(In case the following is confusing to you: it's my vision of a future that could be, the vioce is a fictional character.)
by J. Scott Moore
I can feel the cold kiss of autumn in the air, the political season is over and the 46th President of the United States has been chosen. But I’m more interested in the state of affairs in Toronto. The Hockey Hall of Fame is having what has become the annual “Save the Hall” drive. Every year they saturate the airwaves across the country with pleas for donations to keep the Hall open.
It’s sad, the Hall has struggled without a high level league. Say what you will about our national game but it needs high level play in the country to continue to live the life to which it had become accustomed. Sure, everyone still loves the game, kids and adults play in leagues much like before. But the game is suffering a dark malaise that permeates young boy’s dreams on the bright-white ice of the local rink.
The Trustees haven’t awarded the Stanley Cup since the lockout of 2012. Many have argued that it should be awarded to the best team in Canada, just have a multi-league playoff system. But we know how that has worked out in the US with college football. So there the Cup sits, collecting dust and casting a grim shadow on the dreams of young Canadians.
Ever since a legal stranglehold was levied against any competitor setting up shop in North America, the game has suffered. The KHL, CHL, AHL, all blocked from using arenas that used to be, still are I suppose, the property of the NHL. Oh sure, the minors could sign a few stars, but that was quickly limited to no more than two previous NHLers per 1,000 sq miles. Some teams don’t even have one. Can’t bring in 18,000 fans if you don’t have the seating, and you can’t pay the stars if you don’t have 18,000 seats.
The new generation? Yeah, they’re here but now they want to play in Europe and Russia where they can have more than a goon to pass the puck to for a decent chance to score. The minor league teams just don’t have the resources to build new arenas with sufficient capacity and no one wants to risk that the NHL will actually, finally be back and destroy the investment, too risky.
So tonight, like many nights, I’m up all night watching my son play in the Swedish Elite League. With so many of our boys playing overseas I suppose someone was bound to get rich selling guys like me the Euro Ice cable packages. But hey, it’s worth it. I could record it but it isn't the same, I’ll stay up late and watch it live. I’ll be draggin’ ass at work tomorrow but the boss knows this is gonna be a special season. He’s cool with it.
But as I was sayin’ I’m a bit worried about the drive for the Hall this year. Donations are down and I can’t spare any myself. The Euro Ice package was all I could swing, c’mon, it’s my son. I wonder if any of those billionaires and millionaires in the former NHL will make a donation?