TORONTO, ON. — It’s coming to a crucial time in the NHL lockout, where there is the potential of the season being cancelled entirely. As much as it would suck to lose the whole season, fear not. I have compiled a survival guide – something that can help you through the long winter months, and take your mind off the things that the league isn’t doing.
In the event that the season does start just store this handy little survival guide in an easy to find spot, just in case Bettman has a meltdown and takes away hockey again. I’m sure it will happen again at some point. And since the world was supposedly going to end on the 21st of December – according to the internet, which is OH SO ACCURATE – Fehr and Bettman would still manage to be arguing over who got the last of the Twinkies.
Even then, I believe they’d fight over how to split it, too.
Be that as it may, this guide is obviously just for fun, but take this away from it, if you please: you can still find hockey. It doesn’t take much effort (HINT: check All Habs daily.) The lockout sucks; I think we can all agree on that, and some people are more over it than others. Please enjoy!
Here are survival tidbits that every hockey fan should know:
1. Hunger. This is going to happen almost immediately. Once you realize that there is not a lot of NHL hockey going on, you’ll find that you pain for it. It will sit empty in the pit of your stomach, waiting to be filled. The good thing about the hunger is that it can be satiated, at least for a little while.
There is the OHL, KHL and there are always AHL games — we’re covering the Hamilton Bulldogs, and all Montreal Canadiens prospects in the CHL, NCAA and in Europe. Just think, the 26th of December is upon us: we’ll finally be able to watch the World Junior Hockey Championships. As long as you’re feeding your hunger for hockey, in any way you can, there shouldn’t be any backlash. If you’re ever at all feeling those hunger pains, and experiencing side effects such as: bitterness, snapping at people for no good reason whatsoever, or the insatiable need to wear full on hockey gear while at the dinner table with your family, find yourself a hockey game to watch immediately. And if hockey is not available, there is always NBA, NFL, curling – and in most extreme cases: figure skating.
I know tons of people that are getting into college football and soccer. I’ve spent many Saturdays and Sundays watching Premier League games, and learning about NCAA football, and if I am honest, I’ve really enjoyed both. In fact, I prefer College football to NFL (but that is just my personal preference, don’t hurt me!)
2. Exercise. I know it sounds silly: but exercise can help in more ways than one. If you have kids: enroll them in sports! Build a rink in your backyard, have the neighborhood over every weekend for your own little hockey season, and provide hot chocolate for the kids, and hot toddies for the parents. Encourage your kids to take part in school sports.
If you don’t have kids: join beer leagues. Enroll in flag football. Join a gym. Go running. If you’re like me and can’t afford to join a gym – go for walks, invite friends to play a pick-up game of road hockey.
With all the free time that people have, it’s not the worst thing in the world to get in a little exercise now and again. It’s also a great way to spend time with people you’ve not seen in a little while, or spend time with the people that you would normally be spending time with watching NHL games.
Exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t want to go find Gary Bettman and slap him seven ways to Sunday.
Most of the time.
3. Social Networking. I brought it up a little bit in the second point, but with all the free time people have without hockey on, now is a really good time to catch up with your friends and spend a little more time with your family. When most of us will usually use Twitter for live-tweeting every hockey game that is on, no matter who it is – use it to set up dinner dates, or parties. Meet up with some of the people that you’ve met through this wondrous site. If you’re a little nervous about meeting people from Twitter, do it safely, attend one of our Hockey Parties!
Have your own parties! Check out new sports bars (find a recommendation at our sister site: Hockey Pub) Start your own NHL 2013 league. Set it up tournament style, and hand out prizes to the top three players. Host holiday get-togethers, where people bring libations and food – and play old school Christmas music and be jolly. Catch up with your family and high school friends. The time you’d spend watching hockey games at pubs or bars or even at arenas, can be spent finding fun and awesome things to do in your respective cities. And in the event that hockey does come back this season? (Not that you should be holding your breath) – you’ll have a whole new group of friends to start doing things with.
Have a cookie party. Seriously: have you ever been to one? There are COOKIES. Why would you not want to be part of that?
Social networking isn’t solely based around the internet. As easy as it is to stay in contact with people through Facebook and Twitter: sometimes calling someone and saying ‘hey, want to get together?’ is so nice and is a little more personal. So, call up that friend you maybe haven’t seen in a while, or send a message their way, and let them know you’re thinking about them.
4. Love*. Yes, I am going there.
Love can be found in many places. It can be found with another person. It can be found in the form of video games. It can be found in the form of classic movies. Or music, or baking, or in collecting stamps and bottle caps.
Find something (or someone) to love. Winter months are long and cold. Might as well find something (or…someone) to spend those months with! Because, a harsh reality is: it might not be NHL hockey. And if hockey comes back? You have a friend or an enemy, or a frenemy to spend those games with. To me, that’s a win-win, right there.
And you can’t go wrong with frenemies.
*I won’t harp on love. Love is a tough thing, and it’s not up to me to preach it to others. Love is great when you have it, and a cruel mother when you’re out of it. But, know that there are people out there that love you, including us here at All Habs!
5. Learn and Master…a video game.
So, I am not really a video game person. I will play Wii from time to time and break a sweat, but most of the time, I am watching – genuinely perplexed on how people get so good, so involved, and spend SO MANY HOURS playing one single video game. I have roommates, who definitely play video games (the amount of gaming consoles in our house is kind of ridiculous) – and recently, I have been trying my hand at some of the more intense games.
Like Call of Duty. How about Assassin’s Creed?
I have decided – as part of my bucket list – to learn and master at least one video game. As I have the attention span of a goldfish, it might prove challenging. On the other hand, I do have a lot of free time when there is no hockey on. And when I am not doing other things (such as some/most/all of the things on this list), I am quietly, secretly playing Call of Duty and failing epically, but having fun trying.
This one really is just for fun. I mean, the lockout is a silly and trivial thing, so learning and mastering a video game should seem on equal footing, in my opinion. So go ahead: master Dance Dance Revolution. At least then you’re killing two survival guide tidbits with one stone.
For some, it may feel as though life is over without an NHL season to get them through the cold winter months. But we hockey fans are a resilient bunch: we tough it out, rub some dirt on it, and battle our way through.
(Feature photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)