I was going to write one of those snarky Christmas-list posts this Christmas Eve, full of stuff like “all the NHL wants for Christmas is a commissioner who isn’t an idiot”, “all Evander Kane wants for Christmas is a wallet to stick his bundles of hundreds in” or “all Coventry want for Christmas is plasters to heal the wounds of being tanked by Nottingham at home”. Y’know, the kind of thing that’s far too easy to write. A throwaway post that comes and goes quicker than the turkey this time of year.
Then I decided that wouldn’t make much sense. Especially with people getting on the backs of the NHL owners and players, the negativity and once again about the sport in the UK and elsewhere this season, the assumption from lots of people that no NHL = no hockey anywhere, all the infighting between fans…it’s not worth it.
So instead, this.
Happy Christmas to Sid The Kid, Super Mario, Captain Clutch, The Dominator, Rocket, Terrible Ted, The Finnish Flash, The Russian Rocket, Stevie Y, Wendel, and The Great One.
Happy Christmas to the Christmas tradition of the World Juniors, where teenagers can become national legends, or the Spengler Cup, where journeymen get to represent their countries.
Happy Christmas to dirty dangles, bolts from the blue line, lasers, sick mitts, big hits and “wanna go, pretty boy?”
Happy Christmas to “MAY DAY!”, “SCORE, BOBBY ORR!”, “It’s a great day for hockey!”, “Roll the highlight film!”, “MATTEAU, MATTEAU, MATTEAU!”, “Hello hockey fans in Canada, the United States and Newfoundland!” and “Do you believe in miracles? YES!”
Happy Christmas to the possibilities offered by a sheet of new, open ice.
Happy Christmas to sticks, pucks, skates, gloves, catchers, blockers, shin pads, helmets and visors.
Happy Christmas to team-mates, drinking partners, rivals, and the guy on the team who ALWAYS takes it slightly too seriously.
Happy Christmas to the grinders, the snipers, the speedsters, the pests, the rushing d and those who prefer to stay-at-home.
Happy Christmas to the top-line superstar and the back up goalie.
Happy Christmas to those whose holy trinity isn’t Father, Son and Holy Ghost, but “Wheel, Snipe, Celly”.
Happy Christmas to late-night practices and long bus-rides.
Happy Christmas to the draughty old barns, the cold showers and the leaky changing rooms.
Happy Christmas to the ticket sellers, the goal judges, the penalty box guys and even the referees. Cause Christmas is a time for forgiveness too, right?
Happy Christmas to home-and-away weekends with games at opposite ends of the country.
Happy Christmas to missing teeth, sore shins, and war wounds. Cause chicks dig scars, and glory lasts forever.
Happy Christmas to going five-hole, flashing the glove, stacking the pads, and lowering the boom.
Happy Christmas to toe-drags, backhand shelfs, spinoramas, big slappers, and saucing the puck with a bit of extra mustard.
Happy Christmas to O Canada, God Bless America, Canadian Gold, The Hockey Song and Hit Somebody
Happy Christmas to joyous wins and heartbreaking losses, shutouts, and OT winners.
Happy Christmas to Conn Smythe, Art Ross, the Calder, the Hart, the Masterton, the Hobey Baker.
Happy Christmas, Lord Stanley. Hopefully you’ll get to be handed over this year.
Happy Christmas and a peaceful holiday season to the fans-the bloggers, the snark merchants, the hecklers, the watch-through-their-fingers-ers, the TV watchers, the nailbiters, the cheerers, the armchair refs, the rabid homers and the logical ones, wherever you are and whatever shirt you wear.
Happy Christmas to the greatest sport in the world.
Happy Christmas, hockey.