Happy Monday, everyone. Today is Easter Monday a strange sort of holiday that isn't. It's also April Fool's day, and more on that later, but it's also the official birthday of PPP, er, 3.0 I'll call it.

It was one year ago today that Vox Media legally transferred ownership of the contents and URL and other IP of the site to me. If you were on the site regularly last spring, you likely got the story over multiple weeks – months really. But for everyone who can't remember or are too new to know, here's the story.

In January of 2023, Vox, owners of SBNation, told all the hockey sites (save four) that they would be shut down. The initial plan was to turn off the lights at the end of February, and that was going to be it. I don't even really remember what I did at that time. I wasn't surprised particularly, as it was very obvious to me the unit as a whole could not make money, and I'd expected it about six months earlier. But what was I going to do? No idea.

Reasonably quickly, the executives at SBN came back with an idea, not yet fleshed out, to transfer the sites to the current site managers. That was a different story, and I started looking at ways to first understand what a rational method of hosting the site would cost and then how to generate revenue to run the place. I was very deep into that when suddenly SBN received two offers to purchase, or perhaps that should be "purchase" the sites. At about this time some of the other, bigger, sites in other sports were buying out their IP and going independent. Some other sites were just shut down. It was very chaotic.

SBN turned down one offer for reasons never disclosed and subjected the other to a vote of site managers. There were few takers on an idea that was essentially an ad-supported site only with a lot lower budget in most cases. I was wholly uninterested. But this delay meant the transfer got pushed back a month – thankfully – and so I only had to build the site and get ready to import the content in about a month after a month of investigative prep instead of a few weeks total.

The transfer and import of old content was very smooth, the only hiccup a delay in the DNS transfer of the URL that was just what happens when you deal with the big companies that big companies use for this sort of thing. I found SBNation people professional and forthright, and had no problems with any of them. They had a product that didn't pay for itself. Simple as that. And they had no reason to give these sites back to anyone, and yet they made the effort.

I chose Ghost as the hosting platform very early on. I knew I did not want to build the site myself, even though Ghost is open source and you can spin up a site on something like Digital Ocean in about half an hour. The simple fact is that PPP's traffic levels at peak times demand something a lot more robust than a cheap platform. At off-peak times, the traffic is still large enough that you can't just run it off a low-ram virtual server. So you end up paying for something that is similar to the Ghost Pro cost with all the work and responsibility of looking after it.

Ghost is in active development, which is key. The only problem is they had an early ideological opposition to comments as they built their hosting service. They saw comments as the cesspit of media sites because what they were experiencing were unmoderated commenting from disconnected people. At the time PPP opened, they'd only just added native commenting, and it's adorable, and not at all what a community needs. So I settled on Hyvor as the one that ticked the most boxes. It's also in active development, the moderation tools are excellent, and there is none of the business Disqus has of ads on a free tier and then the ads disappear (but the tracking doesn't) on the paid tier. Also, you can export comments out of Hyvor, so a change in provider doesn't mean it's all gone.

At that point, I just needed money, and the initial Go Fund Me is a period of my life I hope I never forget when I'm 102. Day after day, I was overwhelmed with the support. And then when it became subscription support, it somehow meant so much more. That we sailed through our first year without going broke is astonishing. I expected to be out of money by June.

As mentioned the other day, we aren't where we were with SBN in terms of money to spend on writers. No one is getting paid what they should by a long chalk. But the site feels like it's sunk a foundation that will last.

So that was mostly about me, but really, the site is you. And that you are here means everything.

Happy Cake Day everyone, and thank you all. If you want to learn a bit about the history of the site, and what the name means:

About this site
Welcome to PPP Leafs the new home of Pension Plan Puppets. We are a fan blog dedicated the the Toronto Maple Leafs and related teams. Welcome new readers and members If you’re completely new to PPP please read the Community Guidelines. The About Page gives a brief outline of who

Now, onto other stuff. April Fool's died in the Pandemic of Covid misinformation. We had some fun in the old days marvelling at people falling for obvious fake headlines, and getting amazing pagerank on Google with these stories. A sign, surely, of what chasing pagerank is all about. But those days are over. Publishing lies stopped being funny when it killed people. And while I'm on this soap box, journalists making up crap about Santa Claus showing up on NORAD or the imprisoned groundhogs should give their head a shake.

Anyhow, you do what you like about Easter. Eggs, chocolate bunnies, religion, whatever makes you happy. Remember the chocolate goes on sale today.


This seems like a good move for them to play teams with a lot of prospects close to home. The Leafs have only been at the event for two years, and it's fine. A bit off the beaten track though.

London came back from a bad start to beat Flint 6-4 in Game 2 of their first round OHL playoff series on Sunday. Easton Cowan had two assists on the power play. The WHL did not play yesterday.

USA Hockey announced the team for Women's Worlds, and Jesse Compher of PWHL Toronto did not make the cut. A host of Toronto's players will be on Team Canada, but look for more on that tomorrow.

Today's game is at home, so no serious need for an extra defender.

Ran into a story a few weeks ago about Thailand's men's team storming through their division at the Men's Worlds, now the women have done it too:

IIHF - Golden Debut For Invincible Thailand
Newcomers Thailand burst onto the scene needing just three games…

They went 4-0 against Estonia, Israel, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Singapore.

If you've ever wondered who does well in hockey internationally, check out the IIHF rankings.

IIHF - World Ranking
The IIHF World Ranking, Last Update: 26 Aug. 2023

The Group A of Division III, was played in March as well and the Ukrainian women took gold there.

Delaware to launch women’s hockey program with Flyers as partner | NHL.com
Team will begin play during 2025-26 season

And I stumbled on this, which is showing a very heartening rebound from pandemic participation.

Statistic: Total number of registered ice hockey players in Canada from 2010/11 to 2022/23 | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

That's all for now! Happy Monday, everyone. And thank you all for being her for this amazing year.