Just back from a couple weeks away in the Caribbean Sea does wonders for your 'sorrows' of a losing hockey season.
While I was sad to leave Oiler Country as far as watching my hockey, I was glad to experience sun tanning and Hot weather, along with beaches and all you can eat dining. While on board the Carnival Cruise liner "Freedom", I was able to find my fair share of hockey fans from New York, Boston, Chicago and Detroit. It lead into the early hours of the next day on a couple of occasions, but boy, was it great to talk hockey while in only a tank top and shorts.
I was quite surprised to find as many hockey fans as I did. One couple I met had just recently married and even had their wedding cake made in the form of the Stanley Cup with the Bruins logo on it. Great passion! Now some of the conversations were taken off topic some by the 'drunkeness' of one particular Chicago fan. It went from Tim Thomas standing on his head to Sandberg hitting a home run and waving to the crowd. I was relentless to talk hockey, so I kept bringing this drunk Chicago fan back into the hockey conversation.
After my cruise I spent a few days in Tampa Bay and Orlando and was again surprised to run into more hockey fans in the area. While Tampa may not be a hockey hot bed, it certainly is getting better at discussing hockey and taking the game as one of it's own. Of course their is many Canadian fans of hockey, living in Florida but none of who I am speaking of were Canadian, but have said they have learnt alot about hockey from Canadians living in the south. Definitely winning helps the cause for southern markets.
What amazed me most was the fact "most of the hockey fans I met from other cities", actually knew by name Hall, Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins. Maybe their pronunciations were off, but they knew of the up and coming stars of our team. In fact I would say 8 out of 12 conversations spoke of how highly they like what the Oilers are doing in their rebuild. Really? I guess it gave me renewed optimism. So upon returning, I hear and find out we have fared quite well since the all-star break. (some lapses I know) However in spite of that, we are still looking at a lottery pick at the 2012 NHL entry Draft. That excites me, maybe our veterans are not performing up to par, but our young guns are stepping up to bat and getting some good hits. (Baseball analogy for my new American friends who are now following our blogging here at oilersjambalaya). We may have a ways to go, but that short break away, new friends among the sea's have given me new excitement to finish out this year of Oilers hockey.
Looking forward to getting some blogs out again here at oilersjambalaya.
Cheers Oiler faithful!