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Get to know PPP: Achariya

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With so many new faces here at Pension Plan Puppets, we're going to use the off-season to introduce ourselves.

Once upon a time, Scott Wheeler wrote an article about Sean Burke and interviewed me for it. I thought I'd use his interview questions to introduce myself.

Tell me about your heritage/childhood/background/how (or what) you got into hockey

I'm probably not the most typical hockey fan. My dad was in Vietnam, so I was born in Bangkok (my mom is Thai and my dad is Caucasian-American). I grew up in various places, but mostly Hawaii.

I got into hockey when I started graduate school in Boston at age 22, in 1995 -- not because of the Bruins, but because of Paul Kariya, another half-Asian player. I followed his career with the Mighty Ducks until he left it in the early 2000s. Then I took a long break from hockey because I was worried about player safety.

When I moved to Florida in 2011, I started to follow hockey again, specifically Tampa. I was drawn in by Steve Yzerman because I remembered how he played in the 90s, and was excited to see how he GMed. Turns out he GMs pretty well.

What does it mean to you to be a hockey fan?

To me, being a fan means that I am unable to NOT follow hockey every day, immerse myself in the media, write about it, listen to it, watch it, and feel absolute joy when I get to discuss it. It's the most beautiful sport I've ever seen, graceful and dangerous and difficult, and I'm helplessly addicted to it.

I admire PPP and SB Nation's hockey communities in particular because they recently helped a group of women (including me) write and publish an article about sexism. Change is slow, but it's happening.

What do you do for PPP?

I am your extra-special dedicated ECHL affiliate correspondent!

I adore PPP for the discussions that range everywhere, for people's ruthless adoption of fancy stats as a way to describe players, for Toronto's liberal culture, and...well...for the Leafs. I can't help but like this team, especially as it starts its slow and inevitable growth toward becoming a fierce contender.