As hockey fans, "believing" is something we're challeneged to do on a regular basis. From slogans and murals to television ads and rally towels, it seems we're always being given something to believe in, and sometimes it's easier than others.

Believe in the players.
In the offseason, with this summer being no exception, free agency brings a boatload of hype––some more warranted than others––for players moving from team to team. When teams seemingly put all their proverbial eggs in one basket, it often feels as though the hope of an entire franchise is being placed on the shoulders of one high-profile player, expecting him to single-handedly lead the team to greatness.

While it's no secret that blockbuster signings don't always pan out the way a team hopes, often an underdog player emerges as an unlikely star and leads the team to success in unexpected ways.

Slumps can be shaken, chemistry can be found, and potential can be unleashed just by believing in what could be.

Believe in your team.
Every team has gone through rough skids throughout its franchise history, and every team (well, most of them) has experienced stretches of great success.

It's the taste of those good times that allow us to keep believing even thorough the longest of droughts. That little reminder in the back of our heads of what once was and what could be again keep us hopeful as fans with our eyes on the prize.

In the words of the great Herb Brooks, possibly the ultimate believer in hockey history, the name on the front of the jersey is a hell of a lot more important than the one on the back, so we wear our trust, pride and loyalty to our teams right on the front where we can see it.

Believe in the game.
Win or lose, through ups and downs, sports are something we all enjoy with a sense of security and stability. Whether you're a Habs or Bruins fan, root for the Flyers or Penguins, whether your team finishes dead last or makes it to the Cup final, good hockey unifies us all. We can all root for an underdog to prevail or appreciate a hard-fought game, and that's something no one can take away.

See you at the rink in 70 days.

- Ally