I want to take you back to a time when you were young and just learning about the game of Hockey. A time when you got up every Saturday morning, piled on extra clothing, of course with your favorite team’s logo and colors everywhere. Once you’re all suited up and ready to fight the elements, you grab you sticks and skates and head out to the frozen pond.
Once you’re at your “Dream Rink” –let’s call it – your next task is to clear the blanket of snow off the ice. Now you’re tired, your hands, ears and feet are
frozen, but you don’t mind. All of these preparations are done before hand because you love the sport. You love the way it makes you feel when you grab your stick for the first time and skate out onto the rink. And at that point you feel like all you problems and worries are left behind and it becomes time to feed the hunger as if were a drug. For it’s a dream that all young boys have, a dream of their heroes.
Their dream is to one day do the very same thing they just did, only onto an NHL rink. Then if it can be for their hometown team; well, that just makes the dream that much sweeter. Is this just a dream? For some this dream has come true, but for others unfortunately not at all. But the dream is still alive in many backyards, frozen lakes and small town rinks with Hockey Moms sitting in the stands hugging a cup of cocoa.
The road is not an easy one, but is it magical? I would say the only magical part is when that same young boy who once cleared off the blanket of snow doesn’t let go of that hunger and that dream inside and gets to fulfill his dream one day. How many Buffalo Sabres still remember their roots? How many still carry the spirit of that dream inside them, despite already being there? Or do you think hockey players take being an NHL’er for granted?