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Hockey This Week | In Case of NHL Lockout Break Glass! By @PuckSage

Hockey This Week NHL Lockout Survival Guide

Hockey This Week

Hockey This Week Lockout Survival Guide

In the event of lockout, the important thing to remember is not to panic. There are other places to get your fix of hockey. Take deep breaths, and focus on your happy place. Remember, hockey is important, the name of the league is not. Depending on where you live hockey may be easier to come by than in other places. But if you generally attend four or five NHL games or more a season, perhaps a road trip or flight to see some of your teams top prospects is in order. Withdrawal may strike at anytime, remember this is perfectly natural when being deprived of an important part of your life.

Remember: Don’t Panic! There is Always Hockey!

First: Visit your teams website today. If there is a lockout, the teams may lose the right to use player names and images. Write down the prospects names, where they were drafted from, where they might be playing this season.

Second: Cross-reference your prospects. If you live in a place where hockey is common, you might be able to see your favorite prospects compete. The NCAA, The United States Hockey League and Canadian Hockey League will all have their schedules out soon. If you’re a Bruins fan, going to see Robbie O’Gara play for Yale on March 3rd is also a chance to see Cornell’s Brian Ferlin in action.

Remember: Don’t Panic! There is Always Hockey!

Out west, University of Denver, Western Michigan, U. of North Dakota, and Minnesota will all have deep talent wells. Scott Mayfield of the Islanders goes to Denver, Bryan Rust of the Pittsburgh Penguins is a U. of Minnesota boy. Detroit Red Wings fans might consider a pilgrimage to see Nick Jensen at St. Cloud State.

Up north, the three lobes of the Canadian Hockey League are well advertised, and thick on the ground. You can go watch likely top picks Seth Jones with the Portland Winterhawks, Nathan MacKinnon with the Halifax Mooseheads, or Sean Monahan with the Ottawa 67’s.

Back in the states if the thought of hitting a college campus makes you feel old, creepy, nauseous or you’re just plain banned from them, there is a solution. The USHL (www.ushl.com) is the top junior league in America, but it is hardly alone. The Midwest Junior Hockey League will have fourteen teams this September (www.mwjhl.com). The American Junior Hockey League (www.nahl.com) where future Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Anthony Stolarz was drafted from, is also a strong offering.

Remember: Don’t Panic! There is Always Hockey!

Third: The Pro’s! The AHL and Swedish Elite League received a huge influx of talent during the last lockout. With the talent infusion the two leagues were at worst as good as the average NHL teams. Given that a disruption this time around will have a higher percentage of Americans and Canadians, it’s likely even the ECHL (www.echl.com) and Central Hockey League (www.centralhockeyleague.com/teams/) will receive an uptick in general talent.

Fourth: Video! The internet contains thousands of hours of video content from hockey games with your favorite and most hated players. Youtube, and others will become even more valuable. Leagues like the USHL, college hockey leagues, and many others have video packages for both live games and archives. Sure you will need to pay to watch your favorite team, but hey it beats paying to park in most cities.

Remember: Don’t Panic! There is Always Hockey!

Fifth: There will still be hockey writers. Hockey This Week and their writers will be here to help. You should consider us the first line of defense for your grief counseling Paul @PCuthbert_HTW, Sean @HTW_Sean, Mike C @MikeCarverHTW, Tony @TonyStabile, Steve @StevePalumboNHL, Jake @JBecker591 Mike F @MikeFerruzzi and myself @PuckSage are respected Hockeykrishnas and willing to help. Don’t go it alone. No one is bigger than a lost hockey season and everyone needs help to get through it.

Sixth: In the event of a lockout sporting good stores will likely have a sale on all old team gear so they don’t have to keep it on the shelves out back or ship it back to the warehouses. For some people buying extra jerseys, t-shirts, blankets, cozies and hats will help deal with the withdrawal symptoms.

Remember: Don’t Panic! There is Always Hockey!

Seventh: Movies! Movies! Movies! The catalog of hockey movies is, as it should, always growing. Begin your withdrawal compensation with a dose or two of Slapshot. The 1977 classic is a huge part of hockey culture. You should feel great shame if you don’t watch it at least once a month during a lockout. Less well known, and much harder to find is the 1937 John Wayne flick Idol of the Crowds. Yes, John Wayne and hockey. The Mighty Ducks is worth viewing a time or two, rumor has it there are sequels. Score: A Hockey Musical is the life and times of a sheltered boy who goes on to junior stardom. My favorite, Mystery Alaska is truly miraculous. It not only features a plucky cast of underdogs, it makes Russell Crowe and Burt Reynolds watchable.

Eighth: Resistance is Futile! No matter where you go there will be hockey. Planning a vacation to Italy? You might run into former UNH stud Kevin Regan playing for Valpellice. Going down under? Stop in Perth for the Thunder, they play as part of Ice Hockey Australia (www.iha.org.au/view/iha). Brazil? Yup, covered, it is after all the nation of birth for Robyn Regehr (www.cbdg.org.br/). Japan, did you even have to ask? They play in the Asia League with South Korea and China (www.alhockey.com). Even the cricket loving, tea drinking soccer obsessed United Kingdom has room in their hearts for the one true sport. Nearly fifty players born there have played in the NHL, most famous among them goalie Byron Dafoe and the gentlemanly James Stephen Smith who played defense for the Oilers, Blackhawks and Flames for 804 regular season games, 375 points and probably added a Lady Byng or two with his 2139 PIMS. Hockey in the UK reaches it’s pinnacle with the Elite League (www.eliteleague.co.uk) most of whom seem to cluster at the feet of the Belfast Giants (www.belfastgiants.com) who won 46 of their 54 games last season.

Remember: Don’t Panic! There is Always Hockey!

@PuckSage is hoping there is no lockout because without hockey the new TV he bought is a complete waste. He can be found on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere. Fair warning, he tweets a lot.

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