I have always been a staunch supporter of hockey, although I am not much of a player to speak of. In fact, I can hardly get my wonky legs to carry me on skates these days. However watching sports here in the north of North America one thing has always bugged me about my neighbors to the south and their precious NFL football claiming that the Superbowl is the hardest of all the trophies in pro-sports to kiss and hold high in victory.
Yes, I will grant that Football is a man’s sport fraught with contact and danger. However I would wager my front teeth that hockey is really the sport that is that hardest on the body and hardest sport in which to win the top prize. The NHL’s Stanley Cup.
Should it please the court I will present my evidence.
Well kids it’s official, Winnipeg has our heart back and that heart beats to the chant of GO JETS GO! Last night from Minneapolis Mark Chipman and Keven Cheveldayoff stood at the NHL Draft podium and proudly declared. “The Winnipeg Jets are proud to select from the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League, Mark Scheifele.”
With that one simple announcement a franchise was reborn. The paddles came down and kick started the quivering heart of hockey fans in the Manitoba heartland. It’s not as if we weren’t already going crazy but until the events of June 21 and the Board of Governors meeting our hockey club wasn’t official. Now we have a team, a chant and our first player.
It may just be coincidence but Mark Scheifele is being coached by Winnipeg Jets legend Dale Hawerchuk. According to the Winnipeg Free Press, Ducky says we picked well indeed. Scheifele scored 22 goals and had 53 assists in 66 games last year for the Barrie Colts. Not too shabby, a young kid with talent, good size and great hands who loves to play the game.
Well hold on to your hat Mark, you’ve died and gone to hockey heaven, I doubt anything in your young career has prepared you for the onslaught of love and support that you are going to encounter when you lace up those skates at the MTS Centre.
Well here it is about 24 hours before game 6 in the 2011 Stanley Cup finals. I am sitting on pins and needles for two reasons tonight.
Firstly my team since the early 1990’s, the Vancouver Canucks, is one game away from winning the whole shebang and secondly Winnipeg is getting its team back.
I must admit in all honesty that I was never a huge hockey fan growing up, yes I used to sit on my Dad’s knee and steal sips of beer while we watched hockey. But I was more interested in Peter Puck than the actual games back then.
Yes as every good Canadian boy does I laced up my skates in the back yard, but I was never much of a player. My ankles always bothered me as they still do, and I spent more time on my ass as I did upright.