Thu Nov 24 01:51pm EST
(Ed. Note: It's Turkey Day here in the U.S., which means it's an untypical day here at Puck Daddy. Please join us in celebrating the game in these special posts today. Here's a collection of "what we're thankful for" observations from some of Puck Daddy's blogging friends and family.)
Darren R Pang - I want to be Darren Pang when I grow up. Following him on twitter @Panger40 allows me to travel the world in the off-season, eat at the finest restaurants, enjoy the finest wines and break down hockey games. All this is achieved from my home office.
The influence of Canada on my life - When discussing Thanksgiving, I refer to it as American or Canadian Thanksgiving. My family and friends look at me and wonder why. I drink Molson XXX, I search for over-the-counter drugs containing codeine #3 and whenever I can, enjoy a fine Cuban cigar.
I teach my friends' children it is pronounced "zed" and not "z", buy milk in a bag when possible and travel to Leamington to buy my tomatoes. You see, I am part Canadian even though I am not.
Mark Howe and his siblings - I now feel at ease knowing my idol, Gordie Howe, is in good hands.
Hockey 'newbies' - I have been 'on the web' for over seven years and have received some strange questions from folks who are new to our game. Why is the blueline blue, Why aren't the names of the players on the front of the jersey sweater instead of the back, At what temperature does a puck freeze and How do they get the ice white are some of the questions I have received over the years.
Answering them makes me feel I have contributed in a small way of educating the hockey fan and it makes me feel good.
The NHL fully embracing the Internet age - Because oh man, have you seen how much MLB hates technology? It's the same anger you'd get from Lambert if you told him that not only was the Crystal Castles concert he was going to canceled but that it was because Trevor Gillies(notes) decapitated Ethan Kath.
Thank you, NHL Network - For hiring Kathryn Tappen. But seriously that channel is the best thing that's happened for hockey on TV since HD.
Fandom - And finally, I'm thankful for hockey fandom. I've met a ton of cool people and have had some great experiences through the wonder of the blogging community. The sport allows all of us geeks and couldn't-cut-it jocks to have something to direct our energy and attention to during the nine coldest months of the year.
New Media - I'm most thankful for the fact that the NHL has embraced new media and allows fans to enjoy what is slowly becoming an all-access look into the game. NHL Center Ice, GameCenter, 24/7, NHL.com, NHL Network, etc put the league light years ahead of Major League Baseball and the NBA and ensure the league of a bright future. A great time to be a hockey fan entering my prime.
Tradition - Hockey is full of traditions; and they help keep a code between players and fans a like. Everything from the most basic of gestures like a hand shake line at the end of a playoff series (or Winter Classic - as long as the Penguins are not involved) to those of throwing and octopi or a hat on the ice.
The hockey community - The way everyone can hate one another for donning a different logo and colors but when it matters everyone comes together in October for Breast Cancer awareness, or the current Mo'vember campaign, and for the families of Lokomotiv.
The Southeast - The fact that all the Caps have to do is catch the Florida Panthers to regain the division lead.
James O'Brien, Pro Hockey Talk
Bruce Boudreau - All apologies to Guy Boucher's GIF-generating rage-outs, but Bellicose Bruce's reactions are the gold standard among NHL coaches. His face is hockey's most glorious mood ring - with bonus points if you imagine it brimming with Baskin Robbins.
Dale Tallon - Brian Burke seeks out the attention, but has any GM entertained as much as Tallon? The faxing/salary cap issues in Chicago ... signing, then trading for Brian Campbell(notes) (and then having it work out) ... generally looking kind of funny ... Tallon deserves his own honorary post, if you ask me.
The first few jokes in a #hashtagmeme - You won't find better moments than the first 30-ish minutes of a hilarious meme that eventually gets beaten to death.
Doc Emrick and Razor Reaugh - Anyone who can't love the sport's greatest thesaurus (Emrick) and dictionary (Reaugh) owns a dark, cruel soul.
24/7 - The greatest gift to hockey since the enforcement of obstruction penalties is just around the corner.
HBO's 24/7 - For teaching hockey coaches around the globe that when the chips are down, you gotta remind guys to get their asses outta their heads.
