It’s a question every hockey fan is feeling as the temperatures begin to drop and the days become a little shorter. Baseball season is finally wrapping up; oh, how fans wish the hockey season lasted 162 games plus the playoffs. Football is up and running, passing and tackling. Yet, there is a void that only the sound of a solid body check can fill. Is it October yet?
The anticipation builds at the pure thought of the team taking the ice for warmups, the playing of the anthems, the opening faceoff, the sound of the goal horn, the certain celly and the hint of blood dripping from battle scarred fists. Hockey is almost here, and fans across our fair land know it. They are rising out of a summer long hibernation, reconnecting with their respective hockey families and waiting to see their favorite players lace them up for the first time this season. There are just days left until the preseason tilts start for the NHL and just a few weeks before the minor league seasons across the country are in full swing.
Players will battle for roster spots; hoping to catch the attention of the watchful eye of a scout or coach. Coaches will be on the lookout for the next superstar in the making and that last piece of the puzzle for their fourth line. Fans will flock to catch a glimpse of their team, their player, their home away from home. Most fans would even take a healthy dose of Pierre McGuire right now if it meant there was meaningful hockey being played. It truly is a magical time of year as blade meets ice and puck meets twine.
For the veteran players, it means another season away from their significant other, kids, and family. Some know this could be it, one final chance; but it is the hope of one last run for the cup, and the glory that comes with it, that keeps them coming back for more. For younger players, it’s another opportunity to potentially further their career and move ever closer to “The Show.” There is hope; there is hunger, there is anticipation, there is hockey to be played.
Regardless of who you root for, this time of the calendar is a chance for a fresh start. Could this be the year that long anticipated Cup finds a place in the trophy case of your favorite team? Unfortunately, only one team can win, and the others will go home wondering what they could have done differently. But, whoever you root for, do it with all your heart and enjoy the incredible ride that is the hockey season. Dust off the jerseys, cowbells, vocal cords, pompoms, gloves, hats, and maybe even an old friend or two and get out to a game…soon!
Fans, it may not be October yet, but we’re awful darn close.
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