If you need confirmation that it is indeed me, the original Black Eye reincarnated, then the next 11 pages of rambling should serve as adequate proof.
I'll start by briefly summarizing why I left and where I've been. This is straight from the horse's, um, mouth, so there shouldn't be any confusion after I recap:
1. Been pretty busy with work the past few months. As some of you know, I operate a business and it just sucks up about 117% of my time.
2. My wife and I bought our first house and that will take up the remaining free time I already don't have.
3. As you "old timers" will remember, I am not the biggest fan of how the Bruins are run and I've frankly lost some % of interest in the team. I love hockey as much as ever and I'm still a Bruins fan first, but I feel a void where once Cam Neely stirred my heart. Enough said about that. For now.
4. Lastly, and this is something we need to talk about, the civility on this board can be sadly lacking at times. My "friends" know who they are and my "enemies" know who they are too. I'm not here to take sides. But the level of hostility and inhospitability gets pretty intense sometimes and given everything else... who needs it? The Bruins aggravate me sometimes and the board does too. Where's the joy in that?
Now I'll say why I came back:
1. I miss talking about the Bruins. There isn't a better place to do it than here, warts and all.
2. It's hockey season and darn it... just when I thought I was finally free... they pull me back in!
3. Somebody has to school hubofhockey on how to write a proper HOF-caliber article. [kidding]
I'll put in my two cents on the recent round of board warfare and then I'll shut up about that. If I'm going to be here, I might as well be involved.
Firstly, my observation is that the amount of infighting on the board these days is pretty high again. It really detracts from the board. I notice that a lot of posters appear either very infrequently or have completely disappeared. This list would include: Tim Reilly, Bruinsmike, Green Monster, MDK, Kirk, Hossa, Darth, DaBroons, DC, and many others. Perhaps some of you people post under new names. But it would be fair to say that a lot of posters simply do not participate a lot or as much as they once did. I'd be interested to know why that is. If it has anything to do with the aggressiveness that sometimes pops up on HF, then that's not right.
This is why I hope that everyone will take a look at how they conduct themself on the board. Me included. If you go after another poster, if you do that with regularity, if you are deliberately provocative, if you like to incite other people... well, stop and think about what this does for the board. It can go a long towards ruining it. It disourages people from speaking their mind (because they might be attacked), it keeps new people from wanting to get involved (because on our worst day, who would want to?), it makes us look foolish, and it probably doesn't represent the way people generally act in real life or how you'd talk to somebody else from HF over a beer.
I would point to DKH as a role model. That guy seems pretty unflappable. I picture him watching My Cousin Vinny every single time its on, which must mean he's seen it about 83 times now. I haven't seen DKH drawn into many skirmishes and his posts are usually pretty upbeat and interesting. Now, I wish I had the optimism that DKH has but I don't. He must have the patience of a saint to stand behind the 2003 Bruins as much as he seems to. Differences in opinions aside, the way he conducts himself as a member of this board is exemplary. To sum it up: Act, don't react. Start your own topic instead of tearing apart someone else's. Don't take the bait every time the worm is dangled in front of your mouth. Have fun. Make it your goal to leave this board with a positive feeling.
At the end of the day... it's just Bruins hockey. I'm sometimes embarassed to admit that it's a big part of my life. But if you sign off this board tense and aggravated because of interactions with other people, something isn't right. How you choose to behave here is really up to you alone. It isn't the moderators job to clean up the mess you make, or it shouldn't be at least. If someone can't see how they contribute to making things worse around here, then I say let the mods have at them and more power to them. But hopefully that should not be necessary.
We've got some new faces on the board these days. If it's true that Dale Arnold and KPD are members, then it is not hard to imagine that they'll steer others this way as well... IF we exhibit some reasonable level of intelligence and civility. Long time members of HF, and antecedent groups, often applaud themselves as being the most knowledgable fans around and this HF forum as the best place to talk Bruins hockey. Well, it's time for us to live up to that. Newbies.. hold up a mirror. What do people see? Does it look good around here right now? I think everyone should feel a little pressure to raise the bar around here.
We're finally making it to the big time... don't blow it now!
