Goodbye, 2012. Happy New Year, Islanders fans and other Lighthouse Hockey readers. Thanks for sticking with us through what was a weird year by any definition.
On one hand you had the NHL lockout putting hockey on ice for the majority of 2012. On the other hand you had the long-awaited arena resolution assuring us the Islanders would be playing in New York beyond 2015.
Through it all, your comments -- turn 'em green! -- kept us laughing and thinking and generally enjoying talking hockey even when the NHL doesn't see fit to play it.
As a superficial and not in any way comprehensive look back, here are some of our favorite posts from 2012 (well, since last season anyway), which often stirred countless quips and rebuttals from our commentariat (skim for "green" comments in any post):
No Hockey. Now What?
It was a tough year, what with no NHL Islanders hockey to watch since April. So we resorted to reliving old clips, like an infamous Darius Kasparaitis clip and exchange with Stan Fischler.
We pondered the infinitely ponderous: Would a new outside-the-cap buyout option in the new CBA be used on Rick DiPietro?
We talked books, such as Greg Prato's great oral history on the Islanders dynasty, and on a much sadder note, "Cold A Long Time" about late prospect Duncan MacPherson.
LHH Zeitgeist: Our Dumb League
LHH Zeitgeist is our sub-section for the humorous or satirical or simply off-beat things we feel compelled to cover or use to rib our beloved team or its rivals. This year it initially leaned heavily toward Coliseum political satire, with a dose of Lubomir, but later became its own Onion-esque "Our Dumb League" series of lockout coverage, such as when they turned to Judge Judy to mediate (Note: Not really. I mean, duh.), and J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Two Fehrs" -- and who could forget the classic GlenGary Glen Don?
We launched a new series that will continue in 2013: Law & Owner: Special Islanders Unit, kicking things off with Sanjay.
What about the Players?
Oh, and we even covered players actually playing hockey -- such as this interview with Jason Clark (before he was assigned to the ECHL, which we swear is just coincidence) and this "Movember" exchange with Michael Grabner -- as well as near-prophecies about those who would be felled by injuries (again).
On that note, we watched and tracked as a parade of Islanders steadily made their way to Europe.
We celebrated the usual holiday traditions -- you know, like the daily discoveries of the Islanders Advent Calendar, and gathering 'round to hear Mike B. recite "How the Bettminch Stole Christmas."
Brooklyn: Resolution at Last
Finally, our favorite posts may have been the reflections prompted by news of the Islanders move to Barclays Center, realization that the Coliseum was going to move to the memory books. Namely:
When I hear the line, "It's always darkest before the dawn," I can't help but think it's about to get better for us Islander fans.
Today's announcement feels like one of the brightest beams of light in a while for us. These last few years the good has been outweighed by the bad. But Tavares and Brooklyn are starting to light the way to the future.
They'll wonder about what the loss will mean for the Island on which they settled, raised families and were heroes.
And they should be pissed. Because in the end, it wasn't Gretzky and the Oilers or Scott Scissions or Mike Milbury or Charles Wang that killed the Islanders dynasty. It was the lazy, shiftless, suit-wearing shysters that have darkened Nassau County political offices for years that simply left the door open and watched a glorious collective history run off into the street.
David Hanssen on Mourning the Coliseum: Farewell
This isn't to say that there won't be new memories, hopefully new great memories, to be made at the Barque (I don't care if anyone else will be using this moniker, I am... Nautical history nerd and all), and it's not to say that we won't remember all the memories from NVMC.
But it won't be the same.
Dominik on "Relocation Blues"
the point is the outcome is the same: A beloved team isn't really "moving." It's changing addresses in a way that's good for the franchise, great for some fans and a heart-breaking end to traditions for others. Tailgaters' and many season-ticket holders' loss is Brooklyn fans' gain.
But it's not devastating. It's not Saskatoon. It's not Quebec or Kansas City or Seattle either.
At Last, It's Over.
Finally, apparently some dude in Switzerland bit John Tavares. Like I said, weird year.
May 2013 treat you right, bring us all more live hockey and less Bettman and Fehr, and create fabulous hockey diversions from the other ills and worries of life.
From all of us at LHH, Happy New Year!