Thursday, September 15, 2005

Colorado Avalanche Camp Opens

In case you hadn't heard, the NHL is back! The Avs opened camp this week. The NHL will have a new look this year and if you've ever been remotely interested in hockey this is a great year to start getting into it. Chances are that your hometown team has as much of a shot to win the Stanley Cup as any other team (well, ok, the Red Wings and Stars don't have a chance...)

I personally celebrated the return of the NHL with a goal in our men's league championship game victory. It capped a personal best five-game scoring streak. That's not bad for a guy who grew up playing goalie. And thanks to Scott McNealy, I get to play at a pretty nice rink.

So why does this year have so much potential to be more exciting than years past?
A few reasons:
  1. A salary cap has been put in place that forced a lot of teams to shuffle their lineups. Many superstars have switched teams. The financial playing field has been leveled significantly for small market and Canadian teams.

  2. Sidney Crosby, the most highly touted player to come out of the Canadian major junior leagues since Mario Lemieux (think Wayne Gretzky or (gasp) LeBron James). Interestingly, Crosby lives with Mario and will be playing on a line with Mario in Pittsburgh this year.

  3. New rules designed to open up the game and increase scoring. I'm taking a wait-and-see approach to this. I think the shootout will be huge. I like that ties are gone and fans have to leave the rink happy or sad. In truth, I wished that the owners would remove some seats and put in place international-sized ice sheets. The impact to revenue would be significant but I think we'd finally see truly awesome hockey. Anyway, maybe we'll get to see Peter Forsberg play hockey instead of football (sigh).

  4. Players will be more involved in marketing campaigns. Players will be more recognizable like they are in the other three sports. Rumors are going around that goalies will be able to customize their uniforms like their masks, and possibly sell advertising on their jerseys. All this coming from the "aw shucks" league or "I got lucky on that last goal. I'm just trying to work hard and take it one game at a time." ZZZZZZ zzzzzzz ZZZZZZZZZ zzzzzzzz.
And finally, the true reason to get excited again is the Stanley Cup will find its way back to its familiar, comfortable home in beautiful Colorado. I can't wait to see my third Stanley Cup parade.


Father of 3 said...

That cup would actually look good in the Big Apple next year. As sports go on NY this year, the Rangers have a better shot than the Yanks, Mets, Knicks, Jets or Giants.

darprice said...

The Red Wings still aren't looking too shabby and are considerably younger than you suggest. Check out this article before counting them out. Not saying they'll be in the finals as I think that'll come from the East with either Philly or even Atlanta (should they manage to land Ilya), but I think that Detroit will outlast the Avs (as per usual)...