The minor hockey season is about to get underway here. My co-coach of the past four years got some ice time and a bunch of 14-16 year-old players out for a scrimmage, so I decided to play as well. I haven't played since I was 15, so my skill level was about right, and I had no hockey gear, so I just put on my ref pads along with a hockey jersey, gloves and a stick.
It was only an hour scrimmage, but it was my most enjoyable hour in years. Just being out there feeling the adrenaline running through my veins, feeling the ice crack at my feet, and most of all, feeling like I was born to do something, and I was in the midst of doing it. There is that, and the comraderie of being in the dressing room with a bunch of guys who all share the same passion for the game. There is no better feeling I have yet to experience than playing the game of hockey, and I have never, ever been paid to do it.
I thought to myself after we got off the ice; How can anybody whine and ***** about getting payed seven figures to play this game? Does professional hockey really make players into robots who lose their passion for the game?
Obviously, I am building up to take a shot at NHLPA members.
You guys are luckier than hell to be making a better living than the rest of us by playing the game that you once loved. If that love for the game is still there for you guys, accept a system that will work. If that means a salary cap, accept a f'ing salary cap.