Sunday morning homily XXVIII

Not only did I nearly miss the "morning" part of this posting, but it'll be pretty brief, so to speak, as well. Between a trip to a boat show (just looking, thanks) and Round 2 of the inaugural water-balloon baseball series, we've got a pretty full day.

Besides, now that the season, save for Thursday's award ceremonies, the June 22 draft and the occasional summer free-agent signings, there's little to occupy a hockey fan's mind.

I'll have my chores, namely chronicling a season's worth of efforts and culling a pile of postings worthy of a future compilation. For the next few weeks, though, I'll be taking a lot of time off from Hound Central 2.0 to concentrate on updated summer projects. Make sure to check out my Baseball Mondays blog, too.

The season-in-review package should come within the next two weeks.

As always, and I'm sincere about this, I appreciate that people take the time, even if only for a couple seconds, to stop by.

Staying connected

Like spaghetti and meatballs, sunscreen at the beach, and Barry Melrose and John Buccigross, there are just some things, or hockey personalities, that belong together.

Take, for instance, the Rochester Americans and the Buffalo Sabres. Given the one-year extension to the NHL's longest-running (29 seasons) farm club affiliation, Buffalo prospects are less than 90 minutes away, give or take a few minutes, from a quick call-up during the 2007-08 season.

How long has this affiliation lasted? A quick count shows 13 out of the 30 NHL clubs have shorter histories than the memories and players shared between the Sabres and Americans:

~ Anaheim Ducks (first season: 1993-94)
~ Atlanta Thrashers (1999-00)
~ Carolina Hurricanes (1979-80, as the Hartford Whalers)
~ Colorado Avalanche (1979-80, as the Quebec Nordiques)
~ Columbus Blue Jackets (2000-01)
~ Edmonton Oilers (1979-80)
~ Florida Panthers (1993-94)
~ Minnesota Wild (2000-01)
~ Nashville Predators (1998-99)
~ Ottawa Senators (1992-93)
~ Phoenix Coyotes (1979, as the Winnipeg Jets)
~ San Jose Sharks (1991-92)
~ Tampa Bay Lightning (1992-93)

Canada does win a cup

It's not the Stanley Cup, but Canadians should take some consolation in the Hamilton Bulldogs winning the Calder Cup. Behind MVP goalie Carey Price, picked fifth overall by Montreal in the 2005 draft, the Bulldogs bested the defending champion Hershey Bears, 4-1, for the American Hockey League title.

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