On The Road

If you didn’t know, I’m on a hockey road trip right now. Headed to Moline, IL for a Quad City Mallards game tonight.

I’m updating quite a bit at the travel microblog, jerseysandhockeylove.com/travel. Cool photos of the arena in Des Moines today.

Imminent Road Trip

I’m looking to take a hockey road trip from January 1st to the 7th. Any suggestions? I’m starting in Denver, and probably heading east, but right now, I have no solid plans. I want to go places I haven’t been yet, so Omaha is on the radar. Where do I need to go?

I Don’t Want to Talk About It

Locked Out!

Locked Out!

There are three kinds of hockey we can talk about: Hockey I can see, hockey I can’t see, and the lockout, which is to say, no hockey at all.  And I want to talk about hockey.

Of course I don’t like the lockout, but what really annoys me is that we’ve heard and read everything about this lockout from the last one.  There is hardly anything original being published, only the names and places change.  We have virtually the same issues  (even the salary cap is being challenged in the media) and virtually the same complaints from the fans, media, players and owners about each other.  Nothing new under the sun.

What does that leave?  There are the minors, and the only minor leagues I’m projected to see this season are the Denver Cutthroats, maybe the Colorado Eagles, and one or two minor league games across the country (San Francisco Bull, I’m looking at you).  Someone recently told me that their favorite posts of mine were the travel posts, when I took in a game in a minor league or junior city (like Johnstown, PA (part 1 and part 2) or recent trips to Odessa, TX and Sioux Falls, SD) or took a road trip through several cities (like my west coast hockey tour).  Now that I’m home in Denver, my travel is cut way back.

There is the hockey I can’t see, which is all the minor league hockey I love that I can only read reports of, just like you.    Fairly pointless, other than to bemoan the lack of hockey I get to see, and update you on stats and reports I am not going to have any more insight than anyone else reading the same thing as me.  So yeah, not going to do that.

The other hockey I can talk about is rec league hockey, and you don’t care about that.  I care, only because I started on my first rec league team this year.  I will say that now, I have 2 PIM (for tripping), which ties me for the lead on my team, and my first official stat ever. I am a goon.  I’m sure this will pop up from time to time.

So what to do?  Keep talking about a lockout that has no end in sight?  I don’t want to do that, but I want to talk about something hockey related.  I want to podcast about hockey as well (and I haven’t really wanted to for a while).

I’m at a loss.  More than anything, I’m going to miss going to minor league games around the country.  The travel is expensive, and I don’t have the discretionary money I used to for hotels, food and gas (and tickets).  If I could, I would go all over the country watching all levels of hockey, and report back to you.  I would take you on a hockey tour of the nation.  For now, I might catch up on some of the games I didn’t post about when I saw them.  There are a few from the West Coast Hockey Tour that never made it to the blog (due to time constraints, we jump ahead in the action).

What do you want to talk about?  The CBA is boring, and every NHL meeting leads to dashed hopes. It’s too frustrating.  So I ask, what should we do here?  What are you still interested in?

Frozen Fury 2008: Better Late Than Never (massive post with lots of photos)

People don’t usually care too much about hockey game after they happen, unless they are epic battles, classic wins, or moments of greatness for ones own team. Even less so for a preseason game with “no consequences.” But the Frozen Fury, held every year at the MGM Grand, is one of those hockey games that is more than just players on ice, it’s an experience for the fans that doesn’t really compare to the rest of the NHL world. Frozen Fury isn’t just a game, it’s an event. There aren’t many any venues in the NHL where you can step out of the game and start gambling. The Frozen Fury is a good litmus test for the NHL moving to Las Vegas, for many a forgone conclusion. While the league looks at Kansas City with scrutiny, Vegas looks like a lock.

It’s well past time I put up my photos and talked about my first time at Frozen Fury. It was my intention to post this right away, but Las Vegas hotels would rather that you were on the casino floor, instead of the internet.

There are going to be a lot of photos, and many of them are not going to be hockey related at first. But stay with me, there are some gems.

There are many types of travelers in the world, and all of them react differently to the various difficulties inherent to the industry. For instance, computer failures. Your boarding pass doesn’t get printed right away, but a bunch of people after you get theirs in a timely fashion. My own sense of traveler zen depends on the amount of time I have arrived at the airport before my flight, and the amount of distraction I have at hand. This was a good day for me.

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Not that I had where to really go, or anything to do in the Kansas City Airport. And calling this and international airport is a bit of a stretch. This is simply a bus depot for planes.
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Compare that to Denver International Airport, with good food, lots of space, and moving walkways from here to eternity.
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To see the rest of this, click the link below. I promise there will be hockey photos, and talk about the game. Really.
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