I feel pretty unsure about the team this year. I saw many veterans leave, to much applause. The lineup is significantly different when you consider that Stumpel, Hackett, Sweeeney, Girard, Berard (probably), Oliwa, Brown, McInnis and probably somebody else I'm forgetting won't be back. There aren't many fan favorites on that list but there is a lot of NHL experience. To date, the replacements with NHL experience have been McCarthy, Potvin and Donato, three guys looking for a renewed lease on their hockey lives. The rest of the load is being passed to kids, I assume. Whether this represents progress with the roster - I don't believe it does - we'll have to wait about 20-30 games to see.
I consider the Bruins to be in a rebuilding mode. As I have felt for the past 4-5 years, I like a bunch of kids in this system. Every year seems to be bring a couple more who might really help. But my other complaint, for the past few years, is with the retention of those players. It's great to have a bevy of top prospects, but you have to keep them around when they hit 24 - 27 years old. I won't get into the specifics of the past, but I don't want to see this team losing Samsonov, Boynton, Stuart et al over the next 5 years. The object of the game is not to have the top rated minor league system/prospect pool in the league. The goal is to win the Cup and that happens only because of the players toiling for you in the NHL.
My predictions for this year look like this:
Regular season record: just around .500
Playoff spot: maybe, finishing 6-10 seems likely
Playoff success potential: low
Better than last year: no
More entertaining than last year: probably
Predictions: Sullivan will surprise as coach, Thornton scores big points, McGillis becomes a stalwart, Hilbert will be a flop this year at least
It seems like we set a new litmus test for the Bruins every few years. At one time, the test was how they would handle Allison and Carter, then it was how they would deal with the Guerin and Dafoe free agencies, then it was how they'd deal with McLaren. Every time, people were saying, "how they handle such and such will really reveal what this team is all about." They got Samsonov in camp this year and I applaud that. They do need to resolve the Boynton issue, I think that's crtical.
But the new test is what happeens after the CBA is signed. If things go the Bruins way, then they should be set up fairly well given their young-ish roster and their low-ish payroll. If the CBA does not turn out the Bruins way, then they can't keep operating against the grain. They are clearly banking on getting serious after 2004 - I hope things line up the right way to make that possible.
Until the new CBA is rolled out, I watch the Bruins with diminished expectations. They've admitted that they are basically circling the Stanley Cup Airport until 2004. I just hope that they follow through on renewing their efforts to compete for the grand prize when the time comes. I can wait, but they need to make their move one of these days.
Welcome to Dale Arnold and Mr KPHOF Dupont. To be honest, I have been critical of both of you on this very board in the past. But darn it, it's great to see you here, especially KPD given the amount of railing you have taken here. I hope you guys are treated with the proper respect and feel comfortable posting here like regular Joes. I know that Bruins fans everywhere are thrilled, secretly or otherwise, to interact with people who work so close to the action. I'm glad that you feel this board is worth your time to participate - welcome aboard! Now, I'll say one thing, this one last time, and then never bring it up again: Please please please don't write about Jon Casey ever again!
To wrap up, I've got a few promises for you:
1. I'll act exactly like I just requested everyone else to. I won't attack other posters, I won't talk about you behind your back, and I won't tell you you're stupid because I don't agree with you, and I won't jump into other peoples' business, and I won't hector you over and over with my point of view.
2. I won't post more than one time per day. I just don't have time.
3. My motto in life is: Treat me right and I'll treat you better, treat me bad and I'll burn your house down. Well, that's out the window. I'm here to enjoy myself. If you have a beef with me, too bad. I'm just here to talk hockey and I won't sweat the small stuff.
Black Eye great to see your back and hope you stay. I love My Cousin Vinny and actually saw it back to back days at the movie theatre. The only flick I ever saw twice the same day at the movie theatre was Animal House- but me and the boys had been doing a bit of partying when we saw the matinee and I had to go back at night to see if it was really that funny the first time hey, I was a yute at the time (and actually didn't figure out why Belushi on the ladder fell till I saw it about the 7th time- so I'm a little slow
The infighting has a Sutterish feeling to it though; brothers duking it out. Of all the posters, the two I've talked to about other stuff besides Broons hockey are BJ and Roger; ironically the two I could picture hanging with based on conversations- so to see the stuff is pretty wild. Their both intelligent, passionate and love the Broons- truthfully, I am more along the lines of BJ in the glass is half full but think Roger aka Meister is absolutely talented enough to do this and collect a paycheck doing this. When he talks players and talents he's outstanding; I don't agree about ALL the JJ and management stuff and we've had our arguments to- but I'd still call him up tomorrow if he lived the next town over and my buddy couldn't go to the game and take Roger and know we would have a great time watching the Broons. I can say that about almost every poster- there are few and far between knuckleheads here. I can learn something from everyone and almost all posts (even Mizral I 'sometimes' can agree with- and even he has some thoughts that are outstanding.
