By KP Kelly, Staff Writer

PNC Arena is home away from home for many Canes fans. They tailgate for hours in the parking lot. The folks at the concession stands know their order by heart (IPA and small popcorn). Their butt print in stamped into their red cushioned seats. The staff at practices ask how their kids are fairing. Yes, it is home and they have been locked out of their home with no emergency key hidden under the mat.

This Caniac had a long work commute from Charlotte to Raleigh today and the reality of the NHL lockout really hit me. I have been silently betting we would see no hockey until December and if you follow me on Twitter then you know my wagers are always wrong. I’ve never been so disappointed to win a bet.

Full Caniac homesickness has set in. Heck, I even miss the mouth guard half hanging out of Tim Gleason’s mouth when he stares down an opposing player that just wronged one of his teammates. I miss Chad LaRose’s epic celebrations. I greatly miss the Finns and Skins. Grit and dimples in one successful trio, what isn’t there to miss? I miss watching Jamie McBain give his stick to a wide-eyed kid after practice. God bless it, I even miss Justin Faulk’s animated expressions framed by flowing wings.

A good writer would end with survival tips in order to cope during this dark period, but alas, I offer you none. Instead, I’m going to play sad breakup music like I’m a brokenhearted teenager who just lost her first love. Michael Buble anyone?

The only antidepressant is the Charlotte Checkers gang. Love them. Watch them on AHL Live (early bird special expires October 19th). Go to a game. I’m open to carpool or perhaps a party bus. Think of it as a frozen booze cruise. See you there.

About The Author

The Ohio native and Bowling Green State University graduate moved to Raleigh in 2007 and the Carolina Hurricanes and Charlotte Checkers quickly stole her Cleveland heart. If she isn’t writing, skating, or running her hockey life apparel company OuterEdgeThreads.com, you can find KP camping with her two beautiful beagles and hilarious husband.

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