October 8 , 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 23  

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SPORTS

Finally hockey returns
Slamball can't compete with NHL

Under review
Ian Denomme

Sports Editor

After a long summer of having nothing to watch but baseball, CFL football and Slamball, NHL hockey is finally back. The new season starts tonight with three games.

Obviously, the start of this season is different from past ones. The death of Atlanta Thrashers forward Dan Snyder has put a damper on most of the excitement that normally comes with the new season.

There was talk of the Thrashers postponing their opening game, but after talking with Snyder's family, they decided to play on the way he would have wanted.

Despite the tragedy, the new season is exciting for everyone and games will go on. All the teams start out on an even playing field, though it won't take long for the contenders to be separated from the pretenders.

All eyes will be on the big name players in new settings and rookies looking to make their marks.

The new season also means the return of Hockey Night in Canada, and therefore, something to do on a Saturday night. Over the last few years my Saturday nights have consisted strictly of watching the Leafs game and having a few beers, which either help drown my sorrows or fuel my excitement. One of the best parts about the new season is the coming together of two of the most loved Canadian traditions: hockey and beer.

Even in the middle of the MLB playoffs and with the NFL season in full swing, Hockey Night will be the program of choice for most Canadians this Saturday. The HNIC season starts off with two marquee Canadian matchups. The early game has Montreal at Toronto, while the second half of the double header has Edmonton at Vancouver.

It's been too long since we last heard a Don Cherry rant or Bob Cole's play-by-play. The traditional HNIC double header will finally rescue us from having to sit through another painfully unfunny episode of Saturday Night Live.

There are many questions hockey fans will be looking for answers to at the start of this season. The Colorado Avalanche made some impressive off season moves, acquiring Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne. There will be a lot of pressure on that team to perform.

The Curtis Joseph saga has been very publicized and everyone will be watching to see where he ends up and when.

The biggest question about hockey season is of course who is the team to beat. You can make all kinds of predictions, but the real answer won't come until June when the last team standing lifts the Stanley Cup.

 

 

 

 

 

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