As the mid-week negotiations between the NHL (Bettman, Daly et al.) and the NHLPA (The Brothers Fehr) came to a fizzling end on Thursday afternoon and as the league’s fan base grows increasingly jaded and agnostic, I figured it was time to roll out . . . 5 reasons why I’m looking forward to Sound Tigers hockey. Some funny, some serious, some tongue-in-cheek and in no real particular order; but all very true nonetheless.
# 5 – Boat rides! – Everyone loves boat rides, right? I sure as heck know my 4 year old son does. In fact, he’ll probably wind up talking us into season tickets after his first foray across the sound on the Bridgeport – Port Jeff ferry. For about what it costs to park in the lot in Uniondale, a passenger can traverse Long Island sound from Port Jefferson to Bridgeport, and then it’s walking distance from the dock to the arena where Le Tigres call home. Check out the ferry website for package deals to get up to a game.
# 4 – The D – The Isles system is chock full ‘o prospects on the blue line. Calvin De Haan,Matty Donovan, the already established Travis Hamonic, and Aaron Ness highlight a Sound Tigers defensive corps that could shine this season. If and when there is an NHL season, we could definitely see two, and likely all four of those fellas at the Coliseum at some point.
# 3 – The Logo – Take a look at this thing!
It’s phenomenal! Look closely, it’s a friggin’ tiger jumping out of the Long Island sound! What’s not to love? Not sure what side you lay on in the argument of ‘modern style’ vs. ‘old school classic’, but me? I’m sold. I could be a little bit biased considering I’m alum of one of the finest institutions in the northeast, SUNY Stony Brook, and their own modern version of a team logo; a wolf jumping out of the sound. Yea, the Seawolves. What’s a Seawolf you ask? Exactly. Hung up on the whole ‘terrestrial animals living in an aquatic habitat’ dichotomy? Just embrace it, drink it right on in. At any rate, me thinks I might need a new jersey if this lockout continues. Ummm hmmmm.
# 2 – The Netminders – Who is fired up about these goalies? I am [hand raised]. Super Swede Anders Nilsson caught my attention last May when he blanked the eventual Eastern Conference champion NJ Devils to not only notch his first win but (gasp!) to kinda keep the Isles close to that 8th playoff spot. And I’ll admit, I’m a titch higher on Anders than I am on the other guy, Patrick Roy’s favourite, Kevin Poulin. Call me crazy (it keeps me from going insane) but knee injuries, and just plain old injuries in general, have me a little weary of goaltenders and the Isles these days. I have a hunch that Anders is our guy.
# 1 – Brock Nelson – Just sounds like a hockey player with that name doesn’t he? Big fan here. I celebrate his entire career. 21 years old and a heckuva hockey pedigree. He was a finalist for the Minnesota Mr. Hockey award as a high school player at Warroad HS in Minny and then went on to be a point per game player at University of North Dakota for two years before heading to BPT. 6′ 3″ and just shy of two bills. If your not familiar with North Dakota, they are to hockey what Florida is to college football (sorry Texas) and North Carolina is to college hoops (sorry Dook). He will be centering Kirill and Nino this fall. Develop, develop, and then develop some more. Ripen up there Brock. We need ya brother.
What are you looking forward to? Anything? Drop a note in the comments section. Thanks for stopping by.
Keep on keepin’ on hockey fans.
Twitter: @tobysmithny, @islestalk