Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Hockey Life: Catching up

A number of dispatches, mostly to bring everyone up to speed and, perhaps, explain the lack of posts over the past few weeks:

~ The meeting with the Event Development Institute, affiliated with the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, to bring an international youth hockey tournament to the Tampa Bay area in the next year to 18 months went as well as could be expected -- they let me in the building and didn't call security when I sat down at the table.

Seriously, though, it was a thrill to share this idea with people in place to potentially make it happen. They asked great questions and, hopefully, my answers were good enough. With some luck, we'll move forward with this project. An answer should arrive in the next week or so.

Either way, I'll share the news.

~  A few years ago, I made a deal with Colin. Any time he logged a hat trick, I'd buy him a hat. Earlier today, I kept that promise for the second such time. Eight days ago, in a rec league game for the Pinellas P.A.L. Stars, he scored three times, including the game-tying goal, in a 4-4 game.

What did he get? A knit tuque with headphones built into the ear flaps. Oh, yeah, he also earned his second Player of the Week hard hat from the Stars.

~ On the travel hockey front, Colin scored his first goal of the 2013-14 season. Took him 12 games, mind you, but it wasn't for the lack of trying. At first, he had to get some opportunities at this level. Then, he started hitting goal posts and crossbars. But, on Saturday, he finally lit the lamp, so to speak, with a wrister that eluded the goalie.

It's nice to see his hard work and persistence pay off.

~ The biggest reason I have written much lately? I'm heading into the home stretch of working 23 out of 26 days. Counting up my freelance work and some OT shifts, this is my last of three straight 63-hour weeks. Money's nice and I need to sleep, so something had to give.

Still, it's what this hockey dad has to do.

~ Yes, I also have to catch up with hounding reports. I've been out for the Los Angeles Kings (not so great), Minnesota Wild (the best, so far) and Boston Bruins (not so bad). This week alone, Colin and I will put in some hounding adventures with the N.Y. Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers and, quite possibly, the Pittsburgh Penguins.

You can look forward, too, to the return of Colin's hand-drawn team sheets.

~ For any of you keeping track, you may have noticed that I completed my Long Walk Home earlier this week. More than a year ago, when I started walking on a consistent basis as a way to shed tonnage, I set a goal of walking the 1,254.10 miles from our home in Hockey Bay to my hometown of Machias, N.Y.

With that goal reached, I've set my sights on Machias, Maine, the hometown of my hometown's original settlers, a trek of nearly 800 miles. On Thursday, Colin and I will participate in another father-son adventure, the Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot's 5K Fun Run.

We'll walk, not run. That, alone, will knock out another 3 miles.

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