Packin’ Up Those Phantoms…

Pack up all those phantoms
Shoulder that invisible load
Keep on riding north and west
Haunting that wilderness road
Like a ghost rider”

— Ghost Rider (Vapor Trails – 2002)

It’s been awhile since I threw the Rush lyrics into the ole blog so I guess, as I pack and prepare for a lengthy roadtrip that starts tomorrow, I thought it was time. 

Ok, so technically, we are heading north and east…but…this passage pretty much covers the team as we head out.  A team with their fair share of phantoms and a team that is more than shouldering an invisible load.  A team that could be drastically different (or not) when the bus rolls back into Portland sometime in the mid-afternoon on Sunday, October 26th…13 days after it rolls out.  Hopefully it will be a lucky 13 for the Hawks, but the way things have been going lately…I’m not holding my breath.

“Well, I was only a kid, cruising around in a trance
Prisoner of fate, victim of circumstance
I was lined up for glory, but the tickets sold out in advance”

— The Big Wheel (Roll The Bones – 1991)

I love this passage…it is lyrical mastery that can mean so much, but can be interpreted differently.  You can say that the players are “prisoners of fate, victims of circumstance” for being thrown into a situation where, for a lot of people, the on-ice results pale in importance to what is happening off the ice, yet they are expected to perform and focus on their play, schoolwork and everything else that goes with being a player in the WHL.

I have kept fairly quiet, for obvious reasons, on the potential sale of the team, but I have been very impressed with how the players have done their best to just focus on the hockey.   These kids deserve your support and the rest will happen as it happens.

The last line of that passage can be used to describe any of the Hawks players that have had glorious chances to score this season and for whatever reason hasn’t.  Keep reaching for that glory, boys…it will happen.

“I’m not giving in
To security under pressure
I’m not missing out
On the promise of adventure
I’m not giving up
On implausible dreams-
Experience to extremes-“

The Enemy Within (Power Windows – 1984)

The trip will be an experience…indeed.

I will be taking pictures and posting those with my thoughts from the road…starting in Spokane on Wednesday…I’ll do my best to send along as much as I can both here and on the broadcasts.

Let’s go already…






  1. go back to not writing about your love of rush, please ;)

  2. Good luck, safe travles

  3. Good perspective, Andy, except I’m so old that Rush references don’t mean a thing to me.

    Since this whole ownership situation is a very adult one, even for major junior hockey players, the boys should try to just concentrate on things they are most able to affect, that is, the playing of their hockey games.

    This won’t be easy, but I’m rooting hard for their success. Go Hawks Go!!

  4. Have a good trip, we’ll be supporting you guys back home here.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, absolutely love the blog Andy.

    Also, if you don’t mind…FYI to all Winter Hawks fans out there, I have created a new fan forum, “Talk Hawks”, dedicated to the team. Check it out.

    Go Hawks!

  5. Have a safe trip. I think this will be a good experience for the boys. Thanks for keeping us up to date Andy.

  6. Safe travels AK. We all hope the boys play up to their potential, and hopefully they can concentrate about hockey, their love of the game, and have a good trip.

    Bill is correct, this whole sale thing is an ownership issue. Hopefully the trip will be a time for the team to bond and play hockey. The ownership thing will take care of itself.


  7. I think the Hawks are playing to their potential. thats the most disturbing thing. Potential is outplaying your opponents at least some of the time. Maybe losing on a late mistake, or a bad penalty or a soft goal, things that can be coached and fixed. The hawks are just losing.

    Open your eyes, this has been happening for over 2 years now, this just did not start last night .

    I can’t name one Hawks who is playing up to their potential? Maybe the bar is too high, or maybe the talent level is just too low.

  8. Brian, I would agree that as a individual players they may in fact be playing up to their potential, but they have yet to play as a team, and that potential can be reached with everyone getting on the same page and executing the same plays at the same time…

    That should be the area of biggest improvement over the course of the coming months.


  9. I can’t see the management keeping this current roster together all season. I predict a blockbuster deal during the road trip since the hawks generally don’t trade “big” within the division.

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