How Fantasy Saved My Hockey Soul
or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Puck
According to my esteemed Recorder colleague, there was an insanely-important, mega-massive sporting narrative that occurred around the same time the northern hemisphere officially welcomed summer’s arrival.
It was about a ‘King’ finally winning a trophy, or some other such story.
Really, it confused me. Who cares about a King winning a trophy, when the L.A. Kings won Lord Stanley’s Cup for the first time in franchise history?
But this was the only signal of summer’s advent: besides the Cup finding a brand new home, I won my NHL Playoff fantasy league, Adam Henrique didn’t win the Calder Trophy, Pavel Bure did get elected to the Hall of Fame, the Draft came and went, and the NHL free agency season came to life.
Despite my excitement, I can’t say my priorities were always aligned this way. Once upon a time, the bleak months after the Super Bowl were a dead time before the catchers & pitchers reported to Spring Training. This is because, for much of my life, I had turned my back on the NHL. But I was saved from this ignorant hockey darkness by the trinity of friends, family, and fantasy sports.
My up-and-down relationship with the NHL began back in my childhood. I had attended a couple Milwaukee Admiral games (who were, at the time, part of the IHL). When I started to watch hockey on TV, which wasn’t too often, I found myself rooting for the Minnesota North Stars.