NHL Lockout Over: Welcome Back

Welcome back to the NHL! We're happy to have all of you back!

I wanted to share an e-mail with all of you, an e-mail I sent out when things were in limbo back in November. There were some questions about whether or not there would be a lack of websites and bloggers after this lockout, since the last lockout saw a massive crop up of both.

Here was my response:

Here's my take: I'm not leaving the game, and I'm not leaving my team. I guess it's a little different, since by every indication James Dolan hasn't wanted any part of this lockout, and the Rangers players have stayed out of the spotlight, but I'm sort of indifferent when it comes to blame. Both sides are to blame, both parties lack true leaders and both parties are taking the fans for granted in this process.

But hockey itself? Specifically (since I'm a Rangers fan) Rangers hockey? I'm never giving that up. I remember going to games with my dad when I was a kid, and still going to games with him now (well, not NOW, but you get the point). I love hockey, and I love the Rangers. So long as they exist, I'll be there. Honestly, and this might be my own opinion here, if you're thinking about not writing for your site anymore if there's a full season lockout, then maybe the passion is gone. I know it's not gone for me. I still enjoy watching the prospects, and even being able to write about some of them (although not as much as I have wanted to with some recent work happenings). I can't wait till there's hockey back so I can open those game threads, analyze the numbers and debate with people on my site.

If the passion is gone, then it's gone. No need to keep doing this gig, right? Not when it's a chore.

I understand the frustration, but everything I have in the blogging world I owe to hockey. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for my love of hockey. I wouldn't have my site if it wasn't for my love for the Rangers. This is a passion for me. Building myrelationship with the team is a passion for me. If it's not then it's not. That's up to all of you individually.

Yes, the game seems to be hellbent on destroying itself, and it's frustrating, but I'm not hanging up the laces so to speak. SB Nation is a fantastic opportunity to create something in your image and make it yours. I'm proud of my site. WAY too proud to give it up because of some suits who don't seem to care about the fans.

Maybe it's just me. But I'm not getting off this train.

So here's a huge thank you to all of you guys. You guys make this worth doing, even when things got hairy there with the lockout. You keep this site afloat and I look forward to us arguing about trade rumors, line combinations and everything else rather than this CBA.

If you haven't been able to figure it out, it was hell running a site with a spot that's not playing. I can, however, tell you that I have the best staff at SB Nation (I might be a little one-sided here) and we worked all the time to make sure we were prepared for whenever the lockout ended. This site isn't going to miss a beat. We'll have a quick season preview at 8 a.m. this morning, and then more deeper previews from here on out. We can't wait!

As for hockey? I couldn't be happier it's back. I couldn't be happier to be going back to MSG, and I couldn't be happier to root for the Rangers again.

It's going to be fun.