Sometimes, I have to pinch myself and remind myself how lucky I am to live in Charlotte, with an organization like the Checkers here. For many years, I dreamed of the day I’d live in an NHL city where I could have full season tickets. Of course, that was when I had these aspirations of living in a city like NYC, or Los Angeles, or whatever. I soon learned the lifestyle in a city like that vs. the one I have in Charlotte were incomparable. I turned down job opportunities and offers to live in grander places, mostly because the quality of life I have in the South is too good to pass up.
And then the AHL arrived, and I realized how very lucky I am. I can have the level of hockey I love, at way better prices than the NHL, all in my own backyard. It’s awesome!
For two seasons, I was a Hurricanes partial season ticket holder. The drive killed me. Two and a half hours in each direction just to see a hockey game was expensive, and prohibitive to my career. I was even a Checkers season ticket holder for a season, but I got frustrated at the level of play that the ECHL provided, and my interest dwindled to the point I still have a stack of unused tickets from that season sitting in a drawer in my desk. I really really wanted to love the ECHL Checkers, and it’s not that I didn’t like them, I just got frustrated by it.
So here I am, a few years later, and I couldn’t be happier with how things turned out. Finally, after Charlotte being considered the birthplace of professional hockey in the South, we have a team to really be proud of, and one that I think will put us on the map. I really believe in this team and organization. I think the marriage of the Checkers and Hurricanes is repeatedly proving to be mutually beneficial to both teams. It’s great seeing Glen Wesley and Rod Brind’Amour at “our” games and working with our prospects. (Can I put an aside in here, that while googling his name to make sure I put the apostrophe in the right spot, I read his first name is actually Roderick? I swear, I want to name my son Roderick, cause that just has to make them destined for greatness, right?)
Professional hockey made it’s debut in Charlotte 55 years ago, and it’s definitely thriving!