I sent an email to Justin Bourne yesterday. He's a busy guy writing columns for The Hockey News, USA Today, Puck Daddy, Hockey Primetime and christ only knows who else. The guy has really made a quick go of getting some paying gigs since deciding to write about instead of play hockey. Today he fulfilled my request for a letter to the team regarding this weekend's games against Bucky.
Here it is ...
To the current UAA Seawolves:
Not the entire state or anything, just their oh-so-prestigious hockey program. (Sorry for the hostility, but they really were condescending about our little hockey program up there in Alaska during my playing days.)
I’m guessing they still think you and your program are a joke. And that’s a pretty easy guess to make.
They think you’re an easy weekend on the schedule where they can lean on the talent of their highly touted recruits and walk through another four point weekend against the ‘Wolves.
Well fuck those entitled pricks.
We managed to take them down my rookie year in the playoffs, in the Kohl Center, when it counted. They slept on us because we weren’t as good as them talent-wise, and they’re likely doing the same with your crew. No offense, but they’re probably right about the talent thing - admitting that isn’t a bad thing, it brings about awareness. You’re gonna have to outwork and outsmart them.
And, you should probably out-hate them too, which shouldn’t be too hard since, as I mentioned, they probably don’t give a fuck about you.
The truth is, the talent gap between the country’s elite programs and rising ones like UAA isn’t that big. After my class left UAA, we battled against the top players from college in the professional ranks, and I learned something – the guys who’re the best players at your level are still the best players at the next one. But the rest of those guys were just eating off the top dogs, getting inflated stats, swollen heads and bad attitudes.
As in, Phil Kessel and Joe Pavelski from college are still Phil Kessel/Joe Pavelski good in the NHL, but most of their cronies that were feeding off them? They just weren’t anything special. And MAN did they all think they were. So take them down a fucking peg or two.
They’ve got their fancy rink and their program has a great history, but those kids weren’t a part of any of it. That current roster of theirs has combined for no more national championships than yours.
It’s healthy to respect another team’s talent-level, but in no way do you have to respect those entitled kid’s acting like they’ve accomplished fuck all.
College hockey is ridiculously fun – you have five days between games to commit to whatever you want, and that won’t happen at any other level than this one. So when it’s actually a rare game day, pour it on, fuckers.
Anyway, your game is on the NHL Network this weekend, and I’ll be watching.
Score me some goddamn goals.
I can't say thanks enough for Justin acceding to my request. I know he doesn't get as much chance to follow the team as he may like with all the watching, analyzing and writing about the NHL that he does these days. But don't think for a second that he and dozens of other alumni aren't proud of their time at UAA and aren't pulling for you guys. They are.
Now if only I could find Mike Peluso's email address again. You know, I once heard him tell (as he drifted past their bench) an Air Force Academy opponent that he'd shove a stick up his ass and turn him into a popsicle. At the end of that game, there was quite the melee in the corner and Big Mike beat up no less than three future flyboys. Well that's how I remember it anyway.
So I hope readers will forego commenting here today and hit Bourno's blog and say thanks. I already have.