Summer is here, the Stanley Cup has been raised high, and teams have settled in for a much deserved summer break. That only means one thing, its Entry Draft time! The story below is something that I had written yesterday morning on a flight from New York. I hope you enjoy it!
For the third year in a row, I have made the journey to cover the NHL draft live from the event. At the time of this writing, I am halfway across the great American Frontier on my way to Los Angeles, California. I imagine the scene here in the U.S. will differ slightly from what I experienced in Ottawa and Montreal—being they reside in hockey's hotbed, also known as Canada. However, I am sure the scene here in Los Angeles will be a party full of hardcore fans nonetheless.
People in my life, friends and family—all think I am crazy for spending as much time and money covering the game of hockey. To me it's not crazy; it's a privilege as I get to experience the game I love on a level not many are fortunate enough to experience.
Attending the draft is a special experience. As someone who has played the game of hockey my entire life, I can appreciate the time and effort these young men, and more importantly—their parents, dedicate to the sport. It's a wild perspective to sit in and bear witness on draft day.
What makes the planning, expense, vacation time, and especially the writing all worthwhile, is watching these young players realize their dreams of becoming professional hockey players has become reality. It's a magical feeling watching lives change, in a positive way, right before your very eyes.
Another benefit of attending the draft and covering the New York Islanders is I get to watch the young players whom are selected by the team, grow and progress through their young careers witnessing maturation into both men and world class athletes.
Perhaps, in some small way I am living the dream through these players—vicariously if you will. Beyond the obvious difference in talent, players of any level share a common bond for the love of the game. Be it the pro level, or your average Men's league player—we are all willingly play a sport that takes a toll on our bodies and continue to play for as long as we can.
This is why I go through the lengths that I do to cover the sport, I may only be a blogger who isn't a writer by day—but I do it for the love of the game and nothing else.