Hey everyone! My name is Pan, and I am the newest contributor here at New York Puck. I wanted to write a quick post introducing myself and telling you guys a little bit about who I am. I recently graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor’s degree in Geography & Urban Studies, and although I have set up a home here in Philadelphia, I am a lifelong Devils born and raised in Toms River, New Jersey.
My role here is far from set in stone, but it is likely most of what I will be posting will have something to do with the Devils. It has been an exciting season for the red-and-black faithful, and I look forward to adding my comments on this surprising season.
My journey into hockey began long before I remember. I am the first of my American family born outside of New Hampshire, so I was always surrounded by hockey fans, players, and countless UNH alumni who never miss a Hockey East tournament. I will never know for sure how I became a Devils fan; in my immediate family, hockey was not on the television growing up, and I was not in Devils onesies or making trips to the Meadowlands as a young child.
I do have a suspicion my devotion to the Devils began with NHL ’94, toggling through the teams until I stumbled on what would eventually become a source of such happiness and heartbreak for me. I remember being in New Hampshire one summer and excitedly running up to my grandmother telling her that we had a hockey team back in Jersey. I managed to get to my first game at then Continental Airlines Arena when I was seven, a few months before Jason Arnott planted the idea in my head that the Devils were supposed to win the Stanley Cup every year.
Hockey has always been my favorite sport, and no team has been more important to me throughout my life than the Devils. I played until I was sixteen, and I have been trying to get myself back on the ice for the last couple months. It is pretty difficult without a ton of disposable income. I do watch other sports, and I can be entertained by almost anything except for football. I play soccer as frequently as I can (I am a goalkeeper, so I use the term “playing soccer” pretty liberally), and the time I am not spending running around outside between April and October, I am probably pulling my television out of my window to watch baseball in my backyard. I love participating in any sporting activity, having also played basketball, rugby, and run track at different points in my life.
I always pictured myself going to a Hockey East school in New England, but I ended up in North Philly at Temple. I absolutely loved it there, and although my one complaint was the lack of Division I hockey, there is something about college basketball that is hard to top. I have been to playoff games at Prudential Center, MLB games at a number of parks including a walk-off at Fenway, MLS games that feature 90+ minutes of chanting and song, NBA buzzer beaters, you name it; but the loudest sporting event I have ever attended was a Temple-St. Joe’s game at Liacouras Center. There is something magical about the Big 5, and if you ever find yourself in Philadelphia while there is a Big 5 game going on, get a ticket and go.
Although I do not live in the Garden State right now, I am a proud New Jerseyan and firmly believe there is no better place in the world. I do keep myself within the distance that I can see Camden if I jump high enough (and that is not always an exaggeration). I am opposed to teams within state lines using “New York” identification, and believe the NBA and MLB should immediately relocate or expand to Jersey. The Nets moving to Brooklyn is one of the greatest injustices in North American sport since the turn of the century. I dislike our governor for a number of reasons, but the biggest indictment of Christie is his traitorous allegiance to the Rangers.
If you have made it this far, thank you for reading me ramble on about nothing too exciting. I hope I am able to bring a new angle and perspective to New York Puck, and I certainly look forward to hearing feedback from our readers. Let’s Go Devils!