Well it’s that time of year again and here we are back for another season of ice hockey and Gilly’s Gab!!
Unlike the past 2 years of blogging this one definitely has its challenges in that the NHL is currently in a lockout and at jeopardy of losing a full season of hockey. However, just because the NHL is currently locked out does not mean that there is any short supply of topics to begin this 3rd season.
Even though we, the fans, are probably not aware of all issues at hand as a result of this lock out we are aware of the fact that once again the owners and players are not happy with each other as is evident by all the bickering and complaining that both sides disclose after each and every worthless post meeting press conference. The one thing we are sure of in all of this is that there are 2 or more parties at a stand still and the end does not seem to be anywhere near!!
Now that the NHL will not be starting as planned in early October we are left to support and cheer on our local teams at various levels across the province. As much as we may think this is an isolated state of affairs that is happening in the NHL, it is far from that. As controversial as an off-season it was for the NHL, our top ranked leagues here in NL which show case the best of the best from Major Midget to Jr and of course our beloved Senior leagues have been just as bad as the Owners and Players that so many children look up to and strive to become in the NHL. The only difference as far as I can see is that the NHL players are making $1,000,000’s where as our locals are merely “amateurs” playing the game they love for fun and entertainment…..please!!!!
Ever since the Herder Finals controversy last year there has not been any let up at all in the many issues and challenges that the powers to be of the NSHL have faced. I for one am very curious to see how this very critical year will play out. One thing is for sure and that is that some of the ring leaders of the newly formed NSHL, namely the Blades organization will not be around when the puck drops in the coming weeks to open the new season and begin the chase of the Herder. I have said in many a blog before that to operate such a league an awful lot of planning has to be done, especially if you want to keep up with the “Jones’s”. This is league is a professional hockey league and as you can see from the NHL it has to be run like any other business you see and to do so you need to be fiscally responsible and have the right people in place to run and operate your business, if not there is a lot of money to be lost!! You need to have the patience and put your egos aside and have a few hard years before you begin reaping any benefits. Just look at C’Ville and GFW, they both had a couple rough years winning games but stuck with it, had the right people in place and involved their communities in every aspect possible. I just hope the people in Gander have done their homework because if they have not this could end up being a very expensive past time and possibly spell the end of the league as we know it today!!!
Doesn’t it seem that no matter what level of hockey we are talking about these past couple of years that money and expenses are at the center of every possible problem that exists, and this is not limited to the NHL and the NSHL, it’s everywhere and at every level.
My two kids have begun learning to skate and to tell you the truth I have not bought any new hockey equipment for myself in years, probably due to the fact that I don’t play anymore, but that’s another topic for another day. I have however just bought them their new skates because at that age kids will need new skates just about every year and that is not cheap my friend believe me. After seeing how expensive equipment has become in the last decade or so I was curious to see just how much it would cost to fit my kids if they were of age to begin playing this year and I almost fell down when I added it all up, my god just look at the price of the sticks alone that all kids are using. Is there really any need for this at that age, a child using a $250.00 stick, will that be the difference in little Johnny playing All-Star this year and on one of the many newly formed “travel teams” in the city, that travel to all these off-season tournaments in the hopes of being scouted at the tender age of what…10? Don’t laugh because it’s true and there are many parents who dish out $1,000’s and $1,000’s of dollars every year in the hopes of finding somewhere on the mainland for them to play, because that means they are on their way, do me a favor and think twice before doing something like this, these kids may want it bad but there’s something else that need even more right now and during these very impressionable years, that is YOU!! Let them enjoy the game for what it is, let them make their own choices, let them gain values and experience and learn what hard work and character is all about. When the time has come and that time is not between the tender ages of 11- 16 they will still be able to chase their dreams, it is not going anywhere.
I could go on forever with my opening blog this year as the issues surrounding our GAME at every level are bigger and bigger everyday and it usually has something to do with the almighty dollar. It is a new hockey season filled with optimism and dreams at every level. We all believe we have the best team to win it all this year, and actually, our Northeast Eagles of the AESHL had a dream as well, which was to win the Herder this year, oh well I guess we will have to wait for another year for that one, but I truly believed in the bottom of my heart that it was finally going to be the year of my beloved LEAFS to make the playoffs and that Mr. Burkes 3 year plan has finally started showing dividends in year 5!!
Oh well, that’s the beauty about this GAME and this time of year, we all start with the exact same record and attitude!! Don’t stop believing because anything is possible when you put YOUR mind to it.
Thanks for dropping by and reading Gilly's Gab and I hope you drop back again as I think this is going to be one fun year for the GAME we all love so much!!!
Go Leafs Go!!!