* The weather report predicting another warm and muggy evening. Come on calendar, get to mid-September quickly.
* People either posting on their blog or tweeting: "NHL sources tell me this trade (insert the names you've heard the most lately) is about to happen." All I know is these sources aren't very good, maybe they should retire.
* All the Ilya Kovalchuk
talk. Just get it done the right way this time -- and hurry.
* Brian Burke
being quiet this summer. Yes, we have a little over a month before training camp starts, so Burke still has some time left.
* Many of the mainstream media guys being on vacation. Time to get back to work.
* The spam e-mails I keep receiving, asking me if I want to buy a case of field hockey sticks.
* One local sports radio station not talking enough about hockey. But when they do, they get everything wrong, so they may be better off not talking hockey.
* Searching my favorite Web sites, looking for hockey news and not finding any.
* The type of person you meet every so often who claims to be an expert but calls Steven Stamkos
Steve when doing a video interview with him at the NHL Awards Show.
* The athlete who thinks it is all about him. Luckily, in our game, we don't see that type of player very often.
* People suggesting a trade when it will not fit under the team's salary cap structure.
* NFL training camp talk. I want my hockey, not football.
* Going to YouTube, searching for "NHL" and getting more videos of video games instead of real hockey.
* Hockey hats that are half mesh. I owned a few, but tossed them away yesterday.
* Some unrestricted free agents feeling they are worth way more than what the market is telling them.
* Dreaming about dropping the puck. I want the real thing now.
* The kids down the street playing street hockey with a softball and the goalie wearing a football helmet.
* Driving by local hockey rinks and thinking the ice is not "in" yet.
* My barber asking for free hockey tickets. As I told my gas station attendant, do you give me free gas?
* The guy at the local watering hole who told me he played for the Detroit Red Wings
. When I asked who he was he said I shouldn't even have to ask. When I questioned him about some of his teammates, he named people I never heard of. Busted!
* Looking at some NHL rosters and thinking of a few tweaks that could be made. OK, I am taking off my GM hat.
* Me being grouchy today. I am just tired of all the action off the ice, instead of where it belongs -- on the ice. Hopefully next week I am in a better mood.
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