Dust off that jersey and start up the fantasy leagues, hockey is back!
Canada had a less than stellar performance at this year’s World Junior Ice Hockey Championship, falling 6-5 to Russia in overtime of the bronze medal game on Saturday. It was indeed a dark day for Canadian hockey fans, and not just because the loss occurred before sunrise. The loss put an end to Canada’s 14-year medal streak at the tournament, and signaled the end of world-class hockey on Canadian television for the foreseeable future.
That is, until the following morning, when I woke up to a text message from my friend in Ontario reading “Merry Christmas.” My first thought was that my phone was having a breakdown and was just now delivering messages from three weeks ago, but my hopes quickly shifted in one particular direction, and I replied, “Did we just get hockey back?”
A wave of excitement passed over me and I found myself wanting to jump up and down like a kid on Christmas, calling or texting all my friends to share the news, telling them to order their picks for the impending fantasy draft, a draft we all thought would never come.
The way I see it, two weeks late or 11 months early, Sunday was Christmas in January for Canada. For hockey fans, looking to the news and seeing the words “Lockout over” or “Hockey’s back” was like an unwrapped gift, even if we do feel offended by the league and Players’ Association’s joint decision to withhold the game until now.
Even those who could care less about hockey surely had to deal with a friend or family member – likely a grown adult – sharing the word that hockey is coming back like an excited toddler who got exactly what they wanted from Santa.
Has the NHL and NHLPA insulted and underappreciated their fan-base with the past few months of bickering, finger pointing and propaganda? Yes, but not enough to stop me from tuning in to watch the puck drop in just a few short weeks. Sure, it’s only the latter half of the season, but at least it promises to be much more entertaining than the first.
In order to post comments on our web site, you must validate your email address. An email was sent to you when you registered that included an activation link. If you have not yet done so, please click on the link to activate your account.
If you did not receive your activation email, please click here to have it resent.