Happy Birthday/Free Agency/Canada Day To Me!

Ok…so Canada Day I just threw in there.  It’s just that all three happen on the same day.  But I’m only going to talk about the Happy Free Agency Day part.

It seems as if it would be a very happy birthday to me…Jaromir Jagr is back in the NHL for next season.  It would seem that things were starting to go awry when the Penguins and then the Red Wings pulled their offers right as Free Agency began.  I think anyone looking at the situation could have seen that coming. 

But the FLYERS?!?!?!  Of all the teams I would have a hard time stomaching…Flyers would be the team he would sign with.

I haven’t cheered for an NHL team in 3 years.  I’ve been lost without a team to really be a fan of.  I went where Jagr went and apparently I’ve been cheering for some team in Siberia for the past three years.  But now I have to cheer for *gulp* the Flyers?  Hard pill to swallow.  I’ll be the person in non-Flyers gear cheering for Jagr.  Flyers…

Really, Flyers?

The good news is 1) I don’t have to get a winter apartment in some obscure NHL town; 2) he’s still in the Atlantic Division, which means he’ll be in the NYC area nine times; 3) Philadelphia is only an hour and a half away from NYC via Amtrak.  So I can live with that. 

I’ve already printed out the Rangers, Devils and Flyers schedules to help prepare me for next season.  Unfortunately, Jagr’s debut at Prudential Center will be while I’m on the road with the New York Rangers in Europe.  I’ll have to head down to Flyers territory at the end of October (when I return) if I’m going to see the big guy.

Speaking of Rangers and Europe…the Wall Street Journal announced one of the locations we’re heading to…Zug, Switzerland.  Two of the cities we were originally going to fell through, so now I have to wait for the final information from the NHL before I can book.  Only Prague on 9/29 is a definite, as well as Gothenburg, Sweden on 9/30.  [They haven't talked me into going to Sweden yet.  I said, "Hell no." -- just too much traveling for me, I already have to be in London, Paris and all over Morocco...that's 5 countries already!] 

As for Devils coverage, we were originally prepping AJ Manderichio to take over for the preseason and the month of October for me…but he decided to head back to school, so he’s off to Syracuse University next season.  Good luck to AJ.

Unfortunately, that means that Inside Hockey will not have any Devils coverage in September or October (that is, not until 10/21).  I’ll be able to go to the golf outing in September, but I’ll be in Europe when the pre-season games begin.  I’ll be in Africa when the regular season begins.

At any rate, just want to say thanks, Jari!  This has been a fantastic birthday knowing that you’re back in the NHL…even if it was a bittersweet birthday present (the Flyers! Come On!).  I will say sorry to the Penguins fans.  I know how much you guys really wanted him back.

Now I’m off to hang out with my best friend tonight to celebrate turning 35 years old.  Harry Potter exhibit, dinner and Monte Carlo. :)

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