Four years ago today I wrote the first post on this blog.
In it, I described myself as a hockey fan first, and a Wild fan second. I sincerely hope I've been able to remain true to that mantra over the past four years.
It's been a great ride. USA Hockey magazine voted us one of the top 10 hockey blogs at one point. That was an honor.
We interviewed a guy who did a big story on Norm Green. That was fun.
We had Wild Road Tripper lending his unique view of seeing hockey as an opposing fan.
Kevin in PA has been a terrific partner with his keen eye and excellent writing.
And we've made a lot of friends.
The Minnesota Wild community is diverse and interesting. A trip down the Wild blogroll gives you a perfect sample. You've got the inimitable Mike Russo at the top of the food chain. If there's a better beat writer in the league I haven't read him or her yet. There's the transcendent Ms. Conduct. You've got the indefatigable Hockey Wilderness crew. And everyone in between - the First Round Bust guys, Roy over at Wild Puck Banter, Blake at Wild Nation - makes for a rowdy, fun family.
Over the years I've also sub-branded myself at several places. I've taken self-imposed breaks. I've become sick of writing (mostly due to becoming frustrated with the Wild.) But I've always come back around to HTP.
Writing here is still cathartic for me. I'm still the same guy - watching Wild games in the isolation of upstate New York - looking for people to discuss stuff with. I don't watch as many non-Wild games as I used to (when I started the blog I had a 2.5 year old and a six-month old. Now I've got a 6.5 year old and a 4.5 year old. They keep me pretty busy.) So I don't comment on as much non-Wild stuff as I used to.
But my love of the game hasn't diminished.
I've got new side projects (Seoul Goalie 18), but somehow I suspect HTP will continue to be my favorite garden.
At worst, HTP is just another hockey blog. We try very hard not to regurgitate stuff that you can (and likely do) read elsewhere. We try to have a unique opinion, or at least to share it instead of simply rehashing what's already extant. At best, HTP is a place where you can read and discuss what is, if not the only point of view, one that is interesting and stimulating. That's our goal.
Thanks to Kevin in PA and WRT for being my partners.
And thank you for reading over the last four years. Here's to four more!