I am not a massive Hockey fan, but being Canadian I am of course overexposed to it, after all it is part of our culture and I appreciate that. The NHL is back, which is a good thing for some people. If it makes you happy, good for you. What has bothered me is not the NHL return, but the incorrect announcement from many people, especially on social media, that “Hockey is finally back”! It amazes me that apparently some people have forgotten what hockey is and that it never went away in the first place. Hockey is many things to many people, really.
Hockey is kids playing pick up on the street outside, yelling “car” when it is time to move the nets and let the neighbor drive by. Hockey is part of the winter Olympics and part of our national pride. Hockey is University teams playing competitively for really nothing more than the name of the school that they play for. It is Moms and Dads getting up at 5 AM on a sub zero Saturday to bring the kids to the local arena for practice. Hockey is The Calgary Hitmen of the WHL, it is the Juniors ( too soon?), hell it is even the fun beer hockey leagues filled with out of shape guys who still think they “almost could have made it big”. All of this , and much more, is part of what “hockey” is. I could go on however you get the point by now so I will stop with the examples.
I am not a huge fan of the sport myself, but it is obvious even to me that hockey was going very strong this year, with or without out the NHL. Now the NHL is back and yes, I fully understand that perhaps it is the most visible and famous aspect of hockey. The NHL is loved by many a hockey fan but perhaps just a few less after recent events. To those that are making the announcement that ” Hockey is Finally back”, stop. The greedy millionaire players and billionaire owners associated with the NHL DO NOT DEFINE HOCKEY. The NHL is only a part of the sport,and as we found out with the lockout, hockey was alive without it this year. So, once again, I am happy for those of you that are excited that the NHL is back. Enjoy it. To those misled fans saying “Hockey is finally back”? The truth is simple. Hockey never went away. Only the greedy part of it did. Only the NHL.