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August is here! Are you ready?

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August is no longer coming!

Jesus Christ! Summer heat! Run away!
Jesus Christ! Summer heat! Run away!
Mark Nolan

Well we're here, everybody. We made it through the rest of the playoffs, we made it through the draft, we made it through (most of) free agency, and now only the five long months of August stand ahead of us. No hockey games to watch, no hockey news to read or laugh at, no standings to ponder, just nothing but the dual horrors of baseball and NFL training camp. It's a hard time to be a hockey fan. But fortunately, others have walked this path before us, and have left behind some clues of how they survived.

DO: Go on vacation and enjoy what the world has to offer you.

DO NOT: Melt in doing so. Bathe in sunscreen you guys.

DO: Exercise. If you get in shape now, you'll feel like you earned all that beer and pizza when the season starts.

DO NOT: Play NHL ' [THIS YEAR]. It's crap, ' [LAST YEAR] was way better, and you should just save your money for ' [NEXT YEAR] anyway. It looks awesome.

DO: Get your hockey fix from NHL '94.

DO: Work a little overtime while there aren't games to miss. Hey, that new jersey isn't gonna buy itself.

DO NOT: Buy a Briere sweater. Also DO NOT make "buy New Jersey" puns after the Devils being sold is no longer relevant.

DO: Catch up on all the TV, video games, and movies you've missed because hockey was on.

DO NOT: Catch up on Sharknado movies.

DO NOT: Look up the depth chart and rosterbate furiously in public. DO this in the privacy of your own home office.

DO: Re-live classic Stanley Cup games on NHL Network.

DO: Take this time to explore new interests, learn about hockey's new statistics, start a backyard project, something you just can't take the time for any other part of the year.

DO NOT: Continue these distractions after September. Come on, man, there's Avs to focus on here.

DO: Fill up your cache of reaction gifs with new selections for any situation you can think of.

DO NOT: Share them yet. They lose impact as they lose surprise.

And finally, most importantly, DO: Post some goddamn cats.