Ways To Make The 15 Days From Now Until Hockey Season Fly By

Doug GausepohlCorrespondent ISeptember 16, 2009

NEWARK, NJ - SEPTEMBER 16: Zach Parise #9 of the New Jersey Devils takes the shot against the New York Rangers at the Prudential Center on September 16, 2009 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

It seems that the closer the 09-10 NHL season gets, the longer it actually takes to arrive, doesn't it?

The summer months usually fly by with baseball but once September comes, training camps across the country open, and all the unsigned free agents find last-second shelter, that's when the countdown begins. 

You all know what I'm talking about.  It's like a seven year old kid's countdown until Christmas Day. Fifteen days isn't all that far away theoretically, but in terms of waiting for something to begin, few rival the anxiety that fuels up when one of your favorite sports is a couple days or weeks from beginning.

So in these remaining 15 days, what can you do to pass the time?

I'll list some, but feel free to comment and let me and the readers know what you do to help feed the craving.


1.  Fantasy Hockey.  It's a great way to get your juices flowing in mid-August when the websites such as Yahoo! and ESPN set up their Fantasy Hockey league pages.  Looking over the player projections and creating the scoring settings for your league can spark some interesting conversation and inspire some great works of statistical overviews.  Last year my friend made a huge sheet ranking his top 30 at each position to use as a guide during his draft.  Luckily for me and the rest of the owners in the league, he brought it to Pizza Hut one day to show it off to us and left it at the table, never to be seen again.  Needless to say he didn't win the league.

2. THN's Hockey Yearbook A MUST-READ for any hockey fan.  Especially one interested in the makeup of other teams in the league besides their favorite.  If you're buying it just to read the preview on the Red Wings, it's probably not worth the $9 or whatever it costs.  But if you like to examine the strengths and weaknesses of teams like I do (especially in-division), it is a vital preseason read.

3.  Preseason.  Personally not a favorite of mine.  I understand that it "feeds the craving" and all that, but I just can't get excited about games when they don't mean anything.  And especially when they're being played by players of whom 50% or so will not even make the team that year.  But if you're a total hockey junkie, this can hold you over for a few weeks. 

4. Football.  Again, not a favorite.  But it seems to please the masses, and even though it's only once a week, it's something emotional to invest yourself in

5. Baseball.  A favorite of mine.  I'm cursed to be a Mets fan and have absolutely no reason to watch their last 16-18 games of the season, but there are certain teams out there that are giving much reason to watch.  This late in the season, it's becoming pennant fever (well, at least Wild Card fever).

Again, that's just me.  I'm a complete sports junkie so maybe there's a few of you out there who have ideas of how to divert attention away from waiting for hockey to start onto something more constructive.

Until then, good luck on you're next 15 hockey-less days.  It's just as hard for me as it is for you.