I hope you stick around because I can honestly say I even went looking for you in members to see about emailing you; you add alot. This board should be like hockey- you battle at times, disagree, but at the end of the game you shake hands, pat the guy on the back and realize its not the end of the world.
I can say that about almost every poster- there are few and far between knuckleheads here. I can learn something from everyone and almost all posts (even Mizral I 'sometimes' can agree with- and even he has some thoughts that are outstanding.
While we're patting each other on the back, yes DKH, I count you as one of the best Bruins posters here. Along with Jeff From Maine, Michael Karlstrom II, and a few others. Optimists & negatives alike.
I don't have to agree with people to think they are fine posters. To like or dislike someone based on their opinions on hockey can be a bit much - in my estimation. I can disagree with people without getting uppity, and I'd say the vast majority of people on this board are able to.
To be honest, I get the feeling a bit of overreaction is had by posters here over small issues - we just have to take it easy. Big deal, someone says Samsonov won't crack 80 points next year. There are Bruins fans I've seen posting think Mike Knuble will get 85 points next year - so for every detractor, there are a half dozen optimists. The key here is that no matter how much we can disagree with a poster and say/think his ideas are for the birds - we can at least be civil & friendly beyond that.
"Firstly, my observation is that the amount of infighting on the board these days is pretty high again. It really detracts from the board. I notice that a lot of posters appear either very infrequently or have completely disappeared. This list would include: Tim Reilly, Bruinsmike, Green Monster, MDK, Kirk, Hossa, Darth, DaBroons, DC, and many others. Perhaps some of you people post under new names. But it would be fair to say that a lot of posters simply do not participate a lot or as much as they once did. I'd be interested to know why that is. If it has anything to do with the aggressiveness that sometimes pops up on HF, then that's not right. "
Excellent point BE this board has seen a fair bit of deterioration as far as the quality which has seen quality posters disappear. I consider myself one of the founding fathers of the B's board but the desire to post has waned a bit from the old days. But it has not gone so far so that it cannot be gotten back and that is what we have to strive for.
"We've got some new faces on the board these days. If it's true that Dale Arnold and KPD are members, then it is not hard to imagine that they'll steer others this way as well... IF we exhibit some reasonable level of intelligence and civility. Long time members of HF, and antecedent groups, often applaud themselves as being the most knowledgable fans around and this HF forum as the best place to talk Bruins hockey. Well, it's time for us to live up to that. Newbies.. hold up a mirror. What do people see? Does it look good around here right now? I think everyone should feel a little pressure to raise the bar around here."
Exactly we have are probably about to have in influx of posters around these parts and its our job to welcome them in with open arms, minds, and hearts. We want them to feel comfortable posting their opinions no matter how different they are from the mainstream, because that my friends is what inspires debates and that is what inspired me to become a member in the first place.
Good post Black Eye. It's great to have you back. Your insight is appreciated and has been missed.
And I couldn't agree more about the board. We are lucky to have it. Behaviourly, the rule of thumb should be about respect. We don't have to agree, as long as the respect is maintained. Personally, I think disagreements and debates can be extremely enlightening, both for the individual and the board.
But anyone who makes rude, insulting comments or takes issue with someone over and over is going over the line in my book. People can say their point, someone can rebutt, etc, that is fine. Even calling somone out should be OK, as long it stays between the lines. But overgeneralizations, baited and inflammatory comments can bring out the worst in people. Those who are guilty of this the most are usually the ones who incite such reactions from others.
I came here about a year ago now, and post infrequently. But I read everyone's posts nearly every day. And my opinions are that this board is the absolute best place to come for Bruins information. When I log on, my first check is my email, then it's hfboards.
I always found it kind of strange to label people as 'good' or 'bad' posters I think that nearly everyone that comes here is extremely passionate about the Bruins, and that 90% of them are good posters, if not more. I don't think that any one should change who they are to accomadate other people on the board. I enjoy reading the good natured in-fighting because it just makes you realize how much we all love this team. Even if we all express it in different ways. I agree that we should keep it clean though, there is no need to start a fight every time you are online. But if fighting has a place in our sport, then it should have a place on our messageboards as well.
