Growing up as a hockey fan was something really special. Every Saturday night during the hockey season, my family and I would gather around the television to watch Hockey Night in Canada on CBC. It was a family tradition that we followed for many years. My dad always worked late during the weekdays, so being able to spend time as a family on Saturday nights was super special. Plus, my dad really enjoyed watching hockey. He liked how there was always action and enjoyed breaking down plays with me for each goal.
Looking back, growing up as a hockey fan gave me courage to overcome my fears in public speaking. I used to be very timid when I was younger, but when I found hockey in Grade 6, things were suddenly different. After watching hockey for a season, I became fascinated with the sport and kept on top of player statistics, NHL news, and learned how to analyze the game. I actually bought the NHL guide pocketbook for referees so I could understand the game better. I studied that book like it was my history textbook and knew it inside and out.
During the NHL playoffs that year, all the guys in my class were talking about the game and a few of them started arguing about one of the plays from last night’s game. I used to be the kid who rarely said anything in class, but for some reason, I felt the urge to say something. I blurted out why the referee called a penalty on that play, which resulted in a 5-on-3 and the eventual game winner. Everyone (especially the boys) were in shock that I knew so much about the game. The guys began coming to me to hear my thoughts about each night’s game. At first it was a bit strange because these were classmates that used to only speak with me if they wanted answers for their math homework. But, eventually, I became really comfortable sharing my thoughts to others and when we had to do presentations in class I was no longer afraid of speaking in front of everyone. I can go on about hockey. I really do love the sport and the work ethics of hockey players. But, I will leave that for another day.
My fondest hockey memory was the 2000 NHL playoffs. I was pretty crazy back then. I would watch every single game (including the ones in the western time zone that didn’t finish until past midnight). That was how crazy of a fan I was back then.
Nowadays, I’m still a huge hockey fan. I will always “bleed blue blood” as a diehard Toronto Maple Leafs fanatic (there’s no jumping off the bandwagon in my books). But, with so much on my plate these days, I can’t catch every game like how I used to. Plus, for some reason, the games just aren’t the same without the trio Mats Sundin, Curtis Joseph, and Darcy Tucker. Those 3 hockey players were my absolute favourite to watch.
When I was in grade 8, our art teacher had a free draw period every week. Often, I would sketch a hockey-related photo during that class.
Want to see some of my artwork?
Check out the September edition of ‘Hold On‘ to see one of my hockey sketches from my collection. If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter yet, you can get access to read my digital magazine here.