Monday, May 27, 2024

Ben’s Ten

It’s going to be a long, cold winter without the NHL. (Photo from
It’s going to be a long, cold winter without the NHL. (Photo from

Winter is coming, but the NHL likely isn’t. Trouble’s a-Bruin as the owners and players’ union squabble like siblings over who mom likes more. As players continue migrating to sunny Russia, here are 10 ways to survive the lockout without resorting to cheering for the Leafs to fall from the trees.


    1. Incorporate hockey into your daily routine: You can use goalie pads as sofa cushions, pucks as coasters, and start the latest trend by wearing a helmet to class. Plus, calling home to ask for money is the epitome of a collective bargaining agreement.


    1. Show some emotion: Take time out of every day to express yourself, hockey-style. Whether it’s by proclaiming “He shoots, he scores!” after successfully asking someone out, or by raucously high-fiving your friends after giving a smart answer in class, letting out your frustrations through acts of borderline unsportsmanlike conduct is a healthy way to keep hockey in mind. For the more daring, treat everything your professor says like a referee making a lousy call against your team.


    1. Find another sport to follow—even soccer: Now that you’re done laughing at the very notion of watching soccer, think about this: you have to watch something. Find a sport that is somewhat appealing and jump right in. If you don’t know who to cheer for, find a team that wears colours similar to your NHL team and you’re all set!


    1. Play shinny at Memorial Arena, right between Wickwire Field and the SUB: Oh wait, they tore it down. Well, this is awkward.


    1. Therapy: We’re all having a tough time. Find some friends, reminisce about the good ol’ days, and watch some clips online while lamenting the loss of your fantasy hockey league. Also, if someone has NHL 13, have two teams play while everyone else watches and criticizes, just like in real life.


    1. Show some school spirit: Dalhousie and University of King’s College have a wide variety of teams filled with stellar student-athletes who are desperate for fans. Seriously, the only people who often show up are the sportswriters for the Gazette and the refs!


    1. Play like you did as a kid: Grab some friends, find a quiet street, choose your favourite player—dibs on Ray Bourque—and play some hockey. For those who consider themselves less inclined to run around, have mock-CBA negotiations and fight over who gets to be Bill Daly!


    1. Pop your ‘Cherry’: Find a nearby fabric store or Salvation Army, choose the gaudiest patterned clothing available, and don those clothes every Saturday night while yelling your opinions at people sitting directly next to you!


    1. Explore new frontiers: Hockey doesn’t stop just because of a lockout. Minor leagues exist, including in Halifax, the World Junior Championships are happening later this year, and some of your favourite players are abroad in Europe and Russia. Onward, Metallurg Magnitogorsk!


  1. Celebrate that your team is undefeated so far! Unless you cheer for the Canadiens, Senators, Red Wings, or Sabres. If this applies to you, your team is winless.
Benjamin Blum
Benjamin Blum
A lifelong sports fan, Benjamin Blum entered the world of journalism after suffering a concussion playing rugby for the University of King’s College. From that moment, his twin passions for writing and sports motivated the Thornhill, Ont. native to give this journalism thing a try. Having been an athlete, coach and fan for many years, Ben brings his diverse knowledge of sports along with a witty sense of humour to the sports section. Ben was Sports Editor of the Gazette for Volume 146.

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