The Big Tease

The Big TeaseThe NHL has accepted an invitation from NHLPA Executive Director Bob Goodenow to attend meetings right here in Toronto next Thursday and Friday. This will mark the first time the two sides have talked since September 9th in one last ditch effort to save this hockey season.

I'm not a casual hockey fan, I'm a rather passionate and devoted hockey fan. If possible, I'll tune in to all 82 regular season Maple Leaf games and every minute of every playoff game thereafter. One of my favourite nights of any year is the night I draft my NHL playoff pool. I recap every game on this site and follow the blue and white as if it were my religion. In a sense, it is.

As a diehard hockey fan, this current labour strife upsets me deeply. It upsets me so much I try to pretend as if I'm carrying on fine without the NHL. I recap St. John's Maple Leaf games, watch a lot of Raptors basketball and keep busy with inane projects. You know that Molson commercial with the grown men staring at a blank television set singing the Culture Club's "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me"? That's me. I'm that pathetic guy at the end on the brink of tears because his Saturday night no longer includes Hockey Night In Canada. I miss it and I miss it badly.

I read about this meeting between the NHLPA and NHL and I see a slight glimmer of hope. I see the possibility of hockey this season and a Stanley Cup champion crowned in 2005. I see my brothers and I gathered around friends drafting our playoff pool and I see James and I wearing our jerseys and celebrating loudly when Roberts/Sundin/McCabe/Nolan scores for Toronto. I see it all potentially unfolding before my eyes and I smile.

Then I shake my head and realize it's all just a big tease.

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