Brodeur and the Mets: Perfect together

Aside from the race for The White House, which I am never going to address on the pages of this newspaper, it’s been a pretty slow news cycle since the last time I wrote here on this page three weeks ago. So rather than trying to stretch out one topic into a large column, I’ll instead hit on a few smaller items.

Seeing Marty’s first game in 1992

When Martin Brodeur’s no. 30 was retired by the New Jersey Devils a few weeks ago, it reminded me of how lucky fans of the Devils really were to see Marty play for so many years — but it also reminded me of his very first NHL game on March 26, 1992.

That night, a small crowd a little more than 11,000 people gathered at the-then Brendan Byrne Arena to see the Devils beat the Boston Bruins, 4-2. I was fortunate — and downright lucky — to have been at that game. Two high school friends and I went to the game that night, and when we heard that Chris Terreri, the Devils’ then goalie, wasn’t playing that night, we were all disappointed.

But then this guy, no. 29 that night, went out as a 19-year-old rookie, and beat a Bruins team that had Cam Neeley and Raymond Bourque on it at the time.

We had no idea, but we’d just witnessed history — and the first of almost 700 career wins — out of Brodeur. The disappointment of not seeing Terreri lasted just a few hours. Three years later, Marty would win his first of three Stanley Cups.

Perhaps the biggest shame of it all is that Marty — the best NHL goalie of all time — rarely got the limelight he deserved, having played on this side of the Hudson River. But limelight or not, from 1992 to 2014, the best there ever was played and lived in our midst. And I for one will be forever grateful to have been there to see him win his first in a career that will be hard for anyone [especially Henrik Lundqvist] to come close to matching or surpassing.

Spring Training is finally here!

For the first time in many years, the New York Mets opened Spring Training in my former home town of Port St. Lucie, Fla. as the favorites to win the National League. If you’re a baseball fan and have never “done” Spring Training, you really should.

The kind of access fans get to the players, coaches, broadcaster and management is unparalleled. The workouts are free to watch — and most of the players spend a good part of the day signing autographs for fans, many of whom have traveled more than 1,000 miles to be there.

And the games, though they don’t count, are incredibly enjoyable to watch in person. There’s not a bad seat in the house at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie [I’d imagine this is the case in most ST stadiums] and you really get to see — and hear — the players.

Aside from what actually happens in Spring Training, it also signifies that the doldrums of winter are soon to be a thing of the past. And let’s face it, after this winter, we could all use a touch of spring, no?

As for the Mets — nothing but a World Championship will do in 2016.

Pretty arrogant, isn’t it?

Good job, Yankees, ending print-at-home tix

Among other changes to their ticketing policies, the New York Yankees have announced they won’t be allowing print-at-home tickets anymore. Fans have been clamoring about the change because one of the most convenient ways to get ducats will no longer be an option. Don’t believe it? Turn on WFAN and you’re likely to hear a caller or two bemoaning the new policy.

And yet, I can’t help but wonder: “What took so long — and why other teams aren’t following suit?”

Indeed, it’ll be a nuisance for those who got used to printing their tickets at home. But what few are considering is just how easy it is to counterfeit these kinds of tickets.

They’re delivered as PDF files — and the truth is, PDFs are extremely easy to modify. All it takes is Adobe Acrobat — and voila, a date, a row, a seat number, is easily changed. Any scalper or seller on the secondary resale market could easily change the tickets, print them, re-sell them, make ridiculous cash — all while screwing the person who buys the counterfeit tix.

When tickets are printed on cardboard stock, they’re next to impossible to counterfeit.

So again, what took so long — and why aren’t other teams following suit?

No more weather jokes — I promise

I owe many of you an apology.

For the last 3 1/2 years, while I was living in Florida, I always used Facebook to tease those in the northeast, especially in January and February, when you were here freezing and I was enjoying low 70s during the day.

On Feb. 13, when I returned to New Jersey for good, I exited the JetBlue terminal at Newark Liberty International Airport wearing jeans, a short-sleeve polo shirt and a thin sweater over the polo.

It was 0 degrees — and the wind chill was -20.

My fingers felt like they were being hit by a hammer.

I’ll never joke about the weather ever again.

Enjoy the rest of the week, one and all, and see you back here on Page 6 in three weeks.

Contact Kevin Canessa Jr. by email at

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.