Ash: In his book “McCown’s Law: The 100 Greatest Hockey Arguments,” Bob McCown writes that it is easy for two people to argue about hockey. Fans and writers often argue about how the game is played, who played well, which team is bound for the playoffs, which player deserves the Hart, what rules should be changed, and so on.

McCown writes, “Football fans don’t sit around debating whether a field goal should be worth three points or four. You don’t hear baseball fans discussing whether a walk should be awarded after five balls or whether tie games should be settled with a home run contest. And the height of the rim in basketball is just fine where it is, thank you.”

“But in hockey, about the only thing everyone can agree on is that the game should be played on ice.”

Something about that seems to ring true, doesn’t it?

CJ “Stoosh” Jiuliante and I have decided to write our own column for Faceoff Factor to argue about – you guessed it – hockey. Nothing is off limits. Some weeks we’ll talk about Olympic hockey, while other weeks we’ll talk about NHL expansion into Europe. Maybe we’ll discuss the possibility of women playing in the NHL, or debate whether there should be an ‘exceptional player’ rule for the draft. You get the idea.

Stoosh: What we wanted to try to avoid, though, was this becoming a stale run-of-the-mill, point-counterpoint thing where Ash states her thoughts and then I state mine. That doesn’t make for much of an argument, let alone a discussion and it leaves open the very real possibility that Ash and I both agree on a topic and post the exact same thoughts on it. That’s no fun.

We decided, then, to mix this up a little bit. One of my favorite sports writers over the better part of the last ten years is Bill Simmons, otherwise known as “The Sports Guy” from ESPN.com (and the “Boston Sports Guy” before that). Back before ESPN bombarded Simmons with 1001 projects that pulled him away from his column, he was working on a mini-series of columns that he wrote under a heading called “Curious Guy”. The “Curious Guy” columns were basically a series of email exchanges between Simmons and someone. Sometimes that “someone” was a sports figure like Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban or NBA Commissioner David Stern. Sometimes it was a writer like Chuck Klosterman or Malcolm Gladwell. You can get a sense of the format what these columns were about here…

Curious Guy: Chuck Klosterman

That format kind of became the inspiration for this.

Each week, Ash and I will pick a hockey topic and discuss it via email. What you’ll read in the column each week will essentially be our email conversations back and forth on that topic. We’ll explore different angles of the topic, agree on some points and certainly disagree on others. We both believe we can add some varying perspectives on just about any of these topics. It’ll be an up-front, honest natural conversation. And I think that’s what we’re kind of going for with this – something that sounds a lot less like reading a couple of research papers and a lot more like two hockey fans sitting around discussing the sport.

Ash: So there you have it. Welcome to Faceoff Factor’s new feature, which we have called “Lacing Up with Ash and Stoosh”. Make sure to grab a drink and a bowl of nachos and sit down to read our e-mail every Friday morning here on FF.