Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thank God THAT'S Over!

I'm sure I'm breaking some Canadian guy thing code to say it, but say it I will, "Thank God THAT'S over!"  I'm referring, of course, to The Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the 2009-2010 NHL season in general.

Before any rabid hockey fans come after me with murder in your eyes, let me explain:  I am not anti-hockey.  Not at all.  I'm Canadian!  We invented the game! (as Sydney Crosby told you if you listened to the link - it might be a commercial but its very accurate - which is why its such a powerful commercial.)

Like many boys from small towns all across the country, I was taught to skate almost as soon as I could walk and grew up playing the game on frozen sloughs, dugouts, and small town rinks every winter.   It hasn't changed that much - at least here.  I don't have to go far (by Saskatchewan Standards, where we happily drive an hour to go to the theater or have dinner out) to see a live hockey game during the winter - Or for that matter to join in one, should I want to play.  Even in Eyebrow - small as it is.

Despite only having an outdoor ice surface, Eyebrow has a recreational hockey league, with regularly scheduled games and its own web site.  Everyone that wants to play, from six to sixty, can join and play - and everyone has a good time - all winter long!  Hockey is a great winter sport!  BUT... its a WINTER sport!  And this is June!

I suppose for fans in Anaheim, Dallas, or Miami - and other southern areas of the USA, where there isn't a real winter - it probably doesn't matter.  Hockey, for these fans might just be another sport and the longer the season the better -  BUT... Where I live, we can expect our first snowfall to arrive in mid-October or early November (and we've had it as early as August.)  By March, we're hoping desperately for Spring and by the May Long we're damn well ready for summer, even if the weather isn't (we occasionally have snow in June.)  Summer's too short and by this time of year I can truly give a rats..... behind... who wins Lord Stanley's Cup. (even if I did watch.)

I understand why the NHL season lasts so long (more than eight months.)  Professional hockey is big business and a multi-million dollar entertainment industry with teams paying out $50 million (average) in salaries. (Roughly $2 million per player.)  If I was a team owner, paying those kind of salaries, I'd want to maximize profits by having as many games as possible as well.  BUT... as a fan, I've lost interest in Hockey when the snow starts to melt.

So thank god the NHL season is over ... but I'll probably be back watching in the fall when the ice starts to form on the pond.