Hello, Cannon community! (Cannoneers? Cannonites? What do you people call yourselves?)
I wanted to take a brief moment to introduce myself as the newest addition to the site, brought on to cover the AHL's Lake Erie Monsters. I'm a lifelong Clevelander who started his career as a sports writer at The News-Herald in Willoughby and the Plain Dealer in Cleveland. I spent a number of years covering the old IHL Cleveland Lumberjacks and, as part of one of those sportswriter-gets-on-the-ice-and-plays-with-the-pros features, was once checked so hard into the glass by Al Tuer that I proudly sported a yellow and purple bruise on my arm for two weeks. (Al Tuer...geez, does anyone else remember Al Tuer?)
Anyway, I eventually moved into a real job and now serve as the Director of Communications for Vitamix, a manufacturer of high-performance blenders. I have been a full-season ticket holder with the Monsters since the team came to Cleveland in 2007 and would welcome any of you to come visit us during the season in section C125, row 16 at Quicken Loans Arena.
Speaking of hockey season, once it starts you can expect weekly update posts from me on how the Jackets' prospects are faring in the AHL, in addition to breaking news as it happens. Or maybe a half hour after it happens. I do have a day job, you know.
I have to tell you, we're pretty excited here in Northeast Ohio that the Monsters were finally able to seal the deal and affiliate with the Jackets. It was a long time coming, and while there is the standard mourning period when guys you've cheered on for years move on to another city, I think Columbus' farm hands can expect a warm welcome and a truly big-league experience up here.
We would also appreciate some April/May/June hockey, if the Jackets could swing that for us. In eight seasons as Colorado's affiliate, we qualified for the AHL postseason exactly once. And we blew a 3-1 lead to lose that first-round series on top of it. While it's true that as Cleveland sports fans we are accustomed to failing in new and innovative ways, we wouldn't mind seeing what these "playoffs" everyone is always talking about actually entail.
Looking forward to connecting with all of you this coming year.