I'm glad I found this board, I think you all have made me a more knowledgable and informed Bruins, and hockey, fan.
Oh yeah, and I think it's wild that we have 'celebrities' amongst us, and am glad that a lot of the regular crew of posters are coming back (even if I don't know them, I look forward to reading their views and finding out why they are so highly regarded).
To add a bit to Black Eye's point about having celebrities on board. I am not of the opinion that we need to drastically change anything because a few people who follow or cover the B's or the NHL are on board. What I will say is that regardless of what people might want to think, people in that situation can add tremendously to this board and to our enjoyment of the Bruins. I don't expect Dale, Kevin or any other person "in the know" to post which members of the B's (if any) don't like each other or who the coach doesn't like. But there is a tremendous amount of knowledge that can be shared that most of us do not have access to and if we (myself included) are rude, unpleasant, antagonistic etc. then they and even some other regular Joes will more than likely just go away. This is not inended to be "preechy", because, I have made my mistakes in the past too, but like Black Eye, I too vow to "take the high road" from here on out.
Personally I could care less if some journalists are in this space, either as lurkers or posters. If they have good info, then I will appreciate it, same as I do when some of you "unknowns" post info.
Some seem to be implying that this is something akin to 'our shot at the big-time,' so we'd best behave. Well, behaving cordially should be the norm, not a special effort that people make to impress a bunch of semi-celebrities.
As far as notoriety, if anyone gets their name in the paper, and it makes them happy, then good for them. I certainly cannot see what advantage any of us will get from that. It is not, and never was, the reason why I have chosen to come here and exchange thoughts and opinions with you folks.
Further on that note, I really don't care if this space gets more publicity and therefore more visitors. I come here to get opinions and information from informed fans like myself. I fail to see what benefit I am going to derive from the board's membership swelling, unless some of these folks that start posting have info we don't already have. Somehow I doubt that DuPont's readers or Arnolds listeners are of the fanatical ilk who have already found this great site.
I will say that I get more good info from this site than from published sources; that is why I have made this a favorite stop on the web. Perhaps the effect of our journalist friends now visiting here will be a greater distribution of valid information to the masses, and less cute journalistic turn of phrase to mask a lack of actual information.
God, I hope it stops the foolish trade rumors that circulate from one media member to another, gaining credence as they become more widespread.
Personally, I think this is perhaps the best hockey message board in existance, some annoying attitudes (like mine? ) included. Underneath all of the petty things is a wealth of hockey knowledge, and it is therefore a great source of information. I don't go to the ESPN's or paper websites to get Bruins news, I come here first because more than likely another poster will have posted a link. There's a reason why I decided to stay and read -- back in my lurker days -- after Bru mentioned this board on the AOL board (aside: Bru, ever wonder how Max is doing? ::snicker:: ) in 1999 or 2000 (I was lurking back in the days of the indented board format, when DC thought someone was hacking his computer) -- this place is the best.
On a final note, I must also conclude by saying I enjoy using parentheses and dashes.
My point was not to try to impress anybody - but rather to try to make a good impression on everybody.
And mine was simply not to act childish, petty and unhospitable, which would cause people to stay away. I mean KPD has already given us some info that most didn't seem to know or post about Zinovjev's arrival. Earthshattering? No! But useful, interesting and otherwise unkown or unreported.
BE- thanks for that. This board needed it.
Count me as one of those folks who went away because I was hounded for not swearing a loyalty oath to the B's and swear off following other teams.
I'm never again going to defend my appreciation for the "local" team, and though some folks here won't believe it, I have Black and Gold running in my veins and I always will. Sometimes, though, it's hard to support this team- the team itself when they play like crap, or the management/ownership for running this once-proud organization into the ground. Yeah, at those times, I'm gonna pay a little more attention to the Canucks and Coyotes. But out of the corner of my eye, I'm still searching for Bruins scores and news and such. Can't get them out of my system, and that's the commonality for all of us here. That's especially true for those of us who don't live anywhere near the Hub, but are still fans. Always.
Lauri from Tacoma
p.s. anyone read this month's Beckett Hockey Collector Magazine yet? Nice article by John Buccigross- #5 is a must-read for anyone on this board. We're not the only ones suffering.......