Players are skating, and NHL training camps are within sniffing distance. So we are warming up our emotional engines to conjure all the irrational excitement, hatred and other strongly worded feelings that accompany an eight-month devotion to watching men making billions playing a game.
Our question: Which players from this year's opponents do you hate and love, er envy, most?
Love Envy and Hate: The Canes
Hate: I suspect a subset of our readers and converted Whalers fans will hate the Hurricanes as a collective thanks to who they once were, or rather the history their owner stole, rather than any specific player.
For me, the Hurricanes roster is extensive and fairly benign. But I do have fan loathing available for Jeff Skinner and his general diving, pouting ways. Skilled players really don't need to go down that road.
Envy: I envied Carolina's signing of Anton Khudobin much of last season, and I will always envy Alexander Semin's laser wrist shot -- whatever his other flaws. And Justin Faulk is a pretty sweet right-shooting defenseman. If we got to pick over the Hurricanes roster the way Peter Karmanos picked over Whalers fans' hearts, then those are the two I'd stuff into my loot sack.
And you? Which (current) Cane do you hate most, and which one to you kinda, you know, privately, think is an alright guy? (You can base this on talent, admiration for a certain skillset, traditional passion-fueled fan hate and jealousy, or, I don't know, facial expressions.)