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The Final Goodbye

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Thank you for everything, MHH.

I've long wondered what this post would look like. I remember the first time I posted an article on MHH using my real name and how proud I was. This blog that I had been part of for so long and loved so much and there I was with MY name on the byline. As a former Journalism student, it felt like it would be the pinnacle of my writing career. Maybe it still will be.

This website has been more than a website to me for a long time. During the last lockout, I wrote extensively about my battles with bipolar disorder, depression, and suicidal thoughts. I've battled my way through cancer and the removal of one of my kidneys in the last 24 months. At every step of the way, this blog has provided me with strength and comfort and a proper escape from the difficulties of life when I've needed it.

There's never going to be a proper way to say thank you to those who have made my time here such an incredible and rewarding experience. I was a teenager when I joined this site, way back before the original registrations got nuked so they could implement the auto-updating commenting system, and I sit here a much wiser, if less sarcastic, 27-year old. When I moved back to Colorado from Texas in 2009, the first person to welcome me home and take me out was a member of MHH. When I went to my first Avs game inside the Pepsi Center, it was Joe Sakic Night and I spent pre and post-game with members of MHH. When I wanted to go on my first adult vacation and catch an Avs game away from Denver, it was a member of MHH who opened up their home to me for a weekend. For the last several years, when some MHH members have visited Denver from out of town, I've opened my own home(s) and let them crash for a week(end) of Avs-related shenanigans. Almost all of the people currently part of my day-to-day life are a product of my time spent on this website.

When it became clear Cheryl was preparing to move on from the site, Cole and I had many conversations about running the site and the goals we had. When we were approached about taking the job, it was an exciting day. We officially accepted the job at immediately after an Avs practice session. I remember being equal parts nervous and excited that Mile High Hockey was going to be partially run with my name as the leader. How could I ever live up to the legacy of Joe, Mike, DDC, and Cheryl?

Obviously, things changed dramatically when I was approached by Brandon Spano to head up Avalanche coverage at his upstart online news publication. From out of nowhere, I was given the opportunity to cover the Avalanche in a way that Avs fans have been seeking for years. I was given the promise of credentials, a good paycheck, and life built around covering this team that I was already devoting myself to. It was an agonizing process because my loyalty to MHH kept me from immediately saying yes. Ultimately, the offer was too good and I couldn't turn down the chance to cover this team as a career. I offer sincere apologies if any of you feel that I've done a disservice to this website by chasing my dream. Accepting the job and leaving MHH is one of the harder choices I've made but at the end of the day I had to do what was best for me. I hope everyone can at least understand that.

That brings us to today. A new face of MHH has accepted the Managing Editor job and will be taking the torch and running with it. I've no doubt that he'll honor the legacies of the great people who helped build this site to what it is today and carry on the torch with a deft touch.

As for me, you all know where to find me if you're still interested in hearing what I have to say about Avalanche hockey. Thank you to DDC for allowing me to write for this website, to Cheryl for allowing me to run it, and thank you to the staff writers who helped prop me up. I thank you all for the opportunity to talk puck with you over the course of so many years.

Go Avs.

-AJ