I could have gone a number of different ways with this piece, none of which were very fun. Trade rumors are starting to fly ahead of the deadline. I could have written about the work of the medical staff. On and on. But I think we've talked about those quite a bit in recent weeks. I wanted to take a step back and hear from you.
The Cannon community has added some new members over the course of the year and I wanted to take some time during this three-day break from game action to get everyone's story. Did you grow up playing hockey? Do you still play hockey? What drew you to the Jackets initially? Do you, perhaps (cough *FFMorgan* cough) have another franchise that is "your team" and Columbus is the second team you follow? Are you related to a current player or have some unknown trivia fact that ties you to the team?
I'll go first.
I grew up largely around Ohio State football and basketball, with my dad taking me to numerous games. We also traveled to see the Indians during the summer quite a bit. Following the Browns probably would have been next, but they got taken away for a couple years. Hockey was not a sport we followed regularly. Growing up in central Ohio, there was no NHL franchise. Sure, I went to some Chill games but the NHL just wasn't on our radar a whole lot. My first memory of the NHL is the Stanley Cup Final between the Flyers and the Red Wings.
Video games certainly helped attract me to the sport, playing some of the NHL games on a variety of consoles. I started following the playoffs, and games being on ESPN certainly helped. But I really latched onto hockey and the NHL when Columbus was awarded a franchise. I have followed pretty closely ever since, with the exception of some of the really bad years when I was going to school. I would say I turned "hardcore" during the most recent lockout season, which is when I discovered and joined this site. I attend a handful of games each year but have yet to pick a number for my jersey. I have never played hockey, save for some nerf balls and mini sticks in a basement.
I mentioned this in a previous article, but I attended high school for a couple of years with the first NHL draftee out of central Ohio - Trent Vogelhuber, who was picked by the Jackets in 2007 and is now in Springfield. I also grew up down the street from another central Ohio NHLer - Sean Kuraly, who was drafted by the San Jose Sharks and is currently at Miami University. So I've always thought that was kind of cool/random.
With that, I'll open up the floor. Take a step back from some of the negativity, the injuries, the losses. What drew you to hockey and the Blue Jackets? Everyone has a story to tell.