Even though it hasn't been officially announced yet, I think it's pretty obvious the NHL season is history. And all I can say is . . . good riddance!
I am no fan of the NHL, which has become synonymous with ridiculous salaries, expensive tickets, ugly violence, and massive egos. Who needs it? My Canada does not include professional hockey.
I realize I'm only 30 but things really were different when I was a kid. My dad occasionally took me to watch the Leafs play at the Gardens. We'd ride the subway to College station and he'd hold my hand all the way up to our cheap seats in the nosebleed section.
I loved seeing my dad so excited, the way he'd cheer and whistle and yell louder than anyone. He'd buy me a hotdog and a pop, and I'd just sit there bursting with happiness.
Things have changed since then. The last hockey game I went to was a few years ago in Vancouver. It was boring, expensive and obnoxious. Worst of all was the way the flow of the game kept getting interrupted by players throwing punches at each other.
Can you imagine watching a swim meet where Ian Thorpe swims over to the next lane, grabs Michael Phelps by the throat and start pounding him in the head? If it's not okay in swimming (or badminton or basketball or any sport other than boxing), why is it okay in hockey?
So since I've decided hockey officially sucks, I think Canada should adopt a new national sport. Australia and South Africa are swimming fanatics. Italy is cycling-mad, and Kenya produces some of the best runners in the world. But in Canada, these three sports are marginal, under-funded and unappreciated.
It doesn't have to be that way. We can all decide we've had enough of hockey and turn our money and attention to something better. So if you had to pick a new national sport for Canada, what would it be?
I'd choose triathlon. Canada is home to some of the best triathletes in the world, like Simon Whitfield who won the gold at the 2000 Olympics. These passionate, broke and genuinely nice athletes deserve our admiration. There's no glory, no fame and no money in the sport of triathlon. The professionals in this sport simply just love to swim, bike and run.
The age of the hockey hero is over.