Hockey Returns

Okay, let me say right away that I was totally bummed (disgusted) by the National Hockey League (NHL) strike – millionaires bickering with millionaires about…… well, money. But that said, I’m sitting here watching Hockey Night in Canada at 3 p.m. in the afternoon : Ottawa Senators (my team) vs. Winnipeg Jets. Oh, I did get my 3 days of wood chopped, the carpet vacuumed, the snow on the solar panels swept off, and convinced Nellie to make cookies before it started. I said to myself, when they were ‘on strike’, that I was never going to watch those greedy millionaire hockey players ever again. But I guess I can’t fight genetics…..

2 yr old Kalia playing hockey with Nellie 2006

2 yr old Kalia playing hockey with Auntie Nellie 2006

My earliest memory (2 years old) is of watching NHL Hockey Night in Canada almost 60 years ago every Saturday night. Hockey came on at 8 p.m., right after Don Messer’s Jubilee, a Canadian folk music TV program that we sang and danced around to. We often got to have our own bottle of 7Up soft drink during the game. Back in those days, there were only 6 teams in the NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Black Hawks, Boston Bruins, and New York Rangers. Our family’s favourite was the Toronto Maple Leafs, who were hot in the 50’s and 60’s winning several Stanley Cups, the championship trophy. The biggest rivalry was between Toronto and Montreal and I believe it still is today. When the theme song came on for Hockey Night in Canada, we came running from wherever we’d wandered off to and took our place on the floor in front of our 15″ screen, black and white television. It was a good spot to be when our team scored so we could jump up and down cheering. Inevitably, I’d end up on my Mom’s lap and alway fell asleep during the game.
Regrettably, I was never to see the Toronto Maple Leafs play at Maple Leaf Gardens (even though I went there to see The Beatles in concert twice), before they moved to the Air Canada Centre. In fact, I’ve never seen Toronto play at home. We finally went to a NHL game about 15 years ago at Scotiabank Place to watch the Ottawa Senators and have gone every few years since. Once, my sister Faye and her Husband Joey came up and we went to a game with the Ottawa Senators vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (our first live Leafs game). We had a ton of fun even though we were way up in the ‘nose bleed’ section (ie. so high up you might get a nose bleed)!

Our River Rink 2006

Our River Rink 2006

I honestly didn’t know earlier this week if I’d fit today’s game into my day. After my sister Faye called to remind me it was going to be on, I decided to watch. Well, as soon as the theme began to play, I just envisioned Faye, in her chair at home, excitedly breathing a sigh of relief that hockey was back! And that childhood excitement flowed through me! NOW I know what I was missing on Saturday’s this fall!
Hockey is quintessential Canadian, like snow, ice skating, trees, mountains, oceans, prairies, -30 C winters (-22F) and hot summers. Maybe Canadians are just hockey-lovers……… maybe we feel that it’s the ultimate sport, for our kids, ourselves, and those rich players. I know that my sister gets a real aerobic workout watching her Toronto Maple Leafs on TV – she works her arms shaking her fists at them when they get scored on and her heart sure pumps hard as they almost win another game. A perfect workout in my opinion! And she doesn’t even have to leave her house or pay any gym fees! Sweet!

I dedicate this post to my sister Faye, the most die-hard, faithful, Toronto Maple Leafs hockey fan I’ve ever known!

Our own Hockey Night in Canada 1994

Our own Hockey Night in Canada 1994


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. thebeadden
    Jan 19, 2013 @ 18:40:35

    Your sister sounds like me when I watch a Leaf game. Sometimes getting so upset I have to turn the TV off. Will be here watching the game in about 20 minutes. Go Leafs Go! 🙂


  2. Betty
    Jan 20, 2013 @ 00:23:28

    And then there’s your other sister… who can take hockey or leave it these days… While living in Hamilton with my crazy Leaf fan sister – it used to be fun watching hockey but since I’ve left Hamilton – it really hasn’t been all that much fun to watch a game anymore… I used to get a kick out of her… I’ve never seen a woman who knows so much about hockey… She knows whose being drafted and when… who each Leaf player is married to… and how many kids they have… etc., etc., You get my drift??!!… I probably will never stay home to watch a game on purpose now!!… LOL… If I’m home and I turn the TV on and hockey happens to be on – I might watch it for a period or so… but it’s just no fun anymore!!… My sister Faye is the truest Toronto Maple Leaf hockey fan I know!!… Perhaps one of these days when I come back to Hamilton for a visit, we’ll be able to watch a game together for old times sake!!…

    Great blog sista… it truly was an event to watch a hockey game when we were children… I really treasure those Hockey Night in Canada memories… It was our “family time”… and I remember it with such fondness… xo


  3. cecilia
    Jan 26, 2013 @ 09:49:11

    Oops i popped in to say hullo on a ‘sports day’ and I know nothing about anything when it comes to sport! however. Good Morning. Hope it is not too dreadfully cold today! c


    • grammomsblog
      Jan 26, 2013 @ 13:32:29

      Celi, you’re welcome to pop by anytime! The temps are warming up: now it’s only minus -15C (5F) this afternoon after lows this past week of -41C (-42F)!!


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