Well I started to watch hockey when I was in grade 7 or 8. I'm 16 now so that must have been about 4 or 5 years ago. But that was playoff hockey, I used to watch some occasional Leafs games but I really started to watch hockey about 2 years ago.
I was 4 years old when I saw my first NHL game and it was the Sharks home opener and it was televised and I fell in love with the Sharks.... So since 1991 I have. So the Penguins I got to see win the cup, remember that barely, but I definilty remember the 24 point season the Sharks had in 1992-1993 ...I used to wake up in the mournings after game night and check the scores on CNN sportsline lol. I even have journals from school were I made huge fuss about a 7-4 win over Montreal.
The first taste of playoffs for me was in 1992-1993 when I watched the great one and the Kings vs Habs.
That's about the same time frame as me...I vividly remember sitting in front of the tv on Saturday nights with a bowl of hot buttered popcorn and watching "Hockey Night in Canada", and the great legends of the game.
First time I saw a live game was 1975 at the old Olympia...the Wings and the Canadiens played to a 4-4 tie...it was exciting. I'd gone to college games before that.
I started watching hockey in 1990 when I was 5. I started really paying attention to the game and watching standings and such in 1992-93 (Hence my Penguins and Patrick Roy obsessions). I started becoming a "knowledgeable" fan in 1996, but took a few years off from paying close attention to the game after the Wings won their second Cup in the 90s. I started paying close attention again when Mario came back.
i started watching the playoffs in 1998, and then i turned to the canucks the next season. I watched almost every game that season. I remember they we're so bad i started counting the biggest leads they had all season. They only had three 2 goal leads all season! They were nowhere near the playoffs. but i dreamed of the day they would once make the playoffs and its become like an afterthought now.
I got into the sport in late 1992 during the 92-93 season. I remember watching my first Sabres game on TV (they lost to Montreal 10-2 and I think Fuhr let in all 10 goals) and was in love with the sport and the team ever since. A great season to follow the Sabres IMO (Mogilny's 76 goals, LaFontaine nearly winning the Art Ross, the Mayday goal to sweep Boston). I was 10 at the time, 22 now.
Since I was a kid in the mid-80's we had one of those big dishes and I used to watch the late game on HNIC (I loved the Jets and the whiteouts). Then ESPN started showing games and then in 1997 the Predators were established. Then my love of the game really skyrocketed.
I attended my first regular season game that night against the Colorado Avalanche in Memorial Auditorium. In his first game as a Sabre, Dixon Ward scored a goal (later changed to Pat LaFontaine) and he became my favorite player.
We got a satellite dish less than a week later.
I've missed less than 10 Sabres games on TV since, and have been to over 150 games at the Arena.
Since '79-80 when my uncles (who had Oilers season tickets) in Edmonton started bragging about some kid named Gretzky. I was hooked after watching one game. I've been an Oilers fan since. Started following the Leafs (because I feared the Oilers might be moved by new ownership -- thankfully they are still in Edmonton) on HNIC about 1987 while living in Detroit (couldn't bring myself to root for the Wings -- too big a rival for the Oilers in those days).