Just when summer finally decided to arrive, other than on the calendar, hockey is back, like a cooling breeze from an air conditioner.
With the trials and tribulations sports leagues have gone through over the past few months, their collective plights have largely been on the backburner compared to the overall health crisis caused by COVID-19. But they didn’t go away altogether; plans have been developed over the course of many months. Professional golf, soccer and MMA fighting have already returned with varying degrees of success in dealing with coronavirus.
The NBA and NHL are next, with the latter now in full-scale training camp mode. Players are preparing and the league is undertaking a mammoth initiative to protect hundreds of players and supporters in two cities in order to complete a season nearly forgotten by casual sports fans.
The shock of leagues and sports shutting down in mid March created a void for avid fans, and those who tune in when the games really start to matter (playoffs).
As time passed, people found other outlets for their downtime, whether it involved improvement projects at home or flipping to movie/entertainment channels instead of sports.
At least there was some closure locally, as Powell River Kings were eliminated from playoffs before the BC Hockey League shut down, and Powell River Villa managed to finish its season.
Now that viewing options are about to return, and temperatures outside continue to rise, are fans ready to stay inside and watch hockey? And we’re talking about lots of hockey, all day and throughout the evening, as the NHL tries to catch up, finish a season and award the Stanley Cup.
Will you be watching?