The return of the machine that is the NHL

Christopher Cameron
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The Home Stretch

If you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past while, the NHL lockout is over and teams are looking to get back on the ice this upcoming weekend. Isn’t that fantastic? Aren’t we all excited for it? I’d say it’s a good mix of both sides of the coin.

After the lockout 2004-05, this time around the lockout, although only a partial season, has people shaking their heads. If it’s anything like the last lockout the NHL will have “Thank You Fans!” painted on the ice of every rink and they’ll be attempting to suck up as much as they can. In some markets they won’t have to (Toronto, Montreal, Detroit, etc.), but for teams like Phoenix a lockout hits harder.

I myself know that if a game is on, I won’t turn it off, but things like buying NHL Centre Ice won’t be happening for me and I’m sure I’m not the only one. The NHL will make money this season, but it’s going to be things like that to suffer.

There are hardcore fans who can’t ignore the game and will jump back into it like nothing happened, but I think for fans to send a message, holding back in getting back into the game and trying to hurt the NHL where it hurts most, their pockets, is the way to show both sides that the NHL exists because of the fans.

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R. A. Dickey was introduced to the Toronto media on Tuesday. Being a young person I was not privileged enough to watch the Toronto Blue Jays win the World Series in 1992 and 1993, but always grew up watching them and hoping for that success. Unfortunately that isn’t something I’ve seen.

Watching the press conference with Dickey via TSN yesterday and listening to what he had to say, on top of the major off-season moves from the Blue Jays, I’m excited to see this team come April.

Aside from all the knuckleball talk it was a pleasure to listen to Dickey answer questions. As an older player he will bring a lot of leadership to the Blue Jays, something he touched on briefly during the press conference, but more importantly he discussed some of the work he hopes to do off the field. He discussed the volunteer work that both he and his daughters will take part in in India.

Having watched the E:60 piece on him over the summer on what he went through having been sexually assaulted as a young boy to becoming a MLB star I find him to be an inspiring person. He’s quite intelligent and has a lot of personal values, which is something you don’t see every day from a professional player.

He even said yesterday that his wife and he try to live below their means, which is something that allows them to be able to give to others who are in need. Not only will he lead on the field, but with a head on his shoulders like this I believe he can help change the mindset of players in the room as well and make them better people.

Not every team gets the opportunity to play with someone like this and I hope they all realize what they have in front of him. He even said that if the team isn’t successful it isn’t necessarily the management’s fault, but “that the team didn’t pull together as a unit.”

That is rare that someone says that. I don’t know about you, but I’m already anticipating spring training.

Christopher Cameron is the sports reporter for The News and can be reached at christopher.cameron@ngnews.ca.

Organizations: NHL, Toronto Blue Jays

Geographic location: Toronto, Montreal, Detroit Phoenix India

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