One of the things we’d watch all the time though, was hockey. I’d remember that hockey was the only thing my dad would watch that my sister and I were interested in. Moreso than the chinese dramas which, while were funny in a ‘I-only-understand-every-second-sentence’ kind of way but was way too adult humor for my 10 year old mind. So when hockey was on, my sister and I would be in front of the tv, our only time with the elusive technology. The year Trevor Linden was drafted into his first season of the NHL, 1989, was the year we started watching hockey.
Fast forward 20 years, Linden has just retired. He will forever be remembered as Captain Vancouver, not for what he did for the Canucks on the ice, but for his off ice work. Lindens given so much back to our community, from the terminally ill children at Canuck Place to property development out in the Kits area, not to mention he was also President of the NHL Players Association, representing all the players to the owners and league commissioners. Sentimentally, my sister and I were at his retirement game. Seeing him years ago put on the Canucks sweater for the first time and now, seeing his banner lifted into the rafters put a tear to my eye. I love hockey.
So while being a fan of the game for so long, I’d just recently started playing the game. I tell ya, it’s not as easy as it looks. My post season dreams of carving down the ice, dipsy doodling the puck around all the defenders to score with a spin-o-rama backhand went crashing down as hard as I’d crashed down on the ice in my first game. I could barely stop and when I had the puck, I would panic and end up ass down on the ice. I even bravely attempted a slapshot, which I missed the puck completely and ended up face down, splayed out. Somehow in my mind, I’d pictured it all differently. A year and a half later, I can’t say I’m that much better at the game, but I can say that I’ve practiced my heart out, played every single week, took all the advice of the better players and I can at least stop now.
On my way, my boys decided to join me on this journey. So about 8 or 9 of us had never played before and started to dedicate ourselves to the art of ice hockey. I started to book ice times, and began organizing a recreational drop in night every second Friday. Since then, my excel spreadsheet has gone from 12 players to over 90 contacts and next month, our team, the HotShots, is heading into our first year of league hockey.
(Pic from the first ice time)
(Our Team a year later)
I want to own a piece of Vancouver and be able to positively influence the city that I live in…can I do it with hockey?
Working with several talented partners, who are also some of my closest friends, we will hopefully be able to realize that vision soon. The two-fold plan is to, one, have an online ecommerce portal for recreational ice hockey players in Vancouver to buy gear, meet, discuss, and research the sport and two, start our own full blown rec hockey league. The league will promote the site, and the site will promote the league each effectively piggy backing off one another towards being strong enough to influence the Vancouver rec hockey culture. Once that happens the plan is to quit my job, do this full time, and just play hockey all day long… =D
but until then, I’ll keep skating, keep practicing and if I’m able to come even 1% of what Linden did, I’m a happy man.