Chirping the Bench: The "Hail and Farewell" Edition.

MAGICS:
I know what you're thinking. "That guy still works here?"  Yeah, kind of.

This is probably going to be it for me as far as postings go. Well, for now, anyway. As most of you know, I'm headed off to the New Wild West (AKA Moscow) for what, coincidentally, is the rest of the hockey season. I'll be leaving in just a couple of weeks -- as you can imagine, the last few weeks, not to mention the next few, will be pretty full of all the fun last minute stuff that goes with moving...getting papers in order, setting up phone and internet service, etc. This has all the makings of a grand adventure, a view that is apparently being shared by most people who know me well. Considering my deep catalog of stories involving public drunkenness, ladies of the evening, law enforcement figures and general impropriety, this seems like a smart bet. I can tell you that this week has already spawned the following exchange between me and my doctor:

Me: "So I'll need you to write me a prescription for my medications to cover me while I'm gone."

Doc: "Okay. So three month's worth of Hydrocodone, Xanax and Ativan."

Me: "Are we sure that's going to be legal to bring into another country?"

Doc: "I don't know. That seems like felony weight to me."

I love my doctor...

Anyway, you've all been introduced to my replacement over the past few weeks. There's nobody better for the job than Alex, believe me when I tell you that. I'm grateful to her for picking up the slack while I bow out (again) and I know that she's going to be fantastic. And whatever stories she tells you about me, I trust that you'll not hold any of them against me.

Now for the warm and fuzzy part. I really want to take a moment here to thank Arthur for giving me a chance to be a part of this operation. He found us when we were just about to hit the reset button on the Chairman's, which in hindsight seems more than a little serendipitous. Arthur took a chance on bringing me on board -- I was more than a little worried at first that my style wouldn't be all that well received here. Thankfully, he knew what he was doing, and this worked out so much better than I ever could have hoped it would. What's truly astounding, as Alex will attest to, is that I made it through my whole AC career without dropping any kind of colorful expressions in my posts, even in draft form.

Last, I just want to thank everybody who reads this site. I've never felt anything but welcomed here, which is a great feeling to have. I know that the on-ice product on both coasts has fallen short of expectations for everyone, but when you think about it, so much of what we all love about this game actually happens away from the rink. The friendships and communities we form as fans truly give this whole thing its third dimension and turn it into a living, breathing organism. I've never found a better example of this than AC. What you all have built here is outstanding, and I'm glad I got to be a part of it for a while.

I don't know what the story is going to be when I get to where I'm going. Rest assured, however, that I'm going to do my best to check in from time to time on a game thread, because I really don't want to give that up. You're all too much fun to just totally walk away. Keep doing what you're doing around here -- the passion and knowledge that Ducks fans have for their guys and our game is something special.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to have a shot or two.

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