Never have I been so invested in Colorado Avalanche hockey. Sure, I've watched a lot of games the past twenty seasons, but never have I paid such close attention to all the details, followed all the subplots, and formulated an opinion on literally everything. Since taking the reigns of Mile High Hockey I've contributed to dozens of podcasts, posted thousands of tweets, and written 179 articles. Yes, one-hundred-and-seventy-freaking-nine (I double checked to make sure I wasn't halucinating). Without a doubt, I am more plugged into the Burgundy & Blue machine than I've ever been.
So, when the season wrapped up on April 9th, something strange happened -- almost like a chemical withdrawal. No longer was I getting the steady hockey fix necessary to function and my body began convulsing before eventually shutting down. Nearly two weeks later, I believe I'm back at full strength and have achieved the necessary distance to develop some perspective on this year's wild ride. When you get a break from following the minutiae of a hockey season, you start to learn what it all actually means. You begin to focus on that forest instead of its trees -- and branches, and leafs, and chlorophyll, or even smaller microscopic properties.
Basically, now that I've detached myself from the matrix, it's time to start working on that season recap, do some player grades, and dig up all the terrible predictions from the preseason to parade around and embarrass everyone. This season may not have ended the way we wanted it to, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a ton of fun to follow. Maybe years from now we'll look at the 82-point season and shrug, but I'll think we'll look back on 2015-16 as an important transition for the franchise.
I'm glad I was a part of it in my own small way.
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Mile High Hockey did really well this year considering all it went through.
When you lose writing talent like Cheryl, AJ, Andi, and the rest, that leaves not just a gaping void, but a supernova collapse -- a black hole sucking all matter into oblivion. Bringing on an inexperienced newcomer, such as myself, to try and plug that hole was quite a gamble, but I'm still really glad for the opportunity and confident this website has yet to produce its best content. In my ten months, I've learned a ton about how to execute this website, and quite a bit more still that I'll be implementing in the coming months.
All of this was possible because of our fantastic mainstays who kept everything moving. Earl, Sandie, Grant, Steph, Stephen Page -- you guys absolutely rule. I could never thank you enough. Also, extra special thanks to Misterfish for stepping up and taking a much larger role here than I ever imagined. He's single-handedly turned our twitter game into (a long series of fire and thumbs-up emoji). Also a big thank you to SamJam, Luke Steer, Jonathan Voight, and our friends at Purple Row for adding to the site -- I really value the contributions you were able to make.
Priority number one this offseason is getting more people involved so we can deliver even more great content to hungry Avalanche fans. We made a big splash a couple of weeks ago when our new San Antonio-based friend, Brady Phelps, agreed to increase our Rampage coverage for the coming season. Brady is a credentialed sports editor at his college paper, The Paisano, and he will be MHH's first credentialed AHL reporter next year for Rampage home games. He will allow us game coverage and interview opportunities this site has never had before and I'm beyond excited.
A second addition I hope to announce soon is a May MSU graduate. She has a great talent for video journalism and has done some really cool work covering Roadrunners hockey this past year. What I hope to do is start a YouTube channel and produce original video content for the site, covering summer rookie drills, training camps, and anything else we can imagine! Also hoping to film a StephHouse variety hour, but we're still negotiating with his agent.
The third addition I hope to make is still on the wish list. If anybody knows a die-hard CHL fan, particularly a Rouyn-Noranda fan, I'd love to extend our Canadian Juniors coverage. Fortunately, most of the Avs' top prospects are concentrated in the Q, so this shouldn't be too much of a task. I think I speak for the American contingent here in that I'd love to read more about players like Meloche, Beaudin, Greer on a more consistent basis -- from someone who actually has the means to watch games!
Finally, anyone with a penchant for next-level hockey statistics, get at me! I want to start identifying weekly trends, making more quantitative arguments about players, and supplementing our existing discourse with meaningful data.
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Finally, I want to hear from you. How can we make this website more enjoyable for our existing readers and more appealing for new members? Write your ideas in the comments below or e-mail if you don't want your opinion made public. Mile High Hockey is great because of its community, not just the few people who blather on in the articles. Make sure your ideas are heard!