(TORONTO, ON) – There is nothing that bothers me as much as some announcer declaring the winners of the Stanley Cup as, “Champions of the World”. So many matters in our life have been globalized, but the NHL remains a North American relic.
I gave up watching it years ago in favour of Olympic men’s and women’s hockey. Russia vs Canada surely has to be more gripping than Detroit vs Buffalo. Clearly, to remain innovative, and to ensure old guys like me start to watch hockey again, there should be a truly international hockey league.
Perhaps teams in the NHL could play series of games against teams in the Russian KHL for starters. Expand it to the usual hockey nations of Finland and Sweden, and see where it goes from there.
Quite frankly, at the November 9 Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony, there was very little excitement that I could see as a media representative. Apparently, most of the inductees avoided the red carpet, so the media had little to feast upon other than Scotty Bowman.
Fox, TSN, CBC, and The Square had very little to do but crane their necks to see if any famous hockey player was walking down the carpet.
All said and done, I enjoyed covering the recent visit of Charles and Camilla with the photographers. That was real excitement as the quarry was there for all to try and capture.
Media access was restricted to the smallish red carpet area, where there were more media types than celebs. Media access did not even include admission into the actual ceremony, but rather imprisonment in a nearby restaurant with television screens.
And, of course, free food and booze.
I had lasagne, a veal cutlet, and a Caesar salad with a Peroni on tap, and quickly exited to watch a bit of the ceremony on television at home. The usual, “Thanks mom and pop” and, “I love you, dear wife” speeches.
Been there done that. Yawn.
I also had to give some thought to why the crowd was almost entirely a bunch of Caucasian old men. Yes, the hockey arena may be filling up but, if this is the future of the NHL, there really seems to be none.
By the way, the player inductees were Sergei Federov, Phil Housley, Nicklas Lidstrom, and Chris Pronger. Great players, but now as they are in the Hockey Hall of Fame, they are only NHL famous.
Celebrities, stars, and demi-gods. Hockey is entertainment. Is it still a game played by the common man?
I would say the days of Tim Horton, Gordie Howe, and Jean Beliveau are long gone. Regular-type guys, not the super conditioned, toned, and trained players of today.
I have lost touch with hockey in Canada. The most fun I had of late was coaching my son’s hockey team for some seven years. Those little guys, (then young men), were inspiring in that they enjoyed the game as a sport, not as a road to wealth and the perfect hockey wife.