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Nick Carroll joins BSH on a PTO

The new guy without a name that begins with J.

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Philadelphia Flyers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

“He’s loud and he loves hockey.”

Two friends happened to meet years ago and this was the part of their interaction that they relayed to me. Maybe I was yearning for some unfound depth that I lacked in my 20s (and still lack today), but I remember pleading to my group, “come on, I’m more than that.” One of my drinking buddies quickly shot me down. “That’s how I’d describe you, too.” An eavesdropping bartender (RIP Coco’s) chimed in to agree.

They weren’t wrong, so writing more about this team was probably overdue. As much as I’d like to think my wife or dog, Zamboni, was interested in how pleasantly surprised I was with Lukas Sedlak in November, I probably needed more of an outlet.

(Note: I wrote prior to Sedlak’s departure. I swear I’d free up more cap space if I knew the extent of my power…)

Needless to say, I’m very excited to join the team at Broad Street Hockey and have a community that will not respond to my takes by squeaking a stuffed alligator. Or maybe it will, that’s fine too, do you.

This is probably the time to tell you a bit about me. I’m from Northeast Philly and still live in the city. My favorite takeout is Ekta, pizza is Tacconelli’s, pizza that isn’t a hassle is Ernie’s or Randazzo’s, sandwich is Dinic’s roast pork, bar is Interstate Drafthouse, brewery is ARS, and cheesesteak is Dalessandro’s, but it requires extra cheese and probably isn’t worth the wait these days. The best concert venue is Union Transfer and my favorite day of the year is Black Friday when I’ll go to the Flyers game and see the Menzingers that night.

I grew up a hockey fan but fell in love with the sport playing roller over the summers while I was in college. I still play too much to this day. I wrote this after getting up at 5:15 this morning to play shinny. I sincerely apologize if you ever played against me when I was younger and I did something stupid. I’m trying to be better.

While the Flyers’ last decade has pushed me into a love-hate relationship with the team, I have an undying love for the Birds and re-watched Super Bowl LII every weekend from the week after the game until the following training camp started. The Roman numeral is tattooed on my right arm. I refuse to write more about this year’s team out of superstition.

That said, hockey is a passion and I really look forward to diving into some features on the site. I want to look the big-picture items and trends that could define this team and the franchise’s direction. I’m regularly asked about the team and how it’s playing and simply saying “bad” usually suffices. But I look forward to seeking nuance and hopefully we all learn a few things along the way.

Honestly, not much has changed since that night almost a decade ago. I’m still loud and I still love hockey, so this feels like the right place for me.