Hello Florida and everywhere else, I'm Bird and welcome back to Hockeybird.
There are a lot of things I'd love to explain about who I am and what Hockeybird used to be so you can get a feel for what we will attempt to do here over the course of the upcoming season. Of course you should read the History Of Hockeybird articles I put together a few Augusts ago.
Briefly, I fell in love with hockey in the sixties when there were only six NHL teams, the "Original Six" as they're fondly referred to. I played as a kid but left the game only to return before I turned 30. I was lucky enough to become a goalkeeper and won championships as well as playing as a practice keeper for the NY Islanders in '96-'97. I often got called in to help NHL players stay in shape or work out afterwards and even practiced with the US Olympic team.
I was a New York Ranger fan and Hockeybird was kind of the grandfather of the "hockey blog" spawning Hockeyrodent.com and Rangerland.net. This past playoff season as the Rangers were defeated early I made the decision to jump ship and join the Cats. It's been a thought I had for a while and I decided now was the right time. I won't carry every tradition we had, instead I hope to create new ones that are Panther specific and see where it goes.
There is one tradition I do want to continue.
Every year for the last 15 I have published an article recounting one story from September 11th, 2001. I think it's important that we not forget what happened that day.
We will begin this trip by covering the World Cup and then dive into the preseason. I hope you enjoy it and I do hope you'll send me notes, comments, suggestions and when you disagree, let me know!
Oh, I almost forgot. I've been reading the Rat Trick site and like it. Here's their pre World Cup article on the four Cats playing in the tourney.