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Chirping the Bench: An Old Friend Stops by to Say Goodbye

Well. It's been a long time since I've done one of these, so forgive any rust or irrelevance. I'll also be mercifully brief, so don't really expect any sort of literary gem here.

When Alex and I resurrected the Chairman's two summers ago, neither of us really had any expectations or, to be totally honest, any clue as to what would happen. We'd never "officially" pulled the plug on things, but the place was certainly on life support for a long time for a variety of reasons. Because of that, many of the people that once popped by to visit us moved on to other places -- considering how difficult it is to stay on the thin end of the blogosphere's wedge, that isn't surprising. To paraphrase the great Hyman Roth, this was the business we chose.

So, when we decided to give it another go, we really didn't have a plan. We more or less resolved to just do our thing and see what happened. Then, out of nowhere, I got a very polite and cordial email from this guy Arthur, asking if we'd be interested in contributing to this fine site. I know it sounds pretentious, but it really was a moment of serendipity for everyone involved: we had something to focus on, and AC got a new feature. It worked out for everyone, and I promised to behave myself and not be as I've been known to be elsewhere.

It all worked out pretty well until life got in the way and I moved on. Alex took over at that point (after a little bit of gentle prodding from me -- I told you it'd work out...) and that was that. I went off to Russia for a while, saw and did a lot of things that Jen would ban me for talking about here, and, if I'm totally honest, got away from the Crunch and hockey in general for the last twelve months. However, I didn't want the whole Chirping the Bench deal end without coming back to say goodbye and thank you to all of you.

Like I wrote somewhere up there, AC came to us at just the right time, and gave us something positive to talk about at a moment when we really needed it. Even though I hung up my spurs a year ago and have eased into my emeritus role, that part of me is still really grateful to AC for letting me go out on a much more positive note than I would have otherwise. I think I can safely speak for both Alex and myself when I say that Ducks fans, on the whole, have been overwhelmingly pleasant, cordial, and, most importantly, fun, to talk hockey with. We couldn't have asked for a better fanbase to partner up with after the acrimony and enmity that came with the length Crunch-Jackets divorce that played out over a number of years. You guys are alright with me.

Personally, I just want to thank a couple of people by name before I get out of here. Arthur, Daniel, Robby, Jen, and Mick were all spectacular to work with for that brief time. They were genuinely excited to have me come aboard, and they were all exceedingly friendly and nice to me. Quality people, all. The next time I'm in California, I want to get each of them drunk. And of course, massive thanks to Alex for picking up after me (again) when I departed. I promised you the best new mommy I could find, and you got her.

I know weepy sentiment isn't what some of you might remember about the guy behind this name, so let's call this a day here before it turns into some kind of Hallmark Channel estrogen-fest. I'd leave you with some truly obscene stories of Moscow debauchery or what I anticipate will be coming my way next winter when I go to Cuba on a research trip, but let's go out with class for once.

Seriously, thanks. It's been a pleasure.