Earlier this week, Sam challenged the Buckeye State Hockey team to write down what we are thankful for in the hockey world. We got a little gushy…but it’s always nice to take a step back, put things in perspective, and realize that a crazy sport like hockey can make life better not just because of the game we enjoy, but because of the people it brings into our lives. So sit back, grab a piece (or two) of pie, and enjoy us celebrating the joy of the sport.
SAM: I am thankful for everyone who writes at Buckeye State Hockey. I didn’t know what I was getting into starting a twitter account almost three years ago now. I’ve met many life long friends through this experience and I’ve learned a lot about myself during the existence of this site too. I originally only wanted to write about hockey because I saw an inefficiency in the market, I thought “not enough people care about hockey, I could be the person to change that!” It was a foolish idea and was naive that I could take the hockey world by storm, bit by bit though I’ve become a better person and a better writer. Alison and Derek help me not look so crazy when I write little manifestos and take a lot of work off of my shoulders. They are two of the smartest people I know and I’m still not sure why they decided to merge sites with Nick and I. Jeremy, Avery and Nick have been around since the beginning and saw what Buckeye State Hockey could be, one of the leading hockey voices in Ohio. They had faith and because of their hard work we are here now. Paul may not know good pop music but he knows how to formulate an article, some of his most interesting pieces haven’t been with us but it is amazing to see how he is taking HockeyBuzz by storm. Matt decided to join me in my silly podcasting adventure from the start and it hasn’t been the same since. We’ve had the chance to talk to media personalities and pick their brain about everything, The growth I have had socially because of this podcast is unbelievable and it is all due to Matt being a tireless worker. He is a stinkin Chemical Engineer for god sakes and he puts up with my insane rambling. Bert, Jas and Ken have been essential in making the site tick, whether it be Jas’ informative prospect recaps, Bert’s game in one picture or Ken’s photos, it has helped the site not be such a one trick pony. All three are extremely talented, I feel honored to call them my friends and colleagues.
Hockey is so damn beautiful because of how difficult it is to play, you are always in awe of the players on the ice and their sheer ability. Much like those players, I am in awe of everyone on this site, they’ve helped me love hockey, I’ll always be thankful to them for that.
DEREK: Well that is a tough act to follow. I agree 100% with everything Sam said above. It’s unbelievable how important our BSH Slack chat has become in my day-to-day life. Outside of my wife, I probably talk to the BSH team more than anyone else. They constantly keep me on me sharp in my posts, as I strive to produce content that is valuable and informative to them. They also continue to educate me on stats, and prospects, and damn near everything else. There is only so much one person can discuss knowledgeably, and the team assembled here manages to have someone who can do so on every aspect of hockey. Except maybe goalies, because they are voodoo. They have also pushed me outside of my comfort zone (in the best way), as without their inspiration and help, I would not be now writing for Jewels From The Crown (I know CBJ fans, I know). Considering I have actually met half the BSH team in person, (due to my not-living-in-Ohio-anymore-ness) this is all so crazy. We live in a weird world.
More specifically on hockey, I am thankful for any play or player who manages to surprise, shock, or wow me. The best thing about the game of hockey is the uncertainty. We do what we can to predict things, or figure stuff out. But really, who saw this Zach Werenski season coming? How fun was Bob’s breakout season? Remember the time Corey Tropp scored a ridiculous goal? The time Nikita Nikitin blew a wheel while trying to shoot, fell flat on his face, the puck did crazy stuff, and then somehow it was a goal? I am thankful for all of that, and for every hockey moment to come that no one could have possibly ever predicted with any certainty.
ALISON: I don’t know if I can say much more than these guys have already, but for me, I am really thankful for our Buckeye State Hockey family in so many ways. We make each other laugh, we make each other think and that means we ultimately make each other better. I am so proud of our goal to cover OHIO hockey and to share in the joy and study of a truly great game. Bringing The Union Blue team into the BSH family might be one of the smartest things we’ve ever done and I truly thankful for how selfless and committed we all are and it shows in the quality of work that everyone here is doing throughout the hockey world. I can always count on you guys being there when I need encouragement, an editing eye, something really new and brilliant, or just a great reason to laugh (yes, Mark, even you.)
