I put myself in the middle of a social media debate over the weekend regarding one particular company’s decision to allow its employees to stay inside for a few hours on Saturday during the bitter, record setting, cold temperatures and not pump gas. Being what some people label a hard ‘right winger’ it may come as a surprise to a few of you that I agree with the company to keep the staff indoors. To me, the only people who should be outside when it’s -50 are those that have to perform emergency work. Everyone else should not be out and about. Whatever it is that you have to do; can wait. Of course, there are exceptions. And, for that I would say pump your own gas. No person who signs up for that job expects to be put at that kind of risk. If this was a fire fighter or an ambulance attendant, then I would offer a much different perspective.
I didn’t double check this fact, but someone told me last week that we’ve had -30 temperatures at least one day a week for twelve of the last thirteen weeks. That is a little too much.
Someone else told me to be thankful the weather is the only thing we can complain about here. That person is right. I get real cranky when it’s -50, but my mood would likely be worse if I was subject to what is going on in Ukraine right now. It’s curious to see how much money Russia spent to wine and dine the world and show itself off in a positive light for the Olympics and then a week later invade a neighboring country.
I had to chuckle this weekend as I turned on the TV to see the Vancouver Canucks hosting the Heritage Classic. You know, that’s the outdoor NHL game that takes you back to your roots of going out in the back yard to play the game you love. It’s also the game that 50,000 people buy tickets for because it may be their only chance to see such a spectacle. Well, there was a chance of precipitation in Vancouver on Sunday, so they closed the roof to the dome and it became just another regular stadium game. This, one day, after the Chicago Blackhawks hosted an outdoor game at Soldier Field in the middle of the snow. There was so much of the white stuff that the puck wouldn’t even go the length of the ice on a dump-in. To me, the beauty of the outdoor game is seeing some things that wouldn’t get from a regular stadium game, such as the chance of snow. It appeared to me that they even made some fake powder to surround the rink yesterday for ambience. Epic fail, in my opinion.
It sounds like I’m relentless in beating up hockey, but I have to share a sparring match I had on Twitter last week with a former WHL veteran. He’s now 21 and in the work force. He tweeted that major junior teams should pay the players more because they are starving and have empty tanks of gas. He opined that mining is easier work than hockey and you can make ten times as much. I feel that if a major junior hockey player really feels that way, then he should take up mining before his hockey career is over. Playing in the WHL is a big time privilege that any hockey player would love to be able to do. Expenses are paid for, so getting a few hundred dollars spending money from the team as well as a little bit from mom and dad can go a long way when you don’t have to buy your gear or pay for your own lodging. Of course, playing in the WHL is one step closer to the NHL, where you can make millions if you happen to be so fortunate. Mining doesn’t get you anywhere near the NHL.
The SJHL playoffs start this week and with a new playoff format, I have found myself more excited than ever before to follow the postseason. Yorkton has had a terrific regular season and I would be very surprised if they are not in the Canalta Cup finals against the Battlefords North Stars. The Stars went 32-5-and-3 after opening the year 4-and-12. The Terriers were, pretty much, wall to wall leaders atop the standings from opening night.
I want to close out by saying a public Thank You to a large number of parents involved with minor hockey, who sent me emails and made phone calls, commending me on speaking out against those who make fools of themselves while watching their children take part. I am aware of a couple of individuals who, anonymously, have tried to make my life difficult over the last week regarding my opinion but I am fortunate to have a great group of supportive friends and family. I wish we could just learn to agree that we disagree and move on. Debate, I feel, is healthy. And, it’s okay to be wrong. Even if that person is me.
Nice person mentions this week to Dean Fyck, Neal Matechuk, Darrell Halarewich, Steve Bradford, Cyndy Mundt, and Tammy Stevenson.