Last week we drove out to Oaks, PA (about 30 minutes away, out past King of Prussia) so Al could attend one of the "evaluation skates" for the local Hockey North America league. I just watched, enviously, from the stands, thinking all the while the drills were going on, "I could do that!" (Of course, once the scrimmage started and there was much squishing against the boards and tripping over bluelines—not to mention other fallen players—I was glad to have the belly out of play.)
Al didn't have his strongest showing ever, which is not surprising given that it's been months since he's been on the ice. He was squarely middle of the pack skillwise, however, and he looked like he was having fun out there. The league director called him over after a couple scrimmage shifts and said, "I've got a team for you," so that was that.
The team is called the Philadelphia Galaxy, and apparently they're at the C1 level, whatever that means. (It's something Al has been agonizing over ad nauseum for the past week, however; he's extremely worried that he'll be placed incorrectly on an Ice Oasis Tuesday night-level team, and that he'll hate it. I think it's unlikely, since it seemed pretty clear to the evaluators last week what level everyone was at.) My only opinion on the matter is that I think he'd be happier on a team where the players know what it means to get open, how to make passes, and how to play position, even if the level was a bit higher. I know I would.