By Mathew McMonagle
The NHL is still locked out.
For those of us who have survived the last two months without professional hockey here are some things you can do to help make the lock out a little easier. Although the date remains unknown, the NHL will return. We hope.
10.) Cry uncontrollably until the NHL returns.
It’s a viable option. I personally haven’t done it…cough… but for some people it’s a really great way to cope with the absence of the sport. I’m not crying; I just have something in my eye.
9.) Watch the NBA
If you can stand the squeaking of the players’ sneakers, then this may be a good option to satiate your appetite for some competitive sports action. You could always just watch the game on mute.
8.) Play NHL 13
It’s a nice substitute for the actual NHL. If you’re a Flyers fan you can finally win the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1975, and maybe ease a little bit of the pain from the last 37 years. They’ll win someday, whether you’ll be alive is another story.
7.) Actually do work for classes
With the NHL in a lockout you may find you have a lot more time on your hands. Why not use that time to study some more, or better yet… play more NHL ‘13.
6.) Watch hockey videos on YouTube and replays on NHL.com
You can find highlights of a lot of old NHL games on YouTube, not to mention highlights from the KHL, where plenty of NHL players are playing right now. Also the NHL offers a service that allows you to watch past full-length games. Subscription is free.
5.) Go watch amateur hockey at a local ice rink
There are bound to be plenty of amateur men’s league games being played during the week. If you’re interested, feel free to call the rink ahead of time to find out schedule times. Just a warning, the metal benches for the fans to sit in these rinks can get really cold. Also, people may stare at you if you act like you would at an NHL game, but the players would appreciate the support and enthusiasm.
4.) Watch hockey games online or watch the NHL Network
With the invention of the Internet one can watch live streams of hockey games from the other hockey leagues for little to no cost, including the KHL, AHL, and ECHL. You can also watch the NHL Network. They have been showing live CHL games (Junior League (15-19 year olds)) and have been replaying old hockey games.
3.) Watch the DeSales’ Ice Hockey team
Yes, DeSales does have an ice hockey team. Their next home game is coming up on Saturday, December 8th at 4:30 P.M., at the Bethlehem Municipal Ice Rink. Go Bulldogs!
2.) Attend a minor league hockey game
When you go home for the holidays chances are many DeSales students will be near a minor league hockey team. If you are from Philadelphia, you can watch the Flyers ECHL affiliate Trenton Titans. The ticket prices are inexpensive, and the games are fun. I’ve attended three games this season and I had a great time. If you live a little west of DeSales you can watch the AHL Hershey Bears, or ECHL Reading Royals. If you are as far west as Pittsburgh, the Wheeling Nailers, the ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins are about an hour south west in Wheeling, West Virginia. North of DeSales plays the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the AHL. Minor league hockey teams are near plenty of cities all over the United States. If you want more information on the AHL visit TheAHL.com, and for the ECHL visit ECHL.com.
1.) Play some actual hockey
Do I need to explain this one? Hockey isn’t gone. You aren’t locked out. Go pick up a hockey stick, gather a few friends and play some foot hockey. You can also play pick-up ice hockey at your local ice rink. They should have times for open-hockey almost every day, so call them and find out. It’s simple, easy and best of all fun.