Hi, again, Snakes fans!! Technical difficulties and the Olympics have kept me off this blog, but don't think for a minute I haven't been working on hockey!!
I usually take about a month or so off to decompress. This season was exhilarating but exhausting for me. The playoffs were a blur, but definitely a happy blur!
Have already met with my editor Kevin Price and Jerome for our traditional pre-season planning sessions. Don't know what I've done to deserve the cooperation and support of both of these guys, but I sure appreciate it. Kevin liked my ideas and Jerome will help me make them a reality. Doesn't get much better than this!
My friend Robin Trimarchi has already shot the centerpiece photo for my preview section. Robin has been recuperating from recent surgery. Sure was great to work with her again!! Sorry, Robin...no climbing up on the catwalk or rising above the ice on a forklift. Have I mentioned the L-E photogs will do anything to get a good shot? haha.
It's been so exciting to reconnect with the guys this summer. I've been pleasantly surprised to see the number of them coming back for the toughest task of all...repeating as champions.
There are only 4 that we'll definitely not see in a Snakes sweater this season: Will Barlow, Mitch Wall, Pete MacDougall and Greg Beller. I've already told you that Greg is enrolling in med school and Will is entering the business world. I believe Mitch is going to be back working on his family's farm. Pete has an exciting new career on the horizon. More about that in a few weeks. :) Before you get too excited, still a number of guys on the proverbial fence...sorry.
Still a number of players standing at career crossroads with big decisions coming in the next few weeks. From what I'm hearing, a large core of the roster could be back. How exciting would that be?
The four players mentioned above will be sorely missed. Will's leadership was a large factor in the Snakes' success. Pete and Mitch, though their successes weren't always measured in goals and assists, did their jobs well, night in and night out. Remember how great they were on the line with Sam Bowles late in the season?
Then there's Greg. I've written a ton about Greg and we'll all remember his season of horrific lows :( and the ultimate high. The mystery will always remain as to why Augusta waived him after only one game. No clue, but so glad he came our way!!
In addition to lots of familiar faces returning, there will be a bunch of new guys trying to earn a spot on the SPHL's defending champions' roster. It's exciting when I talk to these guys and hear their enthusiasm. Some of them are ready to pack their bags and come...NOW! haha
Certainly have enjoyed these Olympics. Gymnastics and swimming have absolutely captivated me. My two children were both involved in gymnastics for years. We love the sport and got a tiny peek at the competitive world when our Lindsey competed for several years. From a parent's perspective: nothing in the world worse than the balance beam. UGH. If I had a male child, the equivalent would be the pommel horse. :(
Time to get this day started. Stick with the L-E for more signing news as the Snakes try to assemble another championship team!!