Kukla's Korner

Above the Glass

From the Dub: The off season and what to do about it

The Memorial Cup concludes this weekend, marking the official end of the junior hockey season. Now that I’ve previewed a few signs that the off season is upon us, it’s time for a few tips for how to fill the next few months before training camp and the 2012- 2013 pre-season begin. For example, catnaps are essential, you don’t have to put the Oreos down and walk right away and of course, Twitter is a must.

A little catnap never hurt anyone. Well, ok maybe it does if you do it all the time. But an occasional nap to simulate game day conditions wouldn’t do any harm. Of course, in order to make this work, one must make accommodations in one’s workday, accordingly. Therefore, on my list of summer projects is lobbying my employer to adopt a new policy that allows the numerous Winterhawks fans who work here to take a long lunch several days a week for a game day nap.

Simulate game day nutrition. I know I promised healthy alternatives to the chocolate covered Oreos, but then I went to Produce Row Café for dinner and discovered that in fact, simulating the fat and calories found in hockey rink concessions is more realistic. That’s where I discovered a food item that simulates the calorie and fat content in barbecue nachos: the waffle sandwich. It is comprised of two small Belgian waffles with peanut butter, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, two pieces of bacon and maple syrup. Check that. It might actually have more calories than the nachos. I’ll make a return trip to do some more research and report back.

Put the chocolate-covered Oreos down and walk away. As promised, my estimated deadline for coming out from under the kitchen table and putting the crumbs of the Oreos away is by the Stanley Cup finals. The view is so much better from the couch, after all. But if you are still mourning the end of your team’s season, a good alternative is by free agent frenzy day. It’s right around Canada Day and Fourth of July, so you can go right back to self medicating with grilled meat, large mayonnaise laden salads and the adult beverages of your choice. On the other hand, at some point I probably should do this:

Trim the fat. The operative word being trim, not eliminate. After all, some body fat will be necessary to stay warm in the rink come fall. So since I’m not a teenage hockey player who can burn off the waffle sandwich in one 90 minute practice, I have returned to the gym and generally upped my exercise all around. For example, instead of driving to Produce Row Café, I will walk or bike to the chow fest. Or you could walk across the Steel Bridge to the international cat show at the Rose Garden, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Get a hobby. In addition to above named game day nap plans and food research, I plan to perfect my bowling technique of knocking over all but one pin in one shot. Teenage hockey players who don’t get out much are as good at bowling as they are at hockey, so I find that one must be in tippy-top shape for the Winterhawks Booster Club bowling nights with fans and players. Technically speaking, it qualifies as non-hockey related because one should be prepared to bowl anytime, anywhere. And if that just happens to be with the Winterhawks 100 days or so from now, so be it.

Keep up on Twitter. Players and their teams do have lives in the off season and it’s easier to feel like we are in touch and never far away from hockey by hitting the follow button now and again.

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About Above the Glass

Welcome to Above the Glass, a definitive anti-expert’s guide to hockey. I started blogging in 2009 as part of an effort to learn all 87 rules in the NHL Rulebook in 107 days before the 2010 Olympics, 30 years after I discovered the sport. You can peruse the archival results here. Growing up in Arizona, I didn’t even know hockey existed until February 22, 1980, when the USA played Russia in the Olympics. And just like that, the game of the century changed my life. I still don’t quite understand the icing rule or which faceoff circle goes with what offense, but I do know that every aspect of hockey has something to teach us about life. That’s what you’ll find here, along with my unadulterated passion for the game.

I live in Portland, Oregon, home of the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks. I invite anyone who wants to know more about hockey in the Rose City to visit here, where I blog exclusively about the Winterhawks. I’ll post an occasional musing about the Hawks, the WHL and junior hockey here as well.

Follow me on Twitter: @AbovetheGlass

Email: samantha@kuklaskorner.com