SPNHL players and staff,

Hats off to everyone after an incredibly competitive season in both conferences – what a remarkable mix of talent. A special shout-out to the Devils, Flyers, and Jets for challenging our Lightning with the sweatiest, most palpitation-inducing playoff I’ve ever experienced. Any of these teams could’ve won it, and all were full of deserving players.

After a full calendar year off, I returned to the league with the hope of winning with my buddy and SPNHL Media legend, Dirty-Dietrich. The draft didn’t go our way, but I need to thank you for encouraging my return and congratulate you and the Oilers on a great season. Your resilience and success after draft night is completely unsurprising to me – you’re one of the best.

Winning with Dietrich wasn’t to be, but I couldn’t be more grateful to be sharing this with another old SP friend. As Bruins GM way back in 2017, Pete gave me my first opportunity to become a regular/top pairing defenseman in this league. Witnessing your offensive power and holding down your right side this season was truly an honour, and it feels entirely fitting that our first SP cup comes three years after we first united on the blue line. You’re a great player, person, and friend.

To the rest of the Lightning:

Bufford, you’re an incredibly supportive GM who always puts the team first. The environment here has been the least toxic and most welcoming I’ve ever seen in a league, which played a huge part in our ability to stay composed and come out on top. Thank you for your phenomenal play, and a special congrats for winning this thing after a rough S36. Worst to first, this is for you.

Stamkos, your no-bs, Mamba-like attitude makes everyone around you better. Your execution in every zone is flawless, and you kept the team honest through a mix of support and constructive criticism. I’ve learned a ton playing with you. Keep that dryer running.

Hypey, feeding you is easy af. You’re always in the right spot, we clicked with each other perfectly from game one, and you padded my assist line. Having a winger like you will elevate any defenseman – thanks for making me look good and for being such a fun locker room presence.

BlueDevil, you’re a man of few words but incredible talent. You’re quickly becoming one of the best finishers in the league and you deserve all of the draft hype that’s coming your way this offseason. You’re a perennial first rounder, what an amazing run.

ShooterSteele, you’re a character and a great goalie. You consistently stabilized the team and came up with those big saves when we needed them. I’ll miss our pre-game pump up chats.

Distorted, we didn’t play together a ton, but you were always on point serving as a swiss army knife on the wings. Not gonna lie, you’re a bit toxic in the community chat, but you’re a great team guy.

Zetterberg, you’re one of the most coachable teammates I’ve played with. You committed to finding a style that blended with the team, and you elevated your game in a huge way. Scoring for us in OT against NJ in a 7-6 game four win after being down 4-0 and 6-4 was a turning point for our team.

Josh, you have one of the best attitudes I’ve experienced in a league. Thanks for being so humble and competing so hard, no matter the result. Your work against NJ in games five and six was nothing short of remarkable.

Everyone contributed, everyone made mistakes, everyone picked each other up. That’s what great teams do. That’s what champions do.

With that, I’m hanging them up in SP. If you’re still reading this then we likely had some form of personal relationship, so thank you for the memories, healthy rivalries, and for dealing with my frequent trolling. Wishing you all the absolute best going forward, and wishing Pliskin and staff many successful seasons to come in ‘21 and beyond.

DBS

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