Best Of 2007

Best New Team: Lake Erie Monsters

Cleveland hasn't had an NHL team since the Cleveland Barons left town in 1978. What we have had is a string of short-lived and disappointing minor-league teams. But the latest installment of Northeast Ohio hockey -- AHL Lake Erie Monsters -- hit the ice this past weekend. With good seats available and tickets starting at just $10, there's no better place to go to watch pro hockey, a sport that simply can't be appreciated beyond heckling distance. As an affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche, the Monsters should provide an opportunity to watch some NHL-caliber players up close and personal. And with owner Dan Gilbert at the helm, the team should have the resources -- both financial and creative -- to survive at least long enough for you to catch a game.