Introducing our Atlantic Division Bureau Chief
You’re going to love this guy. Or hate him. We confuse those two emotions all the time.
He’s totally balls-to-the-ball and gung-ho to mix it up. He promises a delightful mix of the profane and the profound. He had us at profane.
You can follow Vinny on the twitters at @TheLastIslander (but expect some NSFW chirping). He’s a Brooklyn resident and for his sake, we hope the Isles move there – even though he’ll be impossible to deal with after the relocation. We’re willing to take that risk however, and we hope the team does as well. -Craig
“What got me into hockey? Ha! A fascinating question, but one that has the standard fare for any child in the northeast is the answer. I was a kid. Funny thing, you usually know you’re a puckhead before you’re aware you are a queer.
The day consisted of going to school, begrudgingly plowing through homework (or blowingit off!) and getting out on the street to play hockey. Oddly, I’d never rock the popular players jersey. That’s continued to this day. But yeah, we’d wear jerseys. People got smoked into the side of parked cars, fences, and whatever else was nearby. I was primarily versed in trying to be a shutdown defenseman.
Unfortunately, I was a horrific skater, but thankfully, I made up for that in snarl and flat-out douchebaggery. Shot-blocking, elbows, slashes, the clutch and grab of the 1990s NHL was my forte. To a 90’s kid, that IS “olde time hockey”.
I think the combined distance of all my goals in my hockey life is 40 feet. Crash the net.
As far as my fandom, it’s a tortured road of many potholes. Flirted with the Rangers, Devils, and even Flyers. Never the Penguins though. Fuck them.
The reason for my hockey whoring? John Vanbiesbrouck. I LOVES ME SOME BEEZER. So, when the Rangers left him exposed for the expansion draft and went on to win the cup without the guy who carried them for the better part of a decade, I swore off them forever.
The Devils gave him that shot at a ring, and fell one game short, but the reason he got that shot? The Isles were willing to deal him to an in division rival to let the ultra-professional veteran get a shot at the cup. That earned them some points.
Drafting the uber-brash ultra-cocky Rick DiPietro sealed the deal. Beezer hung it up, and I moved on to my second netminder crush. Thus, I settled in the band of gypsies and nomads that is the New York Islanders. Furthermore, I developed some affinity for the Florida Panthers, during that AMAZING “year of the Rat” phenomenon, something the primary fanbase of this site often scoffs at, since they are one of the chieftains of the NuNHL.
Face it, Crapsfans, you haven’t done shit since the mighty mullets of Bondra, Juneau, and Witt. I love me some Ovie, but it’s time to put up or shut up. I digress!
Like I said earlier, I was a fan of this amazing game before I realized I was gay. Look, coming out was shitty. It’s something straight people just don’t get. Likewise, finding a boyfriend is rough, because you have to deal with finding a dude that’s gay, and is down to puck. Gay Puckheads? Limited Breed.
So yeah, there’s some issues to wade through. Sitting at an Isles game while someone sings “Ave-ry takes it in the ass do-da” is a tad annoying. Sitting there while he gets his face turned into hamburger meat by Michael Haley and the PA man blares “Sharp Dressed Man”? Pretty fucking hilariously awesome.
The clearest encapsulation of my life was sitting at the Isles draft party franticly checking my phone for an update on the Same Sex Marriage vote before the NY Senate. What a night! And what a steak to end it. And then the waiter drew a heart on my cake!”