Apparently, I've been asleep for the past couple of months, because I missed that Professor Falla had passed away towards the end of September. I know we're pretty hard on sportswriters on this site (and justifiably so), but Professor Falla was one of the great hockey writers of all time, and a tremendous writer in general.
I got to know Professor Falla when I was a senior at Boston U, and I took his 8 am Sports Journalism class. He always said that he scheduled the class at 8 am because he only wanted students who would be serious about the course. That, of course, is because he was a serious, old school journalist. He had his pet peeves (no exclamation points, for one), and he expected you to work hard at your writing.
At the same time, he was incredibly supportive of his students, and always was willing to help a young journalist. His students have become beat writers for some of the most famous teams in sports, and media relations professionals at the highest levels. If you proved yourself to him as a writer, he became your fan for life, no matter what profession you chose.
I was lucky enough to count Professor Falla as a reference for my first couple of years out of college, and I traded emails with him whenever there was a big story in sports. His impressions were always honest, always to the point, and always on the mark. I consider myself extremely lucky that he was my Professor, and that I got the chance, however brief, to discuss sports with him.
He was an incredibly charitable person, a great teacher, and and a talented writer. He will be missed, terribly. Rest in peace, Professor Falla.