Today at ‘the good ole hockey game’ in the City of Champions there will be assembled a Commonwealth of great hockey past. Today in Edmonton the two highest scorers in the history of the NHL reunite for one time only, one still actively seeking more NHL points, one retired and unconcerned that anyone will ever match his record NHL points total. Messier and the Great One will share an outdoor icy field of dreams with an astonishing supporting cast of Oilers present and past, and in two games will face-off against the Canadiens, young and older. The ‘Flower’ will once again bloom beside Steve Shutt whose company will literally be making ice hockey history In the Heartland of Hockey. The senior Habs will play for the pride while their more junior associates will fight for two valuable points.
Although in Canada ‘it’s the best game you can name’ in the US of A, serious American NHL fans are not even invited to this once in a lifetime celebration. Big media in Corporate America have designated that there is no room at the Inn, on their television sets. They are giving their exclusive pre-holiday season thanks by not passing up any of the big buck$ from American College Football broadcasts.
Gannett Co., Inc. is a prime example of major media in-crowd disinterest. Gannett’s Newspaper Group is the largest rag vendor in terms of circulation in the USA. With a 100 daily newspapers, they have a combined daily paid circulation of 7.7 million newspapers sold across America. USA TODAY, the nation’s largest-selling daily newspaper, with a circulation of approximately 2.3 million is available in 60 countries. Yet Andrew Gross, a notable hockey writer in New Jersey could not even convince Gannett News Service to foot the bill and send him to the biggest event, in terms of attendance, in the history of the NHL
Feature columnist, Kara Yorio of FOX Sports atThe Sporting News mildly laments, “Americans are left out,” but harangues, “the game is Opportunity Lost. Not a classic, but a classic NHL error … Next time around, could a U.S. team come out and play?” Such is the American mind set so inwardly looking and culturally self-sufficient and egocentric. Maybe if the Heritage Classic had had Bob and Doug McKenzie hosting and the Hanson Brothers clowning around on the ice, American network nitwits might have momentarily extruded their heads from their posterior ends long enough to see the light. The real travesty is that the sun will shine down upon a glorious hockey happening and true Red White and Blue NHL fans will remain frustrated and deprived.
USAWeekend.com today features ex-Canadian Peter Jennings, now 65, writing about his first Thanksgiving as an American. Even though he grew up with his “parents and sister Sarah in fairly rural western Quebec” the last thing on Peter’s mind, “for the holiday” in this season of American Thanks is the Heritage Classic, but his offspring is as his “daughter will be home from Africa.” Sworn in as a U.S. citizen in May, Jennings, anchor and senior editor of ABC News “World News Tonight” quotes Irving Berlin’s spoken introduction to “God Bless America.”
Meanwhile back in the True North, Strong and Free, Superstars from Quebec’s and Hockey’s greatest Sports Dynasty will help thrill and warm the hearts of more than 56,169 mostly Canadian diehard fans who have paid big Canuck Buck$. Small market hockey survival depends on the celebration of Canada's national sport where cold cash must be collected from fans even in a freezing venue. But we Crazy Canucks are all happy to be left out in the cold:
Hosers are we, and happy to be,
The ones who truly get it,
Hockey is the Coolest Game on Earth.
So much for my first (and last?) link to the canadian legal database
I am watching the CBC replay and realizing how well the Oilers played in the 1st period. The bounces, and the intangibles are what sports are all about. Two teams intent upon not embarrassing themselves. Poor Ty Conklin had no shoots until the 1st goal. As I rewatch this game I realize how lucky the young Habs were tonight.