Since the NHL is still cancelled a whole day after they said it would be, may as well see what I'll be missing out on besides the hockey...
First and foremost, I'm going to miss heading to downtown Columbus for a game. I still get down there, sure, it's all of 7 miles away. But, no pre-gaming at Gibby's for their $2 beers, wings, and outstanding grilled ham and chees sandwich. No post game radio shows. No meeting 50 different people in the concourse during intermissions. And no more $8 beers at the arena...wait, that might not be a bad thing.
At home, I'll miss the away games, and the Center Ice. It seems every night I get to fall asleep to a Kings or Canucks game. And, even though Ohio is still in the US, I'll miss Hockey Night in Canada. That cheesy theme song just seems to prounounce hockey like nothing ESPN has ever put together.
But, here's the big one, I think...I'll miss the road trip to Nashville. The home of the Preds takes a ton of heat for being new, in the South, and not packed to the rafters every night. But, this is hands down one of the best road trips an NHL fan can make, and only 5 1/2 hours from Columbus makes it an annual trip for a few of us from Jacketland. Preds fans before and after the game are great. (During the game...well, they're just like the rest of us. :) ) The GEC is right in the middle of downtown, walking distance to 100 bars, 90 resturants, and plenty of hotels.
At the top of that bar list is Wolfy's. The home of the self-proclaimed best chili-cheeseburger in Nashville (might be World, apologies to Wolfy's for not recalling), and it lives up to the bill. As an added surprise, I found on my last trip to this fine establishment that they are now serving Bohanon's Vanilla Ale. Bohanon's is a brew pub we discovered during our trip to the 2003 entry draft, and their Vanilla Ale was only on tap there. But, they're now shipping it the three blocks to Wolfy's, so I can kill two birds with one stone.
So, Gary and Bob, I want to thank you for many things in acting this stubborn, but you both owe me a chili cheesburger and a pint of Vanilla ale.