Hockey? I’m Not Ready Yet

I woke this morning to the news – that NHL brains have made a sharp u-turn and hockey will begin again, maybe on January 15, maybe on January 19. (Details can be found on 8,537 news and sports sites).

I’m not ready for this. I’m not finished talking about Gary Bettman and rich hockey players yet. It’s too soon. It’s only January and it’s cold. Hockey should be played where it’s hot, like in Phoenix and South Florida. And how am I supposed to blog about actual hockey games forty-eight or fifty times in the next while when I’m out of shape? Players need training camp? So do I.

I just hope Bruins fans and others don’t keep bringing up the shortened season after Montreal wins it all. It’s going to be a nice, handy excuse for them – that they were just getting going and if it was any longer, they would’ve made the Habs look like the German junior team. This is what we’re up against. It’s gonna suck but we have to be ready for it.

I really was in a no-NHL-state of mind. I’d learned to occupy myself other ways on nights when hockey wasn’t being played. Like watching Sportsnet and TSN go on and on and on about hockey not being played. Good, quality entertainment.

I’m worried for some. Scott Gomez was on a roll with his Alaska Aces, notching six goals and seven assists in just eleven games. Now what? Now he has to stop scoring again. You have to feel for the guy. And Brad Marchand is only halfway through his grade seven course and will have to either stop completely or do homework on planes.

Maybe I can help Marchand, with this advice that comes via Eddie Shack. When Shack was playing, one of his teammates in the dressing room asked him how far he got in school, and Eddie said grade eight. When the other player asked how he managed to get so far, Eddie said it was easy, he’d lend the teacher his car.

It’s not just Gomez or Marchand. They all have to go back to work now. I know this feeling. A nice two or three week holiday and then I’m back in the thick of things and it’s hard. The players have been laying around and golfing and traveling to New York for six months now. Imagine what they’re going through. Hopefully they were able to keep busy. David Booth probably had a nice time blowing bears’ brains out, and Evander Kane had a nice picture taken of himself in Las Vegas holding a couple of three inch wads of bills and pretending the money was a phone. Now that’s fine humour. That’s how you keep busy.

I feel for the owners. Now they have to act like nice people when they show up at their private boxes, and that means they’ll have to tip the $9 an hour person who brings them their 20-year old scotch. Hollywood people can act like they’re nice and normal because they’re actors. Owners don’t have this luxury. They have every other luxury, just not this one.

What about Russian fans who’ve been flocking to KHL games this year? My stepson Denis in St. Petersburg says hockey in Russia has never been so exciting and invigorating to fans there. Now these players who took jobs have to come back to North America and not take anybody’s job and fans in the old country will be left with the team that once was. It’ll take some getting used to. And it’ll be nice for the captain of St. Petersburg SKA to get his “C” back now that Ilya Kovalchuk won’t be needing it anymore.

Can Montreal do well this year? It’ll be a sprint instead of a marathon, and who knows? It depends on how many games before Andre Markov gets hurt, and whether the power play can score sometimes. Maybe Alex Galchenyuk will be in the lineup! Let’s just embrace what we’ll have – a short race to the finish line. It’ll be over before we know it. Then we can get back to what we’re used to – no hockey.




9 thoughts on “Hockey? I’m Not Ready Yet”

  1. Dennis, I can tell you why Bettman ended the lockout.

    He heard you and I and many of your followers were thinking of switching sports and starting a blog about cricket.

    Then Bettman got scared that all you could hear is the sound of crickets when the puck finally dropped after the stupid lockout.

  2. Danno, I’m waiting to hear the first boos during the first games. And wait till Bettman awards the Cup next spring. Should be fun to hear and see. Maybe a few programs will get thrown at his head.

  3. I don’t care if they come back. I have absolutely no interest in spending my time supporting the players, owners and NHL executives. Period.

    In fact, all fans outta boycott the first game (and more but I know they don’t have the will to) and the workers that serve your beer and throw your bag of peanuts should not come back either.

    I’m sorry, I just don’t roll over that easy. Also, I’ve filled my time nicely with more interesting hobbies and projects. I follow college hockey, junior hockey and minor hockey and quite frankly, it’s a lot more fun!

    Bye Bye!

  4. I am more than ready. I’ve been dying for the Habs to come back since last summer. I’m almost so happy that I can’t wait to see Gomez on the ice (on one of his rare shifts where he looks like he’s kind of doing something).

    I don’t know if I’ll see any games live this year though. I may take a pass on that. I don’t really feel like shelling out 200 bucks or more for a night out – unless Gally is there and is kicking serious ass.

    It’s going to be weird to talk about hockey again (actual current games). It feels like an alien concept.

    Two pieces of great news:

    1. Lucic is apparently in horrible shape.

    2. Thomas won’t return, which shafts the Bruins.

    Go Habs Go!

  5. Right on, Darth. It is going to be weird talking games again. One thing I know for sure – we can’t go through another lockout. It’s a killer for everyone. And thanks for the excellent news about Lucic and Thomas. Maybe they’ll both end up with the Alaska Aces.

  6. I was half hoping the season would be cancelled, followed next year by the end of franchises in Phoenix, Miami, Tampa Bay, Dallas. Move em to Canada or fold em. Less franchises means less borderline players.

    Since they’re going to play, hurry up and start the season now. The players can work themselves into shape during games. After the 94-95 lockout, the Stanley Cup was awarded on June 24 after only a 4 game final. I don’t like the idea of hockey in June, I sure as hell don’t want it in July.

  7. Christopher, I wasn’t crazy about a shortened season either and was ready for no season at all. I like the idea of moving those teams north. Of course, Bettman wouldn’t hear of it.

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