Monday, November 12, 2012

How to survive the Hockey Lockout

The good news about the hockey lockout?

Who am I kidding, there is no good news. This hockeyless November is depressing. What sports option do I have? Football? Sorry, wake me up when something exciting happens. I hate to say this folks, but I'm used to a sport where there is constant action. basketball - nope, just not my style. NASCAR? If I want to drive in a circle I'll take to the streets in Las Vegas. Ever try to merge on a roundabout? Talk about having to be a defensive driver! Speaking of Las Vegas, want to put your life on the line? Try to walk across any main street - just make sure your life insurance policy is paid up first.

Well, as far as the lockout goes, the owners are as stubborn as old Army mules being forced to pull cannons in a summer thunderstorm. They've dug in their heels and aren't moving. From what I've read and heard on different news and sites, I am leaning towards the players side.

I guess it ultimately doesn't matter. The line was drawn and that tiny crack has widened to an almost impassable chasm. Not even Superman can bring the two ends together.

The only high note so far this month is the Hockey Hall of Fame inductions, as reported by the NHL website (I compressed the formatting a bit):

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame blog 11-12-12

Sundin grateful to Leafs fans for wonderful memories

TORONTO -- Mats Sundin was a hero in Toronto.

Now he's a Hall of Famer in Toronto. As James Duthie pointed out, Sundin won the admiration of both Leafs Nation and Sweden. He only won a championship with one of them (not the Leafs), but he'll forever be remembered as one of the great Leafs of all time, if not the greatest. He is the franchise's all-time leading scorer. He's the only Swede to score 500 goals in the NHL. Sundin opened his speech by using the year 1966 and he reeled off the Hall of Fame class from that year. That same year his dad took his mom on their first date -- a hockey game.

"Five years later, I was born," Sundin said. "Forty-six years after that date, I'm standing here being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame." He thanked his parents first. "Without your support, I would not be standing here today," Sundin said.

New HHOF member Sakic lived up to the hype

TORONTO -- As TSN host James Duthie talked about in his introduction, Joe Sakic was all hype as a young player in junior hockey. He lived up to the hype -- and then some. Sakic won the Stanley Cup twice. He won an Olympic gold medal, scoring four points in the gold-medal game. He finished with 1,641 career points.

Sakic always had a place reserved in the Hall of Fame. Now he is finally going to occupy it.

"Joe belongs to the Hockey Hall of Fame because he is a special player," Patrick Roy said on the TSN broadcast. "He is a player that was a difference maker in our game."

In his first remarks as a Hall of Famer, Sakic congratulated his fellow inductees -- showing his humble, selfless side.

Unscripted Oates thanks many in HHOF speech

TORONTO -- Adam Oates gave so much in his career that finally the Hockey Hall of Fame decided to honor him with a gift. He gave the puck to Brett Hull, to Cam Neely, to Peter Bondra -- and they all scored 50 goals with Oates as their center. Hull and Neely did it in 50 games or less.

In fact, Oates said centering two 50-in-50 goal scorers is what he loves most about his long career. He dished out 1,079 assists (sixth all time) and even scored 341 times.

Oates, the second inductee in the Class of 2012, was "Gretzky-like" in his vision and passing, according to Hull.

"Adam belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame because he's one of the greatest players to play the game," Hull said on the TSN broadcast.

For his speech, Oates stepped up to the podium and did not have a sheet of paper. He did not read -- he either spoke from memory or simply from the heart.

Bure takes his place in the Hall

TORONTO -- In the opening video before introducing the first inductee, Pat Quinn compared Pavel Bure's yearning to be the best to that of Bobby Orr.

Pretty high praise for the first inductee in the Class of 2012, but certainly hard to argue against it considering the career that Bure had on both the international and National Hockey League level.

The Russian Rocket scored 437 goals and 779 points in an injury-shortened 702-game NHL career. He got up to 60 twice and scored in the 50s three more times. His hands were remarkable and his skating was, well, untouchable.

"Pretty rocket like," Quinn said. "He was a scoring machine."

Bure, wearing a bow tie, received his plaque from Hall of Fame Chairman and CEO Bill Hay and stepped to the podium.

Congratulations to all four men. They certainly deserved the honors.

What has been interesting is the media since the lock-out began. I've been a (The) Hockey News subscriber for a long time. I liked the bigger, newspaper sized THN but I adjusted the the slicker, magazine edition. Then, when THN did away with stats, explaining to us readers that we could always go online for up to date stats, I was a little upset. I enjoyed the stats.

Hockey News has been making an effort to cover a wider realm of hockey now. The Women's issue was great. I hope to read more on the women's game. Same for the college teams. November 12th's print is on the 'world' teams. Okay - especially since many NHLers took off to Europe to play. The following one focused on the American Hockey League (AHL).

Even if a miracle happens and we get a reduced season, I want to see expanded coverage of the other leagues. I want news on the ECHL. San Francisco has a team new to that league, the Bulls. For some reason, the ECHL doesn't get a lot of ink in the magazine. I think it's a shame.

A wish for a speedy recovery goes out to 24 year old forward Blake Geoffrion of the Hamilton Bulldogs. On Friday, November 9th, he was checked hard by Syracuse Crunch defenseman JP Cote. The contact sent Blake high in the air, landing against the board with his head as the primary point of contact. He was taken to the local  hospital for an evaluation. That night he had emergency surgery after a CT scan revealed a skull fracture. He is doing well according to his family.

I'm watching Goon every other day. I'm almost to the point where I can recite the lines. Better dig out Slapshot, Miracle, and Mystery-Alaska, at I'll be able to rotate movies. Now, if I can get my husband to put on some hockey gear and pretend to shoot a puck, occasionally swearing while he does (and opening all the doors to cool down the house), maybe it will temporarily ease the burning need to see a game. Throw in a blue margarita (Sharkarita), my Sharks sweater,hot dog, and the sports stadium music CD - it might work....Go Sharks (please?)

With a flicker of hope remaining alive, stay safe out there

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