The NHL labour dispute has once again shot to top-of-mind for die hard hockey fans. The owner’s latest offer provides a glimmer of hope, but at Star deadline it was far from over.
Though autumn is still in full colour and the only real signs of winter are on the mountain peaks, those with a thirst for watching athletes chase the puck have been left with a very dry and bad taste in their mouths.
Cheer up hockey fans, there’s plenty of great action right down the street.
The Nelson Junior Leafs are 11 games into the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League season. With a 6-4-1 record to date, they have been delivering plenty of excitement on the Nelson and District Community Complex ice for the last month.
If you want to take in some great hockey, what are you waiting for?
You won’t find any coddled multi-million dollar athletes at the NDCC. Nope. The Leafs are a team full of young guys whose only pay is the opportunity to chase dreams. Some of them dream of reaching that same league that’s broken the hearts of hockey fans too many times over the last few years with labour strife. But most of them have more modest goals. A shot at the BCHL next season, perhaps a college scholarship and at the very least winning a KIJHL championship for the community that cheers them on.
These young athletes work just as hard and punish their bodies just as much as Ryan Kesler, Jarome Iginla and Sidney Crosby. They do it because they love the game, not for another shiny toy in their four-car garage.
It doesn’t matter what level of hockey it is, if you invest time in caring about the players you watch on the ice, there is an excitement that builds before the puck is dropped at each home game. That feeling is part of what makes us Canadian.
If you have never been or haven’t stopped by in a while, what are you waiting for? There is going to be plenty of hockey played this winter regardless of whether the millionaires settle their ridiculous dust-up.
The Leafs play at the NDCC both Friday and Saturday night. See you there!