guy. Oh well. I don’t mean to be offensive or anything). Anyhow, some of the ideas the Leaf fans come up with are quite hilarious, I must say. Like this gem:

“The Leafs should try to get Paul Kariya. I would trade Jonas Hoglund, Nik Antropov , Nathan Dempsey.”

This was a comment that appeared on November 27 and is the one Leaf comment I remember the most. This is actually where the “Cory Cross-Nikolai Antropov/Paul
Karyia” trade came from: one reply said “Paul Karyia is one of the best players in the league and (you Leaf fans) think Cross, Antropov & Co. will get any player in the league”, and the rumour got convuluted into “Cory Cross and Nikolai Antropov for Paul Karyia”. That is how the Cross-Antropov/Karyia rumour started. Looking at the original suggestion, the only player worthy of mention is Jonas Hoglund, and he’s not even near Karyia (by the way: what happened to him? Has he gone AWOL? He seems to be making a habit of this…). The comments really picked up steam in November, where people complained that too many Leaf articles were being posted and that some of Leaf fans seemed to take over comment booths of articles (even those that have nothing to do with the Leafs) by providing a “dumb” rumour and veering the article way off topic. Several Leaf fans on this site have complained that some of their brethren give them a bad name for all of the “dumb” rumours they provide, even though in reality the “fanatics” are really the minority in any fan group, Leafs included (remember: proportionality?). However, I do have to admit some of the Leaf fans’ ideas are some of the most hilarious ones on HTR.

(Side note: HTR and its staff have absolutely NOTHING against the Toronto Maple Leafs and their fans, and I apologize if I offended anyone in my recount).

2. The Trade Rumours

You can’t talk HTR without talking trade: that’s what we’re all about. Of all the trade rumours (the legitimate ones- Cross-Antropov/Karyia doesn’t count), the biggest ones had to be the year-long rumour of Eric Lindros going to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Lindros originally stated he’d only play for Toronto and then, when the deadline approached around this time last year, he opened up to the St. Louis Blues, Detroit Red Wings and Washington Capitals. When Lindros wasn’t traded, the hockey world went up in arms as to why Philadelphia Flyers General Manager Bobby Clarke wouldn’t trade him. Clarke would eventually wait until late August to trade his embattled former captain, sending him to the New York Rangers, whom the Quebec Nordiques somehow also traded him to back in 1992, for Kim Johnsson, Pavel Brendl and Jan Hlavac. Hlavac. How the trade has worked out is still up in the air as though the players the Flyers have (Brendl and Johnsson) haven’t made a huge impact and they did trade away Hlavac in an ostensibly one-sided deal (for Donald Brashear), while Lindros himself has slumped a bit since a hot start. Just about every aspect of the Lindros saga was explored, pondered, analyzed and debated, and we’re still debating its merits today.

As for the other rumours, some of the more prominent names that keep appearing, especially early in the season, were Bill Guerin and Tony Amonte, and I remember everyone debating on where Jason Allison would end up. I remember the Los Angeles Kings, Allison’s current team, entered the rumours rather late and wound up acquiring him. Right now, we’re experiencing rumours left right and centre and it’s real hard to keep up, but I believe we’ve done an exceptional job here. Here’s hoping the years to come will be just as fun.

3. Memorable Articles

Everyone on HTR has their favourite articles, and I’m no different. My favourites are the opinion/speculation articles, because I call them my specialty (as the majority of my articles are opinion/speculation articles) and because I always enjoy what someone else thinks. As a first-year history major, I’ve always come across other people’s ideas, and I’ve learned to effectively learn my subject, I’ve got to listen to all sides before making a decision. This is also why I like writing essays (you can call me crazy if you want, but I still like doing them): because it’s an opportunity for me to express my opinions. Some of my favourite HTR opinion articles are the “Odd Man Out” series, tgray’s article on “What the GM meetings should be about” (and I’m not picking it just because I posted it: it really was a good article), and all the Olympic reaction articles. Project_Infinity’s article giving every team a case for and against contracting them was also a gem.

Also, continuing with speculation idea, I’ve always also liked the articles that provide a lively and wacky take on the world of hockey (not to say HTR’s articles are dry: in fact, they’re far from it). Some of those are titans’ work: I remember when he wrote the “Gettin’ to know each other” article back on January 3, it provided the HTR users a chance to present who they are, and to learn more of the other people who frequent the site a lot (like me). It was an interesting idea and added to the community atmosphere of the site. Titans’ other work, “the Cory Cross Awards”, as a reflection on some of the worst trade rumours ever suggested on the site (again, meant only to laugh at ourselves and not to be mean to anyone) was lost during the site’s meltdown but never forgotten. Overall, HTR has the best collection of articles on the Internet, and I wish to extend a thank you to all the HTR users for contributing and making the articles what they are today.

4. The Users

Last, but not least, the users. Where to start? Well, the superuser, or TradeMan: he had a vision to create the ultimate hockey site and I’ll say he’s succeeded probably more than he could have imagined. Next up has to be Micki Peroni: probably the most challenging debator on HTR today (especially when it comes to his Rangers). Titans is certainly one of the funniest commenters on HTR, and he never disappoints. We’ve already discussed the Leaf fans, but they deserve a second mention because even though some of them provide “dumb” rumours, they’re certainly among some of the more vociferous fans on this site. Them and the Flyers fans (if only a Flyers/Leafs final could be a reality…). Pantherboy: though many of us still claim you’re in denial, you always more than make up for it in your rebuttals (by the way, I still maintain that the Florida Panthers are well on their way to being a good team: just PLEASE don’t trade Pavel Bure…). The creative nicknames… flyersruleclarkesucks, hockeynut, Puckboy… the list just goes on. Where else to go? There’s too many to mention. Overall, I have to say the HTR users are among the best writers I’ve ever seen and are easily the best group on the Internet today. You guys (and girls) make HTR the enjoyable site it is today, and the community atmosphere just adds to it. We do sometimes have our differences, but no one will say this community is divided: we’re all together to talk about the greatest sport on Earth, hockey. Congrats to all who make HTR what it is today: you guys make this site enjoyable, even to the point that some of us miss work (though I should say we at HTR don’t encourage it). A wholehearted “thank you” goes out to all of you, and here’s hoping HTR can continue growing and being the enjoyable site for many years to come.

Thank you all again, and, as TradeMan himself would say, “Happy Trading”


(P.S. A couple of notes: I didn’t include all of the memories given to me because I didn’t receive as many as I thought, and I also included some of my own memories because of that. Don’t worry: I think was a little too vague when I made the request, so I think I only have myself to blame for that. I also didn’t send any accolades to myself because I didn’t feel that was right for me to praise me, though you guys are free to do it if you want. Also, I have updated my “World Issues Page”, for all of you to enjoy. Be forewarned that it is an opinionated site and I don’t mean to offend anyone, and if I do, I apologize. Please enjoy, and sorry if the article is too long)

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