As we bustle through the season of holiday fun, snow, and hockey, thought I'd take a few minutes out to make another clarification, if I may so bold as to do so.
Last night on my twitter feed I got a comment (we won't say complaint) that I wasn't talking enough about the Rangers and to stop spending so much time talking about the Coyotes.
First I got annoyed. It was very clear from the beginning - to me at least - that even though the Rangers logo appears and that the Rangers are #1 (in our hearts, not in the standings) that Natural Hat Trick Productions was always a hockey blog. A hockey blog with a Rangers flavor and favortism, but a hockey blog.
After the annoyance faded, I actual agreed on some level with the person who commented. I engage in A LOT of Coyote conversation. It's true. And the thought has crossed my mind that someone "following" me may be a little annoyed by it if they follow for "Ranger" or "NHL" news.
However, I can't apologize and I don't think it should have to change.
When the trade that rocked some of our worlds in March sent Petr Prucha - the like him, love him, don't care about him, but don't hate him bundle of energy - to the desert, my rooting interests changed. Or rather were added to.
I'm still a New York Rangers fan. But I had a player I cared about deeply go somewhere else. Somewhere you can't visit all the time. Somewhere that, with a BIG thanks to technology, you can only watch on TV and communicate about on the internet. Thankfully, it's still possible to root. To be a fan.
Thus I found a new team to follow. They don't replace the Rangers. Please. But I'm not one of those people that felt that you couldn't follow other teams when the Rangers weren't playing, or when they were not in the playoffs. I spent years following Dallas, San Jose, and the rest of those perennial playoff teams during the Rangers dark era. I did. And no regrets, and no apologies.
So why should there need to be apologies for spending evenings, late evenings, sometimes til 1am or beyond, chatting with people who like the Coyotes, like the Rangers and watch the Coyotes, or like both? Why? The greatest thing, besides the fact that "pepperpot" gets to play hockey (guess who was on during the last few minutes of a tie game? guess who was taking faceoffs last night?), is that it's opened up a whole new group of hockey friends to share the experience with.
If Prucha does not go to the Coyotes, I may root for them, hope well for them, but I do not watch them, I do not follow them so closely. He went, so I do. But it's really more than him. It is. I always respected Shane Doan. Don't know if it's possible not to. And I wanted well for the team. They are a fun team. A fun group of guys that, perhaps like Pete, did not get the chance to play somewhere else.
And they are doing a fantastic job there. Very enjoyable team to watch. They hustle, they support one another, they almost never back down from a game they are losing in. And I say what I am going to say next with love - they are more enjoyable to watch than the Rangers are right now.
If I'm apologizing for anything here, it's that with watching essentially every Rangers game and every Coyotes game, there has become little to no time for watching any OTHER team. And that does hurt. I have such a devoted interest to all hockey, and on a weekly basis there are many games I wish there was time to watch. I'm apologizing that the "Game of the Week" segment disappeared. I'm apologizing that the Flyers have fired their coach and I still have not seen them play a game yet this year! (Although that one may be on Versus a bit).
Before this "few minutes" gets to be more than it needs to be, the person who made the comment had a point. And while I will not stop at the late west coast hours chatting on twitter with fellow Rangers, Coyotes, and Prucha fans - my advice, btw, is to just ignore my twitter account during those late hours - I can make sure to add some more Rangers content to NHTProductions. Absolutely.
So to the random person who made the comment. Thank you. I won't apologize or change what I am doing regards the Coyotes, BUT, I'll be better about not forgetting my Rangers team either.