And now, for something important:

Most people who happen to pick up a sports page or occasionally tune in to ESPN have heard: a lock-out makes an NHL season unlikely. Who cares?

The Stampede begin USHL regular season play tonight. And after a cellar-dwelling season last year, hope springs eternal with the Pede ranked fifth in pre-season ratings.

NCAA hockey is on the horizon, with Division I beginning exhibition play next week and and Division III starting about 10 days later. U.S. College Hockey online has this excellent explanation of why college hockey fans aren’t too upset about what’s going on in the NHL.

Give me kids who play for love of the game any day.

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