November 7th, 2012 by Aaron Murphy
There’s no hockey fan on planet earth that’s unaware of the NHL labor issues … and the frosted frustration that it breeds. For us all it has been a ropey few months – ‘will they get a deal done?’ or ‘how can the owners be so greedy?’ are a few questions that have passed between hockey-minded people. We have had a few moments when we thought they were close; actual talks and proposals were announced – but with the cancellation of the Winter Classic we’ve all lost a lot of our optimism. Fear not – there are other leagues, and other hockey-related activities folks – at least some distractions in a cold winter that looks less and less likely to include NHL action.
To demonstrate one of the upsides to the NHL stalemate, I spoke to Matt Beleskey after the Coventry Blaze EIHL game where the Anaheim Duck forward is plying his trade during the lockout …
To get you through the NHL lockout here is my “Murph on Ice” Top Five Things to Do …
5. I am biased here, and reading is important! So why not read my ‘Murph On Ice’ blog or follow me on twitter @MurphOnIce – at least we can commiserate together on the lack of NHL! And who knows, maybe the interaction can help us all make some sense of the third work stoppage in 20 years. Thank you Gary Bettman.
4. Everyone is excited about Movember - and rightly so. But why don’t all of you that are missing the NHL start growing a mullet (a la Barry Melrose)? The time-honoured tradition of good ‘hockey hair’ could help us pass away the months without NHL – and bring us all together in a bonding moment for the ages. You could have your friends around, compare the progress of your mullets or ‘taches, and pop on the Slapshot DVD for good measure. Paul Newman and the Hanson brothers are always good for what ails any hockey fan.
3. Go skating yourself …or how about joining a local hockey team?! Heaven forbid any of us get off the couch and actually play the game! Maybe this lockout is the wake-up that many hockey folks need. Dust off the old Bauer Supremes, tape up the old Easton and go for a twirl down at the local rink – you may even enjoy it!
2. Get out and support the leagues in your area. Here in Europe we are blessed to have a plethora of options. From the EIHL in the UK all the way to the KHL and its geographically massive set-up, there’s no shortage of action, and tickets are affordable in these leagues. So forget about the $500 dollar tickets in Toronto. Go see a Coventry Blaze game for £15 and enjoy watching Matt Beleskey skating on UK ice [pictured right].
1. Watch AHL on ESPN America! See the NHL stars of tomorrow, today! With the lockout comes a silver lining for the AHL. All 30 American League teams have young studs on their rosters, that under other circumstances may be skating in the ‘show’. With the current issues they are playing in the minors and thus supplying ESPN America viewers with a window to the future … and some hockey action NOW!
You see folks, the lockout isn’t all bad. We just all have to be creative and find our hockey fix and entertainment in different ways! So keep coming back to these pages on ESPNAmerica.com to keep up to date with what is happening in the hockey world outside of the NHL (No Hockey Lately!)
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