Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Great Expectations

Photo by: St. Petersburg Times

The end of the 2010 baseball season is proving to be more and more like watching Space Mountain. Tonight's loss against the Orioles was like going down a huge drop where your stomach falls through your torso to your toes and the wheels nearly come off your little rocket ship. The more the Sox seem to flail, the more my mind turns to the approaching NHL season. According to the NHL's facebook, it is only 37 days until the puck drops on the new season. Even less time before training camps begin and we start to get answers to a lot of questions about who will do what and where. And if the NHL will ever give approval on a new contract for Ilya Kovalchuk.

If the last few hockey seasons with the Lightning have taught me anything it's that change isn't always good. OK hockey's time in Tampa Bay was a gigantic failure both on and off the ice. I saw my team plummet to the bottom of the standings and become the laughing stock of the league. So, it's understandable that I am a little hesitant to be one hundred percent on board with the new ownership, General Manager, and head coach. All of the skeletons have been cleaned out of the closets at the St. Pete Times forum, though. To quote the song: It's a new dawn, It's a new day, it's a new life.

I am trying to hold everything in check, but it's getting more and more difficult. I mean, our new GM is Steve Yzerman. I have not disagreed with any of the moves he has made in the offseason and things just keep getting better and better. He pretty much finagled Simon Gagne coming to Tampa for Matt Walker and a bag of pucks. Mr. Vinik seems prepared to spend the money and the time to improve the facility and seems to actually care about how the team does. A new glass/boards system has been put into the arena bringing it up to date. We have new zambonis, which are not cheap. We have a new system to maintain the ice surface. We have a very talented new draft pick in Brett Connolly. We have Steven Stamkos whose game continues to mature and who has turned into a scoring dynamo. We have Marty St. Louis back under contract.

We have a lot going for us. I'm excited and nervous for the start of the new season. But really, it can't get here fast enough.

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