I've been at the lake, getting in that one final weekend, so things have been quiet here and I've been well out of the loop. (Apologies for not returning email since Thursday.)
Picking through the remnants of hockey items, one of the best pieces from over the past few days was Al Maki's yarn on the Staal family on Saturday. Maki's based in Calgary for The Globe now, but he's originally from Thunder Bay and brings some local flavour to a story we're going to hear an awful lot more of once Jared cracks an NHL roster a few years down the road:
In the next few days, the Staals will be talking about their travel plans for the coming winter. As they have for years now, Henry and Linda will sit at their kitchen table in front of a large sheet of paper and write down the names of their four boys.The Staal brother tally will quite likely hit three once Marc (the lone defenceman of the bunch) makes the Rangers this fall, something that seems a slam dunk given the hole after Malik-Rozsival, Tyutin-Mara, Girardi. (I suppose the only positive for the parents is the fact all four boys are still playing in the Eastern Time Zone.)
Underneath each son's name will be the schedule of the team he plays for; home and away. The trick is to try and see as many games as possible on one trip before Christmas and on the two or three junkets after.
In other news, Kukla got a massive makeover, Black Dog Eats Rats is up to some strange Oilers-related shenanigans, Allan Rourke is turning into a well-known person of interest in Edmonton, and there's a gay Canadian hockey film playing at the local film festival (no really).
Training camps start today and there are 19 days until Game 1 in England. Things should be busy here from here on out.