Monday, 28 May 2007

A Giant Win

Alas, another blog entry which has nothing to do with scootering.

I’ve been a hockey fan ever since I was in Grade 4 or 5. Maybe part of being Canadian is a love for hockey, especially around the playoffs.

I remember when the Vancouver Canucks joined the NHL in 1970. I was in Grade 5 and it seemed that we had arrived! Teams like the Montreal Canadians, the Boston Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers actually came to Vancouver to play hockey! Those were heady times!

As the years have passed, my “fan quotient” has risen and fallen with the Canucks fortunes. Twice in my lifetime, the Canucks have actually made it to the Stanley Cup Finals. Twice, they have returned home empty-handed.

Still, I have hopes that one day they will win the cup. Maybe.

Which leads me to what happened this week.

Players that are around 16 to 20 years of age are eligible for junior hockey. Those players that are really good end up being drafted into the NHL.

Vancouver has its own junior hockey team, the Giants. The Giants really came to light when the NHL was on strike - hockey starved fans flocked to see these youngsters play with so much heart and not so much attitude. And with tickets selling for between $16 and $18,. there wasn’t a big hit on the pocketbook. What was really interesting is after the NHL strike was over, the interest in the Giants didn't wane.

I’ve been to a few games this year and the hockey is great. There’s the typical hockey essentials: excited fans, goals, cheerleaders, fights, and more fights. But there are a couple very nice extras - this is like a regular hockey game with draws, music, instant replays, great food, t-shirts, and other gimmicks - and the players play their hearts out.

There are certainly a lot of players in the NHL that play hard - but sometimes a person might wonder if they are playing - even with those huge salaries - as hard as they can.

I have no doubt that the young men (and occasionally, women) playing in the minors are playing their very best all of the time. And this past couple of weeks, the best of the junior league hockey players in Canada played in a tournament called the Memorial Cup in Vancouver.

And finally, for the first time in my life, Vancouver won the cup.

No, it wasn’t the Canucks - but who cares...

Go Giants, Go!


Joe said...

I too like the "lower level" hockey. As a casual fan, I really can't tell much of a difference in the quality of play anyway. I've watched that level of hockey in Portland OR and liked it. Currently I go to an occasional Stockton Thunder game in the ECHL, it seems to me a team in the same league is in Victoria.

Dave Dixon said...


"Lower" level hockey is such a misnomer! Those kids play so hard - and you don't have to rob a bank to see a game! Portland has a team called the Winter Hawks that plays in the same league (WHL) as the Giants. Enjoy your team!