Friday, 22 January 2016

Into Year Ten

It's hard to believe that I've been doing this thing for nine full years. What started as a "post when I feel like it" hockey blog on January 21, 2007 has morphed into an everyday passion of following the game I love so dearly. We've seen leagues fold (Central Hockey League), grow and expand (AHL, ECHL), arrive anew (CWHL, NWHL), and reconfigure themselves (NHL) over the last nine years, and I'm sure we'll see the hockey landscape change further as the game presses on. The only question that really needs to be asked is how much longer will I be tracing the contour lines of this ever-changing landscape.

This blog has changed a number of times, and with these changes has come some better understanding of HTML coding on my part. There have been some swings and misses on a few items, but the majority of items I've learned to code and add to the blog have been beneficial in my opinion. The drop-down lists on the right, the menu at the top, the expandable links within blog posts, and adding visual elements like falling snow to images have been some of the coding I've managed to figure out and apply to this ol' site. Hopefully, these pieces of code have enhanced the experience you've had on this blog as I try to keep things organized.

September 2012 brought about a new venture as UMFM approached me about starting a radio show all about hockey on their chosen space in the airwaves. While there were some conceptual stuff that needed to be worked out in the summer before we hit the air, the first episode of The Hockey Show went live on the air in our previous half-hour format on September 13, 2012 with the NHL lockout looming. It's not the greatest time for a new hockey radio show to get started, but we've been networking like crazy over the last three years and the results have been encouraging as we've had on a pile of fascinating guests.

It also came to light over the last three years that The Hockey Show was Canada's only campus-produced hockey radio show in the nation, and we're pretty proud of this fact. While there are other sports shows out there, I want to thank our listeners for making us the best campus-produced hockey radio show across Canada. We love the interaction, we're planning on welcoming another pile of awesome guests, and we'll keep running giveaways as often as we can because we'd be nothing without our listeners.

This is post #3100 on this blog. I'm not sure how much longer it will run as life has this ability to get in the way. It has run some interference in the last month with a number of commitments eating into my free time in the evenings where I normally set aside a pile of time for writing, research, and speaking with contacts. If you feel that I've been a ghost lately when it comes to the commitment to HBIC, I feel that way too. Once I get past mid-February, I should have more time to rededicate myself to the greatest game on the planet. Until then, bear with me, folks.

It's hard to imagine that after ten years I'd still be doing this for fun. If you had asked me ten years ago if I'd still be doing it for the love of the game, it may have been hard to answer positively. As you may be aware, this blog isn't monetized in any way, and I really rely on the generosity of others to make things like the HBIC Playoff Pool and some of the product reviews happen. In saying this, I want to thank all of the vendors, merchants, businesses, and prize donors for all of the merchandise and products I've given away in the last nine years. Without your support, HBIC wouldn't have made it as far as it has with its readers.

Speaking of readers, thank you to each and every one of you for the last nine years. We haven't always seen eye-to-eye, but the passion and discussions have been excellent. Feel free to engage me on Twitter or on my Facebook page where hockey chatter is always in session, and make comments here whenever you like. Call me out if I say or write something dumb. Give me a thumbs-up if you read something you like. At the end of the day, I appreciate you as readers more than you may think and it's entirely why I give away as much stuff as I can during contests.

Nine years. Man, does time fly. Let's see what Year Ten holds for HBIC. Thanks, everyone.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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