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Turn And Face The Strange CH...CH...Changes (A Canadiens Blogsite Metamorphosis)

Dear readers and supporters of this site,

It is with much excitement, anxious nervousness, and a regret or two, that I am announcing that Eyes On The Prize, as it has been known in this space for over two years, will be going dormant in about three weeks time.

This is not bad news!

I have been asked, recruited as such, by James Mirtle of Sports Blog Nation, to act as the Montreal Canadiens blogger at their rapidly growing site. James, and SB Nation, are building something big online, and the hockey community at the site is just getting ready to launch.

I will be one of 30 team bloggers, proudly representling your 100 year old Habs!

Sports Blog Nation looks to be an incredible opportunity, and I am thrilled to have been asked to be a part of it.

I'm beside myself actually, and the fidgety dude next to me either has a woody or needs to take a bad piss!

Kidding aside, this is the kind of serious thing that turns a hobby into a longer term deal. I like it a lot.

Having put in two years of my time's work and effort into EOTP, the decision was anything but simple at first. As friends have been made throught this space, and reader relationships have blossomed into efforts such as the Habs Inside Out fan summit that I helped with, I wanted certain assurances from James and SB Nation that what I do here is what I will continue to do for them.

After much back and forth with Mr. Mirtle, I'm happy to inform you all that this site name, its archives, all links and overall feel will all be migrated and reproduced at Sports Blog Nation. That was especially important to me, as I believed that would have been loyal readers of this site's biggest concerns as well.

What will differ is that the content will be hosted on their template and the look will be adorned with advertisements that generate revenue.

This will be, after all, a paying gig!

The new site will also be hosted at a new address, and once the move is made, a page notifying all readers of the new digs will be posted for easy transition.

Between now and the date of the move, this site will remain active with content on the Canadiens.

I feel quite fortunate to get in on the ground floor on the SB Nation endeavor, and there are a great many people that deserve my thanks and respect.

Matt Gauthier of Habs World and the Habs Inside Out crew have been essential to the popularity and growth of this site. Mike Boone and Dave Stubbs have been especially kind to me, giving certain pieces of mine headline status. Without the privelege of their sites to link my pieces, I doubt that I could have reached the audience I have in such a short life span. I wouldn't even consider moving on without continuing to bring my content to their homes, and that is a promise I intent to honour.

The Canadiens bloggosphere is an incredibly tight and supporting one. In addition to HIO and Habs World, Four Habs Fans, Lions In Winter, and Dennis Kane have always been part of the army for me. Not only have they always supported this blog with comments, links and friendship, they have supplied me with hours of interesting reading and thought provoking insight on the Canadiens. It has been fun to exist as part of their creative diversity. Once I'm settled in the new digs, my support of their work will continue on.

There are two other allies of this site that have always felt like compadres to me. From the early going, Joe Pelletier of Hockey's Greatest Legends has been not only a fan, but a friend and a resource as well. This site was a tiny speck on the net when Joe came along and helped disect and sort what was good about it. I was going in too many directions at once back then, and Joe's encouraging words were defining moments.

T.C. Denault, who writes for both Habs World and The Hockey News, could very well be my missing twin in both conscience and steps. We cheer alike, think in tandem at times, and write of similar notions with equal goals in mind. He's also been an invaluable compass for me in what I do, often challenging me to think more than he knows. I often have to read what T.C.'s latest musings are, as to not duplicated it myself. This gig I am set to embark on could just as easily and justifiably been his.

To all the readers over two years who have dropped by with comments, encouraging words and kindness, I thank you. There are many of you, and a listing of names inevitably leaves others out, so suffice to say that if you have dropped a line here and have been answered, it is because your words gave me a lift and a needed boost. It's never been something I took lightly.

One final appreciative nod.

It has happened on occasion that other sports hub sites have asked me to join their ranks. I've had both the generic and personal requests. It is quite possible even, that an e-mail from SBN was junked without realizing what I was doing. However, receiving a personal e-mail out of the blue from James Mirtle is akin for me to being pricked with a needle while dozing off.

From his first words, James seemed very intent, and referred that I came highly recommended by peers. Of course, that made me inquisitive!

A little later in our conversation, James revealed that it was in fact Pension Plan Puppets, a damn good Maple Leafs blog that holds no prisoners, who were campaigning for me. As James puts it, "It was PPP... he's been pushing me to get you onboard forever."

I guess there's hope for Middle East peace yet!

Seriously, PPP is a great blog for Leafs fans with no delusions. The site has often sent me good amounts of traffic and I never quite understood why. I hadn't spoken with PPP in a good while, but we never tried tearing each other's heads off when we did. We might just be the last two Leafs and Habs fans who respect each other - at least until this Saturday!

Joking aside, this man did me a good turn. I have a long memory for such things.

Finally, to explain why I am posting this weeks before the move, let me just say that I am somewhat of a transparent person, and it would be uncool for me to pretend or otherwise just one day shut down and reappear elsewhere. Honestly - you can tell - I'm excited about this. I couln't wait to share the news!

I've always wanted my site to have a personal touch. After having had the opportunity and privelege to shake hands with those who read and enjoy this site (Hello my HIO Summiteer friends!), the personal touch becomes imperative for me.

This note is just my way of stating that it will continue. After all, you readers out there, are my true employer.

Going off to new places is often a scary adventure. There's a ride waiting, and I'm a hitch hiker.

Readers - thanks for the lift!

When virtual rigormortis sets in, this post will permanently reappear to redirect readers to the new link.