The big hockey loss

No, I don’t mean that Canada lost in the IIHF World Hockey Championships. In fact, they won today. The loss is the thousands of hockey fans around North America, of which I am one, who are slowly losing interest in hockey thanks to the lockout.

I grew up a Leaf fan, and loved to watch Leaf games with my dad as long as I can remember. When the Leafs won their first round playoff series in about 1986, I even painted my hair blue before going to school. (Some friends said they were going to as well, but chickened out, saying that they meant the second round. Whatever.) I lost interest in university for some reason, but then started getting back into it in the mid-90’s, and became a rabid Leaf fan once again a year or two after that. When the lockout first started, I was quite distraught – how was I going to make it through the winter with no hockey?! I have lacrosse, which I loved even more than hockey even before the lockout, but that’s only 16 weeks plus playoffs (and that ends two days from now). Gradually, I discovered that I would survive just fine without hockey. I missed it, no question, but not as much as I thought I would. Right now, we’d be into the second round of the playoffs, the time of year that I thought I’d really miss hockey, but, meh, not really. The Jays are playing well and as I mentioned in a previous entry, I’m more excited about baseball this year than I have been in a few years, so lacrosse got me through the winter, and baseball will get me through the summer.

I am hoping the lockout gets resolved and we have a real NHL season this fall, but right now, I almost don’t care. If the NHL completely vanishes, I’m sure another league will pop up to take its place. That would be a real shame though – all the history of the NHL will be lost.

I just cannot get interested in the World championships though. Maybe it’s because Canada has been a powerhouse in international hockey for a few years so it’s not unlikely that they’ll win it all, but it’s more that this seems like a made-up tournament. It’s not the Olympics, it’s not the Canada Cup (or is it? The Canada Cup tournament hasn’t existed for years, but I don’t know what replaced it), it’s yet another world championship, similar to the World Cup of Hockey they had in the fall, which I wasn’t all that interested in either. It just seems like (a) a cash grab for the promoters, and (b) something to do for a bunch of bored currently-unemployed hockey players.

Do I hope Canada wins? Sure, but I doubt I’ll watch the final game even if they’re in it, and if they don’t win, I won’t lose any sleep over it.


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