Table hockey is almost as much a part of Canadian culture as the actual sport on ice.
Growing up slot hockey boards were the dream of many each Christmas, and the game still has an international association promoting it as a sport in its own right.
Here in Yorkton Ryan Kormos is one of those who grew up playing, and really never out grew his interest.
When asked if he was an avid player, Kormos told Yorkton This Week, “I used to be.
“Growing up I always had a table top hockey and spent many hours at local arcades playing the classic bubble hockey.”
And while life might have subdued the interested, it has been fully rekindled.
Kormos sort of cyber-stumbled upon a hockey table, and boys being boys ended up buying it.
“I happened to come across it on Facebook Marketplace and it was a buddy of mine that had it,” he said. “I reached out to him and in a typical Saskatchewan-buddy deal we made the exchange for a bottle.”
Initially Kormos thought the table was ‘good-to-go’, but closer inspection showed it needed some TLC.
“At first glance I didn't think it was too bad but as I started to take it apart it was starting to look pretty rough,” said Kormos. “A couple rods were bent, players were broken, the surface was dirty and stained, the stand legs were broken and a couple corners were broken.”
Suddenly the low-cost hockey table was a restoration project.
“When I started this project, I wasn't really sure what my intentions of it were,” said Kormos, but he still took the dive.
“Once I reached out to a few businesses online to find parts and couldn't get any, I realized that either it was going to the trash or I take the time I had to re-create something unique,” he said,
Kormos chose the latter.
“Being the hockey fan I am, I just couldn't let it go and took on the challenge.”
And, he chose to go unique in the fix-up too.
“My favourite hockey podcast is Spittin Chiclets so I decided to roll with that theme,” he said.
Of course that meant some added work, effort and challenges for Kormos.
“There were quite a few difficult aspects -- definitely lots of cursing in the garage -- good thing the music was loud,” he noted.
So what were some of the biggest challenges?
“One of the biggest and most time consuming tasks was building the rounded corners similar to a real hockey arena,” offered Kormos. “Curving wood with assembly cut outs made it very difficult and broke many pieces before finally getting it figured out.”
And with each broken piece, the investment in time climbed.
“I honestly lost track,” he said when asked how long it took. “My closest guess would be 50-plus hours and I'm sure that's being modest.”
The time included a healthy dose of education for Kormos.
“I learned quite a few new skills for sure,” he said, adding it did help to have online sources of information. “Who doesn't use the Internet for guidance now-a-days?”
That said trial and error was required too.
“Unfortunately this type of project isn't super common, so it was certainly difficult to find ideas and answers to problems,” said Kormos.
So what now that the table is ready for puck drop?
“I think I'm just going to enjoy it with the kids and some friends,” said Kormos. “It turned out to be a pretty cool project and story with the acknowledgment and love it got from the Spittin Chiclets Podcast and of everyone else that liked and shared it across social media platforms.”