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February 18, 2009

Pete Michaud: Random Thoughts


    Hello, Admirals fans?

    Some random thoughts in this blog edition,?

    As I write this, the Admirals are on the road in through Hershey, Bridgeport and Binghamton. The hotel in Bridgeport is very nice, but most of us HATE any hotel that doesn?t offer free internet. Hasn?t internet become a basic necessity, like food and water, life and liberty?

    Taking into account factors like the building, fan atmosphere, broadcast accommodations, hotels, nearby accommodations, etc., here is my top 5 places to visit
    In the AHL:

    • (1) Portland ? Not a great building, but a good game atmosphere, nonetheless, and a fun city to spend a day in. Also the only place in the AHL to get a true Italian sandwich (visit the Amato?s on India Street if you?re there). I?m a bit biased because I used to live there.
    • (2) Hershey ? Everything is first class. I?d like it better if we could win there a bit more often.
    • (3) Wilkes-Barre ? Aside from a bad broadcast setup, it?s a great place to go.
    • (4) San Antonio ? Not much of a game atmosphere, but there?s no better way to spend a few days than down on the Riverwalk while everyone else is freezing.
    • (5) Lake Erie ? A big city environment and a major league arena right downtown in Cleveland.
    Admirals General Manager Mike Butters did color commentary for me during a recent broadcast. Mike has prior experience in the media, having worked telecasts for ESPN back when the summer roller hockey league was in existence out in California. Assistant Coach Alan May also has spent time with the ?fourth estate.? May worked on the Dallas Stars? broadcasts and with The Hockey Network before getting back into coaching this season.

    Speaking of Alan May, the Admirals former Media Relations Director, Alan May, recently paid us a visit at an Admirals game. It was the first time I had seen Alan since he left the club 3 years ago. He told me that he had a chance to meet our current Assistant Coach of the same name. I can hear the conversation now? ?Hi, Alan May, I?m Alan May.? In fact, when he worked with the team a few years back, Alan May, the media relations guy, used to get autograph requests from fans sending him hockey cards and photos. Of course, they thought he was Alan May, the hockey player.

    Norfolk winger Justin Keller is an aspiring musician. Justin plays guitar and drums, although his neighbors may not be his biggest fans. He tells me he recently got an electric drum set, which can be listened to by the drummer with headsets while he plays. I guess they must make some noise, though. Someone in Justin?s building was at his door to complain about the noise shortly after he started playing!

    I watched most of last month?s AHL All-Star Game. Maybe it?s just me, but I think they need to change the Canada vs Planet USA format. I don?t dislike the current system, but I just think it would be more interesting to go with a format of the Eastern Conference against the Western Conference. One problem that arises from the current format is players from the host team, if they have more than one selection, often end up playing on BOTH the Canadian and Planet USA teams. The host team?s fans then don?t know who to root for. Go to a conference format, so fans in Worcester will cheer for the East, or fans in Milwaukee would root for the West. Fans watching on TV would also be more interested in the conference of their hometown team. I know that as someone who sees mostly East teams, I?d be very interested in watching a team of players from Hershey, Wilkes-Barre, Philadelphia and Norfolk all skating together.

    Well, that?s it for now. If you have questions or comments, feel free to email. Until next time?

    Pete ( pete@norfolkadmirals.com )




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