As a self-employed individual who makes a living by selling advertising and writing about hockey, it can be assumed that I am consumed by the sport.
To be sure, I have seen, heard and written about the good and bad sides of hockey and those who play a part in the game be it as coaches, managers, players, administrators and supporters.
To me, the good of the game is head and shoulders above the bad. And there is a better taste to hockey when the cream rises to the top of a particular level.
With that in mind, here is one hockey writer’s wish list ahead of the next season of play.
That proven coaches such as Bobby Jones, Jason Fortier and John Parco find higher-level employment, be it as a head or an assistant. Jones, in particular, deserves better than what he was offered to continue as head coach of the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League for another season.
That goalie Mario Culina, who rose from two-plus years of obscurity in the OHL to a standout role in Kitchener after being acquired by the Rangers midway through the 2017-2018 campaign, takes his game to the professional level in 2018-2019.
That twin terror, twin brothers Darian Pilon and Drake Pilon return with a vengeance as overage forwards and lead the Sudbury Wolves out of the wilderness and back to the OHL playoffs.
That Beau Moyer gets a coaching job in addition to his gig as Greater Toronto Hockey League scout for the reigning OHL champion Hamilton Bulldogs. Moyer is a good hockey guy and a good person who may have had a bad day or two during the 2017-2018 season. Who didn’t?
As part of the present and the future of the Saginaw Spirit, that young forwards Nick Porco and Camaryn Baber are linemates who combine for 35 goals and 70 points in 2018-2019 on what is a rising team in the OHL’s Western Conference.
That Jake Palmerio successfully takes his game as the consummate two-way forward with the Soo Eagles of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League to National Collegiate Athletic Association prominence with the Wisconsin-based Concordia University Falcons.
That rookie forwards Caleb Wood, Raf Praysner and Owen Shier from Soo, Ontario make an impact with the Michigan-based Soo Eagles of the NOJHL. This has the makings of being another good Twin Soo hockey story.
Fresh from two straight turnaround seasons as an example of small market success in the NOJHL, that the Blind River Beavers continue their winning ways.
That new commissioner Albert Corradini is able to raise the profile of the Great North Midget Hockey League.
That Corradini and NOJHL commissioner Robert Mazzuca work hand in hand to try to improve and enhance the development of midget and junior hockey in northern Ontario.
That midget hockey in Sault Ste. Marie returns to a semblance of the glory years that it enjoyed before the dry spell that has affected growth of the sport in the Soo over the past few seasons took over. With former world class player and coach Craig Hartsburg now lending his expertise and experience to the minor hockey program, things are looking up again in the Soo.