15 January 2006

Dope City's Original Mr. Hockey

Slept in late today. When I woke up I turned on the radio. Dope City's hockey team had lost again. Some say it is bad form to be humoured by another's misfortune. Not me babe. The Dope City hockey team is cursed, has been ever since they were promoted, from being the New York Rangers' development team, into the NHL.

I did not get to see the fabled Western Hockey League Dope City team. They were called the Canucks too. I think the origin of the curse may have something to do with them not changing the team's name when they were granted a franchise in the NHL.

I listened to the WHL Canucks on the radio. Since most of their games concluded well after my bedtime the radio was kept under my pillow. Transistor radios were a gift to young hockey fans like me. When I got a little older I got a crystal radio for a gift one year. I could listen to games from the coast in the United States when the weather was right. But mostly I listened to the Canucks on the radio. I still do. And they are still the best thing since pharaceuticals mixed with beer at putting me to sleep.

Players like Andy Bathgate, Murray Hall, Don Cherry and Dope City's original Mr. Hockey, Phil Maloney gave the west its finest hockey ever. They played the game to keep their young fans awake, ears close to their radios resting on cold mattresses.

After breakfast the furry Hammer and I went for a two hour walk. It is the longest walk we have been on yet. In a few months she will be old enough for her young bones to withstand a hike in wilderness. (The wilderness is where there are fewer disposable coffee cups messing things up.) We passed through Old Sawmill Park and its lake sparkling like a brand new case of beer. Everybody was happy looking because the sun had replaced weeks of steady rain. For show a bald eagle dove into the middle of the lake and came up with a small trout.

Once we were through the park we crossed into the field by the Steepleton hockey rink. The Hammer ran around like a promising filly, eyes wild as a salmon. She inspected the Zamboni droppings outside the rink. The slick white droppings smelled like hockey player's blood, sweat and fears. The big sign outside the the old barn of a rink advertized a game on tonight. I think I will brush off my Avalanche jacket and go watch some hockey fights tonight.

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