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Some Sarcastic NHL post-American-Thanksgiving Thank You’s

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Vancouver Canucks D-man Kyle Burroughs and Riley Stillman of the Blackhawks drop the mitts earlier this NHL season.

Happy holidays again NHL.

It wasn’t “thanksgiving” Thursday in Europe or in Canada. The previous doesn’t have the holiday and the latter’s happens in October. It was only Thanksgiving in that behemoth we refer to as the United States of America.

Even though I’m north of the border, and a “dually” with status between the countries, I thought I’d chime in with my NHL list of what I’m thankful for …

I’m thankful that NHL team captains can now skate up to an opposing goalie, twice, during a TV time-out to ask what said netminder felt about the captain’s recent shot-on-goal. Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat did it with Marc-Andre Fleury of the Chicago Blackhawks last week. This while Horvat’s team was mired in a losing slump, in a tie hockey game, with his team floundering. I’m so happy that NHL hockey life has mellowed to the point where instead of a line brawl erupting from such an excursion, let’s say ten years ago, we can now all play nicey-nice and chat about how our day is going. So thankful for putting more “friendly” in this friendly competition.

I’m thankful for the forty extra AHL calibre players that have been added to the NHL with expansion over the last four years, so I can watch defenceman making the league-minimum turn pucks over in their own end on a regular basis and create scoring chances for opponents. I know some NHL stars who are thankful for this as well. It’s a battle for NHL GM’s as they try to find the best $750,000 players out there; better than what the other GM’s are finding to plug into the bottom of line-ups. Those GM’s are thankful for when they find these players, and I’m sure those players are thankful for the opportunity.

I’m thankful for those clear-cut NHL face-off regulations, so that I can easily understand why each and every time a guy gets waved out of the circle. I’m thankful for when the linesman actually gets around to dropping the puck.

I’m thankful to NHL GM’s and coaches for being so forthcoming about injury information and details about their line-ups. And the players should be thankful, because when they return from that top secret groin injury, they surely wouldn’t want opponents slashing or spearing them in the groin in an attempt to re-aggravate the “lower body”. And this way, everyone knows not to slash the guy in the hands, shoulders, or head, knowing the upper-body is not where the secret injury had occurred. We’re all thankful for this.

I’m thankful for two anthems at most NHL games, because nothing is more special or stirring than hearing the American national anthem for the 12 Europeans and seven Canadians on the Washington Capitals roster when they visit Toronto.

I’m thankful for sarcasm.

OK. Enough already.

In sincerity, I am indeed truly grateful for the greatest sport in the world, even with its modern faults, and for all the people in it. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have played it as an amateur, covered it, and broadcasted it for the many decades. I’m thankful for all of the great hockey memories, so numerous I couldn’t even begin to remember them all.

Thank you hockey, for hockey.

VHN Managing Editor Rob Simpson has been covering the NHL for three decades on live TV, radio, and as a journalist. He worked his first ever game getting postgame sound as a teenager; it was Vancouver vs. Detroit.

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