Well, well, well… Look what the cat dragged in…
It has been more than a minute since I last made an appearance in the old blogosphere but, despite my many efforts to convince myself that I was done forever, I am back.
So where the hell have I been?
Before we get to that, some of you may be asking, “Who in the hell is this guy?”
Name’s JJ. How goes it?
I was a founding member of the NYI Blog Box, alongside your fearless leader, Mr. B.D. Gallof and a slew of others that have gone on to… Well, something, I’m sure. I worked at that HockeyBuzz place for a few years and had a pretty good run there before jumping to Kukla’s Korner, which was cool (until it wasn’t). I’ve posted guest spots all over the web and putzed around on the radio across a pair of glorious countries. (You guess which ones.) So that’s pretty much that about that.
Which brings us (briefly) to my disappearance. In a nutshell, my last stint left a very sour taste in my mouth and the parting was terribly timed. Like a worn-down vet cut in the final stages of training camp, I had trouble finding a suitable spot in NHL circles. It was looking like the KHL, so to speak, or nothing. I chose the latter. If I’m being honest, which I tend to do, I never would have picked nothing over something if I still had the mojo – but I didn’t. I was beat. I had seen the hockey world’s wizard behind the curtain and it took a lot away from the one side of me that started all of this: The hockey fan. So, I bailed…
In the meantime, I’ve drastically altered career paths, sold a house and moved, spent tons of time with my family and the change in direction, overall, has been good to me. I also got back to taking in as much Islanders hockey as possible which has, well… You know… Same ol’…
What’s happened in the hockey world since then?
Beginning here in Tampa, fans got a dose of reality after a run in 2010-11 that nobody really saw coming and while Phil Esposito got a statue outside the Tampa Bay Times Forum, plans for a similar honor for automatic GM-of-the-millennium, Steve Yzerman, appear to have been put on hold for now.
The hockey world lost far too many of its own in quick and shocking succession. There’s no joke to be made there, of course, even from me. I have no problem admitting that I sat up late at night looking at my fair share of video tributes and had a few sniffles, shall we say, after all of that.
My beloved Islanders continued to defy anything that can be construed as logic, with particular regard of late to a coach who has bumbled and bungled his way to costing his team more games than I’ve seen since Steve Stirling. Or Butch Goring. Or at least Lorne Henning. Or Rick Bowness. Or Bill Stewart. Or… Well, you get it. I could go on…
But the Isles have become such an easy target that we’ll believe anything we’re told. The latest, of course, being the (tall?) tale about GM Garth Snow trying to peddle his entire draft to Columbus for the chance to take Ryan Murray (or maybe Nail Yakupov? Or was it Taro Tsujimoto?) That story was refuted recently in the New York Post and I actually think Snow had a decent first day in free agency, what with the no-risk, high-reward potential of signing Brad Boyes for a million bucks and beefing up on the blue line with ex-Senator Matt Carkner. Then there’s Eric Boulton. Meh. And the loss of P.A. Parenteau to the Colorado Avalanche. More meh there for me, with a congrats to P.A. for cashing in on the season that he’ll never again replicate.
We’ll see how the rest of the off-season plays out on Long Island (with the mandate of ridiculously tempered expectations firmly in place, naturally). I think they gotta go trade, personally, if they want to improve at all in the short-term. Enough about them, though, as I’m sure they’ll be more from me on that note, somewhere down the road…
Let’s see.. What else has happened? Nicklas Lidstrom retired. (Does that do it for the roster of NHLPA ’93?)
The 8th-seeded Los Angeles Kings went, like, 146-2 down the stretch and won the Cup, giving all kinds of hope to every team (except for Toronto – and, if there is a God, the Rangers) in the future.
Every player in the league now has some sort of no-trade/no-move clause.
Pat Burns, Brendan Shanahan, Fred Shero and many more (including Mike Milbury in the builder’s category) were Hall of Fame snubs, thanks to the secret society that is the selection committee and its silly, mysterious, you-tell-me-they-don’t-make-them-up-as-they-go rules.
Players cursed on TV during and after the Cup Final, people freaked the freak out and I sighed, loudly.
Zach Parise and Ryan Suter still haven’t signed (bastards!)
And, as I look over my shoulder, somebody told Katy Perry she was important enough to put out a movie. (What’s going on here?)
I’m pretty sure that covers all of the important stuff. No? What did I miss?
Anyway, I’m back, kids. Probably just a little, here and there, but this stuff’s fun. And now that I’ve found the fun button again, we can hang out some. With a little extra time on my hands at night these days, coupled with the fact that I often catch my wife watching The Pregnant Real Bachelorettes of Vampireland in Heels (or something), it’s not like I’m going to tune in with her any time soon…
No promises, no direction, no rules. I’m just here for the party.
New friends, old, whatever… Feel free to drop me a line some time, if the mood suits you right.
I’ve even rebooted the old @JonJordan Twitter account, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Parise or Suter sign yet?
As you were.
I’ll see you soon (if you’ll have me…)
About the Author: Jon Jordan established himself as one of the web's most reliable resources on the Tampa Bay Lightning for four-plus seasons, covering the Bolts for HockeyBuzz.com and then Kukla's Korner, as well as contributing several guest spots around the web and in print, including Yahoo! Sports, McKeen's Hockey, AOL Fanhouse, NBC/Versus and of course, a stint right here at HI. "JJ" has offered his opinion as a guest on dozens of radio shows across the US and Canada, most notably featured on SiriusXM's NHL Home Ice, and co-founded and co-hosted "The Bolts Beat" podcast (formerly known as "BoltsBuzz Radio") which ultimately became "Hockey Night in Tampa Bay" on the local airwaves at ESPN1040 in Tampa. Outside of hockey, Jon co-founded and served as contributing editor for LockedInMMA.com, focusing on the Florida fight scene and covers college basketball for Sports Direct, Inc. After stepping away from hockey coverage almost completely for the 2011-12 season, Jon will contribute intermittently here again in 2012-13.