4.13.2005

What NHL season?

I suppose I should let the world know I am -- or was -- a huge hockey fan. When I was younger, I would watch SportsCenter just to get the late Vancouver-Winnipeg highlights.

Wednesday night was to be the first night of the postseason, a six-week sprint where any Tom, Dick or Jean-Sebastien could become the hot player that leads his team to the Stanley Cup.

A side note about Jean-Sebastien Giguere ... I once covered a game between the New York Rangers and Hartford Whalers (yes, there once was a team in Connecticut!) for ESPN SportsTicker. The Whalers announced in game notes that they recalled a goaltender from juniors. This big, skinny goof steps out on the ice dressed in Whalers dark blue and wearing No. 47. His pads were still the red and grey of whatever his junior team was. He didn't get into the game that night, but after unremarkable stops in Carolina and Calgary, J-S Giguere helped lead the Mighty Ducks to a Stanley Cup loss to the New Jersey Devils two years ago, emerging as a top-notch goaltender.

But I digress ... this season, there has been no NHL to speak of. All it has been is sporadic negotiating and a lot of backbiting. I thought I would miss it a lot more. Nope. If anything, I have been turned off by it all, frankly, I am not the type of fan the NHL can afford to lose.

I will be 40 later this year. I have been going to game since I was 6 -- my first game was the Rangers and the California Golden Seals in 1971. Since then, I have been to more games that I can count, and not just in the New York metropolitan area. I have been to outposts like Calgary and Vancouver as well as arenas nationwide in the states. It was nothing for me to decide, "Hey, I think I'll go to Denver this weekend to see the Avs."

No more. The NHL took away something from me because two boys couldn't decide how to play nice and so they decided to stand there, back to back, with their arms crossed. I understand the league wants to cultivate a new generation of fans. They need not do so at the expense of those like me.

Please let me know what you think ... I'd like to know.

2 comments:

Angry Wife said...

We pay way too much for tickets and should be the ones on strike! But I missed my hockey this year! It is about the only thing this town has going for it.

The Girl in Black said...

Oh my lord... I get to leave comments for you on the World Wide Web? Hmm, I am seriously going to have to think before I speak now!

PS: This looks great! You deserve to get your writing out there to more people. Good job, dear. :-)