I’m also thankful for our bigger hockey community. People like Rob Mixer, Andrew Thomas, Jen Lute Costella, Ryan Stimson, Carolyn Wilke, Catherine Silverman, Micah Blake McCurdy, Nick Mercadante, Mike Fail, Greg Sinclair, Sean Tierney…and so many others who have been tremendous educators, support systems, sounding boards, and above all, amazing friends from my meager beginnings. Without them, hockey (and life) wouldn’t be near as fun. (And honestly, if I could, I’d mention every single person I’ve met via twitter, but then this would be a very long post and Sam would caution my choices on word count)
And finally, without the support of my great friends and family, I’d be nowhere. These wonderful souls tolerate my hockey passion and encourage me as I forge ahead into trying new things, writing in different voices, and they always adapt to a schedule that is crazy during the season. (My husband is a saint).
Happy Thanksgiving to you all – I am very blessed to have each of you, however frequently or infrequently we chat – in my life.
PAUL: Well this feels weird since Thanksgiving happened over a month ago ;( but I digress. I’m very thankful for everyone here at Buckeye State Hockey. Before this I was just writing on my own and I don’t know how anyone stumbled across my old blog but I am very thankful someone did and very thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the BSH team. I know I am not where I am today without the help and support of everyone here.
On the hockey side of things I am thankful for the 2012 NHL draft. Prior to that point I mostly followed Junior hockey without much of any affiliation towards an NHL team. I followed Ryan Murray closely and started following the Blue Jackets after he was drafted there. If he had of went first to Edmonton or if the Islanders moved up to #2 to pick him I don’t think I would have been a follower of the Jackets and wouldn’t have had the pleasure of meeting all you great people.
BRETT: I am thankful for the hockey community as a whole
It’s different than the other 3 major sports – as a hockey fan, seeing another hockey fan (at least in a place like Cleveland) feels like a dog seeing another dog. You just get this instinct to go over and jaw or joke and it’s something uniquely hockey
AVERY: If I’m not too late to the party, I’d like to add that I’m pretty grateful for the opportunity that I was given through the blog. I was able to get involved on or at least near the ground floor, and I’m not sure many other people would have given me that opportunity. I was, and still am, just a kid and Sam and Nick didn’t shy away from me because of that, and I’m really thankful for that. Being able to get involved in something and watch it grow and learn from it along the way as a writer and a person is a pretty valuable experience for anyone, and I’m glad I got to get that experience at such a young age. The blog has been an awesome place to form relationships with the BSH team and I really do value that.
On to hockey, I’m grateful that the NHL came to Columbus. I was able to grow up with hockey in Columbus and I’ve been connected to it from a really young age and I’ve been able to form and strengthen relationships through it, so I’m grateful for that and all of you’s.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone, especially to all you Canadians out there.
JEREMY: I will always remain thankful to Sam and Nick for answering my many, many tweets to them when I was still just a random egg with 0 followers. I was new to Jackets fandom and through discussing the team with them, they made me feel welcome as a part of the CBJ community and allowed my fandom to blossom. I am thankful for the conversations in the BSH Slack chat, which is a daily go-to for me, and I can’t get enough. I am thankful for Sam’s insistence that I write about draft eligible prospects, which has lead me down a completely different path than I ever imagined: tracking and analyzing data for the Mississauga Steelheads. Without his guidance, I am not doing any of that, nor am I writing about junior hockey at all!
I am thankful for the stats sites and the great writing by many members of hockey twitter, and specifically our own Buckeye State Hockey writers. I’m thankful for the charts, the banter, and the Good Content produced by so many people, too many to name.
And I’m thankful for hockey in general, because it’s just such a damn great game.
I had like 3 more paragraphs written with so many names on it but … too rambly heh
EDITOR: If you’re still reading, to sum it all up, from our family to yours, we are thankful for YOU! Happy (American) Thanksgiving and here’s to hockey!