Jason's Hockey "Career"

The Central Broadcasting Company
decided that appeasing the fans across the border in Detroit was more
important than showing the playoff games of Canada's own 2004 Stanley
Cup finalist, Calgary Flames.  So every CBC station east of
Calgary showed the Detroit-Edmonton playoff game and for those of us
without digital cable (or any cable at all for that matter) have no
choice as to what to watch.  

Well, we have one choice.  I walked down to Richmond Row shortly
after the Calgary game was scheduled to start and finally found a place
showing the Western CBC feed after going into about four other bars
first.  Watched the second period there but the rap music
eventually got to me and I went to Joe Kool's to see if it was any
better.  They weren't showing the game (though they claimed they
were – as did most of the bars I stopped in) so back to Ceeps and
though I just miss the start of the 3rd period, it's gone from 3-2
Calgary to 5-2 Calgary.  Perfect.  Have a couple more pints,
grab a slice of pizza and come home to watch the OT of the
Edmonton-Detroit game. 

So yeah, all of that is boring and probably should be in my personal journal.  But back to the post title.  My hockey career.

– I joined Figure Skating at five years old (we didn't have the more
manly Power Skating in my town at the time) and was quickly promoted to
a higher level.  I missed my friends in the lower level and this
didn't bode well for my future hockey prospects.  In fact, this is
probably the pinnacle of my skating prowess.

– joined beginner hockey at 6 years old and was okay but not
great.  (I still can't do left side crossovers or hard stops very
well.)   Everyone else has a black or white helmet and I'm
the only kid with a red helmet.  This makes me special
(unfortunately, special in the Olympic sense as I eventually realise.)

– dad made a deal to pay me $1.00/goal and $0.50/assist.  Ignoring
the inherent problem this created in terms of making me more of a puck
hog than a team player (not that i was skilled enough at that age to
differentiate between a pass and a shot anyhow), my assist total went
through the roof as I was able to inflate this nebulous stat quite a
bit.  Unlike goal scoring which is pretty obvious, assists were
more a case of “I touched the puck that shift therefore I got an
assist.”  Conveniently, chocolate bars and chips cost $0.50 so my
consumption of both was directly proportional to my “assist”
totals.  I have followed a similar training regiment to this
day…with similar results. 

– Along with two of my classmates, I didn't make the “A” team when we
finally divided into two teams, even when I was part of the older group
of kids (who basically automatically made the “A” team.)  The
coach's son gave me the hard assessment that I “didn't have the killer
instinct”.  At the time, this troubled me but looking back, it
kind of makes me proud.

– A couple years later, I quit hockey for the same reason.  We
were in Bantam and the coach treated it like we were in the NHL playing
the better players more and the less talented players less.  One
of my fondest memories in one of my friends' moms verbally assaulting
the coach for not playing her son an equal amount although at the time
he (and I) were horrified by her outburst.

– got back to playing hockey when I got to University, hooking up with
a rec team based in our residence that was (I kid you not) sponsored by
a janitorial supply company.  This also symbolized the level of
skill our team regularly exhibited. 

– I also play in the intramural rec league and have the all-time
highlight of my hockey career when I score a hat trick in a game that
helps get our team into the playoffs.   It's also a low-lite
of my life as my teammates buy me non-stop drinks after the game and in
a province where drinking and driving is basically a popular hobby, I drive home in probably the worst condition that I ever
got behind the wheel in my life.  Only stupid blind luck keeps me
from being in jail or the hospital. 

– that's pretty much the end of my hockey glory but as I tell Shea, “if
we have a boy, I'll be in the stands yelling 'you better score or daddy
doesn't love you!' just like a good Canadian father would.” 

<cue sappy Tim Horton's commercial – “You never came to my games
dad!”  “Yes, I did,  Number 7, Right wing.” 
<tears>

Er, Go Edmonton Go! 

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