We're back with Western Conference picks ... but first, a tribute

Updated: October 1, 2008, 4:24 PM ET
By John Buccigross | ESPN.com

My favorite hockey writer is dead.

Jack Falla died on Sept. 14 while visiting family in Maine. He was 64. For a man who was endlessly in love with sports metaphors, especially in hockey, it is no surprise that Falla died a sudden death, from a heart attack.

Falla wrote my favorite hockey book called "Home Ice: Reflections on Backyard Rinks and Frozen Ponds." The book was more about family life and community than hockey. He also penned a novel called "Saved." Falla's latest ...

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