Kukla's Korner

Above the Glass

The waiting game isn’t for everyone

I’ve always hated that expression “good things come to those who wait.” Now I know it’s about having patience in life and having faith and all that. But let’s face it, life is too short to sit around waiting for it to happen to you. Or, if you are a hockey fan in Portland, waiting for it to happen to one of the Winterhawks. Luckily for him, life did happen in a big way for Ryan Johansen this week, when the Columbus Blue Jackets announced they will keep him for the foreseeable future. But for me, couple that with having to sit here and wait while the Winterhawks complete the final stretch of a 17-day, 9-game road trip, and the result is trouble. And so, with no hockey to be had in Portland, I found myself playing the waiting game this week. And I have come to the conclusion that I really shouldn’t do that ever again. Because some of us just aren’t any good at it.

Free time that does not involve hockey…bad idea: The Winterhawks road trip should be like a mini off season, during which I go to the gym, catch up on sleep, movies and books, and return emails and phone calls like a normal person. But as we know, the off season can be, shall we say, a tad distracting. On Halloween for example, I ate a bag of chocolate for dinner. And as for books, I tried but I got distracted by the latest edition of the Hockey News. Maybe I should have just done this:

Party down: From their Tweets, it appears Sven Bartschi (@SvenBaertschi), Troy Rutkowski (@TRutter2) and William Wrenn (@wwrenn91) spent part of Tuesday night in a library while on an off night in Kamloops. Because the kids today really know how to party.

The unemployment line is this way, ma’am. Take a number. We’ll be with you shortly: This is why I didn’t want to get on Twitter: I spent all day Monday and most of Tuesday checking my Twitter feeds, NHL.com and whatever else to see if Columbus had finally made a decision about Ryan. Well, ok, not all day, but you get the idea. Good for the hockey blog, not so good for keeping my nice job that pays for hockey.

A watched Ryan isn’t coming back to Portland: This is the part where I admit that while I’m happy for him, there is a selfish part of me that wanted him back. It’s like when your favorite unknown band suddenly gets a record deal and becomes famous and you can’t get tickets because they sell out. I first met Ryan when he was all of 17 and a rookie and facing a long road trip like the one the Hawks are on now. And I can tell you that the only thing more exciting than watching him in our town is watching him take the ice in his Columbus jersey. Each and every time.  It’s one of the pluses of junior hockey; we truly did know them back when. Like I said, there is hope Columbus, and his name starts with an R. Hang tight and you’ll see what I mean.

Don we now our festive golf apparel, a.k.a spooky pants: I missed the Portland Winterhawks Spooky Skate this past Sunday, but that’s a good thing as the only thing scarier is me in a pair of ice skates. Even more frightening; as part of my commitment to the team I have avowed to learn how to play the boys’ other favorite sport, golf. But first and most importantly, I must choose the proper pair of ugly pants and mismatched argyle sweater.  Perhaps I will ping Ryan on Twitter for his tips on wearing an argyle sweater and bowling-like shoes with style. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Moral of this story: There may be hope for Columbus, but alas, when it comes to non-hockey down time, there is very little for me. I’m related to a famous Olympic golfer (Walter Egan), so I might be ok on the golf lessons. But I can definitely guarantee I will not be able to sport the spooky pants with flair and style.

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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