Hockey’s back… are you?

I’m thrilled that the NHL is back. Last year felt like a limb missing (I grew up on buses traveling through Canada, getting my ass whooped by better hockey players) and June… well, June without the Cup is just wrong.

So, what is to become of the Wings?

Last night was very encouraging, although the Blues are a God-awful miserable squad. They’ll miss the playoffs for the first time since 1980 (I don’t feel bad… not even a little). The Wings looked quite good, though. For as much chatter as there is out there about the Wings going downhill… batsqueeze. The Wings are set up to be the best franchise in hockey for a long time. Why?

1) with all else equal, the teams that draft the best and manage their resources the best will have the natural advantages. The Wings do those things better than anyone.
2) the game is now more of a European-style game; fast, nimble, quick and smart. The Wings have been better than anyone in scouting and developing European players.
3) As we’ve seen, the support here for an original six team is almost unmatched. Players like being treated like rock stars. Here, they are. Nashville? San Jose? Not so much.

So, I’m back (although I never left). The game is IMMENSELY more enjoyable, the new rules are way overdue, and the fire is back.

The question is: are YOU back? Are you willing to forgive the NHL and the players for last season?

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