Adult Hockey: Where's the Love? Travel Teams, Tournaments, and Trophies
There is nothing I look forward to more than my next hockey game. All week long, there is a place in the back of my mind that is counting down the seconds to my next game. Since I am only playing in one league now, it basically means I play 1 game a week. Not enough in my mind but that’s the way it works. In any case, the leagues around the DC area typically last about 4-5 months (20-25 games). From there we enter playoffs. Usually it’s a one game playoff where the winner moves on and the loser waits until the next season (about a month away). Personally, I think men’s leagues should replicate the NHL playoffs and should be best of seven games (or more realistic the best of 3). I know ice time is limited and expensive so I will not press the issue. What gets me steamed is that we battle and fight to become champions and we get nothing for it (accept bragging rights and our names on the rink cup). No team trophies, no t-shirts, nada. Where is the love? A hockey player needs his moment in the light. We are an egotistical, trash talking, glory seeking breed. We want our recognition. It is time to get back to the roots of the game and make a big deal out of winning it all. Lord Stanley would want it that way! Another thing that would make things more exciting would be to start playing some different teams in the area. There are about 5 rinks within a 30 mile radius. For years we play the same people. In my case, the over 30 Masters B league offers us nothing different; the teams are always the same. We know all the players, goalies and hacks within the league. Over time we start making enemies and it is not healthy. For example, the team we play this weekend took out a fellow Goon a few games ago and he has a price on his head. This wouldn’t happen so much if the rinks got together and built a travel system. Link together all the teams from each rink into a division. For example, Fairfax Ice would be the Eastern Division. We play division rivals, the current Over 30 B teams as well as out of conference teams (a.k.a. over 30 B teams from Kettler, Reston, etc. That would be so much fun! The teams we typically play all the time will become fierce rivals, but we would then have something in common. We would want our division to be the strongest in the metro DC area. It brings pride and glory to the division therefore…less hacking division players and more unity. When the playoffs come, why not have it sponsored by a local brewery. The top seed at every rink makes the playoffs or you have a division playoff and the winner moves on. It all makes sense to me and is now a project in the making. I will start with a sponsored travel tournament. I will ask local breweries first like Dogfishead or Dominion. Once we get teams and rinks involved, I will pass along my “travel team” idea. It will change the way this entire area looks at adult hockey. We would have something unique to the area that would put DC Metro Hockey on the map. We are a hockey town and I will help prove it to the world!
Welcome to my blog!! My goals usually change with the seasons so be prepared for all types of random-ness. This month I am gearing up for Fall and Winter. I like to update this blog as much as possible but usually you see posts around the hockey season. Once and awhile I'll throw out some thoughts just for fun. Feel free to reach out to me at anytime if there is anything I can do for you. Thanks for listening. -Coach Dutton