One month from today, NHL training camps officially open. Yes, we can begin to get excited about the return of our game.
I turned to Twitter yesterday to ask NHL fans what they were looking forward to regarding the upcoming NHL season.
I had no expectations when putting out the question and was pleasantly surprised by the response and I'd like to share some of them with you.
The question was: "What are you looking forward to in regards to the upcoming NHL season?"
-- The sound of sticks (when hitting) the puck, fresh ice, Ken (Daniels) and Mick (Redmond), all the small things that make hockey so fantastic.
-- A Buffalo Sabres
' Stanley Cup Win
-- Tyler Myers
', Jamie Benn
's, and Evander Kane
's sophomore seasons, Tyler Ennis
' proper rookie season, and the death of The Slug.
-- It's all about Tyler Seguin
in Boston, my friend. There's a palpable level of curious excitement for him in the Hub.
-- The end to the (Ilya) Kovalchuk saga, how the Hawks fare after all the changes, and the last year of Kaberle trade rumors.
-- Seeing how the makeover of the Tampa Bay Lightning
will go over. Also, the rise and maybe fall of the Blackhawks?
-- I'm hoping for grittier play and more fighting. Will they allow it?
-- Healthy season for Bruins. And the rookies.
-- The blare of the goal horn. No other sport announces a score with quite the same emphasis.
-- How Hall and Seguin perform, Heritage and Winter classics, how the Hawks fare, Teemu Selanne
moving up charts, SJS (San Jose Sharks
) & WSH (Washington Capitals
-- Mickey-isms (Detroit TV analyst Mickey Redmond
). Datsyukian dekes. Everything.
-- Seeing how the new-look Hawks are, and the new look SE Hawks (Atlanta Thrashers
) are in Georgia. Seeing how the Caps bounce back. Taylor (Hall) & Tyler (Seguin).
-- If Ovechkin tones his reckless play down any and if he doesn't will he be injured or will he injure anyone.
-- How salary cap affects teams' ability build lasting legacy, i.e. Hawks.
-- The first Tomas Kaberle
turnover. Going to be a riot in the streets of Toronto.
-- Watching (Anton) Volchenkov in NJ black and red and doing his best Scott Stevens
-- (Jaroslav) Halak's first season as a bona fide No. 1. Also whether (T.J.) Oshie, (David) Backes and (Patrik) Berglund can bounce back from disappointing seasons.
-- The manner by which the Canucks will find a way to quash the Cup expectations of their fans after another promising regular season
-- How will Chicago cope with the lineup changes? (Taylor) Hall's impact in Edmonton? (Phil) Kessel's quest for 40? 50?
-- Really looking forward to seeing how Thrashers and Florida will perform. Also Blackhawks.
-- How the Devils bounce back from the (Richard) Bloch ruling and if they sign Kovy how the Devils manage him and (Zach) Parise in one locker room.
-- NHL Heritage Classic between Flames and Canadiens. Outdoor NHL hockey returns to Canada.
-- Looking forward to Magnus Paajarvi
, Taylor Hall
and Jordan Eberle
getting a shot with the Oilers.
As you can see, the passion of NHL fans remains high, even in the middle of the summer.
I do hope you checked out more tweets from those I pointed out and if you did, you saw a vast array of remarks, comments and thoughts of hockey fans we really do not know -- but in a way we do, because they are just like you and me.
You can also read my replies to most of those who replied to my question by visiting my Twitter (http://twitter.com/kuklaskorner
) account, or if you want to submit your answer by e-mail, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org