Most of us suffered through the lockout of 2004-2005 season. For me, that was when I actually started to come to enjoy the sport. Most of us are aware of the status of the NHL, or lack thereof. For those of you that aren’t, here’s the very basic: Preseason is cancelled, the new CBA is still being discussed and agreed upon, and as of right now, the outlook is pretty bleak for a time frame on the start of the 2012-2013 season.
Here are some tips you should consider to help get you through in the meantime:
1- Pick up a new language (or as I like to say, utilize Google translate). You’re probably going to need it for a length of time. Some of your fellow fans might be doing the same, so even offer to each specialize in a certain language or league. Here are some key links you should consider: Confirmed Signings, CSKA Moskva (KHL) (Bryzgalov), and Södertälje (SSK) (Read/Grossmann rumored).
2- Watch the Phantoms (training camp started, just because it’s not NHL, doesn’t mean you won’t recognize names!). Players we watched last season will be spending time with ADK Phantoms during the lockout. Zac Rinaldo, Brayden Schenn, Eric Wellwood, Sean Couturier, Ben Holmstrom, Erik Gustafsson, and Harry Zolnierczyk are among the other prospects spending their time with the affiliate. No, you won’t get to go to the arena in Glens Falls for every home game, unless you happen to live up there, but www.theahl.com does broadcast the games online.. so go ahead and bookmark that website too. Or you can go straight to the team page www.phantomshockey.com. (Ignore the scary mascot, I have no idea what it is either!)
3- Find a local amateur team. Just because they aren’t pro, doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. See if your local college or high school has a team. Yes, their season is shorter, yes, it doesn’t start until the winter, but it is an option to see the game we claim to love. Here are some colleges in Philadelphia area. Temple University, Drexel University, Villanova University, and also try University of Delaware. No, these aren’t the ONLY colleges with teams, but they are just a couple for inspiration to start looking.
Yes, I know this all isn’t the same as having the Flyers to cheer on. But maybe, just maybe it will help fill in that hole while we’re waiting.