I snapped this shot on my way to work a couple of days ago in downtown Kitchener. Classic January morning in Canada – an open air rink, freshly flooded looking for action.
Category Archives: Canada
Rock stars have “groupies” and rodeo studs have their “buckle bunnies” but did you know that the term “Puck Bunny” is officially recorded in the Canadian Oxford Dictionary? Who knew?
As was the case in 2004 when the NHL season was scuppered completely, the idea is again being floated that if this season is shot completely that perhaps we should find some way to allow amateurs to compete for old Lord Stanley’s beaker.
Some would argue this woul taint it but I’m firmly in the camp that it would add to the lore of the grand prize of hockey. I for one would be ready to enter the Blue team from this year’s WOHL into any such tournament. These are character guys who are loaded with passion for the game and we’re probably as good or better than the other Blue and White team down the highway to the east, so why not?
Perhaps a tournament could be organized that draws teams randomly, lottery ball style, where all comers would be given an equal shot. A peewee team, a group of old NHL wannabees, an industrial league team, guys and ladies alike would be given equal chance to play for the fame of having their names alongside Beliveau, Orr, Gretz and Mess.
Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the opening game of the ’72 summit series. I don’t remember the first game, which we lost 7-3 in Montreal, and which apparently was quite a national shock. The video clip of Game 1 highlights found at this link is really interesting to watch. The talent level was very high on both sides. The Canadians actually lead 2-0 very early. A young Bobby Orr, watching from the sidelines, his knee already damaged to the point his best years were behind him, is perhaps as hard to see as anything. How different would this series have been with him, (and/or Bobby Hull) playing?
There is a certain romance to the odd sounding Russian names all these years later. Kharlamov, Maltsev, Petrov, Yakushev, Mikhailov. I know some purists will say Clark tipped the balance in Canada’s favour by breaking Kharlamov’s ankle, and while I’m not condoning that, Mikhailov was as dirty a player as Clark so I don’t buy that argument.
I remember watching snippets of some of the other games and of course, I remember watching the final game which I’ll post more about in the coming days but for the most part, the series is not something I can recall in vivid detail. I was a young boy at the time, and was either about to begin my first year of organized hockey or my second. It was much like the Olympics in its uniqueness.
Details aside however, it was a pretty cool thing to follow if you were as hockey-crazy as I was. I was too young to appreciate what a “cold war” was. Although I was obviously cheering for the home side, I suspect the notion of patriotism was a little vague. Nationalism – what’s that? For me, it was just about hockey. Funny, it still is.