This post is way too self-indulgent for our print edition, but that is why God created blogs.So here ya go:
Covering my first, full Stanley Cup Final has offered a trip down memory lane to a time when I still owned hockey equipment, still was willing and able to stay up until 3 in the morning skating to and fro and make it to work the next day and still had enough hair to stick out from the sides of a helmet.
Back in the early 1990s I was a regular in a Monday night pickup game at the old Sky Rink a couple of blocks west of the Garden, where many of the prominent hockey-oriented journalists of the day would head after Rangers home games.
More than 20 years later, some still play and others do not, but it's impressive how many still are in and around the business and here in L.A. for the big games.
It's good to know, IMHO, that just as in baseball, basketball and especially golf, many of those who cover the sport actually know a little bit about it from the playing end.
Below is a partial list of the Sky Rink alums at the Cup Final. If I forgot anyone, I'm sorry. I'm old.
Steve Levy of ESPN
Kenny Albert of MSG/Fox/NBC
John Giannone of MSG
E.J. Hradek of NHL Network/NHL.com
Frank Brown and John Dellapina, former Daily News writers who now are high-ranking NHL communications executives
Barry Meisel, a former Daily News writer who now runs a company that sells sports collectibles
(Honorable mention to the Los Angeles Times' Helene Elliott, formerly of Newsday, who attended a number of the Sky Rink sessions but did not play in games.)