We're officially into the heart of the offseason. For the men, the roster's out, the schedule's out, all that's left is four and a half months of waiting. For the women, there's still the matter of identifying those last few roster spots and the new assistant coach, but those are really the only major pieces of news expected anytime soon.
With that in mind, and since it's been a while since I've done a post like this, I figured I might as well share some of my plans for the immediate and slightly less immediate future.
The most pressing matter is determining how in the world I'm going to cover the coming season. I'm going to attend as many games as my time and budget allow (my preliminary plan has me going to 15 men's games and 10 women's games). If I'm not there, I'll be live-blogging whenever I can and recapping in case of conflicts (either with my time or between the men's and women's teams) or unavailable streams. The basic overarching reality to my plans: I'm one guy living in an apartment in Medina, OH. I attend grad school full time - which is nice in some ways, as I probably have more time to commit to TYT than I should - but it also means that I'm far from a wealthy individual. Essentially, I'm saying that I can promise you my best effort, this is a once-in-a-lifetime season, after all, but I can't promise that I'll be everywhere and do everything.
Anyway, once I have that all figured out, I'm going to share those plans with you as soon as possible, because I'd really enjoy your feedback. I've tried to plan attendance for most of the big games (on the men's side, for example, AIC, RIT, Air Force, Union, the Pittsburgh Invitational, Vermont, Michigan State and Alabama-Huntsville are all on my preliminary list), but obviously "big game" is subjective. For example, if you think I should sacrifice one of those - probably two, due to distance/cost - to go to Wisconsin, I'd like to hear about it.
Throughout the summer, I'll continue with Three Stars every Monday and Breakout Past every Thursday (conditional on my availability, as Breakout Past posts are usually pretty involved and I have an absolutely brutal class schedule, particularly for the second half of the summer). So two posts per week should be the baseline, although I somehow managed 61 total through last June, July and August. I'll drop a PIA Construction on you whenever I'm able to be in State College. And of course, I'll keep posting news as it happens, hopefully with your understanding that the bar for "news" is significantly lower in July than in January.
Last summer, I spent a lot of time working on historical aspects of the Icers program, and that's something I hope to be able to do this year as well. I've started working on my page devoted to past schedules and results again. Ideally, it will eventually include every game in the history of the Icers and the 1930s-1940s informal-turned-varsity team (it already has the latter), along with the coach, captain(s) and major accomplishments for each season, as well as many team pictures as I can find. I'm sure it will ultimately fall somewhere south of that standard, but hey, I'll give it a shot. But bear with me, because that page will look like a mess most of the time. It's a work in progress, and will probably remain so indefinitely.
Finally - and I don't say this enough - I sincerely want to thank each of you for your contributions to this blog, even if you just read it occasionally and have never even once interacted with me. When I started this thing, I really just expected to be talking to myself once or twice a week. It's become so much more than that, and that's mostly because of all of you.
Early on, before I had much of a readership, I actually said things like "I don’t aim to be purely a news source for Penn State hockey," and "I can pretty much promise that I won’t be the one to break the story." Really, I just planned on watching the games, saying "why does our power play suck?" somewhere around the following Tuesday, posting a picture of a hockey puck on Thursday, then repeating. Somewhere around 95 percent of what I do now was not part of my original plan. And to be frank, it's pretty hard to do all of this. It's ridiculously time-consuming and often expensive. It sounds terribly cheesy to say it, but you guys help motivate me to keep doing it. This is still fun to me (most of the time, I'll certainly admit to moments where I curse my responsibilities) and as long as I'm still having fun and still feel like I have something to offer to the Penn State hockey community, I'm going to keep at it.
I hope all of you have a fantastic summer! Don't hesitate to get/stay in touch, through Twitter, Facebook, or my personal email, which you can find by clicking my name in the right-hand column.