Hello, and welcome to the new From The Rink (or FTR2.0 as us techy dorks in Silicon Valley like to say). You might be saying, "Who the hell is this guy?" A short introduction: I'm Mike Chen of the eponymous Mike Chen's Hockey Blog, which lived in different forms from 2004 on and was last seen on Kukla's Korner -- where you might have seen my tearful farewell press conference before I hopped on a virtual plane to pull on the SBN jersey here at FTR. I've also popped up on FoxSports.com, Versus.com, and have contributed to random hockey sites around the interwebs, including SBN's very own Battle of California. And I'm proud and somewhat terrified to say that I'll be taking over the gi-normous skates and dashing sportcoat of one James Mirtle, though I won't be alone.
Consider this a superstar-for-support players trade, a la Joe Thornton for Brad Stuart, Marco Sturm, and Wayne Primeau. I'll be the acting editor of the site, along with regular contributions similar to my now-retired hockey blog. The rest of the lineup includes a bevy of SBN superstars (not to be confused with WWE "Superstars") such as:Cory from Canes Country
Bob from Canes Country
Joe from Blueshirt Banter
Frank from Pensburgh
That's not a bad starting lineup, if I do say so myself, and you might see a roster tweak or two in the coming weeks. And don't worry that it's east-coast heavy; this will be a hockey site in the truest sense, without a particular focus on region or team. Hopefully, the content will speak for itself in the coming weeks.
The good news is that with a variety of voices on this site, we'll be able to provide you with more content than before, including some cool new regular features that will get rolling over the next week or two. The bad news is that none of us is James Mirtle. So, just like how fans may be apprehensive when a star player is traded for second liners and prospects, there will be a tad bit of an adjustment period. Hopefully, once we score our first few goals, you'll accept us instead of pining for the superstar that went to greener pastures.
I also just wanted to say a quick thank-you not only to James, but also SBN hockey editor Brandon Worley, SBN overlord Tyler Bleszinski, Paul Kukla from Kukla's Korner, and John Fontana from Raw Charge. I appreciate you guys giving me this opportunity and I think we've got a good foundation in place for a pretty great hockey site.
For now, please pardon our dust as we get things up and running. We have a plan for a smooth take-off, but great plans usually have a few bumps in the road (spoken as a true Sharks fan). Hopefully, we'll have used the foundation James built as a starting point to bigger and better things. If James comes back circa training camp 2010 pulling a Jay Leno, then we know we've done something wrong.
In any case, please check back regularly as we get rolling -- erm, skating. We'll have several updates per day covering a variety of things, starting today.