This blog is focused on intelligent hockey discussion with a sense of humor.
As a companion to this blog follow @GilbertPortland on Twitter.
The real Gilbert Portland is a lifelong hockey fan born in Buffalo, New York now residing in the state of Maine. He is a former Buffalo Sabres season ticket holder in both the old Aud and the current arena. Growing up on the Canadian border, the hockey culture of Buffalo was also well informed by the Canadian presence just to the north. The CBC broadcast Hockey Night in Canada into Western New York every week and provided coverage that was lacking in the U.S., especially in the 1980’s & 90’s. Seeing the Sabres live downtown was supplemented with trips to Rochester to watch the Amerks and over the border to view Canadian Major Junior (OHL) and NHL action. The Hockey Hall of Fame was also within easy reach in Toronto and pilgrimages there are always a great experience.
Recently, Gilbert Portland attended the complete 2016 World Junior Championship in Finland. The host Finns took home the Gold and Team USA captured Bronze. The city of Helsinki was a great host, fun to spend time in, and easy to get around. In 1996 GP attended his first international tournament, the inaugural World Cup of Hockey final in Montreal – won, of course, by the US on Canadian soil. In 2008 came the World Championship medal round in Quebec City, with Russia taking home the gold, then the 2011 World Junior Championship (WU20) in Buffalo, attending the entire tourney also with a Russian victory. Further travel has found NHL games in Montreal, Washington, and Phoenix.
Maine has been home since 2009 and time spent exploring the hockey scene here and across New England gives the chance to see AHL, QMJHL, and college action. Unfortunately a couple of teams on those trips are no more, with the QMJHL Lewiston Maineiacs leaving for Canada and the AHL Manchester Monarchs leaving for California. In the northeast multiple NCAA hockey games have dotted the itinerary, including an NCAA regional tournament, Frozen Fenway with the University of Maine Black Bears participating, UMaine home games in Orono, Maine, college games at Yale and in Portland, Maine, and covering the 2003 Frozen Four while working in sports television. His TV career in Western New York included coverage of the Buffalo Sabres, NHL, and other levels and leagues. All this time a constant companion has been The Bible of Hockey, The Hockey News. Media has changed over the years, but THN still puts out a solid magazine worth reading. THN also brings back memories of running fantasy hockey leagues out of the stats section. GP has been involved with fantasy hockey since the early 1990’s, long before the current fantasy craze, winning several different leagues multiple times.
Overall Gilbert Portland has a long background with the game of hockey and his thoughts and opinions come from a large sample size of games watched, while other regional, national, and international viewpoints have been appreciated along the way.
This blog will look at the entire world of hockey, with some extra attention focused on the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres have endured some lean years recently and now with two #2 overall draft picks in two years on board things are looking up, so this is a great time to debut this site and talk about the rebuild as it comes to Stanley Cup winning fruition in a few years. Fantasy hockey will get some mentions and there may be Bills, tennis, or other sports notes from time to time. Hockey will definitely be the main focus and hopefully it provides some entertaining reading.
Gilbert Portland is the website owner’s pseudonym and the blog is currently not open to public contributions.
Unless noted otherwise all photos, illustrations, logos, and other original artwork were created by and are the property of Gilbert Portland.