It has been a(n embarrassingly) long time since I followed hockey. I am from the northern United States, specifically from an area which values hockey over football (especially the college variety). I remember loving going to hockey games and getting into the plays, the penalties, the bad goal-tending, and yes, the violence. Mostly I watched NCAA hockey, but was passively a Boston Bruins fan. My dad didn’t do a lot to instill a love of the team in me, so while my dedication to the Red Sox is unquestionable, I am open in my allegiances to professional football and hockey teams.

When I lived in the Southwest I was tempted to begin following the Coyotes, but that seemed silly (a hockey team in the desert? Really?) and now that they are moving to Winnipeg they might become something different entirely. When I lived in the Midwest it was tempting to become a Chicago Blackhawks fan, but I was so busy with graduate studies that I never made the effort. Through it all I never though about following the Bruins, perhaps due to some kind of need for independence from the region. I am loyal to the Red Sox, but nothing says that all the teams I root for have to be from there because of that.

So now I find myself in Florida and the Lightning have caught my eye. Their rink is easy to get to and regular season tickets are a steal. They aren’t a horrible team, winning the Stanley Cup in the 2003-04 season and making the playoffs several times including this year, facing the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Finals. So they are convenient to follow and not so good that I appear to be a fair weather fan jumping on the bandwagon. My only reservation, as it was for the Coyotes, is becoming a fan of a hockey team that exists in a non-hockey climate. Perhaps that fear cam be overcome and despite my husband’s distaste for “soccer on ice” I can become a hockey fan once more.