Let's face it, August is probably the worst month in the entire calendar. If not for the Beijing Olympics this summer, August would be providing us with nothing but Brett Favre updates.
"Hey look! Brett Favre had to run a penalty lap for messing up a snap! Let's dedicate five minutes on that!"
While the number of days slowly ticks down until training camps open, we puckheads have to find something to keep ourselves occupied until our favorite teams start hitting the ice again. There's only so many "Boots" Del Biaggio and Mats Sundin stories I can read.
That's why I'm here today to give you five ways to beat the dog days of summer.
Wear out your television and laptop with old game footage. Now that the NHL Network is hitting many televisions, what a great way to get a hockey fix. All summer long, NHLN has been reliving every game of the '07 and '08 playoffs. Relive the controversial calls in the Sabres-Rangers series last year. Did he really make a kicking motion? Watch Tom Poti single-handedly end the Capitals season with his Game 7 penalty against the Flyers. D'oh!
Along with NHLN, if you haven't checked out the NHL coverage on Hulu, I implore you to do so now. The site has full NHL games, including every game of the Pittsburgh Penguins-Detroit Red Wings Stanley Cup and player profiles. I know when I'm traveling, Hulu is my number one source of entertainment while cramped up inside of a plane.
It's never too early for fantasy hockey season. Yahoo! doesn't open their fantasy hockey registration until later this month (boo!), but now that the free agency period is winding down, time to start creating your fantasy hockey draft boards and mock drafts! Get a head start on your friends and opponents by mocking an entire fantasy draft. Ovechkin or Crosby number one? How early will you draft a goaltender? Daniel Carcillo or Sean Avery? All of these are important decisions you will need to have an answer for come draft time. What better way than to prepare now, on August 12? You know you want to be that guy at our draft that has the big board with removable Velcro names on it.
Start planning your hockey road trips. The day the NHL releases the full schedule is like Christmas Day for fans. It's a day when we circle certain games on our calendars and send mass emails organizing outings. August is the perfect time to bust out the map and calculator and start putting together hockey-related road trips. There's enough teams that are in close proximity to one another that you can organize a nice string of games to see over a weekend or few days. Myself, I plan to venture from New York down to Washington D.C. again as well as making a return trip to Pittsburgh, hopefully for that Stanley Cup rematch in February.
There's also my white whale hanging out there of finally getting up to Toronto; to get out to the Hall of Fame and to sell my right kidney for a Maple Leafs ticket. Anyone have some cool road trips planned for the upcoming season?
Reorganize your old hockey card collection. It's the dead of summer, so why not dig deep into your attic, bust open those dusty shoeboxes and binders and sort through the treasure of the past.
My 25 '88-89 Topps O-Pee-Chee Iain Duncan's are so going to worth bank in 30 years. Uh no.
Scour NHL rosters and make your own trade proposals/rumors. Hey, it works for some people. Thanks to the wonder that is NHL Numbers, you know the salary cap numbers of every team, so why not make it work for your team to enter the Mats Sundin sweepstakes? Think your team has enough cap room to make a crazy offer to Los Angeles Kings' restricted-free agent Patrick O'Sullivan and make Dean Lombardi's head asplode? Try it! There is the alternative of firing up NHL 08 and making some trade proposals, but, we all know the CPU rejects the good ones anyway.
These five ideas not working for you? How do you plan on making the dog days of August pass until training camps open in September?