Hockey Headlines

Monday, 10 August 2015

Bittersweet Job

The life of a hockey player is never easy on a family. With all of the traveling, players miss a lot of key moments in the lives of the people they love while bringing home a pretty good cheque playing a game they love. Sacrifices are made without asking occasionally, and it can be hard on the family. Such is the case when job offers come from different cities in different countries. The Blums will experience this first-hand this season as former Minnesota Wild defenceman Jon Blum accepted an offer from the KHL's Vladivostok Admiral. His wife Emilie - who I've gotten to know through The Hockey Show radio show and via Twitter - will make the ultimate sacrifice as she will stay home in the United States this season while Jon plays in Russia. It's honestly something I'm not sure I could do in having limited contact with a loved one who is so far away.

Jon had been qualified by the Wild this summer, so there was the chance for a negotiation with the NHL club before the season started. Of course, nothing would be made public until a deal was hammered out, but I had been keeping an eye on Emilie's Twitter account for an announcement of her returning to Hockey Wives where the world was introduced to the funny, spunky blond woman. She had indicated on The Hockey Show that she would be delighted to return if they asked, and we were hopeful that she would get that opportunity.

However, Hockey Wives released a tweet with the returning women from Season One, and there was a conspicuous absence on that image. I didn't want to ask Emilie about what may have happened, so I let it slide as I knew that Emilie had her pet merchandise business, Double Dog Pet Supply, on the go. She had been in Las Vegas at a trade show which would be awesome for her business. On top of that, I assumed the negotiations with the Wild might have kept Hockey Wives from piping up about Emilie's return if Jon signed a two-way deal over a one-way deal.

And then there were some tweets that hindsight now says should have been given more notice.
One day later on August 6, it was announced unofficially that Jon Blum had accepted a contract with the Vladivostok Admiral in the KHL with Minnesota Wild reporter Michael Russo confirming the news via Jon on August 7.
With the KHL season starting on August 24, there wasn't much time for Emilie and Jon to celebrate his new contract. What makes it harder, however, is that Jon is heading to Russia alone. Emilie will remain in the United States with their two puppies as Jon's career sets sail with the Admiral. I expect there to be a lot of Facetime conversations, emails sent and received, and instant messaging done. It appears Jon was to be leaving on Monday for Russia, so Emilie did what anyone else would do in that situation: family selfie!
I've already let Emilie know that she's a welcome guest on The Hockey Show as she works through a 60-game KHL season with Jon half a planet away. This interest in how Emilie is dealing with this reality isn't to wallow in her sorrow of missing Jon for those that may think we're some sort of sadistic hockey fans. This is something of which the vast majority of people in everyday life have no concept, and I believe Emilie's experience could provide amazing insight into how difficult life as a wife or girlfriend of a professional athlete can be.

To Jon Blum, I'm excited for your new adventure, and I know things should go pretty well for you despite playing in the most easterly city in the KHL which means a lot of travel. We'll be keeping track of your progress on The Hockey Show as the season starts, so get over there and have a whale of a season!

To Emilie Blum, let me know every now and then and we'll call and chat puppies, business, hockey, Vladivostok, and get updates from Jon himself on how the season is going. You've got a couple of friends in Beans and I on The Hockey Show, and we'd love to hear from you as the season progresses. Keep up the great work with Double Dog Pet Supply, and we'll talk soon!

To everyone else, I'll keep you updated on how everything is going as the Blums embark on a new chapter in their lives.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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