Hockey Dad Resolutions: Better Late Than Never

 Hockey Resolutions

Thought I’d wait for the New Year frenzy to settle down before I put together this list or I’m just lazy and procrastinatorial (to coin a word), which is something I should likely add to the ledger? Another reasonable excuse is my need to thaw out following a trip to the Winter Classic in Ann Arbor with Momma and friends, which was an unforgettable way to start 2014.

2014 Winter Classic

Regardless, I decided to jot down some resolutions I believe will resonate with my hockey dad/coach brethren, or at least those who are of reasonably sound mind and in tune with their true feelings; which I realize discounts a few out there — you know who you are…

1. I will endeavour to bite my tongue and control my digits when the men in stripes make what I feel are egregious errors in judgment. Thought I’d start with one of the most difficult resolutions and work my way down. I may have already blown this one up prior to publication, but ya had to be there to see the calls this dude was making (he says with total confidence and utter objectivity).

2. I will make every effort to heed the advice of the dazzling and admittedly oft correct Hockey Momma and lighten the weight of my right foot on the gas pedal when traversing snow covered highways on route to matches at rinks situated in the coldest of climes. Damn, number two ain’t gonna be easy either.

3. I will attempt to not make my 16 year old Devil child cry on the bench during a game. Ok, so yes, this happened once in the last month due to extenuating circumstances I assure you. And based on those same hormonally-driven reasons I’m not even sure if this can or should be my resolution, but I’ll include it here for posterity.

4. I will not lie awake in bed till all hours of the night rewinding games or deliberating line combinations in my head. This one will no doubt be harder and harder to fulfill as the season winds down and playoffs ensue.

5. I will make healthy choices for me and my finely tuned hockey progeny. I will not stop at Five Guys Burgers and Fries at 10:00pm after an away game for Double Cheeseburger Combos for the Devil and I. Any resolution list worth its weight (pun fully intended) includes something about healthy eating. I am, however, completely aware of the fact I do not maintain the mental fortitude to make this one last more than 30 days tops. I mean…have you ever been to a Five Guys with all its beefy, cheesy deliciousness?

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

6. I will not wish ill will on other hockey parents, coaches or beer league counterparts during the course of a game or otherwise. Again, a toughie to adhere to when engaged in the heat of high stakes midget girls’ competitive or even incredibly low stakes recreational mens’ hockey battle. The warrior spirit is hard to dash.

7. I will refrain from cheering against the Toronto Maple Leafs. ROFLMAO, I was just checking to see if you were paying attention. While I have my Winnipeg Jets to cheer for (which has been exceedingly hard to do based on their performance or lack thereof of late), I will remain a staunch anti-Leafs fan, if only to grate on the nerves of some of my nearest and dearest.

Not sure how I only just found this…pure YouTube genius don’t ya think?

8. I will try to not laugh (out loud) when I witness one of my kids make a particularly bone-headed play during a game or practice. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “If you can’t laugh at your own, who can you laugh at.”

You know damn right they’d be laughin’ at dear old Dad if the skate were on the other foot. Case in point was a practice earlier this week when yours truly caught a rut during a pre-practice pivot to fire a shot on net and found myself suspended in mid-air with enough time to realize how much landing was gonna hurt. My back met the frozen floor first, yanking pretty much all the breath from my unsuspecting lungs, followed shortly thereafter by my thankfully helmeted head. My back, head and neck would all suffer over the next two days.  I scrambled to my hands and knees, gasping for whatever air I could find and hoping my foible went unnoticed, only to be met by the Devil’s grinning mug asking if I was ok? “Umm…no, give me a sec or two (to fill the virtual vacuum that is my chest cavity). Had I been a bystander witnessing me going ass over tea kettle, I can assure you it would have been met with something closer to gut-grabbing laughter. So, while at the time I sneered at her enjoyment of my misfortune, I shortly thereafter appreciated her simply being my kid.

