Saturday, December 10, 2005

An "A" for Avalanche...

and an "A" for AWESOME!!!

Anyone that knows me, be it in real life or just cyber life, knows that I am a die-hard, huge hockey fan. And that my favorite team is the Colorado Avalanche. I have lived and died with this team since before they moved to CO, way back when they were still the Quebec Nordiques.

Well, thanks to a good friend, also way back when, I got interested in a little-known rookie player named Ian Laperriere. Way back then, he was a barely-used fourth line fighter wearing number 22 for the St. Louis Blues. I've followed his career, from St. Louis, to the New York Rangers, and then out to the Los Angeles Kings for the last, I don't know, 11 years.

Well, I had always hoped that he could find his way to the Avs. You know, my favorite player meets my favorite team, then complete happiness ensues? I never thought it would actually happen, as he finally climbed to the ranks of an alternate captain with the Kings. Then came that wonderful day-after-Canada Day (July 2), that I heard the news...He was finally, for some strange, unknown reason, a member of my Avs. I was ecstatic.

Then came the damn lockout. No hockey. No Avs. No Ian playing for the Avs. Nothing.

I've waited, and waited, and waited. And boy, was it worth waiting for. This year has started out wonderfully for #14. And as a fan, I have thoroughly loved watching. In way less than half of the season, he's already hit double digits in goals scored. He's still the Avs leader in PIMs, but that's just the nature that I've always seen. I'm astonished with how well he's played so far this season.

Somewhere along the lines in L.A., this kid grew up and turned into a bona fide hockey player.

So, what did I mean about the "A" in my title? Well, last night, I tune in for my favorite match up of all time, my Avs against my favorite goaltender (since Patrick Roy retired), Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils. When suddenly, I see an "A" on the chest of #14, Ian Laperriere. Not only did he make a team like Colorado, but he's now been appointed an alternate captain yet again in his professional career. I was beyond thrilled. This is just awesome. With the talent that is on the Avs, this guy, this no longer barely used fourth liner, has acheived the rank of alternate captain.

Look out, NHL. Whether anyone wants to admit it, he's good. Ian Laperriere is damn good. And he's been hiding for a looooong time. No more.


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