Hockey Is on the Horizon Once Again In NB

Hockey is on the horizon here in New Brunswick, but we shouldn’t lose sight of the resiliency and perseverance that many players have showed throughout this season.

The game means so much to so many people, for so many different reasons.

If the last few months and years for that matter have taught us anything it has taught us all to appreciate what matters most and to take nothing for granted.

Yet again the game needed to take a back seat to life for awhile. Sure everyone has their opinions on the provinces restrictions, but the spread of Omicron has been significant.

Obviously, everyone missed playing games and the atmosphere around the rink, but everyone had to do what was right for the sake of everyone’s health.

The health and the safety of everyone involved needs to be the top priority. During a significant portion of the restrictions teams still had the opportunity to practice and continue to work on their foundational skills.

It was only during Level 3 that everything went away. Being able to step on the ice and train safely during Level 2 will undoubtedly pay dividends in the long run for everyone’s skill set, but not playing games has no doubt taken a toll on people’s mental health. Leaving with COVID coming on the two year mark has taken a toll on everyone’s mental health.

One could only imagine how sick and tired players were just practicing, but when the game and the sport you love goes away it’s incredibly difficult to comprehend.

Deep down every player and parent understands the magnitude of just being able to go to the rink and what that can does for everyone’s mental health. A return to the rink will continue to take on entirely new meaning this time around.

In a year (or years) with so much uncertainty young athletes across the province have showed tremendous resiliency which needs to be admired and celebrated.

From the outside looking in, no one really knows their struggle, what they have experienced or the effect that this long pause has taken on their psyche and mental health. Let’s hope players, coaches and officials have sought help for any mental health issues that these long pauses may have caused.

Pivot has become the new buzz word. “We have to pivot and move on.” When I played the game, I loved working on my pivots. As a defencemen, pivots are everything, but let’s stop using the word pivot to describe all of this. It just seems we have all been pivoting, if you pivot enough you just keep going around in circles.

Hockey is on the horizon which is outstanding news for all of us. This most recent extended pause hopefully will yet again be a reminder to everyone that we have to continue to do the right things especially around the rinks if people want to play the game.

Masking hasn’t been enforced near enough around the rinks. There I said it.

It’s almost hypocritical, that some people who are constantly complaining about restrictions never wear their masks properly in the rink. Hello people this thing is airborne. Keep your damn masks on. If you want hockey to come back, do the right thing mask up, wear it properly all the time.

I guess that’s where the frustration of all of this sets in. Hockey people believe they have done everything they can and that the game should return immediately. Clearly it doesn’t work that way. I guess that’s me #ObservationsFromTheRink that I made a long time ago, but keep it to myself.

A game that connects us, a game that inspires us, a game that dreams are made of, has been taken away which hurts, but we all have to do what’s right for everyone by wearing masks and abiding by all the protocols in place. Even if you don’t believe in them just do it and at this point keep your mouth shut and mask up.

Hockey players all across the province will now have a chance to live out those dreams once again, which is phenomenal to see, but let’s hope it stays that way.

Hockey is on the horizon, this time around we all know how special it really is. Let’s never forget what it means or take it and the people involved in the game for granted ever again.

Hockey is on the horizon, but let’s never lose sight of what matters most and what it has taken to get back to this point.

We all want to return to normalcy, but we have to continue to do all the right things. We are all in this together.

Hockey is on the horizon.

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