Greetings, SB Nation surfers, Islanders fans and hockey lifers. Welcome to Lighthouse Hockey, the SB Nation blog about the New York Islanders. For my more in-depth welcome about why I've landed here -- and more importantly, why visiting an SB Nation can make following the Isles or the NHL more fun -- please check out my "Welcome" Fanpost in the right margin. That can help orient you and get you started.
As for what I'm about, here's a little background (with apologies to older readers who've already heard some form of this on my old Islander Frontier sites):
See, I'm based in St. Louis, but it's this topsy turvy team on Long Island that really stirs my passion. I trace it to my formative hockey moments, which were spent watching the Isles in the Cup finals. My father, a Blues fan since their inception, was as loyal to former Blues players as he was to the bags of pucks they were generally moved for. So Dad always had me paying attention to coaches like Scotty Bowman (a Blues coach first), and Al Arbour, the bespectacled former Blues defenseman and (briefly) coach. Incidentally, my father just passed away this month. Considering I owe my lifelong interest in this sport to him -- my fondest memories of it are inextricably bound to him -- it's somehow fitting that I can honor his passing with the launch of this site.
The first time I ever actually saw hockey -- versus just hearing it on my dad's radio -- it was the boys in Blue and Orange who were playing it. Bossy, Gillies, et al in their prime -- you must admit, it'd be hard to find a better introduction to how the game should be played.
Through thick and (mostly, recently) thin, I keep coming back to this club. Despite owners and GMs who have conspired over most of the last 15 years to chase me away, I just can't quit them. We've survived Muller, "fishsticks," Spano and Milbury ... hopefully when the club's "Lighthouse Project" finally goes through, we'll know we can survive anything.
Now, about my diaspora status: While geography dictates that I will be at virtually none of the Islanders games, technology counters: "No problem." The joys of Center Ice overfloweth. For an example of how an out-of-towner can still run a great fan blog, I point to the esteemed "lboros," who ran Viva el Birdos -- one of SB Nation's better sites -- while blogging the Cardinals from his Colorado home. (Please know I'm not putting myself in his esteemed shoes; only noting that this long-distance act can be done, and done well.)
Because I'm not there and not subject to the local talk-radio rants and passions, I enjoy some sense of distanced objectivity. Yet likewise, because I'm not "on the ground," I need local Islanders fans (and fans from all around the world) to participate and help make this site hum.
So join me and have some fun, won't you?
P.S. I promise my daily posts will not be this long!