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Last week I received an interesting email from one of the people at It seems that they came across Canes Country Blog and thought that we might be a good showcase site to help with the upcoming release of their new Schmap widget! After testing the widget to see if it was compatible with the site and discovering some of the many functions that it has, I agreed to their terms. During the past few days, you may have noticed it along the right sidebar. It really is a cool little gadget! First of all, it shows a map of all the locations where the Hurricanes will play games this season. You can click on a location, then you can zoom in to actually see the arena where the game will be played. Like a typical google map, you can zoom back out or re-position the map slightly to see the surrounding area of the arena. But that's just one function of the gizmo. If you click on the word "schedule", the screen will change to a listing of the month by month schedule of the Canes, including the results of games already played. You can click on any of these games for a complete breakdown as the link will take you to the appropriate ESPN recap or preview page.

Pretty cool, eh? Actually, that's just the beginning. If you click on the arrow to the right of "Carolina Hurricanes" near the top, it will bring up a listing of every team in the NHL, listed by division. You can click on any of the teams to bring up a map of their game locations and a schedule listing, exactly like it did for the Canes! In just a couple of clicks, you can check on how any team did, at any point in the season. Then Schmap goes one step further! Click on the arrow to the right of "NHL", and you will see a listing of leagues. You can choose from the NBA, NFL, and etc., and check the results of any team in any of those leagues, as well as use the map feature. They even have European football! It is awesome to have so much information available in just a few clicks.

For those of you with your own personal pages or blogs, it's easy to create your own version and use it on your site. Just click the link "get this widget" and follow the directions. They make it pretty easy! For those of you using it on this site, please leave a comment or send me an email with feedback about functionality or anything else that you would like to mention, and I will pass it along. The developers at Schmap are looking for feedback, so they can make necessary changes before the official release in January, 2008. For more information and a flash of some of the other showcase sites, check out this link.

I'll have my pre-game post about lunchtime today.