Thank Yous All Around

Now that we have caught our breath, it's time to give thanks to those who helped make this season possible.

The 2013 Chicago Blackhawks was one crazy and satisfying ride. It started with a Stanley Cup presentation before their first game and ended with another one after their last one. When were left with many fantastic moments and numerous memories in between. I was honored to write about it on this site and have all of you along for the ride.

In January of 2011 I decided to start a Blackhawks blog, Smart Ass MotherPucker. I was told by so many friends, who have watched many a game with me, that I should start writing down the things I say during games. So I finally started to do that and realized it was a great outlet for my creativity. In February of 2012, I was asked to take over Blackhawk Up. I was very excited to gain more exposure and take the next step in my writing career. Last August, Travis Hughes from SB Nation contacted me about taking over Second City Hockey. To be honest, I was floored and extremely thrilled to be taking over this great site.

There have been many ups and downs since I took over the reigns. Four days after I was given the keys to the car, my father lost his year and half battle with cancer. My father was my hero and taught me everything I know about hockey. He took me to my first Blackhawks game and I had the privilege to take him to his final game. I was hoping I could distract myself from the grief by getting lost in some hockey games. As we all know, that couldn't happen due to the ludicrous lockout we all had to endure. There have been times I can feel him looking down and me and smiling. Those moments are very special to me and don't come enough.

Once the season got going it was a landslide of previews, game threads and recaps with not much time to catch my breath. The season was a challenge but an absolute joy to cover. Since coming over to Second City Hockey, I was interviewed by the Chicago Tribune, got to talk to Jeremy Roenick and spent the home games of the Stanley Cup Final in the press box. I had no idea all of these things would ever happen when I wrote that first blog back in January of 2011.

Their are a lot of people I need to thank for making this first great season at Second City Hockey possible. First and foremost I want to thank all of you that stop by and read. To the casual fan who just checks out the preview to see what channel the game is on to all you hardcore guys and gals who hang out in the game threads, I thank you for sticking with me and making this a great place to talk hockey.

A big thank you goes out Spencer, Kristina, Randy, Cody and Mike for helping out on the site. You will begin to see more of them as the offseason progresses. I also want to thank ahnfire and stacie7 for their great work as moderators. I appreciate all that you do here! I owe a lot of this to Frank Rekas, who runs Panther Parkway. He gave me the shot at Blackhawk Up which lead to this opportunity. I also want to thank Sam Fels, who recommended me to take over the site. I was honored to be asked to take over the great community that Sam and the rest of the ToS built up.

I have had a lot of support and encouragement from friends and family that has meant a lot to me. But I can not thank my wonderful girlfriend enough for all she has done for me. She has put up with endless hours of watching hockey games, even though she would rather be watching some group of housewives, and never complained. She has been behind me from day one and I know none of this would be happening without her support.

We have a busy summer ahead of us. We will have draft coverage, player report cards and all the free agency drama you can handle. I also have some ideas for some fun weekly features and a possible gif tournament as well. I also am looking for some more contributors. I would love to have a "stats guy" on board for next season who can break down the games from a numbers standpoint. I would also like bring someone on board to cover the IceHogs and the AHL for next year,

Thanks again for reading and following on Twitter. Looking forward the sharing the Blackhawks title defense with all of you!