Mr. Down Goes Brown, Sean McIndoe - Any guy that can remind hockey fans that we're watching a game for kicks and not World War III is alright in my books. Also, the "Kyle Wellwood is fat" horse is not yet dead. Please continue beating.
Twitter - For breaking NHL news at an insane rate. ...And then having that same news re-break via 55 people in the next 10 minutes.
Chekhov Vityaz - For becoming hockey's version of Australia. "So, we sent our criminals where now?"
The post rec-game beer - When your job is as sedentary as blogging, a good skate and a cold can takes me to my version of Shooter McGavin's happy place.
Ryan Lambert - What We Learned Mondays, Trending Topics Friday and the general trollishness that Twolinepass brings to the Puck Daddy blog to remind us all sometimes that hey "it's just a game."
Fake Twitter Accounts - From the dead-on ramblings of @DonCherryParody to the fake reporter accounts that pop up every trading deadline and send the hockey universe aflutter with reports of a huge trade… I am so thankful for the people who take time to tweet these fake tweets out each and every day.
Real Twitter Accounts - From the madness between Ron Wilson, Brian Burke and Steve Simmons to the daily wisdom of Paul Bissonnette(notes) to the chirping back and forth between brothers-in-law Jon Quick and Matt Moulson(notes)… the fact that fans like us have a tool that allows us to hear the innermost thoughts of our favorite players, coaches and GM's still blows my mind. And especially when Brett Hull asks us if it's 420 yet.
Players Still Dumb Enough to Hit From Behind or Target the Head - For without these players we would be denied the daily presence of Brendan Shanahan(notes), Senior VP of Player Safety. If Shanahan makes any more appearances in these videos, he's going to earn an Emmy nomination for Best Reality Show Host.
Kings GM Dean Lombardi - Sure, I may be biased because he's my GM. But I'm thankful for an NHL General Manager who isn't afraid to remind Mike Murphy(notes) that he didn't get the job or tell Dustin Penner that he may be better off batting clean-up for a men's softball team.
NHL GameCenter Live/Center Ice - Whether you want to watch it on your HDTV, your computer, your iPhone or your iPad… the great sport of hockey is available to us in so many different ways right now the idea that only 4 years ago, Chicago Blackhawks home games weren't even broadcast in Chicago seems so unreal. We can now be in a bar in Boston to watch the Canucks, riding a train in New Mexico to watch the Rangers or sneak glimpses of the Blue Jackets when being forced to see Twilight with our wives. Okay, let's be honest… no one is watching the Blue Jackets.
The Return of Crosby - But only if it ramps up Ovi's game.
Joe Beninati, Craig Laughlin and Alan May - For teaching us the Xs and Os.
The Fabulous Burke Boys - Hockey Heroes.
Pho DC - Chinatown's best pre-game restaurant (and hopefully our first advertiser. Hint).
Russian Machine - For their zany, madcap style and friendship.
The Hockey Family - For the warm welcome, proving that hockey is for everyone.
The Code - Every week there's a new festival of frontier justice, classlessness, perceived slights, humorless Canadian newspaper columns, donkeys, clowns, stand-up guys, Shanabans, and nostalgia for Dave Semenko -- all in the name of The Code. It's a merry-go-round that doesn't come close to existing in any other sport (ha, baseball WISHES) and it's glorious.
Bill Patrick's wedding announcement - Required reading.
Keith Jones - Such a gentle soul in the studio. Having him back after watching a night of Edzo's simmering rage -- I'm genuinely surprised he didn't murder Jeremy Roenick with his bare hands-- was like waking up with a fever and having your mom bring you a cold washcloth and ginger ale. And if you watch him while other people are speaking, he looks like a well-trained labrador straining to remain obedient.
The "History Will Be Made" commercials - A few glasses of wine and an endless loop of Steve Yzerman, "You've done it, Lanny," confetti and ticker tape, baby Toews, and Patrick and I'm crying like it's the ending of Beaches. I'm crying right now. Hold me.
Roid Rage Ben Affleck - Because he destroys everything in his bedroom EXCEPT the Red Wings poster.
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