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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

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On YoungStars Eve, I only have one wish.

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I promise this will be the only thing I ask for. I've been good (Well, not really. Just go with it) this year, and I don't think it's too bad to be selfish for this one little thing:

Give me one month of solitude and peaceful rosterbation.

Listen, this only comes around once a year. This one month when we get to dream of what may come, a time of togetherness and wishful thinking when Luca Sbisa hasn't committed a single turnover in the slot, I want us to come together, set aside our petty differences and drool over minute details of exhibition split-squad lineups.

In this moment, we are pure. Well, okay WE probably aren't pure, but our teams are. Sort of, anyway.

Finally the subtle chill has arrived in the air and the leaves have hinted at the quiet possibility of turning. The night arrives sooner now than it did, bringing with it more time to huddle around the yellow/white hue of glowing screens as we search out roster changes and rookies who might possibly break out in the coming season. Free'd now of the sluggish moistness of high summer we cling tightly to our yearbooks (NHL is good, I recommend McKeen's) and pour over rosters and stat pages. Released of the vacuum of only Baseball (thank God for the Jays this year though, amirite?), Tennis, MLS, Golf, NFL Preseason- okay, there's a lot of sports happenings in August. Fine. But I'm talkin' 'bout-

HOCKEY.

Yes. Hockey is back, and with it returns my wife's resentment of a husband beholden to his other mistress, his passion for seeking out shrewd waiver pickups in his dynasty pool, or draft night in the Pub Pool when we talk hockey for 2 hours and drink beer and yell at each other for another four before coming home with beer breath and a youthful glint of "roster boner" in his eye.

It is in the spirit of this season that I ask my fellow fanatics to set our differences aside, drink some of the complimentary Kool-Aid (I promise I didn't put anything in it) and be as one. If only for this 4 weeks.

I'm tired of re-hashing Jim Benning's "Weekend at Bernies" kind of offseason. I'm tired of debating Ryan Miller's place in society or whether he deserves a place at all. I will never eat another Taco again thanks to all the Eddie Lack discussion, and if I had a beer for every argument about Zack Kassian- well, I pretty much did, actually, and let me tell you I don't feel good. Actually, I feel great, but my liver hurts.

So I'm asking for one month. One little month where we can be fans. Where we can debate about fantasy sleepers or who should be the 2nd Line RW, and laughing at that moron in the hockey pool who thinks Vincent Lecavalier is due for a bounce-back. The offseason is over (I can't tell you how good it just felt to write that) and we need to take advantage of this time we have been blessed with.

Now is a time of dreaming of upcoming Jake Virtanen murders, not somewhat questionable Brandon Sutter trades (and slightly more questionable contract extensions). It is a time of whimsical Sedinery, not counting their freakishly similar birthdays (35 pretty soon). And most importantly this is a season of fantasy (while not so much the role-playing kind, wink-wink-nudge-nudge), where we can all dream of our perfect lineups, rookie sensations, and non-stop hardcore rosterbation action 24-7, baby. (Too much there? Yeah, probably a bit too much. Sorry.)

Listen, we have many months ahead of calling each other assholes and idiots, and that's just the people who like each other. Math guys will hate narrative guys for being bad at math, and narrative guys will hate math guys for poor grammar and ridiculous, punctuation. We will endlessly debate Coach "Titanium Hip" Willie's moves behind the bench, rehash trades and lament losses. This is the way of things.

But right now, how's 'bout we just bask in the glory of the (pre)season. Let's be happy and joyous, everyone is undefeated and no one has made any crucial mistakes yet (except me for writing this article and you for reading it, but that's a conversation for my termination letter). The reality of Luca Sbisa Pizza deliveries are just around the corner, so lets savour the peace and quiet while we can, shall we?