Friday, 28 December 2012

What We've Been Preaching

If you're a casual listener or a fan of The Hockey Show, you know that Beans and I have been beating the drum for people to abandon this "only the NHL" stance when it comes to watching hockey. There is a ton of excellent and fun hockey out there for people to watch, and we've been encouraging everyone to get out and see whatever hockey they can - AHL, CHL, USHL, NCAA, CIS, tykes, peewees - in order to appreciate the game itself. Thankfully, there are some corporate sponsors of grassroots hockey helping the players and the fans appreciate the game a little more.

A reader by the name of Rebecca B. wanted me to share the following video with you. I have seen it on TV with the World Junior Championships dominating the Canadian sports scene right now. But it IS an excellent video that will hopefully prompt some of you to get out and discover the purity of the game by watching it at the grassroots level. Here is the video that Rebecca wanted me to share with you that the Royal Bank of Canada produced for the World Junior Championships period.

The above video profiles a team of seven year-old kids as they lace up their skates, tape their sticks, get tips from their coach before taking to the ice. The message in the video is very simple: as long as we keep playing the game we love, hockey never stops. In Canada, we are a nation obsessed with this game, so we should be supporting the game at the grassroots level like never before thanks to the void left by the NHL-NHLPA bickering.

Again, on The Hockey Show we've been preaching about going to see other hockey with the NHL and NHLPA seemingly unwilling to come back to work. I think that the above video speaks volumes about what it means for this country to be a "hockey nation". Go watch the kids play. Go enjoy the innocence and unbridled passion of the game shown by these kids as they learn the game and make it fun. Watch their smiles light up the ice, and see them cheer when someone scores a goal.

Hockey isn't about millionaires and billionaires. It never should be. It should be about the game and the joy it brings to all. When it becomes about money, there is no joy or fun because those factors are lost amongst the dollars and cents.

Whatever your plans are this weekend, go see a game. I guarantee that you'll have a great time! Thanks for sending me a great reminder, Rebecca!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!


Peter Santellan said...

In addition to the Winterhawks in the WHL, I recently added the Peterborough Petes of the OHL on teams to follow. So, now, I have the best team in one league and the worst team in another. I do have some catching up on the OHL, though, since much of the focus has been on the WHL, for obvious reasons.

Teebz said...

Atta boy, Pete! Well done on discovering another team!

I've been keeping up with a number of teams, but I've been going to local rinks and just watching hockey. Do I know who is playing? Not always, but it's just fun to catch a game where the kids are learning the game. Can't find anything fun like it!

Peter K. said...

I first found the AHL when the during the last lockout...and since then, I have been a casual follower (there are 3 teams all within 90 minutes from where I live, Albany, Hartford (CT...whale is a stupid name) and Bridgeport...because of the low cost and overall fun, I have brought more people to see their first hockey games and they have all loved it...there's something about the AHL players intensity, passion and approachability that seems to turn people on...(and let's face hockey is SO much more fun!)

Anonymous said...

For the love of the game! That is what hockey is all about whether you are on a frozen pond in the middle of Canada or in a air conditioned ice rink in Southwest Florida! I love hockey and I find that even if a high school team is playing or your local beer league is up to play their weekly game the love of the game can be found! I appreciate your post and agree that the NHL is overwrought with the smell of $$$$! I have my collection of hockey fan fare from last season and every time I see it I just shake my head. I just cant understand in this day and age how this can even happen. They have negatively impacted countless stadiums both in Canada and in the US. If they thought their revenue was low before well it would seem that this lockout has hurt it even further. I have just recently had the idea to take a road trip to visit our states AHL teams the Orlando Solar Bears and the Florida Everblades to see a game or just to visit the rinks, which offer open skating to the public in their off times. We are grateful to even have hockey in Florida thanks to Phil Esposito for bringing us the Tampa Bay Lightning. I used to play roller blade hockey, but gave ice hockey a try. I was very reluctant, because Floridians are at a disadvantage minus the frozen ponds to spend countless hours of free practice. I emailed, asked about clinics and then voila! I love ice hockey more than I ever loved roller blade hockey. Sorry for the ramble, but your hockey posts inspire! Thanks!

Teebz said...

Peter K. - there is nothing like live hockey, I agree. AHLers seem to get the short-end of the stick in North America because "it's not the NHL". I say phooey! The game is affordable for families, and they are just as connected to the communities they play in, if not more! Well done on bringing people to the AHL game, Peter!

Teebz said...

Michelle, I totally appreciate the ramble! In places where outdoor ice is rare (or impossible), just getting to a rink seems like a road less traveled! That being said, I am so happy that you're finding places in Florida to go. If I may, I suggest you hit Pensacola in your travels. Goaltender Steve Christie is a friend, and tell him The Hockey Show sent you! He'll get a kick out of that!

By all means, though, check out all the minor pro hockey you can. Heck, find a rink and go see high school and community teams play! It's just as fun, and there's usually no cost to watch!

Well done, Michelle! You have a fan in me!

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Thankfully our local rink that offers adult clinics and leagues also offers at no charge league and high school games! They are great to watch and I learn something every time I watch a game! Love hockey and once again would like to say how blessed we are to have hockey in Florida!

JeffB said...

I've been spending this season keeping my own blog alive while taking my 9-year-old to his practices as well as watching with much regret and disappointment the final season of the soon-to-be-late, great WCHA. You couldn't have asked for a better time than last night's 8-1 pounding of the #1 team in the country, Boston College, by the Minnesota Golden Gophers while sitting in row six with my son.