I can remember trying out for the atom team at St.Bon's, in that old and small rink behind the school, in 1971 when I was in grade 2 (that's a long time ago!!). And I've played hockey right up through high school, when I joined the Military, and even now as an older man, I continue to play in a recreational league. I was never very good at it - I was always a "3rd" line player. But I've always enjoyed the fun of the sport and the fellowship of the team.
And I've always enjoyed watching NHL hockey. Growing up, Bobby Orr was my hero. And I loved the rivalry between teams like Boston and Montreal. I remember fondly the excitement in the voice of the CBC commentator as he would describe Guy Lafleur racing down the ice.
In 1975, at the height of hockey's legendary players, the average player salary was $25,000 a year.
These hockey legends played professionally because they loved the game. They weren't well paid, but they did what they loved. Having said that, I certainly think it right that as Hockey revenue's went up in time, salary's and security should also go up - but not to the point where it is today.
I actually find this latest NHL lockout disgusting. It is the heights of greed. Millionaire players fighting with Millionaire owners over who gets more millions for playing a game.
50% of the world population lives on less than $2.50 a day. 80% of people live on less than $10 day. There are numerous justice and equality issues that are urgent and very real - not a game.
Just this week we commemorated Remembrance Day, remembering Canadian Service men and women who have offered their lives for those who could not and cannot help themselves - for an average salary!
I love the game of hockey. It is Canada's game.
But it seems to me that the NHL has become someone else's game.