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Publisher’s Comment: Hockey Strike Will Hurt the Kids

As a kid, one of life's greatest pleasures was staying up late Saturday night to watch Hockey Night in Canada. My family would gather round the old black and white RCA and cheer for the blue and white.


As a kid, one of life’s greatest pleasures was staying up late Saturday night to watch Hockey Night in Canada. My family would gather round the old black and white RCA and cheer for the blue and white.

Forty odd years later, I’m still cheering for the blue and white. Some say I’m a bugger for punishment, I say I’m loyal.

I can still remember the first time I stepped foot into Maple Leaf Gardens. End blues, two rows up, slightly left of the goal, it was heaven and I was the envy of every kid on the block.

I’m not sure how much the tickets cost dear old dad but I’m guessing he didn’t break the bank (my mom was far too reasonable to let him do that).

I also remember my grandmother describing the mad rush to the greys for standing room only. Apparently, in the early days you would line up outside the Gardens and wait for the doors to open, at which point whoever climbed the stairs the quickest got the best vantagepoint.

I think she may have even said they were free but don’t quote me.

Although I didn’t realize it at the time, those years left an impression on me that I’d carry for life.

As September approaches, we live with the very real possibility of a long and bitter strike by the NHL players’ union.

I’ve read enough to have an opinion on who’s right and who’s wrong, but who cares, it’s not important.

What is, is that the players and owners fail to realize (our at least admit) that a prolonged strike will take away a part of growing up for every Canadian kid who’s ever laced up a pair a skates or spent the weekend playing road hockey (CAR!).

Today’s season ticket holders aren’t the typical fathers of three, or the grandmother who runs up the stairs for standing room only.

They’re the big corporations with the big entertainment budgets. They’re the rollers who don’t think twice about dropping a few hundred on a seat or the eleven dollars for a watered-down draft. How did this happen?

Our national sport has become something accessible only to the rich or people with the all-important “connections.” It’s just not right.

One thing’s certain. If this continues, future games might as well be played on computer since it’ll be cheaper to buy one than go to the game.

– Rob Wilkins is the publisher of Truck West and he can be reached at 416-442-2097.


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