When the Game Returns……

When The Game Returns

When the game returns,

What will happen if and when the game returns?

I realize everyone misses the game and the NHL, we all do, but what will you do, if and when the game returns?

The horrific COVID-19 pandemic ended so many promising hockey seasons across the world, but has this unprecedented event made us appreciate the game even more than before?

We all the love the game, we all love what it represents, but will the undercurrent or negativity towards the game ever truly go away?

When the game returns what type of fan are you going to be?

Will you be quick to criticize every move your favourite team’s GM or Head Coach made or didn’t make?

Will you constantly criticize players, referees and the league?

Will you jump on the boards and start all over again?

Will you even watch games if they play through the summer?

Before all of this happened was the hockey world taking the game for granted?

Did we lose sight of what the true essence of the game represents?

Obviously, the passion and love for the game was ever present, but it just appeared like there was always an undercurrent of negativity somehow surrounding the game.

“Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one,” I get that, but it just seemed no matter where you went within the game, someone or something was always wrong.

One could argue the very fabric of the game was being periodically challenged and in many cases ripped apart.

In some ways culturally the game may have needed it, but has that undercurrent of negativity always existed in the game?

Salary cap, escrow, trade deadline successes and failures, revenue sharing, loading up, rebuilding, tanking for the 1st pick, free agency, leniency of rules and suspensions, head shots, in game reviews, the instigator rule, hockey culture, draft projections and rankings.

It really doesn’t matter which topic you choose to discuss, one is always up for debate.

It just seems there’s always one aspect of the game under the microscope or being criticized.

If and when the game returns will it ever be the same?

Will we ever really appreciate the game for what it is or will we default back to previous negative settings?

In 2013 during the lockout I truly missed the game.

As time went on my negativity grew from studying and learning about both sides of the argument during that time.

Did greed outweigh the love of the game?

You be the judge!

I remember how excited I was to finally be able to watch the game again.

Sure the Bruins were on the top of the list, but it was more about the game in the purest sense.

That was then and this is now, however the games triumphant return in 2013 meant a lot to me.

I found a way to burry the negativity towards the players and owners and we’re proud that they figured things out.

Talk of Olympic participation, labour disputes and the upcoming CBA running out have taken a back seat to the brutal pandemic and rightfully so.

We’ve seen the hockey world and it’s players rally behind arena staff, donate to charities and help fund PPE programs.

We have witnessed the hockey world come together perhaps more than ever before.

In 2013 we all wanted the NHL to return, we all wanted the business side of the game never to overshadow our love for the game ever again.

It seemed the world found its equilibrium when the puck was finally dropped on the NHL season in 2013.

The anticipation for the return of the game this season is so different, but it’s evident our love and passion for the game is still as strong as ever, but what about that potential shroud of darkness and undercurrent of negativity surrounding the game?

Will the negativity surface and show its ugly head, if and when the game returns this season?

If and when the NHL returns it will be in empty barns and we all realize the fan experience will drastically change for the remainder of this season and perhaps the start of next season.

Photo Credit NHL

Will that lessen our love for the game? Will the critics be all over that crying and in true hockey fashion yelling foul?

Hell some people are even arguing over the coverage of certain vintage games being broadcasted right now.

I realize hockey is an outlet and that it means so much to so many different people. Nevertheless, the game of hockey especially at its highest level, has always been scrutinized.

It’s fair to say hockey has its dark side there’s no question about that, but when the game returns and life goes back to “normal” will we remember how much we missed the game or will we just take it for granted?

Photo Credit CBS New York

For now, we wait.

For now, we hope.

For now there’s greater things to worry about than the game of hockey.

For now we all should be honouring our true heroes, all of the essential workers, government officials and especially the medical personnel doing amazing things every day.

We are all in this together.

We all want the game to return, but if and when the game returns, will it mean more to you than ever before?

Is it about the game or about the normalcy of our lives and all of things that we may have taken for granted?

When the game returns,

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