BOSTON — Any time an NHL press pass is around my neck, it’s something special. It’s just the tenth time I’ve been able to have one of these in eight years as a professional sportswriter, so I can assure you that whatever team’s logo is on the front, it’s a big deal.
But to be able to cover an Original Six franchise? Unreal. No, it isn’t the original Boston Garden, but this team’s been around for 86 years…any hockey writer who’s ever been anything has had a Boston Bruins credential. To be able to add my name to that list is really meaningful to me, and without having covered the Trenton Devils for the past two and a half seasons, I’d have never been able to do this. So a special thanks — and yeah, I’m sure these are getting old — to their organization for giving me my start in hockey before the 2008-09 season.
I’m here, as you likely know, to do an ECHL.com feature on Michael Ryder and Tim Thomas. I spoke to Ryder for about two minutes in the locker room, and the Bruins were so mind-numbingly kind as to give me a one-on-one with Thomas for about 10 minutes in a private room on a gameday. Eric Tosi of the Bruins PR staff has been incredibly kind and helpful to me today, and I’ve been amazed in general at how gracious NHL teams have been with me in general.
I also, and I suppose it’s worth mentioning, spoke to Buffalo’s Ryan Miller for the Thomas piece…was curious if his perspective on Thomas changed after their experience as teammates for Team USA earlier this year.
I will be back home at around 7:15 AM, sleep my face off, and be ready for tomorrow night’s game against Elmira…it should be worth noting as well, and this vastly disappoints the goalie nerd in me, that Elmira has dealt Princeton grad Zane Kalemba to Victoria in exchange for Daren Machesney. Elmira didn’t want to go with two first-year goalies, so now they aren’t. I wasn’t too impressed with Machesney when I saw him with Manitoba last year, which of course means he’ll be lights out if he plays tomorrow night.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com