It’s the end of August, which means that the greatest time of year is finally coming.  Everyone’s excited for pumpkin spice flavored everything and football season, which is understandable.  We’re about to see the GOAT win his 6th Super Bowl title and I’m all about that.  But what I’m honestly looking forward to the most is the end of swamp ass season.  Because that means it’s time to dump out the summer shandies, grab an ice cold Molson Canadian and break out the hockey sweaters and toques.  The 2018-2019 NHL season is upon us, and it’s going to be great one!

It’s no secret that hockey season is my favorite season.  I have enough hockey apparel in my wardrobe to wear something different every single day for over a month; I own more jerseys than dresses, and I’m not ashamed of that.

 

I’ve been looking forward to the start of the season since the Stanley Cup finals ended in June.  The additions from the draft and free agency has made my anticipation even greater.  Was Vegas’ inaugural season success a fluke?  Can William Karlsson maintain his points total or will he fall back to his Columbus Blue Jackets stats?  Will the Caps suffer from the dreaded Cup hangover?  Did Tavares make the right career decision by signing with Toronto?  Will Buffalo make the playoffs?  Will the Coyotes keep the momentum that they had going at the end of the 2017-2018 season? Are they going to approve an expansion team in Seattle?  Will Jagr be back?  Where the heck is Erik Karlsson going to end up (please don’t be Tampa)?   There’s so much potential here for a great season and some even better storylines, I can’t wait!

 

Teams are starting to release their promotional schedules, which is always something that I look forward to.  I’m a sucker for bobbleheads and I love to see how creative a team can get with their marketing and promotional campaigns while also sticking to and showcasing their overall brand/image.  So far I’ve only seen the San Jose Sharks promo schedule, via Twitter, (blog post coming soon) and there’s some outstanding ones coming up this season.  Which shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise if you’ve seen some of their past giveaways…

 

 

Shirtless Joe Thornton Bobblehead

 

Brent Burns Smile

 

 

There’s also some really exciting games on the schedule this year, including a preseason game in China.  There will be four teams playing regular season games in Europe as part of the NHL Global Series, which is something that I’m looking forward to.  I’m excited to see the players’ reactions to the experience.  The game I’m looking forward to the most, however, is the 2019 Winter Classic between the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks at Notre Dame Stadium.  I’ve loved the concept of the Winter Classic since it began in 2008.  I love the idea of an outdoor game and any excuse for a specialty jersey is 110% ok with me.  I’m curious to see the jerseys released for this game.  Will they stick with the Bruins typical color scheme or will they play into the Irish heritage aspect and go with something green?  Either way, I just hope they aren’t lackluster like some of the past ones; mama is in the market for a new jersey!

 

I try to get to at least 1 new NHL venue every season, part of my NHL bucket list, so I’m hoping to accomplish that goal once again this season.  Last season I made it to Madison Square Garden, and it was such an amazing experience.  I’d love to make it to a game in Montreal or Toronto this season, the atmospheres at both of those arenas seems incredible and I’d love to explore those cities.  If I can only make it to one away venue this year though, I want it to be Notre Dame stadium.  That experience is something that I don’t want to pass up and I think a road trip to Indiana would be an experience itself.  I’ve never been to Notre Dame stadium or Indiana, so I think that counts towards the bucket list anyways…It’s my bucket list, so I make the rules, it’s gonna count.  Plus, I’ve never seen the Blackhawks play live.  I think it’d be criminal to not see Toews and Kane play together in their prime given the opportunity.

 

The potential for this season is worth the hype and I can’t wait to see what comes of it.  Please pray for my bank account, as the ticket processing fees (should be illegal) are inevitably going to drain it.  Where are you heading this season?  What are you most looking forward to about the upcoming season?

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