Hockey Gods9. I will pay all due reverence and humbled icy homage to the all-knowing, all-seeing Hockey Gods. Of course, in return I would like to receive the occasional lucky bounce, ricochet or outright victory at the Puck Deities’ discretion of course.

10. In line with it’s mystic predecessor, I will make an effort to not kowtow to silly superstitions. No habitually nervous pre-game bowel movements. No special t-shirts worn under my dress shirt. No counting the number of times the tape wraps around the stick blade or the shin guard. And yet again, who am I kidding. These are not trivial things one can simply resolve to stop doing at the risk of changing the course of history.

So there’s 10 to chew on. I likely cannot successfully accomplish a single one, but the first step is recognizing and admitting the need to change. I think I have at least a fighting chance with numero trois (pardon my French) and lucky number 9, since I can beg and grovel with the best of them.

Have any personal promises on a hockey list or otherwise you want to try to keep in 2014? I’d love to hear em and whether or not you think you can stick to em any better than I can. Good luck!


Hockey Gods image courtesy The Hockey Gods on Twitter

A Hockey Dad’s New Year’s Resolutions

Tis the time of year again, when we all, with best intentions, come up with a list of resolutions; those little things we admit we should or shouldn’t be doing in good conscience. It’s perhaps sad or at least regrettable that I should be able to come up with a list solely centred around my hockey parenting life; to complement a raft of other more generalized life prescriptions I should be heeding. But such is the case and so here, for better or worse, is the list of items to which I will somewhat steadfastly adhere for roughly 365 days (starting sometime early next week).


I will make a concerted effort to give referees the benefit of the doubt; particularly when it appears they obtained their credentials for passing judgment on the team I’m rooting for from the bottom of a certain sweet and tasty popcorn treat container.

I will attempt to refrain from laughing out loud when either the Devil or Boy make a particularly boneheaded play or comical faux pas. Hey…they would do the same to me if the roles were reversed.

I will resist the urge to put gravy on my arena fries. Gotta feeling this one may fall before all the others. After all, fries and gravy is like the lifeblood of Canada, eh?

I will turn off or at least place my phone on vibrate during the Devil’s and Boy’s games or at least during their shifts.

In the unlikely event I am unable to locate a previously unvisited arena in a remote rural town, I will strongly consider stopping to ask for directions.

I will try to not partake in pre or post-game tailgating festivities, which may or may not include the occasional alcoholic beverage. Yeah, you can likely file this one with the fries and gravy. What else are you gonna do for an entire hour before a game or after a particularly satisfying victory? Besides, idle chit chat  about who’s not getting enough ice time or the relative merits of a particular penalty killing scheme generally require liquid accompaniment.

I will be mostly, wholly satisfied with strong efforts and good tries in lieu of first places and championship victory laps; though the latter would be gladly welcomed and thoroughly enjoyed. To this former end, I will further remind myself it’s a whole lot easier to “skate harder” and “hit the net” from my comfy vantage point up in the stands or behind the glass because the game sure changes once I slap on the gear.

Further to the last pledge, I will likewise try to not second guess coaching decisions. I should certainly know better having recently occupied a spot on the bench, but I think we’re all guilty of biased and ill-informed opinions from time-to-time. Of course,  it’s been well documented that some of us are more vocal with those opinions than others and I certainly don’t plan on being “that hockey parent”. On this note, I will refrain from donning the ever-popular rose-coloured glasses worn so often by “those hockey parents”.

I will do my best to tolerate the jeers (or are those cheers) of rival hockey parents and players when those same rivals score a goal or land a particularly memorable body check on one of our Boys or ladies. I mean, surely I don’t sound like that when ours is on the right side of such occurrences. Just in case, I will endeavour to keep my post goal/victory celly’s to a reasonable level.

Finally, I can, with all confidence, promise to continue to enjoy my time spent at the rink watching the Boy and the Devil play the game they love no matter when, where or for how long that may be.

I am certain there are many of you who are making similar, if not slightly more realistic, annual decrees and I would love to hear them. There’s probably a few I should and will be adding to my scroll.