Quite honestly I lament the fact that Hockey is played in June almost every year, but not this one.
It’s summer (or close to it) here in Edmonton and the weather is finally nice. The natural time for Winter sports is over. Considering Edmonton i the Northernmost NHL city, I’d say that statement applies to every NHL town.
The NHL Playoffs used to be wrapped up by the end of May when the Oilers were winning cups. Things change, the 5 game series is abolished, arenas are busier than ever, and now the Stanley Cup is awarded in early June. It’s a long, tough road for the players who will have 3 months of an offseason before training camps start.
For the teams who will go on to play in the Cup finals, this year will go longer than any year previous and training camp will seem like it will come sooner. The 3rd round will start today and it’s June 1st. If one of these series goes 7 games then the Finals wont start until after the 12th. Extrapolating this further the Stanley Cup MIGHT not be awarded until the 24th of June!
So why am I not upset this year if everything I hate about June Hockey is exaggerated even more this year?
For one, I think the Lockout has a lot to do with it. By now many people have forgotten about the Lockout. Nobody talks about it but we were robbed of half the season because Millionaires and Billionaires fought tooth and nail to get exactly what the average fan knew they would get from the get go.
The thought of waiting almost a month after the Cup is awarded for the NHL Draft just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I waited until January for NHL hockey, I’m not OK with waiting more.
The Schedule for the NHL right now is almost an apology for making us all wait.
The Cup will be very late June, the Draft a week later, Free Agency a week after that.
NHL, I accept your apology.