Monday, June 11, 2007

When Baseball went on strike in '95 it took YEARS before it came back fully. And the World Series still gets low ratings. It takes time. So EVERYONE RELAX.Hockey is too bad ass to die! Period.
People are already starting to come around to it. And it's not that Gary Bettman's doing a damn thing for it, you can thank Itech, Jofa, and any of a number of equipment companies that have been putting out low priced quality equipment to get the good folks on the ice for the first time.
Wait 5 years and see if we're all still holding our breaths. 5 years ago I had almost forgotten about hockey. And Now I'm a FREAK. I play every Sunday, I do one on one coaching sessions with tyhe Rink Manager. I watch it whenever it's on. I own a veritable library of hockey knowledge, and DVDs. The lower priced equipment is what got me on the ice for the first time 4 years ago. The game I could never afford to play since I was a little kid so fascinated by this strange little game. I was on the ice at the tender age of 25 for the first time. Oh believe me I was sucking it up big time, but I had a giant smile on my face. And there are thousands of people just like me out there. Jofa and Itech's economic prices have been helping them get out there and loving it for the first time. Some of them are twice the age I was and playing (unbelievably) worse than I did. It's breeding familiarity with a fantastic sport. And putting new players and new fans out there every day.
If you want hockey to live and thrive share it with your friends. Break it down if you have to. My friends did it for me, because I was so rusty on the rules. I get sick and tired of hearing how the sport is dying when I KNOW for a damn fact that the USA hockey Association is admitting three to five thousand NEW members every year!
We're building up to something great. Don't let tv ratings fool you. Who watches the Finals alone, if they don't have to? No one. That's who. The Finals are like Oktoberfest and New Years all wrapped up together.
This next year is gonna be better than last year. And the year after that will be bigger again. There are cities all over this country that are putting something unique out there. But we gotta share it, with those that don't get it right away. Gotta be patient with those that don't realize how great it is. We've been so defensive for so long we forgot to share the pure exhileration of the game with others.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

The game is over......until next time

So I walk into my workout room, where I air out my hockey equipment, and I look at my Chicago Blackhawks sweater (jersey) just laying there on the floor inside out. "How appropriate", I thought.The season for us was over in March as we had been mathematically eliminated again. I looked at my jersey which had fallen much like our season did after Handzus got hurt for the season way back in October. My beautiful road sweater was inside out like the Blackhawks' strategy in the new NHL. We bulked up on slow movers and went with a youth movement. It was sometimes painful to watch.We (Blackhawks fans) have been watching 3rd and 4th line players play our 1st and 2nd lines and AHL roster players play our 3rd and 4th lines for the last 2 years. Which is a real shame. It's not that I think we sign bad players. Don't get me wrong. It just seems like we expect more out of them than they've ever produced before. But when we do get a player that can produce, I think we put too much on their shoulders or we don’t give them talent to play with.It hurt to see my sweater on the floor inside out like that. So I scooped my Hawks sweater up, turned it right side out, and put it on a hanger and hung it in my closet. I took a minute to really appreciate how cool the Blackhawk’s jersey really is. It’s still one of the best overall uniforms of any sport if not the best. It’s very sharp and has a killer logo right there in the middle. We have the yellow C with the crossed tomahawks behind it on the shoulders. It’s very cool. It also reminds me of the great players who have worn a ‘Hawks jersey: Hull, Mikita, both Esposito brothers, Glenn Hall, Chelios, Ted Lindsay, Kieth Magnason. The list goes on. We’ve had good teams before. Hell we’ve had GREAT teams before.It was time to look on the bright side. We have 2 very fine young Defenseman in Brent Seabrook and Duncan Kieth that are really stepping up. We have Dustin Byfuglin and Cam Barker in the wings ready to come around. We have the beginning of a very solid defensive corps.We signed Marty Havlat last year. And when he was healthy he was just amazing. This next year we'll have Jonathan Toews and I'm super stoked (yes I just said stoked) to see what he'll bring to the table. We also have Evan Brophey coming to camp after a stand out year in the OHL, and of course our first ever #1 overall draft pick this year.We also have the chance to sign a few free agents. With Dale Tallon aiming to sign another top 6 forward, next year might be alright. We did better this year than we did last year by 6 points in the standings and it seemed like we were still in the games we lost. I don't remember getting embarrassed too much this year like the year before. I do remember coming in and beating the Canucks in February in Vancouver when they were playing hot and I thought we played fantastic that night.The future might be okay. Next year we might be mourning our loss in the playoffs while secretly feeling somewhat smug with the fact that we made the playoffs.