It has been almost 50 days since the Carolina Hurricanes have played any hockey and we miss every moment of it.
The Carolina Hurricanes should be in the middle of another deep playoff run right now. There should be towel-waving and cheering going on at PNC Arena on most nights. There should be bellowing goal horns and extravagant celebrations as the Canes mow down their opponents.
Instead, we have been hit by one of the worst pandemics in the last century keeping us all at home and bringing sports to a grinding halt.
While it is important that we stay the course until it is safe again to experience hockey, we are allowed to miss the sport and hope that we can get it back safely sooner rather than later. I for one miss this sport like never before.
I personally didn’t discover hockey until later in life. But moving down to the Carolinas and going to Hurricanes games changed my life. Now I cannot bear to live without the sport or this team. Like many of us, this hiatus has given me a new outlook at them both.
For starters, I am never again going to diminish the role that the regular season, as long as it is, plays in our lives. Hockey has one of the longest regular seasons in North American professional sports. Only the MLB has more games in the regular season and only the MLS season is technically longer.
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But unlike baseball’s torrid virtually every night gameplay style and MLS’s long gaps between games, Hockey has found a balance between games played and season length. That balance has allowed hockey to fill virtually every day of our lives.
During the regular season, there are only a handful of days without games and they seem to drag on. Even after the season is over there is rarely a dull moment. The offseason is filled with trades, free-agent signings, the draft, and camps like the prospect camps or training camps.
But now with over a month with minimal movements from the teams, the silence is deafening and I now realize how much the sport means to all of us.
Sure, there are bad games we would like to forget, but there are also incredible games that we will cherish forever. There are players that we love to hate, and others that give us a joy that is impossible to find elsewhere. From guys like David Ayres and his special night to Andrei Svechnikov and his special goals, there is rarely a dull moment in this sport.
Let’s make a pact together, all of us. When hockey does come back, let us all accept whatever form it takes. If that means cutting the rest of the season out, if that means playing in a handful of arenas, or if that means no fans in the barns until the virus is completely weeded out, let’s take whatever we can get.
Any NHL hockey is better than no NHL hockey. As long as it is done with the safety of the players and fans in mind.
Question for CC Readers: What aspect of hockey do you look forward to returning the most?