Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here

Salutations, Hockey Independent readers.

Allow me to introduce myself – the name’s Frank Nova. While the name isn’t that familiar to most (truth be told, probably any) of you, you may know me better by my nom de blog “Forklift”, over at Hockeenight. I’ve also shown up a few times in the Committed Indian, and I’ve done a guest spot on other sites here and there. I’m also part of the Hockeenight Puckcast (available on iTunes!), enjoyed by tens of listeners.

For those of you unfamiliar with our work over there, we’ve managed to achieve some acclaim in our almost four years of covering the Chicago Blackhawks.

Now then…by now you’ve probably gotten over your disappointment of clicking on the Indian Head and not seeing Al Cimaglia’s insights. But you’ve hung in there long enough to get to this point. And for that, I thank you. I guess here’s where I should probably let you know what you can expect when you see my byline pop up…

I’ve been a Blackhawks fan for almost all of my 49+ years on this planet. My dad was always able to scrounge up tickets to a couple games a year, usually against the Seals or Penguins. He would take me down to Morrie Mages every fall to get a new stick (always a Northland), and a new Hawks’ jersey to replace the one I grew out of – then, as now, I always got a #21.

Unfortunately, Dad left us April 1, 2010, right before the greatest playoff run of my lifetime. But we both enjoyed being in New York in 1994, when the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, albeit in Ranger uniforms.

One thing that’s happened as the years have gone by, is that I’ve developed a love for players for different reasons. Each time we went to games in the late 60s/early 70s, there was this one leather-lunged guy who just hated Pat Stapleton. I mean he despised Whitey. I never had much in the way of feelings for Whitey one way or the other, wishing as every little boy did then that Bobby Orr played for my team. It wasn’t until later on that I started hearing stories about what a character Whitey was that I developed a deep love for the man.

Which brings us to what you can expect here. In depth analysis? No, probably not too much of that. I mean, you don’t need me to tell you how brutal the Blackhawks’ power play is. There will be a lot of joking around though, on a more family-friendly level than what you see over at Hockeenight.

Because the thing to remember here is, hockey is a game. It’s supposed to be fun. It’s played in a building full of beer drinking loudmouths, not a cathedral. We’re here to have a good time. Or at least that’s what I’m here for.

So if there’s something going on in Chicago or elsewhere in the NHL that needs to be made fun of, I’m your man. Take that as warning, guys who wear #69 jerseys. Or people who have handmade signs in standing room. Or people in face paint. Or people who stand behind Steve Konroyd with puppets of themselves. Actually, especially the people with the puppets. Those things are just creepy.

Oh, also Ronnie Woo Dio, that guy with the long hair and knockoff jersey they keep showing on the United Center Jumbotron. The band that plays at Blackhawks games. Don Cherry. Pat and Edzo. The Madhouse Burger. Nickelback. Pretty much anything else that rattles around my mostly empty head.

There may even be the occasional serious piece here. But I probably wouldn’t get too used to those if I were you.

So, now that I feel a timer just went off and our speed date is done, let’s see where this takes us.

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About the Author: Spent my formative years breathing in the rarified air of the second balcony at Chicago Stadium. Refined my flair for colorful euphemisms in the blue seats at Madison Square Garden. Now a curmudgeon in the 300 level in the United Center. My musings can also be found at Hockeenight.com...and yes, I muse.

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  1. morpheus says:

    “There will be a lot of joking around though, on a more family-friendly level than what you see over at Hockeenight.”

    I am reminded of the Match Game scene in “Private Parts”… your clue is ________ Willow. That’s ___________ Willow.