Unbelievable. Only 34 days remain in the countdown to opening the new season of NHL hockey. Clearly this is one of the advantages of having a lock out; the summer has seemed shorter and hockey is right around the corner.

 

Speaking of shorter, today the number 34 is brought to you by one Andy Miele. Born in the USA, this Hobey Baker Memorial award winner posted an impressive number of assists in 70 appearances with the Phoenix Coyotes AHL affiliate, the Portland Pirates. Thirty four assists allowed Miele to be dubbed the “Mr. Congeniality” of the locker room as helpfulness is an essential ingredient in making a team…a team.

Miele’s helpfulness extended to the Phoenix Coyotes team two seasons ago when we had the almost daily call ups of minor players to bolster our ailing roster. Appearing in seven games, Miele gave it the old college try in the big show. I distinctly remember his quickness and his eagerness to make his mark. I also remember yelling at my TV when a few rookie mistakes begat a few bone headed penalties and just like that, Miele’s time in the NHL was cut short and he was back on a long flight to Portland. He completed the rest of the season with the Pirates, finishing out 69 games with an impressive 16 goals and 38 assists.

Over the summer, due in part to his team leading number of assists and points, Miele was signed to a one year contract with the Phoenix Coyotes. “I’m glad to be back with the Coyotes organization,” Miele said at the time, “I will continue to work hard and keep pursuing my dream of becoming an NHL player.”

So that’s the long…and short…of the number thirty four.