While Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr are sitting in the boardrooms, and some of the NHL favorite are playing in separate countries, fans need to find something else to fill the whole caused by the NHL Lockout. I have come up with five things we could do while the lockout hovers above us. Here is the list.
1) Go Skating – People can fill the void of the NHL season by going out and skating. There are plenty of ice rinks around that can help ease the pain. Grab your stick and a few pucks and hit the ice with some friends and start a game. Wear your favorite jersey to the rink and pretend to play as your favorite player.
2) Watch the NHL Network – The NHL Network has been showing great things this lockout. Not only do they play old classic games, but they also have series that are very interesting. They feature a show called “Pioneers”, where they preview stars like Stan Mikita and Bobby Hull. They also have a series that I live by, called “Day That Changed The Game.” They feature stories including Patrick Roy’s last game in Montreal, Eric Lindros’ draft crumble, and Stan Mikita discovering the curved stick. You can also find OHL and WHL games airing, which brings us to the 3rd item on the list.
3) Watch AHL/OHL/College games – Many can see college games near their homes. If you have the luxury of living near one of the 20 OHL teams, I recommend going to them. Their ticket prices are cheap and the teams consist of NHL prospects. I watched a Plymouth Whalers game where Radek Faksa played against them. I also witnessed Dale Hunter coach the London Knights. These games are fun to watch, and any kind of hockey is good enough right now.
4) SHOP! – Go to the NHL Store and by all of your favorite memorabilia. You can find just about anything there and most can be customized. Many people find their favorite Christmas gifts coming from the NHL Store. I got a Pittsburgh Penguins Winter Classic Jersey of Jordan Staal from there. Sure, my parents were mad that he got traded, but I still got a great player’s jersey. Buying merchandise for your favorite team not only shows you love your team, but that you are attempting to feel better about no hockey season.
5) Buy NHL 13 and play it – My brother bought this game, and it is the best NHL video game yet. The new features for the game, including speed burst, take the game to a whole new level. They include a feature called NHL Moments Live, which has been seen in Madden games for a few years. The first challenge you face is playing as Wayne Gretzky, scoring two goals to win the game. The kicker is you have to play with today’s roster. Instead of Paul Coffey, it’s Ladislav Smid.
Whether you can stand the sight of the NHL lockout or not, you need to find something to do. Go buy some of your teams memorabilia. When you bundle up for the harsh winter, get a scarf or some gloves and a hat, representing your team. Many things can be done this lockout, even though it pains us to cover up the hurt of the lost season.