Stealing a term from baseball, "The Dog Days of August" are upon us. But in hockey terms, the season is about to heat up.
Between now and the the opening of training camp in mid-September, team rosters will receive finishing touches, a few trades will be made and all teams will start on fairly even level, as a matter of fact every team will be 0-0-0-0-0 (not sure how the NHL will be keeping win and losss stats so I added a few extra columns to be on the safe side).
My question to you today is why are you a fan of the NHL? Dig deep, go back to your earliest recollection of the game and tell me (and others) why you care about the game.
Who knows, maybe someone from the NHL will read your response and award you season tickets for your favorite team!!!
My first memory of the NHL was listening to Budd Lynch (Hockey Hall of Fame inductee 1985) and Bruce Martin (HHOF inductee 1991) do play by play on the radio. Phrases I will never forget, The save was in the nick of time, and the nick was Libbett. How about Martyn's call of a goal, "He shoots, he scores" in that high pitch tone, followed by Sid Abel saying to Bruce, "He are a good player and another good thing, he is from Cal-Gary".
When I first started watching hockey on TV, it was Hockey Night in Canada that drew me to the TV. Back then, Wings games were joined in action, usually about midway through the 2nd period and only a few games were televised. I felt like I knew Foster and Bill Hewitt, and could picture myself sitting in the gondola over looking the ice at Maple Leaf Gardens.
My trips to the old Olympia to watch the Wings became quite frequent. My dad worked for one of the automotive companies and received Wings tickets maybe 20-30 times a year. I became a fixture near the Red Wings dressing room, new the back door escape routes of all of the players, and I would wait for them just to watch them pass me by are give me a friendly tap on the head. What I remember most are the scars on the faces of the players and they all had crooked noses. My favorite player at the time was of course #9. He was such a gentleman, and after a few years, called me by my first name and always stopped to talk with me. I was in heaven and hooked on the game forever.
These days, I would say I still root for the jersey first and the players second. It is a matter of pride for me to cheer on the Wings, maybe you had to experience first hand all of the loosing the Wings suffered through in the 70' and 80's to understand; but I am sure many of you will have similar stories and I would appreciate reading them.