Thursday, July 7, 2011

The 1st Step is Always the Hardest

There are many great hockey blogs/news sites out there. This is not one of them. (yet..I hope)

For more professional, and perhaps fun, sites out there here are two of my favorites:

Illegal Curve (Winnipeg Sports)
The OilersNation (Great articles about the Oilers)

I'll never be as good as the people who write for these websites, but what I hope to offer is an everyday fan's look and opinion on the great sport of hockey. All opinions on here are my own and if I'm going to quote a real news story I will provide the website where I found it. Rumors and professional sports go hand in hand, I don't have sources or even people who know people (who might know someone), I will give you thoughts and opinions on hockey. That's it that's all. If I'm lucky you'll like what you read and come back for more.

Comments are always welcomed and appreciated. If you think I'm out to lunch tell me that. Keep it civil. Let's talk some hockey!

Summer..the bane of hockey fans everywhere. After the Free Agent Frenzy is complete there are only tidbits of information thrown out to us like breadcrumbs to the birds to fight over and dissect. I am definitely one of those who scour the web and sports newscasts searching for something, anything to read and discuss. Thankfully, unlike days gone by, there are far more outlets of media to scour. Growing up all we had were the newspapers. Where, if lucky, you'd be given a small blurb of information on the side column of the sports section right next to the baseball and football scores. Today we've got bloggers, posters, online newspapers, videos, and Twitter. But this is summer, all the rivers of hockey information has slowed to a trickle. We're relegated to minor contract signings or 3rd/4th line players who are getting 2-way contracts. Or if we're lucky Brian Burke will hold another news conference to trumpet his values, perhaps another interview with Craig Ramsay (new Ass. Coach w/ Florida Panthers)?

Biggest story so far to me is the announcement of the Prospects Game/Tourney being held in Penticton this fall. Teams including the San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, and Winnipeg Jets!  For the Jets this great, they weren't able to hold a development camp this year so it will be very beneficial for the Scouts/Coaching staff to see the prospects playing together in a game setting. The Jets staff will then be able to determine who is ready for the main camp invites.

Development Camps such as the one being help by the Edmonton Oilers are very beneficial to young players. It allows them to learn about life outside of junior/university hockey. There are lifestyle classes as well as training regimes given to the players to guide them into their professional careers. It is also great for the fans to get their first glimpses of tomorrow's stars. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is making quite the impression right now to the hometown media. These top-prospects (Hall and Eberle last year) can almost do no wrong, they are a ribbon cutting and 3 kissed babies away from running for political office. They are media darlings, their interviews are gobbled up by hockey fans everywhere. Every little story coming from an NHL team these long, hot summer days are we have to get us into the fall and the start of Training Camps. Bring on the cold, bring on the snow, bring on the HOCKEY!

If you have made it this far, thank you and come back again soon. I'll have more stuff to talk about I'm sure. I'll also post interviews (mostly from the Jets and Oilers) in future blogs. I'll always be a Jets fan first and foremost, but the dark years when the Coyotes came into being were lit by the Oilers.  Thankfully the Oilers and the Jets are playing in different conferences this year! Too bad it is re-building/development years for both teams. A Jets v. Oilers Stanley Cup would be a dream series for me. I'd have to cheer for the home teams ;)

You can also follow me on Twitter. @PhillipSmithson

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