Almost time to hit the road - not goodbye, but see you later

Joel Auerbach

An end is also a beginning, and that's not always a bad thing.

Well, kids, it's been fun, but I have to be moving on.

I'm heading back to the West Coast - back to the Seattle area specifically - to help figure out a better living situation for my elderly parents. Naturally, that includes staying with them for a while. They don't have internet, and because they live out in the sticks, they won't be getting it even after I arrive.

So, I'm really moving on more out of necessity than out of lack of interest.

Another downside is that I'm moving without a job lined up, and finding my own place will be dependent upon that. So, right now, I can't say that I'll return to Raw Charge any time soon. I also can't say right now if I ever will.

With that in mind, I'd like to give a special thanks my co-conspirator John Fontana for inviting me on to this ride four years ago. James Mirtle, the then SB Nation hockey editor, had suggested someone else to him, but John wanted me - despite never having interacted with me, up until the time he asked me on board. I had been writing for another Lightning blog at the time, and decided to see what the then budding SB Nation had to offer.

I'd also like to thank the Tampa Bay Lightning for giving us a chance when so many NHL teams wouldn't four years ago. I am genuinely thankful that they've taken us seriously as a members of the media, and without their help, I'm not sure where we'd be today. Brian Breseman in particular has been wonderful to us, and for that, I thank you.

I'd like to thank the Norfolk Admirals as well. They treated me very well the two years that I went to games there. Keith Phillips was fantastic, and extremely welcoming. Jim Hodges, the beat reporter for the Hampton Roads Pilot (the local newspaper), was also extremely kind to me whenever I sat in the press box at Norfolk Scope. They are good people in Norfolk.

I'd like to thank our writers - past and present - for joining us. This whole venture started out as just John and I for the first year or so, and you guys have brought the funny, the serious, and the insightful. While we gave you a place to write, you gave me some great friends. Thanks for helping out and be there for us.

And finally, I'd like to thank everyone who's bothered to read our stuff and make comments. We don't always agree with one another, not that we should, but we can't have a blog without you. So for all of our readers, commenters, contributors, and lurkers, thanks for making Raw Charge what it is - a place for hockey fans to hang out.

I'm not leaving until April 10th, but the end of the month seemed like as good a time to let everyone know what was going on as any. Besides, I need to start packing for my cross-country move and not worry so much about blogging. I'll be around for game threads and comment now and then until I have to go. This is just the end of my editorial experience is all.

I won't be gone forever, but I definitely won't be around very much. Keep an eye on John for me; make sure that there's someone teasing him mercilessly while I'm off in the wilds of Western Washington. I'll stop in now and then to see how you guys are doing.

Later, everyone!

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