I stopped by the mailboxes on my way home today and I was thrilled to see the latest issue of the Hockey News waiting for me. I am going on a little vacation to Boston this coming weekend and have saved up three issues to take on the plane with me. I was happy enough to see a new issue of the magazine, but then I pulled it out and saw someone very familiar on the cover. Steven Stamkos. Being dubbed the the NHL's best new player.
It's very refreshing to have such a widespread, respected publication singing the praises of a player in such a non traditional hockey market as Tampa. Either he is just too good to ignore, or the hockey journalists are finally coming around to the idea that not all Sun Belt expansion was a bad thing. Have the Lightning had quite a few lean years? Sure. But so have a lot of franchises that are older. And those same older teams in more traditional markets are having attendance issues as well. It's not a disease relegated to the Southern United States, as much as the people who stand on their soap boxes proclaiming that the league should never have expanded from it's Original Six teams would want you to believe.
Haven't read the article yet, but really looking forward to it.
In other news, I just wanted to say Rest In Peace Leslie Nielsen. A great comedian with amazing comedic timing. He will be missed.
One of my favorite scenes from one of his movies, and it has to do with baseball: