Christmas Eve homily

As you can see, I found another set of cards available in a collectible tin, this one featuring Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff. I just wonder, though, how long it’ll be before I can get it signed.

Now, if a proposal floated by the NHL gains support from teams, my wait might not be that long.

With Columbus and Atlanta trading conferences, divisions would be streamlined. The biggest benefit, from a hound’s standpoint, is the new schedule would bring a team to every NHL city at least once every two years.

Being in Tampa, I’d hope the northern teams, such as Calgary and Edmonton, would jump at the chance for an extended road trip through warmer climates every other January or February.

Aside from that, though, there’s really no other benefit to hounds. Tampa’s new division would contain teams that already frequent the St. Pete Times Forum – the Rangers, Islanders, Devils, Flyers, Capitals, Hurricanes and Panthers.

In fact, losing Atlanta means we’d get to hound Ilya Kovalchuk, Marian Hossa and Kari Lehtonen far fewer than the four times a season we do now. I suppose, though, that having teams like Vancouver, Minnesota and Detroit would more than make up for that.

An odds-on favorite?

Now that even Mario Lemieux says that relocation of the Pittsburgh Penguins is on the table, I’ll raise again the opportunity that exists (first item) for the Seminole Tribe of Florida to make a play for the team. Wishful thinking on my part, I know, but can you blame me?

Given the Tribe’s sovereign (meaning tax-free) status and its established gambling licenses, snapping up the Penguins would give them another entertainment option and source of revenue. Putting the team near one of its hotel/casinos, even at the expense of building a state-of-the-art rink, would create a wintertime destination for northern snowbirds.

Besides, what hound wouldn’t want a regular opportunity to score autographs from Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal and Marc-Andre Fleury. I know I would.

Want Scotty Bowman’s autograph?

If you do (and, really, what hound wouldn’t?), I hope I’ll see you next Saturday night as the Montreal Canadiens play the Tampa Bay Lightning at the St. Pete Times Forum.

Another milestone

This is the 200th posting of the season. For those who stop by regularly, I appreciate your support and look forward to sharing more insight, commentary and, as always, hounding adventures.

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