As I’ve now been doing my off ice and off season training for two weeks, it has suddenly hit me that my body actually has a lot more to give in terms of being on the ice.
As I’m writing this, I am watching the last game for the Canadiens in the regular season. Earlier today I intensely followed the Finnish elite league play-offs and read odd bits and pieces on Facebook and twitter about the English Elite League playoff weekend (which is a dumb format by the way, but more about that later)
As the saying goes, spring is the best time for a hockey player. The sun is coming out and the dark of the winter is gone and you feel energised. I’ve always looked forward to this time of the year as a player; it used to be the time for playoffs if you were that lucky, or when I was playing rec hockey, it was the start of the season. But now the season is over for me, but with the team finishing in a playoff position (in most leagues anyways) I feel sort of hollow.
Don’t get me wrong. I am proud of what we achieved this season, but I feel we could’ve done a lot more. I guess this feeling has it’s roots in a twitter conversation I had with Boone Jenner, a Columbus Blue Jackets prospect. He asked me what do we play for if we don’t have playoffs?
Well in honesty I love playing hockey, but not having playoffs is a real downer to the season. You play your heart out, but at the end of the day its like soccer where the team that finishes first gets crowned champions.
Seriously what is the point in that? I know there are probably hundred and one issues around it like money and ice time and blah blah blah, but let’s look at it from this point of view: nearly all European leagues, pro or not, have playoffs in place. And I don’t mean stupid playoff weekends, but proper playoff series, best of seven series’ etc. The main argument I’ve heard for playoffs is that the hickey teams don’t own the rinks, I’m going to be using Finland as an example here, but back home only one team owns it’s own rink, well sort of. The team is Jokerit. If a professional league where teams don’t own their own rinks can arrange playoffs can arrange and schedule playoffs it surely can’t be that difficult to arrange them. Hell, even the rec league I played in had playoffs (Cue stuff about summer leagues and more ice time available blah blah blah).
Maybe I’m just bitter that I’m not playing playoff hockey or at least have the chance to play for a playoff spot. How ever, I can’t change the league and the way they manage things, but o think it’s a high time for them to wake up and stop treating hockey like it’s soccer. It ruins the game.