Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy Hockey New Year

July first is Canada Day, the NHL & AHL's UFA Day, and the unofficial Hockey New Year in the North American pro leagues.  July fourth is the equivalent national holiday south of the 49th.  Therefore today (the fifth) seems like an appropriate day to really kick off the new year of hockey.*
Happy Hockey New Year, Everyone! (All Photos Credit: M. Richter)
I'm also going to apologize now - this post is going to be a bit of an info-dump, designed to catch things up to the present.  There's a bit of personal, a bit of rec league antics, and a bit of Caps-related news.

*I should note that USA Hockey defines the new year as beginning September 1, though if you tried to renew your status as a registered player after May 15 you paid an extra $10 and got the summer tacked onto your next season's (in this case, 2012-13) registration.

June made me want to do this. A lot. I never expected to have so much in common with Martin Brodeur.
Personal & Rink-Related:

To put it bluntly, June was a disaster for me.  The lone bright spots were an unfortunately timed trip up to the SCF Game 5 in Newark (the day after a death at work), and the Draft (my first time attending!  Angie Lewis (@LadyHatTrick) came along to serve as copilot).

Both were primarily social endeavors, though I ended up with some great pictures from Game 5.  I kept hoping things would ease up, but apparently it was just one of those months where you pay off years of bad karma in a few short weeks.

In rink news, during June I spent more time on the phone with 911 than I had in the entire course of my life prior to that (and I've worked in several physician's offices).   Here are some of the things that can happen in recreational hockey, for those curious:

  • Bilateral Jaw Fracture + 5 Lost Teeth.  Result: The player has his jaw wired shut for at least 6 weeks.  I don't care how macho you think you are, gentlemen.  WHEN YOU PLAY REC HOCKEY, WEAR A CAGE.
  • Cardiac/Respiratory Event.  These can happen anywhere, but if they do, make sure you know where your AED is.  It would also have been nice if EMS hadn't taken 23 minutes to respond to the call.
  • Dislocated knee, associated ligament damage.  Result: Player had to be hauled out on a gurney with full joint immobilization.
  • High Ankle Sprain (initially suspected to be a broken bone in the lower leg).  Luckily, in this case we got to cancel the ambulance request when we were able to get the player mobile.
All of the above happened in the course of roughly two weeks.  Apparently my workplace was paying off the LA Kings Stanley Cup Victory in advance.  To make things even better, to close out the month we lost power for roughly 3 days due to the recent storm.  All of our ice melted, though we're back up and running now.  As a result, our summer rec season gets to be a week longer, in order to accommodate the 30 games that needed rescheduling.

Those Washington Capitals
D-Camp kicks off next Monday, and next Wednesday will mark the one year anniversary of my getting press credentials.  I'm looking forward to camp itself, not the least of which because I actually know what I'm doing this year.

The prospect roster has been published, although the complete list of invitees won't be confirmed until the start of camp.  In my experience, one of the most useful pieces of D-Camp is getting a look at those invitees - several will likely sign with Hershey next year after completing their NCAA careers.

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