Ah, yes. The lockout.
Things have been quiet around here because I’ve been busy doing school things that amount to smacking my head against a brick wall, but I don’t intend to maintain that silence throughout the entire lockout. For starters, that might be the thing that really makes me lose my mind in these NHL-less days.
The Charlotte Checkers are starting their season soon, but Skinner’s nowhere to be seen. He’s been given permission from the team to train up in Canada and not report to play, though he could still play in games. No one involved in the decision pussyfooted around the fact that he’s being cautious in no small part due to his concussion last year.
I’m tempted to put myself in the salad spinner of wondering if he’s experiencing issues, but that would be crazy. It’s much more likely that he just doesn’t want to risk re-injury in the A, given that the NHL season could conceivably start in November.
(I mean, technically it could conceivably start before then, but how far are we really willing to kid ourselves?)
Of course, in a perfect world, Skinner wouldn’t be sitting time out. He’s young and really should be playing to help his development. But in a perfect world, the NHL and NHLPA wouldn’t be deadlocked. The world is fallen, we’re out of the garden, etc. (Out of the garden and The Garden, along with Madison Square Garden…I’ll show myself out.)
Anyway. I don’t live anywhere remotely near Charlotte, so I’m not going to be showing up to watch the Checkers play, sadly. I won’t actually get that opportunity until February, when – hopefully – I’ll have NHL games to spend my money on, instead. But I will keep tabs on them and report on the Hurricanes and probably-would-have-made-it Checkers in the system.
Really, the only difference between the lockout and the start of the season is everyone’s going to judge me way more when I drink on a weeknight without the excuse of hockey. Well, fine, and the whole “having hockey readily accessible” thing. Okay, yeah, I want to stick my head in a blender. But fans, to put it diplomatically, don’t have a very strong voice in this whole debate.
So, look for what Hurricanes updates come, along with Checkers updates. Hey, I might even start running a segment on the adventures of my suggestive-looking Eric Staal bobblehead, or Skinner the giant stuffed plushie. You never know!
Till Friday, then. Try not to burn all your NHL paraphernalia in the interim.