Saturday, September 08, 2007

Time For Hockey...

Ah's that time of the year - Hockey! OHL camps are going, NHL camps start soon, and hockey yearbooks are on the magazine racks. Brings back memories of getting excited...

Last week I saw The Hockey News yearbook on the shelf at Sobeys, and it used to be tradition for me to always buy a yearbook every year. I've got them going back to like '89 or so. But somewhere along the line I stopped buying them, and this time when I looked at the price (something north of 10 bucks!) I put it back and kept going. There's few players left in the league that I really know anymore from back when I did follow it, and save for a few, most of them don't really have any personalities anymore. They're all names you can't pronounce and play and look the same. I remember back when I was really into hockey in the 90s - I knew every player off by heart. The goalies in particular - I even knew the AHL backups. And they had different styles and equipment and brought something different to the game. Allen Bester, Grant Fuhr, Bill Ranford, Kirk McLean, Ron Hextall, Peter Sidorkiewicz, Tim Cheveldae, Clint Malarchuk (came back from having his throat cut by a skate!) and even Patrick Roy (who talked to his goal posts). They all had their own style. Now think about this - when was the last time you saw any stand up goalie in the NHL? They all play the same butterfly style made famous by Roy and Brodeur.

Even the other players had personalities and styles. Now its all systems and game plans. Remember Denis Savard, Wendal Clark, Doug Gilmour, Rick Tocchet, Pavel Bure, Phil Housley, Pat Lafontaine, Domi & Probert fights, Mike Foligno, and many others? Before seeing the jersey number, I knew who it was by the way they played. Now I watch a game and they all seem to play the same.

Guess I'm getting old. And then I go to Best Buy's website and see NHL '08 is out. I used to get excited about that too until the series blew well past my meager computer's abilities. And even the ones I did play never came close to capturing the sheer fun of the game that was NHL '95. Got my money's worth out of that one.

Anyway, guess everything changes in time, but at least there is hockey coming back for another season soon. And that's always a good thing, even if it is a bit homogenized. I can laugh at the losing Leafs, see if Ottawa can make another run, wince at Edmonton's 30 million 3rd liner, and hope like everything for an all Canadian final :)

Comments on "Time For Hockey..."


Anonymous originallru said ... (September 09, 2007 5:24 PM) : 

Ha! "Brings back memories of getting excited." I like that. :-)

Allan Bester... I vaguely remember that name. I think I gained more hockey knowledge from you than I ever would have otherwise.

By the way, you spelled it "Allen Bester" while the hockey card beside it said "Allan Bester." Is that some trivia I don't know, or just a typo?

Hope you're feeling better!


Blogger Eaglewing said ... (September 09, 2007 11:16 PM) : 

nope, sometimes a typo is just a typo :) it's supposed to be Allan Bester.


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