It’s just after 6 pm on Friday, October 12, 2012.
I should be at Joe Louis Arena. I should be down in my spot at the bottom of the stairs, pressed up against the glass waiting for the guys to come out for warm-ups so I can take pictures. And then I should be up in my seat somewhere up near the rafters waiting for the season-opening player introductions. (Which, in a perfect world, would be done by Budd Lynch. Rest in peace, sir.) And then I should be up on my feet cheering, and at the end of the game I should be happily singing “Don’t Stop Believin'” with all the other fans.
But none of this is happening today.
I’m at home in Toledo, typing from my desktop computer, the Joe is locked and dark, and at least half the team has scattered to play for European teams.
Curse you, Gary Bettman! *shakes fist at sky*
I know Bettman’s mostly the mouthpiece for the owners. But he does guide the policy of the Board of Governors, and this is the third lockout of his tenure. He’s awfully trigger-happy with the arena padlocks, let’s put it like that.
During the 2004-05 lockout, I was completely hockey-deprived. I didn’t realize then that I had non-NHL options. But now I know better.
I ordered a Grand Rapids Griffins TV package. Hooray!
So for this season (because with the rhetoric coming from the NHL and NHLPA, I really don’t think they’re going to salvage much of a season), this is going to be a Griffins blog.
I’ll admit that I may be getting in over my head with this. I know the Griffins pretty well from watching them last season, but the rest of the AHL teams? Barely at all. I can’t even name all the TEAMS yet without looking them up, let alone tell you about key players for each of the Griffins’ opponents.
It’s going to be a learning process.
But I will try to bring you quality Griffins blogging as best I can. I’ll try to include some coverage of the Toledo Walleye as well, but that may be a little harder. I live within 10 miles of their arena, but their games only air on our local public access sports channel, and they almost NEVER air live. But I’ll do what I can.
Meanwhile, the puck is about to drop on the 2012-13 AHL season in about half an hour. I’ve got my place on the sofa for tonight’s game, and I actually have tickets to go up to Grand Rapids to watch the Griffins play the Hamilton Bulldogs in person tomorrow night.
I’m not just going to try to make the best of the lockout, I’m going to try to have fun with it.