OSean is on a much-needed vacation at the moment in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. In his place are a bevy of all-star bloggers from around the Internets.
Today, Julie Robenhymer from Hockeybuzz.com will be your kind host.
Hello fellow hockey loving fools :)
I feel bad bumping down the fantasy hockey post, which had some good points...particularly the who you DON'T want part, but that is my duty for this afternoon. So be sure to scroll down and read it once you're done with my contribution...
If you've been listening to the Hockey Buzzcasts, you'd know that I am obsessed with the Olympics...and if you haven't been listening...well, you're caught up - I'm obsessed with the Olympics.
(If you don't know what the Hockey Buzzcast is, search for it and subscribe to it on iTunes)
Last week, I stayed up until nearly 4 am every night as I caught up on all the days events. After the excitement that was the Race for Eight and Nastia v. Shawn, the track and field events are showing to be a big let down. Marathon running is not exactly what I would call must-see TV, but I digress...
Because of all my blabbering about the Games, I received several emails about Canada's lack of medals including this one:
As a Canadian, I am somewhat ashamed by zero medals nearly a week into the games. While we may not posses the genome of an Aquaman, we do have a genetic relationship with Iceman, and we will be hosting the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. When we were awarded the Winter Olympics, Athletics Canada shifted nearly all of its funding to "own the podium" in the snow games. This has had a severe impact on our summer athletes, in a country that is deeply in love with winter sports. While we might be ashamed of our performance in Beijing, I am certain that most Canadians would gladly trade shame in the summer games to ensure our success in the winter games we will be hosting.
It got me thinking about 2010 and more specifically the Hockey Tournament. Not so much who will be representing their country or even who will win gold, but more about the coverage and what I want to see, both from the networks that cover it and the NHL.
First, I was pretty bummed for the players who missed out on the excitement that is the Opening Ceremonies in Turin because the tournament started later on in the Games and therefore the NHL hadn't started its Olympic hiatus. That sucks!! Participating in that ceremony is part of the honor and the experience of getting to represent your country. So, I would like to see the NHL go on hiatus previous to a day or two before the tournament starts. It's wishful thinking, I know, but I'd still like to see it. Plus, it will give the teams another opportunity to come together prior to the start of the Games.
Second, I want to know about hockey in other countries. I have no idea what the culture of hockey is like in Europe...I don't know much about the leagues over there. I don't know about their development programs or training facilities. Are they similar to the development camps of Hockey Canada? or more like the NTDP of USA Hockey? I don't know about their youth programs, nor about the selection process for those countries that can't fill their rosters with NHL players. When it comes to international hockey, for the most part I am completely ignorant especially when it comes to some of the rules, surface dimensions and why the clock ticks up rather than down. PLEASE EDUCATE ME!!!!
Third, I want to know more about the history of hockey. With the games being held in Canada, the birthplace of the sport we can't seem to get enough of, it seems like a no brainer to include features on the storied history and traditions of hockey.
Those are my thoughts...what are yours?
And to all the Canadians...how important is success in 2010 to you?
What's interesting is that Canada will be an international hockey hotbed leading up to these games - hosting both the 2009 and 2010 World Junior Championships. Fun times :)
Some of the comments and discussion topics regarding this post have proven to be quite interesting...
Did you know that Canada has not won a gold medal on home soil?? EVER? I was shocked to learn that...
And not all that surprising, yet still interesting, is that most Canadians that have responded only care about two gold medals - Men's and Women's Hockey - everything else is a bonus and anything less would be a disappointment.