If you listen very closely, you can hear the tumbleweeds rolling across the once ice-covered surfaces of arenas across the country. Or maybe you hear the sound of crews setting up RV shows, monster truck rallies or concerts where pucks once flew and bodies slammed bodies into the boards.
Yes, the dreaded off season is here. The Stanley Cup has been paraded through the streets of Chicago and even made an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The Calder Cup has been lifted in Hershey, as the Caps' minor league team achieves what has eluded its parent team - a national championship. Well not only a national championship, but back-to-back championships.
So, Blackhawks and Bears fans are still celebrating; still riding the cloud of euphoria that comes with seeing their team capture that golden ring - or rather, that silver cup. The rest of us have been twiddling our thumbs, half-heartedly cheering friends whose teams were still in the running, and trying not to think about just how many days, weeks, months must creep by before the roar of Zamboni engines ushers in a new season.
But while many people twiddle their thumbs, set reminder countdowns to pre-season, or try to lose themselves in baseball to pass the time, a number of hearty hockey souls are working hard to help feed your puck-lust until training camps get underway. I'm including a few websites and online radio shows that should get you through the dog days of summer. I also have a crazy long list of blogs and sites on my blogroll elsewhere on this site. Grab a snack, an icy cold drink and click away to your heart's content. And if you have a minute, let us know which sites really strike your fancy. Have a blog you want to see included? Leave a comment telling us about the site. Please provide a link, too.
Preds On The Glass - Buddy & Jackson Oakes plan to keep us informed about all things Nashville, on their website and internet radio show. (Note: They will be sporadic until after July 4, because of travel)
The View from 111 - Mark Willoughby waxes poetic about the Preds and other topics.
The Hockey Guys - Anthony, Brandon, Dustin and Joe cover a wide variety of hockey-related topics. They also host an online radio show by the same name. (Note: The guys say they’ll post and broadcast all summer, but not always on a weekly basis.)
Lightning Shout, Raw Charge – Tampa Bay fans will find all kinds of Tampa Bay coverage, courtesy of Bill at Lightning Shout and Cassie & John at Raw Charge. This is good to know, since the Lightning are undergoing some major changes under new GM Steve Yzerman’s tutelage.
7th Woman – Dee is an Islanders fan of the first degree and her blogs are top notch.
Chicks Who Give A Puck – A group of women who really know their hockey.
Oshie’s MN Section 8A Hockey – TJ’s dad, Coach Timothy Oshie runs this site that’s a must for any hockey fan remotely interested in the talent being developed in Minnesota.
Cup Crazy’s National Hockey League – Paul is a regular on CCPT Radio, updating listeners on the situation surrounding the Phoenix Coyotes. His website offers much more.
Hockey Independent – the brainchild of Islanders fan and writer B.D. Gallof, HI features a number of writers covering just about every team in the league.
Pine Tree Pucks – Hockey talk from the heart of Maine.
NHL Hot Stove – A veritable “who’s who” of hockey minds cook up a feast to appease any appetite.(Writers include: Dave Strehle <- @PhilaDAVEia on Twitter, and the boys from The Hockey Guys)
Opiated Sherpa – One of our favorite Twitter names has a website. We approve.
Flyers Faithful, Flyer Flies – All Philly, all the time.
The Program BTR – Chris, Rick, Kevin, Bob and others cover all kinds of hockey topics on their website and online radio show.
Hockey Broad – This girl loves the Blackhawks, but that’s not all she writes about.
Scotty Wazz – He’s one of the most creative hockey minds out there. If you don’t know his work, you’re missing out.
Miles Davis Exploration – Don’t let the name fool you. Noah mixes jazz and hockey like nobody’s business.