How could we have a list of the favorite things of last season and not include open practices? Since they are the greatest things in all of the land.
Open practices began the year after the lockout, to try to get fans back into hockey. Pretty much anytime they were home and didn’t have a game, they had an open practice at the Frisco StarCenter. Where fans could go and watch them drill, joke and do serious business practice. Last season, practices became even downright exciting, seeing certain players who had been out months suited up for practice, meaning they were close to returning. (Of course I’m talking about the joy I specifically felt seeing Boucher and Zubov practicing at various times during the season.)
Then came the bestest part, after practice and showering and all that jazz, the players would come out to sign autographs and take pictures with pretty much anyone who stayed. This is just downright awesome. Granted, there were always a few who decided to sneak out a back way (Russian: this means you).
They also spread the love a bit around the metroplex, having ‘practice parties’ at other StarCenter’s such as Duncanville and Euless.
I really hope this is a new tradition that the Stars keep for a long while.