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Phil Coffey | NHL.com Editorial Director | Sep 29, 2006

The start of the 2006-07 season is now a tangible moment you can almost touch. In many respects, it's a big relief here at NHL.com to get the regular season under way because it means "preview season" is finally over.

Over the last six weeks or so, many, many waking hours among Shawn Roarke, John McGourty and myself have been spent in pursuit of team programs. Previews are a notoriously fickle animal, subject to change at a moment's notice, often requiring rewriting and reediting. After a while, the lines begin to blur and in one instance, I couldn't have told you where Justin Williams played on a dare. Thankfully Caniac Matt Casulli was able to get me back on the track. But it's a labor of love because none of us would be here if we didn't love hockey more than breathing.

This is an abbreviated edition of Ice Age because I wanted to bring everyone up to date with what to expect here at NHL.com this season before we get into the real business next week.

First, a note of thanks. Last season was NHL.com's most successful to date in virtually every statistical category that tracks web traffic. Coming off the loss of the 2004-05 season, no one knew what to expect here. We were shocked, humbled and very gratified by the faith hockey fans showed in us and we promise to redouble our efforts to make NHL.com worth your time and interest.

You may have heard we will soon be debuting a very different look for the regular season. It's true and I'm confident you will love it. It's a bright, clean look that will really help showcase what hockey has to offer. And from a selfish perspective, there is more real estate for the "word guys" to bring our stories on the world's greatest game to you.

I wanted to take a few moments of your time to clue you in on what's coming this season.

To start off, the Eastern and Western Conference notebooks by Chuck Gormley and Doug Ward proved to be so popular, we decided to do division notebooks, so six days a week there will be a new notebook on the site. Chuck will do the Atlantic, Doug the Pacific. Rob Picarello will handle the Southeast, James Murphy the Northeast, Roger Phillips the Northwest, and Larry Wigge will add the Central Division to his other duties as one of our regular columnists. We're looking forward to some interesting notebooks from these guys this season.

http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=280314
 
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