Your lovable misfit Kings are the reigning Stanley Cup champions. The yearly pilgrimage to Frozen Fury in Vegas should be right around the corner. The world could be perfect right now.
The mailer sent from my local junior league team gets right to the point. “Are you ready?”
Heck yeah, I am. We all are – it’s autumn, and we’re addicts. But since the NHL won’t oblige us, we need to find ways to cope.
I don’t think it’s going to be enough to hold my own personal UnFrozen Fury chirping Avs fans on Twitter and downing boxed wine in my PJs. So here are three superior strategies to feed your hockey addiction while this (hopefully brief) lockout is going on.
1. Get Local
This all depends on where you are -- many readers are season ticket holders, while I know several others are scattered around the world (what up, Singapore!). But no matter where you live, supporting local hockey in any form is a wonderful idea. Maybe you'll spend extra time helping out your kid's team, or join a rec league. Maybe you have a few junior or college teams nearby (I plan to see more of the Thunderbirds, Winterhawks, and Silvertips in the WHL). There are California college teams in the ACHA (USC and UCLA among them). Those of you in So Cal might be going to watch the San Diego Gulls or the Ontario Reign.
Hockey is out there, and it needs your passionate support. Go find it!
2. Get Hockey Online
If you want to watch amateur or pro hockey from the comfort of your own home, you have options.
The highest level of competition going right now is in the KHL. Superstars like Pavel Datsyuk and Evgeni Malkin are already playing there. You can watch the KHL's YouTube channel or Laola1.tv for free.
Anze Kopitar teamed up with his brother Gasper to play for Mora in Sweden. This is a...little more complicated to purchase on a Swedish site, but it's about $12/game to see the Super Kopitar Bros.
For hardcore fans of up-and-comers, you can stream OHL or WHL junior league games. This is one of the best ways to see future stars in action before they're drafted. It's pricey, though per-game costs go down with a season pass.
Our focus at JFTC will be on the Kings' players and prospects with the Manchester Monarchs. Slava Voynov, Jordan Nolan, and top Kings prospects like sniper Tyler Toffoli will all be there. A team season pass is being sold at discount now through October 19th; though still steep at $149 (about $2/game), they are archived so you can watch them whenever you want.
You can also listen to the radio feed of the games online for free.
Training camp begins this Saturday, and the first game will be October 12th. We'll keep you posted.
3. We're Still the Champs! So Savor It
This final strategy works for Kings fans only. But hey, after decades of waiting, don't we deserve it?
Revisiting happy memories triggers a release of dopamine into your brain. This not only makes you feel good, it improves brain function. This may be why you still find yourself re-playing clips and playoff games over and over with a grin plastered all over your face. Don't worry. It's good for you!
Yep, there can be a good reason to watch game 6 for the upteenth time, thank you very much!
Go ahead, bask in the joy. Pop that Bob and Jim DVD in the second it arrives. We waited for this.
Slip on that championship t-shirt and keep on trucking.