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The NHL is back and I say…

January 22, 2013

I suspect many who know me well expected that no matter where they were living, they would hear shouts of exuberance from yours truly at last week’s news that NHL hockey was returning. Well, you do not need to schedule a hearing test or wonder if I’m recently contracted laryngitis. The NHL is back and I say… that’s nice.

What? All Steve Ibbotson has to say is “that’s nice.” The guy who knew the hockey stats on almost every player from the time he was seven years old? The guy who did scorekeeping and stats for the Three Hills Gentleman’s Hockey League for ## years? Steve, one of the “craziest” Calgary Flames fans I know, who thinks it is so cool that his daughter was born on 12-14-09 (the best 3 numbers in Calgary Flames history), says when the NHL lockout ends, “that’s nice”? What have you done with the real Steve Ibbotson?

Let me explain a few factors in my self-defense, lest you fear I have been the victim of a kidnapping, identify theft, or personality re-programming? First, yes, we have been blessed with three children all of whom are under five years of age, so I don’t when I will actually be able to sit down and enjoy a hockey game in its entirety. Nonetheless, not once in the last four months have I thought, “if I could just relax and watch the end of HNIC” after the children went to bed on Saturday night. I did get to watch parts of the first two games of the Flames season this weekend and I am hoping that they will have a good year (better than their 0-2 start). But I don’t expect to watch a full game for a few more years… and that’s fine.

Secondly, as has been said so many thousands of times, “the lockout was about billionaires disagreeing with millionaires.” The WJHC gave those of us who “needed” quality competitive hockey a good “fix” and the Three Hills Thrashers offer a good local option that is very affordable. Canadians will never be starving for hockey! The billionaires and millionaires who are generous and kind people are still those kind of people, and those who are involved in hockey to make a few more dollars are a little “happier,” at least tentatively. Undoubtedly, the most grateful people that hockey is back are the staff at TSN, SportsNet, and even CBC. Likewise, the Canadian economy will see a small resurgence as businesses start booming again in the various industries that connect to NHL hockey (eg. sports stores, hotels, bars & restaurants, etc).

Finally, the NHL lockout reminded me that there are certain things we “love” that we can actually live without. Sarah and I watch a few shows together (that’s why God invented PVR!). We had time to work together on choosing and printing pictures for the calendars we gave our family members for Christmas. I had a little bit more time for playing with Caleb, Rachel and Anna outside in the beautiful Alberta snow! The list goes on and on.

So yes, the NHL is back. I’m glad. I say, “that’s nice.”  Because the precious few things we truly need, I had more time to invest in without the NHL!

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