Happy new year's news

Trevor Smith is up and is in today. It’s his NHL debut, and Capuano had some kind words — much of which should make tomorrow’s paper.

Yann Danis was also up, so back to two goalies here for the time being. Smith is set to go on the Islanders’ week-long road trip, while no one seemed to know that for sure about Danis this morning. The Islanders also report that Mitch Fritz is on waivers.

And so, for the first extended period, the Smith-McLean-Iggulden line is broken up. James Sixsmith has skated up there both days since he got here — for Iggulden yesterday, for Smith today — and may be the candidate. We’ll see what it looks like tomorrow.

As you can infer, Iggulden was back in action today, as was Joe Callahan.


To find the Islanders game, I just punched in a number that probably hasn’t broadcast Islanders games since the network was called Sportschannel. Wow.


Be careful out there. Got smacked into in the parking lot this morning. Exciting times. (The posting delay is for family obligations, though, not the paint-swap… though the Smith news would have been up a little earlier if the wireless worked better over there…)


The preliminary round at the World Juniors concludes today. Canada and the United States play tonight for first place in their pool and a bye to the semifinals. So do Russia and Sweden in the other pool; the Slovaks and the Finns play an elimination game in that pool. The Czechs need only a point against lowly Kazakhstan (outscored 36-0) to clinch a quarterfinal berth from the pool with Canada and the U.S.


Soundin’ Off Book Club: My Stroke of Insight, by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor. Taylor, a neuroanatomist, suffered a stroke…

Oh, jeez, here we go again. You and the “brain injury” stuff.

Yeah, but wait: Taylor suffered a stroke — and because she studies all of this, she had a sense, while it was going on, of what was happening to her, when, and how. The first half of the book describes her injury, and then it describes her recovery. (And yeah, frankly, I saw some problems and some breakthroughs that were analogous. The sluggishness for a year and change, things like that.) Fascinating. And the second half of the book describes what it was like to have the discrete, mathematical, verbal half of her brain shut down, leaving the non-verbal half in charge. She describes a feeling of being a liquid, of feeling people’s energy, of being in communion with everything else. No less fascinating. A short and bright read.


Five favorite headers this year.

And the joke in here was so bad, but I still love it.


And so this year ends.

I wonder what things will look like at the end of 2009, in this league, in this sport, in this profession of mine. It is a time both thrilling and petrifying. Hang on tight, I suppose.

As noted, for Bridgeport, 2008 was a tidy 45-29-1-5 year, coincidentally 80 games, and 96 points, which is really good but not outstanding enough to win you home ice anytime since the advent of the shootout. (All that matters now, of course, is a pretty good start to 2008-09.)

And for the first time since 2004, the guy who’s listed as head coach on New Year’s Eve is the same guy who was listed as head coach a year earlier.

Detroit and Chicago won the respective Cups this year, although a bunch of Penguins gave both of them their final challenges, so tips of cap to all of them.

Around here, we said hello to the likes of Kyle Okposo (cue the screaming kids), Pierre-Luc Faubert, Brett Pilkington, Luke Fulghum, Justin Bourne, Tyler Mosienko, Rob Hennigar, Pete MacArthur, Jack Hillen, Jesse Joensuu, Tomas Marcinko, Joe Callahan, Brett Skinner, Mike Iggulden, Yann Danis, Peter Mannino, Mitch Fritz, Kurtis McLean, Matt Bertani, Joel Rechlicz (for a bit), Vladimir Nikiforov, Nathan Lawson, Dennis Packard, Len DiCostanzo and Jon Gleed. We said hello again to Chris Lee, Jean Desrochers (there’s one from the past) and James Sixsmith.

We totally didn’t say hello to Scott Gordon, though.

We said goodbye to all-timer Steve Regier, Darryl Bootland, Mike Morrison, Kip Brennan, Drew Fata, Scott Ford, Ted Nolan, Matt Spiller and Bernie Cassell.

We said hello and goodbye to Matt Keith and Colton Fretter. We said hello again and goodbye again to Mark Parrish.

And Thomas Pock toured the metropolitan area.

We said final goodbyes to John Ashley, Mickey Renaud, Ken Reardon, John McConnell, Ned Harkness, Paul “Reg” Newman, Alexei Cherepanov and Bep Guidolin, among others. We the ink-stained lost Jack Falla and Jerome Holtzman and W.C. Heinz.

Those who retired included Mattias Norstrom, Danielle Goyette, Scott Thornton, Mick McGeough, Mikael Renberg, Darren Van Impe, Sami Kapanen (on these shores, anyway), Glen Wesley, Dominik Hasek, Trevor Linden, Rob Shick, Pat Dapuzzo, coach Jeff Dwyer, Dallas Drake, Mariusz Czerkawski, Alyn McCauley, Stu Barnes, Keith Carney and Luke Richardson.

No doubt I’m forgetting people on all those lists.

And just for the fun of it, the Doug Gilmour Memorial “I Retire. Wait, No, I Don’t. Do I?” Award has to go to the returning warrior, Claude Lemieux.

We had some fun this year, talking fifth-overall draft picks back to Daniel Dore, lamenting the Mets, sharing book ideas, playing trivia games. I hope it stays fun for you (or becomes fun, as the case may be) and me in the year to come.

May that be happy and healthy for you and yours.

Michael Fornabaio