We here at Admirals Roundtable wish all of our readers a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
As I sit here on the couch with all the wrapping paper finally put away, the younger siblings out sledding, and switching over from the third running in a row of “A Christmas Story” to the KIA NBA Countdown on ABC, I can’t help but feel a bit gypped.
Don’t get me wrong. The holidays are all about family and spending time with the ones we love. I’ve gotten all of that and more this season and I hope all of you are too. Thanks to the recent storms in Wisconsin, we’ve also been blessed with a beautiful white Christmas outside our windows.
But I can’t help, as I sit here watching Jalen Rose talk about the “relevance” of the New York Knicks, but feel like one of the biggest items on my wish list was stolen away by the Grinch himself, Gary Bettman this year.
I’m going back home to Tampa, Fla. next week, and whenever I get that rare chance I see as many of my hometown sports teams play as I possibly can. Unfortunately the Tampa Bay Lightning are my most beloved, and instead of watching Steven Stamkos wreak havoc on the record books, the Tampa Bay Times Forum will stay empty.
Not to mention how excited I was for a hockey game at the Big House in Ann Arbor this New Years Day.
NHL Hockey has always been a big part of my holiday sports tradition, but this year I’m left with that empty feeling that I’m sure is shared with a lot of you.
It’s not all on Bettman of course. He’s an easy figurehead to heap blame upon, but it’s really a failure on all sides of the debate.
While we never get NHL games on Christmas Day itself anymore, it just feels more poignant today for some reason. That feeling of incompleteness.
But rather than stew over the present, all we can do as the powerless fans is reminisce on the past.
A few years back I spent Christmas in Canada, and on that trip got to attend an Ottawa Senators game and watch a few Habs games in some bars across Ontario. The passion there was incredible as it exists in hockey towns all across Canada and the U.S.
And I don’t believe another prolonged argument among millionaires will change that. It didn’t before at least.
We also can be thankful for what we do have.
Whatever happens this year, we still have our Admirals, and right now that’s all that matters. The spotlight still burns bright on the AHL.
They’ll be back in action Thursday, and I for one can’t wait to head back up to MKE to see them even the score with Peoria.
With all that in mind, the last thing we can do is look forward to the future. One day they’re going to work all this out. Even if it means carrying over our holiday wishes into next December.
Again, Happy Holidays to all as I leave you with a bit of Ron MacLean 80s Christmas hockey nostalgia.
Did your holiday go/ is it going as well as you’d hoped?
How have you gotten your sports fix with no NHL and the Admirals on break for a bit?
What’s your favorite hockey holiday memory?